Have You Ever...?

"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone". ~ G.B. Stern

Have you ever really said Thank You? I don't mean the every day kind. I don't mean the kind you say out of courtesy. I mean - Really Said - Thank You. The kind of thank you that comes from the depths of your soul. The kind of thank you that tells a person that they really made a difference in your life. The kind of thank you that humbles you. Have you ever choked back your ego and said to someone I can't tell you how much I appreciate you and what you mean to me? Saying thanks is easy - we throw the words out there every day. But how about taking a moment and making a list. A list of those who have really made a difference in your life. A list that includes a child, a spouse, a mentor, a veteran, a boss, a friend or an associate. Take a moment and write out a real "from the depths of my soul" thank you list. Then think before you give them the greatest gift you possibly can. A sincere and heartfelt thank you. Go ahead. Call, write or tell them in person. Say Thank You from the heart. Isn't that what thanksgiving is all about?

Silent Gratitude Isn't Much Use To Anyone.

The Best

"I am easily satisfied with the very best." - Winston S. Churchill

Do you see things in people - things that you like, admire and respect? Do you notice remarkable traits in others? Do you appreciate great quality in products, service and people? Of course you do - we all do. We talk about them, respect them, admire them and sometimes stand in awe of what we call "The Best". The Best is easily acknowledged - It's "The Best." There is little debate with great. Good is subjective. Great is Great. Better is subjective. The Best is the Best. The Best Things. The Best People. The Best Achievements. The Best Relationships. The Best Life. They all have traits, attributes and qualities that we can identify. We try to incorporate the best into our lives. We love to associate, work with and be around the best. We want to compete with the best and be on the best teams. We strive to emulate what the best do. We strive to enjoy the best experiences, relationships and things. And yet all too often we settle for less than the best. The Best Doesn't Come Easy. But the Best Know that. The Best isn't expensive. It's Rare, it's Valuable and It Has A Cost. But here is the funny thing about the Best. If we have to ask the cost - If we are concerned with the price we have to pay - the best may remain out of our reach because as we all know:

The Best Is - Priceless.

Fluff, Action, Metrics & Effort

"As I grow older I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do." ~ Andrew Carnegie

Most of us are suckers for inspirational words, quotes, movies and people. They uplift our souls and challenge us to be better than we are. That's a good thing. But for most people, sadly, inspiration is merely a pause, a respite, an entertaining interlude before we return to thoughts, actions and habits that have become ingrained and repeated over many years. So what's the disconnect? Why do such positive words, thoughts, missives, and those that deliver them, become so much 'fluff'? Why does it all become such baloney? Because fluff, entertainment and the feel good nature of inspiration is easy and addictive and behavior modification is hard and takes persistent discipline. In sales we see it every day. Great attitudes without Great Actions. Desire without Discipline. Declaring without Doing. Goals without Grit and Effort without Execution. We hear a lot of talk. See people with permanent potential and harbor hopes of better days. But you want to know how to really get better in sales, life or anything? Raise Your Baseline. Measure your actions and raise the bar. Take any activity or any action - Do more of it and do it better. Measure your metrics. For example: Get up earlier. Make more presentations, more contacts and more calls. Ask more questions. Listen more and talk less. Learn from a mentor. Do what others can't or won't. Be better prepared with a background profile on every target. Care enough to call, communicate and meet people when others don't. Try before 8am and after 6pm. There is not much traffic on the extra mile - make that place your home. The bottom line? Just having a great attitude is worthless. Being inspired is fluff unless you take consistently challenging actions.

Be Inspired - Take Action - Raise Your Baseline.

We Are Judged By...

"We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done." ~ H. W. Longfellow

First of all let's get one thing out of the way. We are all judged and we all judge. Let's not kid ourselves. We do it every day. We judge quality, content, character and value both in things and people every minute of every day. We determine worth and make decisions based on those determinations. So what are the primary criteria that we are all judged by? What are the main areas that influence the thoughts of others?
I submit that we are judged by the three 'R' s.


What have we done, what are we doing and what do we repeat? In life as opposed to investments past performance is an indicator of future results. People can change but in the majority of cases we will do what we have always done and get what we have always got unless we do something significantly different. If you want different results...


People will treat, respect and behave toward us as they believe us to be. The reality is we all get in direct proportion to what we give in life. Character and Reputation is pretty transparent over time. We are what we most frequently think about and our actions follow those thoughts. Thoughts determine actions, actions determine habits, habits determine character, character determines reputation. Want a better life? Build a better Reputation. Think Better Thoughts and Give more. Give More and you Get More.


Great relationships are the breakfast of champions. Want a better life? It's simple - Build Better Relationships. There's an old Japanese proverb that says "When the character of a man isn't clear to you, look at his friends.” When we improve our relationships we improve our life.

A Sales Reference.

"Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company."
~ George Washington

Have you ever been asked about a previous sales employee who is now looking for a job? You know - some manager or HR person calls to ask you for a reference evaluation. Whether they were good, or not so good, legal considerations have made the " So how was their performance?" question not so easy to answer these days. Many companies default their response to the dates of employment only.

Some even ask for a written request rather than being held to account over the telephone. But what are sales managers and executives really saying when they utter what sounds like harmless platitudes and faint praise to the potential new employer?  What are the secret codes in the phrases they use? So here we go ~ For your amusement only...  

I humbly submit here is what they are really saying:

"He was a nice guy, very friendly, and got along with everyone."

"He couldn't close a door. He was nice enough talking to existing clients but never consistently prospected or drove higher revenues. He's not going to hurt your business if you hire him but isn't going to help your top line much either. Everyone will like him but your best sales people and your competition won't consider him much of a threat. Hire or don't hire him - Your call. He will process incoming orders just fine but isn't going to change your bottom line much."

"He worked here between (date) and (date). Seems like he was ok - I can't remember anything in particular I would mention. "

"Stay away from this guy like the plague. There are issues that I would rather not address. I kind of wish this guy would go to work for my competition - it would only hurt them and help us."

"She Makes A Difference"

"I wish she had never left. Don't wait - hire this girl now ! She will get done whatever you need done. She is a dependable go-getter."

Naturally most of us would expand on this third category of candidate. He, or she, sticks out in our mind as a difference maker. Someone we would hire back in a minute. Which brings me to the real question that people should ask first. "Would you hire them back?" If a supervisor waffles on this one or says something soft and non commital like -
" I would certainly interview them if a position became available" then you have your answer. They didn't really make a difference.

Great Salespeople - Make A Difference.

The Success Formula

"If you don't know what you want to do, it's harder to do it."
~ Malcolm Forbes

When a bright eyed youngster asks you "What's the secret to success?" What do you say? When someone looks for simple guidance and perspective what do you give them? You know that they don't want a sermon or a moralizing philosophy. They want something that they can customize to their needs and build on. What's your answer? Sometimes we lean on the tried and true lessons of the past - the wisdom of sages. Sometimes we spout generic "Just Do It' instructions with a deferential bow to desire and drive. And sometimes we just talk about our perspective, our experience, and our lessons learned. We give them an ego driven backhand that smashes the ball back across the net as if we are trying to win a point. That's not what they're asking for. They want a foundation. A framework that fits sales, business and life. They want a formula that they can manage, mould and measure. They want something that works. Something that helps them define direction and results. They want something that clearly says "Here is what I am". The answer lies in three components. Each is equally important. The formula breaks down when you leave out any of the three. The success formula is I + A + M = I AM.

Inspiration: Where do you get it from? What drives, inspires you, and fuels your internal drive? What words, images, sounds, people, relationships, concepts and values define you? Use inspiration to identify who you are, where you want to go and what matters to you.

Action: The world is filled with inspiring entertainment. Inspiration without action however is just that - entertainment. Inspiration is fuel. Action is the accelerator. Don't just be inspired - Take Action.

Metrics: Inspiration is fuel and actions get you moving but its metrics that really matter. If you don't measure your actions and your results how do you know how well you're doing? Don't be fluffy - be focused. Key Performance Indicators are critical in all aspects of sales, business and life. Measure and map your journey, actions and results.

Identify what inspires you. Use your inspirations to show the world who you are and where you want to go. Inspiration is your mapquest and your fuel gauge. Action is what gets you out of park and puts your foot on the accelerator. Action moves you. Metrics determine how fast you're going and how far along your journey you've gone.

Want a success formula? Try "I AM".

Don't Be Sorry

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
~ Benjamin Franklin

Surrounding ourselves and working with consummate professionals is one of the true joys of being in business. Working with a flake can be one of our worst nightmares. How do you know the difference before you get in with anyone too deep? How can you tell early whether someone is a professional or a flake? There are simple tell tale signs. Flakes apologize a lot. They apologize for being late. They apologize for being unprepared. They apologize for not meeting commitments and they apologize for - well a whole lot of things. Customers don't have to accept apologies. They shouldn't. Want to become a consummate professional? Be better prepared than anyone else. Ask more questions. Care more about what others want than what you want. NEVER BE LATE. Be the person that others can totally depend on. Customers don't have to understand your reasons. They shouldn't give us a second chance. The mantra is "Give Results Not Reasons". In business we don't deserve a second chance. That's the bottom line. Business goes to those that provide the most value. "There's no crying in business." I say to every salesperson, every vendor, every employee and every executive if you really want to succeed in business:

"Don't be Sorry - Be Squared Away."

Something Important.

"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude." ~ Cynthia Ozick.

Something important happens to me when I meet a combat veteran. Something that's hard to explain. There's a recognition, a respect, a salute and... a sadness that embraces me. It's something important.

It's simple, silent and sincere. It's something shared. On Memorial day, and Veterans day, a different emotion rises from the depths of my soul.

It's different than the love that I have for my child. It's different than the respect I have for role models and different than the salute I give to those who accomplish things in business and in life.

It's different and yet It's the same. It's a strange bond that transcends country, color, race and religion. It's older than age and younger than youth. It's about selfless sacrifice and sincere substance. It's grave and it's gravitas. It's hard to explain the warm smile and the chilling sadness that I feel when I think of the value and values of a veteran.

It's hard to explain but it's really... ~ "Something important."

The One True Joy In Life.

"This is the one true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world did not devote itself to making you happy." ~ G B Shaw

Simply - Be the change you want to see in the world.

10 Tips For A Go-Getter.

"Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.
" ~ Bill Bradley.

Are you a Go Getter? No Really. I'm not talking about someone who is looking to make a comfortable way through life or business. I'm not talking about someone who puts in an eight hour shift and then goes home. I'm not talking about work - life balance here. I'm talking about naked ambition and drive. I'm talking about having a hunger to lead, make a difference in business and influence others. If that's you - then the tepid leadership tomes and cookie cutter advice out there doesn't help you too much. You need specific bullet points on what to do, how to think and act, and how to impress those who can help you get where you want to go. So here we go ~ 10 Tips For A Go Getter:

No Whining - Whatever you get in life is up to you. Never blame, make excuses or give reasons. It's all about "Results not Reasons". If you fall short of expectations suck it up - give no excuses and dive in again. The mantra is always get results. Nothing impresses and promotes quicker than someone who consistently delivers results.

Work Harder - Forget the work smarter not harder crap. Working harder will hold you in good stead as you drive to the top. It impresses those you need to impress and besides it gets results. You are smart enough to know what to focus on and work hard at - only an idiot can't determine where to put the effort to get results. If you are not working harder than your boss how in the hell are you going to impress him?

Listen & Learn - Having confidence is one thing but not learning from those who are already where you want to go is just plain stupid. Ego can drive and it can destroy. Find a mentor, surround yourself and learn from those who are where you want to go. Listen up. Yes I really mean Listen Up - not sideways from peers. Learn and apply the lessons from those in positions where you want to go. Think ROI. Recognize the difference between Top Line and Bottom Line results. Know how to Identify A and B players. Learn to do what leaders respect. Immerse yourself in the things that drive a business.

Be Dependable - Nothing beats someone you can depend on to be there when you need them. Someone who gets results while others rest. That means - never late, never absent, never sick. If that's too stringent a standard. Then you're a conditional go getter.

Love It - Go-Getters have passion. They love it when conditions and circumstances are at the worst. That's when they shine. While others whimper, whine and recoil from "unreasonable expectations" go getters embrace them. In the most dire situations a true go getter shows character, and what they're truly made of, by "Loving it."

Lead & Influence - Nothing impresses and influences leadership (after results) more than the ability to influence others. As you rise to the top make sure you teach others what you are learning and influence them to follow your example. "Be the change you want to see in the world" Lead by Example and Influence Others.

Be Selfless not Selfish - Naked ambition will create animus. Get used to the idea. With that said the only way to mitigate this is to focus your attention and drive on getting results that benefit others. Your success as a go-getter is in direct proportion to how much your efforts benefit others. The perks, plaudits and promotions you get along the way are a bi product. Deliver results that benefit others.

Set Metrics - Forget the fluff. Metrics drive business. Set clearly defined numeric goals. Measure your actions and results. And most of all - share those metrics with those above you. Make sure you are on the same page with their expectations and then go ahead and exceed those expectations. Metrics Matter.

Fail - If you are not failing you are not setting your sights high enough. You've got to fail, fall short and go after it again. Leaders will judge you on how well you respond to setbacks and whether you lower your expectations or drive harder and higher.

Pass Tests - All leaders test Go-Getters. They do it in many different ways. Little tasks they ask to be completed. A barrage of unreasonable vitriol to see how you react. Or a big hairy goal that can't be met. Leaders need to find out whether you can withstand pressure - make sure you pass the little tests.

Are You A Go Getter?