Day 1: Forget memos and start conversing. You’ll look better and connect more deeply with those you either lead or need to impress.
Day 2: Develop a hook. You have only a few seconds, in general, to impress someone. Use it wisely. The Beatles sometimes experimented with five or 10 versions of a song, and the differences usually lay in the first four or five measures.
Day 3: Pretend that you’re independently wealthy. A CEO once told Sobel that he wished all his advisers were wealthy so he’d know they were putting his agenda first and telling it to him straight. Never fawn or behave as though the meter is running.
Day 4: Start acting like a deep generalist. If you’re a narrow specialist, you’re a commodity.
Day 5: Listen and ask provocative questions. Don’t just tell. When Pablo Picasso was asked what he thought of the new mainframe computers, he said: “Computers are useless; they can only give you answers.”
Day 6: Help them see the forest. Prioritize, discern patterns in the data and reframe the problem.
Day 7: Develop your trustworthiness. Do that, in turn, by working on: 1) your integrity, including honesty, consistency and reliability; 2) your competence; 3) your focus on the other person; and 4) face time.
Day 8: Treat the person like it’s Day 1. 17th-century Jesuit scholar Baltasar Gracián wrote, “You will be esteemed as long as you are new.” How true.
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