Saturday, September 20, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 264

People will care when you give them a reason to.

Newsflash: People won't think what you say is important just because you're saying it.

To build capacity, we have to help others see the importance in the initiatives we're keyed to, and likewise, those with initiatives they want us to explore need to find ways to show us how important they are.

We're all different, and since we inherently tend to think that our ideas mirror those of others, we have to step out of that frame from time-to-time to consider the fact that there are many more viewpoints than our own.

An idea's importance is often as much about how it is expressed, than how the idea itself "works."  Sometimes the greatest ideas get lost, simply because people didn't understand why/how the idea was so great.

Therefore, the best leaders understand the importance of a well-crafted initiative elevator speech; a simple summary of the importance of an idea that will help others its the worth too.

How do we help cultivate care?  Here are three thoughts:

1.  First, understand why the idea is important yourself.  If you can't verbally, visually, or in any other communicative form, express the value of your idea, then stop and consider whether the idea actually has deep value.

2.  Make it about the message, not the messenger.  When sharing why people should care, it should always be about where the idea will get you, not about how the person who is sharing the idea will get you there.  People may care about you as a person, but they won't care about an idea simply because it is coming from you.

3.  Implement the "tire spoke" approach.  To build capacity, you have to first start with those on the inside.  Your leadership cabinet, executive group, administrative council, etc. should be the first stop in bringing people on board.  The more support you have on the inside, the easier it will be to extend that support outward.

Ideas truly have a life of their own, and often that life has little to do with the idea maker.  Remember that to make people truly care, we have to first give them a reason to.

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