There’s a Message In There Somewhere

There seem to be at least two fundamentals required of leadership: vision (where are we going) and flow (how do we get moving again when things feel stuck?).

Personally, I feel like I have plenty of ideas and in my experience mosts entrepreneurs seem to be the same – vision is typically not the most common problem. More likely, I know what I want and am having trouble getting myself or my team from here to there, also known as being stuck.

Take for example the book I am working on. I want to go the route of traditional publisher rather than self-publishing. That means that I have made a decision to create a book that people will want to pay money to read (publishers must make money to stay in business so if they don’t think my book will sell, they won’t publish it).

In Dreambounded Leadership speak, that has to do with relevance. My Receiving Mind Consciousness has provided me with vision and I have shifted into Organizing Mind Consciousness as I begin writing with a clear requirement – I want to create a book that is relevant to the audience I am addressing.

The implication is that the listener will have significant impact on how I write the book. This is clear for every entrepreneur – if you aren’t allowing your market to impact how you present your product or service, then it probably won’t sell even if it is based on what you think is a good idea (vision).

So, getting stuck for me lately in writing my book proposal has to do with my relationship with my intended readers – I haven’t yet found the way to make how I am writing the book relevant to their life. I say that based on feedback from people who are helping me do the writing. I will know that I have made my work relevant when those people tell me.

Again it isn’t about whether my message is valid but about whether I am making it relevant. Until it is relevant, I am stuck.

Here’s a great quote from James Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games that says it well;

Speaker and listener understand each other not because they have the same knowledge about something, and not because they have established a likeness of mind, but because they know “how to go on” with each other (Wittgenstein).

Entrepreneurs build relationships with their customers that are mutually supportive allowing each to move forward. That requires a high level of listening on the part of the entrepreneur, not for applause but for input as to how you can present your wares to them in the way that best has them moving forward. I have found in many cases that I am trying to get my market to adopt my idea (have the same knowledge) rather than allowing them to mold it to their own use.

Instead of thinking about being stuck as a frustrating problem to be solved, I try to approach stuck with the idea that there is a message in there somewhere, and that message is the key to making my products and services relevant. You might take a moment to consider some area where you feel stuck and look for the message that is in there for you. Typically, I have found that when I am able to do that successfully, my market and I have created something that I could not have done without their influence on the unfolding of my vision.

  1. KristinKristin02-28-2017

    I am in sales and this blog is spot on, Ted. After a full year sales cycle I just closed a deal last week that required a lot of patience and listening and making the product relevant to the audience. This sale took a year to get from a small purchase to the large one that I landed last week. It included a lot of extra steps along the way that could have been easily overlooked, and even included suggesting a new title for the customer when she was in the process of being promoted – whatever it took I worked to stay relevant for what she was working on at that moment and ended up being amply rewarded for the additional effort.

    • tedcasetedcase02-28-2017

      Thanks Kristin – great example!

Leave a Reply