I am increasingly convinced that the difference between effective and ineffective people is their skill at developing a theory of change.
Let’s call this strategy a “theory of action”: you work forwards from what you know how to do to try to find things you can do that will accomplish your goal.
A theory of change is the opposite of a theory of action — it works backwards from the goal, in concrete steps, to figure out what you can do to achieve it.
To develop a theory of change, you need to start at the end and repeatedly ask yourself, “Concretely, how does one achieve that?”
So you need to find people the politicians trust and get them to convince the politicians.
It could take a while before you get to a concrete action that you can take. But do you see how this is entirely crucial if you want to be effective?
you write the best book you can, and of course you want it to be a bestseller, but either it does or it doesn’t.
But I was working backwards, I had a theory of change: I asked, What makes something a best seller?
Again, we can keep going for quite a while until we get all the way back to something I can actually do.
But because of this, I didn’t have to simply have to hope that my book became a bestseller, like every other author. I could actually do something about it.
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