5.30am. Toronto. Aug 6 2008
It’s been a wild week. Last Wednesday I spoke to 600 government purchasing agents in Charlotte, North Carolina. The following day I spoke to 150 motorcycle accessory salespeople from Tucker Rocky in Dallas, Texas. Two days later, I spoke to 900 new recruits to Deloitte in Phoenix and yesterday, I spoke to 650 sales consultants from Infosys in Toronto, Canada.
Each seminar necessitated its own preparation. Each seminar took me into a different world, populated by its own professionals, challenged by its own problems and opportunities. Most importantly, each seminar introduced me to new points of view, opinions and perspective.
Here are the ten things I learnt since last Wednesday:
- Do more with less. Adapting to the reality of scarcity leads to abundance. Don’t blame, build.
- Be prepared to take on more without burning out. There is a major skills shortage looming.
- There are great people in government, but they’re aging and replacements are hard to find.
- Tough times demand huge entrepreneurial energy. Opportunity creation will drive the next upturn.
- Boom times are a function of mindset not circumstance. The best bend circumstance to their will.
- Whatever your experience, think like a new recruit: be idealistic, excited, anxious, curious, vocal.
- Surround yourself with the best people. We become the company we keep. The person with the best colleagues wins.
- Crises are your best friends. That’s when demand for quality is highest – and demand will always outstrip supply.
- The world speaks a common language. Global similarities dwarf local differences. Geography is less important than ideology. Boundarylessness is the new buzzword.
- Seek out and savour conversations with people who come from the place furthest away from yourself. Feast on their flavours. Talk. Listen. Learn. Laugh. Love. Grow.
What’s the one most important thing you learnt in the last week? Let me know. I want to learn it as well. Remember: paying forward is the best payback.