Game Changer 03 [25:44]
There’s the status quo and then there are the game changers. They write books and make films about game changers. People who put a dent in the universe. Are you one of them? This series explains everything you need to know to be a game changer. And how to win at the game of business and life. Today’s episode is made possible by Think Next, Act Now, a movement that trains and mentors tomorrow’s entrepreneur today. And now, here are your hosts, Bill Wooditch and Todd Schnick.
Todd: Alright, welcome back to the show about how to become a game changer. Understanding that business and life is a game and we’re here to play it well and play to win. Welcome to episode 3 where we’re going to discuss the Think and Do effect, critically important here. I’m joined today by my friend and colleague, Bill Wooditch. Good morning my friend, great to be with you, looking forward to this very important conversation.
Bill: As am I.
Todd: So before we get in to the think and do effect, tell me what it means to actually be a game changer and why do we have to have a series like this?
Bill: I think it’s important to be a game changer if we understand that the game of life, and I make life a game, and business which is its subset is best served by those people who at the point of contact, who want the responsibility, who want to make things happen, who could influence the result, who are prepared to make a difference. Those people change the whole dynamic of the game. They can change an industry, they could be the industry leader, they can come out with ideas on the entrepreneurial edge. Those are the people who other people will look to, embrace or maybe possibly struggle and fight, but those are the people who become remarkable and relevant because they’re in it making and changing the rules of the game.
Todd: Well, one thing that I’ve learned thru this process is that game changers operate under the think and do effect. So we’re going to spend today going deep on think and do effect. So give us a quick overview what exactly is it?
Bill: Think and do comes from instinct where there’s this little tug and then becomes a thought. And that thought then has to be followed by an action. I think there has to be a deliberate thought, “Okay, what are we doing here? What’s going on? What’s this?” And then as quickly as possible an action behind it because most people, Todd, don’t think and won’t do.
Todd: So a lot people will sit and think their ways to opportunity and time and today everything is about fast and accurate. You got to be the first one. A lot of times in life, winners win because they show up. Showing up prepared is sometimes a bonus. But a lot of people just don’t show up in life. They’re not going to show, they’re going to wait, they’re going to do mirror. They’re going to wait until the situation is perfect and it’s never a perfect situation. We have to go. So the thought and action has been the difference maker for me. Getting me out of the back woods of Western Pennsylvania, foreclosed future, working in a factory to the beaches of California. If I was going to put one thing on my car license plate, Think and Do. The shorter the distance between thought and action, the greater the likelihood of success in the endeavor. It’s a truism for me, I own that. It’s almost sad that this is something that we have to talk about. I mean, it seems so obvious. Yeah, it makes perfect sense to understand the idea of think and do. Is it fair to assume that what’s the most common scenario here is that most people are just think and think and think and thinking and never doing? Because there’s something they’re afraid of or there are people that just take blind action, right? And they wonder why they don’t succeed, so they’re just not doing the thinking, right? Is that the two common scenarios?
Bill: Those two scenarios neither is preferable, neither is desirable for successful outcome because that’s resistance winning when people are just thinking and they’re contemplating under the guise of ‘it’s got to be perfect, I have to think this thing through’. You’re sitting there and thinking and someone else has already taken your dream date out. How can you still wondering how you’re going to approach her. You‘re looking at it in terms of a business relationship. You’re thinking about how you’re going to approach a particular client, someone else has already has that client out to dinner. So there are people who take those actions, there are people who think about it. The people that think about it stay in that cocoon of resistance and uncertainty and they never get out of the shadows. By the time they do, it’s already over, all that’s left is the crumbs.
The other ones that do are just bold and brash and don’t think things through are equally as, I think, bad as the ones that don’t think. I think we have to get out there with thought and action, it has to be an intelligent thought but there has to be an action behind it. I’ll be giving an example, if you’re driving down the road, you thinking about calling Joe. There’s instinct that comes up, “I should call Joe I haven’t talked to him in 6 months.” All of a sudden, two days later, you haven’t called him, Joe calls you; “Joe I was just thinking about calling you.” That to me is a personal level of think and do where that thought comes to my mind. And I think as we talk about a game changer, thinking about what’s next, what’s next, what’s next; part of the what’s next context is ‘what do we do?’. So we have to take an action. ‘What’s next, what’s next’ is a thought but ‘what’s next’ has to [04:56] as an action for there to be a desirable result.
Todd: Oh, I think about that example you said when Joe calls you and you say “Oh, I was just thinking about calling you.” When that happens to me, if I’m Joe in the story I’d say, “Oh you’re full of it. You piece of little… come on, really? You’re feeding me a lot of crap here.” Well, that’s just on a phone call. Imagine if that kind of scenario is playing out in something that really matters and that’s where people really get stuck so.
Bill: Well, two things you lost there, momentum and credibility. And it’s very difficult to get the former back. The latter, credibility, you only get a chance to lose that once.
Todd: Yup, yup. If I had heard you talk about think and do 15 years ago when I was at a very different point in my life and in my career, and I heard you talk about this idea of thinking and doing, my question to you at that time would have been, “Oh wait a minute, thinking is obviously important here, when do I know when I thought enough to take action? How do I understand that? Look, I’ve recognized I have to think about something because I want to take an action. But when do I know I’m ready to do?”
Bill: I think there are two senses that businesses thrive on. One’s a sense of urgency and the other is common sense, everything else is just numbers. And I think there has to be that internal clock that says it’s show time, it’s go time right now. There has to always be that pull, pull, pull, pull, pull. You’ve got to want to engage, you’ve got to want to get out of the sideline. Stop being and observer in life and you know what, you have to be a participant. That’s got to be an internal pool. I came up with think and do. I’ll give credit to a former leader of mine. He hired me, he was the president of a large, international company and he said, “Wooditch, you know the difference between you and everybody else?” He said, “Here it is. It’s just not all these other measurable things because there’s just probably not many of them, but the one thing you do is you take an action, you think about something and you just do it. And there’s a real short window right there between that thought and action.” And I went, “Wow, there you go.” That was probably 20 some years ago. Think and do and think and do. And so I made it a guiding mantra in my company.
And the people that move forward and make very successful lives for themselves and enterprises for themselves, follow think and do religiously, they know what it is. Think, think, think then do. There’s got to be that internal pull. Man, you got to get out there and do it.
Todd: Talk about the difference between designing and leading here versus reacting and following.
Bill: I think we design and then we can lead. Reaction is always going to be playing someone else’s game. If we react, we’re always going to follow. So we’re never getting the first punch out there because think and do would take us thought to action, we’re going to be the leader. So we’re designing change when we’re able to think and then do and then implement the change behind it. Show up, talk with people, find out what they want, find out what their desirable is, find out what their must-haves are and make our approach amenable to that by thinking and doing. Or we’re going to be following the competition and we’ll always going to follow the competition, we’re going to be sucked in their fumes all the way through. Design change, be the one that gets out there. Better to hit in football than to be hit.
Todd: Well that’s [07:51] go there next, man. That’s a critical metaphor here. I mean, talk about why that’s so important.
Bill: Well, it’s important because you’re going to set what? You set the tone. You set the tone, you set the pace. It’s the pace of business; the pace, the pace, the pace. Because you want to be out there making things happen and move, because pace is very important. Now people don’t want to be besieged, they don’t want to be – have you envelop them with all these stuff and throwing up on their desk all the time, no. But they want to feel that subtle, subtle presence. You always want to be on their radar, you never want to be off the radar. And when it’s time to go, you got to be in front of that person. That’s the only way business moves.
Todd: That’s the access we have to move from. But thinking more about that metaphor, I mean, any football player will tell you and me, this retired hockey player will tell you that hitting is a lot less painful than being hit, right? How did that apply to life and business?
Bill: Same analogy to tell you that. It is because one is a reaction, one is [08:41]. When you’re hitting, you’ve got that – you’re already girded up for, you’re ready, you’re girded, you ready to hit, bam, you’re going into something because, bam, it’s in your sights. A lot of times if the blind side hits in life are the ones that hurt the worst, we don’t see that thing coming. And then the only reaction you have is to try to get it off the ground or get off the boards in hockey, right? [09:00] off the ice. But I think that’s very important to set tone and pace, tone and pace. And one of the things I did and I preached and teach in my company, is you got to move. Man, you got to have that sense of urgency and you got to be on point. Game changers got to get out there and you have to engage. You have to think and you have to do; you have to be, I want to say this, agile. You got to be agile today, you have to be quick, you have to be accurate but you got to move.
Todd: Alright, Bill and I will return after this short break. We’ll be right back.[09:31-10:28 Advertisement]
Todd: Alright, Todd Schnitt back with Bill Wooditch. So I hear you and this is very much a momentum sport and you have got to move and you have to act quickly and swiftly. I think that’s a big discomfort for a lot of people and they’re afraid of moving too fast and making mistakes. And when I think on that myself, Bill, I say, hey, you might make some mistakes out of the gate but I think you’re going to realize that mistakes you might make are not necessarily bad mistakes. There are learning opportunities that’ll enable you to move even quicker and learn quicker. And down the road, you’re going to get better at this since you’re going to make fewer mistakes, am I right on that?
Bill: I call it failing forward. Fail off and –
Todd: and keep learning.
Bill: You’re going to feel it’s part of the bargain in life. It depends how you define failure. Some of us define failure as a learning opportunity others define failure as fatal and either one, neither case is going to be your reality. Keep moving forward and failure’s part of the bargain. When you talk about being uncomfortable, you become more comfortable the more you do things. The more you learn that those things won’t kill you –
Bill: that will make you stronger as Nietzsche said. You keep moving, you become comfortable, embrace the pain because pain is where changing game comes from.
Todd: We know this right? [11:31] experiences our whole lives that when you do something for the first time it’s spooky but then the second time it’s easy, right? Why do we still get hung up on that?
Bill: I think we need to go back into that reservoir of thought that remembers that and actually play that forward as this is what’s going to happen. So we can use that memory, that imagination to play forward and say, “We’ve already gone through this.” Think about this, think about and baseline your worst experience in life and ask, “What’s the worst thing that can happen to me if I do this?” and then just go forward from there. If the thing is short of killing you, it’s probably something that’s going to be worthwhile if you measure it and must-have and willing and able to cross that [12:08], that’s what I think.
Todd: You let off this episode by talking about instinct. And I think that is so mission critical here and when I compare myself to other colleagues over the years and I had more sales success that they did, I ultimately came to the conclusion that I had different instincts. I don’t want to say better instincts but I suppose I did. I mean instinct is really critical here right, man. It’s part of the driver of confidence that you can think and move swiftly.
Bill: To me instincts, if I was going to put a percentage on it and I’m only talking of course from a subjective standpoint, would probably comprise 80% of success. I think instincts are critical, I think it is mission critical and I think our instincts mean, to me we talk instincts in the concept that we’re talking about, we have to be able to feel. We have to be able to feel from the environment. We have to be able to feel for another person, we have to be able to measure, engage and change our approach. Maybe the volume of our voice, maybe we have to change and become a little different in some ways, not losing our person. But we have to have the instinct to say, “I feel I should probably be putting this in play now” or “Maybe I should back off a little bit over here” and “Maybe I’m not the right person to engage. Maybe there’s someone else I know that’s my ally that can help me with this endeavor. Well that’s instinct and there’s also awareness.
Todd: Thinking about instincts, is there a way to improve your instincts or is the problem really just listen to them and actually trust them?
Bill: You just know it. I think it’s the ability to listen to your instincts. I think sometimes we don’t want to hear, we feel our instinct. And I think we don’t want to feel that so we start to rationalize what we want to see in our head and that’s what we have to overcome is that clutter, that noise in our head that says, ‘yabba, yabba, yabba’. When our instincts are guiding us in a different way. There’s two senses that guide me. One is my head, the other is my gut and that I always go with my gut. And if I go against that, I’m probably going to end up losing money.
Todd: Well we have said throughout the first 3 episodes, it’s become quite a bit that you know the answers to this stuff, you really know that and when you have that realization, it’s comforting. And what I’m asking you, those listening, is you’ve experienced that what that means is that your instincts are on. Just trust them.
Todd: You’re just not trusting them.
Bill: Learn to trust your instincts. I think that’s the guide. Learn to trust your instincts, follow your instincts and your instincts will lead you to the path that you desire to go. And I think they’ll lead you successfully down that path. So much in life is instinct to me. It is instinct and instinct is always that pre-cursor to moving forward.
Todd: You’ve said you have to think deliberately and act decisively so let’s talk about think deliberately because I think most people don’t know how to do that. I think people say, “Oh, I’m thinking all the time.” No, you’re just conscious. You’re not actually thinking deliberately and I think if people understood what that really meant and how to do it, they could think and act more swiftly because that’s the real proactive way to understand the direction you want to take. I just think people don’t realize, they don’t know how to think deliberately. Talk about that.
Bill: Pick up a pen. Unless you’re driving, then don’t pick up a pen. Right down the words ‘what if’. When you think, think in terms of ‘what if’. What if I do this, what if this happens, think of that and then put down on a page, put down a big T. On the left side of that column, put down all the things that could go, what you want to do, could go wrong, what might happen; and all the things that could go right, in the right column. Let’s start thinking through the opportunities in there, the opportunities that exist and let’s start writing them down. And that’s the way we start to think about the ‘what if’. It starts to expand, it starts to spool even further out in terms of our possibilities and consequences of actions, and then take the actions that line up with the thoughts. I think that’s one of the ways to critically say because a lot of times were not [15:45] think. We’re aware of certain things or we buy certain things on [15:50] that other people tell us. And then we just follow this mantra, we open up the corporate dialogue and all we do is point to a proposal or one of our brochures and say this is what we do. No, we have to be able to critically think things through, play the ‘what if’ factor, play it forward down the road, what happens if I do this, what happens if I don’t do this and then take the action that corresponds to what you must have.
Todd: I’m comforted to hear you say that, the idea of creating, putting a T on a piece of paper and having the two columns, that’s actually a process that I do and I think about it and the decisions I have to make. And I think it’s really important to actually to really write this down on a piece of paper. The thinking about it in your head, I don’t think this is effective as writing it down. Am I right on that?
Bill: There’s an ancient saying that, “No man steps into the same stream twice” because the water’s going by, the planktons’ going by, the wildlife’s going by and you’re not the same person that steps in there twice. What I’ve learned and trying to create and collaborate even with you is that if I think something in the car or if I think something on a plane, I’m going to capture that, I’m going to tell Todd about this and, I don’t know, lose it about 10 minutes and I don’t even remember what I wanted to tell him about. So you have to actually write something down helps your memory; the people will say, but I’ve read anyway, but about 33 in a 30%. So about 33 in a 30% of memory is enhanced by actually writing things down. Not only do you bring it back, but you actually are more prone if you actually take a pen not that Apple device you have. Would you actually take a pen and a paper and write it, there’s nothing that happens with the mind with that [17:16 interjects] See if you’re in a car and you’re newly on an idea well then you can also suddenly listen to a song and then you’re going to get the hang of it and the some guy cuts you off in traffic.
Bill: I mean, stay with thought. Because in two and a half years in vetting the subject of fear, this is what I learned about thinking and why people don’t like to think and why they don’t prefer to think because of the brain. The brain likes to preserve itself, the function of the brain is to preserve itself. It preserves itself by slowing down, it runs off of calories, glucose, sugar if we run off of calories in our brain. So if we go on rote, how did you get here today? What are you doing here? Rote is that R-O-T-E that means were just going kind of on auto-pilot so most of the things we do in life, the brain forces us to go ono auto-pilot. To critically think burns calories, so see, the brain thinks that it’s starting so it doesn’t like to critically think, it doesn’t like to be challenged right there. So all of a sudden we’re back in the days of our ancestors and we’re trying to survive, it goes to rote. It’s easier to cut corners, loo, find the answer from someone else and not burn the calories to critically think. But that’s the difference maker being in between being a game changer and just playing the game.
Todd: Yup, most of your competitors out there they aren’t thinking, they’re not thinking at all.
Bill: And most of them aren’t doing either.
Todd: Well, that’s for sure. I’ve heard you say you have to create your own environment for action and achievement. What do you mean by that?
Bill: Well, I think this is the most important thing as the leader or a mentor. What you have to understand is this, that you’re not giving someone any opportunity. They’re going to see, seize and create that opportunity from the environment that you cultivate. The environment is all you can give so you have to make the environment fertile. Is it fertile for everyone? No, but it’s going to be fertile for those game changers who are willing to take the risk, to critically think, to be able to think and do and the activity will actually rule their success. That’s the environment from which you lead. So you have to create that type of a self-feeding environment where winning is defined as “Are you doing your best? Are you putting this out there? Are you becoming the best form of competitor for you?” That’s where it’s got to start. So you’re defining the terms, your comprising the players, you’re cutting the players that aren’t going to make your grade because as a leader you’ll be know more for what you tolerate than what you ever achieve.
Todd: Alright, but then there’s going to be naysayers when you do and you take an action and you throw a line out in the sand, someone’s going to respond, someone’s going to be critical. And in my personal opinion, most of the time they’re just jealous that they didn’t do it. But talk about how to deal with naysayers.
Bill: I’ll be go up and embrace them, give them a kiss on the cheek because you need your naysayers. Those are the people that are going to show you how close you are to going where you have to go. And you know what, there’s some credibility in some of the naysayers as well and there’s a lot of victory also we always have to look at the person and say, “What’s the intent here? What’s the agenda and motive?” So ask yourself listener, what’s the agenda and motive of this person. Where are they coming at me from? So a lot of the people are coming to me in the context of ‘this is good for the company’. You have to wait thru 5 minutes, 6 minutes, 7 minutes, but eventually, it’s going to be about them; because it’s always about them. It’s going to be about what the other person wants on their agenda and their motive. So I think that’s very important to embrace and keep our naysayers close. I think we can be covered in sycophants who all they do is kiss our backside and we’re never going to get perspective. You know, they’re drinking the Cool Aid and so are we. We need naysayers to show us where we are. They are very, very important but you can’t let them drive you and dictate you and get you off track and make you think, “Oh, I’m doubting my instinct now.”
Well, they always make me stronger. So when I was told, and this is just a personal DNA chip that I have and it’s probably the AB normal part of my brain, but when I was told I couldn’t do something, I was damn determined I was going to do it. So that has to drive a game changer, I think. And I think a lot of game changers that I’ve known, people that have actually changed the game made a difference for themselves, they loved it when people told them they couldn’t do something because the sweetest victory comes when people are booing. You’re on enemy turf and you’re raising the flag and you’re raising the trophy and it’s silence, now you won.
Todd: So what you’re saying is game changers embrace naysayers and leverage what they’re doing. Someone who is intimidated and paralyzed by naysayers, they’re not game changers.
Bill: We can learn something from everyone; it depends on how we value what we learn and how we use what we learn. I think there’s a value in every association, every kind of contact. It’s inconsequential as it may seem at the time, we can always learn something. But I think those of us who would let others dictate to us, we’re not changing the game, we’re letting them keep us in the penalty box of life. Don’t seed your personal responsibility to flourish in life to another. Don’t give yourself, your person, your self-respect and your career and future to another.
Todd: You take it. We talked about insecurity in episode 1. I mean, have faith placed into this. If you are insecure, you’re going to be swayed by the naysayers. If you have self-respect and you have confidence, not arrogance but if you have confidence, naysayers don’t threaten you.
Bill: I think reality dictates to me that we’re all going to be swayed to a certain degree. It’s the degree by naysayers and people are always going to take a stop and probably say wait and we’re probably going to calibrate. The ones of us who are willing to admit change the game and understand the game, I’m going to take it through our process, understand it for what it is, pull up to the light of awareness, say it’s this is what’s really happening here, here is what’s really happening and then just go forward.
Todd: You have to become your own force multiplier, right? What is that all about?
Bill: You have to become your force multiplier. You have to be able to get in a field of life, get in there and have the talent that you’ve grown, have the skill set that you learned, have the reckless ability to get out and be that one person that can change the hearts and win them, win the minds of the many. I think that’s the key. You can have one person at the point of contact that can sway thousands because they are in alignment with that authentic message inside and the people are buying that messenger; they’re buying that messenger. You got to be your own force multiplier. You become that, you become more valuable to yourselves when you become more valuable to others and you’re more valuable to others when you have something to contribute that is something of value. It’s got to extend beyond your product, it has to extend to you.
Todd: As we close this episode on think and do, any final thoughts on someone who’s – alright, now that I think back and reflect on how I operate on the world, I’m not living think and do. I want to understand. Any last counsel you can share on how to get this process started to start making this a habit.
Bill: Take a Nike swoosh and just do it. I think that’s the most important thing. I think if we understand the reason for hesitation, understand that it traces through a resistance and resistance is the cousin of fear; and I think if we understand that’s what’s happening and that’s what’s winning in life, we have to take control process. We have to be able to take those small steps and close that distance between a thought and an action. Just try it and watch the difference it makes. Just try it. And as you said earlier, you build momentum and that is game changing.
Todd: The hardest thing to build in life I think is momentum and it’s the easiest thing to lose, you sure as hell know when you have it. When you’re surfing that wave of momentum and momentum comes from an activity that will rule your success and you got that stuff going like a big wave and you’re on it and if you don’t keep going, you stop, you hesitate, you take a couple of days and just take it off, all of a sudden the momentum start going backward. I think the universe conspires to help those who help themselves and when that wave is going, it’s the greatest flow feeling in the world. But when it stops, man, it’s hard as hell to get back.
Todd: It means if you follow that always forward mindset and you understand the destination of what winning means for you and becoming a game changer, and then you understand the idea of think and do, momentum comes easy. I mean, it’s self-generating, right? And that’s the whole point.
Bill: Beautiful. It is the point.
Todd: Alright, well that’s all the time we have for today. Bill before I let you go, how can people contact you should they have any questions on how to become a game changer.
Bill: Well, think and then do. Punch in billwooditch.com. W-O-O-D-I-T-C-H.com, billwooditch.com. Just think about it then do it.
Todd: Alright, I’m doing it. Alright, tune in next week for the next episode where we’re going to discuss Becoming the CEO if Your Life. So in behalf of my colleague Bill Wooditch, I am Todd Schnick. We’ll see you next week on Be A Game Changer. So until then, remember always forward.