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The Million Dollar Question

August 11th, 2011. Chiba, Japan.

A mix of confusion and awe as I step off the platform.

I must have made a mistake. But maybe a good mistake.

Birds caw and cicadas click gently, filling the warm afternoon air with sounds of nature. The train platform is open to the air and on the other side of the tracks is a high fence. Beyond it, a bicycle and walking path leading to a park.

Children are running around and playing in the park, but surprisingly quietly. Very Japanese.

Gorilla Theory

Gorilla Theory says: We're all a bunch of fucking gorillas, and acknowledging this and acting accordingly will lead to better results.

Or something.

So today was Saturday, I was hanging out in the office trying to catch up on work when one of my younger staff come in. He's German, really high upside and talented guy. I hired him to do sales because he's got iron willpower, he's massively cocky, he understands rapid learning, and he's fanatic about measurement and metrics and systems-thinking. When interviewing and I asked him to rate himself on a scale of 1 to 10 in every skill, he gave himself mostly 10's. When "sales skills" came up, he said, "I've never done sales... but once I get started, I think 8 out of 10."

This, of course, rubs people the wrong way. My colleague had a, "Who the fuck is this kid?" type reaction. Me? I love it! I told him during our second interview that he's either an A-player or an F-player, and asked him some questions as to whether he's coachable, whether he can learn, how he handles (inevitable) rejection, etc, and I took him on.

He's blowing my expectations away.

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