By nature, I’m a storyteller. Over the past 20 years I’ve worked with countless leaders, thinkers, and creators to help them tell their stories. In that time I’ve found myself repeating a few phrases in a number of different contexts—phrases my clients have come to refer to as “Benisms.” Collectively, Benisms are the shorthand for concepts that contribute to my GSD (Get Shit Done) philosophy.
In this blog I'll introduce and net out the six Benisms. Click here to subscribe, and over the next few months you’ll receive more information about all six delivered right to your email. Each will contain ideas to transform the way you think about GSD, arming you for the challenges and opportunities ahead.
1. Take People on the Journey with You
This Benism directly relates to storytelling, and it’s important for everyone from first time sales reps to CEOs. No matter your experience or personal charisma, to motivate people and sell them on what you’re doing you have to take them on the journey with you. People follow stories as much as they follow leaders—perhaps even more so. The combination of noisy markets and fast business cycles make story and journey more important than ever. If you’re not taking people on the journey with you, you’re leaving them behind.
2. Pull Up!
In the 1960s, aircraft manufacturers developed a system that alerted disoriented pilots to “pull up” if they were off course and heading toward terrain. Think of this warning as shorthand directly applicable to businesses that need to be jolted to “pull up” when they’ve lost sight of their “True North.” We often get so caught up in the minute details of the day-to-day that we look up to find we’re horribly off course. “Pull up!” helps you remember to fly the plane—and not worry about the details of the landscape passing by beneath you.
3. You Only Truly Control Two Things: Your Actions and Your Attitude
This Benism is about simplicity of following through after a decision—especially a tough decision that may have been out of your control. Usually these decisions require the type of change that can be incredibly uncomfortable. And when we’re uncomfortable it’s easy to get overwhelmed. When this happens it’s important to remember that you truly control only two things: the actions you take, and the attitude you show up with. Focus your energy on what you can control.
4. Remember the Power of Three
This is one of my favorite Benisms, partly because there is so much terrific research behind it. How much? Google “the power of three” and you’ll get hundreds of hits, including a Doctor Who episode. The conclusion is always the same: important concepts should be distilled to three key points. Giving someone eleven action items isn’t helpful. Giving yourself eight New Year’s goals is a recipe for frustration. Memory, motivation, and messaging all work in threes.
5. Let Go or Be Dragged
For this Benism, think of holding onto a runaway horse. Never ridden a horse? Here's a tip: you don’t want to hold onto a runaway horse! It hurts like hell, and you’ll ultimately lose the horse. However, in both our personal and professional lives we sometimes find ourselves holding onto something harmful and being dragged by it. Whether it’s a personal struggle like addiction or a professional showdown between colleagues, the message is the same: you cannot Get Shit Done when you are being dragged. You have to let go.
6. Where is Your Authentic Self?
Let’s end with this Benism because it’s such a great question to ask during moments of discomfort. If you are not in line with your authentic self, then you are not going to be good—much less great—at the task at hand. (And you won’t have fun, either.) Your authentic self is that version of yourself that is most true to your strengths. For example, my authentic self is revealed when I’m helping people overcome obstacles and get back on track. This is also a great question to ask at the business level, too. Think of an organization’s authentic self as its mission. If that organization’s mission is not coming to life in a meaningful way, the business (and everyone associated with it) will struggle.
Ready for more? Sign up below, and you’ll receive automatic updates delivered right to your email. Also, if you want to book a one-on-one jam session with me where we can talk about how to get you or your company unstuck and moving forward, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone needs a coach - let’s GSD together!