Every now and then I need a good slap upside my head. Actually, I probably need one more than the average guy. Unfortunately, there are very few people out there who are amenable to showing me the backside of their hands. My wife is one; my brother another; my Mother, of course (she does it with a little less sting); a couple of really close friends; and even a few of you. But rarely do I get it at work. And sadly that’s where I probably need it most.
This week was an exception. A peer of mine – been with the company for a long long time – wound up and left a hand print on my scalp. I solicited the slap; I came to her for advice on a particular challenge. And here’s how she put it down: “Charlie, you’re an idea-guy. Every one gets that. And you have good ideas. But sometimes you need to give the ideas a freakin’ rest, for God’s sake; settle on something that works (well enough) and move on.”
I am an idea guy*. There is rarely a time when my gray matter isn’t cranking out something new. Sometimes it just goes on auto-pilot and forces me to meander aimlessly…like I’m an ‘Idea Zombie.’ And for someone standing on the outside watching it all, it must seem incessant…and a little scary. Now, don’t take for one second that I think ideas – and lots of them – aren’t good for the workplace. In fact, there should be a cloud of them wafting through the joint. But there is a time and a place, and there is a limit. At some point, you need to get down to business. At some point, you have to say ‘good’ is good enough. Especially when you’re working on a team and there are lots of moving parts and your ideas keep gumming up the gears. Ideas are kind of like a good shot of tequila: one or two and you’re a super hero, five or six and you’re a jackass.
Next time you run into your local Idea Zombie, bring them back to the living world with a good old fashion slap upside the head…please.
Image Credit: )ota
*a matter of perspective