At 12 years old, once I came home from school on a Friday and noticed that the grass was getting long. Dad had been putting in long hours. "It would be nice to help Dad out," I thought. That night as he drove in the driveway, he could see that the grass had been cut even though it was dark. He was happy.
Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB
The next morning, Dad asked me to come outside for a minute. As we walked through the garage, he told me how happy and appreciative he was that I had cut the grass. It really helped him out. As we rounded the corner to the side of the house, he pointed to a couple of spots on the grass where I had “missed” cutting. I was going fast to get the job done and left a few “rows,” about an inch or two wide of uncut grass. It was on the side of the house in a shaded area and I doubt anyone would notice. I didn’t.
“What happened here?” Dad asked, pointing to the uncut rows in the shade. I shrugged my shoulders and said, “I guess I missed a few spots.” “How do you feel about that?” he asked. Getting a little uncomfortable, I explained that I hadn’t even noticed and, because it was on the side of the house and in the shade, I doubted anyone else would notice, so it was no big deal. “If you’re going to a job, do the very best job you can do, no matter who’s looking or who can see the finished product.” It was at that moment that Dad taught me to take pride in my work. I immediately got the lawnmower and finished the job.
Dad’s wisdom can be summed up in three areas:
1. Love God, your family and friends. Don’t just say it -- show it.
2. Take pride in your work. Do your best no matter who is watching.
3. Don’t take yourself too seriously -- have fun. Work hard but play hard.
Father’s Day was Sunday. I thought it was a great time to have a discussion about the best advice you’ve ever received from your father, a father figure in your life or a manager.
It’s impossible for us to make it on our own. We all need guidance and help. Chances are, there are new sellers on your team right now or people in your life who could benefit from your experience and the advice you’ve received from great mentors in your life. We all have something to share. I was fortunate in my personal life and in my professional life to have people who cared and showed me the way, gave me the pathways to success and helped me avoid some really stupid mistakes along the way.
You might consider trying this in your next sales meeting: Go around the room and talk about the best advice you ever received from your father, father figure or manager. There is some life-altering, life-enhancing and in some cases career-saving advice just waiting to be shared. All you have to do is listen and take good notes.
Since I can’t be in your sales meeting, would you mind sharing some of the wisdom you discover in your meeting? Just email me at JSchmidt@rab.com.