Stop Pushing and Start Creating “Gotta Have It!”

Do you like pushy people? Do you like being a pushy person?

Maybe you do, but three years ago after a lifetime of trying to persuade people to do things that would make them more successful and their lives happier – without most of them doing either – I told myself, “I’m done with this!”

It was at the end of a highly successful presentation to a tech and healthcare CEO and President Roundtable. I received a 4.3 out of 5, which was a high rating given this group.

But I told myself, “That was too much persuading and heavy lifting. You got that rating because you were engaging, entertaining, but you dodged a bullet of receiving a much lower rating because you were talking about communication, which most decision makers know they need to be better at, but resent having to learn the skills to do it.”

I was asked to do more presentations to this association because the 4.3 was considered a very good score.  I agreed, but told the head of the organization that I wanted to do a different presentation the next time.  She looked at me with hesitation and said, “But you did so well.”

I looked at her firmly and confidently and said, “Trust me on this.”

She looked at me and smiled an said, “Okay, I do.”

I then thought to myself, “Hmmm? If I could figure out and teach these leaders how to create a ‘gotta have it!’ response from their customers and clients or a ‘gotta invest there!’ response from their investors or a ‘gotta work there!’ response from talent they were pursuing or a ‘gonna do it!’ response from employees, I wouldn’t have to persuade anyone.”


Because when someone thinks to themselves, “I gotta have, invest there, work there and gonna do it,” you don’t have to persuade or sell or convince… they just do it.

At the next CEO/President roundtable, I presented, “How to Create ‘Gotta Have It!’” and I received all 5.0’s, which I had never received before. After that presentation an attendee told me, “You just figured out the secret of Apple.”

I asked him what he meant. He replied, “‘Gotta have it!’ is what every Apple customer is thinking when they’re lined up around the block of an Apple store when a new product becomes available.”

I liked that, so the next presentation became: “The Secret of Apple: How to Create ‘Gotta Have It!’”

Again I received all 5.0 from the attendees and this time one of them told me, “You just figured out the secret of Steve Jobs.”

I like that even more. So the next talk became: “The Secret of Steve Jobs: How to Create’ Gotta Have It!’”

Again 5.0 ratings all around.

This presentation subsequently morphed into my speaking widely on: “Hacking Steve Jobs” where I explained the 4 step unconscious formula he followed to create that response in customers.  It has finally morphed into a one-man, show, called, “Steve Jobs Returns,” where I don’t just play Steve Jobs.  I AM him.  In it I explain how I (as Jobs) returned to Apple in 1997 and turned it around to make it the most successful company in the world by 2007.

Throughout my performance I emphasize and reemphasize that 4 step formula for creating, “Gotta Have It!”


I forgot, you’d probably like to know what that formula is.  Right?

1. “Whoa!”

Disrupting people’s mindset with something that causes them to think, “I can’t believe what I just saw/heard/read/felt.” For Jobs, it’s when he first saw the GUI. One sign that indicates you have caused, “Whoa!” is that the person you’re speaking to will say, “Can you repeat that?” or someone who is checking their messages in an audience you are addressing, will stop and nudge the person next to him or her and say, “What did he/she say?”

2. “Wow!”

When you break through into a person’s mind and they do a double take, they think, “That’s amazing/astonishing/unbelievable!” For Jobs it was thinking, “It was the best thing I’d ever seen in my life!”

3. “Hmmm…”

After being “Wowed!” it’s thinking, “This is too good not to use” or “I’m already thinking of what I can do with that.” For Jobs it was assessing that Xerox had created something that worked very well.

4. “Yes!”

When you connect all the dots and you see a strategy for how you can use what just caused you to go, “Whoa!” “Wow!” “Hmmm…” you think, “Yes!” and that’s when you take action or buy something. For Jobs it was realizing that “all computers would work that way someday.”

Now of course you’re free to choose to keep doing it your way and not create “gotta have it!” because, remember, I’m not going to persuade anyone to do anything, anymore.

However if you do that, you’re just going to keep creating, “Nah, never mind, pass.”

Mark Goulson

Dr. Mark Goulston is a CEO advisor and confidante and a global thought leader in the area of empathic listening. Founders, CEO's, Executives, Chairmen and Boards of Directors also hire Dr. Goulston to improve any and all of the non-technical aspects of their organizations and companies including leadership, team building, culture, user experience and cross cultural integration. Dr. Goulston is the author of seven books and writes for Harvard Business Review, Biz Journals, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Fast Company and Psychology Today.

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