November 30, 2010

Context is King

My friend Mark Gallagher gave me a project. During one of our long deep and very helpful conversations he said that I should imagine a triangle with three equal sides.

Side one
At which can you be 

the best in the world?
Side two
Where can you make 

the most money?
Side three
What are you most passionate about?

As my career evolves and perhaps it's an age thing, I seek more purpose and meaning and I hope you do as well. But this is where we get into trouble. And mostly (in my opinion) because we measure against others – it gives us perceived context.

Passion is essential in my mind but without the other two it doesn't amount to much. Money will be difficult without identifying your most valuable skills.

But Mark's triangle was in this order for a reason so it's up to each of us to figure it out for ourselves - our context. It's an interesting quandary. Many a dreamer has gone penniless and many who chase only the dollar get in to much trouble as well.

You Got Mail

I received a client request last week that simply said “where do we start?” and without much hesitation, I sent back a clear list of instructions before we were to meet.

• Find a quiet place to think.
• Make a list of what you want to do with the project.
• List all your professional attributes.
• List only those attributes you are good at and want to continue doing.
• Then let's grab a coffee and chat about next steps.

It sounds like a lot of work for a simple request but it is essential context. Before I can help, I must first decipher what he wants to accomplish and more importantly what he will actually do to accomplish it. Where we start is just that and needs to be flushed out before we can build a scalable and sustainable solution.

I looked at the list again and realized it was time for me to do the exercise. And on the heels of Mark's triangle project, I had forgotten the power of think time. My colleague has completed his list so I look forward to learning all about it.

Do you help others with the very things you need to do?

The context of my prospect's situation may be vastly different than yours but have a look at the list and pick it apart. The solutions reside in the context.

It is interesting that we want to get better but wait for the skies to shower us with confetti and opportunity to arrive on our doorstep?

We find context from reading, learning, asking, searching, then looking inside.

What is in your triangle?

knealemann | email

image credit: getty
© Kneale Mann people + priority = profit
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