Are You a Three Percenter?

By Tom Reilly

“He’s a three-percenter.”

“What’s that,” I asked the sales manager.

“Every year, he invests three percent of his time and income in personal development. That’s what it takes to be the top salesperson in a salesforce of 500 salespeople.”

Are you a three-percenter? How much time and money do you invest in the brand over which you have the most control? I’m talking about Brand You. What are you waiting for?

In 2014, U.S. companies invested 2.8% of their top lines in product research and development. They invested .42% in training and development. People represent the single unique dimension of value, but companies invest 6-7 times more money developing products versus people.

Let’s face it. Your company is not going to invest three percent of its top line on you and your peers. This means you must take charge. Brand You is your responsibility. You might as well own it.

You must read, study, and train five hours every week. This is three percent of your time or one hour for each day of the workweek. If you don’t have time for this, study time management. Invest $3,000 every year of your $100,000 income in your professional development. If you’re not making that kind of money, are you investing in yourself to reach that level? This is your responsibility. Most companies will not invest that much time and money in your brand. Own it.

There are few guarantees in this world. I cannot guarantee you will be number-one in a salesforce of 500 people if you make this investment. However, I can guarantee you will not be number-one if you fail to invest in Brand You.



Humility in Business

By Tom Reilly, author of The Humility Paradox

Strong, stable businesses have embraced humility as a cultural virtue. Humility is the most powerful paradox in business. What masquerades as meekness is really strength. The perceived weakness of this foundational virtue is the source of its power. That’s why it is a paradox. Humility is a necessary requirement for much of what makes your business strong. For your business to be strong you need synergy, innovation, serving attitude, and empathy.

There is strength in numbers. This strength is synergy. Synergy happens only when pieces come together. In business, this means that teams and team members must work together. This collective strength is synergy. Synergy cannot happen when teams or team members battle each other. It is impossible to be a good team member when someone is more focused on creating a job for oneself than value for the team. Teamwork demands that members subordinate their egos for the greater good of the team. Humility makes this possible. This makes humility the necessary requisite of synergy.

Growth and development are born in the realization that something or someone can improve. Nothing can improve without admitting that there is room to improve. This realization and acknowledgement begins with humility. Humility recognizes limitations, weaknesses, and imperfections. This makes humility the necessary requisite of growth.

Serving others requires a selflessness that comes only from humility. Serving is an act of subjugation, which is humility. It is a statement that one places a premium on satisfying the needs of others. Setting aside one’s personal interests in the service of others is an act of humility. This makes humility the necessary requisite of serving.

Seeing another’s point of view requires that people suspend judgement in an attempt to understand others. There is great power in this understanding. Sellers who practice this act of humility are customer-focused. To see another’s point of view requires a selflessness that comes from humility. This makes humility the necessary requisite of understanding others.

Humility is a solid foundation upon which to build your go-to-market strategy.

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