I don’t accept no for an answer. There is always a way to find a solution to achieve the desired objective. Think differently. Ask the next question. While It may not be the easiest path, there is a a way to get where you need.
Fortunately, my life is filled with family, friends, and business leaders that have taught me you can achieve anything with the right approach. I am always up for a challenge, which is well known to those people… especially my mother when challenging me to cross the adult rings at the lake at age 6, to climb a tree, or recently to swing on a vine in Puerto Rico.
When there is a challenge to overcome...
I recently watched ‘Moneyball’ - a great story of challenges and the motivation to win. In ‘Moneyball’, they are challenged by the lowest budget for baseball. How do you win with no budget to buy the best players? After losing their top player, Billy, the General Manager pleads for additional money as his first approach. Being told ‘no’, he tries his next option to buy a sub-par player from another team. When Billy hears ‘no’ again influenced by a recent Yale Economics graduate, he takes the opportunity to dig deeper with this individual and learn more about why he won’t give up this player. Sold on this new method using analytics to redefine what makes a winning player, there is an opportunity to get the right team of players to win the game.
It is not about one player, it’s about the team...
Billy is motivated to create a winning team and hires the Yale graduate to help him find those players. While Billy is motivated, his initial method to execute on the new analytic approach is a failure - the team loses 15+ straight games with the three new players, while giving him a bad name. Billy was determined, yet was trying to win with a strategy in a vacuum of two people, without properly communicating the tactics to the rest of the team.
And leading through personal connection and individual motivation.
After a tarnished reputation from failure to deliver using the new technique, it hits Billy personally when his daughter expresses her fear of him losing his job and moving away. At that point, there was something that hit home and he became a leader.
Before, he was unattached to the players on the team - not riding on the plane with them or visiting them in the locker room. There was no personal connection. He was not being a leader.
Billy took the time to meet with each person individually, to understand them, to learn what they needed to feel motivated. Sure enough, the team wins the next 20 straight games to beat the record.
In the end, they did not win the World Series; however, Billy grew as an individual and learned what was important. He was offered the highest General Manager position and refused it to stay with his team. It wasn’t about the money, it was about how he felt - accomplished - appreciated. In the story, he made a difference in the game with other teams adopting the strategy in future years.
Whether you are on the giving or receiving end of ‘no’, use it as an opportunity to help provide an alternative solution or think differently to achieve the objective. I would love to hear your story about creating an opportunity out of a challenge.
The Pukka Panda