I ran into the boss of the boss of the boss of the boss of my boss at London City Airport. He did not recognize me of course; there are quite a few Oracle consultants in Europe apart from myself. But once properly introduced, he offered to buy me a drink so we could have a chat while we waited for our flights.

He asked me what I wanted to drink.

I said that a beer would do just fine.

He asked me what kind.

I mumbled something about having no preference.

Obviously that last statement was a half-hearted lie. This being England, the bar had a respectable selection of beers and ales on offer; not all of which I would have enjoyed. Perhaps I did not want to seem picky, or did not want to waste time perusing the bar. Whatever the reason, he seemed unfazed and wandered off towards the bar to order while I attended our luggage and seats.

Q: What beverages would you have purchased if you were in his position?

Presumably, one does not become the boss of the boss of the boss of the boss of the boss of me without a lot of effort, skill and hard work. One does not simply walk into a top-position at a multi-national cooperation without some special abilities and a lot of experience.

Technology and tools change fast, but people will be around for some time. I enjoy keeping up with and learning about new technology in my spare time, but people experience takes serious effort and dedicated investment. It is why I do the work I do the way I do it. A chance encounter like this is a great opportunity to leapfrog ahead.

Pay attention to the details, and you might learn a trick or two.

My high-placed patron returned from the bar with two completely different beers, stated he was fond of both and let me choose between a dark ale and a normal lager; thereby maximizing (doubling) the odds of me getting something I liked in the absence of more information. Furthermore, because I was allowed to choose, the endowment effect almost guaranteed I would be satisfied with what I got; even if it wasn’t really what I wanted. Simple, but effective!

A: Buy two diametrically opposed beverages you personally enjoy equally. Let the other choose.

Think big, start small. They say happiness is in the little things, but so is success.