I was just out of college and needed a job to tide me over until I figured out what kind of business of my own I wanted to start and where to find the money to kick start it.
So I applied for an entry level marketing slot at Texaco’s offices in New York’s Chrysler building. I had zero interest in the oil business, knew not a relevant thing about Texaco, had no corporate interest at all but a friend told me the company just loved to hire nearly everyone who came knocking, so I headed off to land a place in the bureaucracy.
I was hired on day one but in a formality, I was required to meet a mid-manager for a blessing of sorts.
But this posed a daunting conflict for the young rebel that I was: I would need to wear a suit and the very prospect of that made me feel like a total sellout.
So I hatched an idea. I stuffed a green wool suit my dad had bought me for high school graduation into a brown supermarket bag, tucked it under my arm, rode the elevator to the 26th floor, ducked into the men’s room, slipped out of my jeans and into the suit.
Then like a proper MBA in the making, I entered a Mr. Walsh’s office to await the stamp of approval from the “king” maker.
Walsh was straight out of a Dickens novel: stern, pointy-faced, humorless. He surveyed me the way girlfriends’ fathers always did. Skeptical, disapproving and suspicious.
And then he zeroed right in on one of the causes of the bad taste in his mouth…
The following article is by Mark Stevens, as seen on his LinkedIn blog.
So I read a NY Times story on Larry Page the other day. Among other interesting things, Google’s co-founder says that when he contemplates what to do with his $40 billion (and growing) of wealth, he prefers to eschew the standard philanthropic behemoths and hand it over to Elon Musk.
Now, this must drive those who detest the one-percenters bonkers, but it’s really ingenious.
Think of it this way. Page did his finest academic work at Stanford, so he would classically be inclined to bequeath his fortune there.
But what would Stamford, Harvard or something allegedly more worldly like the U.N. do with the money? Well, it’s hard to tell how they would allocate the dollars, but it is certain that they would squander it the way committees and bureaucracies always do.
In fact, when you look at Harvard’s nearly $40 billion endowment, and you see how it is invested, you recognize that in some ways the elite schools are hedge funds masquerading as centers of learning.
Back to Page and Musk. One thing we can be sure of us that if the former was to give his fortune (or any part of it) to the latter, there isn’t a committee in the world that would get its hands on it and most important it would almost certainly advance the state of mankind.
Look, the term “the internet of things” is now an overused and overblown concept, something in the category of “the cloud.”
But if there is a person on earth who is “the internet of entrepreneurs,” it is Page.
This is one smart man, perhaps a genius, certainly in a league with few others. So when he has an idea, we should expect it to be novel. And we should learn from it.
Giving his money to Musk would break all the rules and perhaps start a new and extraordinary trend.
Yes, Warren Buffet has given much of his bankroll to Bill Gate’s foundation, in part because he knows Bill’s team will manage it well. And that’s wonderful. But Page has something vastly different in mind:
Give all or part of your money to a private enterprise catalyst, knowing that while it may earn him and others even more of a colossal fortune, it will move the needle for all of us.
This violates everything we think about philanthropy. And in the process, may be the best thing that ever happened to it.
High Page rank, for sure!
If you can’t give to Elon, please consider thehomelessrescue.org
Article by Mark Stevens
The following article is by Mark Stevens, as seen on his LinkedIn blog.
I can recognize a salesperson from a mile away. I can also identify a true SALESPERSON from the same distance.
What’s the difference between a salesperson and a true SALESPERSON (besides all caps)? The former allows prospects to make a decision as to whether to buy. The latter refuses to accept “no” for an answer.
Clearly we cannot force people to buy what we’re offering, so what do I mean by this? Simply put, the true SALESPERSON–the star, the elite–walks into every situation with a set of weapons far more powerful than an elevator speech (which is, in itself, for losers) or another tired PowerPoint presentation (a sure way to induce a coma).
True salespeople walk in with:
This all relates to the fact that positivity is contagious. When salespeople attempt to sell their products or services, they may walk away empty-handed. But when a superstar SALESPERSON strides in with an overwhelming sense of his mission and a focus on making the prospect see and experience the wisdom of what he’s offering, the prospect becomes a believer as well.
Think of the conversations you’ve had with people who are passionate about an idea, a destination or a device that is unfamiliar to you. Their passion passes through almost like osmosis. Chances are high that you will become infatuated with the idea, the philosophy or the product the proselytizer is raving about. You’ll become a convert.
This is what the real art and science of true SALESMANSHIP is all about. It is not about getting “at bats” in front of customers and hoping to hit pay dirt with some. It’s about being armed to the teeth for every selling opportunity–not hoping to make a sale, but determined to enlist a convert.
Every time I am in a selling position I think:
I never want to be just another salesman. I am a CEO and a true SALESMAN.
The salespeople of the world aren’t there to actually, definitely, positively make a sale. Nope, they believe that they are visiting a prospect as part of a process whereby: a) you see large numbers of people, and b) you’ll get lucky eventually, and some of them will become customers.
They think that it’s all a numbers game: Toss a hundred darts against the wall (see 100 prospects) and something will inevitably stick.
That is not true salesmanship. That is going through the motions; that is hoping that the law of averages will reward you. Instead of being thrilled that three darts stick, enter the process with the determination to land every single prospect you visit.
You may not win them all, but I know from personal experience that entering the arena with an absolute determination to prevail every time vastly increases the likelihood of your closing 50 percent, 60 percent or even 90 percent of opportunities.
You see, selling is NOT a numbers game, in spite of what the Willy Loman playbook says. Instead, it’s a human game, and it’s a hunt. The human most important in this hunt is you, the truest definition of salesperson–the one who deserves to be spelled out in all caps. I am a SALESPERSON.
Everyone else is an impostor. You are the genuine article. And if you can’t find it within yourself to become this “winner takes all” person, you should find another career.
I think the Peace Corps needs volunteers.Read More
As CEO and founder of MSCO, Mark Stevens’ voice has been featured in countless publications over the years. This time, the December issue of Leadership Excellence Essentials has published one of Mark’s thought-provoking articles.
The article, entitled Loners At Heart, is about how great leaders are often loners in disguise. Mark claims, “Even more than that, they prefer to be by themselves and ironically, it is this isolationist part of their personas that drive their ability to think, innovate and to inspire others.”
To read more about this and find out the two main epiphanies that Mark believes we can all draw from this, read his article here: http://www.hr.com/en/magazines/all_articles/loners-at-heart-great-leaders-are-often-loners-in-_ihpzesqu.html.
To see the full magazine and articles published from all of the other great influencers included in this month’s magazine, follow this link: http://www.hr.com/en/magazines/leadership_excellence_essentials/december_2015_leadership/.
For more of Mark’s articles and unique point-of-view, connect with him on LinkedIn.