5 signs that you are a true “Idea” person

I often recall with great amusement the scene from the movie Night Shift when Michael Keaton’s character Bill Blazejowski announces to his befuddled co-worker played by Henry Winkler, that he was “an idea man”.

Blazejowski then goes on to rattle off a series of what he considers to be brilliant ideas. For example when he said, “What if you mix the mayonnaise in the can, WITH the tunafish? Or… hold it! Chuck! I got it! Take LIVE tuna fish, and FEED ’em mayonnaise!”, after which he then speaks into the recorder that he always carries reminding himself to call Starkist!

While we have always been taught that there is no such thing as a bad question, the same cannot be said for ideas.

Even though we want to encourage the free flow of the creative process during a meeting, there are likely times that all of us have wondered what a co-worker – or worse, a boss – were thinking when they believed they had hit that eureka moment.

The fact is that asking questions are a sign of your desire to gain understanding. Throwing out a bad idea demonstrates that you haven’t been listening or just don’t get it.

Unfortunately, it is the fear of the latter that mutes the majority of people with true creative genius. The ones who actually have something to say that could ultimately provide that collective AHA moment.

Of course, bad idea people rarely possess such self-aware reservations when they blurt out “edible garbage” as the best way to address the landfill problem.

This said, here are 5 signs that you are a true “IDEA” person:

  1. You have on many occasions found yourself saying; “hey, I thought of that years ago” when the latest and greatest invention is universally hailed as an innovative breakthrough.
  2. You sit quietly in meetings thinking for a seemingly endless period what someone else finally says, and then nod in agreement thinking to yourself “why didn’t I say something”!
  3. You have motivational posters on your office wall that say things like “In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take”!
  4. You possess the largest collection of inspirational movies in which the hero has overcome unbeatable odds to achieve their dreams.
  5. You can totally relate to the Peter Gibbons character in the movie Office Space.

If you can truthfully put a check mark beside 3 or more of the above 5 points, then you are definitely a waiting in the wings Einstein. The question is what do you do about it?

From where I sit, you have two options.

The first is continue to be pensively adept at living in the coulda, woulda, shouldashadows or two, start realizing that although making the suggestion to feed mayonnaise to tuna fish may make you sound like a total fool, it may also open up a whole new train of thinking that may lead to something amazing.

By the way, don’t they now offer tuna that is premixed with not only mayonnaise but other ingredients as well?



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  • Books Written by Jon Hansen

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