A wee bit of folksy wisdom
I have worked with a lot of really smart people during my career. But few of them have had the gift of starting up great stories. Of making that bold first step that gets everyone excited. Without that skill, we opt for “planning”. And we get overly obsessed with “business plans”. As Simon Sinek wisely admonishes, we address the how and what questions before we have a clue about the why questions. And building on Simon’s thinking, Cringely rightly points out that this is why big organizations tend to lose their vitality.
This is why I got excited about the story that Siisi Saetalu started when she said she wants to set up a cafe in Kampala, Uganda to be staffed and run by local handicapped persons. It is a great opener. And because the opener is so great, Siisi has already been able to build up a network of people who want to be part of her story - including people with skills and knowledge that she desperately needs to make the project meaningful. She would not be able to do that if she didn’t have such a great story to excite them. And now she has us all waiting for the next installment of her story.
So when I read Fred Wilson’s post today about Dick Costello at Twitter, I said “Yes!” Fred is starting great stories about Dick and about Twitter. BTW, Fred does that very well in his blog which is why I follow him.
So, how well do you start up stories? Is it something you consider as a strength or weakness? I think these are important questions for people who want to have a great life. Why? Because when you boil it all down, having a great life means being part of great stories. And you either bump into them accidentally (like Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit) or you build them yourself. And even if you do not have what it takes to create a great story (to take the leadership role), you still need to know one when you bump into it. And you need the courage to be part of it. This is the source of that golden attitude that we call engagement. And it is the core justification for another value proposition - empowerment as a project goal.