The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


And what do you do?

My company has been hiring lots of people.  We used to do quarterly new hire receptions.  Lately, our receptions have been less frequent – everyone is so busy helping the company grow I suppose.

So now I meet a new employee or two each week casually – a new face by the coffee machine; or someone sitting in the lunchroom I don’t recognize.  We have a terrific company culture.  People are very friendly – it’s easy to meet and exchange introductions.

My little known secret is they have no clue the amusement I enjoy during these brief “Hellos”.  It’s the usual ritual.  They tell me their name; what role they’ve been hired into; and who their manager is.  (I like to see if I know their manager, as a way to keep track of who’s who in the zoo.)  Then it’s the same, “And Gary, what do you do?”  Let my game begin!

I offer some vague response like, “I’m an enablement manager”; or “I’m in the channel”.  Rarely does the new hire clarify my vagueness.  It’s a personal market test – you see, I believe in the sales profession today, specificity is a killer application.  The more skilled we are as sales professionals in our ability to cut through vagueness, the more we (A) differentiate ourselves from our competitors, and (B) get to a more clear understanding of our prospects.

Now I’m not a prospect for our new hires, however I like to observe how they react to vague responses because, T. Harv Eker reminds us:

How you do anything is how you do everything.

Of course, I have a second, ulterior motive for vaguely telling my fellow employees what I do.  These brief interactions remind of my Dad.  He was a widower for 34 years.  And, he wasn’t much of a cook.  So he ate dinner at the hospital cafeteria near his house (where my Mom died) almost every night – for over 30 years.

The hospital employees became so used to seeing my Dad in the cafeteria; they started inviting him to their company picnics each summer.   What a delight for my Dad!  A social engagement; with many of his acquaintances; someone barbequing for him; raffle prizes; all FREE!  He laughed every year he told me about it, “Gary, they think I work here!”

When I would scold my Dad for the masquerade, he would protest, “I never said I was an employee – they just assumed I am because I’ve been going to the cafeteria longer than they have worked there.  No one ever asked me specifically about my job.”

The topper came during the last two company picnics he attended before his health failed and he moved into an assisted living facility.  (Still preferring someone to cook for him!)  Over my annual protest, he attended the hospital’s picnic and he won a door prize – a Weber Grill nonetheless!  He wanted me to take it (because you already know he wouldn’t use it).  I think he gave it to his neighbor.

At his last company picnic, he won the grand prize – a TV.  That prize he gladly moved with him to his new apartment.  The hospital never knew that they had invited an outsider to their employee picnic for all those years.  Oh well, it was a great cause and most appreciated by the Pokorn family.

So come on everyone, don’t let your prospects; or me; or anyone for that matter; get away with vagueness.  You may just wind up cooking for us.


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