Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Name the Problem

Until a few moments ago I didn’t know the winter storm hammering its way up the East Coast is named Janus.

I knew we named hurricanes and cyclones, but winter storms? I haven’t heard names for tornados yet.

Interestingly though, in Tribes, Seth Godin’s outstanding book about leadership, he advises naming problems. He uses the term Sheepwalking to describe the actions of folks who follow along with the crowd.

At the end of the college football season, on rivalry weekend, I saw a story about a young boy Ohio State fan and who has cancer. He named the cancer “Michigan” and talks all the time about beating “Michigan.”

I like the name-the-problem idea. It’s kind of fun so it lowers the heat level on the problem by using humor. It also allows you to focus on the issue rather than getting lost in a lot of the surrounding factors such as loss, pain or worry.

There’s a great site, wordoid.com , that allows you to make up words. Check it out.

I was trying to come up with a word to describe the feeling caregivers have when they just don’t want to do it or are afraid of it. Wordoid.com helped me come up with carefusal and carefear.

Obviously, you can name your challenge whatever you want but you might want to keep it clean, at least if you’re going to talk about it in public or around family and friends.


I have a number of challenges. I’m going to pick one and name it. Got any suggestions for the name?

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