"I have no idols.  I admire work, dedication and competence."
Ayrton Senna.

Have you ever noticed that some people are easier to coach than others? ~ Of course you have. Many coaches talk about those that are a dream to work with. They possess a combination of drive, dedication, and a willingness to learn that seperates them from others. Oftentimes surpassing those with more inate ability and talent. Then there are the unaware or unwilling students. Those really difficult to reach team members that present the greatest challenge to coaches. ~ Why?

Noel Burch (Or Abraham Maslow depending on your source) attributed it to where we stand in the 4 stages of learning, or competence.

1.Unconscious incompetence.

The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit. They may deny the usefulness of the skill. The individual must recognise their own incompetence, and the value of the new skill, before moving on to the next stage. The length of time an individual spends in this stage depends on the strength of the stimulus to learn.

2.Conscious incompetence.

Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, he or she does recognize the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit. The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage.

3.Conscious competence.

The individual understands or knows how to do something. However, demonstrating the skill or knowledge requires concentration. It may be broken down into steps, and there is heavy conscious involvement in executing the new skill.

4.Unconscious competence.

The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become "second nature" and can be performed easily. As a result, the skill can be performed while executing another task. The individual may be able to teach it to others, depending upon how and when it was learned.

Your Opinion.

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt." ~ Mark Twain.

What do you think about opinions? Everyone has them. We tend to love our own don't we? Nowadays the ability to broadcast our opinion to others is enormous. With the internet, social media, comments, blogs and so on... We get to say a whole lot of stuff. But let's put opinion in perspective. Some very smart people have said some very stupid things over the years. ~ Opinions that they really believed.

"Two years from now spam will be solved." ~ Bill Gates 2004.

"I don't need a bodyguard." ~ Jimmy Hoffa.

"It doesn't matter what he does, he will never amount to anything."   Albert Einsteins teacher.

"There is no chance the I Phone is going to get any significant market share, no chance." ~ Steve Ballmer, Microsoft, 2007.

Freedom of speech affords us the luxury to opine on everything.
What we say can turn out to be brilliant, banal, or blithering idiocy.

But when all is said and done - It's just our opinion.

How To Sell.

"Sales are contingent on the attitude of the salesperson, not the attitude of the prospect." ~ W. Clement Stone.

The young salesperson wasn't doing very well. It wasn't through lack of effort, or presentations, he was sure that he was giving more than the senior salespeople who were closing deals left and right. Something was missing. So he went into the old mans office and asked...

"What do I need to work on?"

The old campaigner leaned forward in his chair and said to the young rookie ~ " Every presentation you ever make ends up in a Buy, Sell, or Hold situation. The people you talk to will inevitably buy, sell you on why they can't, or put you on hold. ~ So what do you think you should be working on to ensure that more people buy from you?" he asked.

I don't know the young protege responded - I think I'm doing all I can. Alright the old man said... Let me ask you three simple questions...

  • Are people buying the stuff you sell from others?                     ~ Yes, he said.
  • Are they buying it for about the same price that you're asking? ~ Yes again.
  • Are they buying it from you?                                                   ~ No.
Now you're a smart person ~ So if I understand you correctly...
  • People are buying.
  • They are buying from others.
  • They're just not buying from you.

What do YOU think you need to work on?

Time Forgets.

"When one has not had a good father, one must create one."   Nietzsche.

We get called a lot of things in our lives. Some good and some not so good. Over the years I've been called Kid, Dan, Sarge, Boss, Gaffer, and Old Man but the one name that I treasure the most is...  Dad.

A friend once asked me for the very best advice I could give him as we went our separate ways ~ my response was... "Be A Good Dad"
It seemed to be the most important and sincere thing I could say.

Time forgets most things we do but the view from my window is...

If you're a man ~ "Be A Good Dad."

Keep It Simple.

"Straight reality is always cold" ~ Van Morrison.

We all say we want this or that. We have goals, aspirations, wishes, and dreams ~ and we tell people about them.  Good people support us, and sympathize with the challenges that come with making those wishes come true, but after a while... They take notice of our actions.

Are we doing what it takes to make our dreams come true or are we making excuses and casting blame. Straight reality is always cold.

"Illusions and pipe dreams on the one hand
And straight reality always seems cold
Saying something hard edged is off the wall
And it just might seem too bold."

So let's Keep It Simple:

We get what we give ~ When we don't get...
We simply didn't give enough.

No Excuse.

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

Have you ever noticed that some people feel a need to give us a little bit too much information ~ To over share? ~ Do we really need to know the reasons why they... What's the difference between an excuse and a reason? Well... Others give excuses and we have reasons - right?  


Maybe we could all learn a little, in this oversharing society we now live in, from our friends in one branch of the military who have seven acceptable answers to anything. ~ Seven Simple Responses:

I don't know.
I don't understand.
May I ask a question?
May I make a statement?


No Excuse.

So why do some feel a need to give us all that extra information? 
To share the stuff that nobody really needs to know like:

Why they are late
What they can't do.
How difficult something is.

Well ... I Don't Know ~ but there is... No Excuse.

Cognitive Dissonance.

"Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong.  When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn't fit in with that core belief." 
Frantz Fanon.

Listen up young soldier, the team leader barked. You think you're pretty good at this and that's a problem. You need to learn a little bit about cognitive dissonance. Self justification is one of the most common ways we resolve dissonance. Stop rationalizing what you do and why you do it. We don't learn much from what we agree with.

We learn from challenge, he said ~ not comfort. I'm going to challenge you, physically, mentally, and emotionally. With every part of my being I am going to try to get you to quit. Your mind will want to go to a familiar place, a secure and comfortable place. It will rationalize. Often when we think we are reasoning we are in fact rationalizing. Our mind resists what it doesn't like. It rationalizes with self justification.

I hope you don't like me he said. Because if you like me ~ it means I'm not challenging you. We need the physical, mental, philosophical and emotional challenges that we dislike. We need cognitive dissonance.

The secret is in how we deal with dissonance.

But what about inner peace, tranquility, acceptance and all the zen stuff we are learning about I said. ~  He smiled, looked me square in the eye, and replied ~ "Now there's some cognitive dissonance."