The Friday News Minute!


A weekly gem of information you will be using on Monday!


Published by Andrew Sanderbeck

Managing Partner of The People~Connect Institute

Success Begins when People~Connect!


This week in our Friday News Minute, we look at managing our calendars and some other hidden talents (or not!) in an article by Mark Fitzgerald. Perhaps, after reading this article you will see the power in appreciating what you are not good at now, knowing that one day, one step at a just might get there!


Making Progress

The other day I briefly suffered from the illusion that I could sing. With my Ipod volume cranked way up, I sang along with the Kingston Trio in a truly stirring rendition of Charlie of the MTA. (Readers under 40 may find my reference to both song and artists arcane. Rest assured that recognizing neither is required for our purposes here.) It seemed to me that I was not only on key but that I also possessed a beautiful bass voice to boot. So I put down my Ipod, picked up my banjo, played the appropriate chords and began to sing along.

Shock and awe. If hell has a band, I surely will ace my audition. The cacophony for which I was directly responsible would render even Simon Cowell speechless. I can't sing.

Now our story could easily end here. There are many things that I can't do. Singing is most assuredly on the list. But even though my voice was profoundly unpleasant for even me to tolerate and prompted my cat to leave the room faster than a cheetah leaves a salad bar, still one small jewel glittered. I did successfully play the banjo accompaniment!

A couple of years ago I could play no musical instrument of any kind. Today you wouldn't want to buy my CD but should you happen to hear my banjo efforts you might at least recognize the tunes. That's progress.

Will singing ever be listed among my skills? I don't know. But it could. And that's really cool.

Each of us has things that we do well. We all have talents. That is wonderful but, in the pursuit of progress, largely uninteresting. What is far more useful is to know what we can't now do but, with proper instruction and practice, could do in the future. Human beings are learning machines. Therein lies our greatest talent.

It's not of real consequence whether or not I can play the banjo. It's just something that I've always wanted to do and in which I take pleasure. It doesn't matter if I do or don't learn to sing. I might and I might not. But I could.

Everyday I meet business people who can't manage their calendars. I meet salespeople who earn a fraction of what other people selling the same product in the same market earn. I receive calls from salespeople reading scripts developed thirty years ago. They are mostly nice people. They're mostly just getting by.

Managing one's schedule is a central business skill. It is something one can learn to do. Prospecting and deal-making are selling skills. They, too, can be learned. There are myriad other abilities that business people can acquire with education, practice and effort. Yet, many people chose to keep acting the same predictable way and reading the same tired scripts.

I really don't know why. I do know that, thereby, much is wasted. I also know that when I somehow summon the resolve to learn something new that the reward always far exceeds the effort in the long run; that the hard part is getting started; that there is always the temptation to quit, and that nothing worth doing is ever easy to learn to do. But that, once learned, the really useful things in business, or in life, for that matter, become second nature. The difficult becomes easy. The painful becomes fun. The impoverished can become rich. Heck, I might even learn to sing.

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Andrew's "The Power of Asking for What You Want -- Jimmy's Secret" Book is now available!

How can a little five-year-old boy change your life? In the book The Power of Asking for What You Want – Jimmy’s Secret not only does Jimmy show you time and time again how a child asks for what he wants, but he also asks for his sister and his mom when they’re afraid to ask for what they want for themselves. The story is set in an undisclosed small town in the Northeastern United States and centers around Jimmy’s family which includes his ten-year-old sister Cynthia (don’t call me Cindy) and his mom, Lynda Chamberlin.

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See you in California! Andrew Sanderbeck is the featured presenter for the Library Instruction Roundtable (LIRT) at the 2008 American Library Association Conference in Anaheim. His presentation will be on Sunday, June 30th at 10:30 am. Please stop by and say hi...and stay for his program on How to Avoid Burnout!!