Whenever I’m working on a new plan, I try to make a list of people who are more knowledgeable than I am on the subject at hand and ask for their advice. The earlier I am in the process, the more it resembles “thinking out loud”. Instead I’m not under the shower and alone but I’m joined by super smart people. And usually not showering.
These conversations generate a lot of conflicting advice, leaving me the task of triangulating until I believe the decision I’m about to take is the right one.
I consider such a conversation successful whenever it taught me something new or made me change my mind. It’s kind of counter-intuitive: I’m psyched about a plan yet I have to seek out the people who are best at proving me wrong.
Over the years I’ve found that some people are just better than others in counter-arguing and helping me change my mind. That insight turned into a list of trusted advisors, my lovely wife Lisa topping of the list.
Just a few days ago I had a conversation with someone I used to work with, discussing the ZIGO plans for the future. He was short on time, yet took 2 hours out of his day to lovingly burn our plans to the ground with some very good arguments.
It’s a special feeling. Somewhere in between walking barefoot over a pile of glass and receiving the perfect gift for Christmas: something you didn’t know you wanted, but actually really need. Tough love.