Would you believe someone if they told you that they had four simple words that if asked honestly can make you successful?
I have those four words.
My grandpa gave them to me when I started my first job at 13 and came home complaining of being bored. He asked me if I had asked my boss “What can I do?”. I hadn’t… why would I… who asks for more work? Not me… I just wanted to work long enough to make enough money to buy a Super Nintendo.
He told me something I won’t forget. He told me that asking “What can I do?” and then doing it had made him successful in anything he had ever tried.
Why am I telling you my secret of success? Mostly because I didn’t know it was a secret and because there was this question on twitter last night:
If you had 15 minutes with your company’s Chief Executive, what would you say… RIGHT NOW. Curious on answers…— Rafał Łoś (@Wh1t3Rabbit)
My answer was:
@Wh1t3Rabbit "What can I do to help you do your job better?”— Jerry Gamblin (@JGamblin)
His respone was telling:
@JGamblin Interesting. Love the idea but how do you say that without the hint of “you don’t do your job well enough” creeping in?— Rafał Łoś (@Wh1t3Rabbit)
I see where he is coming from. I will admit sometimes I ask my wife “What can I do?” while I am sitting on the couch watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle reruns and surfing the web while she cooks dinner. Hoping she says “Nothing… I am just doing the dishes, negotiating world peace and cooking dinner…just finish watching TV” when I know in honesty I am not doing all I can.
Asking “What Can I Do?” is a dangerous question it can lead to all kinds of unattended consequences like having to take out the trash or having your boss give you more responsibilities.
So please be careful with those four words and dont tell anyone I told you.