The Hotshot Rule
Driving my own growth through a regular practice of envisioning someone else in my seat, asking what they would do, then doing it!
This Hotshot Rule practice has been foundational to my growth, that of my teams and companies, and has strengthened my most intimate relationships. So much so, I'll write a book on it that one day, really going deep on all the versions of this thinking and practice that can be extended to all parts of life.
The Hotshot Rule is the act of thinking of someone I admire, then pausing, reflecting, and asking what they would do in my situation/shoes/role, then answering what that one thing is and acting on it. The answer tends to appear quickly because it seems to be clear when you think about it through someone else's lens. That alone doesn’t create change - the trick is taking action on it right away and then telling someone - the person it benefits, the person you envisioned who inspired you, or just someone you know will appreciate the change you’ve made. That is how I get better every week and help others see that constant acknowledgment that I can be better is a positive thing, not a sign of weakness.
Every time I tell my team, husband, or friend about the one thing I’ve done differently after the exercise, they say, "What took you so long?" Or “Finally!” or some version of that. That’s because changes or actions needed are often obvious to others who are close to you in that scenario and easy to see from their perspective.
I learned this “what took you so long” lesson by reflecting on a pivotal moment in my childhood.
When I was 9, my mom let me know we were leaving my dad. I’m the oldest of 3 sisters, and my mom had an entry-level job - so she imagined I’d be scared and upset. But in fact, my response was some version of “finally - what took you so long”. My dad was an alcoholic, and I realized things were bad for years. As I grew up, I reflected on that moment, realizing people who are close to the action (in business that’s the transaction) know what the right thing to do is long before the leader takes action. So the trick is staying close to the action and the people who are in the mix and thinking of their perspectives to help color my thinking.
The Hotshot Rule helps me see what others see to add to my own thinking. It is literally the act of seeing my situation through someone else’s eyes and allowing myself to be affected by that view. I then make small, continuous improvements, sometimes small, sometimes bold and courageous, but always action, movement, and change.
I the subscriber-only version, I’m adding a post of specific examples of how I’ve used this exercise, more actionable guidance, and a worksheet format to use.
I hope this overview gives you another tool to self-coach and drive your own growth.