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  • Bob Burg

“You've basically revolutionized the way we are doing business. . . Your teaching style is very, very effective.”

~ Thomas J. Bartosic, SVP, Career Sales, G.E. Financial Assurance

Archive for the ‘Success’ Category

Why This Successful Hall-of-Famer Embraces Failure

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

The Power of Failure - Fran TarkentonPersonally, I’ve never enjoyed failure. I don’t think many people do. However, there is a big difference between not enjoying failure…and learning from failure.

And, that’s the major lesson in Hall of Fame Quarterback — now longtime superstar entrepreneur — Fran Tarkenton’s terrific new book, The POWER of FAILURE: Succeeding in The Age of Innovation.

Fran has had more victories, both in sports and in business, than most of us could ever dream of. Yet, he sees failure as the very thing that helps you succeed rather than keeps you from doing so.

The Founder and CEO of The Tarkenton Companies and GoSmallBiz.com believes that entrepreneurs and business leaders need to stop the usual avoidance of thinking and talking about failure. The reason, as he suggests, is that, whether this avoidance has to do with ego or self-delusion it is actually very harmful in terms of eventual success.

“Talking about failure is recognizing reality, and as long as you come to grips with reality, you have a chance to succeed. More than that” he continues, “talking about failure builds credibility with your team by demonstrating that you are not a leader who hides from the truth. By openly talking about failure, you model for your team the attitude and behavior you want from them: vigilance, a dynamic and continuous desire to improve, transparency, and straight talk.” As he says, “Reality asserts itself. Sooner or later it always does.”


Encouraging Failure 

In today’s business world, especially with advances in technology as they are, innovation is so very key to a flourishing enterprise. And, innovation, by its very nature includes lots of failures. Stories of failure after failure on the way to successful inventions, businesses, careers or other desirable outcomes are so numerous they’ve become proverbial.

And, as the author says, “The truth is this. Any company of any size can develop a culture that encourages innovation, even on a daily basis. To do this, however, such a company must also encourage failure — especially intelligent failure — every day.”

Intelligent failure is a key. It isn’t failing just to fail. And it isn’t failing because you didn’t put enough thought into your venture. Fran admonishes, “Don’t let your optimism get in the way of your homework.”

Powerful! It’s about doing things for the right reasons, and in the right way. And, it always has to do with thinking and acting. One without the other will practically always result in failure and not the good kind. How can you learn and grow if you act before you think or think without acting? Both are important if you’re going to fail correctly. When you do this you’ll also “avoid the big failure by learning from smaller ones.” 

The book itself is filled with a number of wise quotes. Two of my favorites are:

“{P}erhaps the only unbreakable rule of entrepreneurship: the faster we fail, the faster we succeed.”

And, my very favorite:

“True knowledge is a start, not an end. It is a question, not an answer.”

How do you do in the failure department? Have your failures been intelligent ones from which you were able to learn, grow, and ultimately profit?

What can you change in both your attitude about — and approach to — failure that will help you to ultimately succeed in the way you desire?

A Great Start to Resolving Conflict

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Resolving ConflictRecently, I posted on my Facebook page:

“Focusing on how the *other person* views the situation is a great start to resolving a difficult interaction.”

Yet, this can be difficult because — in order to do this — we must step out of our emotional mind and into our calm and rational mind.

Not easy to do when caught up in conflict. However, those who can master their emotions and do this consistently are the most powerful and influential communicators.

Steps To Make This Happen

  1. Picture someone you know who embodies the above. It’s not a coincidence that they are very successful and highly respected.
  2. Picture yourself doing the same. Imagine how successful and highly (self)-respected you will be.
  3. Imagine future situations where you are in the midst of a very difficult interaction. The other person is becoming angry as they express their views.
  4. Imagine you — on the other hand — being very calm and in (self)-control. Now see yourself focusing on how they view the situation.
  5. Imagine yourself asking the right questions so that you fully understand, and then deciding how to proceed.
  6. See yourself handling the situation beautifully and bringing it to a win-win outcome.

Important Point: Focusing on the other person’s viewpoint is not the same thing as agreeing with them. It simply means that you are placing yourself in a better position of understanding.

I don’t think anyone phrased it any better than Dr. Stephen R. Covey in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People when he wrote, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

Master this and watch your influence soar. And that you won’t have to imagine!


We love seeing all the new members of our Go-Giver Ambassadors Facebook Page. Every morning, my awesome business partner, Kathy Tagenel posts an inspiring quote from John David Mann’s and my, The Go-Giver series that is designed to start your day off right and give you something to keep in mind throughout the day. Check out today’s quote and photo at http://www.facebook.com/groups/GoGiverAmbassadors/

Creating The Customer Experience…at The Ol’ Ballgame!

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Marlins Park SuiteA bad day at the ballpark is better than a…well, actually, I’m not sure there is such thing as a bad day at the ballpark. And at Marlins Park in Miami there isn’t even a bad seat.

You know what sounded terrific though: the idea of watching a game from the comfort and viewpoint of one of their suites behind home plate. Many of these are rented for the season by major companies in order to entertain their clients in this relaxed yet exciting sky-view setting. I don’t blame them.

So, while watching a game on TV and hearing announcers Rich Waltz and Tommy Hutton promote the availability of renting a suite for just one game I thought, WOW — what a fantastic experience that would be!

So about 20 of us (including friends, family, clients, and MasterMind partners) attended last Thursday night’s game where the “Fish” hosted the tough Pittsburgh Pirates.

This post, however, is not about the game itself but the experience that the Miami Marlins leadership team creates for their customers. First, every customer, whether seated in the bleachers or in the most prime boxes right behind the dugout, are treated wonderfully by the entire Marlins staff.

However, it also makes sense that for those renting a suite, there is incentive for the club to make the experience extra special. For example, the suite itself was a large room stocked with lots of delicious food and beverages and was continually being resupplied.

There was an attendant, Edwin, who took great care of us, had a fantastic attitude and made himself continually available. Oh, and halfway through two people came into the suite with a food cart from which they made fresh guacamole right in front of us. Yeah, baby! :-)

She Really Made It Happen

Bob Burg with Lysandra Justiniano Sales ExecutiveTo me, though, the true star of the game was our Executive Salesperson, Lysandra Justiniano.

Lysandra did everything right that a salesperson does in creating the ultimate customer experience. To begin, she returned my initial call very quickly and very patiently helped me through everything renting the suite entailed.

Over the next month, whenever I had questions she returned my calls and emails promptly. As busy as I know she was she made me feel as though I was the only customer she had.

Isn’t that so important? And, we can all do that for our customers if we hold such a thing as a high value.

At one point she actually took time over the telephone to walk me through using the internal system in order to make emailing everyone’s tickets and other information much easier for me. Indeed, I’m not the most tech-savvy person and she truly went above-and-beyond…we’re talking some extreme patience.

Bob Burg at Marlins ParkThe night of the game she not only greeted me at the suite; she stopped in several more times to check on us, chatted with the guests, and brought by her boss, Director of Suites, Truscott Miller. After discovering that the Marlins Manager of Corporate Engagement, Tommy Knapp and I knew each other from some past South Florida events, she took him upstairs to visit, as well.

All of this; from the first call, the extra work, and the actual game, took hustle, caring, and effort on Lysandra’s part. And, while again, it felt like it was just for us, she’s doing the same for all her customers. And, she does this at every single home game.

People such as Lysandra who focus on giving value like this at every touchpoint create great customer experiences. They bring customers back, and elicit lots of referrals along the way. Sort of like this one.

By the way, my Miami Marlins lost that night. Though, really, it didn’t even matter.

Okay, it did a little.

But, even Lysandra can only do so much! 😉

A Tale of Two Frames

Friday, August 14th, 2015

It was the best of frames, it was the worst of frames. We’ve often discussed frames and framing in this blog. A frame can be defined as the foundation from which everything else involves.

In Adversaries into Allies: Master The Art of Ultimate Influence I say that when you set the proper frame for any encounter, you are 80 percent of the way toward the outcome you desire. And, the outcome you desire is obtaining the results you want while helping the other person to genuinely feel good about themselves, about the situation, and about you.

In other words, a true win/win. So, while visiting with my dear friend (and mentor) Dondi Scumaci and her husband Mark, I had the opportunity to hear from Dondi an experience she had in which two companies having the exact same desire…had two different ways of communicating it. One was an excellent example of positive framing while the other was an excellent example of…well, not so much excellent framing. :-)

In this conversation with the always-wise and fantastic Dondi, we learn what happened.


Dondi Scumaci - Cultures reflect themselves


Amazing, isn’t it? More importantly, how will you take this lesson and make your future framing similar to and as effective as the positive example? Any similar stories you’d like to share with us? Please feel free to do so.


TECHNICAL NOTE: If you are having trouble playing the interview, please make sure Adobe Flash Player is installed in your web browser. If not, then download Flash Player. Or right-click here and select “Save Link As…” to download the audio file to your computer.

Steal The Show – Wisdom from Michael Port

Monday, August 10th, 2015

One does not have to be an actor, a professional speaker or stand up comedian to be onstage. Many times we’re under the figurative spotlight whether we want to be or not. Maybe it’s a sales presentation to a skeptical committee. Perhaps you’re in front of your city council attempting to persuade them regarding an ordinance. Or, even an interview for that dream job.

Michael PortMy friend, Michael Port, has written a spectacular book on mastering the performance. Entitled, Steal The Show:  From Speeches, To Interviews, To Deal-Closing Pitches, How To Guarantee A Standing Ovation For All The Performances In Your Life, it is the fruit of all Michael’s wisdom in this area…and that says a LOT.

A former professional actor (including guest roles on Sex & The City, Law & Order, All My Children, etc.), he’s also a multi New York Times bestselling author including the classic, Book Yourself Solid. I’ve personally seen him work his magic in coaching people to dramatically up their presentation ability within minutes.

Yes, he’s that good. Had I not seen it myself, I might not have believed it!

Since the book is so comprehensive in terms of what makes for a spectacular presentation — and we don’t have hours to cover everything — I asked Michael about two key areas: his formula for telling stories that will have your audience at the edge of their seats…and how to effectively end your presentation in a way that will leave a lasting impression.
Steal the Show - Michael Port
And, as always…Michael delivered!

Enjoy this brief chat with an amazing pro!

After listening to Michael, can you imagine what it’ll be like to know everything that’s in his book?

As Michael shared at the end, visit www.StealTheShow.com and take advantage of his very special offer when you pre-order the book. Leave it to Michael to find a way that you can pre-order it, and read it now. :-)


TECHNICAL NOTE: If you are having trouble playing the interview, please make sure Adobe Flash Player is installed in your web browser. If not, then download Flash Player. Or right-click here and select “Save Link As…” to download the audio file to your computer.