Don’t Be Cowed by “How”

Are you unknowingly stopping ideas in their tracks?

Summary
Transcript

Author, speaker and leadership communicator Andy Stanley shares why bold leaders should refuse to let “how” get in the way of pursuing great ideas.

“You can ‘how’ a great idea to death,” explains Andy. “So when someone in your organization or your family walks up and says, ‘I’ve got an idea,’ you say ‘wow’ not ‘how’... Nobody who’s ever accomplished anything of any significance in the corporate, the for-profit or the nonprofit world, none of that would have happened if they had stopped with, ‘How are we gonna pay for it?’”

Watch the video to learn more from Andy about why you shouldn’t be cowed by “how.”

Bold leaders, and you all have that potential, bold leaders. Bold leaders refuse to be cowed by how. I want us to read this out loud. This is huge. All together, all of our remote sites, even if you're watching this by yourself, that's going to be weird, but read it out loud anyway. OK, here we go. Ready? “Bold leaders refuse to be cowed by how.

Now, here's the thing. You can “how” a great idea to death, and for those of you who run organizations or franchises, you can “how” a great idea right out the door. If you don't believe me, ask the owners of Handy Dan Home Improvement Centers. Handy Dan Home Improvement Centers. This was one of the first home improvement retail chains. But you can't ask the owners because they shut their doors in 1989, just a few years after firing Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank, who went on to found the what? The Home Depot. Yes.

So when someone in your organization, when someone in your family, ladies, when your husband; husbands, when your wife; parents, when your children; when somebody in your organization or your family walks up and they say, “I've got an idea,” you say, “Wow,” not “how.” Okay? Everybody together out loud, “Wow, not how.”

You do not want to “how” a good idea to death and you certainly don't want to “how” an idea to your competition, and you certainly don't want to shut down your kids’ good ideas, because if they make it, they pay for your retirement.

Okay. So we're going to be about “Wow, not how.” So ladies, seriously, and Sandra and I laugh about this all the time because I've got an idea every day, and she’s learned, “He’s never going to follow through so I don’t have to worry about it. He’s too busy to follow through on any of his good ideas.” So when I come up with, “Sandra, I've got this idea and I've been thinking about this thing,” she just looks at me and smiles because she’s heard me teach this, and she goes, “Wow.” “Wow, hey, can you clean out the dishwasher? I'll be back in a few minutes.” Wow, Mr. Big Idea Guy. Right? Wow, not how.

It's funny, but I'm telling you, this is super important. The “how” question is a bad habit. It’s a bad habit, and if you work in finance and you’re in accounting and you’re a responsible person, I know immediately you go to, “How much will it cost? How much will it cost? How much will it cost?” Listen. Listen. Nobody who's ever accomplished anything of any significance in the corporate, the for-profit, or the nonprofit world, none of that would have happened if they had stopped with, “How are we gonna pay for it.”
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Andy Stanley

Leadership communicator, best-selling author and founding pastor of North Point Ministries Andy Stanley inspires tens of thousands of people. Andy founded Atlanta-based North Point Ministries in 1995, leading six churches in the Atlan...

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