Is it possible to _ _ _ _ _?

PossibilitiesPost

When discussing ideas, particularly our own ideas, we often ask this question: Would it be possible to <insert dreamed outcome here>? It sounds like something “big picture” thinkers and leaders would ask.

But it’s the wrong question.  Here’s why: We know that almost anything is possible given enough application of labor over time.  I have learned that if I ask this question I am hiding the real question:

What would it take to _ _ _ _ _ _ ?

After the success of Luna 2 in 1959 by the Soviets some creative, out-of-the-box thought leader probably asked “Is it possible to put a man on the moon instead of just a probe?”  But until somebody asked “What would it take to put a man on the moon?” nothing happened.

Asking what it takes instead of what’s possible challenges people; immediately!  Leaders emerge and team selection becomes easier.  But let’s go deeper.  What does it mean if we ask the wrong question?

It could mean that we haven’t thoroughly vetted our own desires for achieving an objective.  Perhaps we presume a pattern of infinite adversity between us and our objective.  Asking what it takes reassures those around us that we know why we want to do what we want to do.  It suggests that our focus is fixed on a fairly specific outcome.  And that is important to people who are helping you.

It takes courage to move past the musings of possibilities and on to execution.  But that’s where the glory and the gold is.  Go get it!

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