The Coach's Corner

Archive for October, 2020

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

October 26th, 2020 // Tom Doescher // 0 Comments

Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

I recently read Adam Grant’s book titled Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. It helped me piece together situations I’ve been involved with over the course of my entire business life. As many of you know, I like to start new businesses and initiatives. Grant’s book helped me understand the many challenges I’ve faced over the years.It’s also helped me better understand why I have made certain life choices and chosen this path. (Editorial comment: I’ve also been drawn to the song “Different,” by Micah Tyler — because, at times, that’s how I feel.)

Grant concludes his book with these Actions for Impact:

  1. Question the default. Instead of taking the status quo for granted, ask why it exists in the first place.
  2. Triple the number of ideas you generate. 
  3. Immerse yourself in a new domain. Originality increases when you broaden your frame of reference (e.g., spending time in a foreign country with locals).
  4. Procrastinate strategically. (Editorial comment: Grant suggests there are times when procrastination — or waiting — is the right approach.)
  5. Seek more feedback from peers.
  6. Balance your risk portfolio. (Editorial comment: Hedge your bet.)
  7. Highlight the reasons not to support your idea. (Editorial comment: This is counterintuitive but it’s a great idea, due to confirmation bias.)
  8. Make your ideas more familiar. Repeat yourself. It makes people more comfortable with an unconventional idea.
  9. Speak to a different audience. Instead of seeking out friendly people who share your values, try approaching disagreeable people who share your methods.
  10. Be a tempered radical. If your idea is extreme, couch it as part of a more conventional goal.
  11. Motivate yourself differently when you’re committed vs. uncertain. When you’re determined to act, focus on the progress left to go — you’ll be energized to close the gap.
  12. Don’t try to calm down.
  13. Focus on the victim, not the perpetrator. In the face of injustice, thinking about the perpetrator fuels anger and aggression.
  14. Realize you’re not alone.
  15. Remember that if you don’t take the initiative, the status quo will persist.

Conclusions:

If you’re an innovator, I would highly recommend you read Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. It will be encouraging and will help you understand why change is so hard. You’ll also get some great ideas about how to be more successful, and you’ll realize you’re not crazy.

If you’re a business owner who wants your team to be more creative, it will make you aware of potential obstacles that may inadvertently discourage people from suggesting or making change. You can’t have it both ways.

New Ideas for Your Elevator Speech

October 12th, 2020 // Tom Doescher // 0 Comments

Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

Somehow I missed another great author, Donald Miller, whom many of you probably already know. He has led a pretty diverse life, which includes the making of a movie based on one of his books, Blue Like Jazz. In another book, Building A StoryBrand, he does a wonderful job of helping organizations script their “elevator speech.” I’ve experienced — and agree with — most of his advice.

When it comes to his StoryBrand messaging, he recommends using the following seven categories as a framework:

  1. A Character: The customer is the hero, not the brand.
  2. Has a Problem: Companies tend to sell solutions to external problems, but customers buy solutions to internal problems.
  3. And Meets a Guide: Customers aren’t looking for another hero; they’re looking for a guide.
  4. Who Gives Them a Plan: Customers trust a guide who has a plan.
  5. And Calls Them to Action: Customers don’t take action unless they’re challenged to take action.
  6. That Helps Them Avoid Failure: Every human being is trying to avoid a tragic ending.
  7. And Ends in Success: Never assume people understand how your brand can change their lives. Tell them.

Miller summarizes the above with three strategies:

  1. Identify your customer’s problem.
  2. Explain your plan to help them.
  3. Describe a successful (happy) ending to their story.

As you know from Adam Grant’s book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, sometimes we need to take risks — so here I go. The following is the Doescher Advisors StoryBrand Elevator Speech:

“Over decades we meet business owners who are lonely. They lack an experienced, objective, confidential partner. Doescher Advisors fills that void through active listening and practical advice, like a member of the owner’s executive team. The result: Our clients sleep better. Try us out for a month, with no further commitment.”

For those of you who have read StoryBrand, please let me know what you think of my new elevator speech.

The Advisor’s Corner

Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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