Showing Up

The oft-quoted “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” by Wayne Gretzky a famous hockey player, shows up often in motivational literature. What do innovators, athletes, deal makers, and psychologists have in common? They are all focused on Showing Up. And they all know that physically, mentally and emotionally showing up are all required.

This can be very difficult for innovators who often get punished for showing up as they tend to rock the boat which understandably makes many if not most of the other people in the boat nervous. In fact the more unusual your point of view, the more rejection you are likely to experience which initially can have the tendency to diminish your enthusiasm for showing up. Sometimes you even show up but find the situation may not be conducive to opening your mouth.

In fact, this is often the case, for the insensitive inventor may become the friendless and unfunded inventor. This showing up business can be tricky. Bearing witness to what you have seen, heard or imagined can get you in trouble which is why sometimes the people who keep their heads down and are politically sensitive often win out over the Insensitive Insightful, creative innovator type.

This is a real dilemma. You can never change the world by keeping your head down. Or if one can, it would take so long that few creatives like you would be willing to wait. On the other hand, charging into the C-level decision makes office proudly showing up with the attitude I am here to change your entire company will not likely yield the resources you need to accomplish much. I know this from personal experience.

Therefore, although it is critical to show up, it is also crucial to be a Complex Collaborator at the same time. For showing up and then wholly following the leader is not going to cause change either. Innovating is like walking a tightrope. It requires courage, balance and a lot of skill as well as showing up. But without having the courage to show up, or insensitively showing up both result in not being able to apply the balanced skills and insights.

Yes, you have to show up, but you also have to zoom out to see the other potential stakeholders perspectives as well. After all, you want them to look at your point of view right, then the ‘quid pro quo’ requires you see and demonstrate that you see, understand and value their opinions not only as well but usually first. You end to have to pay forward in the creativity business for known boat rockers are often denied entry to the boat.

So to add to the burden of showing up with insight, one also has to have a pretty idea of how to apply it within a framework, not of your making. So yes you do have to show up, but you also have to let your stakeholders show up as well for them to be interested in you showing up.