Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Maximizing Potential–Avoiding Ask-Holes

As I reflected upon a request of me recently, it’s not hard to figure out why so many organizations, whether for-profit, not-for-profit, religious or any other type are struggling these days.

The request violated what I believe to be a critical equation in engagement, the equation looking like this:

Actually, I’m just kidding.

The equation looks like this.


In my situation, the person making the ask ignored repeated indications of what mattered to me and had nothing to offer in return.  Unfortunately for them, the interaction did not produce the result they desired and possibly has destroyed the future potential for a positive interaction.  The interaction was all about their success at anyone else’s expense.

In fact, their ask list was so great that they created a relationship deficit that I like to refer to as an ask-hole (yeah yeah, pun partially intended Smile), where the asks were made in ignorance of what mattered to me and where there was nothing offered in return despite the number of asks.

Such ask-holes create nothing but frustration, ineffective relationships, untapped potential and poor results.  I touch on this in a slightly different way in this mindmap (click on the image for a viewable version).


True success that is sustainable and which produces a real “win-win” can only be manifested when there is a sweet spot alignment.

When you are trying to engage a person or organization, are you aware of the sweet spot of that person or organization, making offers that resonate with it before making asks that should also resonate with the same sweet spot or are you focused on creating an ask-hole?

Are you sure?

How do you know?

In service and servanthood,


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