May 15, 2013
This is a tough one. Ever get this request-wrapped-in-a-compliment?
Wow, you're so good at that! Could you do the same for me?
You're so responsible that I put you in charge of this very-important-task.
You're so recognized by your community. Could you share some information about my service or product?
By Midas Rule, I'm glad to take the responsibility. I'm glad to point out interesting services or products.
But by Midas Rule, be careful because I may not meet your expectations; I'll take ownership of the task or describe your service or product in the way that works for me. As needed or if asked, I'll reveal your request and disclose our relationship. And by including me in your project or campaign, don't be surprised when I give you feedback as I become part of your people, process, or technology.
By Midas Rule, you can ask for the what. If I agree, let me deal with the how. Oh and thanks for the compliment, by the way.
If you're getting the requests, appreciate the recognition. Despite the snarkiness in the post above, getting responsibilities and requests is a sign that you're trusted. In a zero-sum game where we can all win in this new gift economy, you don't always have to fight requests for your time or reputation or expertise. Leverage the requests and bring those that ask of your time into the activities you find interesting. The by Midas Rule, we all win.