Anthony Iannarino is an international speaker, author, and sales leader. He posts daily sales tips and insights to The Sales Blog.

As Seen In:

Latest from The Sales Blog

Who Can You Learn From?

alt text image of a stack of books

My teenage son asked me who my heroes were when I was his age. I struggled to come up with any names. I never really had any heroes, and I still don’t. But I do have a list of people who have shaped my thinking and my work.

In 1995, I read Howard Bloom’s book The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Journey Into the Forces of History. I wanted to understand memetics (memes, long before the word meme meant something gone viral on the Internet). So I emailed Bloom. He added me to a newsgroup that he was part of, and I dove in and started reading.

Whenever I am in Brooklyn, I try to meet with Howard and buy him dinner or join him on his daily walk through the park, a walk that always entails stopping to interact with every canine between his flat and whatever coffee shop he will be working from. Howard’s work has had a tremendous influence on my work and my thinking.

A few years later, I wanted to learn about John Boyd’s work, particularly OODA loops. Colonel Boyd had passed away long before I became familiar with his work. But in my studies, I came across the work of Chet Richards, one of the key people with whom Boyd worked. Chet had written a book called Certain to Win, in which he masterfully applied John Boyd’s work to business strategy.

I emailed Chet, met him in Atlanta, bought him lunch (and maybe a couple nice beers), and he helped me to understand OODA Loops. Boyd and Richards both helped me think about strategy.

I read every book and every blog post that Tom Peters has written. Tom was the first person to write about the importance of people in a business. And he doesn’t mince words about the obligation of leaders to empower their people; he really, really means it. Nor does he pull any punches when he speaks about the individual’s obligation to do their best work.

Tom’s work helped me understand what business can—and should—be. I spent an hour on the phone with Tom interviewing him for this blog. I may not have any heroes, but I was thrilled beyond measure.

Right now, I am studying everything Ken Wilber has written (which is a massive undertaking by itself). I am also listening to dozens of audio recordings to strengthen my understanding of his theories and their application to individuals and organizations (myself included). Wilber’s work provides a massive and complete framework for how people evolve and change, individually and in groups.

I was fortunate enough to spend a few hours with Ken, and I have pages of notes. I’m working on the application of those ideas now.

I am still a student. I still seek understanding. I still seek growth. I look for people who have something that I want to learn. Who can you learn from?

  • From who have you learned the things that have shaped your thinking?
  • Who has helped you develop your beliefs and your values?
  • What are you reading and studying now that will help you live the life you want to live and make your contribution?
  • Who should you be learning from now?

Want more great articles, insights, and discussions?

Join my weekly Newsletter and subscribe to my weekly podcast, In the Arena. Or apply for membership in my exclusive Inner Circle Mastermind Group.

Filed under: Sales 3.0

Anthony Iannarino Head Shot

Follow me on your favorite social networks:

Share this page with your network: