Last night I was privy to a pre-game speech by a college coach that really made me think about what I call the “Power of One". He spoke of Martin Luther King and the impact his confidence, beliefs, passion, and his resilience had on a nation, and one could argue, the entire world. His focus was that MLK never flinched in the face of adversity and danger. His intimacy with his purpose drove him to change the world. I can’t think of a better definition for the “Power of One”.
It's hard to watch television this days without getting the sense that "true understanding" is in reasonably short supply in many circles in our country; however, several things I have read over the years have led me to the conclusion that one of the most critical traits of really successful people is an open mind. The statement, "The mind doesn't work unless it's open" has been drilled into many of us over our life time yet I would venture to say that many of us have found ourselves in recent months with anything but a truly open mind.
Last week I was having breakfast at the Waffle House in Lexington, VA which is one of my favorite breakfast places and I heard someone say with pride, “I work in retail." It was evident that this person was so proud of her job and her company. There also happens to be a young server at this Waffle House named Hailey who takes great pride in her work and is great at making customers feel welcome. She also is a single mom who goes to college on her off days and beams with pride every day about her adorable baby girl. As I sat there listening to the retail worker speak proudly about her work and watching Hailey bring smiles to her customers, I was thinking how wonderful pride can be and how having pride in what we do and how we approach life is such a powerful mindset.
This time of year is a joyous time for most and an opportunity to spend time with family and friends. It’s also a time for giving gifts to those who are close to us and those who we appreciate. And it’s in this spirit of gift giving, that I’d like to propose that the greatest gift one could ever receive, is when someone shows us that having a relationship with us is something of true value to them.
It’s been proven time and time again that people hate to be sold but they love to buy. If that is truly the case, and indeed it seems to be so, why do we teach people to sell? Why don't we instead teach people to get customers to buy-in? The difference can be staggering and it starts with our mindset. Our first business words and the first question we ask often indicate the exact reason we are there. Is it to sell the customer or rather to better understand their business, their beliefs, their behaviors, and quite frankly, whether or not our product is actually a fit?
As we wind down 2016 and begin thinking about what we want to accomplish in 2017, I feel it's timely to revisit my 5 rules for setting and achieving stretch goals. Most of what I know about goal setting I learned from Maxwell Maltz, the author of Psychocybernetics, and Ron Willingham, a terrific sales expert who has studied goal setting as much as anyone I know. I highly suggest that you read anything they have written on goal setting because it is all "gold".
One of the most important leadership principles I learned along the way was gleaned from a professor of Psychology at Notre Dame, who had recorded a program entitled, "Are you an Amateur or Professional in Selling?" He made a statement in that program, which has resonated with me from the very first time I heard it, "How a person feels determines their behavior more than what they know."
The starting point of all personal improvement and development is self- awareness. The more in tune we are with what we are great at and what is still developing, the more we can ensure we are focusing on where we as leaders need to get better. If as stated in last week’s blog, one of our primary roles as field leaders is to be a "private tutor” of selling expertise, then we have to acknowledge that we cannot coach what we do not know. With regards to coaching selling, Delta Point has developed an important concept that we call, "Coaching IQ”.