“Leadership” is often a tricky concept to convy. There are so many nuances to communicate, and so much of it needs the careful support of intuition. For a man, showing leadership is critical in all of his relationships. His wife needs hm to be willing to step up as a leader to be attractive, his children need him to lead so they can learn how to be strong independent adults. His friends need him to show leadership so that they know they can trust him to handle himself in an emergency. People will grade you as a man on your ability to take charge and make decisions big and small.
Today I am going to give you a cheat code to help you boost your score.
In our age of consensus, communication, corporations, and cooperation, leadership is often taught poorly if it is taught at all. A lot of men I meet have no clue where to start in offering leadership, they’d rather be “team players” or make sure they are giving others “what they want”. They also rush into the trap of overthinking things every chance they get. In reality what others want from the men in their lives is firmness and decisiveness. There is nothing that costs you respect more than the dreaded “I dunno, what do you want to do?” Or worse, “I don’t really care, you decide.”
The funny thing about tring to please people is that they sense it and it displeases them.
My father was a picture of solid leadership as a kid. He rarely hesitated to make a decision. For little things, he seemed to be able to come to a snap decision in mere seconds. Everyone respected that, and if a decision needed to be made, they would often turn to Dad to make it.
It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I figured out my Dad’s secret. He didn’t really care about a lot of the little things. He didn’t have a meal he wanted every night. He had a hack:
“Always pick the blue one.”
Basiclly, when confronted with multiple choices and no great earth-shaking consequences, he looks for some blue, be it a food package, a fabric colour, or whatever. The first thing that shows some blue get’s picked. It is totally arbitrary. Sometimes the colour changes to red, yellow, or green, depending on his mood.
When it comes to answering “What do you want to o for dinner” or “where should we go?” and you have no other information, why not make it arbitrary? The fact is, people are looking for you to take charge because they don’t want to make the decisions themselves.
Of course, Dad has his likes and dislikes. If you ask him where he wants to go for dinner, he has a few favurite places, and probably feels like one at a particular time. It means that he often picks mexican places or steakhouses – blue or not. But If he is tied between two as he has no cravings, he tries to remember which one has blue on its sign. Boom. Decision made.
And sure, maybe we aren’t in the mood for steak or Mexican food. If that’s the case, it’s no points off of him, after all, we asked him first, and he answered. We know what he likes, we’ve got no right to complain if Dad chooses something he likes when we asked him what he wants to do. If we want Chinese, we’d better be willing to take the lead instead and say we want Chinese.
It really is that simple. Try it for one week. Whenever you are asked what you want for dinner, where you want to go, or what you want to do, and you have no strong opinion, just answer anyway. And pick the blue one.