Odds & Ends

The First Rule of Brainstorming: Suspend Disbelief

This interview with Kon Leong, co-founder, president and chief executive of ZL Technologies, an e-mail and file archiving company, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.

Q. Tell me about some important leadership lessons you’ve learned.

A. One of my early jobs was selling computer hardware. What I learned about selling was probably more valuable than my M.B.A. I had seen selling as a process just about logic. Then I realized that has nothing to do with it.

Q.What was the insight?

A. You have to present your story in their context, not yours. They don’t really care if you’re standing on top of a robot and quoting equations. If they’re in the deep part of the forest, you’ve got to talk the language of the deep forest. Salesmanship is more like a language unto itself. There is no right or wrong. It’s what you make of it, and what’s black can be gray, and what’s gray can be white. It depends on your framework. The challenge is to share the same framework so that you’re seeing the same page in the same way. Read More >>

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If You’re Not Making Any Mistakes then You’re Not Taking Any Risk

“To be successful, you must come to terms with the notion that you will make mistakes. In fact, you often need to increase your failures to become more successful. Mistakes don’t make you a failure.” Read More >>