Sunday, January 28, 2007

CEO Playbook: Follow Your Own Advice

I’m always telling people what to do, maybe that’s why I like being a CEO. But I often find myself hesitating to follow my own advice, especially in social situations.

I was out with a friend of mine and he saw a beautiful woman sitting by herself at the bar. He was afraid to approach her. He thought of a million reasons why it might be a bad idea – she won’t like him, she’s only interested in rich guys, she has a boyfriend, never approach a woman without making eye contact, etc, etc. Fed up, I pushed him into her and they struck up a conversation. She smiles, laughed at something he said, blah blah. A minute later, her boyfriend appears. Not all stories have happy endings. Regardless, my friend came back elated. Just talking to the woman had raised his confidence. The rest of the night he had no problem approaching women. For that night, at least he gave up his negative assumptions.

A week later, I’m boarding a bus behind a really beautiful girl. Guys up and down the entire block had been watching her as she waited for the bus. Inside the bus, I end up sitting near enough to her to strike up a conversation. But I don’t. I figure the last thing a girl this stunning wants is to be hit on by some stranger on a bus. So I read my book, instead. Ten minutes later, the bus almost empty, she gets up and approaches the bus driver. She need directions. He asks her name. They flirt. She’s sweet and open and laughs easily. And I think (via Talking Heads), my god what have I done? I just passed up the chance to meet a lovely sweet girl because I assumed she’d be unfriendly. And even worse, I didn’t even follow my own advice.

I hope the bus driver got her number.

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