One of my favorite movies ever is the filmed version of David Mamet’s play titled Glengarry Glen Ross. Yes, that movie had an awesome cast made up of many of the best actors in Hollywood history. But it is all about the story for me.
Here are some things I learned from the story and I think about these things a lot:
- Coffee is for closers. Okay, I had to start with this. There is a scene in the movie where the big boss man tells one of the salesmen to put back the coffee pot because coffee is for closers. This implies that the salesman, played by Jack Lemmon in the movie, is not a closer. I think this idea surfaces in real life quite a bit, that the extra perks should go to the hardest workers. You might see some of this in your work setting too.
- Good leads. A lot of the story is about salesmen arguing about and fighting for better sales leads. This means that some leads that they get are not good or are even worthless. It seems like the better salesmen keep getting the better leads, and so on and so forth. In life, you might see this too. It is often a good idea to try to work hard so you can get better opportunities
- Teamwork. Even though there is a lot of cussing and arguing in the movie, there is some sense of teamwork in the story. Yes, there is great desperation in closing sales and not getting fired. I take from this the notion of working for both one’s own individual goals and also the goals of the team.
- Urgency. Like a lot of things in life, there is a great urgency in they story about either getting sales or getting fired. This is good advice in general, to try and be productive or someone else could take your job.
- Persistence. Granted, you may not like salesmen and may not like what they sell a lot of the time, but some of the best salespeople are very persistent and show great determination. These are skills that can help out a lot in life.
If you have not seen the movie, I recommend that you give it a try. I know that there are not many female and non-white characters in the play and movie, so that is something of a disappointment.
But the dynamics of the story can resonate in different cultures and situations. A lot of life is about persistence, determination and effort.