The Honey Badger is the most fearless animal in the animal kingdom. It just takes what it wants.
I participated in a recent event and had the opportunity to work directly with the CEO on the project. I was impressed with this individual for his skill in creating a strategy, tenacity and ability to get what he wants. I had never met or worked with this individual before but his knack for getting what he wanted stood out to me right from the start.
As I noticed this penchant for getting what he wanted I started paying attention to what he was doing to achieve this feat. In our office, and I’m sure in offices around the country, we’ve taken to calling the act of doing what you want “honeybadgering” after the famous YouTube video I hyperlinked to in the lead paragraph of this blog entry. This individual is an expert at “honeybadgering.”
In one instance while doing a series of interviews at a number of local media outlets, this individual wanted to talk to a specific reporter at one of the local TV stations. I told him we could probably set something up but as we were on site and hadn’t reached out to this reporter in advance to coordinate an interview it might be difficult to secure something right then and there simply because we were on site.
Just as we finished our scheduled interview and were getting on the elevator to leave the building, this reporter stepped out of the elevator next to us. As the door to our elevator was closing, without a word to me, my client jumped off the elevator and took off running down the hallway shouting the reporter’s name. I hurried off the elevator to see what he was doing. As I stepped off the elevator my client had already caught the reporter, had introduced himself and was in the process of telling him about the event he was involved with and why he thought it would make sense for him to do an interview about the event.
The reporter didn’t interview him on the spot but did express his interest in the event and set up a time for him to follow up to schedule and interview.
With this experience in mind and after watching this client get what he wanted time after time, I noticed some common threads in what he was doing. I’ve listed these principles below. I believe that by practicing these tips you to can become a honey badger and get what you want. I know it’s made a difference in my efforts, specifically as it relates to working with the media to get what I want.
- Don’t be afraid to ask. If you don’t ask you never know what could happen. In situations where you’re wondering if you should ask, think about the worst thing that could happen. Somebody says no? So what? If you don’t ask you’ll never know and may miss out on something big.
- Be prepared. Part of being prepared is knowing what you want, why you want it and who to ask. If you don’t know these things you’ll never get anywhere. Also, by knowing what you want, you should also know and understand what the benefit if acquiring it will bring to you.
- Know what it’s worth. If the answer is a no or a possible yes be prepared to know what you’re willing to negotiate or give up to get what you want. Often your initial request may be denied, but the person may be open to a modified version of what you’re asking for. In these instances, understand what you’re willing to settle for or what you’re willing to do or the lengths you’re willing to go to get what you want.
- Be bold and ask. If you prepare for and do all these things you still need to be bold and actually ask. If you don’t ask, then all of these efforts are in vain. So often what you want is so close but is lost or not attained simply because you didn’t ask. This is the last, but most critical step. Don’t let all these efforts be wasted because of a fear to ask. More often than not, you’ll regret not asking. In my opinion, I’d rather ask and be turned down than live with the regret of not asking just because I was afraid.
I was always amazed at the boldness of my client to just come right out and ask for some of the things he asked for. He always seemed to get what he wanted though. To him it was natural, he didn’t even have to think about it, he just did it. For me, I tend to be a little more reserved. Because of this, thee are times I regret not speaking up and feel like I may have missed an opportunity.
Taking a queue from my client, I’m trying to be more like him and just “honeybadger” it. My client took the stance that what’s the worst that can happen, they say no? That approach makes sense and resonates with me. Really, think about it. What’s the worst that’s going to happen? If they say no, they say no. No big whoop.