Arment Dietrich

Three Things They Don’t Teach You in Business School

By: Arment Dietrich | March 2, 2011 | 
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I’ve been at Arment Dietrich for almost five years, and as any longer-term employee at a company can tell you, I’ve learned much more than I ever did in business school.

Yes, I’ve learned about marketing, HR and management theories, a dibble-dabble in finance, but there are three main ideas that have been presenting themselves to me as I reach my half-a-decade-mark that I would like to share with you.

Following are three valuable points they don’t teach you in business school.

Patience.  It might be an unruly boss, an unforgiving subordinate, or a vendor that just won’t give, but there will be a time in everyone’s career that your patience is tested.

The better you are now at being tolerant and composed, the farther you will go in your career and in life, in general.  You learn the word negotiation in school, but mainly as it applies to one’s interviewing skills.

Compromise, on the other hand, is a hard thing to learn in business.  I guess this is where the phrase “the customer is always right” came into play – someone simply gave up and didn’t want to try anymore.

Persuasion.  I am learning that everything we do is sales.  No matter what type of job you have, sales is sales is sales is sales.  On a daily basis, I persuade my boss why my marketing strategy for client A is the way we should go.  I sell new innovation ideas to clients who have trouble looking outside of the box.  And I am constantly trying to influence different audiences enough to listen and maybe retain some of the information I’m relaying.

Persuasion is a great skill to work on and becomes easier with the more passion that lies behind it.

Passion.  There are going to come times in everyone’s life that we do things we don’t want to do.  If you practice the idea of finding passion in every task, these jobs will become more enjoyable and easier “sell.”

For example, in my first job I had to gather donations in forms of merchandise and gift cards for a big charity auction event.  To anyone, this sounds like a daunting task that got passed down until it could no longer be handed off.  By looking at it from the angle of getting to explore the city and going to businesses I’ve never been to before made the task more exciting, therefore I was more passionate about the job I did.

I’m still learning.  And I hope in five years from now I am writing a follow-up post of three more things I wish I learned in school.  But for now, I will continue to practice my patients, my persuasion skills, and try to find the passion in everything I do.

What skills or theories do you wish you would have learned at a younger age?

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