Most salespeople never read a single book on sales. Most business people don’t read books on business either, with the exception of enlightened leaders who are future-oriented and recognize the great power in reading. Over 33 percent of people never read a book again after completing high school.Worse, neither salespeople nor businesspeople take courses that help them to develop personally and professionally. A lot of people attend webinars, but that’s usually a narrowly-focused answer to a question or two, not a real development plan.Information is not power. It’s potential power. As the rate of knowledge increases, we are all being left woefully behind. There may not be a way to keep pace, but you must try not to let the gap grow so big as to make you irrelevant. Then, you must do something with what you learn.Learning is the key to growth. New knowledge can create new opportunities. What could you learn now that would enable you to create a better outcome in some area of your life? What could you learn that would allow you take your career to the next level—or maybe even start a new one?Learning is the key to a greater vision. It’s impossible to understate the value of vision. Until you learn what is possible, your vision will always be too small. New insights and new possibilities translate to new ideas, and even new businesses. Knowledge enables a bigger vision.Learning is the key to strategy. The difficult work in sales or in business is strategy. Strategy requires that you think, that you consider scenarios, that you explore different possibilities. But potential strategies and scenarios will evade you if you aren’t taking in new knowledge and making new connections.The price of not learning is high. Very high. Very, very, very high.The failure to learn will cause you to stagnate, doing what you’ve always done, and getting the same old results you’ve always gotten.Refusing to spend time learning cuts you off from a greater vision. How can you see when you keep your eyes, ears, and mind closed to new ideas, new discoveries, and new knowledge?Effective strategies require context. The strategist has to look outside to discover what is known, what is new, and what is relevant. They need to understand the current environment in which they compete, as well as how their competitors are responding.Learning takes time. It takes effort and energy. Some forms of learning require money, and in some cases, a lot of money. It sounds difficult.If you believe that learning is difficult, contrast that with how difficult is to succeed in a world where changes are faster, more frequently, and more disruptive.
Canada has no winning hand in the ongoing diplomatic dispute with China, according to a new cover story for Maclean’s magazine.The article breaks down every twist of the complex dispute. At the heart of the battle is the extradition case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, which was sparked by the U.S.Writer Shannon Proudfoot says while the Trudeau government insists this is a matter for the courts, the final call on extradition is actually a political choice by the justice minister.“Either way, this ultimately lands on a politician’s desk. It is a cabinet-level decision,” she explained.The Maclean’s article details Wanzhou’s rise to prominence in her father’s company to her arrest at Vancouver’s airport and how her extradition case has trapped Canada in the middle of a battle between super-powers.“Every week seems to bring more tensions or escalating stakes,” Proudfoot said.Our government has no winning hand in this high-pressure game. The extradition could drag on for years, while two Canadians remain detained in China and a third on death row.The result will either anger our closest ally or an emerging super-power.A portion of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou: The world’s most wanted woman by Maclean’s:For about $11,000 Canadian, a first-class ticket on Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to Vancouver entitles the purchaser to a “suite” with a seat that transforms into a bed, wood-panel finishes, an organic cotton sleep suit and, if one pleases, a flute of champagne and a tin of caviar to begin dinner service. The Dec. 1 overnight trip was smooth and speedy, arriving at the Vancouver gate at 11:17 a.m., 18 minutes ahead of schedule. Meng Wanzhou couldn’t have known it at the time, but this early touchdown would shorten her remaining time as a free woman.The snaking, glass-wall-lined corridor through Vancouver’s international terminal let Meng loosen her weary legs as she headed toward the customs area. She was scheduled for a 12-hour layover before catching a red-eye to business meetings in Mexico City. But after she scanned her Hong Kong passport in the self-serve machine, border authorities flagged her for further screening.Two days earlier, U.S. officials had caught wind of Meng’s stopover in Vancouver—because her flight from Hong Kong crossed U.S. airspace, Homeland Security had its passenger list, and by Nov. 30, a B.C. Supreme Court judge had signed a provisional warrant for the Huawei chief financial officer’s arrest under the Extradition Act, due to looming U.S. charges against her for fraud linked to violating international sanctions against trade with Iran. RCMP officers awaited her arrival.Meng was escorted to a windowless room for questioning by federal authorities. The 46-year-old’s severe hypertension flared up, so after the interrogation, she was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Then authorities took her to the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge, B.C., one hour’s drive from the airport and worlds removed from the luxuries familiar to a member of Chinese corporate royalty.This would set off a cascade of events that now traps Canada between two antagonistic superpowers—one helmed by a man obsessed with demonstrating that he always holds the strongest hand despite a feeble grasp of the state of play, the other by a leader determined to prove that his country could rocket to worldwide economic dominance without the encumbrances of Western democracy.Meng’s arrest would lead, in dizzyingly short order, to the imprisonment of two Canadians in China for reasons deliberately kept murky, and the resentencing of a third to death after his original 15-year prison term was suddenly deemed inadequate. Any pretense of friendly bilateral relations imploded as Chinese officials publicly scolded, mocked, insulted and threatened, and Canada leaned on its allies for support, with the implication that next time it could be them.As China demanded that Canada pick a side, it would become glaringly obvious that the U.S.—the closest of this country’s allies by dint of both geography and long precedent—was more interested in nabbing Meng and Huawei than any repercussions Canada might face as a result. Equally apparent was that Ottawa had been caught flat-footed, seemingly unprepared for the forces Meng’s arrest would unleash. At the centre of the saga stood Huawei, telecom behemoth, striving avatar of China’s global ambition and—many critics charge—an instrument of state surveillance whose tentacles reach far beyond China’s borders. Meng would spend months out on bail, swathed in luxurious semi-confinement in her Vancouver home, surrounded by neighbours who barely knew her, occasionally sending plaintive and oddly hammy PR missives to the outside world.Through the ratcheting international tensions, Canadian politicians and government officials would return again and again to the phrases that are supposed to lay out how things work—rule of law, international order, apolitical process—as though by repeating these words like a mantra, they will suddenly matter again. Instead, the blunt fury with which Beijing reacted to the arrest of one of its most prized and prominent citizens would make that belief look like starry-eyed naïveté.Read the full article at Macleans.ca.