>Inspiring Your Authentic Week

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Inspiring Your Authentic Week

Strategy – or how to get what you want

Posted: 03 Aug 2009 06:59 AM PDT

There are three different approaches to getting what you want:

Toddler tantrum, “Realistic” and Strategic.

We have all come across the Toddler tantrum approach. When an individual or a group feel their desires are being thwarted they stamp their feet until someone else sorts it out for them.

This behaviour can be seen in actual toddlers and adult toddlers. Adult Toddlers have a spectrum too, from relatively harmless tantrum throwing divas to terrorists and certain political “leaders”.

The bomb that went off in Mallorca last week illustrates this. Just how does anyone imagine that obliterating two random, innocent, young policemen furthers the cause of independence for a region on the other side of the country?

Apparently this was done to mark the 50th anniversary of this particular Tantrum. But, if an approach fails to achieve it’s stated objective for half a century, it is time to find another approach.

Of course the Toddler does not really have or recognise any other approach, which makes dealing with them quite a challenge. Fundamentally, like all Toddlers, they need to “grow up”. Unfortunately the Toddler approach can also be successful in a selfish and limited kind of way.

The Realist goes entirely the other way. Realists approach say “we need to be realistic” which is code for “we don’t believe we can do it, so we are not even going to try.”

People using the “realistic” approach self edit their lives down to only trying what they know they can achieve.

Luke: “I don’t believe it.”
Yoda: “That – is why you fail”

Realists often feel a sense of superiority over both Toddlers and Strategists. They often see strategists as “unrealistic” which, for them, is the greatest possible insult.

The strategic approach simply asks “how?”

If a business has a target to double revenue in a single year. The Toddler will throw a hissy fit. The Realist will bury their head in their hands and claim that it is not possible. The Strategist will work out what resources will need to be deployed, in which order and how much it will cost. If it ends up costing too much they will look at the plan again and see how it can be made cheaper.

The Strategist will analyse the situation, look at it from every angle, see what resources are required and how they can be accumulated and get on with the job.

It is not a question of “if” a business can be more profitable by being fulfilling to those involved and sustainable, it is a question of “how?”

Strategists are significantly less common than Toddlers and Realists and so will need develop strategies for dealing with both.

In dealing with Toddlers, Strategists need to be strong and never give in to the tantrum, whilst engaging them positively and encouragingly in the non tantrum phases. The Strategist needs to build the Toddlers confidence in their ability to think, negotiate and develop. (In much the same way that parents need to deal with real toddlers).

In dealing with Realists, Strategists need to provide a depressing (for the Strategist) amount of reassuring evidence and detail that will give the Realist the confidence to move forwards. The ambitious Strategist can also coach the Realist into edging beyond their comfort zone and taking a few “risks”.

If you want some help in finding strategies to deal with Realists and Toddlers in your organisation give me a call.

This week I am launching a new experiment myself and making these messages available as a Podcast. This means you can download and listen to these messages on your iPod or iPhone. You can subscribe for free at www.neilcrofts.com

Also available for free at www.neilcrofts.com is a audio visual slideshow of my “10 Leadership Lessons from the Tour de France” message from a couple of weeks ago. If you want to use this with a group, let me know and I can supply a higher resolution version.

With love


Neil Crofts
Neil Crofts
authentic business

+44 (0)7775 658534
Skype – neilcrofts

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

About Neil Crofts

Writer, coach and consultant on authentic business and authentic leadership. Neil has inspired and motivated hundreds organisations and thousands of individuals to their highest potential. Neil has written three published books and numerous e-books. Neil is a coach, facilitator and consultant helping people and businesses find their authentic purpose and use it to inspire and motivate them to be everything that they can be. Neil has raced cars, been self-employed, run a company and sold it, been employed by large companies, experienced growth and contraction at the heart of the dotcom boom, tried changing companies from the inside and from the outside as European Head of Strategy at internet consultancy/rock band Razorfish. Neil has been independent for over 10 years and delivered his Authentic Leadership message to a diverse range of business audiences including people at BP, Shell, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, MSN, Jamie Oliver, South Gloucestershire Council, National Blood Transfusion Service, KaosPilots Business School, Fashion company By Malene Birger, German technology company Eleven.
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