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The Case for Drinking

BombayAs the Sales Kickoff continues I am again reminded of the value of drinking. Social media does an excellent job at connecting people who have similar interests, but ultimately there’s no substitute for face-to-face conversation. The degree and depth of conversation can be accelerated rapidly with some social lubricant.

I also saw this in effect last night at the Blogger Dinner EMC sponsored. The good news is that Len mentioned that this would be a quarterly event so that will be perfect come January when the holiday rush is over and we are trapped in the cold and dark.

The key to drinking though, is to drink, yet never get drunk. Excessive drinking is a career limiting maneuver (or worse – like that guy in your town who has to ride that crappy bicycle to work).

For the best advice in this arena I highly recommend Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and some of their pointers on how to party without getting in trouble. Many of their points are actually high level ninja tactics, most often centered around misdirection.

If you are not up to these advanced tactics, here are a few simple principles to get you started:

  1. Make sure everyone is drinking more than you are. This often requires buying many rounds, but it keeps you at the advantage. You’d think that this could be dangerous and expensive with sales guys, but that’s not the case at all – I’ve never met a good sales guy who didn’t get exceptionally generous after the first round.
  2. Always hold a half full drink – I’ve been drinking professionally for years and this is still very difficult for me. But the key is to have enough gone so that nobody asks “What’s wrong with your drink” but enough left so you’re not asked for a refill. The point here is not to drink nervously, as you chat, you may be hitting your drink and not really realizing it. The key to get around this is eat or, if you are a slob like me that will spill food on yourself –
  3. Lose your drink – This is a Frank and Dean classic, and is critical if you attain a position of power. People will be glad for the opportunity to buy you a drink, so you’re just making that happen, and still not drinking.
  4. Rescue detail – This is what you train for – nothing will cement your reputation better than getting a VP out of a Mexican Prison, getting the camera with career limiting photographs to dispose of them, or just making sure the team gets home alive.

I’ll be covering more advanced tactics at Podcamp Boston 2 next weekend, please say hello. The first drink is on me.