- Rob Houghton
Tools of Titans - Review
I am reading bestselling author, Tim Ferris’s new book, Tools of Titans. It is very good. The guy is amazing. One of his mantras is, “If it’s not a “Hell Yes!” It’s a “NO.” But I’m not sure I completely agree with this. I would like your opinion. Let me explain: In my executive search business, clients pay us Big Money to source and recruit Top Shelf candidates for their companies. Our worst nightmare is to place a candidate with a client firm who turns out to be a pretender, a dud. The relationship is never the same and the client usually walks away. To mitigate the disaster of a bad placement, we do everything up front to screen the candidates…we check references, source via word of mouth, meet with the candidates, don’t use job boards, etc., but, over the years, there is really only one sure way that works: if we are not saying, “HELL YES!”, we don’t present the candidate to the client. Results? We represent 14 of the top 20 insurance brokerage firms in the WDC region. So the question is whether we should apply this strategy in our everyday personal lives. What do you think? Is it being too ruthless and selfish with our personal relationships? Are we foregoing opportunities? Relationships that need nurturing? Will we alienate too many people? I will share with you one of my experiences implementing this strategy at a personal level. It is how I actually came to this realization of the “HELL YES” mindset a few years back well before Tim published his book. I was getting ready to finalize travel arrangements for my 20th year college reunion trip that I had committed to long ago with some old college friends. I found myself sitting at the computer just not able to press the keys to complete the transaction. So I called my college roommate to discuss the arrangements and itinerary a bit more, until he finally said, “Hey Rob, it sounds like your wavering somewhere between yes and no…if it’s not F--- YEA, then don’t go.” So I didn’t go. Some folks were disappointed, but Life went on. It was the best decision I ever made. After this, it all just opened up. I was just saying “yes” too much and letting the mundane stuff rule my day. Now when I make a decision to do something at the office or on the weekend, if I’m not saying, “F--- YEA”, it’s a “NO.” This was a game-changer for me professionally and personally and now I use this as my internal barometer when making decisions about what to do with my time – my wife, family, close friends, and clients, all understand this – and respect me more because of it. I’m more careful with my time than ever before. So, again, is this being too selfish? Or is it actually better for all concerned? What do you think?