I read constantly. It is one of the great passions in my life. I’m a Bibliophile. I collect books and to the chagrin of all who travel with me, am known to spend hours in book stores. The Strand on Broadway and 12th; The Tattered Cover in Denver; Powells in Portland; City Lights in San Francisco; Foyles in London – I’ve spent days of my life in each. I even own my personal Holy Grail of books – a signed and inscribed first edition of Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It. If not a collectible, I like to abuse my books. I highlight them, write in the margins, fold pages, take notes in a separate notebook and never travel with less than three different books. On the flip side, the statistical probability stemming from the sheer volume of the books I consume ensures that I also encounter the profoundly craptacular. Therefore, when I recommend a book to my inner circle, they usually take note.
One of the most enjoyable business books I’ve read this past year is Fascinate by Sally Hogshead. This very cool book looks at the seven universal triggers of fascination and shows how people and companies not only understand themselves better, but also how they are viewed by others and subsequently how to put these triggers to use. When I took the simple Fascination test (also found at www.sallyhogshead.com) my primary trigger turns out to be Rebellion, (which my sixth grade teacher Sister Ruth from Rev. George A. Brown Grammar School in Sparta, New Jersey would clearly attest to.) My secondary trigger was Power. (Oh Yea.)
The Rebellion score indicating that I’m:
- Unpredictable (Yes indeed. That sounds like me.)
While the Power score indicates:
- Influential (Once again, spooky-accurate.)
Some well-known Rebellion trigger Leaders include: Andy Warhol, Stephen Colbert, Eminem, Anais Nin, David Bowie, Charles Darwin. (This brought great hilarity to our household as I have more in common with Isaac the Bartender from The Love Boat, than I do with Eminem.)
What I continue to find remarkable about Sally’s book long after I finished it, is how the takeaways have seeped into my daily behavior. I now utilize the triggers in my analysis of companies I work for or with; I consider each as I craft value propositions and interact with people in business meetings or at cocktail parties. The book has changed the way I look at both personal and professional situations and relationships. How many books do that? I recommend it highly to everyone. But especially to those of us in sales.
My current eclectic reading list includes:
Pulphead – Essays by John Jeremiah Sullivan
The Thomas Sowell Reader
Tapped Out by Matthew Polly
Contagious Success by Susan Annunzio
Take the F-Score test at www.sallyhogshead.com. What are your Fascination triggers? What books have changed the way you view yourself or your company? What books are on your nightstand?
Until next month, good selling.
Will Petruski is myGreenlight’s VP of Sales. Follow him on twitter @wpetruski.