“While driving down Highway 36 from Boulder to Denver for a FullContact board meeting, TA McCann told me a wonderful phrase that I’ve been carrying around with me for the past month or so.
At RivalIQ, we’ve implemented ‘I Will’ instead of ‘We Should.’
… TA embodies the concept of ‘I will instead of we should.’ I’ve always known him to be willing to roll up his sleeves and just get something done. He’s quick to give feedback, challenge ideas, and ask questions, but he’s never afraid to do the work himself.
At Foundry Group, there are twelve of us. I like to believe we embody the ‘I will’ spirit – if someone suggests that something is wrong or needs to be done, they do it. Sure – we pass things around and there’s some delegation, but there’s never a willingness to criticize or give feedback without a corresponding willingness to participate in doing the work.
It’s a small but powerful mental tweak that is similar to the I / We challenge I used to have. In this case it’s the inverse. By shifting to ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ when I talk about what Foundry Group accomplishes, our whole team gets the recognition for the work we’ve all contributed to. This is powerful externally. But internally, by saying ‘I will’ instead of ‘We should’ it puts the responsibility for getting it done on the person making the suggestion. Even if they only manage the work, they are still responsible for making sure it happens, instead of the non-specific and ephemeral ‘we.’ ”