02/27/2014 12:17 EST | Updated 04/29/2014 05:59 EDT

You Want a Revolution? You Have to Make a Plan

Want Something to Change? Improve Your Ask.

I love music. I almost always relate thoughts I am having with lyrics of songs. As I sit down to write this post all I can hear between my ears is "Revolution" by the Beatles.

"You say you want a Revolution, well you know, we'd all love to see the plan."

Then it goes on to say, "Well you know it's gonna be alright, alright."

I do not claim to be a great Beatles philosopher but I am going to claim that unless there is a plan for change, it is not going to be alright. Not alright at all.

So here is the thing, most of us want something to change. For full disclosure I will give you a list of things I want to change:

  1. I want less crap email to be sent to me where people are vague and the communication is neither directive nor supports the forward motion of any issue facing me or my organization.
  2. I want employees to get things right the first time
  3. I want my car to stay clean on the inside
  4. I want to go to Vegas and party this weekend with my three best girlfriends

I am sure that by right of the fact that I opened with that killer Beatles riff, you expect me to say -- "You need a plan for change in order for it to happen." And you would be right. I am going to say that. You need a plan for change in order to make it happen.

The difference between what I am saying and what the Beatles said is that if you want a revolution, not only do you need the plan, you need to communicate the plan.

I do not mean asking for what you clearly want either.

So, you say you want a revolution.

You have a plan.

You then ask your employees for a revolution.

What do you get: a revolution.


Was it the revolution you envisioned?

If I want less worthless make-busy email threads sent to me then I had better let people know in a way they can understand. I can only assume that the people who send me these emails must think they are productive somehow. I can only assume that I get so many because I always answer them and as such, they breed like rabbits. The more I answer, the more I get.

Since I know assumptions do just as my mother advised me when I was younger (they make an ass out of you and me), I have applied this same breakthrough technique to getting clear on how to ask for what I want.

I replied to the last crap email I received today by asking the person very kindly what it was she wanted me to do with the information she shared. As it turns out, my assumption that she would have thought the info was productive for me was dead wrong. She thought I might just like to know. So, I let her know specifically what information it is that I want to know and what information I trust with her.

I expect to have reduced my crap email inbox by at least three emails a day by sending two emails to get clear and then ask for what it is that I want, exactly.

I want employees to get things right the first time. I want to ask them to simply do their jobs and pay attention (this is the dark frustrated side of me talking, just incase you had never met her, this is how she talks). I then count to 10 and realize that everyone does try their best around here. I count to 10 again because I have recognized the culprit of these years of people sending me 95 per cent correct work. It is me. I never specifically asked for things to only be sent to me in final draft. I found out that the people who work for me thought I would want to see it before they finalized it incase I wanted to make any changes. No, I do not want to make changes, I hired you and I trust you.

I want my car to stay clean on the inside. This one is about asking myself what I want more, the convenience of leaving my coffee mug in the car when I get home at the end of the day or wether I want the annoyance of finding it still there in the cup holder in the morning when I have a hot cup of coffee in my hand which now has no resting place which cascades into a repetitive cause and effect tumbleweed which rolls though my life each morning. Throw old mug on floor. Old mug clanks off of other mugs when I drive. I get annoyed with the mugs and throw my hoodie over them on the floor of the passenger side so that they will not slide together anymore. Repeat, repeat, repeat and you have a nice sandwich of days worth of coffee mugs in a sandwich of clothes.

I want to party in Vegas with my best friends. I'll bet if I ask they will say why don't I ever ask?

There are many reasons for not asking to asking the wrong question...the central issue is that we take so little time in asking why the problem exists in our life in the first place before we put plans of action into place to remedy them.

It is like a doctor giving you Tylenol before he asks what is wrong.

Have you asked the questions you need to ask before you make the big ask for change?

Are you clear on what it is exactly that you want? Have you asked for that specifically and with reason?

I challenge you with this. The next thing that comes across your mind that you want to change, I dare you to ask the following three questions:

  1. Do you really want it to change, are you ready?
  2. Why does it happen?
  3. How can you impact the source of the issue by asking very specifically for what you want

NOTE - #3 does NOT read "ask for what you do not want." If you tell people what you do not want, they may pick an alternate solution which is also something you do not want. Be specific about what you do want and ask for that.

In the spirit of getting exactly what you want,


P.S.- I want to hear about the thing that came to mind. That thing you want to change. Let me know by connecting through my site: Let's talk about what change you want and how to ask the right questions to ask for what you truly want.

P.P.S.- I am embarking on a three-week journey very soon which will see me invite only the people on my newsletter list backstage as a recreation occurs. Something big is evolving and my site will go static. I will still be posting but to my mailing list only. We will be exploring together. I will be reporting on business, creativity, random dance parties, thinking too much, thinking too little...and through it all we will be together, building the next evolution of my products, services and site. If you want to be a part of my crew, sign up for the newsletter below and bring a friend...parties are the most fun that way.