The Down Side of Being Top Dog
(& Why We All Need Mentors & Role Models)
There aren’t many businessmen (or women) in the world that would cause me to feel a “nervous energy” when being around them. In fact, there are only three that I can think of:
- Donald Trump (Love em or Hate em, the guy is on top)
- Jeff Vinik (The Owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning) And...
- One of my previous bosses (who for his privacy, I will keep confidential)
I have yet to of have the pleasure of meeting Donald Trump (But I do watch Celebrity Apprentice like a hawk simply to learn how he makes business decisions – and to learn from other peoples fatal business mistakes) Nor have I met Jeff Vinik yet but respect what both have accomplished in their lifetime as well as all the good they do for others and their families.
While at a wedding this past weekend, my wife and I were seated at the same table as #3 on the list above.
I expected #3 to be at the wedding but certainly did not expect to be seated at the same table together. I was both honored and slightly horrified at the same time. Success isn’t all about money – but when someone can live the lifestyle of their dreams because of the success they have from their business making decisions, I want to learn everything I can from them.
Recognizing this “nervous energy” made me realize that I haven’t felt this way in a long time. That’s because when I stopped working for #3 it was to start my first company… and I quickly became top dog. Others in my company looked up to me in some of the same ways as I looked up to those I mentioned earlier (albeit a much smaller scale)
After being fortunate enough to have sold my first business, I did some consulting / sales help for another company while getting SalesBuzz created. Again, I was top dog in my own circle.
There’s a certain sense of responsibility you get when others are looking up to you for advice but what this weekend reminded me was that when we have no one to look up to ourselves, we tend to vacation in our own (success) comfort zone longer than we should. We can easily go into a “cruise-control” mode - but what often gets us to our peak performance is “stepping on the gas” mode.
Rising to that next level only stops when we stop reaching for it. Like numbers, there’s never an end. We can always go up one more. And even when you are a self-motivated success-driven individual, if you’ve reached the top in your circle and are no longer looking “up”, you can lose that great gift of “nervous energy”. And that gift is usually the difference between being “good” and being “great”.
Where did your "nervous energy" come from? When was the last time you met with that person or revisted their teachings? What would they say if they saw you now? If they were with you everyday this week, watching your every move, what would you be doing differently?
I don't know about you, but there's a little extra pep in my step this week.
CSS: Chief Sales Scientist
SalesBuzz.com (A 2011 Sales Training Company Watch List Award Winner!)
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