Dyslexia And What It’s Taught Me

Dyslexia and Lessons in Life

I’d say, I’m known to my friends and colleagues as ‘a decent kind of bloke’… a ‘he’d do anything for anyone’ sort of guy…and I’m proud of that.  I really do try and make time for other people whether at home or in the office – it’s who I am….And why I am that kind of guy?…I’ve come to the conclusion is partly due to my dyslexia.  Sure, I was brought up to be polite and to consider others, but being dyslexic, and having to face the difficulties it presented, particularly at school, has certainly influenced the person that I’ve become.  It’s made me see things in a different way – but I don’t just mean the words on a page or on a PC screen.  It’s how I see life…my vision…my responsibilities…

Working To People’s Strengths

I know from personal experience how difficult it can be to get my point across as succinctly as others, and how frustrating it is being unable to communicate an idea and assimilate things as quickly when in the written form.  I know how hurtful it is when you’re brushed aside for being ‘slow’, but I also remember how great it feels when somebody works with you to your strengths and helps bring out the very best in you.  And these issues, these experiences, the good and the bad, have made me the person I am…

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Pet Therapy

Having read the blog by our Sales Director, Peter McManus, about music and mood – yes, I’d agree my mood is definitely influenced by what I listen to music-wise, and vice versa.  To get myself into a positive mood and buzzing, I love ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ by Swedish House Mafia… a thumping beat…superb.  (Listen to the track)

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I like the sound of that

Currently sitting in my home office with the rain thrashing against the windows, I’m trying to drown the sound out with some chilled out music.

Given that most of us have mobile devices, we never have to worry about being too far away from our favourite music. There are songs to lift… songs to inspire… and songs we can totally get lost in. And if like me, you consider music to be very important in your life, then you’re most likely playing music whilst reading this post!

I sometimes listen out on the train for the music people are playing through earphones – my observation – the different tracks often mirror their different moods or is it the other way round? Fascinating stuff….


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Dreamforce – the dream continues…

I started a career at Salesforce in January 2007… Just to paint the picture, workflow and field updates were the hot topic! I remember thinking, ‘what company have I joined, if they are so excited about S-Controls and Field Updates?!?’  Korel was the new acquisition and Salesforce Content was but a dream… Ah, S-Controls God bless ‘em – pleased they are a thing of the past, though they did fill a big void whilst Apex caught up.

So what happened along the way? This is my journey…

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Dressed for the occasion

I have always been fascinated at the different things people wear. Our choices in what we adorn ourselves make for some interesting people watching –colourfully clad golfers, funkily-dressed festival goers, the various fashionistas and the choices they make each day.

And it got me thinking about the workplace…

I have chosen a career in sales for over 20 years. In the large companies that I have worked, it was an unwritten rule that you wore a suit into the office. The idea that I might visit a customer or prospect without the obligatory Aquascutum or Paul Smith attire would be seen as a non-starter.

Customers expected to see someone dressed ‘Professionally’ and by conforming to the stereotypical ‘Sales Guy In Smart Suit’ – we used to perpetuate that image.

This is illustrated in great sales films like Tin Men & Glengarry Glenross – the leading characters always wore sharp suits. The sharper the sales person, the sharper the suit. The more successful a sales person, the more expensive the suit.

But things have moved on…

A few years ago I noticed a change – fewer and fewer people were wearing ties to meetings. Sales guys began to have open shirts, mimicking the customers who they were trying to influence – a subliminal attempt to make customers think that the sales guy was just like them? Probably.

And this trend for dressing down couldn’t have struck me more starkly when I flew to San Fran for my induction with a new company. Naturally, I wanted to make a good impression and dressed to impress – so there I was – thinly striped dark suit, over a crisp white shirt, with starched collar & blood red tie, and there was the C.E.O – in flip flops and a T-shirt. Oh how things have changed!

So yes, at Improved Apps, I do attend some meetings in jeans & a shirt – but for two reasons and two reasons only – One, I feel comfortable, which is important. The other, more importantly, is that customers just do not care.

Nowadays, customers are more sophisticated than ever. They understand more about you and your value proposition than any elevator pitch or ‘Death By Powerpoint’ slide show could tell them. The web has enabled that capability.

So wear a sharp suit if you wish, but in my opinion you may as well turn up wearing a Chicken Suit – at least it would be an ice breaker….


By Peter McManus – Sales Director

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