Change Your Approach and Win More Deals

I was going through my notes from various leadership courses I have taken in my life and came across this poem from Portia Nelson that was provided as a thought provoking handout.

It made me think about the stories told to me by economic development professionals who have had to bridge the gap between the public sector and private sector when trying to close deals. They typically express a sense of futility stemming from the process of going through the expected motions when working to achieve consensus.

Since it impacted my way of thinking, I want to share it with you. If you find the message has value, pass the link to this page on to a colleague. You might jut save them the cost of a leadership course.

There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk
– by Portia Nelson

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault… I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street.

Do you ever feel like you keep falling in the same hole when competing for a deal? Do you have a sense in advance for where the process is likely to break down or fall off track?

I think the next time I get frustrated I will reread this poem and remind myself that maybe it is time to walk down a different street in order to achieve my objective. Maybe more deals can get closed if we occasionally considered skipping to Chapter Five.

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