The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


Archive for August, 2013

I Wonder (I hope)…

Went to the Broncos’ pre-season game Saturday night.  I’m a football fan.  Well actually, my wife would tell you that I’m a fan of anything involving a ball.  Not true, however – hockey; NASCAR; track & field; I like lots of activities that don’t require a ball.  Do you think that’s what she meant?  Little wonder.

Ever wonder how the sports media and sports radio talk show callers all have “the answer” to every team’s situation?  They have already determined how the Broncos will fare this season.  I guess I can just turn in my season tickets.  Don’t need to play the games.  Lots of “experts”; no wonder.

I was watching President Obama’s town hall gathering last week held on a college campus.  Ever notice that no matter what the question and how complex the topic, our career politicians have the ability to provide a 3-5 minute answer?  Ever wonder if they could ever be asked a question where their answer would be, “I don’t know”?  Lot’s of “answers”; any wonder?

I was playing with my 2 year old grandson Friday night.  He’s at that terrific age where everything, especially the simple things, are wonderful.  Do you remember your first memories?  I remember my family; my front yard; playing with blocks; and being afraid of the dark.  Lots of joy; lots of wonderment.

I often wonder if wondering vs. having “the answer” is some sign of weakness today.   I mean, how many times do we find ourselves “telling” vs. “asking”?  Ever notice people who put their statements in the form of questions?  Too much Jeopardy growing up?  Or, just their clever attempt at “telling” vs. truly asking.  I wonder.

Cynics and critics can be worse than know-it-alls, don’t you think?  (Yep – a statement not a question – my bad!)  But really, how many times do we find ourselves speaking with someone who simply wants to doubt everything?

Wonder, rather than doubt, is the root of knowledge. 

Abraham Heschel

Sometimes just observing; just accepting the possibilities; just wondering is so much more refreshing than the pressure of trying so hard to be right all the time (or justifying ourselves when we’re wrong), true?  Let’s practice:


Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin? 

Why women can’t put on mascara with their mouth closed? 

Why don’t you ever see the headline, “Psychic Wins Lottery”? 

Why is “abbreviated” such a long word? 

Why is it that doctors call what they do practice

Why is it that to stop Windows, you click on Start

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid is made with real lemons? 

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker? 

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour? 

Why isn’t there mouse-flavored cat food? 

When dog food is new and improved tasting, who tests it? 

Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes? 

Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections? 

You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don’t they make the whole plane out of that stuff? 

Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains? 

Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together? 

If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress? 

If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal? 

Unknown Sage

Here’s to a wonderful day!


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“Got it”; but can’t “Do it”…

While watching the 2013 British Open being played by the most skillful, professional golfers in the world – I was reminded of my golf game.  I was also reminded of my work over the past few years with young people who have chosen sales to start their post-collegiate career. 

In my role, I enjoy working with these 20-somethings; bright; intelligent; confident.  Some are very coachable.  Others?  Well, a common response I hear when working with some aspiring sales professionals is, “Got it”.  Of course, “Getting it” is not the same as “Doing it”; is it?  It’s the difference between having an intellectual understanding of something vs. having the skill to do that same something. 

Take my golf game.  When standing on the first tee, I have a clear understanding of how I’m going to hit my drive.  I feel my body weight evenly distributed in my stance; I have a firm (but not too firm) grip of the club.  Intellectually, I can see my ball-flight; launched down the left side of the fairway and landing center-right (aka: a high fade).  In my mind, I can hear the “crack” of the club head striking the ball; in my mind, I can visualize my balanced follow through.  Intellectually?  “Got it”. 

When I start my backswing – all bets are off! 

A golfer, searching for a ball lost deep in the rough, asked the caddie, “Why do you keep looking at that pocket watch?  It isn’t a watch”, the caddie said.  “It’s a compass.” 

                                  Unknown Sage 

When working with aspiring sales people, we cover many skill-based areas.  During their moments of glancing away from iPads and smartphones to check where I’m at, I get the nod, “Got it”.  The ability of young people to multi-task is amazing, isn’t it?  Their intellectual strength is awesome.  Thumb strength from texting?  Unparalleled!  Their ability to focus?  OK, maybe not so much. 

Did you see Tiger Woods’ opening drive at the British Open?  A duck-hook to an unplayable lie that ultimately resulted in starting the tournament with a bogeyPerhaps a harbinger of things to come.  The TV-Analysts stated that he never seemed to be mentally into the tournament; never able to summon a charge.  Maybe he was multi-tasking? 

When interviewed after his first round, Tiger told the reporters the reason why he hit that bad tee shot on the 1st hole was he had too many thoughts going on in his mind.  (See what I mean?) 

Ultimately, inexperienced sales people will discover in their pursuit of a sales career that the ability to focus; the ability to “Do it”; the realization that skill trumps intellect; will be their key to success. 

Don’t get me wrong – prospects appreciate the intelligence of sales professionals.  I spoke of the power of “thinking” in a recent post about the most powerful technology company on the planet (see “THINK”). 

It’s just that rising to the executive ranks in the sales profession, similar to earning the opportunity to compete in the British Open, requires more than intellect.  I worry about who thinks Martin A. Ragaway is right: 

            “EXECUTIVE” (high powered) 

A golfer who calls the office from a cell phone every five holes to make sure employees haven’t left for the day.                     

Yes, golf is a lot like sales.  To make any money in either pursuit, one must be skilled enough – and focused enough – to be able to “Do it”. 


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website and book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

R U Awesome?

Are you known as an “ace” in your field?  Are you, as the line from the movie Top Gun goes, “…the best of the best”?  Remember when Maverick flew through the jet-wash and his co-pilot Goose was killed?  Not so awesome. 

When I joined my current team, my friend Adam labeled our team: DFoA – Delta Force of Awesomeness!  I’ve quoted Adam before (see Sorry – I wasn’t Listening).  He now leads a new team within our company; leaving an awesome standard behind for us to live up to. 

I’d like to think of myself as being awesome.  My manager and my company seem to – awarding me very nice recognitions over the years and even citing my contributions at our most recent quarterly analysts meeting.  Maybe you too have received accolades; earned Presidents Clubs; and benefited from similar remunerations for being the experts that you are. 

But here’s the thing – such accomplishments are earned; one day at a time; one client at a time.  And the more I know, the more I realize what I don’t know: 

            To teach is to learn.

Japanese Proverb           

Recently, I led a coaching-event for one of my clients – I sucked!  Tough to take when you’re a member of DFoA.  My client didn’t think I was so awesome.  Now, I’m trying to regain the right perspective: 

I am neither so green that I can not teach; nor am I so gray that I can not learn.                            

That’s the thing about business in general and the sales profession in particular:  everyday, you’re either teaching or you’re learning. 

A poor performance stings when you take your work seriously, doesn’t it?  I mean here I was, requested by name (and perhaps by reputation) to work with this client, and rather than doing what needed to be done to insure they had an awesome experience, I let them down.  In so doing, I let my Manager down and myself, too.  I’d call that Lose ³.  Not very awesome. 

Oh at first I wanted to blame others; avoid fault; maybe “they” did this and “they” did that.  But no – I was the pilot; I flew through the jet-wash.  I’m still working to get over it.  It was so disappointing that I’ve literally lost sleep thinking about it. 

That’s the thing about being awesome – when you’re not, there’s no place to hide.  I‘ve done a thorough “post-mortem” to determine how to perform better in the future.  I’m following Gilbert Arland’s advice:

When an archer misses the mark, he turns and looks for the fault within.  Failure to hit the bull’s-eye is never the fault of the target.  To improve your aim – improve yourself.           

I can only guess how my client feels.  Afterwards, their manager said, “Great job” and moved on; opting for courtesy vs. sincerity.  Two people, who weren’t even there, gave me critical feedback on pieces of the program.  (It must have been pretty bad to travel all the way to them!) 

Yep – I failed; flew threw the jet-wash; crashed and burned: 

            Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.                

Truman Capote 

I’ve tasted that distasteful condiment many times throughout my career; I’m quite sure I will again.  And I know Adam would expect the same from me today that he now expects from his new team; and what I bet you expect from yourself as well – get back up; go out there; and taste awesome again! 


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website and book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.