Cheeky is peeping above your station
Those who have done PASDAQ™ will have assessed themselves on The New Quotients. There are six: Intelligence Quotient (IQ), Emotional Quotient (EQ), Handling Quotient (HQ), Creativity Quotient (CQ), Wisdom & Strategy Quotient (WSQ), Digital Quotient (DQ). A client who recently completed PASDAQ™ – and said she found it invaluable – suggested to me that there should be a seventh The Cheeky Quotient. Good idea. We are in an era of questioning what we know and believe. To do that you have to be cheeky.
Cheeky Is not rude, crude or nude. It’s not a pompously promoted system. It’s not brutal or deprecating. Cheeky is a humourous nudge in the direction of closeness and polite intimacy. It helps to establish a relationship that is deeper than transactional but leaves both parties with room to manoeuvre. It is confidence building for all involved. Like other aspects of a relationship it must be kept in check. Excess always spoils; it never enhances.
Who has been successfully cheeky? Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head by the Taliban at 15 responded by surviving, then began campaigning for education, equality and peace for children. She was given a Nobel Prize for her work. RIchard Branson, James Dyson, David Attenborough, Elon Musk all qualify highly on The Cheeky Quotient. Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Angela Merkel of Germany, Janet Yellen of the Fed, Ginni Rometti of IBM make it too of course. In their day, WInston Churchill, Lee Kuan Yew, Field Marshall Montgomery were undoubtedly cheeky. So, of course, was Darwin. Very cheeky. Oscar Wilde was a bit too cheeky for his chooty. Rasputin was cheekiest of all but quite unacceptably so.
What do cheeky people have in common? Guts. They take risks. Sometimes they lose – cheeky people express that as learning not loss. Their risk-taking remembers that they have one life and they should enjoy it as well as work for it. I’ve quoted world-renowned leaders above. There are plenty of cheeky people around you if you look for them.
What is the cheekiness we need today? First, qualify rules. The man who walked to the front of the non-existent queue in the bank and was told to go through the queue procedure should stop the bank being so protocol-ridden. To give in to absurdity is to admit your own ridiculousness. Second, use your observations to make up curious and amusing situations. Watching a movie about a marriage destined to fail I was tempted to start writing a musical called “For Richard, For Paula”. It might strike the right note about selfishness?
So cheekiness must be fun as well as creative and gutsy. Those who have it and want to get to the top inevitably can. Those who don’t have it and would like to obtain it it can roleplay their way to a brilliant cheeky level. Here’s a roleplay for you to think of. Singapore wants to keep the F1 even though the existing contract has come to an end. The next venue is keen to get it as soon as possible. Staging the F1 is not cheap – the route barriers and screens have high specifications and need to be exceptionally strong. That costs money. But once the F1 is over there is little you can do with all that equipment.
What could you do to keep the F1 while keeping the next venue for it happy? A clue – the cheekiness isn’t quite as obvious as the answer.
Cheekiness is ‘personal and commercial opportunism within reasonable boundaries’. It has to push a little beyond the conventional or it isn’t cheeky.
Are you a candidate for a bit of cheeky?