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Did You See This About Michael? I Don't Want You To Get Fooled Either

Did You See This About Michael? I Don't Want You To Get Fooled Either

November 11, 2010

We all have hidden agendas. It's just human nature.

In fact, everyone of us has a personal bias. And as leaders of our businesses, the better we are at recognizing the hidden agendas of those around us, the more successful we'll be in our relationships and in our business.

The story of Michael and the choice he had to make: heaven or hell

Let me explain with a short story of Michael, who died and went to the other world.

When he arrived there, the guard and receiving committee greeted him and told him that he had a decision to make: Do you want to go to heaven or do you want to go to hell?

Michael, shocked by the question, said, 'What kind of question is that? Of course, I want to go to heaven.'

"Are you sure?" the guard asked. "You might actually like hell better.'

Michael, still puzzled, replied, 'I don't understand.'

"You see, things in this world are different than the way things were in the world you came from," the guard explained. "Here you have the opportunity to see what the next world looks like before you choose.'

'Why not?" said Michael.

'Wonderful,' said the doorman, 'Come on in and let's get started.'

Michael entered the other world and immediately was swept off to a tropical paradise.

The sun was shining, the wind was blowing gently, and the water was blue as crystal. Michael couldn't believe his eyes. He thought, how wonderful. A handful of beautiful women then came running up to Michael and said, 'Would you like to go sailing?' to which Michael said, 'Sure, I love sailing.' And they took him out, sailing through the crystal, blue water. They even offered him margaritas, which happened to be his favorite drink.

He couldn't believe his luck. If this is hell, he couldn't imagine how it got much better.

Michael spent the day enjoying himself, sailing, making friends, and having a great time.

When he had had enough, they came back in. And then the guard said, 'OK, the preview is over, it's time to go back out.'

'So soon? The fun was just getting started. We were all having such a good time here.

I'd hate to leave now,' said Michael. The guard was insistent, 'I'm sorry, you're going to have to leave now.'

They went outside and once again, he asked Michael the question: 'Do you want to choose heaven or hell?' Michael said, 'Boy, I'll tell you, I know this sounds crazy, but if that's what hell is, I'm going to have to go for it. It was so wonderful when you showed it to me, I couldn't imagine choosing otherwise.'

'Great, so come on in,' the guard said as he escorted Michael back into hell.

This time, when the door shut behind him, it was hot and fiery, dark, dismal, and lonely, and there was pain and suffering everywhere. There was a feeling of loneliness and someone yelled, 'It's time to get to work!'

Michael looked up to the voice, saying, 'I don't understand. When I was here before, everything was so wonderful and it seemed so great. Why is it all different now?'

The voice laughed and said, 'Before you were a prospect, now you're customer.'


The lesson learned ...

You see, everyone has hidden agendas or hidden motives. And if you don't pick up on what they are, you'll never be an effective decision-maker or worse, you'll end up in a place you never imagined.

The solution? Always have a filter going, keeping your eyes open for hidden agendas with the people that you speak to and even yourself. You can often find a hidden agenda in a salesperson ' you can smell it from a mile away. You'll notice that sometimes he'll seem to have dollar signs in his eyes when he's speaking to you. So too, if your main agenda is only the dollars, your customers will notice this.

It comes through in your language, it comes through in your speech, and it even comes through in your body language. You'll communicate your hidden agenda with everybody you meet.

You might be able to disguise it with flattery and acting kind, but your self-fulfilling oriented agenda will domi'nate the relationship. There is only one way to truly escape the trap of hidden agenda, and that's by simplifying, living with honesty and abundance.

First, what does it mean to simplify? It means being clear about everything: what you are trying to accomplish, what you're giving to others, and what you're getting from the relationship.

Second, be other-focused. Truly want what's best for them, not just for you. I can guarantee you that by wanting what's best for them, you'll ultimately be more successful and will fulfill your own needs as well.

Three, be fully present. Show up completely in your conversations and in your relationships with your customers, partners, and employees. If you show up fully and are truly present with them, you'll find that many of your hidden agendas melt away because you'll be on the same page as them.

And lastly, be disarmingly honest. We've spoken before about showing your warts.

Don't hide what it is that you get out of the relationship. Just be completely, totally honest. In doing so, you actually disarm the sharp bite of hidden agendas by revealing what's in it for you, and then you have nothing to hide.

By using these four strategies, you'll be able to catch your'self when you have a hidden agenda that's creeping into your relationship ' and you'll be able to recognize the agendas in others as well.

Always taking you from where you are to where you want to go,


Jon Goldman, President