It used to sound strange when my rather polite mother used that phrase. It was usually when something went wrong, the right tools weren’t available and the wrong people were involved. After all if you follow the Earp brothers and their cohorts, a gunfight was usually hostile and devoid of reason. It was unlikely that you would get close enough to see the whites of their eyes so that you could use the ‘knife’ to any great advantage. In fact, you would be hurt whether it was a scratch or permanent.
For the rest of this blog, the knife is the tools you need, including attitude; the gunfight is the situation that you find yourself in.
Over the past several weeks, I taking a course based on a book by Simon Sinek entitled ‘Start with Why”. We have worked through a number of exercises where we identified the gunfight. What I discovered was I was frequently leaving the knife at home.
I have been breaking rule 101 almost every day without realizing it. In fact, I was so focussed on the gunfight that I forgot to even think about the tools that I needed to get the work completed.
It is somewhat amazing when the wallop delivers a concrete message. I just figured out what she meant.
- If you can see the gunfight, assess the situation (what we, in the military, call conducting a sit-rep). It is okay if you need to do more than one assessment, but at some point you will have to make a decision that you know what you know and that is all.
- Determine what you need to do to address the situation. Find 3 – 5 steps that you can take to resolve the situation.
- Get out of your own way and find the right tool. Occasionally, the right tool is talking to a friend, colleague or family member. Don’t be afraid to talk. You are thinking through your steps.
- Put the procrastination gene on ice and take that first step. It will be the start of either winning or losing the fight.
After all, all of us at one time or another use the wrong tool for the wrong situation. But, if you are willing to learn, you will eventually be select and use the right tool for the right situation. Do the work and move on. Eventually, it will become a habit.
I hereby resolve to make sure that I am following the four steps above.
Thanks to the Platinum Master Mind Group. Each of you is special and contribute to my life daily. You rock.
Thanks to Simon and his team for the opportunity.