If you were king...
28 March 2007
If you were king, would you fire everyone, close the company, and open a donut stand tomorrow? If you were king, would you give everyone on your staff an extra week of vacation and a top-of-the-line iPod? If you were king, would you tell Microsoft to bugger off? If you were king, would you have your company invest in that scrappy little startup down the street?
"If you were king..." sets the mental stage differently than "if you were me..." or "if you were the boss..."
When you're talking with someone and ask for their opinion, they bring in certain constraints to their answer. If you ask them to imagine that they are the boss instead, they will bring in the constraints that they imagine the boss might have.
By jumping on up to imagining they are king, it breaks the habit of thinking within constraints.
Kings don't have to follow the rules. They can knight people. They can behead people. They get to wear fancy robes and carry a bejeweled scepter. Very few of us actually know any kings, so these four little words of conversational judo can help you think more broadly.
What would you do if you were king?