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Made Club?

For many of us, December means year-end and year-end means President’s Club; Quota Achievers; President’s Circle; or the like.  Annual quota attainment goes by many names in a sales professional’s world, true?

My company announced 2014 President’s Club qualifiers last week, along with those that are within reach.  My name wasn’t on the list.  Even though we have a couple of weeks left, I won’t make Club this year.  Will you?  No?  Stings, doesn’t it.

After you’ve earned President’s Club recognition in your career, failing in any subsequent year stings.  Nonetheless,  we compete for a living.  Adversity does not deter our commitment to sales success.  Last year was last year; we are ready to compete again every new sales year as the score is reset to zero.  We know that:

Success isn’t permanent, and failure isn’t fatal. 

Mike Ditka

Although sales professionals work for commissions – many of us will “run through walls” for recognition.  And the best-of-the-best among us earn President’s Club recognition.  In fact, at one company I worked for we put the number of President’s Clubs earned right on our business cards.  That was the “score” that meant the most.

So, if we didn’t make Club in 2014, we will “strap it on” in 2015 and give it another go, yes?  We can do it too, because sales professionals understand the meaning of the word persistence.  We are professionally persistent in our cold-calling; we persist when competing for a deal; and we persist when we occasionally miss Club.  Persistence separates the best-of-the-best from all of the rest:

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful individuals with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. 

Calvin Coolidge

And then, there are those rare performers who earn President’s Club year in and year out.  I remember competing against such a person when I relocated to Denver in 1991.  It was the primary reason I was hired for the job – to compete against the best.

Don Wall was Ceridian’s #1 sales rep for 26 straight years and never missed qualifying for their President’s Club.  Amazing!  The company was known as Control Data back then; I had also competed against that company going back to 1979 when it was known as the Service Bureau Corporation.

I didn’t stop Don Wall’s string, but there was enough business for both of us to qualify for our Presidents’ Clubs.  He decided to retire two years after I moved in, his string of consecutive Clubs intact.  Mine, too.

In recent years, quota attainment has been a bit more difficult, true?  Every year we set out to compete for Club.  And on those occasions when we fall a little short, it stings.  No, we don’t show it – we’re too proud.  We silently nurse our wounds, congratulate our colleagues who out-sold us, and quietly set our mind towards next year.  We are persistent, even in the face of adversity.  We are committed to achievement and personal success – it’s how a sales professional is “wired”.

And after a successful 2014, when we are on the stage to receive our recognition, deep down inside we will tell ourselves we earned it by overcoming the adversity of past years.

Adversity clarifies commitment. 

Gary A. Pokorn

So here’s to our 2014 President’s Club colleagues – congratulations!  For the rest of us, 2015 can’t start soon enough.

GAP

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Should I stay?

A few weeks ago I was chatting with a colleague; he was wondering if changing to a different sales team would be better for him than the team he has been on for the past few years.  He felt he had not been particularly successful, or appreciated.  Would going be better than staying?

Fast forward to yesterday.  I was chatting with a client of mine; he was wondering if there might be a better position for him at another firm vs. the firm he had joined 6 months ago.  He is worried whether he will be able to succeed in his role.  Would going be better than staying?

Ah yes – that all-too-familiar question.  A common conundrum many of us have wondered about, true?

Should I stay in my current role at my current company; or should I pursue a better opportunity (aka “greener pastures”)?

Been there, done that – many times.  In fact, I wrote about the outcome of my last pursuit of greener pastures (http://thequoteguys.com/2011/02/the-obvious-choice/ ).  Turned out my greener pastures were pretty brown!

So, how do we know when we should stay in our current role or pursue a new opportunity somewhere else?  What criteria do we use to weigh the pros and cons of making that move?  How can we be sure the next pasture will be greener?  The thing is – once we decide to go; the option to stay is gone.

Perhaps the cause of our concern should be carefully evaluated.  Are we frustrated in our job; with our boss?  Are we feeling unfulfilled?  Are we in over our heads?  Or are we bored because we are way over-qualified for the position?  Could it simply be fear?  A plethora of possibilities can cause provocation to pull out, yes?

Of course, we should be cautious when seeking the advice of another.  Their perspective about us is often based on their perspective of their own circumstance.  And when we seek another’s input are we looking for objective advice; confirmation of our decision; or just some guy’s opinion?  Another slippery slope for sure:

Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own.  You may both be wrong.

Dandemis

Adversity can actually be a positive influence on our circumstance.  Just changing from one bad situation does not guarantee our next situation will be any better (aka “browner pastures”).  Sometimes the best option is to stay – and make a difference.  I might go as far as to suggest that if you want quality and satisfaction in your job – invest the time and energy you would expend going to stay and create that quality and job satisfaction for yourself.

“ADVERSITY”: 

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.

Horace

Will and conflict also may play a role in our future job fulfillment:

Will applied to any conflict creates energy.

Conflict without Will creates frustration.

Conflict with Will creates resolution.

Michael E. Gerber

Yes, the role we are in might be difficult.  So difficult we think going might be our only option.  But if we stop a moment and really think about it; staying can also be a very viable choice, too.  Especially when it is our will to have a fulfilling job, in spite of conflict and adversity, yes?

Under the “do as I say, not as I do” category, if at all possible:  I recommend trying to stay – and make a difference!

GAP

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

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 http://thequoteguys.com/2011/02/the-obvious-choice/ )  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.

GAP

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.

Cowboy Up!

 

We’re past the midpoint of Denver’s National Western Stock Show & Rodeo.  Never been?  If not, you should definitely add it to your fantasy list that I spoke of last week (see 2014 – A Year of Fulfillment?).

Denver’s National Western is a great opportunity for those of us from urban roots to walk a mile in the shoes of those with rural roots.  As a bonus, you can mingle with cowboys large and small!

Hayden-1-14-2014

There’s much we can apply today that originated from the farm; the ranch; and the Old West.  James P. Owen in his book, Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn From The Code Of The West© does a better job than I can in describing many of these applications.

We don’t have to be a cowboy to “ride for the brand”; and “the brand” can be both our professional brand as well as our personal brand.  Much has been written about the term brand (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brand ).  I would summarize it simply:

Brand identifies what makes one distinct from others.

What makes your personal brand “distinct”?  What is the cowboy in you?  Do you use cowboy logic when sizing up situations?

Cowboy secrets to life’s success:

1. Don’t let your head strap your hand to anything your butt can’t ride.

2. Never corner anything meaner than you.

Unknown Sage

This excerpt from my book I try to apply to my personal brand every day:

Dedicated to the American Cowboy – may we all learn to be more like them. 

Now, I’m no cowboy; but I know one.

Cowboys are quiet, polite – men of few words; comfortable just listening while others around them bark at the moon nonstop.

No, I’m no cowboy; but I’ve heard one.

Cowboys have a reserve of strength far and above the average person – physical strength to be sure; but also great emotional strength.

I’m definitely no cowboy; but I’ve seen one.

Cowboys have the ability to remain in control even while every living thing around them, man and beast, spooks in mortal fear.

True, I’m no cowboy; but I’ve been protected by one.

Cowboys remain focused even with adrenaline rushing through their veins when they’re bull riding, or racing flat out, one-handed on horseback, to rope an escaping calf.

Yes, I’m no cowboy; but I’ve lived with one.

Cowboys are fearless especially at the age of 15 when they look down in the chute and prepare to mount a bare back bucking bronco at their very first high school rodeo competition.

Absolutely, I’m no cowboy; but I’ve filmed one looking down that very chute.

Cowboys always believe they can.  The cowboy feels that sigh of relief when he’s all twisted up in the dirt, having fallen off a stumbling horse and the rodeo announcer comes on the PA system and says, “Well folks, he’ll have an option for a re-ride.”

So, I’m no cowboy, but I’ve sat next to his Mother in the stands when we heard that Rodeo Announcer come over the P.A. System to say, “Well folks, he’ll have an option for a re-ride.” And as the announcer glanced down to the stands to see her reaction he quickly added, “But his Mother says NO!”

You see, I know a lot about cowboys.  That’s why I’m so sure I’m not one.  No, I’m no cowboy, but my son Kevin is.  And every day I try to be a little bit more like him.

GAP

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

November – R U ready?

October has passed – we’re in November now – R U ready?  October was a stellar month for me; how about you?  The circus came to Denver in October:

When the circus comes to town, go see it.  It’s the circus – does everything need explaining? 

Robert Fulghum

The Westernaires held their annual show in October.  They’re a stellar organization with a vision about faith, country, family and the future:

We encourage self-respect, responsibility and leadership through horsemanship and family participation.  For over sixty years, Westernaires has proudly trained young people to use their talents and skills in the best traditions of the West. 

We Ride with Pride!

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In November, horses are growing their winter coats; and we are coating-up for winter too.  As nice as October has been, it can be challenging to think of the upcoming winter.  Shorter days; colder nights; snow.  But no worries – like horses, we’re hardened by nature’s cycle – there’s still reason for optimism:

No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn. 

Hal Borland

Yes, horses play a big part in my family.  Among my wife, son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter, we have 6 equines living in our back yard (and my son and daughter-in-law have a seventh they board at the equestrian center she manages).  As we near year-end, horses remind us of our investment portfolios and strategies:

Seymore’s Investment Principle: 

Never invest in anything that eats. 

Unknown Sage 

GAP‘s Reaction to Seymore’s Investment Principle: 

Never buy anything that eats while you sleep! 

Gary A. Pokorn

Horses have even played a big part in the development of man’s deductive reasoning:

In the story Silver Blaze, Sherlock Holmes is called in to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the Wessex Cup favorite just a few days before the big race.  Evidently someone has crept into the stables and abducted the horse.  But who?  And how did he elude the dog guarding the stables? 

Inspector Gregory: “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?” 

Sherlock Holmes:  “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” 

Inspector Gregory:  “The dog did nothing in the night-time.” 

Sherlock Holmes:  “That was the curious incident.” 

Unknown Sage

In October, we enjoyed fall colors; Indian Summer; baseball’s World Series; and, of course, we have been, “Ready for some football”!

November starts the count-down to the end of 2013; Thanksgiving; Christmas; New Years Eve; holiday parties; shopping for gifts; planning family gatherings.  (How many Thanksgiving dinners will you eat this November?)  Stress on the home front; year-end pressure on the job; working more; sleeping less; over-eating; under-relaxing.  R U ready?

We don’t shy away from year-end stress, though.  We are hardened by life’s trials and tribulations:

The highly successful use anxiety and stress to spur them on to achievement. 

Tom Hopkins

So counting today, there are just 51 shopping days left before Christmas – including my favorite shopping day – Christmas Eve!  (Based on the other men I see in the stores, I don’t think I’m alone in my procrastination.)

Nevertheless, we’re now in November; ready or not!  And throughout this upcoming season – we will look for ways to share our happiness; leverage our optimism; and spread our wealth with those less fortunate, yes?  And throughout these stress-packed days we will maintain our positive perspective because of all of the blessings we have, yes?   Yes, it’s November and we are ready!

In November (and beyond) we will give thanks…

GAP

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.

Dates never forgotten…

September 11th comes back around this week; what dates are never forgotten for you? 

In the beginning of the novel, A Tale of Two Cities is the contrast, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” within the context of both occurring at the same time.  For Americans, 9/11/2001 seems like a demarcation point between the best of times before that morning and the worst of times after, true?  That’s when terrorism literally collided into freedom. 

Do you remember where you were when news of the planes crashing into the World Trade Centers in New York was broadcast?  I always will.  It’s amazing what we can accomplish during the best of times; and what we can endure during the worst of times, don’t you think?  The 9/11 attacks were the worst of times for many Americans. 

April 20, 1999 was the worst of times for my home town.  (Although truly, we are all Columbine.) 

At a personal level, how many bests and worsts have you had?  The bad times help us appreciate and enjoy the good times even more, yes?  Here’s what Ernest Hemingway said: 

Life breaks us.  And when we heal, we’re stronger on the broken parts. 

Our ability to gain strength from adversity should come as no surprise, though.  Our ancestry is made of up generations who had to overcome adversity.  Much of today’s adversity pales in comparison to theirs, doesn’t it? 

For many of us who did not suffer a direct loss of loved ones from these tragic events, our hardships now come in the form of inconvenience and economics.  We work harder today to keep up than we did before; travel has become more difficult; guns are all too prevalent in our society; in our schools (and at our theaters!). 

Things we once dreamed of seem further from our reach.  We have extended our resources close to the breaking point in defense of our country and our way of life.   But for America, that’s nothing new.  Our country has been on the brink; had parts broken; and healed back stronger for as long as we have been a country.  Were the hardships of the Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression, the Viet Nam War, the Civil Rights Movement, or any other national, local, personal, or family crisis less hard? 

We are up to facing today’s challenges.  We are strong because we come from generations of strength – families who struggled to make for this country, for their families, and for themselves the best of times.  Like past generations, Americans today have the opportunity to earn and enjoy the better things in life.  And we know why they are the better things: 

To really enjoy the better things in life, one must first have experienced the things they are better than.

Oscar Holmolka 

So this week we reflect on that never forgotten, life-changing event now known as 9/11.  Like the day an American walked on the moon, or the night the USA Olympic hockey team won the gold medal to Al Michaels’ famous words broadcast around the world, “Do you believe in miracles?”,  let’s turn to our favorite, Unknown Sage once again for this reminder: 

            The First Rule of Life: 

The best things in life aren’t things.                   

My local community is stronger following the 4/20 Columbine killings; and I believe America is stronger following the 9/11 attacks.  Both dates will never be forgotten!

GAP 

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©

To my cowboy…

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a little ditty about being yourself, costumes, self-improvement, and my dog (see http://thequoteguys.com/2012/11/be-yourself/ ).  In it I said that for Halloween this year I wore an American Cowboy costume to my wife’s Halloween party.  I also confessed that I’m no cowboy.  

I’m fascinated by cowboys and the traditions of the American West.  Businesses and business executives in this country could make things better for all of us if more leaders heeded the advice found in one of my favorite books (and a source for more than a few quotes when writing these little ditties):  Cowboy Ethics© by James P. Owen: 

I have come to realize that anybody can make money; it is much harder to make a difference. 

The book was a gift from a client of mine, Steve Major, several years ago.  Working for Steve made a difference in my life.  And his leadership ethics have made a positive impact on the lives of people that work for him, too. 

My son Kevin has also made a difference in my life.  We are celebrating his birthday this week – I thought you might like this present I gave him a few years ago when I wrote about him.  This is the opening to chapter seven in my book, The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©.  Enjoy! 

                        Chapter VII:  Cowboy Up – You’ll Get Through It! 

Dedicated to the American Cowboy – may we all learn to be more like them. 

Now, I’m no cowboy; but I know one. 

Cowboys are quiet, polite – men of few words; comfortable just listening while others around them bark at the moon nonstop. 

No, I’m no cowboy; but I’ve heard one. 

Cowboys have a reserve of strength far and above the average person – physical strength to be sure; but also great emotional strength.  

I’m definitely no cowboy; but I’ve seen one. 

Cowboys have the ability to remain in control even while every living thing around them, man and beast, spooks in mortal fear. 

True, I’m no cowboy; but I’ve been protected by one. 

Cowboys remain focused even with adrenaline rushing through their veins when they’re bull riding, or racing flat out, one-handed on horseback, to rope an escaping calf. 

Yes, I’m no cowboy; but I’ve lived with one. 

Cowboys are fearless especially at the age of 15 when they look down in the shoot and prepare to mount a bare back bucking bronco at their very first high school rodeo competition. 

Absolutely, I’m no cowboy; but I’ve filmed one looking down that very shoot. 

Cowboys always believe they can.  The cowboy feels that sigh of relief when he’s all twisted up in the dirt, having fallen off a stumbling horse and the rodeo announcer comes on the PA system and says, “Well folks, he’ll have an option for a re-ride.” 

So, I’m no cowboy, but I’ve sat next to his Mother in the stands when we heard that Rodeo Announcer come over the P.A. System to say, “Well folks, he’ll have an option for a re-ride.” And as the announcer glanced down to the stands to see her reaction he quickly added, “But his Mother says NO!” 

You see, I know a lot about cowboys.  That’s why I’m so sure I’m not one.  No, I’m no cowboy, but my son Kevin is.  And every day I try to be a little bit more like him. 

Happy birthday Kevin!  Luv, Dad. 

GAP 

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

Our dates…

9/11/2012 has come and gone, but some dates are never forgotten.  

In the beginning of the novel, A Tale of Two Cities is the contrast, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” within the context of both occurring at the same time.  For Americans, 9/11/2001 seems like a demarcation point between the best of times before that morning and the worst of times after, true?  That’s when terrorism literally collided into freedom. 

Do you remember where you were when news of the planes crashing into the World Trade Centers in New York was broadcast?  I always will.  

It’s amazing what we can accomplish during the best of times; and what we can endure during the worst of times, don’t you think?  9/11 was the worst national society experience for many of us.  April 20, 1999 – Never Forgotten – was the worst of times for my home town; although truly, we are all Columbine. 

At a most personal level, how many bests and worsts have you had?  The bad times help us appreciate and enjoy the good times even more, do you agree?  Here’s what Ernest Hemingway said: 

Life breaks us.  And when we heal, we’re stronger on the broken parts. 

My local community is stronger following the Columbine killings; and I believe America is stronger following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Our ability to gain strength from adversity should come as no surprise, though.  Our ancestry is made of up generations who had to overcome adversity.  Much of today’s adversity pales in comparison to theirs, doesn’t it?  

For many of us who did not suffer a direct loss of loved ones from these tragic events, our hardships now come in the form of inconvenience and economics.  We work harder today to keep up than we did before; travel has become more difficult; guns are all too prevalent in our society; in our schools (and at our theaters!); and our 401(k) balances are still struggling to regain their original value. 

Things we once dreamed of seem further from our reach.  We have extended our resources close to the breaking point in defense of our country and our way of life.   For America, that’s nothing new.  Our country has been on the brink; had parts broken; and healed back stronger for as long as we have been a country.  Were the hardships of the Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression, the Viet Nam War, or any other national, local, personal, or family crisis less hard? 

We are up to facing today’s challenges.  We are strong because we come from generations of strength – families who struggled to make for this country, for their families, and for themselves the best of times.  Like past generations, Americans today have the opportunity to earn and enjoy the better things in life.  And we know why they are the better things: 

To really enjoy the better things in life, one must first have experienced the things they are better than.

Oscar Holmolka 

So this month we reflect on that life-changing event now known as 9/11.  Like the day an American walked on the moon, or the night the USA Olympic hockey team won the gold medal to Al Michaels’ famous words broadcast around the world, “Do you believe in miracles?”,  let’s turn to our favorite, Unknown Sage once again for this reminder: 

            The First Rule of Life: 

The best things in life aren’t things.

GAP 

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

 

Will you make Club?

For many of us, December means year-end and year-end means President’s Club; Quota Achievers; President’s Circle; or the like.  Annual quota attainment goes by many names in a sales professional’s world, true?  

My company announced 2011 President’s Club qualifiers last week.  My name wasn’t on the list.  Even though we have a couple of weeks left, I won’t make Club this year.  Will you?  No?  Stings, yes?  

After you’ve earned President’s Club recognition in your career, failing in any subsequent year stings.  But as you know, we compete for a living.  Adversity does not deter our commitment to sales success.  Last year was last year; we are ready to compete again every, new sales year as the score is reset to zero.  We know that: 

            Success isn’t permanent, and failure isn’t fatal. 

                                  Mike Ditka 

I believe sales professionals work for commissions – but we will “run through walls” for recognition.  And the best-of-the-best earn President’s Club recognition.  In fact, at one company I worked for, we put the number of Clubs we earned right on our business cards.  It was the unit of measure that meant the most to us.  

So, if we didn’t make Club in 2011, we will “strap it on” in 2012 and give it another go, yes?  We can do it too, because sales professionals understand the meaning of the word persistence.  We are professionally persistent in our cold-calling; we persist when competing for a deal; and we persist when we occasionally miss Club.  It separates the best-of-the-best from all of the rest: 

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful individuals with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. 

                                  Calvin Coolidge 

Of course, there are those rare performers who earn President’s Club year in and year out.  I remember competing against such a person when I relocated to Denver in 1991.  It was the primary reason I was hired for the job.  Don Wall was Ceridian’s #1 sales rep for 26 straight years and never missed qualifying for their President’s Club.  Amazing!  It was known as Control Data then; I had also competed against that company going back to 1979 when it was known as the Service Bureau Corporation.  

I didn’t stop Don Wall’s string, but there was enough business for both of us to qualify for our Presidents’ Clubs.  He decided to retire two years after I moved in, his string of consecutive Clubs intact.  Mine, too. 

In recent years, quota attainment has been a bit more difficult, true?  Every year we set out to compete for Club.  And on those occasions when we fall a little short, it stings.  No, we don’t show it – we’re too proud.  We silently nurse our wounds, congratulate our colleagues who out-sold us, and quietly set our mind towards next year.  We are persistent, even in the face of adversity.  We are committed to achievement and personal success – it’s how a sales professional is “wired”. 

And after a successful 2012, when we are on the stage to receive our recognition, deep down inside we will tell ourselves we earned it by overcoming the adversity of 2011. 

            Adversity clarifies commitment.                  

                                  Gary A. Pokorn 

To our 2011 President’s Club colleagues – congratulations!  For the rest of us, 2012 can’t start soon enough. 

GAP 

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

No, the other kind…

The word “winning” received a great deal of media attention a while back thanks to the infamous tirades of Charlie Sheen.  And November often brings a similar, negative connotation from the traditional American competition we have all come to know and love called elections.  But today, I’d like to chat about winning in terms of the other kind of connotation. 

To competitors, winning is both important and fun – at least it should be.  Take the story about these competitors: 

Let your imagination put you in a grandstand at the Seattle version of the Special Olympics.  There are nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash.  At the gun, they all start out, not exactly in a dash, but with relish to run the race to the finish and win.  All, that is, except one boy who stumbles on the asphalt, tumbles over a couple of times, and begins to cry.  The other eight hear the boy cry.  They slow down and look back.  They all turn around and go back… every one of them.  As you watch, one girl with Down’s Syndrome bends down and kisses him.  You hear her say, “This will make it better.”  All nine link arms and walk across the finish line together.  Everyone in the stadium, including you, stands up, and the cheering goes on for several minutes.  People who were actually there are still telling the story, fours years later.  Why?  Because deep down we know this one thing:  What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means changing our own course.

                                  David S. Pottruck 

When most of us compete in our endeavors today, we are playing to win because it’s fun.  It’s not win at any cost; cheat to win; win or die; or any of the other negative connotations of winning that tend to receive a disproportionate amount of attention through our over-hyped media, don’t you think? 

For instance, this time of year always reminds me of high school cross country state meets.  I have written often about Joe Newton, the boys’ high school cross country coach at York High School in Elmhurst, Illinois.  His winning record over the forty year period from 1960 – 2000 is unprecedented and unparalleled.  If you are interested in knowing more just let me know and I’ll send you the preface to Chapter IX of my book The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© which details the amazing accomplishments of Joe’ high school kids in,“Playing to Win”. 

Competitors – you; me; Joe Newton; we like to win – but we hate to lose.  Take the movie, “Money Ball” starring Brad Pitt, based on the true story of Billy Beane, General Manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team.  One of my favorite scenes in that movie included the statement, “I hate losing more than I like winning; there’s a difference…”.  Tony Larussa echoed the same sentiment in his retirement press conference after the St Louis Cardinals won the World Series this year. 

Losing is not failure, however.  Competitors always get back up and try again, don’t we.  On those occasions when we lose, before we go over the emotional, “deep end”, we can benefit from the words of a master motivator and sales professional, Tom Hopkins: 

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

So smile – and get back in the game!

GAP 

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