Last weekend was Pentecost. Do you know why these holidays even exist? Chances are you don’t have an exact answer unless you’re a practicing Christian.
The interesting thing is that whether you know or understand the background of a holiday, you can still deal with it. This reminds me of the laws of nature. Whether you know or understand them or not, they will still affect you.
Gravity, for example, doesn’t care what you think about it or whether you agree with it. If you drop a plate, it will inevitably move towards the ground and probably shatter once it hits the floor. Therefore, the best strategy is to use gravity in a favorable way rather than lamenting it.
Why am I telling you this? Well, the same connections apply to “mental laws”—they exist regardless of your belief or ignorance. The winners in life will always be those who make better use of them than others.
If you have followed me for a while, you know sales activities are not limited to conversations with potential customers, but a reality of our daily life, be it professional or private; whenever you want to convince someone of something, you “sell.”
So, what is the “secret recipe” to become more persuasive, to “sell” more?
Did you notice? Those who thrive (people and businesses) do something extremely well or they do something in a unique way. Or even both.
Look at the most successful companies, Apple for instance, or Siemens, SAP, and many almost unknown SMBs: in the areas they thrive, there is at least one of these to elements in place: excellence or uniqueness. And they have business models that make these distinctions profitable.
Often, this is left to chance or random evolution. Instead, I suggest considering these three steps:
To which group do you belong: 20, 60, or 20? You don’t know what I’m talking about? Ok, here is the resolution: the longer I support business leaders in achieving substantial success growth, the more it solidifies my 20-60-20 rule. It simply states the following:
This distribution is almost always true, no matter what you want to achieve. How does this knowledge help you, as a manager and someone who wants to implement something new? Here is my tip:
Here is an example:
Do you see the 3D image? You have to completely relax your eyes while looking at the picture.
I came across a book like this from the nineties the other day when I was tidying up, and was fascinated again. Why? Well, because something unexpected opens up exactly where you wouldn't expect it: in a 2D image that doesn't mean anything.
And there is another conclusion to take from this: what we see is an illusion anyway, constructed by our brain. In principle, this applies to everything in life and business.
What is the relevance of this for our leadership and business success?
After a long time, I’d like to come back to a sales topic. Or better: How you can unleash huge potential for more sales and profit.
Examples: Recently, in a men’s clothing store, in the department for suits. After a short time, one of the many under-employed salespeople is approaching me (at last!) and selects some suits for me, showing me where I can try them on, and then: nothing! No asking, no advice. Nothing. And this is not an isolated case. Did I buy? No! Of course not.
Next: My MacBook Air needs a new battery. The Apple Store is in a different city, so I’m looking for Apple authorized stores close to my home. What do I find? Confusing websites without clear statements about price and no possibility for scheduling an online appointment. As such, I’d rather book the appointment directly at Apple online in 30 seconds. And yes, even the price is clear.
Did you know that the average car is only 6 km/h fast? Or that each email costs about 1 dollar? Or that certain computer software massively reduces productivity in ways you probably don’t even think about? You can read all of this in this article, which was published recently in a renowned Swiss newspaper (in German).
Not at all! Let’s be serious: if you want to create more results and at the same time reduce your negative stress and uncertainty, there are three important levers. What is striking is that these are often neglected in so-called “productivity programs”.
There is a mindset that is crucial for more or less success, privately or in business: Are your decisions guided by the belief that, in principle, everything is available in abundance or by the idea that there is a lack in everything?
Do you think that, if you have more of something, then someone else must have less? Or do you believe that, if you have more, others will benefit at the same time?
Now, you can probably guess which of these two mindsets leads to more success. It is the belief that everything is available in abundance: happiness, money, prosperity, success, ideas, and so on.
From my experience, however, the other mindset prevails in most companies; scarcity rules.
What does it actually mean to lead in difficult times? There's an old saying that true leadership shows up in times of crisis. When the sun is not shining, when there are storms to be overcome.
I would only agree with this to a limited extent. Because it takes a lot to set the sails properly when the wind comes from behind. In any case, I always find it remarkable how many good opportunities are missed when all doors are open. Some companies extend their competitive edge massively, especially in good times - when everyone can actually afford to do it.
Here comes the most important truth: the biggest difference in success never comes from the outside, but always from the inside. With the right leadership, you can almost always be massively more successful than the average person, no matter what is going on outside.
Exponential growth has currently become very prominent with the spread of the coronavirus: a small cause (the bartender in Ischgl in Austria) had an exponential effect (thousands of infected people who, in turn, infected thousands).
So far so clear. The problem is that our brain has enormous difficulty processing exponential connections. Instinctively, we always try to draw linear conclusions. This is where the gigantic misconceptions at the beginning of the corona spread came from (and some heads of state have still not understood it today).
This insight is extremely relevant for successful leadership. The most successful organizations are led with exponential leadership. The less successful ones, however, think linear.
If this seems too abstract to you now, here are a few examples of how you can leverage the exponential potential for your team or company and thereby create a considerable competitive advantage:
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