Andrew (perspectivism) wrote,

Tim Sanders interview

TS is promoting his business book called Love Is The Killer App:

A killer app is a new technology. And in this case, a new business process that is wildly popular, and becomes a standard. This is difficult to compete with. And I would use that to describe love and compassion in business much the same way I would use it to describe email as a killer app for communications.

Love is the selfless promotion of the growth of the other. That's a very succinct definition that a manager of people, an owner of a business, or a colleague should take to heart that when we get up and go to work, no matter what we do, we're supposed to grow other people without expectations. That's love in business.

A lovecat is a person, to me, that is committed to growth. The only rational thing they do is grow people. And they do it by sharing really value-added knowledge. They do it by giving away their network, a person, a relationship where it makes sense. And they do it by learning how to sense and respond to people that need their compassion. And they commit themselves to that. It's a lifestyle.

The lovecat reads books X amount of hours a week. A lovecat spends X amount of time organizing a personal network, and going through different rituals to try to connect people. And a lovecat's always got the radar on for an opportunity to show love. It's a lifestyle.

The first time I called a business guy a lovecat, he just recoiled. And I thought, "Wow! That's awesome! I'm going to use it."

If I just called them by the phrase I use in the book, "nice, smart people who succeed," that's not a good brand. Lovecat is a brand that's controversial. People can rally around it.

And, it's an easy word for people to use. If you ask people to give you five words describing the book, lovecat will always be mentioned. It's like fairy dust. It's the most contagious thing about the book.

Everybody's got a brand, like it or not. Do you want to control it? Because to me, a brand is like this promise I make of what you're going to get when you deal with me in any way. When you read what I�ve written, when you talk to me in a meeting. It's a promise that I make.

Personal branding is about controlling your destiny. It will happen to you regardless.

To me, the opportunity for a youngster reading incredibly well-selected business books, and history books, and stuff that gives them superior context in cause and effect, has got a running shot to defeat the person that only has 25 years of experience in one or two businesses, and is trapped by their own success. I really think they have a tremendous opportunity. You really can, if you spend a little time, find ten great books to read in three months that would help you become the smartest person that anybody in your company knows about what your business does. And you will understand cause and effect in a way that is astounding.

So let me finish with a funny story for you. Along the way though, if you evangelize love and you're successful in creating lovecat-ism in your life, one of the most important attributes you always keep sight of is humility, and remembering that, as Benjamin Zander would say, "Don't take yourself too seriously. It's all made up."

I was at JFK Airport the other day. And the Fast Company magazine with my picture on the cover had just come out. The Admiral's Club had copies of it sitting in the racks. This tall guy standing next to me -- obviously a corporate dude -- was reading the issue. And I can tell he's like looking at me. Finally, he walks up, taps me on the shoulder, and says, "Excuse me. I'm really sorry to do this. I'm not trying to bother you. But, I just wanted to let you know that your work really means a lot to me." I looked at him and I said, "Well, thank you very much. And it's a pleasure to meet you." And I shook his hand. As I dashed off, he whirled around and he says to himself, "Wait until I tell my kids." Then he begins to play air guitar and sings, "It's 3:00 A.M. and I must be lonely."

At that I realized he was talking about the lead singer from Matchbox 20, who I do look like. And it became clear to me that this is a food chain. There are bigger fish that will always gulp the smaller fish. To quote Ben Zander again, "Get over yourself. It's not about you." It really helped me.
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