“Time does not experience make.”
— Terry Minion
“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the
ability to learn from the experience of others, are also
remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”
— Douglas Adams
In the early days of my auto business career, I heard this phrase and never let it get very far from me: he had twenty years experience; one year’s experience repeated 19 times. If you’ve watched people in their positions over time, I’m sure that phrase has meaning to you. I used to see a lot of it, and still do.
Why that phrase stuck with me is that I find love in learning, and if I’m not growing, and becoming more every day, week, month, year, then I would be very disappointed in myself and my experience. So, it helps drive me just a bit by reminding me that I need to learn new things every day and continually grow.
Now, this growth could be anywhere in my life, and I study business, sales, sales management, psychology, metaphysics (fancy word for life skills), and life by observation and participation. What’s cool about that is that all of those subjects are present in what I do for work. I love growing, learning and expanding.
To me, the key difference between one experience level and another is study, and a real willingness to learn. This is what I see lacking when I see a lot of employees in action at various companies–especially in sales. It’s always fascinated me how to change this, and I’ve had some success with it, from much trial and error.
Here’s what over 40 years of sales management experience has taught me: 1. Find good people. 2. Provide clear expectations. 3. Train well. 4. Follow through without threats. 5. Create a positive culture. 6. Repeat.
Number one is ultimately the most important, so these are in numerical sequence of importance in my mind. Number two gets missed a lot, and is key to the early experience. They have to know what to do, what is acceptable and not, with clarity. Number three is so important and especially the second word: well. Number four is where I see a good deal of problems where threats are made and not followed through on. Forget the threats, just do it. This goes back to number two. Number five is critical to longevity and productivity. If the only reason they are there is the paycheck, that is not reason enough to have a great staff. Then, number six is necessary because number three will soon tell you who you’ve hired. Always on the hunt is a good philosophy.
This could change the phrase to this: she had twenty years experience, and she studied it so well, she got it in ten years!
I’ve Probably Learned More From Trying And Not Succeeding Than Trying And Succeeding.
Spread Some Joy Today–be open to experience and learning. There is joy in there.