Day 105 Week 16 Q2 Sunday, April 16, 2023

Look, I know we are all creative outliers here. And that means we tend to want to have new ideas and create new processes, approaches and understandings pretty much all of the time. In fact, it is a fairly involuntary behavior. Even when I have already answered the posed question, I have been known to continue to provide more options and potential answers than anyone ever asked for. Which, of course, creates a mess. 

When you work for other people, it can, at best, get you tolerated and, at worst, get you fired. I typically had the good fortune to be promoted instead. But even this is not without dangers; they can be larger.  When you are in charge and dispense an inordinate number of answers to questions, you tend to confuse the people trying to follow your direction by giving them too many and sometimes conflicting directions.

Eventually, we learn not to provide as many variations of themes or as many themes as possible because it usually does not serve the situation. When people are stuck, and they call you in to get them unstuck, and you succeed in providing answers and options, then continue to provide too many answers and options, and you end up getting them stuck again. 

This is like having a pitcher full of some liquid with someone holding out their hand with a glass asking for some, and you overflow the glass and make their hand wet. It is even worse when the glass is on a table full of plans surrounded by an entire team who were hoping for you to be a force of convergence, and instead, you dousing all of them, making the table and everyone’s notes and all of them wet.

I have been kicked under the table when closing deals for “selling past the close.” In other words, you have already convinced everyone to go along with you, and you then confuse them with even more options. And even lose the deal!

There is an old British phrase that can serve to protect you and everyone else from yourself.  Simply carry-on. Do not create more options. Do not throw around more ideas. Most of the world uses this phrase to keep moving forward, but for a creative outlier, I take it to mean keep doing what you are doing that is working and do not come up with more improved versions. 

“Carry-on” is a phrase that has different meanings depending on the context in which it is used, but it’s a term that can evoke a sense of resilience, perseverance, and determination. When we hear “carry-on,” it reminds us to keep going, to push forward despite obstacles, and to stay focused on our goals. Whether we’re talking about continuing a meeting, traveling with a small bag, or displaying a strong attitude in the face of adversity, “carry-on” is a call to action that stirs up feelings of strength and courage. So the next time you hear the phrase “carry-on,” let it inspire you to keep moving forward with unwavering determination and a never-give-up attitude.

And if you are a creative outlier, keep doing what you were doing, not something new. After all, if it works, why fix it? You might end up breaking it instead.