Some Nuggets on Professional Selling

Hola Todos!

I am happy to say that I’m teaching Professional Selling again this fall semester so one would expect to see a few more selling nuggets over the next few months on DigNuggetville.

To begin, everyone needs to be persuasive in some way, shape or form but perhaps sales people need to more consistently polish their persuasion skills.  A recent article from Inc Magazine highlights 7 Things Really Persuasive People Do.  Item #2 – listening – is 100% spot on.

Second, Gary Vaynerchuk’s (CEO and founder of Vayner Media) most recent post is on storytelling – a passion of mine.  The best sales people do not just hammer features, advantages and benefits – the best sales people do a spectacular job of telling the story of the value proposition.

Finally, Professor Greg Marshall, one of mentors and the author of the sales text we are using this fall semester, is organizing an excellent session titled “Aligning Sales with Marketing.”  The session is sponsored by the American Marketing Association and will be held in San Francisco on October 3rd & 4th.  For those of us who cannot attend, Greg created an excellent podcast that highlights a few of the key nuggets that will be discussed in the session.

All of the above are great nuggets to add to your journal today…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

 

One of the Best Valedictorian Speeches…

Hola Todos!

Well it’s that time of the year…graduation time.  Perhaps you just walked in the Izod Center a few days back.  Perhaps you will be walking in a cap and gown in a year or two.  Perhaps you walked a few years ago and are reflecting back on that day vis-à-vis your current career trajectory.  No matter what, graduation provides us with one of those lockdown “moments in time” on your life journey.  In other words, you will always be able to easily frame your past in terms of pre or post-college.

While sitting in the crowd this week, I had the pleasure of listening to Bradley Childs deliver the valedictorian address to the Seton Hall University Class of 2013.  I was one of Bradley’s 38 plus professors (he was in two of my classes) during his time at Seton Hall and to have a perfect 4.0 for 8 semesters straight is a special accomplishment.

So I guess it should not have surprised me much when Bradley nailed his address to the students.  First, the pace, tone, verbal inflections but most important, consistent eye contact (did he memorize it?) was impressive.  Second, and even more impressive was the content.  I have talked about storytelling a number of times here on DigNuggetville and Bradley employed multiple storytelling-like phrases such as “our book would be written on our own terms.”

Bradley was kind enough to share his speech with me so I could share with you today.  Think of it as a Super Topic Talk!  But more importantly, use this address to reflect back on where you were (or will be) on your life journey.

Bradley the floor is yours…

 

Valedictorian Address to the Seton Hall University Class of 2013 by Bradley Childs

1,359 days of wondering, wondering if we would make it to this day. Today marks the culmination of our 1,359 day journey – we are the graduating class of 2013. Fellow graduates, join me in welcoming our esteemed guests: Archbishop Myers, Dr. Arkes, Father Ker, members of the Board of Trustees, members of the Board of Regents, President Esteban, Senior Associate Provost Guetti, members of the Executive Cabinet, deans, faculty, families, and friends.

Graduation is one of those awkward times in our lives when we are torn between the joy of our memories and the excitement of our future. Should we look back on what were the greatest four years of our lives – times filled with joy from the boisterous sounds of that first spring day out on the green, the aroma of chicken finger day in the cafeteria, the resounding ring of the University bells, or the calmness of the chapel? Or instead should we focus on the next stage in this journey called life? We’ve been impatiently waiting for this day for four years – and now, we just want to hit pause. We want to slow it down, and enjoy the last fleeting moments. Our lives will be forever altered after we toss our caps into the air.

We entered the loving confines of our beloved Seton Hall University four years ago as an unwritten book eager to fill the pages.  It seems like just yesterday we were lugging our countless bags into Boland. It seems like just yesterday we had orientation and had the pleasure of doing uncomfortable icebreakers together. We walked onto campus for the first time as students in the fall of 2009 with a gloomy world around us stricken by a global recession.

As the months passed we grew, and we learned to not allow external circumstances to define us. That’s right, my colleagues, our book would be written on our own terms. The friends we sit with today became additions to our family and are undoubtedly some of the main characters in our book of life. We grew up together in South Orange, and at times in Hoboken and New York City. Our campus provided us not only with a place to learn, but a true home. We were fortunate to experience what the phrase emblazoned on that acceptance letter we received truly means – we learned what a home for the mind, heart, and spirit meant in its full reality.

The diploma that we receive represents success and achievement. But we must remember more the journey that accompanied this achievement – both the heartache and happiness. The diploma itself is gently tucked away in the appendix of our book, while the journey to attain it fills pages.

We are now set to begin the next chapter in our book. Our book will veer off from the outline we created, for therein lies the beauty of our journey. Seton Hall has instilled in us a tremendous fire, a passion for life, and a desire to make the world in which we live better.

We owe it to each other, our family, our professors, our University, our country, and our God to pursue our wildest dreams. Our professors and classmates have pushed us to the brink for four years.

As graduates of Seton Hall University, we can do anything.  In the words of the great Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” So, class of 2013, let us commit ourselves to the belief that we can accomplish anything. With this belief, our book is destined to be a bestseller.

We came onto campus 4 years ago with different backgrounds and different life experiences. We leave this campus 1,359 days later as a collective unit – we are the class of 2013. No matter the school we come from – whether Nursing or Theology, Business or Education, Diplomacy or Arts & Sciences – we are all members of this one University community. Let us put aside the joy of our memories and the excitement of our future for the time being. For as Mother Teresa said: “be happy in the moment, that’s enough.” At this moment, we are in absolute bliss. We are all Seton Hall University Pirates – and it does not get any better than that. God Bless. Elizabeth Ann Seton: Pray for Us.

 

Bradley Childs

Seton Hall University Class of 2013

The Power of Storytelling: Do People Believe Who They Are Today is Essentially Who They Will Be Tomorrow?

Hola Todos!

One of my research passions is storytelling and I’ve been working on an axiom that goes something like this: “Just as our DNA creates the blueprint to our physical or biological self, stories or narratives we select as our own acts as the blueprint to our psychological self.”

An excellent post on NPR.org details a study by Harvard University social psychologist Daniel Gilbert (anything by Professor Gilbert is worth reading) that investigates the premise “Do people believe who they are today is essentially who they will be tomorrow?”

We understand that as we age, we change physically but the same time, we expect our personality to stay consistent.  As Professor Gilbert states, “I have this deep sense that although I will physically age – I’ll have even less hair than I do and probably a few more pounds – that by and large the core of me, my identity, my values, my personality, my deepest preferences, are not going to change from here on out.”

In the study, Professor Gilbert and his research team collected 19,000 surveys from people in the 30’s and their 40’s.  Some people were asked to look back on how they changed over the past 10 years. Others were asked to predict how they thought they would change in the next decade.

When the research team examined the data, “We’re able to determine whether, for example, 40-year-olds looking backwards remember changing more than 30-year-olds looking forwards predict that they will change.” They found that people underestimated how much they will change in the future. People just didn’t recognize how much their seemingly essential selves would shift and grow.

Just think about it; the stories you told yourself in high school probably changed by the time you got out of college.  What you thought you wanted to be when started college, changed by the time you were five years out of college.  When you’re in your 40’s and look back on your career choices and aspirations of your 20’s, those stories are different too.

So understand that in the future, the internal dialog that you have with yourself will change over time.  It’s not a bad thing, its just natural, normal human behavior.

Something to think about today…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Power of Story: Another View

Hola Todos!

My nugget-radar is always up searching for information on the strategic use of storytelling.  While going through the multitude of LinkedIn groups posts the other day, I found a solid nugget from Stanley K. Ridgely, Ph.D., a management professor at Drexel University who also runs a professional blog centered around delivering business school presentations (http://www.ihatepresentations.com/).

In a recent blog post titled, “Science Backs Storytelling?…Yes!”  (click here for full post), Professor Ridgely offers a few tips for adding storytelling elements to a presentation to make them more effective.

What caught my attention in the blog post was the mention of a book by Kendall Haven called Story Proof: The Science Behind the Startling Power of Story I had not heard of.

In his blog post, Professor Ridgely details, “In this book, Haven compiles a wealth of sociological stories that inform us exactly what is meant by “story,” the source of its power, and then makes a compelling case that stories work so well because our brains are hardwired to learn most effectively from story-based narratives.  The mind-boggling and extraordinary truth is that each and every one of thousands of original sources agrees that stories are an effective teaching and learning tool.”

Check out the full blog post when you get a chance.  I’m going to get my hands on a copy of that book.

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, PhD

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

Leadership: The Power of Storytelling

Hola Todos!

Mr. Mike has a solid nugget for us via John Maxwell’s book The Time of Your Life.  Our experiences and those associated memories define who we are.  One of my Dr. Dan-o axioms goes something like this, “Just our DNA creates the blueprint our physical or biological self, stories and/or narratives we select as our own acts as the blueprint for our psychological self.”

As per the text below, we select what stories from which experiences that will shape our character, values, beliefs, etc., – in essence, who we are as a person.

Mike, the floor is yours…

 

To:  The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning

In a recent article, The Time of Your Life, John Maxwell writes that our lives are not primarily shaped by those huge “notable occasions” that create wonderful memories.   Rather it is those “unremarkable days which shape our character and values.  The hours, minutes, and seconds in a day literally are the time of our lives.  How we use them shapes who we are.”  What a magnificent thought to remind us of the magic, beauty and power of each moment and the thoughts, actions and words we present that are the footprints of our life.

Maxwell suggests three simple steps to help us make the most of our days… the most of our life.  The first is to have clarity about our purpose in life.  He quotes Dr. Edward Banfield of Harvard University who “after more than fifty years of research, concluded that “long-term perspective” is the most accurate single predictor of upward social and economic mobility in America. Long-term perspective turns out to be more important than family background, education, race, intelligence, connections, or virtually any other single factor in determining your success in life and at work.” The next step is to set our priorities: “Prioritization means giving focus and energy to those things that give the highest return.” It is always asking the question of everything we do, big or small: Does this add value to me, my business, my community, my people, my family?  The third step is to have a schedule for accomplishing our goals and to stick to it.  Firm discipline is needed to keep us on track and to effectively manage those many activities that compete for the scarce resource of our time.

Maria Edgeworth, author, wrote: “If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.”  Clarity of purpose, priorities and a schedule give shape to those precious seconds, minutes and hours of our life.  Live each moment with passion and excitement in fulfilling your life’s purpose and be more than you ever dreamed that you could be.  Remember always the words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “Nothing is worth more than this day.” Life is so very beautiful.  Enjoy the journey and have fun along the way.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Mike

 

Contact Information:

Michael M. Reuter

Director, Center for Leadership Development

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Tel: (Office) 973.275.2528

Email: Michael.Reuter@shu.edu

 

Topic Talk Tuesday – Work is FUN because it’s your PASSION

Hola Todos!

Today’s Topic Talk is from Holly Rogers who is currently working at Nickelodeon in LA.  It’s a recurring theme here at DigNuggetville but it can NEVER be stressed enough – Passion – Passion – Passion (for instance, click here).  Ask yourself – is my work so interesting that I can’t sleep at night?  It’s so exciting I find myself talking about it with others very easily?  Do you enjoy going to work because WORK doesn’t seem like work?  Check out Holly’s “E True Hollywood Story” below.

Holly, the floor is yours…

 

Making it in a town where very few make it; this is my E true Hollywood Story.

In 2007 after graduating from Suffolk University with a bachelor’s degree in business, I did what every- other newly graduated does; moves to Hollywood to be a waitress. Well not really a waitress but an “actress” I soon realized I was no different than everyone else here. I was waiting tables and doing the norm for a “struggling actor” — headshots, agents, auditions, I learned very quickly that this is in fact a business. The stuff we see on TV is so far from the actual work. But honestly it wasn’t a creative outlet for me.  I remember one of the first auditions I ever went on, was for a fat Jessica Simpson (that was great for my ego) I began to wonder, really? Is this what I want to do with my life?

I knew if I wanted to do the Hollywood thing, I was going to be something bigger (no pun intended) than just Jessica Simpson’s fatter twin.  I began writing. I started with a 30 minute Pilot called “Have a little Patience” About a modern day- role reversal of “I love Lucy.”  It was terrible, a great learning experience, but just awful. I still cringe when I watch it.  My second project “Feathers” about 3 women in their mid- twenties, chasing their dreams; while working in a bar. And now a project that I actually think could be worthy, “Beantownies” about 3 childhood best friends from Boston, who have relocated to sunny Los Angeles.

After living here for four years, I’ve just begun to understand the way this place works. It’s the only place where hard work doesn’t always pay off.  Example– after ten years of writing and chasing this pipe dream, finally a script you wrote sells, and they make your movie (this is your baby) then it flops…  (Just because it flops doesn’t mean it’s bad.) Come on– Transformers made 300 million and a monkey could have written that script… BUT I can almost guarantee your phone will not be ringing off the hook.  This is why it’s called fifteen minutes of fame, because sometimes its gone way faster then it came. So I wonder why people do this. I ask myself this daily… Why do I want to be a sitcom writer? And this is what I have come up with—because it’s a really, really fun job.

Something to think about today…

Best regards,

Holly Rogers

Nickelodeon

Leadership – 30 Days Makes a Habit

Hola Todos!

Mr. Mike gives us a lot in his leadership nugget below.  First, we’re reminded how incredible those TED sessions are on YouTube.  TED is a nonprofit firm devoted to IDEAS WORTH SPREADING (click here).  Founded in 1984 as a conference of people from the Technology, Entertainment and Design worlds, TED has incredible videos on its website of the biggest names in (you fill in the blank – see Malcolm Gladwell’s latest here from an July 2011 session).

Second, in his TED video (click here), Matt Cutts reminds us that true behavioral change in us complicated organisms called humans involves 30 days of repetition.  If you want to start an exercise program – it takes 30 days of repetition for it to become habit.  Do you want read more often – it takes 30 days of repetition for it to become habit. Do you want a better co-worker – it takes 30 days of repetition for it to become habit.

Please read the post below and watch the video when you get a chance.

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

 

To:  The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning

In a recent TED talk Matt Cutts, shares and exciting invitation to Try Something New for Thirty Days.  He encourages great leaders to add a new approach to their arsenal of powerful tools that will enables them to more efficiently and effectively add continued depth, breadth and richness to their life.    Here is Matt’s story (the video is above):

“A few years ago, I felt like I was stuck in a rut, so I decided to follow in the footsteps of the great American philosopher, Morgan Spurlock, and try something new for 30 days. The idea is actually pretty simple. Think about something you’ve always wanted to add to your life and try it for the next 30 days. It turns out, 30 days is just about the right amount of time to add a new habit or subtract a habit — like watching the news — from your life.

There’s a few things I learned while doing these 30-day challenges. The first was, instead of the months flying by, forgotten, the time was much more memorable. This was part of a challenge I did to take a picture every day for a month. And I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing that day. I also noticed that as I started to do more and harder 30-day challenges, my self-confidence grew. I went from desk-dwelling computer nerd to the kind of guy who bikes to work — for fun. Even last year, I ended up hiking up Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. I would never have been that adventurous before I started my 30-day challenges.

I also figured out that if you really want something badly enough, you can do anything for 30 days. Have you ever wanted to write a novel? Every November, tens of thousands of people try to write their own 50,000 word novel from scratch in 30 days. It turns out, all you have to do is write 1,667 words a day for a month. So I did. By the way, the secret is not to go to sleep until you’ve written your words for the day. You might be sleep-deprived, but you’ll finish your novel. Now is my book the next great American novel? No. I wrote it in a month. It’s awful. But for the rest of my life, if I meet john Hodgman at a TED party, I don’t have to say, “I’m a computer scientist.” No, no, if I want to I can say, “I’m a novelist.”

So here’s one last thing I’d like to mention. I learned that when I made small, sustainable changes, things I could keep doing, they were more likely to stick. There’s nothing wrong with big, crazy challenges. In fact, they’re a ton of fun. But they’re less likely to stick. When I gave up sugar for 30 days, day 31 looked like this (a hug bowl of candy).

So here’s my question to you: What are you waiting for? I guarantee you the next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you have always wanted to try and give it a shot for the next 30 days.”

Matt’s words have a strong message: we are in control of our journey: of the joy, beauty and excitement that we choose to bring to our life.  Great leaders all have their “bucket lists” of the dreams that they will someday do, of the beauties they will someday experience, of the person who they someday will be.  So why not seize the ‘try something new for 30 days” approach to start working on it now.  As Matt says, “I guarantee you the next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you have always wanted to try and give it a shot for the next 30 days.”

Roman poet, Horace, wrote:  “Life’s short span forbids us to enter on far reaching hopes.”  With this new way of approaching the things of which we dream, challenge his words, reach and surpass your hopes, and be more than you ever dreamed you could be.

Have a beautiful day and a fantastic week!!!

 

Mike

 

Contact Information:

Michael M. Reuter

Director, Center for Leadership Development

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Tel: (Office) 973.275.2528;

Email: Michael.Reuter@shu.edu 

Leadership: The Power of Storytelling

Hola Todos!

In his post below, Mr. Mike reminds us about the power of storytelling.  While DNA may give us our biological blueprint, I believe storytelling acts much in the same way giving us our psychological blueprint.  One of my mentors, William Locander current dean of the Joseph J. Butt College of Business at the University of Loyola in New Orleans (link), pegged me right way during my first semester in the Ph.D. program at the University of South Florida.  Dean Locander said something like this, “Dan-o, you’re a scrapper.  You’re not the brightest one in the room and often it’s not pretty but man do you get stuff done.  You just find a way to make it happen…. scrapping along.”

Well that might not be a well spectacularly detailed story but it clearly fit my identity.  I never really called myself a scrapper prior to my Ph.D. program but being from the greater Philadelphia area, I guess having a Rocky-like metaphor isn’t such as bad thing.

So what is your story? Think abut that today.

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

To:  The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning

Roz Savage has rowed over 8,000 miles and spent 312 alone in her 23 foot boat.  In 2006, she rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, and in 2010 achieved her goal of rowing across the Pacific Ocean   She is now thinking of crossing the Indian Ocean.  In addition to these adventures, she has also run in the London and New York marathons finishing in the top 2% of the women runners in all races.  Roz Savage was not always an adventurer, however.  In her April 2010 talk, Mission Blue Voyage, she speaks about how she re-created her life to the one that she dreamed and chose, and lessons she learned from her ocean travels.

A management consultant and investment banker at age thirty-four, she knew that this is not what she wanted in life.  She set out to find her purpose, and she did this by first writing her obituary:

“I sat down one day and wrote two versions of my own obituary, the one that I wanted, a life of adventure, and the one that I was actually heading for which was a nice, normal, pleasant life, but it wasn’t where I wanted to be by the end of my life. I wanted to live a life that I could be proud of. And I remember looking at these two versions of my obituary and thinking, ‘Oh boy, I’m on totally the wrong track here. If I carry on living as I am now, I’m just not going to end up where I want to be in five years, or 10 years, or at the end of my life.’ I made a few changes, let loose a few trappings of my old life, and through a bit of a leap of logic, decided to row across the Atlantic Ocean.”

Three important learnings emerged from her self- exploration journey and her adventures.  First, she learned that we are “the stories we tell ourselves.” If we change the story, we find that: “We do have alternatives, and we have the power of free will to choose those alternatives, those sustainable ones to create a greener future.”  Second, she learned that our actions each day have a compounding effect which have future consequences:  “We might think that anything that we do as an individual is just a drop in the ocean, that it can’t really make a difference. But it does…. Anything we do spreads ripples.”  While poor actions and decisions build to create chaos, their reverse can remedy and improve a situation. Thirdly, we have to take responsibility and create our own future: “For so much of my life, I wanted something to make me happy. I thought if I had the right house, the right car, or the right man in my life, then I could be happy, but when I wrote that obituary exercise, I actually grew up a little bit in that moment and realized that I needed to create my own future. I couldn’t just wait passively for happiness to come and find me.”

What would you write for your obituary?  How does it compare to the life that you are now building through your actions and decisions each day? The answers to this questions will result in a choice, a call to action.  Choose wisely; choose well.  May your be inspired by the words of George Bernard Shaw: “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations.”  Light your fire and burn that candle and carry and run with your torch with passion.

Have a beautiful day and a fantastic week‼!

Mike

Contact Information:

Michael M. Reuter

Director, Center for Leadership Development

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Tel: (Office) 973.275.2528; (Mobile) 908.419.6060

Email: Michael.Reuter@shu.edu