I don't come to Las Vegas for sage advice, let alone find it at 1:00 a.m. in a hot new nightclub. The crowd was insane, packed with people from all over who flew in for opening weekend. There was a girl in a sequined dress swinging on a trapeze above my head and male performers acrobatically dancing in cages. As bottle service would have it, the group I joined was amazing albeit I didn't know half the people. That was something I would soon fix.
I've always been in the people business, mostly as a journalist asking questions to celebrities and politicians. These days work goes a step further helping curate connections and experiences for amazing people. It's kind of a new gig so I did the only thing I know to do, I started asking questions and talking to everyone. I found a private equity guy from New York, a communications specialist for the FAA, a drunk girl in a short pink and red dress... and Peter.
Peter is almost old enough to be by dad, nicely put together and a very successful investment banker from a powerhouse New York City firm. I plopped down next to him for a nice little chat and liquid gold began to flow (not to be confused with the glass of champagne I now had in hand).
Peter knows what it takes to go from a scrappy kid in the banking world to a C-suite executive at a top-notch company. I wouldn't mind a few pointers myself, so I listened. He started to pull from his own personal case study library and shared with me a few of the characteristics that really stuck out to him.
Be Inquisitive. Ask lots of questions and more questions. To be inquisitive is to have an intellectual curiosity. It's part of an investigation in order to reach the answers. By default, when you ask a lot of questions you're not a know-it-all.
Be Coachable. He kept telling me "NOT a lot of people are coachable." For example, he remembers how one of his former employees would frequently seek him out after a big meeting and say " so this is what I said in my meeting. What do you think?" That happened over 10 years ago, and he still remembers that guy. Seek feedback. Seek it often, especially if you have a guy like Peter on the receiving end.
Let Go of Ego. There's a lot of ego when you play in the big leagues. Let it go, especially when you're talking to the people who work for you and are on your team.
Be a Good Salesperson. Good salespeople know how to make everyone around them feel good. At one point he pointed to a former employee in our crowd and said "that guy is an amazing salesperson." So remember names, remember details and most importantly remember how you make someone feel.
Maybe it's not a coincidence I learned this at a club called LiFE. Thank you, Peter... but I do have a few more questions.