For 28 years at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and 45 years as an executive and adviser to growing companies, I’ve devoted much of my career to identifying and developing talent. I have hired many successful executives, and I’ve turned away many more would-be leaders.
So when the country begins to open back up, what kinds of opportunities might you look for? The least popular (but perhaps most useful) advice I give every year to M.B.A. graduates is to pick up sales experience as soon as possible—and the closer to the customer, the better.
Sadly, very few of my students heed this advice. Of every year’s crop of M.B.A. graduates, almost half will go into finance or consulting to avoid the hustle—and rejection—that are part of trying to sell something to flesh-and-blood customers. What they don’t realize is that 20 years down the road, many of their most successful classmates will have mastered the art of persuasion and gained the ability to identify an actual need. They will have built their careers on the ability to sell goods and services to flesh-and-blood humans. A quote from Zig Ziglar, a legendary salesman, author, motivational speaker and coach, applies here: “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
Source: Market Watch