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Kirk Douglas As Spartacus

I’m Spartacus!

What a classic line from the 1960’s film Spartacus with the wonderful Kirk Douglas in the lead role, who’s died today at the age of 103. Just in case you haven’t seen the film, it’s the story of a slave sometime in antiquity who led a revolt against the Romans. 

And the iconic line is uttered by many of the captured slaves when they lost the final battle, following the Roman commander’s demand ‘which one of you is Spartacus?’ And when Spartacus answers ‘I’m Spartacus’, one by one many of the other slaves also call out the same response, leaving the Romans with no idea who the real Spartacus is. The result is that they’re all crucified. It’s very moving tale of courage, love, commitment, brotherhood, and following a dream. 

And, it’s right today to give a nod to Kirk Douglas who was himself courageous as part of the movement against the McCarthy communist witch hunt in the 1950s. Again, moving stuff, to have the courage to go against such a powerful lobby.

As I prepare to run a webinar on Emotional Intelligence in March I’m realising more and more the power of our emotions; how much they drive us, and play such a key part in just about everything we do. Not just our moods; showing up as anger, sadness, and maybe even joy and happiness. But the power of those deep, deep feelings of family, country, friendship, faith, dedication to a cause or a belief, or support for those less able to fend for themselves, maybe. 

What moves you when you see a film or hear a story on social media? There will be something. And it’ll be unique to you, in both its significance and its effect. 

And so to business; because business is full of emotion. As you go about your business today presenting it to your prospects and your customers, my invitation is to consider what is that moves them? 

When I was first into sales one of the first phrases I heard was ‘we buy with emotion, and justify with logic’. For example, it probably applied to the last car you bought. It’s the look and feel of it that we buy, and then justify it logically to our family or colleagues that it was a good deal. And of course it applies to business decisions as well, as they ask, maybe to themselves, ‘do we want to work with you?’, ‘do we trust you?’, ‘will you help us to move our business forward?’. All emotional questions, maybe dressed up as logic. And if we’re not addressing those emotions then we probably won’t get the business. 

So as you listen to your colleagues present today, listen for the emotional content, whether it’s in reassurance or in the achievement of a vision. And if it isn’t there, what adjustment could you make to generate the right sort of feelings in your audience? Because they will need both the emotion and the logic to make a good decision. 

And for me, I might just see if I can find a copy of Spartacus, to remind me of those boyhood feelings as I watched it on the big screen. It was a great film. Have a good day!

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