The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


Archive for February, 2014

You’re fired…

No one wants to hear those words – they sting.  Unfortunately in today’s real world, companies sometimes need to “go in a new direction”.  When one loses our job, it tests our toughness; our resolve; even our identity:

Failure is the greatest opportunity I have to know who I really am. 

John Killinger

A client of mine called me recently; he had just been “given his walking papers” by the firm that hired him 12 months previous.  His sales results weren’t acceptable; his firm was “going in a new direction.”  It stung.  We talked about it for a while.  In reality, he wasn’t happy in that role anyway; he wasn’t performing up to his standards; he wasn’t making money; he wasn’t happy; he knew it wasn’t “him”.  It was time to move on.

Amazingly that same day not 30 minutes after we spoke, I received a call from his boss.  He called to tell me he had to let his sales rep go; needed to “go in a new direction”; generate better sales results.  It stung.  We talked about it for a while.  The reality was he had given his sales rep sufficient time to perform.  It simply wasn’t working out; no one was happy; letting a sales rep dangle and starve wasn’t “him”.  It was time to move on.

This remarkable coincidence of these two conversations immediately flashed me back.  It was February of 2011; and it stung.  (See )  The sting has faded somewhat, but not the memory – never the memory.

The good news is my sense of humor back then was up for the challenge.  When I joined the conference call that day, I knew what was coming.  The executive who hired me was joined on the call by my new Sales Manager, and a representative from HR.  They informed me that the company was “going in a new direction – without me”, my initial response was, “You know, it’s not too late to change your mind.”  We all chuckled, but it stung.

Tom Hopkins once wrote:

I never see a failure as failure, but only as the opportunity to develop my sense of humor.

Actually the toughest part of that experience was telling my wife.  Thankfully, she dealt with it.  I suppose sticking with me for over three decades of the highs and lows of a professional salesman helped her develop her sense of humor, too.

As it turned out, “going in a new direction” was better for me than if that company had decided not to.  Don’t get me wrong – I really liked that job.  I felt my initial sales performance was pretty good; and I could have become a stellar producer for them if given a little more time.

But how much more time?  That’s the sticky wicket for business leaders, true?  When I’ve been on the other side of that discussion I must admit I have been impatient for performance.  When in doubt (when the person wasn’t “the obvious choice”) I have made the roster move; “gone in a new direction”.

It’s not revolutionary, really.  Business leaders have done this since last century (even longer):

Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. 

Henry Ford

So the advice I offered my two colleagues that day when they both called me simultaneously, was yes – it was time to go in a new direction.  And learning from the experience, do so more intelligently with our sense of humor intact.


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.

Helping hooves…

Posted Feb 13 2014 by in True North with 1 Comment

Helping a friend; a colleague; or even a perfect stranger feels rewarding, doesn’t it?  Doing good makes us feel good, yes?

However, I suppose in today’s “dog eat dog world” it’s easy to be self-focused.  I mean what we do each day to meet our obligations is difficult.  When we get home from work, we’re often tired from the day’s trials and tribulations, true?

For me, at the end of my day I always look forward to the comfort of my sun room; looking out to my corral and my modest herd of horses; a pleasant chat with my wife; a cocktail; dinner.  My after-work routine helps me unwind.  What’s your after-work routine?

If yours is like mine, then we share a common problem – you see my routine is all about me.  A better man would do more; a better man would call his brother; Facebook his children; read about volunteer opportunities in his community; be less self-focused; be more in tune with where needs are needed:

In every community, there is work to be done.

In every nation, there are wounds to heal.

In every heart, there is the power to do it. 

Marianne Williamson

“…the power to do it.”  If not me, who?  If not now, when?  But how do I get motivated to do more?  Could I follow the lead of my dog?  (As our favorite Unknown Sage suggests):


 Lord, help me be the man my dog thinks I am.

She seems to have an unlimited amount of energy; she’s always ready to greet me when I come home; she’s always happy to see me.  Like a lot of people I could use a little help in being more helpful.  And I think we would all agree that being helpful – doing good – is the right thing to do:

Do all the good you can.

By all the means you can.

In all the ways you can.

In all the places you can.

At all the times you can.

To all the people you can.

As long as you can.

John Wesley

When I receive encouragement, it encourages me to be encouraging.  When someone does good by me, I’m energized to do good for others.  Encouragement; energy; and even a helping hand (or helping hooves as seen in this Budweiser commercial) helps us help others, don’t you agree?

You’ve probably seen that video already; it’s been making the rounds. For me it’s a joyous reminder of how joyful it feels to help others.  It makes me wonder what good I have done today; whether today I was the man today my dog thinks I am.

But is this daily reminder to be never-ending?

Here’s a test to find out whether or not your mission on earth is finished:

If you’re alive, it isn’t.

Richard Bach

So here’s to all of the good all of us can do for all of those who could use it.  Here’s to applying the peace and the power a positive perspective can provide to help us help others.

And when we’re a little tired at the end of the day; need a little motivation to generate a little energy, to do a little more good before calling it a day; if our dog or the draft horses don’t do the trick, let’s form-up with family or phone a friend.  We’ll feel all the better for it and enjoy a good night’s sleep, too!


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

What to…

Last week I shared coaching from one of my readers, John McCall (see ).  He used a unique approach – what not to do.  As a follow up to “Part 1”, John also offered a yang to his yin.

Before turning to a synopsis of his “Part 2”, let’s ask Wikipedia for perspective:

In Chinese philosophy, the concept of yin-yang which is often called “yin and yang”, is used to describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world; and, how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.

So here’s John’s yang to “10 Sales Management Sins that Kill Sales Morale and Performance”, I like to call them “10 Golden Rules of Sales Management”: 

1. Honor what’s been working 

Take counsel from top sales people. To the extent possible, document their achievements, sales methodologies, philosophies and processes. Understand from their unique vantage point, what has motivated customers to buy. 

2. Always keep our appointments with our sales people… 

Reinforce the value of our sales people’s schedule and their precious selling time.  Quality coaching time with the sales team is a priority – perhaps our top priority. 

3. Treat sales people like royalty of revenue… 

Nothing infuses a business with enthusiasm and energy, not to mention revenue, more than a healthy, well managed and well compensated sales force. The old adage still applies, “nothing moves until somebody sells something”. Sales is a revenue centertreat is as such. 

4. Unite through diversity… 

All sales people are different. Their career backgrounds, selling techniques, territory and industry challenges, depth of product knowledge and history with the company almost always vary, widely.  Celebrate their differences and we will build camaraderie faster than snow accumulates in Buffalo in February. 

5. Play favorites 

Each and every one of our sales people (just like our children) is our favorite. 

6. Compensate unfairly 

Great sales people make more than marginal sales people; and they make more than their managers. That’s a good compensation plan doing its job. 

7. Share the “bluebirds”… 

Assign all new deals that flow into the organization on a round-robin basis.  Make sure the firm’s marketing engine continues to support the sales people. When trust exists they will fight for us. 

8. Remember who our customer is… 

New sales managers are hired to take control and run things better. Our customers are our sales reps; their customers are the well earned relationships they have built with their clients. 

9. Praise in public 

Every internal and client facing relationship a sales person has is based on caches of kindness, bonds of struggle and reservoirs of trust. Praise them for their toil – daily. 

10.        Listen to sales people with legitimate concerns 

Hearing what we don’t want to hear is exactly what management is hired to do. Our role is not only to fix problems and address concerns; great leaders actually seek problems out because we know the hidden ones are usually the most dangerous to the organization. 

Yes, the sales leadership role is challenging:

But even top management types are mostly harmless when you get to know them.  Given lots of love, some even make good pets.

Rick Levine

As John has coached us, knowing what to do is almost as important as knowing what not to do.  But when in doubt, we should worry more about the what not yin.  Then our team will gladly help us with the what to yang.


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.