Piotr Jakubowski – Mind over Marketing

The Draft
October 10, 2007, 10:41 pm
Filed under: a game, acting, draft, dressing, reading, recruiting, speaking, work

For a while now I have been playing with the idea that the recruiting process is like going through a sports draft, especially popular here in the US with the NFL, MLS, NBA and other sports leagues. When you think about it, the concept is quite the same.

The recruiting team is the company which wants you. They send out scouts in the form of recruiters and interviewers. Career fairs are like pre-season scrimmage games, where these scouts get to see and get a general idea of the players. Just like in sports you get a signing bonus, and just like in sports you get different teams that may tempt you with different kinds of deals. The structure is not quite the same in terms of teams having selected spots with which they choose their players (1st choice, second choice). Actually come to think of it, they do. Except that instead of the worst teams having the first draft pick, it’s the best teams.

Think of the recruiting process as this type of draft. Would you do anything differently?

Do you think LeBron James did not put in 100% into everything he did? Au contraire. He was the first draft pick, was given a huge salary and signing bonus. What did he do? Take the Cavs to the NBA Finals. They were swept, but years before, nobody cared about the Cavs.

Do you want to fight to be the first draft pick or the one in the 5th round? Or worse yet, get sent home packing after putting forward the effort.

100% has to go into everything.

– You have to look sharp. Looking like a million bucks not only raises your image in the eyes of others, but raises your confidence too. You’ll feel like a million bucks.

– Talk sharp. Articulation is a very important aspect of business. If you want to be treated like you are smart, you have to be able to express yourself. Don’t ramble. Don’t use “like” every 3rd word, you’ll sound like you just walked out of High School. Companies want their employees to sound mature.

– Act sharp. You will be judged by everyone for everything you do. That’s the reality. Make sure you understand business etiquette and follow it closely. Be respectful and you’ll get respect back.

– Think sharp. The only way to be a sharp thinker is to exercise your brain. Read everything. Newspapers, magazines, books. Nothing says “likeable” (read: mature) like being able to connect with anyone on any topic. You can’t know everything without reading anything.

Remember also that you can’t win every game. Michael Jordan got cut from his basketball team in High School. Did he go home, cry and quit? No. He sharpened his act and tried again. Think of how sharp 6 championship rings look on his hands.

After all, you do want to bring your sharpest A-game to the field.



The Knights of Your Round Table
September 9, 2007, 3:34 pm
Filed under: advice, college, interacting, knights, networking, reading, round table, smart people

This concept has also been around for quite a while, and it identifies a strategy which may ensure success in the future. First of all, one cannot be successful alone. Relationships, friendships and working with other people are all an integral part of success, and very rarely can be omitted. That being said, if you need other people for you to be successful, why not create your own group of trusted individuals?

Call them the Knights of Your Round Table. These are people who are all, in one way or another, smarter than you. They may specialize in their professional fields, but are not limited to the these. They may have more experience than you in a certain hobby; have travelled more, have a better golf swing. This group is essential in forming habits that will help you in the future.

One of the main benefits of talking to and surrounding yourself with smart people is the learning. You can learn how they interact, what they discuss, how they discuss, how they speak, their mannerisms; the list is endless. You can also learn, albeit vicariously, their experiences. Maybe your Wine Knight can teach you the importance of different kinds of wine, or your Pharmacy Knight can teach you about where the industry is going.

Most importantly, by interacting with these Knights, you can also gain confidence in talking to and approaching people you may not know. When you surround yourself with a group of people with different interests, you must have knowledge about these in order to interact with them. It is to your benefit to take the extra effort to learn something about each of these, and by doing so you will maintain a relationship with that person based on what they enjoy discussing.

One of the hardest aspects of starting up a conversation with somebody you don’t know is finding a topic of relevance. When talking in and around successful people, you can notice the diverse range of topics they talk about, and the fact that most people will have an opinion about these topics. And it all stems from one thing, Reading. How easy!

They say that the best managers are those who employ people who are smarter than them.

Who are the knights of your round table?


July 24, 2007, 9:01 pm
Filed under: advice, books, Connections, magazines, newspapers, reading, tv, video games

Until about 7th or 8th grade, I was quite addicted to books. And then came the video games and other activities. Fastforward to 2006. On my first day of my study abroad session in Tokyo, my iPod broke. I was left with two choices. First, I could’ve gone to Apple and bought a new iPod. Second, figure out other ways to pass time on my 1.5 hour train trips to school (one way). So I decided to start reading again. And let me tell you how that has changed my life.

Reading is important for a variety of reasons. Firstly, you maintain and develop your vocabulary. By reading challenging material, you learn how to use new words and expand the depth of your vocabulary. Secondly, mental stimulation. Reading, in most cases, forces you to think and use your mind. At the same time, it expands your knowledge of a particular subject to a new level. This brings me to my last point. Reading is important because it expands and broadens your horizons. This is important in making connections with other people, as having a broad knowledge of a variety of subjects helps start topics of conversation.

Take a look into any book/blog/site about connecting with others. Regardless of how good looking you are, what your grades in college were, or where you graduated from, connecting with people is a lot more difficult (if impossible), unless you have something to talk about. Reading is a channel through which you can absorb new information, and keep your database of topics you can discuss or relate to up to date.

So remember, reading is an important aspect in making connections. Set aside some time every night or every week to sit back and just read.

How has reading helped you?