I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you either are, or you want to be, good at what you do. I’m going to take that even further and assume that you either are, or want to be, great at what you do.
But are you committed to becoming an absolute master? Possibly one of the greatest of all time? And, if so, how do you get there?
My brother-in-law Steve has a Ph.D. in musicology. He’s ...
I’ve just been reading a terrific new book called High-Profit Prospecting by my friend and colleague Mark Hunter. Mark is a consummate sales professional, and his book is about how to keep your sales pipeline full so that you never run out of valuable prospects.
I’m not a sales professional, but I am an idea professional. And, just like I think it’s vital for people in the sales business to keep their sales pipelines full, I think it’s ...
I don’t know Janie’s boss. I’ve never met Janie’s boss. But I do know Janie. Janie is one of the most diligent, hard-working, eager-to-learn people I’ve ever met. But because Janie’s boss doesn’t understand one of the basic rules of leadership, Janie is being made to feel like a failure in her job, and is thinking about leaving. So what’s the rule that Janie’s boss doesn’t understand? It’s this:
This weekend I was lucky enough to have VIP seats to see a performance by the U.S. Navy’s precision flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels. They are, by any standard, an incredible team. They fly 18 inches apart at 400 miles per hour, while simultaneously doing coordinated turns and maneuvers — all of this in a plane that costs $56 million. And if you don’t think that’s a big deal, think about how mad you were when you got that ...
“Some people brighten a room when they enter it; others when they leave.”
You’ve probably heard this quotation or some variation of it. I have no idea who said it originally, but it certainly is true. I’m sure you know people on both sides of the semicolon. Today I’d like you to consider a slight variation, this one mine:
“Some leaders brighten a workplace when they enter it; others when they leave.”
I shouldn’t be writing this. Really. If I had any sense, I wouldn’t be writing this. I wouldn’t be writing anything. Why? Because it’s late at night on Sunday, and I have an early flight tomorrow morning. So I shouldn’t be writing. I should be in bed asleep.
So why am I writing this article, and what does it mean to you?
David Bowie existed before Ziggy Stardust, but it was Ziggy Stardust that put him on the map. The striking, glam costume; the red hair; the over-the-top Spiders from Mars tour—all these elements, plus, of course, the music, shot David Bowie into stardom. But the glam rock era eventually faded. And if David Bowie had stayed there, he would have been solely of that time, and faded along with it.
Smart people are lazy. (No, not all smart people. I understand that you are different. It’s the others.) Now, this can be a good thing, which is why Bill Gates once said, “I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job…because he will find an easy way to do it.” But it can also be a bad thing, because there are few things sadder than unfulfilled potential.
Some time ago I wrote that a truly successful person wouldn’t take the afternoon off to go see a movie. A colleague of mine countered that that person might, if they were celebrating a personal or business success. She makes a good point. (And she’s a Ph.D., which, although no guarantee, lends a certain magnitude to her thoughts.) I’ve been thinking about the distinction today, and it comes down to this: there’s a difference between rewarding your work and avoiding ...