Just watch the news and you will see examples every day of people and companies following the 10 Rules of Highly Unsuccessful people.
Each chapter is in .mp3 formatRule One - Resist Learning Anything New
Here’s one story taken from rule number Eight: Truth is in the mind of the Beholder, a rule about accountability:
The Truth Will Set You Free
Ever since Jerry was a young kid growing up in Southern California, he knew how to work the system. He was attractive, popular, and got along with everyone because of his laid back personality. During his childhood, his parents were the system. Whenever he would get into trouble, instead of lying, Jerry’s style would be to tell the truth—more or less. Then he would look contrite and promise to never do it again. It worked like magic, even through his teen years in high school, as well as in his personal relationships. Now as he entered the world of work as an account manager for a pharmaceutical company in Los Angeles, his major objective was to maintain his work-life balance; a defining characteristic of Generation Y. That meant sales in the morning and early afternoon, and surfing in the late afternoon. While other working stiffs suffered the traffic jam on Interstate 405, Jerry was “riding the waves and soaking the rays.”
Jerry had inherited a stable sales route with automatic year-to-year growth, so he never bothered nurturing new sales leads. Two or three of his late afternoon clients called to complain to the sales manager, Bruce Gent, of Jerry’s absence in updating their drug requests. Bruce immediately called Jerry’s cell and repeatedly got a voice mail message. Three hours later, Jerry returned Bruce’s call. Bruce asked, “Where the hell have you been, Jerry?” Jerry responded, “My cell was off and I have been stuck in traffic on the 405. However I did get a call in to Mr. Carver about updating their monthly drug request. Everything is cool, ‘Mr. B.’” “That’s interesting because I just got off the phone with Rob Carver. He said he hasn’t seen or heard from you in several weeks,” Bruce responded sternly. Busted, Jerry thought. Then Jerry’s tried-and-true MO (method of operation) automatically kicked into action. “Look Mr. Gent, I’ve been going through some personal problems that have required my attention in the late afternoons. So the truth is, I have missed some of my client calls recently. I’m honestly sorry sir, and I promise I’ll make it up to them by working until 6:00 p.m. every day if I have to.” Bruce replied, “I understand, son. Let’s get together first thing tomorrow morning to work out your future direction.” When Jerry met with Bruce the next morning, Bruce gave Jerry a severance check, wished him good luck in the future. He assured Jerry he would not say anything negative about him to any future employer. The Truth—more or less—had set Jerry free.
Maybe you’ve worked with someone like Jerry or maybe you’ve been like Jerry at some point in your life. It’s okay. We’ve all made mistakes. The question is, have we stepped back and learned something from our mistakes? Do you think Jerry went to his next job and reverted back to his routine of skipping work to ride the waves? If his failure wasn’t strong enough to create a transformation then most likely he did.
Transformation is what How To Be A Total Failure is about.
Our successes rarely, if ever, motivate us to transform ourselves. Unfortunately, our successes often create a state of inertia. Why fix what isn’t broken? Most of us will keep going in the direction our success is taking us until the bottom falls out. That moment of failure is when we usually wake up and realize something has gone wrong.
The most frequent comment readers of the book make is, “As I read How To Become A Total Failure, I couldn’t stop thinking of the time when . . .” and they go on to relate a time in their life or career when they had an eye-opening experience. Failure is a powerful tool for transformation. The key is being able to look at our failures and learn from them.
Publishing today is an interactive process. We’ve wrote How To Become A Total Failure to be both a book you can read and a blog where you can come and share your own stories if you feel so inclined. We think you’ll find that sharing your stories is a big step toward transformation. After all, we don’t want you to end up like Jerry!
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