Are You a Go-Getter?
You’ve read your share of business books if you’re like most professionals with advancing careers. Great business books educate, inspire, and generate discussion among peers. Some of the most popular and best-selling business books are written as parables. Easy to read and relate to, the author tells a story to illustrate lessons to be learned. Og Mandino’s 1968 classic, The Greatest Salesman in the World, was the first book of this genre that I remember reading. One Minute Manager, Who Moved My Cheese?, and Fish! are all parables and continue to be best-selling business books.
It wasn’t until I discovered a book called The Go-Getter, squirreled away in the library of a cruise ship, did I learn that this book is considered the all-time classic of business story telling. Written in 1921 by Peter B. Kyne, this book tells of Cappy Ricks, of Ricks Logging and Lumbering Company. (Other stories about Cappy Ricks were serialized in the Saturday Evening Post and Cosmopolitan magazine.) In The Go-Getter, Bill Peck is a disabled war veteran who served in the same squadron as Cappy. Bill persuades Cappy, the founder of the company, to hire him and prove himself by accomplishing a sales assignment found impossible by others. When Peck exceeds his quota and Cappy sees Bill’s potential, Cappy gives him a near-impossible task to prove his abilities before promoting him to an even bigger assignment. The test is to buy a specific blue vase. Unknown to Bill the test is rigged with inaccurate, changing information and false facts. Time lines are unrealistic and people are inaccessible and uncooperative. (Sounds like a typical sales situation, doesn’t it?) Bill Peck succeeds in the blue vase challenge without ever letting his confidence, commitment, or enthusiasm falter. Even after learning that this was a contrived assignment rigged with obstacles, Bill appreciated his boss’s trust in him to use his creativity, problem-solving skills, and authority.
How would you react if this kind of test were used on you? Would you still persist if obstacle after obstacle seemed insurmountable? If you had been given a task to get a job done no matter what, would you go back to your boss and question the necessity of it? Would you use advanced problem-solving skills to find other solutions to get the job done? Would you risk some of your own finances, uncertain as to whether the expense would be reimbursed?
Bill Peck demonstrated the traits of a true go-getter. First, he used personal past connections to get hired. But he did so only when he knew he had the skills, abilities, and knowledge to do the job. Then he earned the respect of his associates by exceeding job expectations. He was rewarded with an even tougher assignment where others had failed. Throughout everything, Bill exhibited loyalty, endurance, passion, and personal responsibility to achieve his goals.
Eighty-four years after Peter B. Kyne wrote The Go-Getter, Bill Peck’s personal slogan “it shall be done” still holds true as the watchword of successful people.
Are you a go-getter?
Emily Huling Selling Strategies, Inc. P.O. Box 200 Terrell, NC 28682
Phone: 888-309-8802 Fax: 888-309-7355