The #1 CIA Trick to Improve Your Business & Life

I’ve always been obsessed with spies – their skills, their secrets, their style.

James Bond, Bourne Identity, Mission Impossible, The Night Agent – if there’s a spy movie on Netflix I’m usually binging it.

It’s no wonder I’m drawn to people like Andrew Bustamante, a former CIA agent and the Founder of EverydaySpy.

When someone asked him what the #1 CIA Skill he would teach someone in five minutes to change their life – he said to understand Perception and Perspective.

LICENSE TO SKILL

“The only way people can win any argument, get ahead in their careers, or even out-sell and out-race anybody, is to move off of perception and move into perspective.”

This tactical ‘spy trick’ can transform our approach in business and life.

PERCEPTION: FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Perception is our individual views of the world, shaped by personal experiences and beliefs.

During surveillance, we’re zooming in on specific details – but oftentimes missing the broader picture.

Bustamante is adamant: perception, while important, is our personal view and not the entire reality.

PERSPECTIVE: THE SPY WHO SAW ME

“Perspective is the act or the art of observing the world from outside of yourself,” he said.

“Whether that’s outside of yourself as like an entity just observing in a third from a different point of view, or even more powerful, you sit in the seat of the person opposite you and think to yourself,

‘What is their life like?'”

Perspective, as Bustamante teaches, is about observing the world from outside ourselves, even from another person’s viewpoint.

We all need to be more like Bond, James Bond, skillfully shifting vantage points to gain a more solid understanding.

This shift from our own perception to a broader perspective can be incredibly empowering in business.

Why?

Perspective leads to predictability.

SHAKEN NOT STIRRED

“When you shift places and get out of your perception and into someone else’s perspective, now you’re thinking like them which is giving an informational advantage,” he continued.

“Everyone else out there is trapped in their own perception. You have an advantage that they don’t have.”

FIVE VIEWS FOR A KILL

1. Operational Observation: Take the time to observe others. Look at their actions. Are there any patterns of behavior that will help you understand their point of view?Imagine putting a bug in your client’s office.What challenges do they face? What do they really want that they’re not telling you?

Decode them daily.

Understanding leads to groundbreaking ideas and strategies.

2. Diverse Intel: Surround yourself with a team that brings different perspectives. Create a network that provides a variety of intelligence. By understanding the perspectives of our team and clients, we become better leaders.

3. Situational Recon: A spy views challenges from multiple angles, a great leader does the same. By assessing the entire situation it can lead to more informed and smarter decisions.Regularly step back and assess situations from a broader perspective.

Ask yourself: What am I missing?

4. A Web of Allies: A spy must understand both their allies and adversaries –  knowing what makes your entire circle tick can empowers you.

5. Flexibility is Forever. The entrepreneur world, like espionage, is constantly evolving. Be flexible and ready to adapt your perspective at any time.

YOUR MISSION: IF YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT

If your business isn’t working as smoothly as you’d like it. Do what Jason Bourne does: Try to find a different way.

Busamante’s “spy trick” is essentially learning to not be so self-absorbed and to practice the art of empathetic understanding the viewpoint of others.

By doing this, it allows us to break free from our own biases and therefore have a deeper comprehension of the diverse and multifaceted people that surround us.

While it may seem like such a small change, the results can often be significant.

So let’s take this spy trick and transform our businesses and our lives. Remember, we only live once.

From Santa Monica with love,

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RECOMMENDED PODCAST

Hosted by former covert CIA intelligence officers Andrew Bustamante and Jihi Bustamante, the EverydaySpy Podcast gives you practical, powerful spy skills and insights you can use every day. From parenthood fixes to career shortcuts, business hacks to geopolitical insights, this pod is for you if you are looking for frank, honest, and hilariously relatable truth from two real-world field operatives who have done and seen things they can’t talk about (and will never forget).