So I am very happy at the moment and it's not because of the three course meal or free alcohol I consumed. I just had a productive night, in which I learned a lot and met people that might be important in the future. I just went for an event hosted by a professional organization that I am a member of and did a lot of networking. There was a guest speaker who spoke and I really enjoyed his speech. He had worked for Yum Brands, Quiznos and currently is the president of Maggiano's Restaurant. His speech was titled, “The Tyranny of Incrementalism”, and the theme of his presentation was “courage”. I took three things out of it and thought I'd share and relate this to my experiences.
1) You have to take big (well thought out) actions to get big change.
We've all heard this before and by now it's like a broken record. You have to take drastic actions if you are looking for drastic results. To stand out from other companies he had to do big things that would put him ahead of his competitors, basically he was not risk averse. This man was in politics and was a speech writer for George Bush the first before deciding to go into marketing. He knew nothiing about it and was terrified he would be called a fraud. As most of you know, going to Nigeria was the bravest/scariest thing I have ever done. I was sick and tired of what I was doing and had been doing it for 5 years. I was fortunate enough to know what I wanted to do, I just didn't know how to get there but I did know that if I stayed I would probably spend another 5 years being unhappy. So with encouragement from my friends and deciding to close my eyes and jump, I did it and I am glad I did it.
2)No matter what they say, you need hard work to be successful.
I don't know if this applies if you are in Nigeria lol but the way he described it and the sacrifices CEO's make, I totally understood why they get paid a lot of money, even though it looks like they do nothing. They have paid their dues getting there and when they are there, even if it doesn't show they live in a constant state of fear because their own bosses don't care about the variables, they just want numbers that represent profit and they are quick to fire them once things are going south. He gave an example of this when he was fired from Quiznos. Sometimes, especially in our generation we expect instant gratification which is why you see young people drop out of school and expect to get paid instantly by being a rapper. There is a reason why people with a degree earn more than ones without a degree (in most cases). It's hard work to go to school, when you complete it, you are rewarded by higher pay. In some cases we should be prepared to start from the very bottom to get to the top.
3)Leverage your strength
The speaker gave an example of a CEO who turned over profits for some major slumping companies, said CEO acknowledged that he was not the smartest person in the block but he knew his strengths and used them to his advantage. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses but as we are improving on our weakness we can leverage on our strengths. I'll use myself for an example, I suck at numbers but I know one of my strengths is I can hold my own in social settings and I am not afraid to approach people and strike up a conversation. Tonight, I was opportuned to be in a room full of people that may or may not be of use in the field that I want to be in. I took the opportunity to go up to them, strike up a convo and got business cards ( the speaker dude was impressed and I scored a gift card to the restaurant, hehe). Ladies, same way when we dress up we highlight our favorite assets/body parts, the same way we showcase our strengths.
In summary, step out your comfort zone, be prepared to work really hard and find your strength and leverage it. Of course, all these things are helpful when you have God by your side, by no means do I think all is done by man's power but we have to play our part. Hope this was helpful to you guys as it was to me. I know I didn't do his speech a service on here but I tried. Here's hoping for a great and blessed 2010 for us all.
Enjoy the music of VV Green, another British import. Diddy tried to sign her. ">Seems like they are all going for the same old school bluesy sound.