I seldom respond to “viral videos.” But I was struck by this video of Kara Lawson, Duke Women’s Basketball Head Coach, Handle Hard Better.
It is human nature to want things to be easier. In 2005, Staples ran a marketing campaign featuring the “Easy Button.” The concept went viral–the thought that if we just did one thing, things after that would be easy. This thinking seems to persist today, dominating much of what we seek in our work.
If we do “this technique,” everything becomes easy. And these collections of techniques cover every aspect of what we do in selling. Whether it’s how we show up digitally, how we create demand, how we prospect, how we message, how we phone, how we incite customers to change, how we qualify, how we conduct discovery, how we handle objections, how present/pitch our solutions, how we create value, how we deal with competition, how we avoid discounts, how we close, how we build pipelines, how we increase our win rates, how we……..
The solutions to “this one thing,” are any number of techniques—some very powerful and impactful. Or it’s a new technology. Or it’s a new process/methodology. There are 1000s of books, articles, videos suggesting these things that enable us to achieve our goals more easily, or let us engage more customers, or close more business.
Any number of consultants, experts, and guru’s proclaim, “I made millions doing this, so can you….”
We are driven to find the “one thing,” that solves all our challenges. We are compelled to find the “easy button.”
The reality is that it never does get easier.
VUCA is the byword for everything we see in what we face. Customers are faced with challenges they may have never experienced. They and we are overwhelmed–change, information, turbulence, risk, opportunity, uncertainty, ……..
And this is constant, as we learn and address one area, something else arises.
As much as we may want, things will never get easy, things will always be changing.
We succeed, as Kara Lawson says, by being able to “handle hard better.”
It’s interesting, as I talk to top performers, they have a common characteristic, they are challenged by that which is “hard.” They set themselves apart by constantly looking forward, at the next challenge, how do adapt, how to learn, how to grow and improve. They aren’t looking for easy. They aren’t happy with resting on their laurels and what has always worked.
How do we become better with handling that which is hard?
Mindset is important. An open, growth oriented mindset enables us to better recognize new challenges, experiment, and learn new approaches.
We have to adopt an attitude of continuous improvement and change. Recognizing that which works now, probably will not work as well tomorrow. We have to embrace experiments, change, trying new things.
The good news is we are not alone in this pursuit. Our customers, our partners, our colleagues face constant change. Each of us will only succeed if we learn how to handle hard better. Working together enables us to change, grow, and improve.