Last week, I was asked to post books on my social media that made a difference in my life. The first book I posted was How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Going through this process created great reflection and reminded me “why” this book was so important to put this in my top 7 books in my career… so I want to share with you.
In 2002, my company recommended I take a Dale Carnegie Sales Training Program in Dallas Texas. I had just been promoted as the General Manager and knew my time was limited. I also knew the course was super expensive, but I was grateful for the opportunity and decided to take advantage of the class. It was scheduled EVERY Monday night from 6pm-9pm for 8 weeks which was a major downside with a family. In other words, go to work on Monday’s at 7am and get home around 10-10:30pm!
I remember many times thinking about going home after the long workday, but instead driving across Dallas to the workshop to meet and learn with people I didn’t even know. It was a lot of work and turns out that it was more than a sales program, it was leadership… an investment of time and commitment to learn how to better connect with people in the workplace and in the community. It was a class to learn about strategies on “how to win friends and influence people” as a sales leader. I remember all of the times we would practice “people strategies” in breakout groups each week and focus on learning how to use people’s names and learn about the importance of being interested in what was important to the other person. It was all about people. People want to know we are interested in their story and that we care about them. The last week of the program, all of the attendees gave a presentation and I received the award for best presentation. I remember the time I put into preparing for the presentation and the joy I felt on my way home that night.
It turned out to be a short-term investment and a long term gain! I knew the sacrifice of time was big, but didn’t realize how big the gain would be with my people skills until I finished the program. Was it a lot of work? Yes. Did it take a commitment to finish the course? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes.
When I look back on that time in my career, it reminds me of what John Maxwell calls the “law of sacrifice”. It says “sometimes we have to give up to go up” on our career journey! If there is an opportunity to invest in our career, or “skill up”, we need to go for it. The more we learn, the more we grow, and the more we grow, the more we can help others in our path! It also helped me with a different perspective with my sales role and helped me look through a different lens… It’s not about selling to people, but serving people!
My friend Steve Browne once said, “we are either spending time or investing time.” What investments are you making in your career? It might time to skill-up as a speaker or presentation skills or get a certification, improve time management / planning skills or just invest time to be a better leader in your industry.
You may not see it now, but one day you will look back and either say “why didn’t I look for opportunities to get better?” , or you will say “I am so glad that I decided to get better”… It was the best investment I ever made in my career and in my life.
Some of my other favorites include: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Who Moved My Cheese, The Compound Effect, Tuesdays with Morrie, Little Red Book of Selling, John Wooden’s Game Plan for Success, Find Your Lane!
What would be your favorite book(s)? Share in comments below…
Quote of the week:“A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.”
Call to Action: Write down an area that you would like to get better or skill up, research and find a way to take action. Adding value is the most important thing we can do in any role.
This has been A Relocation Minute on “best investment ever ” with Bruce Waller, for more information, call