Saturday, August 21, 2010

What Are You Asking For?

I was recently talking with a successful restaurateur about some of the difficulties he was having at his business. Like many small business owners he was putting in so many hours working in this business that he had little time to think about working on his business. In particular he needed some managerial talent to help share the load. When I asked him what he was doing to find that help, he said that he had put a sign out in front of his business saying “dishwasher wanted.” He said he had hundreds of applicants but that none of them were suited for management. I asked him if there were some good dishwashers out of that lot and he said yes but what he really needed was a manager. Finally the light came on. If he wanted a manager, then a manager is what he needed to be asking for.

Getting clear about what you really want is a critical first step in ultimately getting what you want. That is why coaching is so powerful. It helps people get crystal clear about what they need to do. Once you are clear about what you need to do the appropriate actions will naturally follow. I wouldn't walk out into the middle of a busy highway during rush hour because I'm clear about what would happen. When you get that clear about what you really want, it is much easier to inform the world around you about what you need. Then both you and others can go to work solving your mutually connected problems. I am confident in today's job market that there are lots of people looking for work that would make great managers. More than likely those same folks are not looking for a job as a dishwasher. Get clear about what you want and then specifically tell others what you want and you'll probably get it.


  1. In my experience, I've seen many people reach their goals only to find their goals didn't align with their desires and needs. Thanks for your advice, Randy!