Some dreams don’t come true, at least not as initially dreamed.
While I wasn’t forced, it sure felt like it. I never wanted to be (dirty word coming…) a “salesperson”.
After graduating from college, I was accepted into the Teach For America Program and assigned to an East St. Louis High School. Due to family considerations, it didn’t work out and I took a sales job.
I was horrible. Working hard only gets you so far.
Eventually, I accepted my current fate and decided if I was going to be “in sales” for a while I might as well become the best I possibly can. So, I started to read. I read everything I could. I read over 50 sales books that the first year, and more than 350 sales books in total since. (most are garbage, by the way, don’t read them)
The biggest lesson I learned is that selling is just another form of leadership.
By and by I learned that true sales is only about helping others get what they want and need.
Thinking about others more than yourself.
I loved helping people, and while I still hate “sales”, I love selling. I love helping people, serving and leading. Books and conversations and daily practice are what got me to this breakthrough.
The second biggest lesson I learned is that in order to truly do something well, you have to have the knowledge and then take action. With the right knowledge and massive action, eventually the actions you take will turn into proper action and your impact will be meaningful.
The best leaders read the best books.
“Reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.” – Bill Gates
If he thinks reading is important, we probably should too.
The saying, “leaders are readers” is very true. I have never personally met a great leader who does not work hard to: 1st – understand their team, 2nd – serve them, and 3rd – read to expand their knowledge.
These are 6 books that have had a massive impact on me this year. They are filled with powerful stories, unique ideas, and timeless wisdom. By contemplating deeply on what you read and then taking positive action you can become a better version of yourself – someone who leads others.
Here are 6 Powerful Books:
The Power of Positive Leadership – Jon Gordon
The best leaders know how to practice empathy and encourage others. The best leaders inspire greatness. They lead with positivity.
This book is packed with breakthrough ideas, true principles and important methods for every leader to become better and help more people.
Your legacy is actually built by those who follow after you. Leaders must do more than be positive, they must get rid of the negative.
Questions Are The Answer – Hal Gregersen
If you think you know all the answers, you have already lost. In order drive breakthroughs you need ask bigger questions, risk being wrong, and get used to discomfort.
The second and third questions, the deeper follow-up questions are where you find the answers that create innovation, build trust, and drive performance in others and yourself.
The better we become at asking questions, the more problems we can solve. The true benefit of questions is found when we become adept at asking them of ourselves.
Our personal identity and freedom come when we ask ourselves the most meaningful questions, and then keep on searching for more, not more answers, but more questions.
The Model Thinker – Scott E. Page
The world is complex. There is so much data. The challenges we are called to solve are full of so many variables that there is never just one way to approach them. The way we view, categorize, and understand the variables in every situation is called a mental model.
The mental models we use enable us to make sense and simplify the complexity we face every day. No single model works in every situation. We need to have a better way to approach the challenges and obstacles we are working to overcome.
If you want to become better at solving problems, use all the data you can that is helpful and apply multiple models to the same situation to find numerous perspectives and more creative solutions.
Range – David Epstein
If you want the best chance for success make sure you gain lots of broad experiences. Delay your specialization until you are truly ready so you can acquire the many needed skills it takes to become great.
Do not worry about feeling left behind because you are not specialized. For most people, eventually, a wide range of skills will add up to be worth more then just one skill mastered early on.
The world’s most successful fail the most, quit the most, and cross career boundaries more often than most. That is why they accomplish more than most. To become great, make sure you are developing into a complete person with skills gained from experiences across multiple disciplines.
The Power of Decision – Raymond Charles Barker
If you want to change your life, read this book first. If you want to help others change their life, have them read this book after you read it.
Indecision creates fear. Fear enables long-term failure if not confronted with courage.
Mindset health is different than mental health, yet just as important. Your mindset is the foundation for all achievement. And becoming who you were meant to become. Without deciding what you want and how you will get it, you will never fulfill your potential.
How you think determines what you think, and what you think determines what you do, what you do determines your destiny. You have control, you have the ability, just decide.
#SalesTruth – Mike Weinberg
If you are in sales, you have to read this book. If you are not in sales, you should read this book.
The world turns on successful relationships of mutual benefit. Sales are how those relationships start (no matter the industry or role: non-profit, government, engineering, accounting, etc.). In sales, the simple truths also are the ones that work the best.
As you master the basics, you can create unlimited opportunities to help drive new sales. As you focus on doing what works, you can create better relationships built on shared goals.
The truth hurts, especially when you are not following it. This book will probably hurt, read it anyway.
Read more so you can help more.
You are stronger than you realize. You are good enough. You do not need anyone’s permission to be great, you already are great. Let others see your greatness. Keep going. You can accomplish your heart’s desire if you help enough other people accomplish theirs.
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