On a daily/weekly basis, how many conversations are you a part of that finish with an “if” statement?
If only we had more people.
If only we had a bigger budget.
If only my manager listened to me more.
If only that other team did what we wanted them to do.
If only customers listened to us.
If only our strategy was clearer.
All of these statements are draining (I felt exhausted typing them!), they give your power away to someone else and most of all play on the human tendency to celebrate scarcity.
The statements are natural and they are what most people do. It makes them feel better.
You have a choice though. Rather than scarcity, what if you focussed on abundance? What if you focussed on helping others achieve their goals and in return they helped you achieve yours? What if the statements above were changed to say….
If we wrote a business case for more people what would it need to look like?
If we (over) achieve on our business targets we will get a bigger budget.
If I understand what my manager’s goals are, I could help them?
If I spoke with that other team, I could find out how we can work better together.
If I listened to our customers, I could understand their problems and how I can help.
If I have a vision for where my team could be in five years’ time I could input into the strategy.
We can all ask “what if?” But before you do next time, think about which side of the “if” statement you would rather be on.
About the Song:
The Bluetones were one of my favourite bands through the whole ‘Britpop’ period, mixing great guitars with Mark Morriss’ understated vocals. Their first album “Expecting to Fly” is most probably in the collection of anybody who liked music during that period. The soundtrack song for this post appeared on the follow up “Return to the Last Chance Saloon”.