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Decide to be Relevant
To Your Family, Customers, Country, Decide To Be Relevant
You are as relevant as you choose to be. Many of the people around you have decided their lives aren't relevant. They wake up, go about their day, eat some supper, watch a little TV and then off to bed only to repeat the process again tomorrow. They don't want to do anything that rocks their or anyone's boat. They just want to quietly exist, not bringing attention to anything they do. In reality, they are relevant and just don't know it. Someone expects them to do something every day, or at least on occasion, and they don't even realize how relevant their life is.
Watching the republican debates recently, there is a point of relevancy. In one debate, there were tons of references to two things, gays and contraceptives. Just what relevance do contraceptives have with gay marriages? Last I checked, nothing! Humor is important in any debate!
You Decide, Not Others
When you wake up, you make the decision at that point if you are going to be relevant and to whom you are going to be relevant. Others may make you feel less relevant - may discount your opinion or not invite you to their party. If that is the case, you can decide their relationship isn't so relevant to your needs. You are the one in control here - not them. You can improve your relevance as well.
If I am making a decision on how to approach a fairly complicated project, I want input from a lot of different parties. All points of view are relevant to some degree. If it involves safety, I'm probably going to listen pretty closely to the engineer's opinions as their butts are on the line as well. Regarding functionality, I may have to ask my folks in R&D for some clarity and the folks in the field for input on application. I will ask marketing for competitive analysis and finance for input on costs to continue development and potential impact on our bottom line. Every one of the inputs are relevant. Each to a different degree - but each has its relevancy and weight in the decision.
When a person in the group makes the effort to champion a project, their relevance to the success or failure of the project increases exponentially. A junior team member could hang their hat on the next potential winner - and be the next shining star. They also have the potential of hanging themselves on the next potential disaster that should never have made it to market, but that is the risk and how they handle failure will also determine their future relevance.
Learn the Language
If you want to move up the ladder and make your opinion more important to the conversation, learn the language the decision makers are using. Input must conform to the protocol or it isn't heard, understood or accepted.
If I walked in to an all English only speaking audience and made a presentation in Farsi or Spanish, what are the chances anyone would grasp my great idea? It could be the game changer, the key to all future prosperity for them and the company - but no one can glean one iota of information because they can't understand what I am saying. Don't be so naive to believe you can bluff or BS your way into the conversation at that level. It won't work. Do your homework, find the action points and find what moves the decision makers. Find out what they need to hear in order to become engaged and bring that.
Out of everything you have to say, only a portion of it is what the audience has any interest in hearing. That smaller portion is relevant. Make the relevant points count. All the other is mere window dressing. If you make the window dressing too complex, the relevant points will be lost completely.
Depending on where you are in the world, you may or may not have the power of the vote. One person, one vote. Is that vote relevant? Of course it is - extremely so. It is proven over and over again in elections and decisions every day. In business, in religion, in family matters, and in politics, that vote holds a huge level of relevance.
If you are a decision maker, and you look to others for input, it isn't always so cut and dried that one vote has the same value as another. What can sway a decision is how well the debate is framed by the individuals who have chosen to have the strength of information proving their point. They may actually be wrong or on the weaker side of the argument. But if you have not prepared yourself for the discussion, their comments can own the decision.
It is the ability of a great leader to sort through the information provided to determine what facts are relevant to the outcome and what ones are not. Listen to the politicians making their points. They have done millions of dollars worth of polling to see what the majority of voters are interested in. That is why they are commenting on those specific issues. So if you aren't hearing your issues being discussed, bring them to the forefront. What you may find is there are others who agree in large enough numbers to sway the politicians at least to comment on your interest. This may help you decide on who to give your very valuable vote.
Make a difference. Decide to be relevant now!