You know when you are trying to get somewhere and your cell service is spotty and you wish you had entered the directions before you left the house? Because when you don’t, your map to the trailhead ends up looking like this:
I see where we are now and where we want to be. None of the details in between have downloaded. I didn’t tell Patrick as I was trying to navigate us to the trailhead on Saturday. I didn’t tell him I knew where we were going, but I didn’t know how we’d get there. I felt like it was a wonderful mystery, much like life.
We know where we want to go, but we don’t know how we’ll get there.
So just keep going because if you stop, you won’t get there.
Well, the metaphor carried on through my day. I got us to where we were going. And then we started riding. And I found my mind wandering as I pedaled on a beautiful single track through the old-growth forest along the shore of Priest Lake in Idaho. It felt great to take it easy and literally zone out. It was all fun and games until I came to a section of difficult trail I wasn’t expecting because I wasn’t concentrating on what I was doing. As a result, I had to stop. Rookie mistake because I know I’m supposed to be alternating the long view with the short view so I can plan my line and be aware of small obstacles before they come under my wheel.
Distractions halt progress and throw you off course.
This is what happens to ideators and many of my clients tend to fall in this category. An ideator is someone who, as the name indicates, has tons of ideas, omg what if we did this, and what if we did that?
Ideators can be great, but they can also be a nightmare to work for and with. (I mean, not when they are my clients. I love working with them. But as a leader and teammate) Having ideas is better than not having ideas. But when you aren’t good at editing your ideas, you risk spreading yourself too thin if you don’t have the resources to help implement. Alternatively, you risk making your team crazy constantly changing direction, sending them down this rabbit hole or another.
My role in this instance is to bring my clients with all their fabulous ideas back to the single track and focus. (Yes, sometimes I’m soul-crushing) A lot like meditation, when you have to come back to the breath. The progress happens when returning to the breath, likewise to the single track.
Where is the path and what is the destination? What are the things that will get us the lift we need towards that which will allow us to do the other ideas later?
So, to the ideators out there, I say “yes, but…” yes, that’s possibly a great idea. Is it going to get you where you need to go next? Is it that next vague spot on the map towards the red destination marker? Or is it a distraction? And if it is, what do we need to do now to get us where the timing for this idea is right?
We are all four of these types of producers any given day of the year. Take a second look at that model. Which one are you today? What will take to get you to the top right, confident and organized, and humming?
Take care out there,
Stay in touch.
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