Thursday, February 18, 2010

Node Zero: "Love is the Killer App" by Tim Sanders

For my first review, I want to go back to the first book that sparked me to get into business. It was early 2000's, and I was working like a dog. At a factory. While I figured out what I was going to do with my life. Everyday after work, I'd get home and eat in front of the TV. Usually around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, there would be some 'Biography' or 'Inside the Actor's Studio' on, and I was always really into those, hearing about brilliant people, and their humble beginnings.

It was around this time that I saw the story of Bill Gates and how Richard Branson started his empire when he was 16, etc. I was buzzing off these 'interview' shows, and there was something about them that really turned me on, I wasn't sure what it was, but each one had a nugget of genius, and I felt that if I could just keep getting the odd nugget of genius, maybe I could find what I wanted to do with my own life.

Flipping the channels one such afternoon, I stopped on a local access show because there was this wild looking hipster guy, with purple tinted shades passionately talking up a new way of doing business. I listened with rapt attention, as this guy, Tim Sanders, tore apart every negative stereotype about the big bad world of business.

"These sharks don't last"..."No one wants to be that cheesy guy at the Office"..."I love my Company"..."The people I work with are rockstars!"

Before I even knew what company he worked for (Yahoo!) and what his 'job title' was (Chief Solutions Officer) I knew I had a lot to learn from this guy. He was living the existence I'd always dreamed of, basically he was a Businessman with a Conscience. No, scratch that. He was a Passionate Businessman! And he wasn't just scraping by, he had landed a huge role at a huge company that had their pick of pretty much anyone for that job. In other words, his 'passion' wasn't a fluke, his conscience, his authenticity was a core element of how he did his job! It was the thing that set him apart from everyone else! At the time, it was a real revelation to me that being anything other than a slimy salesman could be an... advantage in the workplace.

He'd written all his ideas down in a new book, and within days I was delving into "Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends." Tim breaks down his holy trinity of Bizlove: Knowledge, Networks and Compassion. This was so huge to me then, and now, looking back, it's still a rarity to find people who act the way this guy lives.

The idea goes something like this: you can actually have really close relationships with great people in the office, it doesn't have to be cold, and it doesn't have to be cheesy and fake, but you have to have to know you're stuff first. And for that, you have to hit the books, and you have to become a social animal, networking the right way.

In order, reading great books, applying their knowledge, sharing it freely with your growing network, and then, when you have demonstrated to people that you know your stuff, then you can start building sincere relationships with people. If you do that, you'll almost never lose a sale, you'll almost never be undercut by a competitor, because it won't be about dollars and cents, it'll be a sincere partnership, in a sea of Machiavellis.

If you don't know anything, and start making promises to the customer (eg. all your prospects) and then let them down, you are the cheesy guy. You're the shark.

At the end of this great book is a killer Reading list to get the newly indoctrinated on their way, not only Business books, but books on Tech, books on Out of the box thinking, and books on ...Love.

I couldn't recommend this book more highly, and if it isn't already obvious, Tim Sanders' ideas are what led me to eventually studying Business in school, and even doing this very blog. Tim Sanders, among other things, is the anti-Cynic, and I believe, that should be enough to get you to pick up his book. Once you get a few pages in, you'll be hooked.

Follow this author on Twitter@sanderssays

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