Occasionally I come across a helpful leadership tip or two. I have to credit my friend Steve Davis for this one – and I’m pretty sure he said he got it from somewhere else.
Anyway…the idea is that often we get stuck. You know, where to go eat, what to do, etc. Or perhaps our brainstorming session just isn’t getting off the ground. What to do? Insert “McDonald’s Leadership Tip.”
For example, friends are getting together and consensus says, “Let’s go out to eat.” But where? Of course, everyone has some idea of where they’d like to go, but everyone is being hesitant to share their idea. You don’t really care where you go, you’re just hungry. So to expedite the process, you suggest “McDonald’s.” You don’t really want to go to McDonald’s, and you know no one else does either. But by offering up a really bad suggestion (sorry Mickey D’s), you take one for the team, and everyone shoots down your idea. Once you’ve taken the fall, others pipe up with their ideas because they know their’s is better, and they certainly don’t want to end up at McDonald’s, so they had better say something pretty quick. And even if their idea gets shot down, undoubtedly it was a better idea than McDonald’s.
So next time your in a planning meeting, and everyone is experience idea block, suggest something that is the equivalent of McDonald’s. Everyone will hate it and begin to tell you why your idea is horrible. To counteract your horrible idea, the creative juices will be released by others on your team and voila, the ideas will begin to flow. Give it a try.