So you’re a successful person walking down the street to a business meeting, and a small bird lands on your shoulder. You immediately think:
- A small bird just landed on my shoulder
You call yourself a successful person? You’re an idiot. In business, a successful person has learned through many painful experiences to look beyond the obvious, to peel away the layers of a situation and uncover the truth. Only then can you act appropriately, with confidence. In this case, the small bird is clearly serving two purposes. First, it is a puzzling distraction that will make you stop walking and ponder its behavior. Second, the bird is a spotter. It is lighting you up so the rest of the flock can accurately unload on you from 100 feet. So run to your meeting and don’t stop until you’re safely in the lobby! Or maybe your first thought is:
- It’s just a small bird – it can’t possibly hurt me
A wise man once said “Don’t underestimate a Pomeranian”. Sure, it’s a small animal, but did you know that these Doberman chew-toys are descended from a large, wolf-type breed that used to pull sleds in Siberia? They are smart, manipulative, and have the personality of a much larger canine. A co-worker is training for a sprint triathlon, and recently went for a six mile walk with his fiancé’s eight year-old Pomeranian. That little beast walked the whole route on her little stick legs without breaking a dog-sweat! So don’t be blinded by first impressions or prejudices – a small bird can hurt you, especially in a close proximity battle. If a small bird lands on your shoulder, assume it is some avian ninja and prepare to fight! Or there’s a chance the first thought crossing your mind is:
- I am going to rock this business meeting
This is the correct answer. What, did you really think I got to where I am today by worrying about pooping bird flocks and avian ninjas? The scarf around my neck isn’t that tight. The point is don’t over-analyze. If you have a good plan, stick with it – you have already considered all angles, reasoned through the possible threats to a successful outcome, and decided how to address these if encountered. Small birds (real ones, hallucinations, or literary symbols) should not cause any deviation from your chosen path because they are inconsequential. Be prepared, and thee shall rock.
Simple as that – here’s a couple of tips:
Do your research – Know your adversary, but do ask questions. No one knows everything and careful questioning can give you the advantage in a negotiation.
Be alive – Show some interest and enthusiasm. You don’t have to go ADHD, but zombies are only fun to watch on TV.
Stick with your plan – If you have analyzed everything, rehearsed your speech and believe in your message, use it! Don’t let anything get in the way of your success.
If you make up imaginary issues, lame excuses, or allow yourself to be sidetracked by irrelevancies (i.e. small birds) you are not prepared and you will fail.
Just so you know, I do realize that the two bird paragraphs were silly. Except for the first one, which actually happened. To Gary Busey.