Continued from To Be A Magnet- (II)
For many minutes, Cheetah kept silent. Tiger waited.
“You do have a point, I can’t deny that”, said Cheetah reluctantly. “But that doesn’t mean we run down what we had. We too had bonding. We too supported each other!”
“I am not running down our group Cheetah! I loved them all! But let us face facts. In our group the support and encouragement was only in one area. In other areas of our lives, we were totally on our own. Moreover, we had no support to give to those who were struggling to reach even average performance. All our support and cheers were for the top guns. We ignored the rest. I don’t see these cats leaving the stragglers behind. They’d help and encourage the stragglers to keep up while they cheer for the top guns. They’d support stragglers to improve on their own pace, to their own limits. There would never be any looking down in this group. You’ve been with them far longer than I have been, am I wrong?”
Again, Cheetah took his time in answering. Tiger knew he was revisiting all the meeting he had attended. At last, his review apparently over, he nodded slowly. “You are right Tiger. These cats are supportive to the slowest amongst them. When I went around meeting them individually to ask them to attend one of my hunting sessions, one hoary old lion asked me something that didn’t make sense then. It does now. He asked me if I had any way to improve the hit- rate of those cats which cannot run very fast. I thought he was trying to discourage me, or to show me down. Now I know what his concern was. I ought to have listened better.”
“Well buddy, all is not lost yet. We can become better listeners now. I am completely committed to become a real contributing member of this group and I am sure you are also. Once we truly become a part of them, I am sure we will also be able to add value to their lives by helping them become more efficient hunters. Our expertise must become a solution to a real challenge the group is already facing. Only then will it find acceptance. I just remembered something I heard a long time back. Perhaps you too will remember it. It happened when we were both cubs. Do you remember the old fox that used to tell us stories sometimes?”
“You mean Wise Fox? Yes of course I remember. What about him?”
“One day Wise Fox had no story to tell us. But we wouldn’t leave him alone. We begged him to talk to us about things he had learned, something which would be useful to us. That night he told us about magnets. Do you remember?”
“Vaguely. There was something he said about a magnet and a grapnel but I don’t remember it very well. Why don’t you remind me Tiger?”
A grapple (or grapnel) is a clawed, anchor-like hook used in seizing, holding or dragging. One of its original uses was during sea battles to hold an enemy ship for boarding. It creates a powerful image in the mind, doesn’t it? It evokes a feeling of being controlled in order to achieve a hostile objective. It’s not a pretty image.
On the other hand, there’s a magnet. It only works with objects that are naturally drawn to it. It cannot hold on to anything that does not have the proper make-up to be attracted to its magnetic field. It cannot ‘seize and hold’ an object that is not the right match for its purpose.
When you think about influencing others, are you a grappling hook or a magnet? If you’re being a grappling hook, you will compel others to listen to you, to see things your way. And you will do this with a maniacal single-mindedness. Once you see opportunities that can help you reach your goals, you will be desperate to grapple them so they don’t drift away.
One the other hand, if you’re a magnet, you will attract opportunities naturally and spontaneously. You will be authentic, poised and calm.
You will choose to work with those who are the best fit for you and that point in time. You will be able to let go of those who are on journeys that don’t lead them past your house. Perhaps they will come by later. Perhaps they never will. It will not matter to you, for you will always have enough around you whose needs match your expertise the best. Nothing on earth is more satisfying than to work with those who have a real need for what you are offering. They will meet you half way and give you the best results.
Those who have strong influence on the lives of others, are successful at selling their services, aren’t selling at all. They promote themselves in subtle, yet convincing ways. They allow other to get to know them in a genuine, authentic way. They truly set their agenda aside and focus on building rapport and trust. To truly build trust, your purpose must never be self- serving, nor must your concern be anything but genuine. In a nutshell, those with the most influence are good souls walking the good path. Their personal integrity is never suspect. Only then will trust will flourish.
If you put yourself in situations where you allow others to experience you, you will find a clear path to your goals. You will reach your goals because you will be helping many of them to reach their goals. Those who need you will come flocking to you. You’ll never have to go looking for anyone if you are a magnet.
When self-promotion is done right, it’s fun and rewarding, PLUS you can feel good about it because you know you are helping others live better lives. The ones who are attracted to you will work the hardest for themselves. They will also be the most fun for you to have around… for their lives will be the source of your greatest, most satisfying victory stories.
Cheetah had been listening attentively to Tiger. The last vestiges of his recent annoyance melted away and a peaceful wonder descended over him. Once Tiger finished, both friends sat for a long time enveloped in companionable silence, ruminating over the wise words.
At last Tiger spoke in a solemn hush. “Wasn’t that absolutely wonderful? And so perfectly apt for our situation here! What do you say Cheetah?”
“You are absolutely right Tiger. These old ones are really wise. We should remember their words more often and apply them in our lives. I am so sorry I was angry with you earlier. I should have trusted you better.”
“That’s alright buddy, as long as we’re both in sync at last, I don’t mind at all. Now, what’s the next move?”
“Let us find a solution to the question the old lion asked me. Let us devise a way by which those who can’t run very fast will be able to improve their hit rate. Once we’ve worked that out, let us pay a visit to the old Lion. Is that a good idea?”
“It is a perfect idea Cheetah. We must also become genuine members of this jungle’s cat brotherhood. Let us stop being grapnels. Let us become magnets. All we’ll need to do then is to place ourselves correctly and all we wish for, all that is right for us, will flow to us spontaneously.”
The two cool cats grinned happily.
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