Interesting thing happened last night during Fantasy Football.
For a little background, last year I was invited for the 1st time to play with the boys league at work.
And…. I won.
This made the boys angry.
Mainly b/c my strategy at the time of the draft was to choose Florida State players or guys I thought were HOT. Anyway, it’s kinda a big deal that i’m the reigning champ in an all boys league so this year, i’m much more serious about it.
Monday Night Football. A storied rivalry.
It was also important to my Fantasy game as I had 2 players that score the majority of my points each week: Aaron Rodgers (QB, Greenbay) and Matt Forte (RB, Chicago)
It all started with this tweet.
@lynnwitt I want the bears to win. But I need Rodgers to throw for 300+ yds so I can win my fantasy game this week 🙂
Pretty clear “ask” right? Well, guess what?
The Bears DID win.
Rodgers DID throw for 300+ yards.
But those 2 things did NOT equal a win. I got my BUTT handed to me in a big ole LOSS in the Fantasy league.
So, my “ask” was clear but it didn’t get me what I needed.
This got me to thinking. How many times in business & in life do we ask for things that don’t actually help/matter? I was very specific in my request, got everything I asked for; yet dissapointed in the end b/c i didn’t get what I actually wanted.
This happened for a few reasons:
1. I didn’t really know what to ask for b/c i hadn’t done my research. If i had actually looked at the rules, I would have requested 4 TD passes thrown by Rodgers and/or 2 TD runs by Forte bc that’s what would have gotten me the needed points.
2. I didn’t actually ask for the desired result. I should have said “I want to win my Fantasy game this week”. (Granted, i know this is all a little crazy b/c you actually have no control over the outcome in Fantasy Football but I think it transfers to most things in life that we can control)
I think this holds true in business. So often, we try to drive the actual steps rather than state the outcome & let the people figure out their own steps as long as we get the desired result (and no one does anything illegal). This is especially important in management. People want autonomy and not everyone is going to do it the same way. As long as you get to the end result do the steps matter?
It also is key in sales. I always tell my people, did you ask for the order/buy/$$$ whatever? You can’t usually close someone unless you “ask” for the sale.
Other questions I’m asking myself include:
- Do I usually even know what I want the desired outcome to be when I make the ask?
- Do I only ask for things I actually need so I’m not wasting others time?
What do you think? What else is important when you “ask” for something?