Steward of Possible


The other day someone asked me what I do for people. I thought about it for a second as my mind fired up the 2 or 3 typical responses to this question and then the magic happened and i blurted out..

“I’m the steward of possible for my clients, my role is to make them possible.”

The person’s eyes widened while my own brain nodded with a strong, “yeah i like that one..”.

Another subthread, those little things that churn in your mind. It’s happening again.  I’ve collected a number of patterns thru recent events, interactions, observations and the ole noggin has whipped up yet another would be view of looking at the world for me.

Steward of Possible

I like it.  Wait… what is that again?

To be possible for someone.  What could that mean?  You help them realize their vision, or perhaps see the vision they’re actually sitting on, or right next to.  You make them possible through ideation, design, development.  You enable them through common human conversational “yeah, i get it, you could do this”, a recognition that we live in a world of possible, they can be possible.

Being possible isn’t about selling people.  It’s about believing in people.  Believing in what they could do next.  At its core it’s about helping people.  Sometimes you just need to listen, other times you need to brainstorm with them, or tell them they’re headed for a car accident- a pattern you see as fail material.  Being around startups, seeing as many pitches as I do and building things, you see the subtle indicators of trouble fairly early on- you can actually grow this as a skill really, that’s another story.

I think it’s important not to save people from a fate they’re headed towards however. Getting the cliff notes on “love” isn’t the same as experiencing it, same with success, you can read about it all ya want, attaining it, that’s an experience- earned gives it far more meaning.

So back to possible- what’s a framework for the would be stewards of the world?

  1. Listen
  2. Enable, Connect or Amplify
  3. Create
  4. Participate in Accountability
  5. Repeat

1, Listen to who you’re helping, get the context of what they’re doing, why they’re doing it.  Hear them.  Huge skill, massive benefit.  Don’t judge, don’t be too quick to edit, just listen.

2, Enable the person, show them what could help them given the story, the context, the problem they have.  Connect them with people who can help them- remember these are people who are an extension of your reputation at times, sometimes not, but connections matter greatly.  Amplify meaning help them realize the noise they need to make, be seen, heard, find resources.

3, Create, make something for them- obviously this can get involved. Many people don’t realize how easy it can be to make.  Show them that magic, your skillset to manifest for them- you can only promise what you can control, making it isn’t the same as it being successful.

4, Participate in the accountability they face- we all need that kick in the ass reminder, often I see the steward of possible as that ass kick.  Some of my best mentors remind me i’m not doing enough to realize my dreams.  A steward doesn’t just nod at everything, real honesty is worth far more than most people realize- or want to hear at times.  Learn to crave it.

5, Repeat. Stewards are busy people- stay busy.  Keep helping.

Bonus activities for all you would be stewards out there- you need to stay up to date on where tech is, where it’s going, what’s possible (imagine that!).  Stewards don’t really qualify engagement- meaning they don’t regulate access to themselves- anyone can talk to them, and anyone can be possible, so play that role.  Not everyone is cut out for this- even I get busy, but some of my favorite client relationships to people i’ve met and helped have occured thru this basic framework of helping people realize how they, and their idea, concept, business, venture- could be possible.

And yeah helping someone see what’s possible where they didn’t realize it could be- that’s a mad rush.  Same with helping someone see that it’s not impossible, and they too can be possible- good times!

We live in this era.  It’s not always easy- but most things, if not everything, is basically possible.

Image Credit: Kieran White from Unsplash