Surviving the big idea

I was watching the Survivor final last week and was amused that the evil Russell thought that he had won “the game” even though Sandra had walked away with the $1 million.

Clearly Russell was playing a different game. He was playing the big man in town game and Sandra was playing to win.

I know which game I would rather be playing.

Often when working in teams to produce products or interfaces you come across someone playing the big man in town game. The thing about them is that they are always right and they can never be told what to do.

And unless they are a genius they are always a destructive force in any team.

So how do you make sure your own big idea can be launched?

Here’s how to cope with the Russell factor:

Don’t work with them
It might seem obvious but not working with Russell types is a great way of avoiding the manipulation and anxiety.

Focus on your idea
Be motivated by your idea and your vision not the politics.

Don’t be intimidated

People like Russell believe attack is the best form of defence and they will do their utmost to attack you and make you doubt yourself.

Don’t play their game.

Ask questions
Asking questions is a great way to make the swaggering big man in town Russell get off the attack and really engage with you.

Use silence
Silence does not always equal consent when negotiating with a Russell. When negotiating, hold back on answering or responding. A Russell will quite often keep talking and dig themselves into a hole.

Don’t lose your temper
Punching a Russell in the face might seem like a very good idea but it won’t help.

Don’t do it!

Never trust them
You might think that you’re BFF’s but trust me, a Russell is out for what they can get and you are an obstacle in their way.

Remember Russell thought he was playing a very different game that only he could win as the master manipulator. He underestimated the straight talking Sandra who won the hearts and minds of the voters.

Focus on the real game and side-step the swaggering Russells of the world to get your big idea out.

What do you think?