Lessons from my Obama email…

I have to say that I was pretty shocked today In an email promoting our upcoming Powerhouse Event, I made reference to Obama’s visit to Ottawa. As a professional speaker, I admire his abilities as an orator regardless of his or my political beliefs. Well, after I sent it but I was shocked to received a number of visceral email responses. I was attacked personally, Canada was attacked and I cannot repeat most of the comments made about Obama himself. I’m a big girl and can handle it. I feel that Obama’s skills as a communicator are undeniable, regardless of your political views. Like him or Lump him, I suggest we learn from his success.

I think there is a very important lesson in this. As sales and business professionals, we need to have an open mind and learn from those around us – even if they are in different businesses (or different political parties). I had a similar reaction from a few members of the Engage community when we announced Sydney Biddle Barrows as a speaker at the Powerhouse Sales Event. Yes, she did develop many of her strategies while working in an unusual business that many would consider unsavory. But many of those strategies are directly applicable to all of our businesses and ignoring them means forfeiting opportunities to grow revenues and giving the competition an advantage. There is a reason why the Harvard Business School included Sydney’s book in it’s curriculum and Forbes named it to it’s top-ten list…So you disagree with her previous line of work. That no reason to discount the facts of her success.

Learning from the successes of others, even if they are different or you don’t agree with them, is critical to reaching your potential. As old boss of Chris’s used to say: you can be right or your can be dead right. As I like to say, I’d rather be rich than right.

Open your mind and learn from those that make you the most uncomfortable. Its these lessons that make us the most successful.