Today is International Day of Persons With Disabilities. I’ve had the good fortune to know many people with a variety of disabilities. Some from my time in the military, some who are or were work colleagues who became disabled before we met, and several who were born with various disabilities either due to genetics or problems in the birthing process.
I have to say that none of those individuals ever struck me as disabled in the way that perhaps the meaning of the word usually conveys. Sure, they’ve been frustrated as heck about their circumstances, and then picked themselves up off the floor so to speak (or even literally in more than one case) and got on with life – quietly, unwittingly inspirational. Reflecting on their experiences, and examining mine in the light of theirs has helped me be a bit more grounded in putting my own situation in to context – most of my body works most of the time – pretty standard for a typical 50+ year old bloke.
In business terms we surely all have something we’re not good at – or even totally, utterly and irrefutably suck at, and that matters to our success. So we figure it out. We don’t let it beat us. Doesn’t mean we’re not, or shouldn’t be, frustrated to the point of turning the air around us a very rude shade of blue.
What I’ve found helpful at times is listening to this podcast: “Jokes With Mark Simmons” from BBC Radio 4 comedy podcasts.
It’s British comedian Mark Simmons in conversation with all manner of well known & not so well-known comedians discussing and exploring jokes they wrote that just died, trying to understand why & how they died and trying to fix them there and then.
So, I get comedic relief, always good for the soul – especially when stuck in commuter traffic – I like to be one of the very few (usually only one) stuck in a hideous jam, enjoying myself listening to comedy…
And I get insights into their world – these are real professionals, trying to do their best in a frankly scary world of personal vulnerability, trying to be the best they can be. It’s fascinating to see them analyse, theorise, and then experiment…
Imagine where your abilities and self confidence might be if you did the same – or more of the same – striving to constantly better yourself.
For over 10 years I’ve worked with hundreds and hundreds of well compensated sales people who work for large corporates. It still amazes me how many of them think they’re the best sales people around and that when they lose a deal it’s because of the product they’re selling, or the higher listed price of it, or because the economy happened to suck that day. It’s all crap. They lose deal typically because they’re not good at selling, and win when they just happen to come along at the very moment a client decides to buy. I know this sounds harsh, and it is. But it’s also more true than many might suppose. A true professional in my book is somebody looking to always be better tomorrow than they were today.
Just like those comedians on this podcast. They just happen to also have a laugh as they do it. Maybe we can try something similar – having a laugh as we go…