Not “How to” but “Who” is the better strategy
We will show you today how to make the most of the “Who” approach in bringing your dreams into reality.
You can see for yourself how crucial it is to share your objectives. Indeed, it is impossible to know in advance when and how an opportunity can come your way or who might offer it to you.
We begin with this brand new experience Niki had with a 90-day goal about his vision for financial independence.
The “key” to cryptocurrencies
At a time when even the taxi driver was talking about “mining bitcoins,” he decided to do some research about the cryptocurrency phenomenon. He focused on the following actions:
- Learn about the mining process and familiarize with the available software in terms of installation and test-running it;
- Research the hardware and its prices;
- Estimate the annual rate of ROI;
- Explore possibilities for collocation, i.e. renting equipment at different places and other details such as the cooling issue, power supply, security, etc.
What he was aiming at: to get a general idea of the overall resources required and what the financial potential of this endeavor would be.
It all went as expected in the beginning
Niki made a long list of all the necessary actions and wrote down his objective in a very detailed manner. He treated it as if it is a big project. And while he could have hired a professional to do the business plan for him, he was sure he could manage it all by himself.
He made more than enough effort on how to do it but zero on who might be able to assist him.
But then, at one of the quarterly “GoalBuddy” meetings he discussed the idea with Ivan.
A turning point
After hearing him out Ivan immediately thought of an acquaintance who could provide the answers to at least 80% of Niki’s questions. Then he suggested that meeting the guy would be a good start.
At first Niki was somehow skeptical but in the end, he agreed.
They had this meeting and as a result, Niki got all his questions answered. But there was something else – this person had the expertise and the background to be able to bring to Niki’s attention some potential problems. He was also kind enough to explain the tricky issues regarding the technology, some partnerships, power plants, and many other aspects.
The moral here is that without looking to do so, Niki, in fact, inadvertently applied the “Who” method.
An evolving goal
This meeting made a big difference and Niki’s perspective got greatly affected. There was plenty of work ahead, but dozens of issues were resolved while new, much more relevant, ones came to the forefront. This saved him weeks of “shooting in the dark” and gave him extra clarity.
Apart from the obvious – that the research phase was not as difficult and time-consuming as he envisioned it –, there was something else of value for him in the bottom line:
This became a lesson for me how one 90-day goal can transform itself into a one day job that can take care of all issues.
What we learned so far
(So, if you are interested in Crypto-currency – currently and under the standard conditions, i.e. the power being supplied by the utility, mining bit-coins has a very thin margin of profit.)
But more important are the following two realizations Niki had.
# 1 The goal wasn’t of the domino type that unlocks the next one. This confirms that 90-day goals should play the role of experiments.
# 2 The result was achieved easily and without wasting time. The key was to meet and discuss it with someone who has the knowledge and experience to safely navigate you through those issues.
Or, to emphatically state the key conclusion – it was “Who” that worked out brilliantly.
What is this strategy
As you might have easily guessed, this is how you can register more progress by getting help. We often take advantage of it, but sometimes, as in the case with Niki, we don’t think of it right away.
It’s best applied at the 90-day goal level. Instead of trying to figure out everything all by yourself, do the GAMEPLAN exercise. Write down in the template who can assist you with the task at hand.
Engines of success
Of course, first of all, you have to be open with others about your objectives. You may have to overcome the fear that your idea gets stolen, or that you will be laughed at.
And secondly, you have to be actively asking for help. This might be the trickiest thing to do.
Why is it so hard?
The explanation is that it is often perceived as a manifestation of weakness. If you too think so then you probably have the insecurity that you may not be up to any challenge.
Still, at the opposite end of the spectrum are those “know-it-all” types of people. They always have the answer which is the one and only one.
What could be the reason for that?
The less productive approach
This concept is based on Dan Sullivan’s Strategic Coach platform.
When thinking only in the lines of “how to” you become more likely to be wrong in working out your plans. This preoccupation manifests itself by questions like “How to get on with it”, “How to resolve a problem”… This, he claims, is explained away by the very nature of our education system.
Just give it a thought:
From pre-school and all the way through college everything you are taught is to achieve on your own only. Teamwork is rarely encouraged. On the contrary, it is stigmatized and sometimes even penalized.
You end up entering the labor market, indoctrinated with the idea that you have to rely entirely on yourself.
We’ve been doing the “how to” for years while the “who” strategy is the smarter approach. There was no one to tell us so except that Life itself opened our eyes to this fact.
Why “Who” is superior to “How”
The answer is fairly simple and it will forever change how you organize yourself.
The results of “who” can naturally have a multiplicative effect, while those of “how” are limited by your own resources.
No one can be “superhuman” with a limitless amount of time, knowledge and expertise in every possible area.
So, try to go on never forgetting to look around who can help you. This will greatly improve your ability to perform and achieve. You can get support from one person, 10 or 100 – it’s entirely up to you how far you can get.
What are the possibilities
When you are ready to take the first step and seek co-operation, keep in mind the following.
One option is with the strategy (a mentor to give you valuable insights). And the other is to find someone to assist you with the tactics (these are usually people you delegate to).
Let’s dig in a little bit deeper in these two.
# 1 Looking for a mentor
This must be someone with experience in the field that you have little or no expertise in. They have already been down this road building up their “know-how” and learning all the lessons. And that’s their value to you – to present you with their view and understanding of the subject.
Or, as we witnessed it in Niki’s story, someone else can speed you up and move forward your 90-day goal in just a few hours. In doing so, you can spare yourself a lot of trouble and avoid failure.
And how do you find a mentor?
Look around yourself
And we mean it literally! A friend of ours, who is a motivational lecturer, told us an interesting story.
After a presentation, he usually talks offstage and quite informally so with his audience. A woman approached him and said that she wanted to start her own drop-shipping business but she had been struggling for a while with all kind of different issues.
What he did wasn’t much more than to walk her across the hall and introduce her to one of the most successful drop-shipping entrepreneurs in the country.
This is an excellent example for anyone. You never know how and in what form you can run into an opportunity. But you have to be prepared and also be able to freely seek it out.
Our Top 3 tips on how to fully utilize your “mentor resource”
- Always be ready to ask for advice and guidance.
There’s nothing to be afraid of. What would be the worst possible scenario? It is to be denied the mentorship which isn’t something that would slow you down in any way.
- But once you decided to request, then listen carefully.
Open up your mind to get the most out of it and use it as a stepping stone on which to make your next advance in the desired direction.
- Remember that there is no piece of advice which is exclusively tailored to you. You will ultimately have to run the new information through your own brain.
We all have our unique experiences. Someone’s winning approach might be a perfect fit for you too but that’s more of an exception than a rule. Your attitude must be such that you are prepared to expect that won’t always be the case.
And now, let’s turn our attention to the other option.
# 2 Finding those to delegate to
In essence, it means redirecting a certain amount of work to be done by someone else than you.
This will give you the chance to concentrate your efforts on higher priorities, not to mention the amount of time freed. You will be able to maximize your productivity by orienting your strong sides towards the progress on a given project.
Here is the latest, and in our opinion quite telling, example of the effectiveness of delegation.
How does Ivan do it?
We’ll illustrate with our “GoalBuddy” system.
In line with our mission of helping more people achieve their goals, we want to reach a larger audience at our site. Accordingly, we need to manage our Google Ads account. And this could be challenging at times. Although Ivan has skills and knowledge in marketing, he couldn’t stay fully up-to-date with it all the time.
One solution was to completely take on this responsibility all by himself, and the other option was to give that task to a team member. He chose the latter so that he would be able to apply himself with more focus where his expertise and skills would matter most. It didn’t take long before this choice showed to be the right one.
However simple it may sound, delegating is not abdication. It isn’t as straightforward as “Get it done!” command but a process.
The four levels of Delegation
- You state the task and they do it, but you have full control.
- The decisions are theirs but there is no responsibility for the outcome.
- Decisions and responsibilities are only for the duration of the specific task.
- They make all the decisions and are responsible at every stage of the project.
If you’ve reached this last level, then you have groomed a “successor” and the transfer of power will be peaceful.
How to maximize the process
Delegating isn’t an easy thing if you are not completely ready to give up control. It’s a multi-step process not only for the delegate but for the delegator as well.
Here’s what you need to know:
Don’t delegate as your mother-in-law does it. What’s the point of it if you interfere non-stop to show them how things are done the “right way”!
Focus on the outcome, not on how you get there. Once you made your mind to rely on this person, let them proceed freely even if it might be very different from how you would. You may also learn from them.
It is up to you how to implement the “who” strategy
It’s vital to open your mind and give it a try. If you do it once, you will do it again, and you will probably turn it into a habit. It is extremely effective and with time you will get better at it making it an indispensable part of your professional skill-set.
When you surround yourself with people who are on the same wavelength as you are the whole process of working together becomes seamless and productive. This is a win-win situation for both sides. Ultimately it is your choice whether you will be a delegator, a delegate, or a Goal Buddy.
Don’t forget the old African proverb “If you want to get somewhere quickly go alone. If you want to get far you find company.” If you’re here with us it means you want to get far. Right?
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