"The reason men oppose progress is not that they hate progress, but that they love inertia." ~ Elbert Hubbard.
Wanna know how good you are? No really. Do You Really Want To Know? As a leader, salesperson, manager or any person in business our success breaks down into two components - What we do AND How effective we are in influencing what others do. ~ It's All About How We Deal With Inertia. ~ Our own, our prospects, our associates and...
How do we get ourself and others moving. How do we get people on their bike? What's our method? ~ Heck I don't think it matters much.
Push, pull, inspire or irritate ~ They all work. Go ahead and pick the one that works for you - Just make sure you get on your darned bike.
Because that's when you find out how good you are.
"Stupid is as stupid does" ~ Forest Gump.
You've seen it all before I'm sure. A member of your team who does stuff so much better than the others. Is dependable, conscientious and the person you would immediately turn to if you need to get something done - The go to guy. Richie was such a guy. He had saved our skins more times than I can remember but he kept to himself and always did it all himself. I knew he had a strong belief in the big guy but we never talked about it ~ until one night after a very difficult day. "Richie I need your help" I said "I need you to lead" Without hesitation ~ He turned me down flat. "No - I'm not stupid" he replied "Let me just do my job."
"I believe in God - I just don't believe in people" he said and the words made so much sense all of a sudden. Now I completely understood his actions, attitude and approach. He kept talking and he let it all out ~ "People are stupid and they let you down". You could see the years of disappointment and bitterness - the repressed anger and hurt and everything now made sense. Why he did it all himself. Why he watched over everyone as they slept. Why he obsessed about virtually every detail and why he always came through when we needed him.
"Richie - I believe in the big guy as much as you do. But I also believe in you. It's you, the big guy, AND PEOPLE who are going to help us out of this crap. People are going to leverage and scale our efforts. Their hearts and minds are our force multipliers my friend."
That's why I can't lead, he said - "Stupid leaders believe in people."
"But Richie ~ Those are the best leaders".
"We are rarely proud when we are alone." ~ Voltaire.
Have you ever wanted to go completely off the grid?
No cell phone, internet or communications of any kind ~ Absolutely no contact with other people? We've all wanted to completely shut off the world at times. It's really appealing to escape the cacophony.
Many years ago a friend of mine decided, when we got out of the army, to do just that. ~ I haven't heard from him since. I think about Brian whenever I have the compelling urge to get off the grid. What would it be like - to go completely native? No phone - No email - No Facebook - No Blogs - No News - No People and No Bull@#*&*. ~ Hmmmm....
"The worst men often give the best advice." ~ Francis Bacon.
I had to hand it to the young kid - he certainly had a sense of irony and humor. His gift was great. An 18 year old bottle of Talisker single malt. Perfect. The question he posed on his eighteenth birthday was simple and flattering. "What do you wish you knew when you were eighteen?" He knew that it was the kind of question that only whiskey and an inflated ego would respond to - cause none of us really are qualified to answer it for anyone else. Inevitably we all learn this stuff on our own. But I gave it a shot anyway. "Much better men than I have tried to answer this" I said. I choose to defer to their wisdom and their words. "You will pick your own. It's your life ~ but here's my three 'A's":
Advice ~ "A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest".
Attitude ~ "The more I see - The less I know."
Action ~ "Be the change you want to see in the world".
When things get tough. When the low hanging fruit is gone and things aren't easy in business or life what do we do? Most of us take one of two paths. We wait until things get better - or - we go with the 'Q'.
What's the Q Dilemma? Well that's when we say "I just need to increase the Quantity & Quality of what I'm doing and everything will be just fine." Increasing Q helps us and it works. Better Q is always good.
But Q squared provides only incremental improvements. What if we want Quantum change? What if we "Want to make a ding in the universe?" What do we need to do? We need the third Q - Question.
We need to constantly question our mindset, habits, behavior, attitude, actions and approach. We need to question everything and...
We need to ~ "Think Different."
"Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing." ~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.
The old man looked me right in the eye and asked ~ "What's more important to you ~being right or being respected? Do you want their approval or action?" Do you want to be an expert or an example? Because you can't be both. He didn't wait for an answer ~ because he knew. "People Don't Care About What You Think" he said "They Care About What They Think" ~ You might want to remember that."
It was getting dark and it had been a very tough day. A day of trying to convince people to go where they didn't want to go and there was a lot of resistance. " Let me tell you something" he continued "What people think are conversations are almost always one person telling another an opinion, an observation or a perspective. It's all opinion and everyone thinks theirs is right. Even if you do convince someone of how right you are they revert back to the familiar sooner or later.
So what do you do? I asked. ~ Well that's up to you isn't it ~ he smiled and turned away with these wry parting words ~ Just Remember...
When We Think We Know - We Don't.
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass ~ It's about learning how to dance in the rain.
The young salesman watched in awe as the seasoned professional closed deal after deal, seemingly without effort, and wondered how it could be so very easy and so he asked him ... "How do you do it?"
The old timer turned to the young man and simply said ~ "I Dance."
"People have impulses, notions and desires and I look at those as if they are asking me to dance" he said. I take a moment to qualify them ~ To see if I want them to be my dance partner ~ and then I dance.
"What do you mean?" the young rookie replied. " Well... All of us get impulses and then our minds start to kick in with doubts and questions. We start to look around for other dance partners and we even question whether we should be dancing in the first place.
The secret to closing sales is to keep people in touch with their initial impulse. To make them feel good and happy about it, and then to give them the confidence they need to overcome doubts. You've just got to be a good dance partner. Closing sales is just like dancing he said. It's a two step between impulse and doubt. The old salesman turned away with a smile and said ~ If you really wanna close more sales...
Learn How To Dance.