Monday, April 30, 2012

The greatest salesman ever vs the worst

The greatest salesman ever must surely be Barack Obama. Black man with roots in Africa -unlikeliest person to become President of the most powerful country on Earth. Yet he did. He sold the American dream (second one, the first was Capitalism and we know what happened to that)to the Americans, and to the rest of the world, and didn't we buy it. Rememeber those "Yes we can" and "Change" slogans? Them speeches-"This is the time the planet is going to heal" and the soap opera like elections? I was one of those billions who thought this guy was really going to do some good for the world and for America. A few years down the road, and we know that all those promises he made was just words that he never intended to fulfill. It was just the right words at the right time (one could argue that anyone would have been better after Bush).The planet did not heal. Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine are still occupied. Oops, forgot Tibet. Now, there's Syria, Lybia, and i guess they will not be satisfied until they have all the world's oil under their control. Regime change for the good of democracty? Hah, as if.

The greatest man who ever lived in quite a few polls would be, should be "Mahatma" Gandhi. He introduced the top most weapon of mass destruction known to mankind - "Ahimsa" or Non violence. And demonstrated it's use by winning India independence from a 'great' nation -England. And how did we Indians thank him. We killed him. With a conventional weapon - the gun. And how did the world honour him? By never using his incredible weapon again- ever. oh, he did inspire a couple of honorable copycat exceptions. Like Martin Luther King. Who Americans say was the greatest man who ever lived. Well, he met Gandhi's fate as well. Then there's Nelson Mandela, who Africans say was the greatest man who ever lived. Though he couldn't resist resorting to violence when he realized Gandhism found no takers in white racist South Africa. Or maybe he realized he wasn't as good or did not have the determination or skill of Gandhi. At least Mandela survived to die of natural causes. Of course, they did lock him away for a couple of decades. Bit of torture too. All forgiven now and maybe even forgotten keeping in mind that the blacks are in power in South Africa. I wonder why the 'World Community ' does not have any problems with black supremacists in South Africa and especially Zimbabwe, where they are throwing out the white boy farmers. Is it because, as the Zimbabweans claim publicly, 'that they do not have oil'. Am I getting off track here. Save that for my next blog.

World needs a hero. So there's hope that the next Gandhi (if or whenever there is such a person again) might not be killed. We could even make him out to be the next pop star icon- - kinda like MJ or Che. Imagine Lennon singing Gandhi's lyrics. A Lennon/M.Gandhi duo?:-) Back to Gandhi. The past dead poor simple Gandhi. Who would probably turn in his grave with the thought of his new incarnation being a pop star/icon version.Technically, Gandhi could claim to be the top arms manufacturer of all time. He demonstrated to the world how brilliantly his weapon could be used. But no one bought his invention. Though it's probably the only way a nation can win a war with no casualties to either side. Hope the people who gloat about how drones & modern warfare by rich industrialized nations can win wars with minimum or no casualties- to their side, are reading this. On second thought, nah, they'll be too busy plotting how to bring down the next dictator (oil rich only). And developing the next 'how to kill from distance' toy.

The world needs a new Gandhi coming from the rich developed nations. Who's going to listen to someone from the less privileged countries? Did anyone follow the ideals or legacy of Gandhi- the original?! Johnson Gilbert htttp://


Pete G. said...

Johnsons, a wonderful post. I would agree adamantly that Ghandi was one of the greatest men. I visited Mahatma Gandhi's House in Mumbai a few years ago when I was doing some training there for IBM. I wish I had planned on staying an extra day as I would have spent the entire extra day there. I remember reading on the wall, his letter to FDR and Hitler asking them to prevent the coming war.

On Obama, I would disagree. Where I disagree is that he is the greatest salesman. I believe this may be in the difference between your and my definition of a salesman. A true salesman, to me, is one that does what is right for the customer at all times, understands that "sales" depends on relationships and uses those relationships to get things done. Unfortunately, in the US right now the relationships between the President and Congress, and even between our representatives themselves is at an all-time low. Ultimately that is a failure of our elected representatives.

The only way to be successful as a salesman is to have high moral ethics, place your customer's interests first and when something bad happens (for example, your double booking with a French couple I read about on your blog) doing what it takes to make the situation right. In a true salesman's eyes, a mistake is an opportunity to show what can be done - a true customer can see the effort and knows when a best effort is made.

I have written a book about "The World's Greatest Salesman" Tom Watson Sr. who built a form of American Capitalism that has been lost today. I would like to send you three short essays I have published on his philosophy in business and see how it compares with Ghandi's. I would invite you to share your opinion with me and others on Google Play or Amazon - whatever that opinion may be. Or share it on this blog.

I would also appreciate your suggestions on books that I can read on Ghandi that you consider "the best." I have studied Watson Sr., Abraham Lincoln and I think it is time to study a non-American leader and get out of my comfort zone.

The three essays I have written are short reads of 20 to 30 minutes each and available as PDF/Kindle/EPUB. Just let me know the format that would work best for you. They are:

Democracy in Business
We Are All Assistants
We Forgive Thoughtful Mistakes.

You can contact me for the essays through my web site here:

I have just started my journey on writing about leaders in our world. I look forward to your feedback. When I did training in Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad I always found the Indian IBMers pleasant, polite, positive and pushy. :) That is the way to get things done and I believe may represent Gandhi's best traits.


Peter E. Greulich
Author, Speaker and Publisher
Author of The World's Greatest Salesman and Tom Watson Sr. Essays on Leadership.

Johnsons Kerala said...


Thx for the comments. Just to say I am not an author, writer, or any of those things. Just a regular person pushing his case for World peace. Using one modern day youth icon & putting him up against the greatest advocate for peace of all time was my way of offending people into some kind of reaction. Hopefully a positive one.

I will read your work and get back to you. And it's good that you are thinking beyond America. There is a world out here. And we ain't that differrnt from you. Fact is, we aren't different at all.

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