It Is Easier To Ask For Forgiveness
The first time he beat me I flashed him my biggest smile and then silently cursed. Sometimes the joy of the competitive spirit is stronger than I will show.
The smile was for my son and it was genuine. I was thrilled for him because he was proud and excited. After having lost dozens of games to his dad he had finally prevailed.
But part of me didn’t want to lose because I don’t like it.
No one does, but some people allow their distaste for losing to prevent them from taking chances.
I am not that guy.
Lead From The Front
My gut instinct is usually to lead from the front. If I am playing basketball I want to be relentless in attacking the boards and do my best to wear out the other side.
Same deal in football. Pound the ball again and again, force you to adapt and adjust.
It doesn’t mean that I won’t take the time to think about what I am doing or to consider the consequences of my actions either. Those are important, but if you are not careful you can suffer from Paralysis of Analysis.
The goal is to take action and to do things that lead to a better situation or outcome.
The goal is to lead from the front and to take steps to make changes.
What Seth Godin Says
Someone call Seth and tell him I am grateful for his having the presence of mind to write these words for use in this post.
A successful middle manager gets promoted when she takes the right amount of initiative, defers the right amount of credit and orchestrates success. That success might happen despite (not because) of who her bosses are, and that’s just fine, because she’s leading up.
In many ways, we get the bosses and clients we deserve. If they’re holding you back, change them.
We have an astonishing amount of freedom at work. Not just the freedom to call meetings, make phone calls and pitch ideas, but yes, the freedom to quit, to find a new gig, to pick the clients we’re going to take on and to decide how we’re going to deal with a request from someone who seems to have far more power than we do. “Yes, sir” is one possible answer, but so is leading from below, creating a reputation and an environment where the people around you are transformed into the bosses you deserve.
When you do this with intention, it gets easier and easier.
What Josh Says
I am a fan of Seth’s work but not a minion or groupie. I sometimes find it frustrating that some people can say the same thing as me but they are lauded as experts while I am just some guy.
Maybe that is ego speaking or maybe it is approach. We can discuss it later because the point of is that I follow a mantra of “It is easier to ask for Forgiveness.”
It means there are moments to sit and wait and others that require action.
It means sometimes you take a chance and you are proactive in starting a new project, writing an ebook, drafting a plan or taking steps to make things happen. You don’t need a focus group to prove that your idea is valid and you just go for it.
Sometimes you may fail. Sometimes it may flop, but it is easier to ask for forgiveness for trying to make things happen than to do nothing because no one asked you to or because you feared failure.
Risk Versus Reward
This is not license to be reckless or to say that every action that fails to go as planned is covered by this either. Rather it is encouragement to remember rewards come with a risk. We can’t always predict every outcome in advance so sometimes you have to take action and be prepared to ask for forgiveness.
What do you think?