As you know from previous posts, I love to write about lessons from our fallen icon: Nancy Reagan, Prince, Muhammad Ali. Over the weekend, we lost another one – Arnold Palmer. So I’m not going to let the opportunity go by to not only pay tribute to “The King” but to pass along some of his qualities for which we can all learn. I actually had the good fortune of meeting Arnie, though it was a little embarrassing for me. In 1994, I was marshal at a Senior PGA event in Pennsylvania. He graciously shook my hand as he approached the tee box, but a few minutes later he yelled at me because I was having difficulty controlling a rather unruly portion of his “Army” as he was about to hit his shot. It certainly made a lasting impression on me. Even twenty two years later, his face and voice are embedded in my memory.
With his good looks and swashbuckling style, he took golf to a new level. Whether it be on the golf course over almost a 50 year career, designing golf courses or as a pitchman for a number of products, he was a success in almost every aspect of his life. Although, as I listened to the tributes over the weekend, it seems that his greatest success was the impact he had on so many people and the number of people he helped over the years. Here are some the qualities that seemed to be repeated over and over by almost everyone he ever met. These are the same qualities that we can emulate in our own lives to have our own lasting impact:
- He treated everyone he met the same. It didn’t matter if you were the President or a groundskeeper. He looked you in the eye and shook your hand with a smile.
- He had a style that never changed. It was his brand. He looked and acted the same both as a 19 year old amateur and a 87 year old legend.
- He surrounded himself with quality people. He had a handshake deals with his closest advisors and business partners.
- He was a passionate man. Arnie loved what he did and wasn’t shy about showing his emotions.
- He took chances. He didn’t always play it safe. It didn’t always pay off, but he was willing to take a risk for a big reward.
- He gave more than he took. He was very generous with his time, money and influence. He helped people whenever he could.
The traits mentioned most when people were describing him were integrity, generosity, passion, commitment, love and loyalty – and always with a smile. These are traits for which we can all strive. If we do, we too can live like “The King.”
Arnold Palmer – Rest in Peace.
I know it is football season, but I just recently listened to Steph Curry’s acceptance speech for being named the NBA’s MVP for the second straight year. I heard a couple things that I wanted to share with you. The first was all the people he thanked for his success – which of course is what you do in an acceptance speech. But it got me thinking about how many people in our own personal and profession lives play such an integral role in our own individual development and success. We don’t all have the public platform to thank those people collectively, but wouldn’t it be great if on a daily basis we reached out to one or two to personally thank them and show our appreciation for the impact they have had on our lives. On the flipside, think about how many people we each have had a positive influence and/or help to reach their full potential?
Along those same lines, the second thing he said that impressed me, was that much of his success he owed to surrounding himself with people who pushed him to be the best he can be. In order to grow, we need a certain amount of conflict and struggle in our lives. If we have people around us who are always agreeing with us or taking it easy on us, we will never be challenged to improve. I once heard Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice tell a group of college students “if all your friends agree with you, then you need a new set of friends.” They say for a butterfly to be as strong as it can be, it must struggle against the sides of its cocoon before it breaks through and flies away. Likewise, we need to surround ourselves with people who bring out the best in us and push us to be the best we can be. And in turn, we need to push those around us to be as successful as they can be.
Keeping these two things in mind, it brings to memory the quote by the great American orator, Robert Ingersoll, who said “we all rise by lifting others.” We should each make an effort each day to bring out the best in someone else. If we do, we will all be MVPs.
I want to wish you all the very best and much continued success.
This weekend marked the beginning of another NFL season. As I was watching all the games this weekend, it dawned on me how much of sale’s related businesses are like football.
Often we have our sale’s “TEAM.” Every day we seem to “RUN” from one appointment to the next. We “PASS” along leads, referrals or delegated tasks. We sometimes get “SACKED” by our clients who “BLINDSIDE” us by deciding to cancel their deal or choosing to use someone else. Our opportunities sometime get “BLOCKED” by a client’s objections. We may feel like we are being “TACKLED” when we are confronted by unforeseen obstacles or issues that may arise during a transaction. We “PUNT” on opportunities that aren’t worth our time or efforts. But hopefully, with a great “GAME PLAN” in place, we ultimately “SCORE” new clients, deals and other opportunities. And with our superior skill and talents, we wind up with a “WIN” as our transaction comes to a successful close.
As we bring this 2016 “SEASON” to close and look forward to 2017, here are a few tips that are synonymous with football players to help you have your own personal “CHAMPIONSHIP” or sale’s “DYNASTY”:
- COACHING – It’s a good idea to have a great coach in your corner to help you build your goals and plan then hold you accountable to them.
- PRACTICE – whether it be your sale’s scripts, style or approach, you must practice. Joe Montana once said he practiced and prepared almost 50 hours a week to get ready for 1 hour of football on Sunday. Always seek opportunities to hone your craft with education, training and repetition.
- BE PASSIONATE – sales is a tough full contact sport. You need to love what you do. This passion will be evident to those around you and attract opportunities to you.
- COMPETE – Don’t be afraid to go after, and fight for, new clients and opportunities every day. You bring something unique to your business – YOU!!! Be proud to show YOU off.
- HARD WORK, DEDICATION and COMMITMENT – you need to be a 24/7 salesperson to build your brand and your business. Roll up your sleeves, get down in the trenches, and go belly to belly. You need to “connect to convert.”
Hopefully with this “GAME PLAN” you too will have a successful season. Wishing you all the very best and much continued success.