I never pictured myself as a guru.
For one thing, they apparently spend a lot of their time at the top of very high mountains. Mountaintops tend to be chilly places and I’m not fond of temperatures below 60 F. Nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there.
For another they were always male, serene and scantily clad. I’m female, serene only by extreme discipline and well come on, let’s not go there (especially not at those temperatures.) In fact, the list of why I did not strive for guru status goes on and on and gets much more serious than altitude, weather and wardrobe.
I thought I understood why gurus lived on mountaintops. It was to avoid the throngs of people who wanted to know the secret to “life the universe and everything”. It was to keep from falling victim to the ego trip of knowing you were wiser than the average bear. It was to prevent the world from squandering their hard won insights into what makes the sky blue and the wind blow. Anyone who wanted to share in the guru’s enlightenment had to pay a pretty steep price (or at least climb a pretty steep hill.)
Some of my dearest friends are gurus. Literally. Defined as “a teacher and guide in matters of fundamental concern”. And none of them live on mountaintops.
Because how do you add value from the top of a mountain?
These modern gurus act (and dress) a lot like the rest of us. They bear more resemblance to Pindar in The Go-Giver (written by a couple of my favorite gurus, Bob Burg and John David Mann) than they do to the Hindi leaders of old. What do they do with the secrets, wisdom, insights and enlightenment they have accumulated? They share it.
Like Pindar, they add value to every life they touch.
Their example made it flattering (without these role models it would have been intimidating) to be granted guru status by a couple of recent connections.
My first crack at guru status put me about as close to inhabiting a mountaintop as I want to come but it was (and continues to be) a fantastic experience. The Rise to the Top, hosted and produced by David Siteman-Garland is, as he says, “not your grandpa’s business show”. (His description of a “talk show on steroids” is more on the mark.) But David packs it full of humor and solid informaton and augments it with downloadable resources that correspond to each episode. It’s fun, fast and informative!
I got to sit down with David on episode #4; Secrets to building great business and personal relationships and let him grill me about how to “grow your network by 1000%” or something unbelievable like that. You just can’t be nervous taking to David, you’re having too much fun, and he and his film crew were fantastic. They made me look and sound pretty good and then the editor took over and made me look and sound better.
Shortly after that show first aired I started hearing myself referred to as a guru.
The next “incident” came through a blog written by Jason Thomas called The Giving Experiment. He references a coffee meeting I had with him and his friend Greg Younger and our host and catalyst for the meeting, Kevin Pannebecker. (Jason, I hope you weren’t really nervous about meeting me and that was just a wee bit of literary embellishment?) Jason has been observing and sharing his experiences in putting the Five Laws to Stratospheric Success from The Go-Giver into action. (He is currently looking to transition his career path into a sales role so if you’re looking for a sales professional who is a go-getter and a Go-Giver I suggest you give Jason a call.)
What did I learn from achieving “guru” status? That everyone is a guru!
Not only have I learned from my friends who have achieved guru status in the eyes of the many, I learn as much or more from the “secret gurus” whose worth has yet to be acknowledged. Let me give you a partial list in no particular order of the gurus who have touched my life in the last week. Some you’ve heard of and some you haven’t but everyone of them is a guru worth getting to know.
Kevin Pannebecker, Bob Burg, Gill Wagner, Dr. William Payne, Lynne Wilhite, Chad Estes, Rachel Lapin, Wendy Gauntt, Thom Scott, Jeremy Nulik, Mercedes Bartlett, Tom Gillaspie, David Meyer, Dan Klein, Brian Schwartz, Chuck Hart, Scott Ginsberg, David Garland, Greg Younger, Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero, Bob Sommers, Ruth Binger, Tammy Dutton, John David Mann and Jason Thomas. That’s right, everyone of these people contributed to my success in just the last week!
We all have knowledge and expertise to share. We all have secrets, wisdom, insights and enlightenment that we have accumulated.
Which means we all have the ability to add value to all of our relationships. And that is the first step on the path to stratospheric success!
Put your best foot forward (actually either foot will do just fine), you can reach stratospheric heights and “rise to the top” without ever setting foot on a mountain.