2 Lines: 1 You Never Cross & 1 You Always Cross
You have to define who you are and what you believe in. You have to know it wholeheartedly before anyone else will start to feel it or believe it.
You have to tell them the lines you’ll draw in the sand and separate them into the ones you’ll never cross and the ones you’ll always cross.
Here’s a few personal examples. Yesterday I sat in front of a powerful person, someone who really knows his/her stuff, and has the ability to create massive change for others, including myself.
We had a nice debate, but a few things we agreed to disagree on. I knew what I believed unequivocally before I ever stepped foot into that room and so I was able to stare into the whites of his/her eyes and say with conviction:
1. I will always believe that normal people do have the ability to tell compelling and interesting stories.
2. I will always believe that you should build a product for yourself. If you don’t want to use it, then why the hell would anyone else?
3. I will always believe that if we don’t have similar philosophies about things (in terms of business, not life, religion, etc), then no amount of money is worth that never-ending fight.
And now for the nevers:
1. If something feels even the slightest bit icky in my gut, I will never do it. Even if it means giving up profit or information. Integrity is everything.
2. I will never treat my team like slaves. All men and women are created equal. This one is easily the hardest because we’ve been trained our entire lives to operate in hierarchies.
3. I will never take a difference of opinion and disrespect you for it. Quite the contrary, I’ll embrace you because this difference is what makes the world worth living in.
I may be way off base here, but I have to believe that having these small sets of rules in your life will help not just you define how to act in situations where there are shades of gray but also help others predict how you will act.
It’s a truth that they can count on. Something steadfast that will never change. They can hopefully say, I agree or disagree with his approach, but I know exactly where he stands.
And isn’t that part of the foundation that trust is built upon?