Monday, June 16, 2014

The Secret to Professional Success

Over three hundred people made reservations to attend the Chamber of Commerce annual awards meeting. Many brought friends and family members because the keynote speaker scheduled for this event was a wealthy executive who promised to share The Secret to Professional Success.   

Even though the luncheon started at noon, by 11:45 a.m. all the chairs and tables in the large banquet room at the Hyatt Hotel were full. As it neared 12:00 p.m., the attendees noticed the featured speaker had not entered the room and was not yet seated at the head table. 

Lunch was promptly served at noon and still there was no speaker at the head table. As the dessert was served many wondered where the speaker could be? Conversations soon began to take place at the various tables. All of a sudden a voice from somewhere in the back of the room yelled out, "Shut up!"

The crowd immediately drew quiet.  Everyone looked around but saw no one so they went back to their desserts and their table conversations.  Soon the same voice shouted,  “SHUT UP!

Stunned, the entire room became dead silent and everyone sat quietly and sipped on their coffee.  However after a few minutes, again the din of their conversations filled the room.  "SHUT UP," the voice barked again; however this time a diminutive well-dressed man entered the room from a back door and walked slowly to the front of the room and stood behind the podium.


Once behind the podium, he leaned into the microphone and said, “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.  I am your speaker.  I understand many of you are here this afternoon to learn the most 'powerful' secret to professional success.

I assure you the secret I will share with you this afternoon will help you tremendously in becoming a great success in your profession whether it be in business or government. 

The secret is simple and every great person understands; however most people find it difficult to employ. For the record, I have already shared this secret with you and I have shared it with you three times.  The secret I am referring to is to Shut Up.

When you Shut Up and let other people talk, you learn.  You hear their problems, you learn their dreams and you understand their concerns. When you Shut Up, you discover ways you can be of value to others and when you Shut Up you can learn ways to help others.  When you Shut Up, you begin to have professional success no matter what endeavor you pursue or what role you play in your organization.

So my advice to all of you if you want to be a success - Shut Up and Listen."