The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


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.



  1. Nancy Burianek
    Aug 11, 2013

    I am so impressed with your candid retelling of this situation. The key here, to me, is you admitted to wanting to blame, point the finger at someone or something else, however, you then moved on. You admitted the problem was with what you did or didn’t do. I remember hearing the comment from Jim Rohn that when we point the finger at others there are three fingers pointing back at us.
    Don’t you think most people, the 98%, are stuck in pointing fingers vs. the 2% who examine, change, and move forward? To me you’re one of the 2%!!!
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Gary
      Aug 19, 2013

      Thanks for reading and commenting Nancy! Yes, it’s pretty easy for me to acknowledge my cluelessness – happens all the time 🙂

  2. Jeaneen
    Dec 09, 2013

    Gary, knowing you the little bit that I do, I’m sure that this failure was not as epic as you describe! As always, I appreciate your perspective on stuff and I feel a little bit smarter having read it. Now, good luck in reclaiming your DFoA seat of honor at the high table.

    • Gary
      Dec 09, 2013

      Thank you for your very kind remarks Jeaneen! Yes, as Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal…” Happy holidays to you and yours! Thx, GAP

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