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Business Martial Arts Lesson – A Million Lessons Everyday

Be a good listener in business

This is Lesson No. 4 of a Continuing Series on How Martial Arts Skills can be Applied to Business

A million lessons everyday – Everyone you meet, everything that happens to you is a lesson. In Hapkido, every class brings either someone who knows more than you or someone who has taught themselves something you didn’t explore. Listen to them and humbly take their gift. This learning is happening to us everyday if we would just pay attention and get our ego out of the way.

The business lesson - Stop worrying about who reports to who and why should you listen to them. Go to meetings with an open mind and listen for lessons that may have slipped through in the past. They can come from people who may be high performers to others who are struggling. Sometimes the person who is struggling is going to tell you something that can help the business. You will find that although there are people in the company that may not have a lofty title, they are critical players in how the company runs. They can and will teach you too, but you will only hear them if you are listening. For instance, the assistant to the CEO is seen by many CEOs as the eyes and ears of the organization. That may not be accurate or fair, but in many companies, it's reality. The best approach is an open approach where you are always on the lookout for wisdom and guidance. Good people want to be helpful, I believe it's in their nature. The only ones that aren't are those who have been hurt by others in the past. A culture of learning, collaboration and receptiveness can help show them a better way.

Lesson 1 - The Foundation
Lesson 2:  Be Present
Lesson 3:  No Short Cuts

More Stories By John Ryan

John is an experienced leader with a strong background of defining and executing company strategies. He is especially skilled in channel management, market analysis, brand marketing and selling technology products and services. He has successfully served in a number of executive positions and has been in management for 20 years. John is currently writing a book on increasing revenue generation. He has been a co-author of a comprehensive marketing methodology for high tech companies and has helped venture capitalists and private equity firms gauge their technology investments. In 2004, John served as Vice President of Marketing for the NA arm of the $6B IT Services division of Siemens, AG. John served on the board of directors at WebTrends, purchased by NetIQ (NTIQ) for $1 billion in 2001. WebTrends was highly successful dominating the web site analysis and reporting space. Prior to WebTrends, John was the Vice President of Marketing for Tivoli Systems. John has worked as a contracted consultant for established companies, start ups and top analyst firms. John can be reached at john@johnwryan.com or you can follow him on Twitter @buyersteps