This week was no exception. Except that Joe didn’t have much to say, which is fine. Instead, Joe had read a post that he thought we all needed to read and pointed us there. That’s the easy part, almost lazy, right?
Not on your life.
One of the things I’ve always appreciated about Joe, is how open he is to learning and beyond that, how prepared he is to take it in.
Joe didn’t just point us to a link at the end of the post, he lays out some instructions:
Please don’t just click on over without preparing yourself to absorb what you’re about to read. Give yourself five minutes to take it in.
In these two simple sentences, Joe shapes the situation a little differently. He sets certain expectations. He tells you that you should check out this post, but ‘only if you’re ready to learn from it’, only if you’re willing to take it seriously.
To Joe, this post contained valuable information, important enough for him to forgo writing his usual email. He also honors your time, both by referring you to the post and helping you to gain something from it. That’s the point after all. Joe understands that you read these emails because you want useful information for your business.
With those simple instructions, Joe managed to stir in me a need to honor his request and either click through prepared, or not click at all.
I had a crappy day yesterday, in fact the week got off to a shaky start such that I considered scrubbing it and starting over.
What I am most upset about though, is this feeling of falling off the wagon on a commitment that I had made.
Each week I have the honor and privilege to sit with one of the smartest people I know to work on my business. Last week, Becky and I set some clear expectations and goals for our next call and while I did some of them, I missed the mark on so many more.
I know we all don’t hit our goals each week, but it’s more than that.
The real issue, is that I didn’t come to our time together prepared. I didn’t manage my time well, my commitments well leading up to it and came to the call cold.
My default when this happens is, ”let’s talk about you…”.
Try as I might to keep the focus on her and her work, she called me out.
I squirmed, I deflected, I scraped for something that I had done that was worthy of noting for our time together. I didn’t have much.
The real work is done in between.
So often in my life, I’ve made the meeting the work. It’s not. It never has been.
Athletes know this well. They know that the real work is done leading up to the game. Game time is simply a demonstration of everything they have been preparing. They can’t show up, wing it and expect a successful outcome, at least not consistently.
As a reasonably smart person, sometimes it works. Sometimes it works to arrive on the scene and rely on your skills to pull you through. It might even work often and that’s what makes it harder to shift.
The reality though, is that not only are you not honoring the time, work and attention of others (I’m sorry, Becky), you are not honoring yourself.
Photo Credit: spookymic