There's plenty of philosophers out there. Most of them have “day jobs.” It’s hard to…
Too hot? Too cold? Just right. As a thought leader, speaker, or author you succeed when you are just right. But just right is often times subjective. My too hot might be your just right and your just right might be my too cold.
So what’s a thought leader to do?
Well, I wish it was as easy as telling you to follow the yellow brick road but frankly it’s not. In the story of Goldie Locks the issue was temperature. Not the consistency of the porridge, the sweetness of the porridge, the creaminess of the porridge. Judgments and subsequent decisions were made based on the temperature. It’s pretty easy to adjust the temperature of a bowl of porridge. [Full disclosure, A. I’m not quite sure what porridge is and B. have not personally ever added heat to a bowl of it or cooled it down—however, I am familiar with oatmeal].
What’s the temperature dial that you need to adjust when it comes to your content?
From my experience, I think the issue is complexity. If your content appears to be too simple, too basic, too glaringly obvious (think the 3 steps to success, 5 levels of leadership, etc.), it may be well received on the individual level, however it will create a hurdle as you try to adapt your work across an enterprise. After all, why should they pay for something that is so simple that they must clearly be able to do it on their own without you and your work?
So, given that we don’t want to water down our work to the point of simplicity, there’s also the risk of being too technical and complex. If someone can’t get their head around your content easily, and quickly articulate your ideas to their peers and colleagues, the odds of them being able to bring it into a large organization drastically decrease. Clients do not want to be forced to use (what they see as) a complex solution to solve (what they believe to be) a simple problem. This is clearly a problem of perception and communication. You need to be able to find your “just right” and the just right is actually a situational solution, not a universal solution.
Just right is subjective.
The challenge for thought leaders is to find the situational just right of simplicity versus complexity when you share your content to an enterprise client. It’s got to be complex enough to justify the expense of time, energy, and dollars yet simple enough so that people can understand it and adapt it in a relatively short period of time.
I think I’ll try some porridge the next time I see it on a menu.