Resources versus Resourcefulness


I happened across a video of Tony Robbins at TED that was pretty inspiring. One of his lines really rang true with me personally:

Resources versus Resourcefulness

One of the most fulfilling jobs I ever had was being an Integration Consultant for ExactTarget. At the time, ExactTarget had a fairly limited application programming interface (API) but our clientele was growing in sophistication and automation. Every day was a meeting with a client who had a very complex problem, and my job was to solve the problem using our simple API.

Much of my success at the time was that I always figured out a way to accomplish the end goal. If the API didn’t support a specific method, I would use combinations of data and calls to overcome it. Sometimes the solutions were pretty ingenious (and took a brain trust to solve). We used to drive some of the production staff nuts because our solutions would make millions of API calls to accomplish the task.

Key to my continued success is that I rarely say ‘no’, if ever. Sometimes you need to modify the path to get to the destination. A path is a resource. If it doesn’t exist, you need to be resourceful and build your own!

Not having resources is an excuse not to get things done. Resourcefulness is the ability to find a means to get something done, regardless of resources!

Here’s the full Tony Robbins presentation on TED. Warning: He does use some very colorful expletives.

Thanks to Angela Maiers for the find!


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    After reading this post, and listening to the Robbins tape, I looked at my new years resolutions, tore them up and wrote just one new resolution: “Just get it done”. Notice I didn’t say: “Just do it”.

    When I was a sales executive and hired sales managers I always told them that their job was to get it sold not to sell it. The difference is using all available resources to close the sale and if the resources are not present to create them or become resourceful as you state.

    This is a great post to start the year.

    Thank you.

    • 2

      What is the best way top have your team understand & respond to this stimulus?

      What can I do to teach this effectively?

      • 3

        It starts with leadership, Derek. Great leaders stomp out excuses. It’s okay to say ‘no’, but it should never be okay to say ‘we can’t because…’. If a business knows that it should be doing something, they need to be resourceful in figuring out how.

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    Just get it done as SMB says. One of the most difficult things I overcame in life was understanding that the first time I do something it won’t be perfect but that each attempt I make at getting something done the closer it gets to perfection.

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