Uploads by ramit sethi:
On storytelling – have a book of stories to tell
Great salesperson (Inside the mind of the world’s top salesperson) – genuine and expert
Convincing an executive (awkward analyst to CEO) – 3 “yes”, if they say “no” at the end, bring them through the 3 “yes” and let them know that their final decision should be a “yes”.
IMPROVEMENT & DECISIONS
Yes, you can. Also, you will not lose who you are. You will still be true to yourself. These are just excuses that you give yourself.
I want to do an extraordinary job for the company and if I do, I would like to discuss a compensation increase. Here’s are the 3 things that I would like to do for the company (e.g. drive new users up by 25%, improve engagement by 15%, increase revenue by 5%) . So do you agree? If they agree, go back and do the work. Every two weeks, check in with the boss with the results.
Why are you taking the job? Are you taking the job so that you can be a working person, or are your taking the job because you really love that job. If not, why not stay in school and learn more about what you want to do and get the most of the education system before you start working?
CONVINCING PEOPLE / PITCHES
Be theatrical, pull out the comprehensive 3-4 pages document / proposal out of the briefcase. On top of this, you will be the one in control in the discussion from that point onwards.
From Cal Newport and Scott Young:
‘stopped asking “what job do I want?” and instead asked “what lifestyle do I want?” ‘
– Do a background check on the person and ask specific questions. Show that you have learnt about his background from your own research.
– Don’t always ask questions as it will seem like you are interrogating that person, instead, showcase empathy e.g. it must have been tough to [his experience/ work], how did you…?
– Ask a question about yourself and seek his advice. 2-3 questions about him and 1 question about you. No one cares about you, this is about him. You are here to learn, so don’t talk about yourself. In a 25min convo, 20min about him and 5 min about you.
One of Chris’s colleagues even shared an anecdote about overhearing a promotion discussion. “There were two people up for promotion and what it came down to was one person had created $19 million in value and the other $20 million.” The latter person got the promotion.
Now, in retrospect, the idea that creating more value in a for-profit company isn’t surprising. But Chris worked in this company for years and hadn’t noticed that this was the hidden language top performers were using to distinguish themselves from the rank-and-file.
In his own words, “I hadn’t been defining my job performance in terms of that. I’m not in a sales field or anything. It sounds sort of obvious when you say it, but nobody had ever come to me and said, ‘Hey Chris, this is what matters.’
Not All Effort is Created Equal
To elaborate on this claim, it’s important to recognize an important formula regarding ambitious projects:
(success of outcome) = (quality of idea) * (effort invested)
In other words, if the project you’re pursuing is not great, then it’s hard to make up for this deficit through hard work alone. On the other hand, a great idea not aggressively pursued will not generate many tangible rewards.
The phrase “don’t get started” is shorthand for the notion that if you’re pursuing something ambitious you probably need to spend an ambitious amount of time ensuring that you’ve identified the right path.
The Importance of Planning in Career Improvement
I’m mentioning this concept in this particular series as it’s particularly relevant to career improvement. Scott and I observed that a common shortcoming in many career overhaul efforts is that people jump right into trying to “get ahead” without first spending the necessary time to figure out where to invest this effort.
Most self-improvement initiatives in which you might invest extra effort will have minimal returns (though they will make you feel satisfyingly more productive or clever in the short term).
The foundation to becoming a top performer, in other words, is finding the small number of high leverage pursuits that will yield huge returns for the time invested; and finding these targets almost always will take a considerable amount of active investigation, testing, and contemplation.
You certainly want to avoid unnecessary procrastination. But sometimes, “getting started” is not about diving into action, but instead about diving into research. Aiming your effort in the right direction can exponentially improve your returns.
Of course, walking the line between smart planning and paralysis by analysis is hard. But it’s a path you have to navigate once you move past the entry level in almost any pursuit and start fighting to become a stand out.
The Colored Folder Pitfall
The explanation for these low value responses is straightforward. When you ask someone to give sage advice, you’re putting them on the spot. Social convention demands that they respond quickly (to fill the awkward silence), and this tends to send the brain into a scramble to find anything coherent to say.
Over the years I’ve spent writing advice, I’ve learned that the careful, objective, systematic processing of experience needed to generate practical insights does not come naturally to most people. You shouldn’t expect this of others.
Adventures in Advice Extraction
This reality turned out to be a problem in the early pilot sessions Scott and I conducted for our Top Performer course. A key component in our curriculum is the idea that it’s hard to figure out which skill you should improve, so we spend multiple weeks helping the students conduct research to identify objectively what’s actually valuable in their field.
Part of this research involves interviews with successful individuals. The students in the early pilots reported that they were not receiving useful responses. They were asking, more or less, “what’s your advice for me?”, and getting back the same jumbled answers I encountered as an undergraduate writing my book on study habits.
What’s the solution to this problem?
When it came to uncovering effective study strategies I soon learned to stop asking students for their advice. Instead, I began to ask them about their experience. In particular, I developed a questionnaire in which I had the subject walk through their study process, step-by-step, for the last test on which they scored a good grade, and then walk through their research and writing process, step-by-step, for the last paper on which they scored a good grade.
After gathering this data from many students, I sorted through the responses to extract the patterns that seemed meaningful.
In other words, I did not place the burden of making meaning of experience on the interview subject. I instead used them as a source of data on which I could later extract the insights that matter.
This general strategy has served me well on every piece of advice writing I’ve done since. It served our Top Performer students well in learning from experts in their fields. And it can serve you well in almost any circumstance in which you’re trying to gain insights from other people.
Don’t ask for advice. Ask for experiences. Then extract the insights yourself.
This technique will almost always get you better information, and, more importantly, it’ll save from you from a ten minute lecture on the magic of colored folders.
The Doctor’s Paradox
This was a finding from a 2005 study from the Annals of Internal Medicine. What they found was that, contrary to expectations, general practitioners tended to get worse with more experience. Quoting from the original abstract:
“Physicians with more experience are generally believed to have accumulated knowledge and skills during years in practice and therefore to deliver high-quality care. However, evidence suggests that there is an inverse relationship between the number of years that a physician has been in practice and the quality of care that the physician provides.”
But interestingly, a different group of practitioners, surgeons, were shown in a different study to get better with more experience, as expected.
A Tale of Two Doctors
A major explanation proposed for the difference between the two types of doctors was deliberate practice. Timely feedback, one of the key components of deliberate practice, is something surgeons get while operating. General practitioners, on the other hand, often receive feedback months later, or not at all, on whether their prescriptions worked as intended.
The 10,000 hour rule — that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert — has created the popular impression that getting really good is simply a matter of time. Put in the effort, the meme goes, and you’ll get better automatically. The difficulty is simply in the time spent.
However, this notion that more experience is all that matters not only contradicts the Doctor’s Paradox, but also the key principles of deliberate practice as researched by Anders Ericsson. More time spent using a skill, on its own, might not make you any better at it.
Instead of continuous progress, plateaus—where you stay at the same level of skill for a long time—are not only common, they’re the norm. Thinking back, you’ve probably experienced plateaus yourself. Times when you’ve stayed stuck at a certain skill level, despite putting in more and more time at it. Chances are those plateaus struck you a lot earlier than 10,000 hours.
Rethinking Career Development
In the meantime, ask yourself this: Are your the skills that matter for having a career you love improving as you’d like? If not, how could you improve the speed and quality of feedback you get to escape the Doctor’s Paradox.
NEGOTIATING YOUR SALARY
Set up a special meeting, don’t do it over lunch. “I would like discuss about my compensation, about my salary adjustments”. Research (look at the websites in the video), excitement (keep reiterating this and that you have been giving extraordinary contributions) to continue working here. Why I deserve it, 15% increase. Then shut up, let them talk (every extra word that you add will decrease the effectiveness of your words. Force them to say something.). I know the eco is tough but right now am not even compensated at the average number. Immediate adjustment to the average rate.
X: I am excited to work in this company, very excited to contribute to this company. I did my research, the market rate is… (know the range for this) –> constantly express that you are interested and excited in the job
Company: Tough economy. Can’t offer you more.
X: I would look at this like an investment. Someone who is able to double or someone who is able to triple the money?
Company: We were able to offer 57K
X: One of the other things we didn’t talk about is other modes of compensation like stocks and bonus. 57k is more than 50k but it is still below the value that I got from my research.
Company: Review cycle to review my performance? Accelerated review cycle e.g. after 6 mths, to repeg my salary which is equivalent to that of my work i.e. my compensation is on par with my value.
Research. Convince them that you are not just another commodity. Get other offers. Reiterate and be 150% firm and determined about your moral autority frame. Use silence to force them to talk and make sure you don’t babble.