Tag Archives: Leadership

Win by Controlling What You Can

Every great leader I have ever worked with in business, politics or ministry have all had an incredible ability to focus.

It is this ability that rise above the noise or separate the wheat from the chaff that keeps them moving forward when others get distracted or get knocked back by circumstances completely beyond their ability to affect.

So the key question is what can you actually control? How do you stay focused on what matters?

Whether it is my son’s 10 year-old flag football team, a global sales force, or an executive counterpart, every team and person I have had the privilege to lead has heard me mention and repeat the following (over and over.)

The Key to Success is controlling what you can and the only things you can control is your:

·    Attitude – Your attitude will determine your experience.

·     Effort – Your Effort reflects your willingness to fight.

·     Preparation– Your preparation allows you to make the most of the opportunity when it comes.

Notice what is not on this list:

You cannot control:

·     The Result – Sometimes you lose the game, don’t get the deal. Lean what you can and prepare better next time.

·     Other People (As Much as We would like to) – Some people will not like you, their choice. You control your attitude toward them.

·     Timing – Sometimes people get sick or in accidents. Will this distract you or will you put the effort in and get back to work.

As a leader, people are looking to you. They key is you can help them more effectively fail-forward if you can look at a set-back and say, “Next Time, do we need to improve our attitude, Effort or Preparedness?”

A great cake is made of great ingredients. You don’t fix the cake, you fix the what goes into the cake. Same applies here.

Stuff Happen and most of it you can’t control… Get over it and don’t get so paralyzed by the outcome that you don’t learn from the process.

You will see a multiplication of results by putting your and your team’s focus and attention on what you can actually affect.  Let’s go get better.

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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.

So You Want to Build a Sales Team

Every Start-up hits the point where they move from having a couple of sales people to building a sales team.  This might be because sales are taking off or most-likely because you took some funding and were told you had to scale your Demand Generation and Sales.

If only, it was as simple as hiring more sales people. 

Here is some quick and simple advice to help you avoid some common mistakes in building a sales team based on the questions I get most often.

Understand your target customers.  Who is buying your product today and is who is your target customer for the next 18 months?  So much money is wasted because people either hire too senior or too junior of sales people to tackle the challenges of selling to the clients they can close.

Is your sale, transactional and focused on the SMB market or is your solution focused on Enterprise customers?  These are completely different sales and need completely different people. The clearer you are, the less mistakes you will make.

Do you have a sales leader?  You can have 3,4,5 sales people without a true sales leader but if you want to scale a team, you have to hire a professional sales manager.  Alignment, again, is key but they also need to have a sales process they can use to develop the sales people into a team.

They will also help you sniff through a good story and get the right people who can actually do the job.

If you don’t have a sales leader, pay one you know at another company and have them come and help you hire sales people until you find one. 

You will want a simple comp plan….   My Advice…. For One time purchases go with straight percentage and for SAAS, go with 1 to 2X monthly revenue.   Your sales leader will build on accelerators.  Remember, the plan should drive the outcome you want.

You are going to need an CRM.  You can choose to start with Salesforce www.salesforce.com, Insightly, www.insightly.com or Zoho, www.zoho.com.

Most likely, you will end up on Salesforce eventually but by no means do you have to start there as it can be expensive and not necessary until you start integrating other areas of the business.  You do need a sales funnel and visibility.  Start running your sales team from dashboards as quickly as you can to build that culture from the beginning.

Don’t hire dramatically faster than you can scale Demand Gen.

You want to build in the culture of prospecting from the beginning but you do not want a team where at least 30% of the leads are not uncovered through Marketing. If you have more sales people than leads, you are hiring too fast and need to really focus on scaling Demand Gen to avoid wasting money.

If you have too much Demand Gen, your sales team will get fat and will never prospect.  Sounds funny to have too much Demand Gen, but if your sales people can make their number based on incoming leads, you need to hire more sales people.  Otherwise, this will have cultural ramifications for a long time.  Trust me, if there is a limited number of leads, the sales team will work each one of them like gold

Here is a rule I use…

I want the Sales team to uncover at least 50% of their own opportunities.  With all of the tools out there from LinkedIn Sales Navigator, to ClearBit Connect you do not have to rely on cold-calling but you do need to prospect.

Hope this helps.  We will cover Direct or Channel Sales at a different Time.

Let me know the tools you find most valuable and how I can help.  Let’s build great teams together.

 

 

 

 

 

You have Everything You Need

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.”  2 Peter 1:3

I get asked where my confidence in God comes through. I am not much of a “Rah, Rah” guy but I am that annoying one who looks at what you have, good or bad and says two things:

1.  What are you going to do now? – Your bus is parked wherever you drove it, if you don’t like it, get back in the bus and drive it somewhere else.

2.  What do you need to get moving?  Most of the times, we don’t recognize how much we have.  We need to take an attitude of abundance and get rid ofour attitude of scarcity.  God has given us more than enough to accomplish what He has asked us to do.

I was not born with an unshakeable faith.  I don’t even think I have it yet.  It has become stronger because I realize that I am loved more than I can imagine no matter what and since God loves me that much, He would never set me up to fail.

Do we sometime s feel like:  We Failed, We are not worthy, We would rather not, sure but this shows more about our nature, not His.

You see, God has given us everything we need to live the life He asks us to lead.  You just need to recognize what is around you and that you are not alone in your life.  Make some room and take advantage of what He gave you.

Say it with Me, “I am not alone.”

Here is a partial list of all of the resources God gave us to help us along the way..  I guarantee, it is more than you thought you have.

God’s Promises – Gold tells us to be strong and courageous because, “He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”   This is one of hundreds of promises that He is always with us, encouraging us and fighting our battles.

The Bible – God did not leave us to guess what we should do.  Get into the Bible and just see what happens.  The Word is alive and more that enough.

The Holy Spirit –  Jesus says “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,[b] who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.”  The Holy Spirit is your helper.

Prayer –   Prayer builds faith and your relationship with God..  “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”  Philippians 4. That’s right, start talking and then start listening.

Other People“For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18. We were never intended to go through life alone. You may just be one relationship away from everything you need. If you don’t have everything you need, look around, you need to know someone else. Open yourself up and start living with the understanding We Are Better Together.

God expects us to act and move with the Humility of a follower and the confidence of a leader. This is that powerful connection that allows Him to work it all out for the good of those who love Him.

You can do this. Better yet, let’s do it together.

Excellence is Your Best Long Term Growth Strategy

My grandfather used to day that, “Excellence was its own Reward.” Sounded like an excuse not to pay me at the time.

This was reinforced by my father. He would make us go back outside and rewash the car a second time without even seeing it. He would put it this way. There is no way you could have done your best that fast. He new that rushing a job meant we cut corners and he didn’t even have to see it, to know. Man, I hated that. BTW, He didn’t pay me either… just sayin.

Of course He was right and of coarse I didn’t want to admit it.

Something must have stuck because I got my first job at the balloon shop, I would try and find ways to do my job better, sell more balloons, delight the customers and make the store a fun place to work. If I had time, I put it to work.

I didn’t make more money, but everyone had a better time and the business improved. I also had a better time at work and a job became a joy.

That experience and my grandfather’s wisdom has stayed with me throughout my life.   I find the more I help others improve, the better we all get and the fuller my life becomes.

Today, there is a lot of talk around “building your brand. “ Many want their brand to be relevant, innovative, hip, bleeding edge, a leader, people-focused, etc….

I get it, these are good and helpful. May I boldly state that the world needs most of all are people who will build their brand and companies on Excellence for the Sake of Excellence?

Apple, Tesla, Chick-Fil-A, Virgin Air are all examples of “excellence led” companies where what they produce delights and overwhelms their customers and the process they use encourage and promote innovation.

They then build systems that support you through your interaction. Their systems and product are all designed to deliver an experience that is unique and purposefully different than their competitors.

Put a Chick-Fill-A in NY and just see what happens. Long lines…. That what happens… Repeat Customers… that what happens…. Incredible Growth… That what happens. Chick-Filet and Apple releases have a ton in common. One just comes with pickles.

Excellence is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.

Here are three things to consider as you contemplate how you want to infuse excellence into your team, company, group, community, church, or non-profit.

Excellence is not Perfection – Perfectionism is nasty and not reachable. It limits thoughts, innovation and progress by only focusing on output.. Excellence is focused on doing the best you can and then getting better. Excellence drives Innovation, Open Thought and a focus on the process and output.

Excellence is not tied to Compensation, or Title – Excellence is, in fact, its own reward. Thanks grandpa… My grandfather started out working in a service station. One of his customers would come in twice a year to change his tires. He would always ask for my grand-father. This was back just after World War 2 and my grandpa had served in the army. One time, this man had come in with a proposition. He wanted to start a fuel company and he wanted my grandpa to run it.

Grandpa didn’t know anything about running a fuel company. The man said this to him. “I can teach you about fuel, but this is a people business, and I can’t teach someone to treat people with the care that you have.” They ran that business together for over 20 years.

We all work in a people business. Don’t let your job define how you act, Let your excellence infuse your job. Excellence opens doors and people are attracted to it.

Excellence is not a sometimes thing – Excellence is not limited to your job, your role and those things at your work. Excellence is a mindset of where we decide that whatever we produce, whatever we spend our time on is done to the best of our ability. It becomes a process where I measure my life and I will then commit to get a little better everyday in everything.   From being a father, husband, leader, pastor, son and friend… If it worth doing…. It is worth doing well.

Hope this helps. Now, Let’s Get Moving.

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.

5 Ways to Have a Greater Impact

In the world today many people are overwhelmed at what is going on. Maybe something is stirring in side of you. We want to make a difference but may not know where to start.  You are not alone.

Maybe you want to have a greater impact in your community, at work, in school or in your family. Maybe you want to take a leadership position and start leading people in government or in your company. Maybe you want to start organizing your community or your church to pull together and make a difference.  Heck, maybe you just want to have a neighborhood BBQ.

I get this. Here are 5 areas that can help you get started, keep you moving and make sure you are able to stay in the game for a long time.

There is no Impact without Contact

Life is a contact sport. Start with the people in front of you. Don’t miss the miracle God wants to do right outside your door. Many times, we will walk by the one we can impact the most because they are the one we will see daily.  Stop and look whom you can help today.

Aim Small… Miss Small

Be specific with what you want to do then start moving in that direction. Your dreams can and should be big. Just don’t make them general. Be purposeful with your walk and your time.

Big accomplishments are achieved through a series of small victories. Progress is made one step at a time.

 Provide Value – Start with the Question… “How can I help?”

Making an Impact is about those you want to reach, lead, teach and help. You will be blessed by and through it you will find out that you gained more out of it than those you helped. Shift the focus to others and trust that God will always take care of you.

Make sure that you are focused on bringing value every time. The world is too busy for more meetings that transfer information.

Value breaks through the noise. Value changes people.

 Embrace the Small Beginnings

It breaks my heart to think most potentially incredible leaders give up before they even really get started.

 You may want to be an executive but for right now you are leading one intern. You want to speak in front of thousands but right now, your mom is the only one who listens to your podcast or Blog. (God Bless Moms) You may want to be at the end of your journey but you are just getting started.

The beginning is when you get to build the foundation of who you are without the pressure of others. Focus on building a strong foundation and keep moving forward. Embrace and Enjoy this time.

Lastly, your voice, your hands, your ideas are needed. Don’t think someone else has it all figured it all out. People need to hear you.

 Don’t Quit

This one is the most important. Don’t every underestimate what God can do with someone who is willing. Your final story is not yet written. You may have messed us in the past, fix it and keep moving. You may have been trying to plow ground for years, keep plowing. The only way to blow it is to quit.

Your breakthrough is closer than you think. Keep praying that you are on the right track and stay fresh. Too often people give up too soon. They jump from idea to idea… from company to company…. from church to church and they wonder why they never see the fruit of their labor.

Fruit grows where you plant it. Stay in the game. Keep at it, get better every day, learn from experience and apply that be more effective.

People will learn more from your persistence than they ever will from your advice.

God Bless You.

Please let me know what you are working on so I can be praying for you. nothing would bless me more.  What is in your heart matters.

Now, Let’s get Moving.