My kids love going to Dave & Buster’s—the giant arcade with life-size video games and blinking lights everywhere you turn. Even as they get older, they run from game to game with infectious smiles on their faces.
They enjoy the games, but at this stage in their life (ranging between ages 7 and 12) the games aren’t what capture their imaginations the most. It’s the tickets.
Each game has a certain number of tickets that spit out at the end of the game (depending on how well you do) and then they’re quickly off and racing to the next one.
Without fail, every single trip to Dave & Buster’s ends with their three faces pressed against the front of that all-too-familiar glass case. Up against the glass, they can see what seems like an endless supply of little plastic toys, candy, and various other knick-knacks. They slide from one end of the case clear to the other side, scouring their possibilities.
Inevitably, we always reach the moment where I need to intervene to ask, “What the bleep do you want?”
I don’t really ask it that way and I don’t advise that you do either, but parents can attest that the thought races through their minds. I give them a two-minute warning to put a clock on their decision-making process and what seems like endless possibilities. There is always a moment where they freeze because they don’t really know what they want.
It’s great fun, and they do end up walking away with some tiny plastic item and some candy, but none of it was what they truly “wanted.” They wanted the chase, the experience, and the items they ultimately get are certainly things they won’t turn away.
In our life and work, it’s easy to get caught up in a very similar chase from one task to the next and repeat the same patterns from yesterday without ever stopping to consider what we want.
So, I’ve asked a similar question to many teams and organizations around the world: What the bleep do you want?
Jason V. Barger is a globally celebrated keynote speaker, leadership coach and author of Thermostat Cultures, Step Back from the Baggage Claim and ReMember. He is founder of Step Back Leadership Consulting, a Columbus-based company that works with businesses and organizations worldwide. Connect with Jason online at www.JasonVBarger.com, via email at jason@JasonVBarger.com or on social media at @JasonVBarger.
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