The words that we use can be more impactful than we know. As a half-Filipino, I have picked up on several Filipino-specific English sayings. One that stands out to me is “I’ll be the one.”
The phrase makes its way into day-to-day use often:
- “I’ll be the one to turn off the lights”
- “I’ll be the one to clean up”
- “I’ll be the one to lock the door”
At its core it means “I’ll do that thing.” But you might see that it does this in a powerful neuro-linguistic way.
When you say “I’ll be the one”, you use the word “be”, which puts you in a position of being. You no longer just doing, but rather you are becoming the agent of an act. In the same manner that you can be the tallest, or be the best dressed in a room, you are being the one to do the thing.
Being is a state of truth and clarity. Doing evokes more of a sense of motion. When someone says “I’ll drive”, you may imagine their car driving down the road. When someone says “I’ll be the one to drive” you imagine them in the driver’s seat — they are the driver.
When you say “I’ll be the one” you are becoming the One. The one who will do. American society loves those that stand for something alone, especially if there is adversity involved. There is something unique about being the One.
There is no Two. There is a One, and perhaps there are some others that stand beside the One.
When the story is written, it will be written as the story of the One.
One’s are not on-deck. They are not waiting to get up to bat. They are standing over the plate because they put themselves there with their own actions.
When it is uttered, the mind knows that there is no other. The One is the problem solver, the closer, the final option, and they know it.
The next time something of election comes up, use the words “I’ll be the One”. Then see how you feel. You will feel alone, but filled with confidence. You will clearly see a vision of yourself doing the act.
Seeing yourself being the One creates a vision of action. If you say, “I will study”, the picture in your mind may actually be you sighing over your Macbook, giving up focus, and beginning to watch YouTube videos.
But when you say, “I’ll be the One to prepare myself for this test”, the picture will be one of you preparing, and doing what it takes to succeed.
There is no vision of failure, and no offloading of responsibility. You are the One!
Enabling others to be the One is something you can apply to your organization. Here are some ideas and examples.
Creating and sharing clear and focused tasks. Leaders simply have to pick the right person and “get out of the way.” Often, the right person will elect themselves.
Let people take on tasks solo. The saying goes: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” There are times in a company, especially a startup, where speed in producing quality output is necessary to create a viable deliverable. Picking the right person, and letting them take on the task alone offers them a fun and exciting sense of responsibility. They know that they are the One!
Stressing the importance of information transfer. They can be One to teach knowledge to others in the organization. This then benefits the organization by having several people know complicated or unclear parts of the system.
Allowing competent individuals step up to big secondary leadership roles. They are not the primary leader of the project, but they get the chance to be the One to rethink the task from a creative angle and question existing decisions. Often this is exactly what good projects need: thoughtful input from a new individual in order to produce a well-directed output. The leader says “I want you to work with me on this” — the offer didn’t go out to anyone else.
Interviewing and hiring the correct candidates can make or break a company. Allowing individuals to be apart of the hiring process, and valuing their inputs allows them to be the One. Hiring is an important career skill to build, and it gives individuals a strong sense of ownership in the organization.
Picking up small bits of trash and cleaning up areas after yourself and your team is a great way to be the One. Often it is the simplest and smallest actions of ownership that have the biggest impact on others.
Share how you have been the One in your organization! Or instances where you have seen another act with this powerful sense of responsibility.