Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’
I’m a little wary of touting the work of “success gurus” (I can’t help flashing on the Chris Farley SNL motivational speaker character Matt Foley) but I make a few exceptions — Derek Silvers is one of those and he has a great trailer for his new book, “Anything You Want” published by fellow guru Seth Godin’s Domino Project.
- Leadership Through Stories?! – with Derek Sivers (mixergy.com)
- Anything You Want (sethgodin.typepad.com)
- Lessons From the Mafia for Entrepreneurs, Managers (cnbc.com)
- Short takes: different types of “creative metropoles” (decipheringculture.com)
- Keep your goals to yourself (@ DerekSilvers.com)
- Dancing Guy as a lesson in leadership (@DerekSilvers.org)
A counter-intuitive lesson in fulfilling your goals from Derek Silvers (founder of CD Baby). Silvers gave an elaborated version for TED** (video below — 3:16)
Shouldn’t you announce your goals, so friends can support you?
Isn’t it good networking to tell people about your upcoming projects?
Doesn’t the “law of attraction” mean you should state your intention, and visualize the goal as already yours?
Tests done since 1933 show that people who talk about their intentions are less likely to make them happen.
Announcing your plans to others satisfies your self-identity just enough that you’re less motivated to do the hard work needed.
In 1933, W. Mahler found that if a person announced the solution to a problem, and was acknowledged by others, it was now in the brain as a “social reality”, even if the solution hadn’t actually been achieved.
NYU psychology professor Peter Gollwitzer has been studying this since his 1982 book “Symbolic Self-Completion” (pdf article here) – and recently published results of new tests in a research article, “When Intentions Go Public: Does Social Reality Widen the Intention-Behavior Gap?”
Four different tests of 63 people found that those who kept their intentions private were more likely to achieve them than those who made them public and were acknowledged by others.
Once you’ve told people of your intentions, it gives you a “premature sense of completeness.”
You have “identity symbols” in your brain that make your self-image.Since both actions and talk create symbols in your brain, talking satisfies the brain enough that it “neglects the pursuit of further symbols.”
A related test found that success on one sub-goal (eating healthy meals) reduced efforts on other important sub-goals (going to the gym) for the same reason.
It may seem unnatural to keep your intentions and plans private, but try it. If you do tell a friend, make sure not to say it as a satisfaction (“I’ve joined a gym and bought running shoes. I’m going to do it!”), but as dissatisfaction (“I want to lose 20 pounds, so kick my ass if I don’t, OK?”)
** TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.
The “dancing guy video has become viral — over 3 million hits for the original. And it’s making its way into business presentations. I saw Gentry Underwood of IDEO use it to illustrate the herd aspect of human behavior in a talk on ethnography and design at PARC in Palo Alto. And below is a link to an article by music business strategist Derek Silvers on whaa we can learn about leadership from Dancing Guy (the video gives a capsule version — the text is available on Silver’s blog, a new find I’m bookmarking today).
Also worth checking out is Silvers’ entry on the human need for drama:
I was at a Kurt Vonnegut talk in New York a few years ago. Talking about writing, life, and everything. He explained why people have such a need for drama in their life. He said, “People have been hearing fantastic stories since time began. The problem is, they think life is supposed to be like the stories. Let’s look at a few examples.” (read more…)