I’ve got a confession to make.
I’m a recovering intellectual.
Before I escaped from cubicle nation, I thought that accumulating degrees and certificates was the way to succeed.
My mother thought that job security and my salary would be directly proportional to the number of letters that I had after my name. So I got a huge shock when I attended my first lecture at Business School, because the first thing our MBA Professor, Manfred Kets De Vries, said to the class was, "If any of you we’re any good you wouldn’t be here." He said, "If you know what makes people mad, sad and glad and can consistently make people glad, then you’ll be successful and won’t need an MBA." Although it took me a few years to realise it, but Manfred was absolutely right.
We need to have sense-ational business strategies which stir the senses and the soul. Today’s economies of soul require you to attract and addict people.
Influence and power are available as they have always been, to those who can provide experiences which excite, arouse and move people. In the past this was the likes of Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King and The Beatles. Now it’s Steve Jobs’s legacy at Apple, Coca Cola and The Dalai Lama.
The former Chief Scientist of Elizabeth Arden, Dr Parashu Singh said to me, "We’re not really in the business of selling lipsticks and perfumes. We’re in the business of selling hope. When a woman buys one of our cosmetics she’s really buying hope. The hope that someone will tell her that she’s beautiful." The same is true of men’s grooming products. You only have to look at the majority of macho advertisements for razors and deodorants which focus on the guy getting the girl.
The future belongs to those who can capture people’s feelings, emotions and imagination. Capitalists are becoming humanists because it pays.
If you compete at the level of functionality, capability and price then you’re in danger of being commoditised and carted off. People expect great products and service but increasingly that’s not enough. They need to be able to trust you to consistently make their lives better, put a smile on their face and lead them to a better place.
Sunil Bali is a critically acclaimed speaker and writer on the subject of human performance, with over 40,000 people subscribing to his weekly blog.