Completely out of the blue, I found myself in a week of what I like to think of as life coaching lessons. It went over concepts like the importance of skills vs attitude to successs, and soft skills like how to approach different types of people and listening. Besides learning how to make a hole in a raw potato with a straw, which is pretty awesome, the two points that stuck with me are the following:

  1. Great leaders are Great Sales: What is the difference between someone in a supermarket promoting a particular brand of knife, and Obama promoting the healthcare bill to the senate? Essentially, both are trying to persuade someone into their way of thinking, and ‘sell’ you something. The difference is your stance. Obama actually believes that this healthcare bill is good for the people, while the supermarket sales couldn’t care less if you already have a dozen knives at home- they just want to make a commission. The world is made up of those who convince and those who are convinced. So be a good sales with a stance. Herein lies the need to develop good soft people skills.
  2. Luck goes to the ones who try: A fresh graduate found a lead through cold calling to a potential client, and met up with them on a Friday night very far from home. After hearing him out, his client told him she didn’t need it, but might mention him to another friend and told him to call back on Monday. He thinks, is this client just playing with him? He calls them on Monday anyway, and get’s the number to her friend, Sammy. Sammy meets him at his office and after hearing him out, says that doesn’t need it either but may have a friend who does, and arranges an introduction for him.  Worrying about potential referral fee, he goes anyway and, to his amazements, meets the relations of one of the tycoons of the country and exchanged business cards. Through a series of persistance and playing on his strengths, he, a fresh graduate, eventually wins the business of a wealthy and experienced client. How lucky is that? But luck doesn’t just come to those who are lucky. They come to those who reach out for it. There are limited ways for luck to randomly land on your lap when you’re sitting on your butt. If you go out and try to find it, at least there are more opportunities for luck to come in and aid you. It’s all about the probability.

Something to ponder about over the weekend.