Teachers would be better teachers if they acted like salespeople instead of as teachers.
What? Yes. I recall college classes where the professor came to class unprepared, and sometimes even uncaring as to whether or not we, the students, learned anything. They simply read text off a PowerPoint that we easily could have read in our pajamas on our laptop from home and then left. They didn't care. As a result, guess how much the students cared?
Teachers would be more effective if they studied great salespeople and treated each class as a pitch to prospective customers and clients. Each kid in that classroom is potentially a (fill-in-the-blank of teacher's profession here) and if they acted like that, prepared their classes like that, and thought of themselves as recruiters for their profession, the classes would be much more engaging, exciting and most importantly, the students would learn more as a result.
You see, salespeople live and die by whether or not they make a sale. No sales = death. Professors (especially tenured ones) can get apathetic in their approach because their success is no longer based on results. I am not saying do away with tenure. Not at all. However, I am saying to do away with the MINDSET that tenure can bring: apathy, laziness and a lack of caring.
Now, if this idea works for professors, it works for anyone who isn't currently a salesperson. Pretend that your very life depends on whether or not you "make a sale". The hard truth is, we are all in sales. You had to sell yourself to the person who agreed to date you and/or marry you. You had to sell yourself to the company you work for and you will have to sell yourself again should you leave the company or get fired.
The hard truth is, everyone IS their own business. You are the CEO, Founder, Owner and President of You, Inc. Act like your very existence depends on whether or not you "make a sale" because it does.
You'll perform better as a professor, or a computer analyst, or as an Human Resources Manager if you act like your life depends on "sales." And to top it off, your people, your students, your employees, etc. will benefit from your attitude shift because you will treat them differently under this new attitude. You will be looking out for their interests more because your livelihood depends on looking out for them.
So whether you are a professor, a technician or even a construction worker, start acting like your job and life is dependent on making sales. What does this mean? You must sell people on who you are, why you do what you do, and why others should aspire to do and be what you are. This will automatically make you a more attractive person to hire, promote, or to become friends with. Do it and watch your life change.