If You’re Not Learning, Then You’re Obsolete

“Charmer,” the dictionary defines it as a person with an attractive and engaging personality, typically one who uses this to impress or manipulate others. We’ve all known one. They walk in a room, flash a smile, shake your hand, and then proceed to blow an unimaginable amount of “smoke” right up your… Well, if that’s your only option in the playbook, then you better find a new playbook. FAST.

Growing up one finds that a little charm will get them a long way. An extra cookie at grandma’s, a weeknight sleepover at a friend’s house, and even one more hour of TV before bedtime. It stays with us through high school and college. We may be able to charm our way to a better grade, an extension on our term paper, or even a date with the girl who sits across the way in our Finance course. It is engrained in us from the start, and we stick with it. Why not? It has gotten us this far. To borrow a quote from an often senile, but mostly entertaining ex-football coach, “Not so fast, my friend!”

You see, the business world is full of charmers. They’re experts at it. So, what has changed? They’ve added plays to their playbook, lots of ‘em, and if you want to survive in this dog eat dog world, then you better do the same. You better know your product or service. The ins and outs of your competition and what puts you above and beyond them because if a CEO asks a young businessperson what their competition is and he or she says, “there is no competition.” Well, it becomes fairly obvious that he or she didn’t do their homework. Homework, what was once our enemy, is now our trusty cohort. Know your market. Know your client’s market. Know your client’s clients’ market. Because if you want that “WOW” factor, that second meeting, or that large account that lands you a promotion, then you’re are going to need to make yourself memorable, then one play isn’t going to cut it. Become an expert in a different area: leadership, creative thinking, problem solving, etc… The resources are out there: books, newspapers, LinkedIn, blogs, Google and more. If you’re not learning you’re obsolete! Make it so nobody can dismiss you! Set yourself apart from the crowd! DARE to be better than the “keeping up with the norm” because you can get by on charm for about 15 minutes, and after that, YOU BETTER KNOW SOMETHING!

Drew

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