Easier or Stronger
When trying to motivate someone (to lead them somewhere, to inspire them), you either need to make something easier for them, or make them stronger in the process.
But these choices don't have equal consequences.
This is the hard work of parenting - deciding when to make something easy for your child or when to use an opportunity to make her stronger as she grows older. Likewise, it's the choice that leaders must make every day with those in their care.
Of course, making something easier for someone is the more pleasant route, usually. You can play the hero and savior, the one who comes swooping in to save the day. Who doesn't like things easier, be they homework, office work, or yard work?
This is most true in sales. Will your invention or subscription make things easier for me? Easier to cook breakfast, tend the garden, or balance my household budget? If so, I'm in!
The harder sell is to convince someone they want to be stronger. Strength only happens when we're challenged or pushed to our limits. That's a place of discomfort, inconvenience, or struggle. A place where things are hard, sweaty, complicated, and confusing. Who's signing up for that?
But, when you emerge from that place, you're better for it. You're stronger, smarter, and more confident. The only byproduct of ease is apathy. Easy and meaningful are opposites, after all.
Leaders and parents: we have to err on the side of stronger, not the side of easier. We're playing a longer game than the salesperson who is only striving toward that month's quota or that quarter's commission. We're in this for life, and so are our children and employees. We're not converting prospects; we're building people.
When faced with the choice between easier or stronger, choose stronger. Even if it's not easier, you'll be stronger for it, too.