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.  

Distracted Leadership — Do You Use Your Cell Phone or Does It Use You?

Do you use your cell phone as an alarm clock?  I used to.  This was my morning routine for years:  Cell phone alarm goes off, I turn it off, and immediately start looking at emails, text messages, calendar items, to-do lists, social media posts, and a million other alerts.  My heart rate increases, stress levels spike, and I start worrying about all the things I have to do.  I jump in the shower, eat breakfast (sometimes), and rush to get in front of my laptop.  Then, off to the races — a hamster on that “electronic wheel” — spinning, running, working.  Going nowhere.  Getting nothing accomplished.  Panic sets in…

The Biggest Leadership Takeaway From UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor

“Did you see the McGregor fight on Saturday?”  I’ve been asked that a bazillion times the last few days.  So…..did YOU see it?  Did you see the mixed martial arts event of the century that showcased the brash, Irish loud-mouth Conor McGregor against the stoic, Russian steam-roller, Khabib Nurmagomedov?  (Don’t worry — I still can’t pronounce it either.)

In a nutshell, loud-mouth McGregor got his butt beat by the stoic Russian.  After Khabib defeated McGregor in the 4th round, the raucous crowd became even more raucous and rowdy.  Someone from McGregor’s entourage yelled something at Khabib.  And boys will be boys:  Khabib quickly climbed over the octagon “cage” and jumped into the crowd to fight with McGregor’s entourage.  

What Are Your Leadership Pillars? What is YOUR Parthenon?

The gorgeous Greek temple, the Parthenon, was built in 438 BC to honor the goddess Athena and still stands today.  It is supported by a multitude of strong, sturdy, and stable  45 foot tall pillars!  Some pillars have crumbled and collapsed even, however, the ornate and extremely heavy marble top of the temple is still strongly supported.

And consider that our leadership style is just like the Parthenon — it must be supported by strong, sturdy, and stable “leadership pillars”.  So even if one or two of those pillars weaken, crumble, or collapse, your leadership style will withstand the test of time and thrive — especially in the face of adversity.

Another Leadership Lesson Learned from Surviving Cancer

Regular readers of my blog know I survived a brutal form of cancer several years ago.  I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, right testicle was removed, cancer spread to my lungs, had massive chemotherapy, and then half of my left lung was removed.

It sounds a lot easier when written like that.  Truth is, it was pretty awful.  And I often reflect on the various lessons I learned from surviving cancer and how those lessons are applicable in business and life.  

Decisions Shape Our Destiny — Are You Choosing the Best Ones?

How many decisions a day do you think busy professionals make — 1,000?  10,000?  More?  The exact statistic will blow your mind and can be found at the end of this post.

Decisions shape our destiny.  Are you choosing the best ones possible?  If you aren’t, your leadership will suffer.  Your career, company, and community can also take a HUGE hit based on the decisions you make.

When is NOW the Best Time (And My Gift To You)

You are putting off doing something that will transform your business and life.  Do you need to hire someone?  Fire someone?  Change jobs?  Get into, or out of, a personal relationship?  Increase sales, lose weight, or sell your company?  What is it for you? 

And when is now the best time.  And by the way, my grammar is correct — that last phrase is not a question.  When is now the best time.

The Tyranny of How

Decisions control our destiny.  Think of a great decision you’ve made and how it positively impacted your business, personal life, and the lives of others.  Deciding to sell my first business is an example of a great decision I made that positively impacted my life and destiny.  It opened innumerable windows of opportunities including allowing me to become a top-rated business leadership keynote speaker.

Now what about a bad decision you’ve made — how did that impact you?  What was the cost in time, money, happiness, and health?  I once put off making a decision to sell my house and move for five long, agonizing years.  This delay also impacted my life and destiny in a certain way.  (Remember, NOT making a decision is also a very bad decision.) 

Executive Presence — Do You Have It?

How do you define “executive presence”?  When I was in the Marine Corps, we called it “command presence”.  One officer in particular who I worked for, Major Mary Harbac, exemplified this leadership trait to a “T”.  One of my early sales managers and mentors, Richard Giebel, also embodied this principle in an amazing, effortless fashion.

What do both Major Harbac and Richard have in common?  Did they scream, threaten, and intimidate like the crazed Marine drill instructor in the movie Full Metal Jacket or Alec Baldwin’s foul-mouthed sales “guru” in Glengarry Glen Ross?