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Still Stings…

Periodically, I’m reminded of past failures.  You too?  Oh, I try not to dwell on those negative experiences.

Success is the ability to move from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill

Easy to enthusiastically retreat to worldwide wisdom when thinking about a recent (or past) failure, isn’t it?  But a few of my recent (or past) failures stand above a retreat.  And when memories of those failures resurface – they still sting.

2 years ago I was asked to deliver a 3-day selling skills training class to a dozen of our newly hired college graduates.  Young; bright; articulate; enthusiastic… these young professionals have a wonderful career opportunity in front of them.

Somehow, their Sales Manager and her Sales Director seemed to think it would be a good idea for these aspiring professionals to go through my class.  It was the worst sales-training event I have ever delivered; and I’ve delivered a lot of sales training events over the past 20 years!  When I see these young colleagues and their managers in my office today – it still stings.

They don’t remember the details; they didn’t know any better; they thought it was just fine.  But I know better; and it wasn’t just fine.  Thank God for Mike Ditka:

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

True enough – I’m still kickin’.

I’ve had my share of failure over the years; professional; personal; you name it.  Makes me “normal” I’d say.

We all fail reaching our goals or managing our responsibilities from time to time, true?  And if we all waxed poetic after each and every failure, well there would be a lot of starving poets in the world, don’t you think?

They say the best result to gain from a failure is to learn from it; overcome it; and avoid repeating it in the future.

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.                         

Gilbert Arland 

Easy to say, but a few of those missed marks still sting.=

I flunked Thallophytes my sophomore year of college.  The only class I ever failed – still stings.  That same year I missed a winning jump shot at the buzzer against Coe College.  I remember that miss like it just happened – still stings.

I can remember to this day the very worst business meeting I was ever involved with (even worse than that 3-day training class).  It was called an “Ops Review”; it was 1994.  I presented my plan for the sales team I was leading to our National VP of Sales and his staff.  After a string of successful sales years, I thought I knew it all.

My Division VP offered to coach me in my prep – but Nooo – like I said, I already knew it all.  It was the single worst business meeting (in 39 years of business meetings) I have ever experienced.   I can remember it like it occurred yesterday – and it still stings.  Thank God for Tom Hopkins:

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

Today I have a healthy sense of humor.  Lots of opportunities to develop it over the years.  Been pretty successful too:

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.

Truman Capote

But every now and then something reminds me – and it still stings.

GAP

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

Luv our job?

My job “has its moments”.  Yours too?  With today’s wired, always on, always available world, it’s easy to bathe in the waters of continuous, overworked stress, true?  If you’re like me, we need to find some stress relief opportunities throughout each day.  If I don’t – I can become an old-poop-in-the-face – pretty promptly. This is one of my stress reliefs; click on my view at the beginning of the route I take driving home from the office every day:

Rocky_Mountains

Our snow-capped, Rocky Mountains – Awesome!  They take my breath away!  They’re one of the many reasons I live in Colorado and love my job.  Plus, they help prevent me from becoming a fatty-grumba! I remember my first sales position in the technology industry and my first sales manager, Dave Schwickerath.  One of the long-lasting impressions he made with me was this:

If you can’t wait to get up in the morning to go to work, then you know you have the right job.

Dave may have studied Confucius:

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Today, I can’t wait to get up and go to work.  It may have taken me 30 years; but I have found the perfect job. Now I’ve had other, stellar jobs over that 30 year span.  Learned a lot; made some money; had some fun.  I suppose all that “wandering” contributes to my capabilities to perform in my current role.  Yes, I “wandered” some throughout my career. But:

Not all those who wander are lost.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Without an extensive and diverse set of experiences, I may not be able to add as much value to my client interactions.  My job today may not be as fulfilling.  You see, my clients are another reason why I love my job.  Their encouragement and appreciation of the work I do, powers me to greater effort; and that powers me to greater fulfillment.  Makes my job fun! Maybe that’s how it works for Mary:

That Mary is the Under-Vice President of Expectation Deflations for the western semi-region tells you nothing.  That Mary is wicked smart, totally frank, and a trip to work with tells you everything.

Rick Levine

I too try to be “a trip to work with”.  I try to be awesome and enthusiastic – every day.  I suppose my style (and my shirts – sorry, inside joke) don’t resonate with everyone.  We are all “an acquired taste” I suppose – even the legendary:

People who read me seem to be divided into four groups; Twenty-five percent like me for the right reasons; 25 percent like me for the wrong reasons; 25 percent hate me for the right reasons.  It’s the last 25 percent that worries me.

Robert Frost

Well, I just try to continue to help my clients and colleagues while having some fun and making some money.  When I can help them realize the same degree of fulfillment in their jobs that I enjoy in mine, that’s awesome! And occasionally I need to remember to check my seriousness; my intensity; at the door:

Sometimes I confuse being serious about what I do with taking myself too seriously.

Tom Connellan

And when I see myself becoming a little-too-serious, fatty-grumba; I just jump in my truck and head home.  Looking at those snow-capped, Rocky Mountains reminds me to lighten up and live each day with awe and enthusiasm!  Hope you do too.

GAP

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

“That man”…

I’m positively perky over a plethora of people who have progressively prompted my professional pursuits for prolonged periods.  Permit me to pore over a pair today – maybe you can relate.

Tony was one of my very first colleagues when I entered the technology business 35 years ago.  And Tony remains a good friend to this day.  Leading by example, he has helped me develop an inner sense of self-peace – maybe you can relate.

You see, when I was growing up as a young, sales professional, I was just good enough to seemingly always be in over my head.  As a result, I couldn’t rely on raw talent or innate confidence.  Throughout my career I’ve had to work at it and compete for it – every day; every deal; 35 years, and continuing.  In so doing, I’ve developed a tenacity that’s become my foundation for competitive success.  And I am extremely competitive.

Unfortunately, my unfettered, competitive foundation also made for an angry, arrogant, unlikeable, and somewhat paranoid persona.  I remember to this day my sales manager at Oracle taking me off to the side and asking me to dampen my intensity – I was intimidating my colleagues.  Intimidating my colleagues – at Oracle!  The original, “fire breathing” sales culture; developed by one of the industry’s original “fire breathers” – Larry Ellison.

My friend Tony can relate – he was a “fire breather” back in the day too.  But wait – when he helped me launch my consulting practice after I had not seen him for a few years, I noticed a distinct difference in his style.  Gone the “fire breather”; he was now a mature, self-confident, soft-spoken, executive.  When I asked him about his metamorphosis, he simply replied:

I don’t want to be “that man” anymore.

Adam was one of my very first colleagues at my current company – twice!  You see, I am one of those “break in service” employees who left and was recruited back.  And in the coming back part, coincidently I was re-teamed with Adam.  As a young sales professional – he seemed curious about my background and experience.  Adam has an intensity about him – reminds me of me, back in the day.  He has noticed the dichotomy between my present-day persona and “that man” from my “war stories days”.  When asked, I echoed my friend Tony:

I don’t want to be “that man” anymore.

To be clear, I still consider myself (A) in a bit over my head, and (B) a “fire breather” – some things never change.  However, I am trying to portray a little less intensity.  Similar perhaps to Stanley Gault, former CEO of Rubbermaid:

He responds to the accusation of being a tyrant with the statement, “Yes, but I’m a sincere tyrant.”

I wonder what man Adam will evolve to be.  He’s in the prime years of building his career.  Tony and I are at the other end: 

The young are luckier:  They don’t need to remember what the rest of us are trying to forget.

Jan Carroll

I’m a “fire breather”; following Stanley Gault’s example, “Yes, but I’m a sincere fire breather”.  My competitive intensity remains.  However I believe having such intensity, albeit best kept under control, is a good thing:

Don’t settle for less than your potential.  Remember, average is as close to the bottom as it is to the top.

Abigail Van Buren

I know “that man” I don’t want to be anymore.  Maybe you can relate.

GAP

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

2014 – A year of Fulfillment?

Welcome to the New Year!  Will it be our best year yet?  I must admit, mine started off pretty darn good – I checked off one of my lifetime fantasies on January 1st – I attended the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California.  Watched it on TV for as long as I can remember – always wanted to be there in person.  This year – I was – and it was awesome!

Of course when preparing for an excellent year, I always recommend starting at the beginning; in this case writing our 2014 Annual Achievement Plan.  Planning our year is more than simply thinking about a few goals.  Unwritten goals without corresponding milestones are just “hope”, and as the business book title suggests, Hope is not a Strategy©:

http://thequoteguys.com/2011/01/1st-rule-of-personal-business/

Nonetheless, our 2014 Achievement Plan should start with a point of reference: 

The first and most important thing about goals is having one.

Geoffrey Albery

Then, to advance our Plan we should write down our goals.  And when writing our goals, I believe it’s wise to incorporate the “Principle of Balance”:

Bus Plan quadrant

At work, many of us write business plans thinking only in terms of Financial Success, true?  Yes, Financial Success is important.  I remember while leading top sales teams, I would occasionally hear one of my Producers say that being Family oriented was more important.  I agree however, I also believe one of the best ways to care for my Family is to be successful.

Financial Success and Family are connected; but beyond finances, I believe in establishing personal goals for my Family role, too.  Writing down goals for our Family is quite personal – but just as important as any other quadrant in our Annual Achievement Plan.  Go on – take a moment to write down your 2014 goals for the role you will play with your Family; we’ll wait.

The importance of the Personal Development quadrant in our Plan is another key to success – as the business book title suggests, What got you here won’t get you there©.  Personal Development is personal; yet writing goals in our Personal Development quadrant reinforces the Principle of Balance.

Leading us to Fulfillment – Doug Larson put it this way:

Establishing goals is all right if you don’t let them deprive you of interesting detours.

Although I advocate writing an Annual Achievement Plan; with measurable goals; corresponding milestones; striving to make each year my best year.  I also believe in the power of imagination; the presence of magic; and the purpose of Fulfillment.

The idea came from a former colleague of mine, Peter Goodwin.  He believed in the annual planning process, but added a unique twist to his that I have since incorporated into mine.  Each year I write down lifetime fantasies that if I could be so blessed, I will achieve – like attending the Rose Bowl Parade!

And when I do realize the Fulfillment of one of my fantasies, I don’t check it off the list.  No, it remains on my Annual Achievement Plan with the date of Fulfillment; serving as a constant reminder of the power of fantasy; the presence of magic.  And it reinforces the Principle of Balance.

Go ahead – update your list of fantasies in the Fulfillment quadrant of your 2014 Plan.  And “DREAM BIG!” with these goals.  James Collins in his book, Built to Last©, called them:

Big, Hairy Audacious Goals!

So here’s to 2014 – may it be our best year yet!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website 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! 

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.

How to have a winning day…

I’ve enjoyed surrounding myself with smart, successful, professional people.  Since I began my career in that innocent state of cluelessness, I felt the best chance I had for success was to do what they did – sort of a “paint-by-numbers” approach.  Well, three decades later I’m still “painting” – and if I can do it, just think what you can do!

I’ve known several great sales professionals:  I worked along side many; managed a few; reported to one; and learned from them all.  I still stay in touch with some of these colleagues (thank you Linked In).  I have even created my own, “Sales Hall of Fame”.  And next to the name of each of the best sales people I’ve known I have reminded myself of exactly what makes them great.  Yep; still “painting-by-numbers”.

These great sales people have many things in common.  For instance, they are all wealthy (Duh!). They have the “earned wealth” kind, not the, “inherited-from-their-families” kind.  Also, they are extremely competitive; very smart; keenly skilled; unbelievably smooth; totally articulate; and quite worldly; again, no surprises.

Some are more personable than others. (Yes, arrogance can creep into successful, self-made sales professionals.)  A few are older than me; most are younger; all of them are the best-of-the-best in their field.

And I’m still learning from them – every day.  Sometimes it’s something new; often times it’s a reminder of the basic principles from those Hall of Famers that came before me.  I mean, if there are time-tested principles why not leverage them?

One example is from Gary Givan, a great salesman I used to work with – the principle of having a good day.  He used to say;

Focus on having a good day, every day; and the year will take care of itself.

Sage advice for us all, yes?  Over the years I’ve found extensions to this principle – along the lines of the “How” vs. the “What”:

How to have a Winning Day 

      1. You have to listen more than you talk…

      3. You have to smile more than you frown…

     10. You have to be fascinated more than you’re

             frustrated…

     15. You have to believe in yourself more than

                     you doubt yourself.

     16. You have to work more than you whine.

     17. You have to do more than you don’t.

Rob Gilbert

Do more than you don’t – I especially like that one!  When you’re having a tough time one great remedy is to just go sell somebody something!  (OK; easier said than done sometimes; but a great remedy nonetheless.)

The nice thing about focusing on one day at a time is that it’s just one day.  Some days we win; some we lose; and some get rained out; but tomorrow is always another day and another opportunity to succeed.  I guess I should add resiliency; mental toughness; and the ability to try and try again to my list of attributes successful people have.  William Feather described it this way:

Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.

And while we’re hanging on; one day at a time; we can narrow our focus to simply trying to make today a good day.  Oh, and one more tip (from our favorite, unknown, pet loving Sage) regarding the “How”:

Wag more than you bark.

Today – may you the feel the peace and leverage the power of a positive perspective!

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.

What do I know?

I was working with a stellar sales team in Canada last week.  The total years of knowledge and experience in the room was awesome!  But… 

Why is it that in business, generally, and the sales profession in particular, the more we know and the more experience we have the more we assume we know?  I mean, what do I know? 

Who knew a camel could be featured by an insurance company in a commercial for a national advertising campaign?  (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWBhP0EQ1lA )  For the record, I didn’t understand the term “hump day” until a just couple of years ago.  See what I mean – what do I know? 

So I’m working with this team of highly experienced business owners and sales professionals last week, practicing discovery skills; using a case study.  In the case study, one of the company’s goals is to increase annual revenue from $30 Million to $100 Million in 3 years. 

OK – it’s a case study for a selling skills class – but the presumptuous reaction from class participants was amazing.  “No way” was the consensus; “Gary, that’s a hope, not a goal” they insisted.  This company could not possibly grow from $30 Million to $100 Million in 3 years! 

Wow – such enthusiasm!  It reminded me of those that poke fun at the highly educated: 

What has been suspected for quite some time about young men with MBA’s – seldom right, but never in doubt. 

To be fair to our sales brethren from the north, I get the same reaction from highly skilled and knowledgeable sales professionals in my Denver classes, too.  Why do you suppose this happens?  Is it that if we have not accomplished the feat ourselves, it can’t be done?  Here’s how our favorite Unknown Sage looks at it: 

            People can be divided into three groups: 

1. Those who make things happen,

2. Those who watch things happen, and

3. Those who wonder what’s happening.                                 

Which group are you in? 

One of the aspects I enjoy the most about the sales profession is all of the things I get exposed to that I don’t know about.  I am easily awed I guess.  Take Oracle Corporation for instance.  In 1985 Oracle’s annual revenue was $26 Million; it reached $1 Billion in 1991!  Or, take Crocs; 5 years following their 2006 IPO sales exceeded $1 Billion! 

But, what do I know about technology or plastic shoes?  And am I really so smart and so experienced that I can tell which prospect will be the next Oracle or the next Crocs?  Put me in Group #3 above, please: 

            I’m living each day with awe and enthusiasm! 

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary offers us this about “awe”: 

     Synonyms; 

admiration, amazement, astonishment, wonder, wonderment 

Now we’re talking! 

And Winston Churchill offered us this about “enthusiasm”: 

Success is the ability to move from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. 

Successful prospects are willing to face the challenges of moving from failure to failure in their search for success.  And I’m willing to help them.  Of course, we have our own challenges in the sales profession when calling on prospects: 

After all; the difference between cluelessness and greatness to the outside observer is often imperceptible. 

But what do I know about a prospect’s ability to reach their goals?  I’m very content being categorized in Group #3 above.  I simply strive, enthusiastically, to make a living selling to prospects that are in Group #1. 

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.

Hard worker?

I love my job; how about you?  I admit – it took me 30 years to find a job that is a perfect fit for my talents and my needs.  In case you’re wondering – I found this job accidentally; but: 

            Luck favors the persistent.

James C. Collins 

Permit me to share with you a bit about the background behind the persistency that accounts for my luck, with the hope that some of this resonates with you.  I mean, if I could figure out how to make a living and along the way find the perfect job, there is hope for all!  A common theme throughout?  Hard work. 

Because I love my job, it’s easier to work hard.  It’s not always as easy for others.  For instance, my big brother recently retired from a job he held with a company in Chicago for over 30 years.  He was the only Corporate Executive of this family-owned company who was not a member of the family.  He hated his job.  But he is so competent and so competitive; he worked his heine dupa off to succeed.  (Heinie dupa – that’s a technical term for hard work.) 

You might have read my last little ditty in April before I took a vacation (see http://thequoteguys.com/2013/04/april-20-1999-never-forgotten-2/ ).  There are all too many teenagers; twenty year olds; those with college degrees; even those my age that can’t find a good job.  This also serves as a constant reminder to me just how fortunate I am. 

A significant part of my personal achievement originates from the principle of hard work.  I guess I never mastered the “work smart; not hard” axiom.  I could tell you that I don’t begrudge those that have worked smart vs. hard and risen to heights of riches, power and influence – but if I did – I wouldn’t be telling you the truth. 

Growing up, I was the kid that was never picked first when team captains picked their players in neighborhood games.  I knew what it felt like to be the “player to be named later” in those formative years.  So naturally, when we played those pick-up games, it gave me great pleasure to go out and beat-the-snot out of that opposing team captain who didn’t pick me first.  (Beat-the-snot – that’s another technical term for hard work.) 

Although, (hopefully) I have re-packaged my façade in a more business-appropriate image today, I maintain the same competitive fire developed as a kid.  I can’t control my smarts; my looks; or my luck.  But I believe I can always out work my competition.  (Perhaps they didn’t study the arts of heinie dupa and beat-the-snot-out-of in their work smart, not hard upbringing?) 

Don’t get me wrong – I try to develop my knowledge, skills, and expertise (aka working smart).  I consider myself a good listener with a long memory and very coachable.  And I absolutely believe in the principle of continuous improvement.  Working smart and hard working are not mutually exclusive: 

            Work smarter, and as hard as you can. 

                             Tom Hopkins 

Recently, one of my colleagues offered me another example of how working hard can be easy: 

Gary, when you have 5 kids and you don’t drink; accepting a 6 am meeting request is no problem. 

                             Chris Miller 

There are many ways to find the motivation for maximizing our opportunities, true?  But when in doubt, working one’s heinie dupa off is always a smart option. 

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.

Welcome to 2013…

What do you think?  Will this be “our year”?  Well if it is to be, then we better get going, OK?  I always advocate starting at the beginning; writing an Annual Achievement Plan.  In writing

It’s more than just thinking about it; or merely jotting down a few vague goals.  Goals without milestones are just “hope” as I wrote about in 2011 (see http://thequoteguys.com/2011/01/1st-rule-of-personal-business/

Writing our Annual Achievement Plan is important, so let’s get started: 

The first and most important thing about goals is having one. 

                                  Geoffrey Albery 

When writing out our 2013 plan, I believe it’s also wise to incorporate the “Principle of Balance”:

Many of us write “business plans” at our companies thinking only in terms of Financial Success, true?  Financial Success is important and it requires true commitment to achieve it.  Lottery tickets are probably not the wisest retirement investment strategy. 

I remember while leading a top sales team, I would occasionally hear one of my Producers say when he or she faced the crossroads of a good year vs. a bad year, that being “family-oriented” was what was most important to them.  Well, me too.  However, I believe a great way to care for my Family is to have Financial Success; you? 

OK, you get the Financial Success quadrant; let’s move on to Family.  Actually writing down personal goals for the role we play with our Family can easily be overlooked, true?  Certainly, the goals for our Family are quite personal – but this is just as important as any other quadrant in our Annual Achievement Plan; maybe more so.  Go on – take a few moments to write down your 2013 goals for your Family; we’ll wait. 

The importance of Personal Development in our plan should not be minimized either.  It is another key to success – whatever our abilities are today, we should strive to be better tomorrow, don’t you agree?  It could be as elaborate as pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree; or as straight-forward as reading one or two books each month.  Personal Development is personal; yet writing goals in the Personal Development quadrant reinforces the Principle of Balance. 

Leading us to Fulfillment.  Doug Larson put it this way: 

Establishing goals is all right if you don’t let them deprive you of interesting detours. 

Although I believe in writing an Annual Achievement Plan; with specific goals; measureable milestones; striving to make the New Year better than the previous; I also believe in the power of imagination; the presence of magic; and the wonderment of Fulfillment.  

The idea came from a former colleague of mine, Peter Goodwin.  He believed in the annual planning process too, but he added a unique twist to his that I have followed ever since.  Each year I write down lifetime dreams that if I could be so blessed, I will achieve.  And when I realize the Fulfillment of one of these dreams, I don’t cross it off my list.  No, it remains on my Annual Achievement Plan with the date of Fulfillment; serving as a constant reminder of the power of imagination; the presence of magic. 

OK then, go ahead and update your list of dreams in the Fulfillment quadrant of your 2013 Achievement Plan; we’ll wait.  And remember to DREAM BIG!  James Collins in his book, Built to Last©, called them: 

“Big, Hairy Audacious Goals!” 

Besides, 

            Who wants a dream that’s near-fetched? 

Howard Schultz

May 2013 be your best year yet! 

GAP 

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Mood…

Are you “in the mood”?  Can those around you tell?  I suppose the definition of the word mood takes on different meanings for different people depending on the setting.  For instance; 

You know That Look women get when they want sex?  Me neither.

Steve Martin 

Mood – quite the word for current times.  I’ve noticed in my work, it really doesn’t matter if I’m “in the mood” or not – my manager makes it clear that either me, or my successor, will get the job done.  I’d rather it be me; even if it sometimes makes me a bit moody.  You? 

There’s that word “mood” again.  And in a business setting, we usually add in “positive” or “negative” adjectives.  According to Wikipedia; 

Negative moods are basic psychological states that can occur as a reaction to an event or can surface for no apparent external cause. Since there is no intentional object that causes the negative mood, it has no specific start and stop date. 

No specific start or stop date?  Scary!  Best to avoid negative moods, true?  Wikipedia goes on; 

For positive moods; People seem to experience a positive mood when they have a clean slate, have had a good night sleep, and feel no sense of stress in their life. 

A clean slate; good night’s sleep; no sense of stress – hmmm.  I think I can remember what that felt like back in the day.  But today, I probably speak for many of us by saying we definitely feel a sense of stress in our lives. 

However, most of us don’t have time to worry about our moods – too much to get done; not enough time; too little sleep; trying to clean our slates.  That’s one impact from a tough economy, just ask John Kirk Nelson; 

More and more these days I find myself pondering on how to reconcile my net income with my gross habits. 

Of course, we have plenty of political commercials shouting at us; telling us how we have been crushed; how tough it is to do something about the state of our slates.  Good material for the media I suppose.  I’m looking forward to the stop date for, “I approve this message.”  

Yes, life’s lessons have us completely surrounded; whether we choose to face each day with a positive mood or a negative mood.  To gain our bearings when dealing with our slates we might turn to our education (be it formal, informal, inherited, or tribal): 

Perhaps the most important result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not: it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man’s training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly.

Thomas Henry Huxley 

That sounds more like it.  We do what has to be done; no matter our mood; regardless of sleepless nights; whether we like it or not.  We get the job done. 

And we aren’t concerned about a stop date – while we can, this is who we are and what we do, to the best of our ability each and every day, regardless of the stress in our lives. 

Perhaps an NFL legend and Hall of Fame quarterback; said it best; 

Be happy today and everyday because you’re dead a long time.

 Johnny Unitas 

Speaking for Johnny, “I approve this message”!

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.