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The cost of being right

~ by Alan W

Two intentions in life:

  1. Get the job done

  2. Be right, popular, consistent

The other day my dad and I were driving to the shops. It was scary. We're in a lane on the highway when it got to a section where two lanes merge. So there's this other driver that moves over to our lane without considering where we're driving. He was being inconsiderate and plainly obnoxious. So I tell my dad to slow down so that the other driver can come into our lane. "No! He has to wait for us. He is coming into our lane. He has to slow down." So I told my dad: "Yes, you're right but is it worth it putting our lives on the line because you are right?" (My dad, I love him lots!)

We have to ask ourselves, what is the price of being right? The job to be done is to get us home. Is it ok to be wrong to get the job done? Being right all the time is not going to let you get the job done. I don't want to be right. I choose to get the job done. I want to choose as often as possible to get the job done. I choose to get the job done at the cost of being popular, of being comfortable, of being right, of being consistent and all else. I just want to get the job done. That's it.

Consider this story when faced with business challenges.

Perhaps a contractor ‘steals’ business from one of your clients. You can slander them with litigation referring to the fine print legal issues that are in breach, or you can try to really understand why the client felt more loyalty to the contractor than to your business. Where did your business relationship break down and what learnings can you take from the experience to never let it happen again, how can you work better at your client relationships so that NOTHING could EVER tempt them to take away their custom.

Perhaps a client asks what seems like the impossible and you cannot apply your usual rules around timeline, approach and budget. Ask yourself what you can achieve given the impossible parameters of their ask. When you challenge your thinking with what ‘could be possible’ over ‘doing it the right way’, you reach newfound solutions not only for the asking client, but often which can be build into new solutions for your business (likely they are not the only client needing such an ‘impossible’ solution to their challenge).

This is actually about not being SO fixed in our ways. Getting the job done is about being creative, thinking differently, reserving energy for contemplated thought and being realistic given the context of the situation. Be open to what could be. Be open to simply getting the job done.

Work with Alan W

"Solving niche challenges founders face”.

Illustrator: Lisa Williams (Instagram: @artist_llw)


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