Published by CPA Canada in CareerVision
It’s been said that some people see the glass as half empty, while others see it as half full. Some people don’t even see the glass, much less believe that it actually exists! Related to this idea are people in the business world who assume the role of naysayer; nothing is good enough, no idea will work, the road ahead is a minefield of challenges and despair. This is perspective that the last thing that a startup business (or any company, for that matter) needs.
People who hold this “no glass” perspective are focused more on why things won’t work instead of why they will. While it’s true that startup companies, rich with new ideas and ways of doing things, might face more challenges than the average business, it doesn’t mean that that success can’t happen. It can, does, and there are startup companies out there who find success every single day. The key is bringing the right perspective to “get to yes”, and in doing so, make the world your oyster. Sounds a lot more interesting than doom and gloom, right?
Why it Matters
Since there is no shortage of people who can tell you why things won’t work, those who see otherwise are of real value. What’s more, people who can find practical ways to advance an initiative or resolve a problem are extremely valuable. Any seasoned executive, who’s been there and done that, recognizes just how true this “getting to yes” skill set is.
Think about the last time you were in a situation where good, or at least, interesting ideas were put on the table, only to be quickly shut down by others. What could have been the outcome if even one of those ideas had been further investigated to find a workable solution? Even more compelling is a situation where you see a competitor move forward with an idea that you had considered, but didn’t invest the time to make something of it. Your competitor ended up with money in the bank, while all you were left with was a missed opportunity.
Startup companies need people who can apply creativity, ingenuity, and a positive attitude to make things happen. Seeing the glass as excitingly half full takes practice, something that can change your mindset over time. Getting started is as easy as adding these approaches to your to do list:
- Let every new idea have a life: Make it an unspoken rule that any idea that can be clearly articulated has a life; even 10 minutes of time will do. Talk about it, consider who could utilize the outcome, what success would look like. Keep track of the concept, so that you can rank it in priority in rational terms, as compared to other things that could be pursued. If you can’t make this change in your current workplace, try doing so on a personal level.
- Practice seeing the other side: Every good debater knows that there is more than one side to any situation, and solely focusing on the position of personal choice won’t advance the argument. Have an opinion, but take the time to thoroughly understand alternative viewpoints, as this can be valuable to finding solutions to move forward.
- Take on a project: In situations where others dump an idea, consider exploring it a bit further on your own. You might be surprised what you find, resulting in the opportunity to take a more fully developed concept forward at a later date. Don’t be surprised if others are impressed by what you’ve been able to achieve.
- Learn how others get it done: Successful entrepreneurs and executives are skilled in finding ways to get things done, as they understand how valuable it is to be able to do so. Work closely with them to learn what they know; it will be some of the best experience you ever receive.
In a world that so many see as stacked against them, you can set yourself apart by shedding light where they see nothing but grey. Even better, once you have some examples of initiatives that have been successfully advanced, despite the odds, others will begin to take notice. “Yes” is the word, indeed.