Do You Embrace Servant Leadership?

I had very successful C-suite executive ask me recently, “Michael, how do I get my team to complete their projects on time and under budget?”  Have you ever thought the same thing?  Perhaps you have to convince not only your work team to complete their projects in a timely, cost-effective way, but you also have to convince your team at home — your husband, or wife, or kids — to do the same thing!

I struggled with the exact same question.  And what worked for me, and what I’ve seen work for countless others, is when I threw all my time, energy, and efforts in to serving those who “serve” me.   That is, when I truly embraced Servant Leadership.  

What Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Can Teach Us About Sales Success

I was recently interviewed on The Salesman Podcast to discuss what the martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can teach us about achieving success in sales, business, and life.  The benefits, tools, and techniques are many, and, I am excited to share those with you!

So before everyone takes off for the 4th of July holiday, here is are two little summer “treats” to help you make better decisions to be a better sales professional, business master, and servant leader!

Is NOMOPHOBIA Negatively Impacting Your Leadership?

Have you heard of nomophobia yet?  The word first surfaced around 2008 and is defined as the fear of being without your cell phone:  No + Mobile + Phobia.  A recent study sponsored by SecurEnvoy has found that since 2008, the amount of people who fear being without a mobile phone has grown from 53% to 66%.

Nomophobia can cause an increased heart rate and blood pressure, shortness of breath, anxiety, nausea, trembling, dizziness, depression, discomfort, fear, and panic.  Wow!  Now try leading a high performing team that suffers from nomophobia, or worse yet, try leading ANY team while you are suffering from nomophobia…

5 Leadership Lessons Learned from Surviving Cancer

I had never been sick a day in my life until at age 34 when I found “the lump”. I had testicular cancer. Less than 24 hours after my initial diagnosis, I had emergency surgery to remove my right testicle.  

Following three months of brutally aggressive chemotherapy, I needed one more procedure to be cancer-free: Surgery to remove half of my left lung. The surgery was successful. However, I was left confined to a wheelchair unable to do ANYTHING by myself. 

Don’t Get Punched In The Face — And Other Important Leadership Lessons

The UFC is the hottest sport on the planet.  The Ultimate Fighting Championship as it is known, brags of having the highest viewership among both male and female millennials.  And Gen-Xers, and Gen-Yers, and any other Gen-ers you want to mention.  Come on — admit it.  You’ve watched it too, haven’t you?

I proudly admit to being a big fan of the UFC and mixed martial arts (MMA) in general.  As a matter of fact, I’ve practiced martial arts for over 40-years and spent 10 of those glorious years living and training in Japan learning from the best.

Are You a “Phubber”? And Is Your Leadership Suffering Because Of It?

I was a millimeter away from closing a HUGE sale.  The customer was sitting right in front to me — he even came to my office.  However, I also had my laptop open and was looking at something on it (probably an email).  And I also had my cell phone in hand and was texting a client, or a colleague, or another prospect, or a friend, or a family member.  Cant’ remember who.

Now where was I with that sale?  Oh yeah.  I was closing it.  Except I wasn’t.  The dude split.  I lost a HUGE deal.  And I don’t blame the guy for walking away.  If someone would have “phubbed” me, I would have done the same thing.

The Leadership Trap of Extremes & How to Conquer It

I just spent five hours in my grocery store’s cereal aisle trying to make a decision.  Like a surreal Salvador Dali painting, the aisle went on forever.  I was tempted by the multitude of colorful boxes and the deliciously unhealthy sugar-memories of my youth — Lucky Charms, Coca Puffs, Apple Jacks!  Five hours later, I was somewhere near the middle of the aisle with a cartful of cereal boxes I didn’t need, having long forgotten, or just stopped caring about, the original cereal I did need.

Has this ever happened to you?  (And I don’t mean spending eternity trapped in the cereal aisle trying to make up your mind.)  I’m talking about suffering from the decision-making trap of extremes — you give yourself, your team, or your business too many choices to decide from.  And end up making a bad decision, or worse, NO decision at all, while your leadership, performance, and business suffers.

Servant Leaders — What We Can Learn from Washington & Lincoln

We honor two specific servant leaders on Presidents’ Day — Washington and Lincoln.  General Washington was the first US president, having served heroically in the Revolutionary War.  Lincoln was the 16th president and gallantly lead the US during the Civil War.

What comes to mind when you think of these two servant leader?  For me, its honesty — brutal, right-between-the-eyes honesty.  Washington is quoted as saying, “I cannot tell a lie….” when questioned as a six year old boy by his father.  Abraham Lincoln was nicknamed “Honest Abe” because he always told the truth.

Try THIS Leadership Lesson From The NFL Playoffs

Were you part of the millions of people who watched Sunday’s NFL playoffs to determine who goes to Super Bowl LIII on February 3, 2019?  Whether you are a fan or not, you probably heard there were two BIG games played over the weekend.

There were missed calls by the referees, questionable decisions by the head coaches, and supremely gutsy plays by the participants on all four teams.  The bottom line?  Two teams won and two teams lost.  

Do You Lead With Honor?

Prior to working in corporate America, I served in the Marine Corps for eight honorable years.  During basic training and advanced leadership training, my fellow Marines and I were always taught to lead with dignity and honor and respect.  To do what is right — not necessarily to do what is easy.  

During my time working and consulting for global Fortune 500 companies, I saw many fine business executives make the right, tough decision and lead honorably.  I also saw some executives choose to do what was easy and commit fraud, waste, and abuse. 

Improve Sales Results With “The Honorable No”

“A ‘no’ uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”  ~~Mahatma Gandhi  

I love this quote and call it “The Honorable No.”  Do you have people in your life — a colleague, customer, or boss — that you have a hard time saying “no” to?  Are there situations in your sales cycle where you find it easier to say “yes” because you don’t want to deal with the hassle of what a “no” will produce? 

Is Your Leadership Style Built on a Strong Foundation?

Legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed the beautiful rural Pennsylvania house, Fallingwater, in 1935.  He built the house around an existing waterfall, ensuring the house’s super-strong foundation was firmly anchored into massive boulders found all around the waterfall.  

83-years later, the house still stands — iconic, memorable, regal — because of the rock-solid foundation.  Can you say the same about your leadership style?  Is it built on a rock-solid foundation that will withstand the test of time?

Decision-Making Secrets to Boost Sales: What’s Your Irresistible Offer?

Successful sales professionals, and their managers, are never satisfied.  Yesterday’s major achievements are today’s performance standards, and surpassing quota is the expectation, not the exception.  As old methods become commoditized and ineffective, new creative sales techniques are needed more than ever.

What new creative sales techniques are you using to remain relevant? 

Spooky Bad Decisions — And How to Avoid Making Them

In 1999, the number two search in behind Yahoo! was a company called Excite.  Excite had the opportunity to purchase a little start-up called “Google” in 1999 for $750,000.  Turns out the founder of Google, Larry Paige, wanted to sell it so he could go back to Stanford and finish his PhD.

On paper, the numbers worked and the deal looked great.  Larry Paige showed Excite’s leadership that if they used his algorithm, they would increase their search engine revenue by $150,000.  Per day.  The deal would pay for itself in less than a week.  There was one stipulation:  Excite had to swap out their inferior algorithm with Google’s superior one.

Where Are Your Leadership “Strengths” Holding You Back?

As a cancer survivor, successful entrepreneur, and battle-hardened business executive, I learned many valuable leadership lessons.  Take cancer for example.  I had never been sick a day in my life when I was diagnosed with cancer at age 34.  I was at the height of my mental and physical prowess then — invincible, confident, independent.  I’d out work anyone, try harder, work longer with more effort to achieve any goal I set my mind to achieving.  

I was also egotistical, naive, shortsighted, and woefully under supported.