Now that I’m approaching 10 years in the communication business (yeah, 10 years! That’s crazy!), I have realized that there is one book that has influenced my practice more than I ever realized.
As some of you know, my first psuedo-client was my Marketing professor in college. Marketing was one of my minors and I took quite a few classes from a professor we called Dr. Dan.
My senior year Dr. Dan asked me to help him with his classroom presentation skills. He wanted to up his game. Since I was a Theatre major, he figured I knew a thing or two about stage presence.
I coached Dr. Dan the rest of that semester. Even got college credit for it, too; I was teaching and getting credit!
Dr. Dan is primarily responsible for my current career. The entire time I was coaching him, he would say, “There’s such a need for this is corporate America. You could make a living doing this.”
Two years later I started my communication coaching business. (Thanks Dr. Dan!)
For one of my Marketing classes with Dr. Dan, the required reading included a book called The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson.
In essence, the book explains how breakthroughs and innovation in one area of study can actually come from completely unexpected places. One industry could spark insights in a completely different industry.
Everything is intertwined.
When I read the book for class, I remember it was one of the few books that Dr. Dan picked that was an easy and interesting read.
I liked the concept, took the test for class, and soon forgot about it.
Or, that’s what I thought.
After a speech in Philadelphia, one of the audience members came up to me and said, “You’re so Yogi!”
I wasn’t sure if he meant I looked like Yogi Bera – in which case I was going to be highly insulted (no offense to Yogi) – or if he meant I was very Zen – which I didn’t quite get, but I was going to take the compliment.
When I asked him to explain, he said, “You just have a very holistic approach. You made me see how everything really can connect with everything.”
I think that The Medici Effect made a mark on my subconscious.
Because of that book, I have always been very open to delving into resources that would be considered outside my field of study. And it shows in my training programs.
Here are just a few things that I discuss in my speeches. (Remember, all of these are used to teach lessons in communications.)
- Quantum Physics
- Dog Training
- Horse Training
- Martial Arts
- Animal Behavior/Studies
- Law Enforcement
- Weight Lifting
Just to name a few.
I think that’s why I love communication, because it does tie into so many other fields.
As The Medici Effect points out, your field of study could also tie into just as many other areas as well. So, be open to reading something outside the box. Watch a documentary on something unusual. Read an article that you otherwise might have passed by.
You never know what glimpses of truth you might find from somewhere unexpected.