There was once a old man whom all called Cappy. He was the chairman of of Bricks Lumber and Logging Company. Mr Cappy had a flourishing business empire. He was now more in a advisory capacity and the operations where left to his two trusted lieutenants. They were Mr Matt who was his son in law and Mr Skinner who was not a relation but was the general manager of the company. Of course, Mr Cappy can show the two men who is the boss when situation so warrants and it was in such circumstances that he had summoned Matt and Skinner.
Cappy remarked, I have more troubles then a hen with ducklings. Mr Skinner received this information in silence but Matt sat down crossed his legs and looked at his mercurial father in law and remarked,’You have troubles’? Yes, and it is a fact that in my old age you two have forced us into the position of having to fire men by the cable. Why? because we are breaking into a game that isn't being played on the home grounds. A lot of our businesses is so far away that we can't control it. You are referring to Henderson In the Shanghai office, I dare say, Skinner cut in. I am and I told you then that Henderson would not make good, didn't I. This is a smart man's world, a persistent man's world Skinner and don't you ever forget it and the go-getters’ of this world are as often as not under 30 years of age.
What do you think of Andrew. Can we send him to Shangai office. I think he will do, Matt replied. Why do you think he will do, asked Cappy. He ought to do as he has been working with us long enough and he has acquired the skills to tackle the job. Matt, I know nothing of his skills and all I want to know is whether he can show courage and initiative when he has to make quick decisions 6000 miles from expert advice and stand or fall by that decision. I suggest Sir, Mr Skinner replied with politeness that you carry out the examination. I accept your suggestion. The next man we send out to that Shanghai office is going to be a go-getter. We have had three managers go rotten and that's three too many. Mr Cappy slid down his swivel chair and his head sank on his breast and he closed his eyes. He is framing the examination for Andrew, Matt whispered as he and Skinner made the exit.
Mr Cappy was not destined to a uninterrupted nap as within 10 minutes his phone rang. What is it, he yelled? There is a young man and his name is Bill and he desires to see you personally. He says he was with your brightest competitor and wants to tell you how he got your people in the middle West scarring a few years ago. This got Cappy’s attention. Very well, have him shown in. Once in, Bill bowed respectfully. Sit down Mr Bill. Bill sat down but as he crossed to the chair beside Capp’s desk, the old gentleman noticed that his visitor walked with a slight limp and his left arm had been amputated halfway to the elbow. To the observant Cappy the American legion button in Bill’s lapel told the story. Well Mr Bill what can I do for you. I have called for my job, Bill replied. And you say that like a man who does not expect to be refused. Quite right sir. I do not anticipate a refusal. Why?. I am a salesman Mr Cappy, he replied. I have successful selling skills. I know that statement to be true because I have demonstrated over period of 5 years that I can sell my share of anything that has a a selling value. I have always found however that before proceeding to sell goods I had to sell the manufacturer of those goods something to wit myself. I am about to sell myself to you. You win ! replied Cappy reply. With all this broken body due to your military service, you still feel you are cut out for a physically demanding and mentally challenging sales job. Are you not discouraged. Sir, I got off easy. I have my head left and my right arm; I can think and I can write and even if one of my wheels is flat I can hike longer and faster after an order than most. Got a job for me, Mr Cappy. You need to meet Mr Skinner. I met him Sir, but he was not very sympathetic. Well then take my advice and meet Mr Matt. Yes sir I met him too. He said he felt he owed me a job but business is so bad he could not make a place for me. Well my dear Bill why do you come to me then. Because Bill replied smilingly, I want you to go over the heads and give me a job. I don't care a hoot what it is provided I can do it and if I can do it I will do it better than it was ever done before and if I cannot I will quit to save you from having to fire me.
I have the best of references. I see you have and he called for Mr Skinner. Mr Skinner looked at Biil and then turned inquiringly towards Cappy. Very well, Mr Skinner interjected; I imagine, you have already offered Mr Bill a job, Have you arranged the compensation to be given to Mr Bill. Cappy raised a depreciating hand, that detail is entirely up to You Skinner. Naturally you will pay Mr Bill what he is worth and not a cent more. When do I report to duty, Sir. Whenever you are ready, Mr Skinner retorted.
At 12:30 noon as Mr Cappy was hurrying up for lunch, he met Bill who handed him a beautifully engraved visiting card with the company name prominently displayed. So confident was Bill that he had made this card ready before going for the interview. Mr Cappy understood that and admired his confidence. Suddenly Cappy asked, Bill, have you ever had any experience selling skunk spruce. Bill was puzzled. Cappy described it and ask Bill whether he can sell it. Bill replied if I can drive a nail into it I can also sell it. He left exclaiming, “it shall be done”.
Skinner and Cappy decided to test Bill by giving him the blue vase challenge. The matters were set and it was so arranged that Bill was to meet Skinner at his residence and Cappy was to call him with request to run a errand to which Skinner would excuse himself and the responsibility would fall on Bill to fulfill the job. After listening to the jod details, he said ,by all means, “it shall be done.”
Bill was given a difficult job to fetch a blue vase from a shop which was supposed to be closed and further a dozen obstacles were to be surmounted and he was expected to hand over the vase to Mr Cappy at the railway station as he left city by train to attend a family ceremony. For a start the blue vase was not to be found in the shop address given to Bill. With some ingenuity Bill located the shop and saw the blue vase through the glass window. The shop was closed and the owner’s name and number was not written on the name board. Bill made many enquiries and got some vague replies. He even contemplated breaking the glass window only to see a policeman patrolling the place. With some hints he traced the number from telephone directory with great difficulty as many numbers were listed with the same name. All of this was making it look near impossible to deliver the vase on time. Finally, he got through the right number only to be told that the owner was dining out with his friend. On getting through to the Owner, Bill managed to get the owner share his sales man's number who finally came but his disappointment he didn't had 2000 dollars which was the price of the vase. As was arranged both Skinner and Matt refused to help by saying that it is too much money for a vase and persuaded him to give up. Mentally tired, Bill kept his ring as mortgage and with the money bought the vase. His watch told him that the train has already left the station but he figured that by road he can catch up with the train before it reaches its next scheduled stop. The blue vase in hand, Bill frantically waved at the train to halt and almost was breathless as he met Cappy in his luxury coach who was shell-shocked to see Bill with the vase. My God Bill, we put in all obstacles and you still got this vase. Bill wearily sat down and in a voice trembling with rage said, “ So it was a plant?”.” You shouldn’t treat me that way, sir,”. I have been trained to deliver on my promises.
“Bill, it was cruel- damnably cruel, but I had a big job for you and I had to find out a lot of things about your so I arranged to give you the Degree of Blue Vase which is the supreme test of a go-getter. You thought you carried into this stateroom a 2000 dollar vase but between ourselves what you really carried in was a 10,000 dollar job as our Shanghai manager.”
The first few weeks
Your first few weeks in a new job or new position sets the tone for your manager’s expectations. You never know when you will get the test of the blue vase,but you should treat every project as though it is the blue vase- or your ticket to one.
Watching out for Hendersen :
Hendersen works to meet his job description; Bill works to exceed it. Bill’s is a go-getter attitude to work. Go-getters, by essence,compete against themselves, not against benchmarks or colleagues.
Courage or Experience
Cappy is looking for courage because it speaks to confidence, commitment, enthusiasm-all of which go part and parcel with the go-getters of the world. Leaders- whether managers or front line workers make decisions every day, and decisions require courage: a belief in your reasoning and experience,as well as the ability to stand by the decisions once they’re made.
To pitch it right
Bill met Cappy and got his job. He pitched himself correctly. He had to face rejection but he still got past the people who were guarding the gates. Not only in a interview but daily on job or in personal life, do your homework.
IT SHALL BE DONE
If there’s one moral to take away from The Go-Getter, it’s Bill’s slogan, “It shall be done.” Nothing can better summarise the determination, the endurance, the loyalty, the passion, and the personal responsibility of a go-getter. Kindle it in yourself and all shall be done.