Characteristics of a Successful Professional - A Propensity to Take Risks
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What sets the
exceptional professional apart from the average? Regardless of what the
profession, from sales to psychiatry, the exceptional professionals
share certain characteristics. Here's one: The propensity to
Now, don't get the wrong idea. We're not talking about skydiving here.
Nor are we talking about sinking your life savings in the new start up
dot com that your friend told you about. I don't mean taking risks that
might endanger your health, safety or long-term security.
Instead, I am talking about taking risks that force you to move out of
your comfort zones on the job -- risks that will stimulate you to
stretch yourself, to become more competent, to gain skills that you may
not have, to expand your abilities and, maybe, in so doing, help you
become more effective and more efficient.
Here's an example. When I began my business, my focus was 100% on
consulting. I had never given a seminar in my life. But I read the
books on how to build a consulting practice, and all the experts
recommended giving seminars as a way to build your consulting practice.
So I determined to do so.
I developed a program, How to Find, Interview, Select and Hire
a Good Salesperson," and approached the local business
college with a proposal to jointly present it. They agreed, and a few
months later, I presented my first seminar. It was a huge risk -
something I had never done before. It caused me to stretch myself and
to learn a new set of skills. I could have failed miserably. But, the
seminar was successful. And that one led to another, and that to yet
another. Within a couple of years, I had discovered that speaking and
training could be major parts of my practice. Today, my speaking and
training income exceeds my consulting income by multiples.
If I hadn't taken that first risk, I would never have built a
successful speaking practice. That practice has allowed me to travel
all over the country, and to present in many countries around the
world. Not only has my income expanded, but my life has broadened as
That's the kind of risk I'm talking about. It's the kind of risk that
calls on you to expand yourself. If you fail, it can be emotionally
painful, and perhaps financially troublesome. However, if you are
successful, it can lead you to other, and greater opportunities.
Test me on this. Talk to someone in your profession who has become
exceptionally successful. Ask him/her about the risks they have taken
in their professional lives. You'll find, I believe, that almost every
successful professional has stretched themselves beyond their comfort
zones at a number of different times. It's one of the characteristics
of the highly successful professional.
If you can build a propensity to take these kinds of risks into your
mind set, you'll grow faster and further than if you remain safely
inside of your comfort zones.
You take risks in a lot of ways. As a salesperson, when you call on a
different type of customer than that with which you have become
comfortable, you take a risk. For example, when you call on the Chief
Financial Officer of a business instead of just the production
supervisor, you've stepped out of your comfort zone and taken a risk.
In every profession, when you choose to implement any new strategy or
tactic, or you chose to do something differently, you take a risk. When
you choose to try a new way to make a presentation, contact your
clients, or locate your office, you are taking a risk. When you chose
to question and then change some long-entrenched habit, you are taking
a risk. When you expand your efforts in any direction that calls for
you to stretch and attempt something new, you are taking a risk.
Some of those risks will turn out well, others will become failures.
Regardless, the simple act of trying something different and new will
help you. You'll gain confidence in your abilities, and you'll learn
from both your successes as well as your failures. Your life will
expand, you'll grow wiser, and you'll become more successful.
That is the sure payoff for every risk thoughtfully taken.
About the Author
Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written ten books, presented in 47 states and eight countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine. Check out our Sales Resource Center for 455 sales training programs for every sales person at every level.
You may contact Dave at The DaCo Corporation, PO Box 523, Comstock Park, MI 49321, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-05-14 13:09:22 in Marketing Articles