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Platforms Give You Pounceability

by | Leadership

“Today’s choices yield tomorrow’s results.” I repeat this message so often and in so many contexts – at companies, conferences, in interactions with taxi drivers and checkout clerks – that I sometimes feel like a broken record (or a scratched CD…umm…corrupted mp3 file.)

But it’s a message that can’t be emphasized enough in today’s “results-now” world. The choices we make today about where we spend focus, time and energy directly impact our ability to pounce on opportunities tomorrow.

It all comes down to building the right platforms. The main definition of a platform is a raised surface that provides an elevated view for you and/or your audience. Building a platform gives you an increased ability to see opportunities and take advantage of them. In other words, platforms give you pounce-ability.

  • When you establish practices in your life in the areas of Focus, Relationships, Energy, Stimuli and Hours, you are building a platform that is designed to produce results tomorrow. You may experience some immediate lift from your efforts, but the main aim is to set yourself up for sustainability and long-term effectiveness. You’re increasing your ability to take advantage of opportunities by ensuring you’ll have the needed focus, time ideas and energy to do so. How can you improve the platform that supports your creative work?
  • When you build a platform that allows others to express their ideas and insights, you are investing in your future ability to connect with a meaningful tribe. By helping others accomplish their goals, you may find that it helps you accomplish yours as well. How can you build a platform for others to express themselves?
  • When you give away aspects of your work that others are better equipped to do effectively, you are building a platform that increases the overall effectiveness of the organization. (That’s a big reason why we are diversifying the number of voices in the mix on the AC site and why I’ve invited the brilliant Matt Gartland to be our new Editorial Director. We’re also bringing more people into the mix very soon.) Sometimes platforms crumble when you try to build them by yourself. Are there others who can help you build your platform?

Platforms not only give you an elevated view of opportunity, they also become an attractor for other likeminded change-makers. As we give lift to others’ thoughts and insights, we may find that it increases the size of the platform beyond what we could do alone.

A few questions:

1. How can you build (or better reinforce) the platforms in your work so that you’ll be more effective?

2. Can you think of some examples of especially effective platforms you’ve seen or been a part of?

Todd Henry

Todd Henry

Positioning himself as an “arms dealer for the creative revolution”, Todd Henry teaches leaders and organizations how to establish practices that lead to everyday brilliance. He is the author of five books (The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, Louder Than Words, Herding Tigers, The Motivation Code) which have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and he speaks and consults across dozens of industries on creativity, leadership, and passion for work.

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  1. Emily Kimball

    First of all, “pounce-ability” is a very Tigger-ish word. Did you take your kids to see Winnie the Pooh recently? (smile)  Also, this post reminds me of a principal in a leadership program I was active in for a couple of years in NYC.  We had a buddy system with instructions to talk to your buddy as often as possible- every day was the ideal goal.  This was an example of building a platform through relationships.  The mindset was to focus on your buddy achieving their goals as much as you were invested in attaining your own goals.  We also talked to an accountability coach every morning.  The coach’s job was to hold you accountable for what you declared as a goal for the previous day (and for the long term 3 month goal).  Then, of course, the whole team would get together at least once a week so there were checks and balance built into those meetings as well.  This approach yielded unprecedented results.  I was active in this system for two years as both a participant and coach. 

  2. Frank

    Hello Todd,

    I would like to buy your book, but I was wondering if there is an electronic version, for I prefer it

      • Claudia

        Hi Todd,

        I’m not very tech savvy and couldn’t find where to buy a simple PDF copy of your book (among all those new formats). Can you please help me with that?

        • Todd Henry

          Hi Claudia,

          The publisher has not made the book available as a PDF. It is available for Kindle, Nook and iBooks though. Hope this is helpful!

  3. Mindy

    I’m not quite sure if this is what you mean, but it does fit in with your opening quote and with Emily’s comments. Each member of the sales team in our organization uses a cookbook – a spreadsheet for tracking their daily activities in the areas that produce results further down the line. It has given the team a lot of insight on how the little things they do each day produce big wins several months later.

    I’ve adopted that strategy in my writing. At the end of each day of writing, I enter into a spreadsheet how many words I’ve written on each of a variety of areas, or how much time I spent editing. There’s a special category for what got shipped that day – what I submitted or posted or somehow get seen by someone other than me.

    What’s missing in my personal tracking, though, is the interaction Emily is talking about. Our sales team periodically looks at their cookbooks together and talks about each component. What’s working, what’s not, how can they tweak their practices, is there something else they should be measuring, etc.

  4. Eric

    What are your thoughts on building a personal platform? In the day and age that we live it is more important than ever because there are so many voices out there.

    • Todd Henry

      Kind of the same thing, really. A personal platform is – in many ways – the exact same thing. It’s increased visibility to have influence in the things you care about. At the end of the day, though, I think the IDEA has to be in the center, not the person. Platforms built around people eventually crumble, but platforms built around ideas live on (and on, and on…)

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