At the moment, I’m working with my publisher on the title for a book. They have great ideas and know the business. I know what I said in the book. They are good people, and I want to believe what they say about what will work. But I am the one who knows what doesn’t as “retirement.” I know “not working” doesn’t work. They love that title.
They’re in the prime of their careers. “Retirement” hasn’t even hit their radars yet. They are sure “not working” is the coolest thing you could ever do. How do I mesh my truth with theirs to the greatest benefit–of our working relationship and what we ultimately get out to the public?
This is just an example of the challenge that’s often cast as “keeping an open mind.” Sometimes, it’s not as simple as it seems like it should be.
So what do I do to honor and get the most from what this enthusiastic, young team is doing to help me? And how does that relate to what you are trying to do? We deal with this so many different ways. How can we be true to ourselves and easy to work with?
- In every instance it’s good to revisit the priority list when you hit an impasse. How important is the sticking point? Is what they want to do more workable than you are telling yourself?
- Then it wouldn’t hurt to just stop thinking about it for a few hours. The more pressure you put on trying to get to the solution, the harder it is for the easy breezy brilliant ideas to push their way in the door.
- And above all, believe there’s an answer and trust that all involved are looking for it. They usually are.
These are good people and what we are trying to do is good work. The right title will come. Once we use it, you won’t have any idea how many e-mails we spent trying to hammer it out.
But to get to that answer, I need to keep my emotional agility. To let the new ideas have the full floor. To not cling to a favorite just because it worked for me. I need to let go of what I already decided. Nobody likes a stubborn grump–young or old. Keeping an open mind may not always be easy, but it’s the only way to go.