A Daily Dispatch from the Front Lines of Leadership.


The Power of the Triple Wow

Great ideas can change everything. When we hear a great idea, we think immediately of the possibilities and how they might play out. Excitement surrounds us. Adrenaline is pumped throughout our nervous system. We rush forward in the hope we have found something special. 

Unfortunately, many ideas which appear great when you first hear them age poorly, sometimes in just a few hours. You wake up the next day, scratching your head, wondering what you were so excited about. 

Before you go “all-in” on a great idea and invest time and resources toward execution, be sure the idea creates a Triple Wow. A Triple Wow follows this path: When you first think of or hear about a great idea, the first Wow takes hold. The novelty and brilliance of the idea invites focus and enthusiasm in a way almost nothing else can. 

Before embracing the idea in full, the best decision-makers know that everything looks more positive if it hasn’t yet been fully digested or challenged. So, sleep on it. Get some distance. Take the idea apart and put it back together. If the idea still appears great over the next day or two, then the idea has created the second Wow

At this point, the real scrutiny begins. The doubters, haters, and skeptics will rain on the parade as much as they can once they are exposed to the idea. When an idea can withstand the assault of critical inspection, then it just might be worthy of execution. 

This is not to say that you won’t have doubts. Even truly great ideas have flaws and downsides, but if a week or two later you still believe this is a great idea, you’ve reached your third Wow

Be sure big ideas create a Triple Wow before you take them too seriously. Anything less than a triple wow suggests you may fall prey to over-excitement and unbridled optimism. Save ideas that don’t meet this standard for the trash heap. Trash is easy to find. Truly great ideas are rare. 

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