Friday, October 12, 2007

Reality Television Your Way to Success

I think I’m one of the only “motivational speakers” (not that I call myself that) who will openly admit that I watch television. I watch bad television too… even… dare I say it… reality television. I like it! It’s an escape for me and a way to relax and while I certainly don’t recommend you waste every minute of your life watching the box, I’m not going to condemn it as to do so would be highly hypocritical.

What I will say though, is even when you’re watching the dodgiest television out there – you can still learn from it!

The following is an excerpt from my new book Retired at 27, If I can do it anyone can and is meant to be a bit of fun. Read it with your tongue well and truly wedged in your cheek.

I like to play a bit of a game when I meet really successful people for the first time. I like to see in which of my reality television categories they fit. I’m yet to meet a really successful person who doesn’t seem to obviously slot into one of the categories I’ve identified here.

Pick the most successful individuals you know personally and read through this list to figure out which “reality success profile(s)” they fit…

“Born with it” categories
This group is those people who are created with innate gifts. They’re blessed with certain characteristics that make them ideally suited (almost from birth it would seem) to rising to success.

Next Top Model
Look out for: Charm and beauty
These are our beauty queens (and kings). They have significant looks and/or charm and they know how to use them to their best effect. Sometimes, but not always, the most ethical of characters, they do what has to be done to get what they want and are happy to utilise their natural talents.

The Osbournes
Look out for: The silver platter
Born into wealth and/or power, you’ll find this individual fits into either the group handed everything but not quite knowing what to do with it or, in some rare and spectacular cases, taking what’s been given and expanding it beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

So You Think You Can Dance
Look out for: Natural talent
These individuals have been blessed with a mind and talent that is simply built for success, often making their achievement seem almost predestined. Also like the dancers on the show, they have put in the hard yards to hone their skills and ability to create their success.

“Anyone can” categories
The best thing about this group is that any of us can aspire to be here. These are all learned skills that anyone can master if you dedicate yourself to the pursuit.

Dancing with the Stars
Look out for: Don’t even try – you won’t see them coming
These people are the chameleons of any workplace. Change doesn’t faze them as they can adapt to any situation. Flexibility is their middle name and they have no fear of constantly picking up more skills to add to their repertoire. Most importantly – they’re willing to fall over and over and still get up and keep trying.

Amazing Race
Look out for: Team spirit and work ethic
These people are well loved, with a loyal following in any workplace. They have mastered the art of teamwork and understand the true meaning of the synergy concept (1 + 1 = 3). They’re also willing to put in the hard yards and go the extra mile, past any route markers or detours, to get to the final destination.

Look out for: Volume and confidence
Look out for the person at your next meeting who demands to be noticed. They speak up, they’re confident and they’re loud (with purpose, rather than loud for loud’s sake). Everyone knows them or knows of them and they’re present even when they’re not in the room. They produce high volume in thoughts, ideas and results.

Look out for: The diplomat
These are the master negotiators and deal makers who have wangled and wrung every last upward movement within an organisation that they can. You can hate them if you want, and/or you can learn from them. Listen to how persuasive they can be – they didn’t get here by accident.

Look out for: An axe in your back
Here’s our dodgy category. Even though I love this show, you only have to watch it for one season to realise that it’s rare for someone to compete successfully on the show while upholding any semblance of the ethics they might display in the outside world. If you know someone willing to do anything to get ahead, including playing dirty, then Survivor is definitely their category.

In considering your own personal success, which category or categories would you most like to fit into?

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