This post is based on a podcast with Guy Kawasaki. If you’d like to listen to more #FlipMyFunnel Podcast episodes, you can check them out here and listen to this episode below!
Welcome to another episode of the #FlipMyFunnel podcast. Today, we sat down with Guy Kawasaki, one of the original chief evangelists and arguably one of the most notable ones, as well.
Guy was Chief Evangelist at Apple, and is currently the Chief Evangelist for Canva and a Brand Ambassador for Mercedes-Benz. In case it isn’t clear: obviously, he’s the expert on evangelism.
On today’s episode, Guy talked with us about what it means to be a great evangelist. Take a dive into the mind of one of the greats.
Here’s what we’re unpacking today:
- The makings of a great evangelist
- Education and how it broadens your perspective
- Why it’s important to have high standards
The makings of a great evangelist:
Guy Kawasaki: At the start of great evangelism is having a great product or service. Because it’s very hard to evangelize a bad product. Macintosh was a great product, Canva’s a great product — it’s easy to evangelize those things.
When you’re trying to get people to buy into your dream, the most powerful method you can use is a demo. You’re not trying to bludgeon people into becoming your customer. You show them the way and they either get it, or they don’t. You don’t bludgeon people to become believers. It’s about a philosophy that you believe in your product or service because it’s good for the other person, ot for your quota, not for your commission, not for your income. You could make the case that evangelism is the purest form of sales.
So focus on the demo, focus on the great product, focus on improving people’s lives.
Education and how it broadens your perspective:
Guy Kawasaki: Learning doesn’t end when you graduate from school. Many people think, “OK, I got my degree, boom! Done! That’s it.”
That’s not true. Learning doesn’t only occur in the classroom. I think that most people, if they can afford it, if it can be done, would benefit from a college degree because I think it broadens your horizons. I also understand that if you’re the world’s greatest pottery maker or the world’s greatest auto mechanic, maybe you don’t really need a college degree. You don’t have to go to college to be successful and happy. And if you go to college it doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be successful and happy. But if you can, I think it prepares you for the rest of your life.
Why it’s important to have high standards:
Guy Kawasaki: As you look back over your life, I think you’ll come to realize that the toughest bosses, the toughest teachers, and the toughest coaches taught you the most.
Steve Jobs was the hardest boss. I learned the most from him. Harold Keebles was my English teacher in high school. He was the hardest teacher, but I learned the most from him.
That’s something you need to understand. I hate to say it, but you should look for the difficult experience. Don’t always go for the lowest friction, lowest common denominator because at some point in your life you’re gonna realize you could’ve grown more if you had greater challenge.
So, here are my three key takeaways from this interview. First of all, I did not know my title as Chief Evangelist actually meant bringing the good news! So, I learned something new about my title.
Second, I have heard people say, “man, you’re the best sales guy.” I’m always confused because I’m not on commission, I’m not on quota. But Guy said that evangelism is the purest form of sales. I get it now. We just are totally in love with the problem that we’re trying to solve for our customers and we don’t care about how much the deal is worth.
Finally, look for those toughest experiences in life to grow. I feel like I’m a pleaser. I like to please even the people who report to me, people in the company, even customers. But it makes sense — you probably grow the most when you have the toughest teachers and critiques.
As a leader, here’s the challenge I give to you. I want you to look around the room at the people you lead. Okay? And I want you to get to a point where you look at them, and you say, everyone of them is better than I am.
So, let’s take the highest level. Suppose you’re the CEO and you’re hosting a staff meeting with your direct reports.
You should look around the room and say, “you know what? My finance person is better than me at finance. My marketing person is better than me in marketing. My engineering person is better than me at engineering. My operations person is better than me in operations. Everybody in this room is better at what they do than I am!” That should be a source of pride for you.
That’s a very good test of leadership.