Leadership for Life

We can learn a lot from Columbo!

In building trust we should follow Columbo’s approach, after all, he always got his man.

The late Peter Falk played a homicide detective by the name of Lieutenant Frank Columbo.  Lieutenant Columbo worked for the Los Angeles Police Department in a 1970’s crime fiction TV series called Columbo.  Columbo presented himself as incompetent and naive, absent-minded and unkempt in appearance detective, when in reality he was the smartest guy in the room.  It could have been very easy for him to let his ego get in the way and try to prove to the perpetrator how smart he was.  However, he stayed focused on the big picture and the perpetrators of the crimes he investigated always knew they were too intelligent to get caught by Columbo and they let their walls down.  That’s what sealed their fate.  Columbo masterfully unveiled his genius and gradually broke down his overconfident adversary bit by bit by asking innocent questions that later proved to be pivotal in revealing the murderer.  He would show admiration for the suspect, even praising the very attribute or talent of which the criminal was most proud of.  It was a thing of beauty to watch him in action, usually scratching his head with a confused look on his face all the while.

Columbo had confidence. Do we have confidence or must we always be right, always be teaching, and always be talking?  By doing this, others will build walls and we will lose trust and a future relationship.  I’m not saying to drive up in an unclean, old, beat up, car and  get out wearing a wrinkled raincoat, chewing on a cigar, and acting naive.  But I am saying we can be humble, be a good finder, and genuinely care about people.  In Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friend & Influence People (found on the LIFE site)  Part two, chapters 4 through 6 show us that if we must go from being a great listener to talking then talk about their favorite topic “themselves”.  If we learn this we will see their walls come down, trust being developed, and a beautiful relationship beginning and in the end you will be loved for focusing on a bigger picture, A CHANGED LIFE.

God Bless,

Curtis Spolar

14 responses

  1. Great post, Curtis!! We really can learn something from anyone…even Columbo!

    April 30, 2012 at 5:47 pm

  2. This would defiantly be on the top of my list not to over talk and listen. So easy to say although difficult to follow through on. That is why I am so thankful for LIFE and the mentor ship we have available to give us friendly reminders on what I need to do to be successful in my personal life.

    June 13, 2012 at 10:23 am

  3. This is some great information Curt. Thanks for posting it is so critical to be humble and listen so that we can connect to whom ever we are talking with. I am so thankful for LIFE and the life coaching we have access to because truth is seemingly easy to understand, but is more difficult to follow through on.

    June 13, 2012 at 10:28 am

  4. This relates to the Joke by Brain Reagan Dinner Party and he talks about the “me monster” in everyone. I highly recommend a viewing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiUsfEkVRDY

    June 13, 2012 at 10:30 am

    • This is very funny!!! Thx Titus

      June 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    • Charles Gopez

      At 2:19: “At best, people wait for your lips to stop.” Some people call it egotistical and self-centered; servant-leaders call it a character-building, test of patience.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    • Charles Gopez

      Hahaha, the “me monster”. Now that’s a Goliath. Question is: whose Goliath is it? The person talking or the person listening?

      June 13, 2012 at 11:08 pm

  5. Ramon Palacios

    Curt, great job. You gotta write another one.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:43 am

  6. Charles Gopez

    I can definitely relate with the “incompetent and naive, absent-minded and unkempt in appearance” parts, lol. Our team and the Team have helped me offset that from my Sang-matic self, so thank you!

    June 13, 2012 at 10:19 pm

  7. Carl & Rosa Buchanan

    Excellent work, the Columbo example is fantastic incite to communication skills. Talk about the art of pealing an onion. Do you find that most people will open up in a communication ladder if approached with humility and genuine interest in what is important to the person? Our ego’s can really get in the way…yes!!! After all it is not about us it is about others!!!

    June 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm

  8. Carl & Rosa Buchanan

    Duty is the most sublime work in our English language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm

  9. Steven Johnson

    I have read Dale Carnegie’s book a few times and still need the reminder! Thanks for painting it for me a different way.

    July 1, 2012 at 8:59 am

  10. Phelicia Wyant

    I just want to say, awesome seminar in MI. I have been watching the last ten minutes of the third session at least once or twice a day since first seeing it and will continue to do so until the 31st when it is no longer available online.

    July 24, 2013 at 6:35 pm

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