Tag Archives: Chris Turnley

3 Keys to make 2017 – “The Year You Finally Did It”

It is amazing what a new start can do. Make 2017 be the year that you actually do it. That nagging goal that never seems to happen… Make this year that year that it does.

Don’t let others’ cynicism infect you. Don’t carry old ways of thinking into your new year and don’t let your own voices of past disappointments talk you out of becoming the best you before you even get started.

One truth is that life is pretty short and when we realize that :

1.    every day and every year matters.

2.     we have everything we need to start making progress to reaching our goals and living a life of purpose.

In Short – What you do today matters to yourself and those around you.

Here are 3 Keys to help you get started.

Set Destinations and First Steps – What do you want to see happen in your life in 2017? Is it a promotion, a new job, better relationships, to get in shape? Begin the year with your destination in mind.

You need to be motivated enough by the destination to be willing to make the changes needed. If you don’t know where you want to go, you will just stay where you are.

Many of us stop before we ever get started because our old habits and ways of thinking stop us before we even get started. Many get overwhelmed with looking 10 steps down the road.   Take one step, then another, then another. A journey of 1000 miles is take a step at a time.

Change is made one decision at a time. You make a decision to work out today and then become determined to do it again tomorrow. Take the first step and don’t over-think it.

Prioritization is the Key – You can’t change 10 things at once. You can change 1.   So take a look at what you want to do and begin to prioritize. You will only change what you are truly committed to change. Prioritizing your goals will make sure you gain alignment and momentum to conquer the next one.

Momentum Starts Today….. One Step at a Time!!!

Make Today Count.


Orlando…Healing Together Starts by Grieving Together.

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Healing Together Starts by Grieving Together.

Yesterday, I was in line at my favorite BBQ place on my way to church when I saw the news. 50 people dead in the largest mass shooting in American history. My day and in someways, my life will never be the same.

My heart is broken as a city grieves. Afterward, talking with people and reading the news, people quickly wanted to turn attention to the topics of gun control, politics, radical Islam, or the gay, lesbian, transgender community.

When Politics becomes a religion or idol, it seems to infest everything and people want to quickly blame, categorize and move on. Politics makes us feel better and shifts responsibility away from us. I pray as a nation, we can feel this one and come together for those in need. Let’s not be so quick this time.

All of the above issues are important, but not as important as we think. This week, let’s grieve for the people, for the community of Orlando and all the families those who were affected. We should pray for those still in need of healing and unleash generosity on those in need of blood, counseling and donations. Let’s not be too quick to move our focus away from the faces, the stories, and the sorrow.

Today, some of the names are starting to come out as we see the faces of the victims, the families and come to the grips with the reality of this tragedy. Any life cut short, has a domino affect and this one will rattle Orlando and this entire nation.

We grieve with those who are grieving and our most important gift is to love and help each other. There are issues to discuss but they fall tremendously short of the importance of us coming together and realizing that none of these issues will comfort the families and friends who has their word ripped apart.

If we let this moment be another issue that divide us. hate wins. Let our response be greater that that, let our response be to love our neighbor, to send whatever is needed to Orlando and then to reach out to a neighbor where ever you are and let them know you are for them, no matter how different you are. If you don’t know where t start, try, “How can I help?”

We grieve together, we live together, we pray together and if we are willing to really love each other, we win as we step out of the darkness and toward the light together. Love is way more powerful and I know it can sound naïve but when applied, Love Wins every time, we just need to take some time to show it.

Pray: Pray for physical healing for victims, Pray for healing for families, Pray for peace and Pray for communities coming together.

Give: For those who want to donate to help victims.. Click https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund

2016 – Give the Gift of Feedback

Throughout the workplace, people are emerging back from vacations, turning their calendars and perhaps wishing they could push the snooze button for one more day…. Just perhaps

The dawn of 2016 also opens the season of annual performance reviews.  This tends to make people want to crawl back under the covers as managers deliver 10-20 of these reports.

Can I challenge you to embrace this season and encourage you to see feedback as a gift that is worth giving; not just once or twice a year?  Let’s make 2016 the year you give people continual and concrete feedback.  Creating a feedback rich environment will cement your culture as a place where “everyone gets better everyday.”

As a leader, it is one of the most significant changes you can make to increase the level of performance, alignment and satisfaction of your employees and co-workers.

Why is this:

  1. Most people are never told, specifically, that they are doing well and where they can improve. You might be the first person to give them effective feedback.
  2. Most people are never shown the outcome of their behavior.
  3. Most people never get supportive feedback that is specific and applicable.
  4. Most people are never told of their blind-spots, until it is too late.
  5. Most people crave it… Certainly the kids of people you want on your team do.

If any of the above is true, why don’t we do it more.

Carole Rubin states it this way..  “But providing feedback to a colleague or a friend can be difficult and scary, especially when it concerns something that is hurting your company or your relationship with that person. That fear, Robin says, is based on a belief that many hold that constructive criticism will harm the relationship…. The reality is that feedback can actually strengthen a relationship, because knowing that another person is going to tell it to you straight creates and builds trust….Taking the risk of providing feedback shows the other person that you are invested in the relationship and willing to take the time to help fix the issue.”

No matter where you have been…Here are some places to start….

  1. Feedback Needs to be Constructive:

Feedback is applying how actions contributed or detracted from the team and its overall performance. Random criticism and nit-picking is not the feedback that will get you anywhere.  Might make you feel better but it not worth the cost.

There is an urban legend of IBM founder Thomas Watson….  The legend goes that a top salesman lost $5 million on a project he’d been working on.

Called to see the boss, the salesman prepared to be fired. However, once he was ushered into Watson’s office, he was surprised to find that Watson cheerfully started discussing the next big project they were planning.

Dazed and confused the salesman asked Watson if he was going to fire him for the loss.  “Fire you?” responded Watson. “Why would we want to fire you when we’ve just spent $5 million training you up?”

The Point:  There are times, you will have to fire someone but if you want an open environment where people get better, you have to do it together, and you have to lead this from the top.  Feedback is not shaming, it is an opportunity to get better.

2.  Feedback Needs to be Consistent

If Feedback is saved for a couple times and year and worse yet, tied to the same time of pay increases, people are so geared up for it that they can not really take it in.  There is just too much emotion.  People also need feedback more quickly on behavior so that these changes can be applied and recognized.

People can only absorb 1-2 things at at time.  If changing behavior was easy…  well, then it would be easy.  It is just not.  Until the robots are ready…  Anyway, think about how you like to get feedback and start there.

Too often we put off giving feedback when someone does something that bugs us. We say, “it’s not a big deal.”  Over time, the person does the same thing again, and again. Now we are hacked off at the person.  This is a leadership issue, not a behavioral one.

The Point.  What gets measured, gets done.  When we focus on constant, consistent feedback, we take the emotion out of it and put the focus on constant and consistent improvement.

3.  Feedback Needs to Focused on Person and Progress

In order for someone to receive and apply feedback, there are a couple of vitals.

They Trust You

OK, there is really ONE vital element for feedback to be effective.

How do you build this trust?

  • Tie Feedback to Their Goals.  Example.”  I know you want to lead this team one day….
  • Make the Feedback Behavior Specific.  This behavior caused this reaction. Specific feedback influences specific behavior.  General feedback changes general behavior.
  • Balance Positive and Negative Feedback
  • Be Transparent – Be open to talking about your journey
  • Be Open and Seek Out Feedback about yourself.

Giving effective come more naturally for some then others but there is no excuse. you may have to practice.  So get out there and practice.  Ask for forgiveness if you come on too strong or unintentionally offend someone.  Let’s get better… Everyday.

Gloriously Inconvenient Christmas

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

God is in the Miracle Business. He creates worlds, creates stars, and created us.

God also is Truth. He doesn’t speak truth, He is truth. It is impossible for God to lie. Everything He says, happens.

So when He says that He has good plans for us, we can believe this and even more. We can believe that He has a plan that is better than we can ask or imagine.

This week, we will celebrate the Miracle of Christmas, the birth of our Savior, Jesus. We will celebrate that through God’s love and perfect plan he created a way for us to know him and have eternal life.

He has a good plan, but let’s look at the other word of God’s promise in Jeremiah.… He says His plan will not lead to Disaster.   He did not promise he would not not inconvenience us, He promised, He wouldn’t ruin us.

So, let’s look closer at the Christmas story.

  • Angel comes to a young Girl…. Bam!!! You’re Pregnant.
  • Hey Fiancée, “I ‘m Pregnant.” It’s God’s…you know… The Messiah.
  • Hey Family… Guess What
  • Oh Babe, You’re 8 Months pregnant. Get ready for a mule ride to Bethlehem
  • We’re here… There are no rooms.
  • It’s OK babe, I found a barn for us to have the baby.
  • Yeah, I ‘m sorry no family is here, but we have some shepherds.

The Christmas story is full of inconveniences, some HUGE, some small. Each time the person chose to believe that God’s plan would not lead to disaster but to a fulfillment of His promise. He promise, made 700 years before in the Book of Micah is that the Savior of the world would be born to a virgin in Bethlehem.

But you, O Bethlehem, are only a small village among all the people of Judah.Yet a ruler of Israel,… And he will stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.Then his people will live there undisturbed, for he will be highly honored around the world. And He will be the source of peace.”

Many today have bought into a philosophy that God would not want us to be inconvenienced; God would not want to disrupt our good lives.   Actually, that is exactly what He is looking to do.

Look again at the Christmas Story, and throughout history and you will see where God asks this question. “Do you want relationship with me more than your current schedule or plan?” He is in the disrupting business because our plans would not lead to Him, but His plan leads to an eternal life with Him for us and for others.

Aren’t we glad that Mary and Joseph said, “Yes.”

In this Christmas week, I am praying that we all embrace a little holy disruption to our tradition and that we open that God’s great promise is worth a detour or two.





Leadership Requires Sacrifice

Real Leadership Requires Sacrifice.

There are many examples of leadership are out there and I have been so blessed to be able to learn from some of the greatest. Three examples are all around us.

Three that impacted me greatly are:

John Maxwell – “Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.”

Marshall Goldsmith – “What got you here won’t get you there.”

John KotterA higher rate of urgency does not imply ever-present panic, anxiety, or fear. It means a state in which complacency is virtually absent.”

No words impact me like the words of Jesus. No one inspires and reassures me like Him. He epitomizes what is it to make incredible impact by loving people like crazy. He was never too busy speaking to thousands that he missed an opportunity to teach the one right in front of him.

In John 10, Jesus lays out one of his most impactful lessons to his disciples. While describing himself, he also lays out what it is to be driven by a vision and how to influence with confidence and sacrifice.

  1. The Gate Keeper Opens the Gate for you – You are recognized. God Open the Door for you. If you are leading your family, your team, your division, your church or your company. You are created by God on purpose and for a purpose. He opens the gate for you and if He opens it, no one can shut it.

You can lead from this place of security. Even if you are not where you thought or wanted to be. God has you in the right place for this season. Lead well, where you are.

  1. The Sheep know your voice and will come to you. – There are specific people you are designed to encourage, reach and impact. Your job is to speak the truth in love, encourage, and help. Those that you influence, will be helped by you. Don’t change what God called you to do based solely on the feedback of people.

Only Jesus was deigned to reach the entire world. Not so with the rest of us. You don’t have to carry that burden. You just have to introduce them to a savior and let Him carry it the rest of the way..

Be impactful to those who are in your lives. Don’t miss out on the miracle God is trying to do through you because you were trying to get more “likes”, more followers or a larger audience. Don’t confuse larger crowds for more impact.

  1. You have other sheep… You just have to find them. As you are impacting those around you, God will call you to reach more. He will increase your influence and part of that may mean that He may move you. He may move you to a different company, a new neighborhood or across the country.

Don’t fall more in love with the comforts of your pasture than that mission that God gave you… to impact and love people.   He will never tire of going after people so we must be willing and obedient when He calls us to go… or even more courageous….to stay.

  1. Lay your life down.…. Willingly… This is where Jesus goes all Gangster on people. He knows he will be taken to the cross, beaten, whipped and crucified. But he says. “No one can take my life from me.   I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want.”

While I am thankful for incredible leadership principles and models, It is only sacrificial, servant leadership that truly changes people.   Models teach discipline and that has a purpose. Sacrificial love changes that heart.

We can’t do this on our own… At least not for very long. We give and then see how people react. What if we loved regardless of people’s reaction.? What if we gave up our paring spot to the guy who flipped us the “One Way to Heaven” while we were driving What if we were the biggest encourager and supporter of the person who got he promotion we wanted?

That love, real love is what will change the world.

Leadership isn’t about a title. Whether you are at the bottom or top of the organization, you are required to lead well.  You have everything you need to accomplish your task today.

You were built for this.  Let’s go Get it.

Always Be Qualifying

Wait!!! We didn’t win the deal. Wait!!! You decided to go with another Vendor!!! I thought we had agreed that we were doing this. I thought we had this locked up. What do you mean you went with someone else?

Ever had one of those meetings? Whether you are sales person talking to a “Sure” prospect that went south, hearing an acquisition target that sold their company to someone else or an executive talking to a “surprised” sales-person who is shocked the deal went south, it is perhaps the most frustrating meeting you will ever had. The deal went south all you are left with is frustration and the cost of going after that deal.

What if you could build a process that much more predictable? What if you could identify earlier in the process who was a good target and who wasn’t? What if you could align your time, talent, focus and resources on the deals that actually have a chance?

The good news is that you can. The key is not to be a better negotiator, even though that helps. The key is to become a world class Qualifier.

While, we can’t make people buy, we need to develop real rigor to tell a good prospect earlier on and then continue to qualify them throughout the process.

The truth is that only 5-50% of all potential people who walk into your store, call -in or respond to a marketing campaign will buy your solution.

This means, depending on your business, that up to 95% of potential people are actually a waste of time when it comes to closing business. It is with that backdrop that highlights the importance of qualifying deals and buyers. Optimism is an incredible attribute that keeps us motivated.

Optimism, however, is not the basis of a good strategy as it will cause you not only believe deals will close when they won’t but it will also be the root of wasting a ton of time, focus and money on deals and prospects that really have not chance. Talk about a double whammy. You are setting yourself for a tom of frustration.

Years, ago in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin popularized the Acronym ABC:

  • Always
  • Be
  • Closing

Since that day, thousands of sales managers have repeated that phrase in sales meetings around the globe. Buying has changed a lot and we need to close the door on this and embrace the future of selling.

Good Qualifying kicks “Good Closing’s” butt everyday of the week and twice on the last day of the month.

A much more effective Statement would be:

  • Always
  • Be
  • Qualifying

I grant you, it is not as catchy. But this is much more effective as you will make you’re your time, effort, focus are all focused on people who will actually make a decision.

So how do you Qualify?

(While I am framing this around the sales process, this process is applicable and adaptable to everything from finding employers and employees to sales to dating. Dating is the ultimate qualifying process and I think we would all agree that the effort of qualifying in that area should not be compromised any less than at our companies.)

Let’s get to it…

I will tie these to actual sales stages in a post later this week. For this post, think of your sales stages in 3 large stages. Depending on your selling process, this process can take anywhere from 5 minutes for selling apples on the side of the road to 2 years for selling an airplane.

There are essential elements in each stage and then there are other “Nice to have Elements” in qualifying a deal. For this post, let’s just deal with the essentials.

Early Qualification – Before you propose

  • Pain – Is there an actual company or personal pain with their current solution?
  • Money – Is there money to solve the problem? What are they currently spending?
  • Engagement – Are they actually willing to be part of this process? If they are just looking for price or they are not responsive to you at all, they are not likely interested and your chance of closing this are right next to ZERO. I told you it wasn’t that different than dating. This is the most important one.
  • Need – Is there an actual reason they are contacting you?
  • Technical requirements – You will gather these over time but vital to understand if there is a show-stopper that you can’t do.
  • Current solution – What are the barriers to making a change.? Change is the hardest thing people will do. IT is not easy and should not be minimized.

* Many processes will include Authority in this area. It is good to ask, but most prospects will “stretch the truth” here you will believe you are talking to a decision maker when you are not. If you always assume that you are not dealing with the decision maker until the proposal Stage, you will be a good position.

Proposal – Actually Presenting the Deal

As advice, qualify the crud out of the contacts before you present pricing or your recommended solution.

For large or significant deals, always try and deliver this proposal verbally, over web-ex, in person, before you ever give it in writing. Once you have given a prospect a written proposal, they do not need you for anything and you will notice most will stop calling after they get it.

Here is what you need to understand before you present pricing or your final recommendation:

  • Buying process – Who else will see this? Are you presenting to decision makers or do you have to sell through one of their people?
  • Reaffirm Budget
  • Criteria for decision-making – What is most important?
  • Competition
  • Timeline for making a Decision

Once presented get feedback so you can make all necessary edits before you send it. Remember, once you send a written proposal or pricing, they don’t need you for anything else and will assume they have your best deal. Even if you are just delivering budget pricing, you do it in writing, you have given away your leverage.

Get Direct and Specific Feedback

Stack-rank against completion

What else do they want to see?

Did this meet their needs?

Are we wining?

Negotiation – Between Proposing and Closing the Deal.

Congrats, they have verbally told you they are moving forward. Most people rest on this and forget to keep qualifying. It is Amazing how many done deals get blown up at this stage. This is preventable. Let’s look at how to keep qualifying and minimize the amount of surprises.

Engagement – We qualify this in the beginning. Define the process, timeline and milestones. Make sure you assign you and them tasks. Are people hitting their timelines?

Competition – Do they have a current vendor? Does their current vendor get a chance to keep the business? Are they moving down this road with multiple vendors?

What are the big issues to be ironed out in legal, roll-out, customization, etc.

Transition to implementation – Are they willing to start to take ownership of the roll-out?

A rigorous qualifying program is not easy and sometimes as we all want to believe the best about every deal, every prospect and that everyone is being completely up-front with us all the time.

The evidence would point out that they are not. While a good, disciplined and rigorous qualifying process is not a magic wand or a silver bullet, it is the best think you can do to make sure your time, talent, resources , money and attention are focused on the deals that actually have the best chance to close and that is why you are in business in the first place.

You want to get the deal closed…




Get off the TIme Management Treadmill… Prioritize

When you talk to enough people, you begin to see Crazy might just be Contagious.

I searched on-line and I could find a ton of resources describing Time Management tips but I could not find who actually originally coined the term. I am sure someone out there will educate me.

Over the years, I have had the privilege interviewing hundreds of successful business people and I am shocked how often the phrase, “I need to get better at managing my time.” comes up in their top 2 areas they want to improve.

The reason they never really see any improvement in this area is that learning time management is like treating only the symptoms and ignoring the actual disease.Imagine having an enormous rash and only treating the itch, the pain and the discomfort.The best you could hope for moments of comfort in between anguish.


That would be silly and you would probably punch any Doctor in the face that would prescribe this treatment. We need to treat the rash.

This is the problem of Time Management.Time Management is the art of organizing your day and your stuff more effectively.Well, if your day is full of crud, who really cares how it is managed?For some reason we keep buying resources that help us treat the symptoms and we never deal with the real disease.

So how did we come to accept that this is something we should strive to improve?

So, you ask, what is the real disease?It is that we are not prioritizing our lives.We are just mindlessly organizing everything to fit it in like everything is equal.This leaves us strung-out, busy (you know I hate that word), and with a built in excuse to not get to the hard things. We will always do the easy or fun things first.Unless I am the only one.

Prioritizing is learning what stuff to keep and what stuff to throw out.

There is a saying that if everything is important, than nothing is. (Patrick Lencioni)

Don’t role your eyes.This is not about making every moment productive and becoming human robots.I actually think we will have a much greater impact if we prioritize a couple things and then guard out priorities and our time ruthlessly.If your family or your marriage is a top priority for you then you need to create time to invest there.

We need to become much less busy and much more impactful with our time.Time is the only truly limited resource.You can’t get it back when it is gone.How do you want to spend yours?Prioritizing creates capacity and capacity allows us to dream,to smell the roses and make the moments that make life worth living.

There are some significant benefits to setting Priorities that will never be reached by simply managing your time better.

  1. You are bringing purpose to your life.You are choosing what your life will be about.
  1. Gives us a Road-map to say “Yes and No.”Successful people will tell you that it the ability to say No that makes them successful.No more just throwing jun on the pile.
  1. We allow others to support is and bring even more momentum to your life.People will understand why you are making the choices you are.

When we actively choose and communicate our priorities (both at work and at home) than we can align our time and others can support our progress.If you don’t know where you are going than no one can help you get there.

So where do we start?

Here are some simple steps.They are not easy but they are simple.

Before you start…. This is VITAL!!!Clear the Deck – Start with nothing, a blank slate, and then make choices to add things to your life.


  1. Write down all of your Personal and Business priorities.
  2. Actually Prioritize them
  3. You will have to create a subset for Business and prioritize activities at work by what actually is the most productive in reaching your goals.
  4. Write down all your current activities on a weekly basis.
  5. Determine Baseline Activities (Routine activities, Shopping, paying bills, etc.)
  6. Match activities to priorities.
  7. Decide what to keep, what to kill.Activities are either helpful or not helpful.Nothing is neutral except baseline activities.

Be Ruthless with this.It is your life.Make the most of it.Let’s stop wasting time on things that don’t really matter to us.

The life you were meant for is just waiting for you to choose it.

Can’t wait to hear your story.