Success Thinking: are you more the one that knows and “fetches” what you want, or do you wait for others to “bring” it to you and whinge when they don’t?
Going After What You Want
What is your natural position when it comes to you “going after” what you want? I’m not talking about an unhealthy ego here. I’m talking about your propensity to “look after yourself” and get what you need or want.
Are you more pro-active to put in motion what needs to happen so that you get or “fetch” what you want, or are you more likely to be passive and wait for things to happen or even for things to be “brought” to you?
Bring and Fetch are terms I use from the German language. We speak of a “Holschuld” which is an obligation to “fetch” something, and a “Bringschuld” which is an obligation to “bring” something. For instance, if I owe you money, then it is my obligation for me to “bring” it back to you in repayment. It would be morally incorrect for me to expect you to have to come and “fetch” it from me, wouldn’t it?
This is one of my most fundamentally used coaching concepts. I am well known for this in my client circles. “Fetch” is an attitude. I refer back to it in most coaching sessions. I’m always looking for it. It is also one of the most important aspects I’m looking for in my initial exploratory conversations with a prospective client and forms a part of my decision whether that prospect is in fact “coachable”.
Success thinking and success attitudes
So are you someone that waits for others to “bring” you what you want (like an attitude of “you owe me”) or are you someone that “fetches” what you want? Remember the question of “who is driving your bus?”
A universal success principle is to “surround yourself with great people”. I consider this relevant both in work and in life. Are the people around you those that wait for you to “bring” or do they “fetch” what they want? I consider being a “fetch” person an attribute of being a “great people”.
Being at Cause
Back in the work context, let’s say there’s a role you are interested in that becomes vacant in your organization. “Fetch people” will be awake to and aware of such an opportunity and pro-actively knock on the boss’ door to see what they might need to do to be considered for that role. Less pro-active people might sit back and wait to see if the boss will consider them and “bring” them the opportunity and then probably whinge if they weren’t considered or chosen.
Let’s use your annual performance review as another example. How “hungry” or ambitious are you to “fetch” what you want? In the future development section of that important discussion, do you have a selection of prepared ideas and suggestions of projects or learning activities you want to “fetch” to stretch or broaden your experience, or do you passively allow the boss to choose which future growth opportunities to “bring” to the table? You may also want to read my Performance Management Trilogy.
Is measured and managed performance part of your or your organizations’ culture? Is there good incentive for its people to “fetch” more for themselves and therewith for the organization?
Is your organization a learning organization that encourages a “fetch” attitude? With other words, does it encourage “having a go”, knowing that in the pursuit of better outcomes for the company, its clients and for yourself you may make some mistakes on the way? Or does it “punish” mistakes, thereby killing any initiative taking? If it isn’t a learning organization, wouldn’t it be time to consider whether “you are on the right bus”?
Good leaders are always watching and waiting for promising talent to come and “fetch” more – those are the people they want to develop, nurture and keep.
What’s your preferred position?
So where are you placed on this question? Are you more inclined to “wait” and see what is “brought” to you? How do you respond when it isn’t? Or are you more “gung ho” and make a point of more pro-actively “going after” what you want – as in “fetching” it?
If you are more the former and now having been made more aware of the differences, and decide to want to change that, what will you need to do in order to change that attitude and become more “hungry” and pro-active?
My own personal experience as someone that was initially more the former has been that this can be learned and developed. Today I am very capable of “fetching” what I want. I’ve also become so much more adept at influencing outcomes in my favour.
So What Next?
So what will it take for you to achieve that? In my experience, first a choice; then a decision and then some goals that will drive you to want to practice whenever an opportunity presents itself. That will drive awareness which in turn will have your “antennae” in receive mode more often. A few successes will encourage you and asking someone you trust to give you feedback from time to time will hold you accountable.
What I found? After a while it dawned on me (in hindsight) that I had changed my attitude and my behaviour towards this and that I was far more pro-active in finding the results and outcomes I needed and wanted. Having become a “fetch person” myself, my focus is now on assisting as many others as I can to achieve the same.
This is such a great concept. I often use it when talking to young people getting started in their careers. It’s amazing how so many people simply assume that they have to wait for stuff to come to them.
Helping them to see the benefits of being a fetch person is very rewarding.
So thanks Heiner for your teaching on this so many years ago – it also changed my life.