This art touches every aspect of your life
There’s a saying I always love: If you want to achieve great things, you need to give a lot of people what they want.
What I love about it is the mindset it puts me in. If I’m not careful I can find myself slipping into an adversarial mindset. That vendor has a property that I want. How do I get it for absolute minimum he’s going to accept?
Sometimes you need to think that way. The world can be a competitive place.
But our default position has to be win/win. Where ever possible we should be looking for outcomes that give everyone involved what they want.
And when you’re building an empire (or whatever shape that means to you), this is the only sustainable option. The ruthless competitor will end up without any friends soon enough. And from there, they’re powerless.
And so as your empire grows, your sphere of giving expands. You’re able to offer more to more and more people.
In return, they’re able to offer you something as powerful as OPM (other people’s money). And that’s OPE – other people’s energy.
I mean look at what I do. My business is epic. There’s absolutely no way I could do what we do on my own.
I’m only able to achieve great (IMHO) things because I’m able to leverage off other people’s energy.
Of course, paying wages helps here. Money is the joker in cards. It’s not really what you want, but it’s a pretty good substitute.
But really, money only gets you so far. You still need to be tuned into what drives and motivates people.
And when you’re giving people what they want, money only gets you so far.
And so I take that approach to HR. I’m trying to tune in to what my staff’s motivations really are. And they’re all different.
And where ever possible, I’m looking for those win/win outcomes that give them what they want. And so when Reid wants to wear his underpants on the outside on Fridays, I’m like “sure, why not?”
What we’re touching on here is the subtle art of influence. It’s a soft skill, about working with people. It’s about leadership.
And you might be thinking, leadership is something only CEOs need to worry about. But you’re dead wrong.
No matter what you’re trying to achieve in life, at some point you’re going to need to leverage OPE.
It’s even a defensive question. Even if you’re only ambition in life is to sit on the couch and eat Twisties, you’ll still need to wrangle a few negotiations to empower that particular life choice.
And so I’m finding I’m getting more and more questions about this area – because it’s huge, and it touches on every aspect of our productive lives.
And I guess that I’ve learnt a few things about the topic over the years – with my experience in sales, marketing and managing my staff/spouse.
And so I’m feeling inspired to riff on this topic a little more. For some people, it’s going to be directly relevant to the specific challenges they’re facing. For others, it will be more relevant to their entire way of being.
But I think it’s going to be useful.
Because at the end of the day we’re all stuck with the same reality. If you want to move mountains, you’ve got to move people.
So look out for the OPE tagline in future emails/blogs. I’ll be dropping some gems over the coming weeks.