Posts Tagged ‘management’

Coach Nick Saban tells a story of three baby birds who fell into the ocean. The mama bird was frantic because her babies were about to drown so the daddy bird flies out and scoops the first baby bird up and sits him down on dry land and asks his son, “Now that I saved your life what are you going to do for me?” His son looks up at him and says, “Dad, when you get old I’m going to take care of you,” and with that, the dad picks up his son and drops him back into the ocean. He then scoops up the second son and brings him to dry land and asks the same question, “Now that I saved your life what are you going to do for me?” The second son says, “Dad you don’t have to worry about anything when you get old because I’m going to take care of you,” and with that the dad does the same thing he did with the first son, he drops him back into the ocean and scoops up the third son and asks the same previous question. The third son says, “Dad, I promise to do everything for my sons as you did for me.”

Your children & the people you lead– the ones who came in with bad credit and today they bought their first home; the ones who used to ride a bike or took a bus to & from work, leave today in their own vehicle; the once shy & inhibited one, who can now talk to anyone; the one who turned his life around & is married with children…those people, your people owe you nothing.

Not a damn thing…

And the best thing they can do- the only thing they should do “for you,” is to be a better parent, manager, & leader, for their kids, for their employees, for their community.

Besides what you want from them anyway? I mean when you keep throwing it up in their face when you stood in the gap, bailed them out, and turned them around…how you made sacrifices, worked two jobs, & made a way out of no way.

What really do you want from them anyway? You don’t want to thank you, you want power and the minute they resist you- the minute they push off and stand on their own by making their own mind up- the minute you feel your power slip, you try to get it back by slapping them with a reminder of all that you’ve done for them.

They don’t appreciate that, they resent it. They don’t feel all warm & fuzzy when you re-open wounds and bear their scares of weaknesses & downfalls just so that you can get the upper hand and pull their strings again.

Nothing…they owe you nothing.

The only thing they owe you is to the pay it forward- improving on what was passed down by you when they were passed up by others.

Hopefully all that you’ve done-the long talks, the sacrifices, the discipline, the love…hopefully you did all of that simply because someone did it (or didn’t do it) for you and you just wanted to improve on that.

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Graham Betchart a sports psychologist & mental toughness coach to professional athletes begins coaching his players w/ 3 plays. These 3 plays set the foundation toward continuous growth that you & I can use…the good news is we don’t even have to run sprints or stadiums to be one of the best!

  • Play #1: W.I.N. stands for What’s important now? Simply controlling the controllables. You can’t control the ultimate outcome but you can heavily influence it. Outcomes can be influenced by the 3 things within your control: Attitude, Effort, & Focus. If your attitude is one where you’re walking around blowing your breath in big huffs- looking like a big ass eye roll emoji then you’re going to get back what you put out- negative results. But if your attitude is that of being open minded- in his book Principles, billionaire investor Ray Dalio calls it being radically open-minded, this mindset keeps the channels of your mind open and flexible. Look, things are going to ebb & flow- some things will bounce your way, other times, even when done perfect will not, but you’ve got to keep the attitude and keep plugging knowing things will swing to & fro. If you think about the times that you’re all pissed off, you usually have a rigid, closed mind, don’t you? You’re also in control of your effort- concentrate on giving full effort to each day, customer, & encounter. I find that when your attitude trails off you tend to be more me focused– worried more about what you’re getting & less of what you’re giving. You just give it all you got- you’ll get what you deserve. You also control your focus. Ask yourself, What time zone am I in right now? We live in 1 of 3 time zones: Past, Present, or Future.The only one that’s productively real is what’s happening right now. Stay local (not loco).
  • Play #2: Be present. Graham says it’s reeeeel easy to play present when you’re winning and everything’s going right- but can you play when your in the shit spin cycle of Life…can you play present even when you’re in pain? Graham has a saying that I love & use that re-centers me back to the present when I feel like I’m starting to drift into the past or future, “Play where your feet are.” It’s an instant slap back to reality- where are your feet right now? Play there…
  • Play #3 Next Play Speed: Athletes don’t have time to get hung up on a blocked or missed shot- Graham coaches his players to hurry up and get into the next play. This prevents them from getting stuck in an action that has already happened. Whenever I don’t do well with a previous customer, I try not to park & bitch about what I did or didn’t have/do- no, I quickly get back in the mix by looking for the next play- the next opportunity or activity that I can possibly capitalize on.

So that’s it! 3 plays is all you have to remember & run today. W.I.N. (What’s Important Now); Play Present, & Next Play Speed.

Blow the whistle- You’re in!

I’ll see you on the Blacktop!

Listen & Subscribe to my daily 5 min podcast The Sales Life w Marsh Buice found on iTunes or anchor.fm/marshbuice

I had a salesperson that I just couldn’t seem to get her to work with more customers- being she was new, I would repeatedly emphasize to her to work with more customers, but when they would come in, she’d usually fall back & let another salesperson Up (catch) them. I couldn’t figure it out..she knew her product, she was technically sound, & she was used to competing against the boys because she came from a male dominated industry …so what was it? When asked, she responded, “Marsh, I don’t have a huge need- the other salespeople around me have to struggle to make a sale in order to pay rent & car notes- I don’t have a huge need so I don’t need to make much.” Leaning back I asked her, “So what’s your end game…” to that she told me that she planned on being in the car business a long time. “Then if that’s the case, you’re not doing yourself much good- here’s why…

First, you can’t teach what you don’t know & you’ll never know until you first do. In his biography, Arnold Schwarzenegger said the 3 keys to him becoming a 7x Mr Olympia, successful businessman, & one of the highest paid actors at the time in Hollywood were reps, reps, reps.”

Reps weatherproof your career. You’ve got to work with hundreds of experiences, objections, scenarios, & obstacles while fading & maneuvering through thousands of rejections not only so that you can learn, but so that you can pay it forward and help others succeed who are starting out as well. Reps also give your customers the needed assurances that you can help them with their current situation because you’ve helped other customers maneuver through similar circumstances as well.

This brings me to my 2nd point,” I told her, “When you’re not working with enough customers, not only do you not possess enough of the necessary skills that they desire & deserve, but not working with enough customers means that you’re OK with them buying from an inferior salesperson- if you say that you’re here to help customers, then you’ve got to follow through with actions to those words.”

Which brings me to my 3rd point,” I quipped, “Do you have kids?” She told me that she had a boy and a girl- Mason & Madison…”Do you want them to do well in life,” I asked knowing she’d say yes. “If you want them to do well, then be their teacher- set the example because they can’t be what they don’t see. The reason why so many struggle as adults today is because, no one played the part…no one showed them the pattern… no one chalked the outline, nor showed them what they could be because no one helped them see…no one showed them more so they’ve accepted less.”

You must do well…you must reach beyond your comfort zone…you must dig deep and get back up…you must set audacious goals & kick the door in when Life tries to slam it in your face…you must reach higher because this isn’t just about you.

It’s way bigger than that…

….but first you’ve got to set the bar.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

thelittlebookoftalentI like Daniel Coyle’s book The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips For Improving Your Skills-now he also wrote The Talent Code which is a good book about how individuals unlock their talent-a book that we’ll chop up later, but today I want to talk about something I hope that you’re doing every day…and that’s making mistakes-not only making them, but more specifically what you do after you make them. We don’t like to make mistakes-mistakes make us vulnerable to others…it exposes us to being laughed at, talked about, sneered at, pointed to, written up and even fired-and that’s just on the outside. The internal game -what’s going on the inside of us is even worse. When we make a mistakes, we begin to lose our internal mojo-our self-confidence, but self-confidence is a very strange thing: if you try and fail your self-confidence slips a notch…but if you don’t try for fear of failing, that too causes you to lose your self-confidence because you’re not producing- so it becomes one of those damned if you do..damned if you don’t scenarios. So here’s my thing, if you’re going to expose yourself to the possibility of losing your self-confidence either way, then why not lose it in the only direction that you have the possibility to not only gain it back but also inch it forward-and it sure as hell ain’t by sitting around…you’ll gain confidence and skills through making mistakes because as Coyle says in Tip #22, “Mistakes are your guideposts for improvement.” Coyle discovered brain scan studies that revealed that .25 seconds-a quarter of a second after making a mistake we do 1 of 2 things: We either ignore the mistake or we look hard at it…

I’ll add a third to Coyle’s findings…

We justify the mistake. We justify why we did what we did, then ignore any sort of corrective coaching or measures thereafter. Some of the most intelligent people ask, “How could I have been wrong in the action that I took..” instead of justifying why they could’ve been right.

Don’t wait to look at the mistake- look at it right away. Players know this- as soon as they come to the sidelines they’re looking at their tablets trying to figure out how they threw the interception, how the ball was stripped out of their hands, or why they were called for pass interference- they don’t have time to explain away the mistake nor do they have time to deal with the mistake later- they analyze & correct immediately because the game is still going on…

So is yours…

…precious time is ticking away while you’re either standing around explaining (to those who really don’t even care) or you just flat out ignore one of the greatest teachers the Universe has to offer: Mistakes.

So do me you a favor…1) As long as they are not illegal, immoral, or unethical, make many mistakes today and right after you make them, 2)Look those mistakes right in the mouth- don’t wince or shy away from them…don’t blame anyone or anything for them. Own them- if you accepted the wins then you sure as hell have got to own the losses. Find & improve your mistakes. And as Coyle’s Law states, “Take mistakes seriously but never personally.”

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

Subscribe and Listen to my daily podcast The Sales Life w Marsh Buice on iTunes or anchor.fm

Many times when we miss a result we get discouraged don’t we? In sales when you’re working with a customer for hours, days, even months only to result in not making a deal(!!!)… you get discouraged…you get down…you get frustrated because you “missed” a sale. Or say you tried out for a team, submitted a paper for publishing, posted a blog, called on a new client, or had a one on one meeting with an advisor for school, counselor for your kids, or just someone that you needed a favorable outcome with and you didn’t to get it… you may think that you missed, but you didn’t …because what you “missed” actually becomes your momentum.

I tell my sales people all the time to feed the machine – meaning feed the action… feed the effort… if you feed it, the results will show and when they don’t “show”… when you feel that you missed, I want you to look at it differently. Look at it as momentum-at least you’re taking action, hell most people don’t even do that… they just sit and hope that something will come around, but hope is not a strategy. Look, I’d rather you try and fail than succeed and never trying because the action that you took- no it didn’t result in a cashable outcome, but it does still have value.… it’s called Feedback.

Feedback is a good thing…good or “bad”…favorable or “unfavorable,” use the feedback to tweak and refine your next approach, phone call, meeting, or submission.

Feedback is the noise that you get back – the bounce back from the effort that you made. Musicians know all about feedback… when they get on stage they do a sound check because sometimes their mic gives that deafening ring – that’s Feedback and the sound engineer makes the necessary adjustments so the sound comes out clear and crisp when they get ready to perform…your process needs to be the same way. When you step onto the stage with a customer…when you step onto the grand stage of Life– sure your initial try may be ear piercing feedback, but make the necessary adjustments….

Musicians don’t walk off stage due to an foul sound- no they adjust- not only initially but all throughout the performance… so should you…

Whether you’re slaying it today or just flat ass bombing, make the adjustments with the feedback that you’re receiving – don’t personalize or internalize it, just keep working it…

…& if you “miss” the result keep in mind that you made the momentum. Make the adjustments and keep on rocking.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

***Catch & subscribe to my daily 5 min podcast The Sales Life w Marsh Buice on iTunes or anchor.fm

I am not qualified to write on this subject of leadership, but my heart is. Everybody has an idea of what leadership means to him or her personally. Leadership to me is simply this: stoop first, then lead. How can you lead someone from something if you don’t feel it first? Do you know what it is like to lose a child; stoop and imagine your own child never again dropping everything in a race to hug your kneecaps as you come home from an agonizing day. Do you know how it feels to have the love of your life walk out on you; stoop first before you tell an employee to take care of their personal problems on their own time- saying things like” check your emotional baggage at the gate.”  A salesperson is begging to race to the bank to deposit his draw check- hoping to outrun the rent check already written; stoop first before you decide, with your grandiose management power to hold the check until closing time-because you can. As a grown man tearfully stares into the eyes of his “manager” fearfully wondering if he can provide for his family in this rejection infested business; stoop first, before you tell him to man up; it’s a numbers game.

We don’t all learn to swim the same; some get pushed into the deep end and have to fend for their own lives; others begin with floaties. Just because you made it one way doesn’t mean another will. You can manage processes, not people.  It’s not the words you speak that make you a leader, for words can be hollow; it’s what you stooped for-the non-judgemental acts that speak louder than mere words.

Have you ever noticed symphonic conductors are the only ones not making a sound?  During a performance, conductors manage by miming; through facial expressions and hand gesturing, they guide the musicians through a performance. Like a coach, a conductor is unable to offer instruction during a performance; he has to rely on thorough preparation and evaluation-prepare the performance; evaluate the results.

Conductors don’t just show up for a performance; why do we? As a manager we cannot perform the, “Win one for the Gipper,” speech every morning; nor can we chant, “Sell a car, save your job!” If you owned your own fully stocked Home Depot you would complain that you didn’t have enough materials to build a house? Why do managers insist they don’t have anything to talk about each morning? Thanks to forums like Dealer Elite (dE) (no plug intended) and a ga-billion blogs, tweets, and podcasts there are tons of no-cost materials out there in order to conduct a well thought out meeting.  Those who have started online forums and blogs spend huge amounts of time and effort putting the final touches on what they wish to share to those who care. Why not use what is available? I’ve always said, tools work better when the toolbox is opened. Just as athletes review game film, conductors listen to their completed performance, so too must a manager review a sales person’s efforts. Tracking demos, write-ups, sold, and delivery percentages are methods of evaluating a sales person’s performance. You cannot inspect what you don’t expect. Using real data will hold your salespeople accountable for their actions; when they become accountable, they become more profitable.

Coaching is not done during a performance; that is called conducting. Your conducting is the result of your coaching. See you on the BlackTop!