“Be a Sponge and a Stone”:
“Most highly successful leaders really aren’t the smartest people in any room. Rather, they have something that sets them apart. That something is sponge and stone.” “…for any entrepreneur or leader, sponge and stone is the critical differentiator that defines his or her likelihood of success.”
“In the business world, a sponge is someone who is tirelessly driven to seek and absorb new information. In general terms, this means someone who is highly curious, possibly even somewhat obsessive, about gathering data and learning from it.”
“Sponges tend to want to take in as much information as possible. They feed on as much information as they can absorb.”
“But being a sponge is only part of what it takes to be a success in business. A business leader must also be a stone. There are two main characteristics of stone behavior:
First, these determined individuals aren’t the smartest people in the room, but they work harder than everyone else.
Secondly, stones have incredible strength of conviction. They are tough-minded and believe in whatever they are pursuing or doing, regardless of the challenges, hurdles, naysayers, and failures they encounter.”
“Whether a business student or a successful entrepreneur, a Stone, like a Sponge, does three things:
- Displays fearlessness—and even shamelessness. Stones don’t just work 24/7; they work every angle.
- Believes the impossible is possible.
“… we were turned down by nearly 200 different investors. We were actually thrown out of agencies, and marketers wouldn’t try our word-of-mouth marketing product even for free. My family did an actual intervention, where they sat me down and tried to talk me out of pursuing the business. But we persevered, believing above all else that the concept of BzzAgent was possible.
- Engages in multiple projects at once. This is perhaps the most polarizing behavior that a stone (and sponge) will typically exhibit. Sponges and stones, by their nature, have incredible curiosity and, often, ideas and energy to burn.”
“Activity is likely part of that person’s DNA, and he or she is just trying to feed an immense appetite for knowledge, create new connections, and take advantage of ideas efficiently.”
“They already work harder than normal people and, more important, their various projects will only accelerate their absorption of data and information. In fact, if someone isn’t interested in multiple concepts, is it possible that’s not a sponge and stone at all?”