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Gray Matters: To the Finish Line

Like Bob, my schedule yesterday was rather intense working on the Fast 50, but last night late, I was able to sit down and finish the book. Here’s what hit my radar reading the last 150 pages.

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Previously, Bob asked about sales tips. Chapter 14 — “Closing the Sale” — is chock full of them:

  • Work out the details before you ask for the business
  • By the time you ask for the sale, there should be no surprises
  • Allow some give and take, but know your limits
  • Don’t neglect your buyer’s emotions when you ask for the sale

Chapter 15 — “Exhaustion” — dovetails nicely with our conversation early this month with Bill Jensen about simplicity. It even includes a copy’n clip “Not-to-Do List.”

But it’s chapter 17 — “Surrender” — which hit me hardest. Calling back to the very beginning of the book (p. xxi, when Consuelo Sanchez was first introduced), the section’s lead in includes the following sentences:

“Power is the ability to take action without restraint. Authority is the ability to make decisions and effect change within change parameters.”

Think about that for a moment. Then think about surrender. The book continues: “Power and authority are not the same thing. In the workplace, no one really has power. No one has power without also having responsibility. Ultimately, influence is more important than power.”

Let’s go back to Connie. When she is first introduced, the authors write, “She is a key figure because the others in the department look up to her.” Much like Gray, who becomes the team’s manager almost by default, while not an explicit leader, Connie is an implicit leader. The authors go on to recommend that readers identify the places where they have influence.

Good stuff. Besides, this chapter also reminds me of Spider-Man: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

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