I attended Thought Leader's Business School last week, and came back from it (as usual!) a little scrambled. When you spend three days percolating in an intense environment with another 150 people who want to change the world, it's hardly surprising. The big revelation for me was...
I find books on sales training quite boring!
I have really tried to read the classics, you know the ones that so many people quote (I do wonder how many who quote them have actually read them!), but I end up avoiding them or worse, making myself try to read them.
Recently I subscribed to Audible, which means I can listen to books in the car, and chose to be diligent and read a best seller sales book, but I ended up dreading car journeys! There is something wrong here. This year, one of my decision mechanisms is to check in to how I feel about something. If it feels right, then it probably is, if it doesn't well, have a think about what that means. Of course it may mean that you are just out of your comfort zone, and that what you are contemplating is the right thing, but in the case of my Audible experience, I don't think we are talking challenging stuff here.
On the other hand, two books that I have read, which have totally lit up my soul are 1. Big Magic by Liz Gilbert and 2. LIght is the new Black by Rebecca Campbell. I have read them cover to cover, taken loads of notes, and bought copies for friends (and thanks to my gorgeous friends who told me about it them the first place).
It is not just limited to books of course. The same goes for Ted Talks and other media. Something that has absolutely blown me away recently, has been the documentary 'Why Am I?' which screened on TVNZ this week. It is based on the amazing longitudinal study of over 1000 participants who have been observed and tracked for over 40 years! I said to my mum this morning, that it makes me proud to hail from Dunedin, where the study is conducted from. Just a couple of gems from it...
- They now know that five personality types which are evident from pre-school years, which largely determine how you will will develop in terms of health, wealth and happiness. Early intervention is critical, as you can change the behaviour, not the personality.
- Originally it was dismissed as irrelevant for the rest of the world (back in the '70's, thanks to some schmick marketing from the tourism board of the time, everyone seemed to think we ran around in grass skirts!), but recent research shows that the same patterns are occurring in other similar nations. The awful exception to this, is that the homicide rate in Pittsburgh is way higher, even though assault rates are identical. The reason???... more assaults end up being homicide due solely to the lack of gun control over there (don't get me started).
Have a think about how your book and Ted Talk preferences reflect your own thought leadership
Don't try and pretend to be something you aren't. Here's a wee tip; if you get to about page 42 and you aren't hooked, give it up! Google a synopsis on the book title, and learn the key take outs. I have realised it isn't actually the craft of sales that lights me up, it's who people are being, their energy and their drivers that result in massively increased sales. We all have something, our own wee illuminator. Focus on that!