Rice is the most popular food in the world

Rice is the most popular food in the world. Almost 1 Billion people use Facebook every day and the TV show, The Biggest Loser continues to attract high ratings.Photo Bowl of rice

Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s any good. You already know that. As humans we are attracted to things that are popular. We have survived for thousands of years by following the masses.

As buyers of services we are naturally drawn towards things that are popular or people who are busy. We associate busy with good.  I see busy as an amber light. I believe you need to approach it with caution.  The most annoying clients that I used to work with were always too busy to look at the details. This caused problems and increased the amount of work both parties had to do to get the job done properly.

We tend to instinctively think that if something is not in high demand how can it be any good?  Who wants to dine in a restaurant at 8pm on a Saturday night with no one in it? Stay in a hotel as the only guest? Board a 300 seat flight to find out you are outnumbered by the cabin crew? (At least you’d get good service).

Let’s assume for a moment you need to see a Doctor for a non-life threatening illness. You have 2 options: Dr A or Dr B. Dr. A is always available. They are not that busy. They limit the number of patients they choose to see each day. The patients they see receive longer and deeper consultations. Dr. B is very hard to see. They are regarded as an expert in their field and hence are always booked out.  They are busier than Donald Trump's barber. You can’t get in to see them for 6 months.  Who would you choose? Go on, pick one. Either; Dr. A always available or Dr. B who you can’t see  for 6 months.  I’ll come back to you with my thoughts on this in a moment.

Busy doesn’t always equal better. Consider for a moment when are you at your best creatively?  Most of us are involved in work that involves solving problems and dealing with other humans. That’s pretty much all our work involves. You’ve probably solved about 75 problems already today. To be successful in your role I am sure you have to stay fresh and mentally sharp.

It’s not easy to sit at work and explain to your peers and leadership team that you are deliberately not that busy. "I’m spending more time thinking and planning.”  This might not come across as well as its intended to. Say this too often and this could be a C.L.M. Career Limiting Move.

However by improving how you plan, manage your down time and by becoming more assertive you will improve the outcomes you achieve. You should start to achieve better results faster. You’ll make fewer mistakes. You’ll solve problems faster and more creatively. You will be worth more money and be seen as being in disposable to your employers.

Most employers I work with are seeking people who can think clearly, make confident decisions, solve problems and manage themselves really well.  We all have to work out ways to stay fresh. Deciding how much time you allocate to social media, your exercise and family and friends would have to have an impact on your creative thinking and decision making.

Now back to the options with Doctor A, who can see me tomorrow and Doctor B who I can’t see for 6 months. Who did you choose?  I’d choose to see Doctor A tomorrow. I’ll have 6 less months of needless worrying and chances are high a better consultation as they’ll have more time for me. On the flip side, if I don’t like them and their approach I give myself 6 months for my situation to improve before I see Doc B. By then hopefully my condition has improved significantly and I can cancel my appointment with them.

So next time you are choosing a restaurant for dinner and notice a queue stretching back 20 metres from the entrance, think for a moment. Yes, this place is popular, but is it really any good? You might get a better meal and better service by going somewhere else.

Posted in Sales, Presenting; Tagged Habits, Leadership; Posted by Steve Herzberg

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