Have you you ever noticed that sometimes its not always the most qualified, best performing person that gets the best opportunities or positions or projects? Why is that?
Discover how charisma helps you beat the competition and win bigger under any circumstance.
When I was 16 years old we lived in the town Provo, Utah and there was a new waterpark being built. I desperately wanted to be a lifeguard at this new waterpark. There was only one problem. I didn’t really know how to swim, but my sister knew how to swim. So, I went to my sister and I asked her to teach me how to swim and I practiced for a couple weeks and then I went off down to the tryouts to be a lifeguard at this new park. There was two different kinds of lifeguards. There was a deep water guard and a shallow water guard. And of course, all the cool people wanted to be deep water guards. There were only going to be about 15 or 20 of those guys and dozens and dozens of the other guys. They didn’t make very much and the deep water guys made much more and had much more extensive training and that’s what I wanted to be.
And so, I went to the tryouts and I tried really hard and I did my very best, but before I even got into the water I did something that I think, that I know of, nobody else that was trying out actually did. It was something that I’m not sure why I did it except, I don’t know, I just … maybe I naturally am inclined to do stuff like this, but I found the guy who was in charge, who was going to make the hiring decision, and I got to be friends with him. So, just like everybody else did, I went in, I jumped in the pool, I swam my laps, I treaded water with a brick over my head, I did all this stuff that I was supposed to be doing. At the end of the day, I made the cut and then I got picked to try out to be a deep water guard. And again, I was very nice and very buddy buddy with the guy making the decisions.
Now, I gotta be honest with you. As I looked around, I saw that a lot of the people that were trying out were actually better swimmers than me. They were more experienced, better qualified. They were stronger. They were faster, but they didn’t have something that I had, this magic power of success within. They were just there trying out, that they were doing the very best based on the merits of their swimming and the merits of their experience. Well, I didn’t have that so I had to use something else.
Well, the end of the story is I got the job. Not only that, before the summer was out, I was on one of the shifts, a head deep water guard. That means I was responsible for and overseeing lots of other people twice my age. It was a really cool thing.
Well, what made the difference? Why was it that even though I wasn’t the most qualified per se? Now, I’m not saying I wasn’t qualified, but I wasn’t the most qualified. Why was it that I out … I was able to edge out people who were more qualified and more experienced and had stronger muscles and all those kinds of things. What was the difference that allowed me to jump to the head of the line even though I wasn’t the most qualified person?
The answer is very simple. It’s a magic word called charisma. Now, I want you to think about your own circumstances. Have you ever been in a situation where either you jumped to the head of the line even though you weren’t the most qualified person or in great amount of frustration, you watched other people jump to the head of the line even though they weren’t the most qualified? You were more qualified than they were.
Well, what makes the difference? The difference is charisma. Charisma is basically just a couple of things. It is number one, having power to create change and being likable and being benevolent. In other words, being willing to use that power to change things or to effect things for good and being able to use it for the somebody else’s benefit.
So, why did I get the deep water head lifeguard position and others didn’t? Very simple. I got to be good friends with, and found out the needs of the guy making the hiring decisions, and I met those needs. See, he needed somebody that would be not just a decent swimmer, but also responsible, good with the public, and be able to calm down people when they got all agitated, which happens at pools all the time, especially big public pools. And by being friends with him he saw that I had some characteristics and was willing to use those on his behalf, whereas some of the other guys weren’t. I was a people person. That was it. I was likable and because of my likability, because of my charisma, I got the job where others didn’t even though I wasn’t the most qualified.
So, how do you use this in your life? Consider when you need to get the job, the sell, the client, move your business forward, whatever it is, and remember that it’s better to be likable and to have charisma than it is to be qualified and trusted. You should be qualified and trusted, but it’s better to have that likability characteristic so that you can advance to the front of the line faster than your competitors.
I’m Joshua Boswell. Thanks for listening.