Strategic Unreasonableness, The Law of Adding Value – Your Champions Brew for Friday, July 14, 2023

When was the last time your “what” was so compelling that you figured out a “how” that everyone else thought was impossible?

Happy Friday, Brew Nation!

Grab your favorite coffee cup, sit back, relax, and get ready to sip on some enriching and thought-provoking content that will equip you to thrive in all areas of your life:

  • Become Strategically Unreasonable – At first glance, the idea of becoming strategically unreasonable may not seem like an approach I would endorse. We’ve all encountered someone who has been unreasonable with us, whether it was an authoritarian manager, a difficult customer, or even a parent. And if we’re honest with ourselves, there have likely been times when we’ve been unreasonable with others as well.

However, in a recent podcast episode, Craig Groeschel made a passionate plea for leaders to embrace strategic unreasonableness to accomplish the impossible. This type of unreasonableness is not about being difficult or unfair, but rather about pushing beyond what seems possible to achieve great things. Groeschel outlined three different ways to become strategically unreasonable, and his message has left a lasting impact on me:

  1. Think WHAT first.  Think HOW later – I love this point.  In my coaching I challenge leaders to think of the WHAT first.  I encourage them to stretch… to Double the Good, or Half the Bad.  By setting the WHAT first, it requires you to change your thinking as to HOW you will accomplish the task.  The easiest illustration is in our health.  We shouldn’t decide that we are going to exercise three times a week (HOW we will lose weight) and then set a weight loss target.  Set the target first.  “If your ‘what’ is compelling enough, you will figure out the ‘how’.”
  2. Embrace your limitations – Often the first response in an organization as to why they will struggle to achieve a breakthrough goal is to “add more people”.  While that need may be true, don’t let more resources be what drives your innovation, let the limitations drive the innovation.
  3. When you fail, fail actively not passively – Growth and comfort never coexist.  That is a mic drop statement, but there is more.  If you want to have what you have, keep doing what you’re doing.  But, if you want what few leaders have, you need to do what few leaders do!  This one hit me smack dab in the bridge of the nose!! 

Leaders it is time to get uncomfortable being comfortable (thank you, Dave Campbell!).  Read that last sentence again.  You are not going to hit every target you set if you are being a little unreasonable.

Are you aware that The Champions Brew explores various topics that I frequently coach and consult on with other leaders and organizations? If you or someone you know is seeking to elevate their business or personal life from underperforming to uncommon, I would love to connect with you and discuss 1:1 or group coaching, as well as performance consulting. In fact, click the following link to schedule a FREE CALL to explore how coaching could benefit you and your team. Let’s work together to unleash your full potential and achieve your goals! 
  • Read More –And, then there were two…  The 16 Undeniable Laws of Communication – Apply Them and Make the Most of Your Message.  Each week, I travel with you  through a chapter of this book.  I hope that you have purchased a copy of this book and are following along with me!  This week we review Law # 15 of 16:

Law # 15 – The Law of Adding Value

People May Forget What You Say, but They Never Forget How You Made Them Feel

The sub-title of this chapter is a quote that I often reference from Maya Angelou, a poet, dancer, singer, activist, scholar, and world-famous author.  People will remember how you made them feel, and if they feel that you value them, they will listen.  That is the Law of Adding Value.  Zig Ziglar said, “If you will help people get what they want, they will help you get what you want.”

So, how are you at valuing people?  In this chapter, John gives us six ways to get started (or continuing to get better at) practicing the Law of Adding Value:

1) Focus on Sowing, Not Reaping – It really is simple, but as human beings, our survival tendencies push us to ask, “What will I GET today?”.  Yet, if we are going to add value to others, we need to turn it around and ask, “What will I GIVE today?”.  And, just like gardening, when we first plant the seeds, we don’t see much fruit for a while.  It takes time.

2) Be Aware That How You View Things Is How You Do Things – Years ago, I read a book titled Leadership & Self-Deception – Getting Out of the Box, which according to Amazon, has sold over 2 million copies.  The book is a cold bucket of water in the face.  It describes how we can blind ourselves to our true motivations and unwittingly sabotage the effectiveness of our own efforts.  This book was published nearly 25 years ago.  Clearly, the author didn’t understand Millennials!  Admit it, we baby boomers and Generation X-er’s just don’t understand Millennials.  Part of the reason is that we don’t VALUE their differences enough.  Find common ground with people and you’re more likely to treat them well and add value to them.

3) Put a “10” on People’s Heads – This tip seems ‘simple’, but like tip #2, we need to check ourselves.  When you meet someone new, do you ‘size them up’ and evaluate them before you’ve even had the chance to talk with them, or do we start with an assumption that they are a ‘10’ until their actions prove otherwise

4) Lift Your Likability Level – You become more likable by caring about people and serving them.  I remember the quote from another Maxwell book that rings in my head all the time:  “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

5) Express Disappointment When You Can’t Add Value to People – This one is much easier said than done.  When you want to deliver great value, but don’t always do that, do you let them know how much you wanted it for them?  Don’t worry.  They already know, but you might maintain a relationship with them if you admit to falling short.

6) Run a Different Race – Albert Einstein quipped, “Gentlemen, try not to become men of success.  Rather, become men of value.” When the race we run is about others, they may finish ahead of us.  When they finish ahead of us, that is a WIN for us.  I loved the prayer John shared at the end of chapter related to running this different race:

“Lord, as I grow older, I would like to be known as…

  • Available, rather than a hard worker.
  • Compassionate more than competent.
  • Content, not driven.
  • Generous, instead of rich.
  • Gentle over being powerful.
  • A listener more than a great communicator.
  • Loving versus quick or bright.
  • Reliable, not famous.
  • Sacrificial instead of successful.
  • Self-controlled rather than exciting.
  • Thoughtful more than gifted.”

If you add value to others without seeking a return, you do, in fact, eventually get a return.  Make it your goal to add value to others when you communicate with them, and you will get a return.  That is The Law of Adding Value.

  • Quote of the week:   “It’s natural to want to seek comfort.  Stay the hell away from it.  ATTACK what makes you uncomfortable.” – Ben Newman

What You Need to Do:

Call to Action:  So, which race are you running?  The race to success, or the race to adding value?  Reflect on the last few interactions you’ve had with others.  Did you fall short in adding value?  Go back to them and talk with them about it.  Don’t worry.  They already know!

It’s an honor to be your trusted “Friday Coffee Guy”.  Each week, I’m excited to provide yet another round of curated content that I’ve been reading, listening to, watching, or thinking over. The purpose of the Champions Brew is to inspire, equip and encourage you to become the uncommon leader you were designed to be. I am so grateful for your decision to invest a few moments with me! I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of Champions Brew. If you did, I would appreciate it if you would share it with someone who might enjoy it as well and ask them to subscribe! I will make sure they automatically get this email every week.

Until next time, Read More, Exercise Daily and Grow Champions!

P.S. – Are you a podcast fan?  Maybe the Uncommon Leader podcast is for you.    Are you interested in being a guest on the Uncommon Leader Podcast?  Do you have a story to tell?  Email me [email protected] and let’s have a chat and set something up!!


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