By Steve Buffington, VP of Sales

Many may be familiar with The Tao of Pooh – Benjamin Hoff’s book written as a Western introduction to the Eastern belief system of Taoism – in which Hoff uses the characters of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories to embody Laozi’s Taoist ideas.

At its base level, the book is about how most of the things we see as psychological traits in other people can be tied to the characters in Winnie-the-Pooh. Let’s take those viewpoints and persona-likening and break them down character by character to see how they relate to the world of business, and how a sales representative or business owner can ultimately reach the successful, coveted state of Pooh.

Navigating the two most common character types to reach the Pooh-point:

Owl or Rabbit: CIOs and Architects – the workers and leaders who strive to be know-it-all wise Owl or busy-back-soon Rabbit but have yet to gain complete understanding. The key is to drive them to the solution without letting them know they aren’t as fully informed as they originally believed.

Eeyore: Eeyores are encountered at every doubtful turn. These people assume if they got that ROI-packed deal from their vendor, said vendor got more out of it from them, and that somehow, they lost. It’s not enough to just deliver to them what was promised. Going above and beyond to provide that extra business value is what may satiate their doubts.

In the end, everyone wants to become a Pooh. But how is that state achieved? Everyone must want to get there.

Winnie-the-Pooh: Pooh is the ultimate happy-content-successful-fulfilled point. The prosperous sales representative or the all-aware and understanding CEO.

In order to reach the Pooh-point, awareness is imperative – how are the characters above dealt with? Is there too much negativity? Have there been efforts to gain complete understanding? Not only must people be aware, they must be willing to work on the traits identified. The more that can be improved and shifted away from un-Pooh-like characters, the closer an individual will get to Pooh himself.

In business everyone should all strive to be like Pooh – if they were, they’d all be a lot better off. Managers, leaders, and employees would be more open to opportunities and people, happier, and more positive – allowing us to no longer be the obstacles to our own success.

So, here’s the big question… just who are you? How far are you from your Pooh-point?