In one of my marketing classes, we had to read case studies of problematic business scenarios, evaluate them, and tell what changes we would make in the way the company was managed. The cases were very confusing, and students had a hard time separating issues. I went to my professor to suggest role-playing the characters in the cases and proceed as if it were real life “ to give students a better understanding. At first she snubbed my idea and thought that students would not take it seriously. However, I was very persistent. I told her that since I am a very visual learner and knew that it would help me, I therefore felt the approach could make a difference in the class. She still refused. I then asked her to give me just one case to try my idea. I said that I would take one of the roles, and a volunteer could take another. I said that if the idea failed, I would never mention it again. She gave me my chance, and it worked! My idea grabbed the attention of the class. Instead of reading the boring cases and going around the room sharing our thoughts, I got the class involved and excited about the material that we were learning.
As an account executive, I persuade potential advertisers all the time. But I specifically remember persuading the owner of a tanning salon to advertise in the middle of the winter after he had already declined at the beginning. I used my personal experience as a sorority member to explain to him that winter is the best time to advertise tanning salons because sororities have formals, and members want to look tan in their dresses. He knew sororities were a huge part of his business and agreed to advertise for the rest of the school year as long as I kept him up to date on good times to run specials for sororities.
I was the leader of my macroeconomics group in college. As leader, I had to delegate parts of the assignment to other group members. Not only did I do a written section for each paper, but I also gathered all of the props we needed for our oral presentation, and I typed all of the five papers assigned. I was also taking four other classes at the time. By the fourth paper, I decided to persuade some of the other group members to edit and finalize it. I learned a lot about delegation and leadership when I discovered that they were happy to help out.