Sales and the Samurai

The Samurai are one of the best examples in human history of what it takes to become a true master.

When developing your skills as a sales professional, if your goal is to acquire true mastery, there is inherently a certain lifestyle, focus, and overall philosophy you must adhere to – as did the Samurai.

Allow me to clarify. I am not talking about simply learning a few techniques or just getting better – which is fine if that’s your goal. I am talking about attaining true mastery: integration on a deep, cellular level; walking around with the poise and confidence of a true closer; knowing that if it is at all humanly possible to create the transaction, you are going to be the one who does it. It’s knowing that if you can’t get it done, no one can get it done. You perform feats of talent, skill, and proficiency that amaze even experienced veterans.

Why shoot for anything less in a profession that has so much to offer you? This is my perspective when coaching and training my clients. So you can bet this perspective permeates the pages you are about to read as well.

The Samurai were impressive indeed. As many modern scholars and historians frequently reference, the Samurai lived according to a code called “Bushido,” also known as “the way of the warrior.” Loosely translated into Western terms, this could be defined as chivalry. It stressed frugality, loyalty, martial-arts mastery, and honor until death. Bushido wasn’t so much a strict written code as it was a collective understanding that was cultivated and passed down from generation to generation.

The Samurai’s life was committed to mastery. Anything less was considered shameful. He would spend most of his waking hours either in some form of service or in some form of training.

Bushido is comprised of seven primary Virtues.

They are defined as:

     Rectitude (義 gi)

     Courage (勇 yuu)

     Benevolence (仁 jin)

     Respect (礼 rei)

     Honesty (誠 makoto or 信 shin)

     Honor (誉 yo)

     Loyalty (忠 chuu)

This is not to say that the Samurai did not find time for enjoyment and pleasure. This too is a part of life. But overall, the levels of focus, discipline and self-cultivation the Samurai adhered to on a consistent basis has found little parallel. What a great role model for what is possible and what it takes to achieve true mastery in any endeavor!

While the Samurai in days past were male, the essence I refer to here applies to women just as well as it does to men. I am talking about the state of mind, spirit, and philosophy that the Samurai embodied. Loosely translated from Japanese, Samurai means “those who serve.” In today’s day and age, those qualities are not the sovereign domain of men only.

When I say “warrior,” I don’t mean someone who is always fighting and killing others, which is a common misconception of the word in today’s society. True, there are times when a warrior is engaged in such activities, but what I mean here is someone who is vigorous in her pursuit of mastery and accomplishment – someone who gives full effort and intensity to achieving greatness at what she is engaged in, and who attains results that truly set the standard for her craft. And finally, a warrior is someone who embraces the process of addressing his personal barriers and anything that could possibly stand between him and the result he desires.

Two glaring facts stand out when considering the Samurai:
#1. As a group, and on the whole, the Samurai actually adhered to these virtues and lived their lives accordingly. Their values weren’t simply empty words used in times of exultation and praise.

#2. These were real people who actually existed – they are not some fictional creation.

A large part of my life’s work is teaching and coaching others in the pursuit of their own self-mastery. Thus the name of my company: Communication Mastery.Communication refers not only to external communication with others, but also to internal communication with oneself.

Internal communication is inner harmony, self-trust, and self-knowing. It is how well you honor your word to yourself, and the quality of your thoughts and beliefs, behavior and habits. The questions you ask yourself and your ability to follow through in times of difficulty. In my opinion, knowing who you are and being true to yourself are perhaps life’s two greatest virtues.

I take that philosophy and approach to anything I teach. Personal transformation is a holistic process. If you want any individual part of the self to improve, you must consider the self as a whole when going through the process.