Inclusion vs Perfection

Published on
June 15, 2015
Chris Taylor
"Ideas are only valuable when applied."
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You might have seen that we’re hosting a live author “fireside chat” with customer koyalty genius Jeanne Bliss this Tuesday. I’m looking forward to it, as it provides a unique opportunity for members of this community to ask Jeanne their customer-related questions (acquisition/retention/loyalty, etc.) in real time.

But a part of me is nervous.

Nervous because, despite the fact that I’ve conducted hundreds of interviews now, they’re always done ahead of time. We have time to edit. To balance sound. To add intros and outros. And most of all, I’m always in control. I know what questions I’m going to ask and where I want the conversation to go. I can aim for perfection and, in many cases, come damn close. Add in the “live studio audience”, complete with an open Q&A, and that control goes out the window. The event is almost guaranteed to be messy.Which freaks me out.

Or it did freak me out, until I went back to the “why” of the event. Like all our author interviews, Jeanne has brilliant insight to share, and I intend to pull it out, for the benefit of all. But the goal is not a slick video interview. The point is community.

At our leadership offsite last month, we kept hammering the importance of creating more opportunities for community members (you) to connect; both with the authors we love, and with each other. There are exceptional people in this little tribe of ours and the Actionable Leadership Team is almost fixated on using the next 12 months to provide those connection events. We want to inspire conversation.

So as I mentally wrestled with potential production quality issues, awkward pauses and less than perfect fluidity to the upcoming conversation, I pushed myself to return to the why. And I realized through the process that in many cases the why guides the how. If the why was a 60 Minutes quality production, I’d have gone about it in an entirely different way.

Getting clear on why you’re doing what you’re doing before doing it allows you to focus on the right things (in our case – leaning in to the interactive component) rather than getting tangled in the weeds of past expectations or beliefs as to best practices. The event (product/project/meeting, etc.) is more than just the moment in time; it has a purpose. Lean into that.

And if you’re interested in joining our experiment, you can register here. Who knows ~ you just might meet someone awesome.