I recently heard advice from an 80-year-old, stating, “80% of your job is your ability to deal with people.”
This advice really resonated with me. Education is great, and you need to have intelligence, but this comes in all different shapes, sizes and applications. You may be the smartest person in the room, but if you act like it and treat everyone else like they’re not, you’re not going to get your ideas, thoughts or strategies through. It’s the ability to deal with people that makes such a big difference. Now combine that with smarts, and you’ll have an unbeatable combination.
As I’ve shared before, I received my teaching degree from Central Michigan University. My career is based on my ability to read and comprehend information, basic math, and being able to relate, communicate and deal with people. Those skills are how I make my living at Service Express; they’ve taken me from being the Sales Manager with 15 employees and $3 million in revenue to the CEO with 100 times that now.
To everyone, especially young people coming out of school, I can’t stress enough that to apply all that you’ve learned, you must connect and relate with different people. I think my sales background has been beneficial because it teaches you to ask good questions, understand the customer’s perspective and present solutions that meet their needs. It’s not about what’s important to you or the company; all that matters is what’s important to them.
The same is true whether you’re leading people or working with coworkers. Relate, understand where they’re coming from, and work together to collaborate. Remember, 80% of your success comes from your ability to deal with people.