Sharpening Your Models

Photo Courtesy: Lumaxart on Flickr

Stephen Covey’s 7th Habit in his classic book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” was:

Sharpen your saw

The message there was to keep practicing our craft and continue to get better at what we do.

That message is still valid and very relevant.

However, there is a need for a new habit and this time developing this habit is “urgent and relevant.”

That habit is:

Sharpen your models

We all have models about how things work – what works and what does not.

How do you get a job? We have a model for that.

How do you make a sale? We have a model for that.

How do you make a friend? We have a model for that.

How do you build a relationship? We have a model for that.

How do you build your brand? We have a model for that.

How do you know what customers want? We have a model for that.

How do customers decide from whom to buy? We have a model for that.

Take any significant thing that you are doing and you will notice that you will base it on a model that you learned or created on your own.

In the new world, the models that work have changed. Working hard on models that are OBSOLETE won’t make them work.

If you not been looking at it, the time is NOW to sharpen your models.

Not just polish them, revisit them, refine them, recreate them and re-invent them.

This is not easy.

For you, the models that you are using represents “truth.” Just like you don’t question the “fact” that “sun rises in the east,” you won’t question your models once they are in place.

So, the best way to get new models in place is to get “good help.” There are other people who have figured out what the “new models” are. Your job is to “seduce” them and be an “opportunity” for them so that they start sharing with you what those “models” are.

You might say that you are intelligent enough to figure out the new models. I am not doubting that. There are a small percentage of people who can do that on their own. For the rest of us, we need teachers and mentors who can shepherd us through this process.

Whatever path you choose, may the Force be with you 🙂