Volunteering: Your Best Preparation

Never tell when you can ask.

(continued from The Ripple Effect Volume XI, Issue 860 August 24, 2021…)

In addition to a full work week, I was studying on the weekends preparing to attend the Sales Course Instructor Training Conference. I was required to memorize 36 human relations principles, dozens of term definitions. The conference was to prove I knew this content, and most importantly, ensure I mastered the skill of Socratic instruction, knowing how and what questions to ask. Fred Whiting, Percy Whiting’s nephew and my instructor trainer, required that I master Socratic instruction to an artform. Instead of telling the salesmen in my classes how to sell, I helped them grasp the principles of The 5 Great Rules of Selling from their life experiences.

In the winter of 1967, shortly after my 27th birthday, I completed the instructor training conference and was certified. It was a dream come true to be certified to lead a world-famous brand Sales Course. Soon, I was leading the program two and sometimes three nights a week.

As I think about the ripple effect, I can see the chain of events. Dick wouldn’t have gotten into the sales training business if I hadn’t encouraged him. I wouldn’t have encouraged him in that direction, if I hadn’t been given the book Think & Grow Rich. I wouldn’t have gotten the book Think & Grow Rich if I hadn’t been given The Strangest Secret. I wouldn’t have been given The Strangest Secret, if I hadn’t been appointed Ordering Officer for Ft. Story, VA. I wouldn’t have been appointed Ordering Officer if I hadn’t become friends with Dennis Dennehey at the post Education Office.

If I hadn’t met Frank back at The W. Bingham Company, I wouldn’t have volunteered for the draft. I wouldn’t have gotten the job at W. Bingham Company if I hadn’t impressed John Hancock. I wouldn’t have become acquainted with John Hancock, if I hadn’t gotten a job as a delivery boy at Congdon Hardware. I wouldn’t have gotten a job at Congdon Hardware, if I hadn’t become acquainted with the owner, Mr. Congdon, while making payments on my bicycle.

I wouldn’t have bought the bicycle if I hadn’t gotten the paper route. My life would be completely different if I hadn’t volunteered to help a neighbor boy deliver his papers.

The lesson I have learned from reflecting on these experiences is the importance of volunteering, doing more than I am paid to do, the importance of giving freely, going the extra mile.

The action I call you to take is to volunteer, go beyond the narrow confines of your job description.

The benefit you will gain is you will be ready for the doors of opportunity that will swing wide open for you.

People all around you are looking for a leader to step up and step in.