by Alex Low | @Alexander_Low
I am going to tell you an uncomfortable truth.
You are not as good at what you do, as you think you are. None of us are. There is always room for improvement. If you believe you have reached your best, then time to get out and either retire or find a new role where you will find people who inspire you to be better; if you don’t, you will be replaced by someone who wants to be better than you. Not AI or Robots, well maybe, but just a better, more informed person.
My goal was always to do such a good job that I would make my role redundant. What I mean by this was to empower the people I work with to be able to do what I do and not need my support.
I know that I can always learn. Every day. Especially in this 4th Industrial revolution. I am always looking over my shoulder as there will be those who are better and more informed than me. I don’t know whom or when, but they are there. What I have on my side is experience. 15 plus years of it. And that takes time and hard work. We live in an X Factor, 15 minutes of fame, economy of now culture where everyone believes in immediate success. This is a massive false economy. Just speak to all those who were badged as the next best thing by Simon.
Whilst you cannot expect things to happen overnight, you cannot also expect things to happen if you just sit still. Look at the way Lawyers are having to adapt to the rapid rise of AI and building this into their service delivery. How Blockchain technology is changing the world of finance and how social is changing the way Sales & Marketing engage with their clients and prospects. Imagine if they all just sat still and put their fingers in their ears, closed their eyes all shouting “la, la, la ,la, la” hoping it will go away; like some horror movie. They won’t be having a good end to their careers.
The challenge is this. I bet that some, most, if not all of you believe that what you are doing is good enough. Either by the way your appraisals work, how you are managed or self-belief. Like when you see people on the Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank and the entrepreneurs are challenged – “who thinks you are good, or your idea is a great one” – “My friends & family” – this is the same as having a co-worker write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn.
To quote Gerd Leonhard“Once upon a time, business as usual was often good enough. Where we are going, good enough is dead”
The internet is an incredible source of knowledge; I know you know this; but when was the last time, if at all, you typed into Google and asked what is the latest thinking in Sales & Marketing? Or How will AI impact Sales & Marketing – if you have any voice products, just ask it. This can lead you down a fascinating rabbit hole of authors, influencers and insight on any given subject matter. That’s how I found Gerd, then Callum Chace, then Max Tegmark, then Yuval Harari. Social platforms provide the opportunity to follow these individuals and be kept up to date on their latest thinking. Which, if you choose to consume, will start to elevate your thinking & opinion. In your meetings with your clients or prospects you will stand out from the rest of the competition with your latest, unique and on trend insight. Internally the same will happen with your peers, which can, and should lead to improved career development.
I don’t write this to be arrogant or say I am better than you at what you do. I write this to help you be better at what you do. Taking this attitude has given me the confidence to sit with the Board level of Law firms, Accounting Firms and FTSE 100 or Fortune 500 and when I talk about the future of sales & marketing, I know more than them. I live it and breath it every day. They don’t, because that can’t, their job’s just do not allow the bandwidth to do this. Which then earns me respect. And then they listen.
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