SET UP YOUR WUP
Choose a notebook or tablet—paper or electronic—to use as your first Wake-Up Pad and write these headings as a reminder of how to use it:
Scan & Eavesdrop
Skim the bestseller lists, magazine racks, television listings, RSS and Twitter feeds, social media posts, and headlines of newspapers from around the country and the world. Scope out the room that you’re sitting in and the crowd that you’re walking with. Watch the trends in technology. Be an anthropologist. Study behavior. Notice things. Scan.
Listen to what people are saying at work, at home, in the supermarket, on the radio. What are your customers saying about their own challenges in their work? What are your neighbors saying about theirs? Did you hear something noteworthy? Don’t judge; record your observations in your WUP.
Periodically review what you’ve seen and heard. Now ask yourself: What do these things mean to me and mine? What are the implications for and the impact on my business, my life, the world? What other questions do I need to ask about what I’ve seen and heard?
Also ask: What’s most important in my life? Why? What’s my frequency? How do I consistently live in tune with it? What, if anything, is missing?
This is your space to consider anything—anything at all. Don’t edit, don’t judge; just reflect, and let it roll in your WUP.
Recruit a team of fellow Extreme Leaders: your team at work, your fellow volunteers in your community efforts, your family, neighbors, and friends. Choose a time and place to gather, talk, kick it around, commiserate, and conspire; a time to compare notes on your experiences as human beings.
List the things you want to bring to the group’s attention, the things you find interesting, funny, odd, inspiring; the things you need help understanding. The things you find noteworthy. Note what you learn from your team in your WUP.
Now that you’ve scanned, eavesdropped, pondered for a while, and talked about it with some trusted kindred spirits, it’s time to do something. Do something bold, something audacious. Something that could change the world for the better. Write your responses to the following prompts:
These are the things I’m going to experiment with…
These are the things I’ll change right now…
These are the commitments I make to the people around me and to myself…
These are the people I’ll need to help get it all done…
Write all your ideas in your WUP
Now that your WUP is primed and ready to go, keep it handy as you explore the following pages and use it to capture your thoughts, ideas and plans because you’re going to have a lot to ponder, to talk about, to try.
You, my friend, are about to take a Radical Leap forward.
STOKE YOUR BUSINESS
“I may not have the capacity to love everyone, but I do have the capacity to act as if I do and run my business accordingly.”
“Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.”
Describe what you do at work, and then answer the following questions:
What do you love about it?
What don’t you love?
What keeps you from loving it more?
Take a Story Inventory
Think of the people you encounter at work as either internal or external to your business. Write down the names of one or two key internal people—colleagues, employees, staff, managers, partners, associates, et cetera. Write down the name(s) of one or two key external people—customers, vendors, suppliers, et cetera.
Now list everything you know about each person beyond the function he or she serves. Assess how much you know or don’t know about each as a human being.
Ask each person to tell you one important story or event from his or her life. Look for an opportunity to find out more during your next conversation. Ask each to share with you his or her number one business challenge. Ask if there’s some way you can be of service—something you can do to help with each person’s challenge. Even if that person declines your offer, he or she will always appreciate your asking.
Now pick one to two more people and do it again. Repeat until you run out of people—for the rest of your life, in other words.
[Note: I’m excited to share my second book, The Radical Edge, in serial fashion here on SteveFarber.com! We’ll post one installment a week until the very end of the book. You can go back and read from the beginning here. If you ever get impatient and want to scarf the whole thing down at once, you can always just pop over to Amazon and satiate yourself.]