November 7, 2013

Getting out of the armchair

I am not a football player.  I have played the flag and back yard versions of the game, and I am a devout fan.  I can watch a game and spot what is being done right and wrong.  The classic armchair quarterback.

In life there are many such instances of areas that I am not an expert, but also not an idiot.  This also applies to business, where being a mature adult and parent has taught me lessons that carry over to the corporate world.  Sometimes work lends me the opportunity to get out of the proverbial armchair and show the kiddos how it should be done.

Yesterday was such an opportunity, with all hands on deck for an industry organization's annual sporting clay shoot.  Fun with guns!  Our marketing girl was all atwitter with her concerns about being in several places at once, as our company needed to man a sponsor booth, where we would have the opportunity to meet potential clients, and she had volunteered in several other capacities with the hosting organization.  Stand back, sweetie, we got this.  We sent her on her merry way, and three of us old hands made more promising network connections in one day than our young sales people average in 6 months. 

I think it is all about being comfortable in your own skin.  Not fearing casual small talk.  Being able to discern when it is, and is not, appropriate to insert a little business talk into the conversation.

A classic example of street smarts and experience versus book learning.  There is a place for both, but the street kids rocked it in this case.

I will admit that sales teams are hated in many corporate settings - they get to fly all over and rack up the expense account meals with clients.  They go to all the golf tournaments, fishing events, casino nights.  They get the convention swag bags.  Maybe that is a lesson in maturity, as well.  Going home to your family, and your own bed each night is something appreciated by an older crowd who doesn't get so excited about a new koozie and a trucker hat with someone else's logo on it.

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