As emerging leaders, there are opportunities everywhere to gain insight and information about how to be a better leader. There is an Emmy winning show on ABC called “Shark Tank”, which features a panel of potential investors, called “sharks,” who consider offers from aspiring entrepreneurs seeking investments for their business or product. (Wikipedia, 2016) Watching the participants come in the room to face the panel, can teach us all some important F.A.N.C.Y. lessons:
- Be prepared. When people are walking into the room of panelists, they must have a great presentation, a sales pitch, and an offer for how much of their company they are willing to give up for their business. There’s no way anyone would survive the “sharks” if they came in the room without answers to all of their questions. Whether you’re taking a test, interviewing, or buying your first car… be prepared for any questions that may come up.
- Think on your feet. It’s important to be prepared for whatever you’re doing, but it’s also just as important to be able to think and react quickly under pressure. Know what you want ultimately, but keep an open mind of how to get there. Make sure you associate yourself and surround yourself with mentors and influencers, that will keep you engaged and hold you accountable for the things you do on an ongoing basis.
- Know your unique selling point. Unique selling point is a very important business concept. There’s a reason people purchase your product or services, instead of purchasing from someone else. It’s that thing that makes them different from everyone else. You also have a unique selling point, which you should identify and embrace. It’s that part of you that makes you different from everyone else. It could be a great passion for the environment, sharp communication skills, or a great sense of humor. Know what makes you different, and show the world what that is.
- Confidence is key. Whenever money is involved, people seem to take things a little more seriously. Some of the offers funded on “Shark Tank” are worth millions of dollars. There’s no way these participants would get a single dime of the investor’s money, if they were unsure about their idea or their ability to be successful. The truth is, you can’t predict the future, but you should always be confident with who you are and what you’re capable of. Even if you haven’t reached your goals yet.
- Sometimes rejection hurts. The “sharks” rarely pull any punches when they offer criticism to the participants on the show. A large portion of the participants also walk out of the room with no one interested in supporting their business. It’s okay. Rejection and criticism are both big parts of life. The only way to overcome them, is to learn from them. Failure is your greatest lesson. You’ll learn so much about your next opportunity, by examining the opportunity you missed.
Taking advantage of programs like the F.A.N.C.Y. Teen Girls Leadership Academy and Expo, are great ways to prepare yourself for the “sharks”, the big bosses, investors, admission counselors, and hiring managers you may encounter in the future.