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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

Posts Tagged ‘Success’

A Very, Very Important Question

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

A Very, Very Important Question - Bob Burg

    1. Cleaning out some files I came across one of the many quotes and sayings I’ve cut out and saved over the years.

It contains such wisdom that if we’ll only keep it in mind and ask ourselves this question on an ongoing basis we have an excellent chance of attaining that which we truly desire.

“Is what I am about to say or do consistent with my Life’s Mission?”

I don’t know who originally said or wrote that* but I think it is about as perfect a question as can be asked.

After all, if we were to frame everything we’re about to say and every decision we’re about to make in terms of congruency with that question, well…it’d pretty difficult not to meet with huge success.

Of course, we all make mistakes and even keeping that question at the highest part of our conscious awareness is certainly no guarantee of always doing the right thing.

But wow, it certainly ups the odds, doesn’t it?

So, what is your life’s mission? And, what might you do to get into the habit of asking yourself this very important question constantly and consistently?
 

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* And now I do know. It was the great, Joe Tye from his book, Your Dreams Are Too Small http://amzn.to/2r6qNRt

Zen Pharmacist, Corey Jahnke — The Successful Thinker

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

He’s one of the wisest men I’ve had the pleasure to know and learn from. Rarely have I met a person who has the people skills he possesses and can transfer those to others in such a way that so strongly takes hold.

A pharmacist by profession he’s twice been awarded Walmart Pharmacist of the Year for the Wisconsin region as well as being the WEAU-TV 13 Sunshine Award winner.

And he considers himself to be a service provider first…and only then a healthcare provider.

Corey JahnkeHumble and soft-spoken, he’s the person customers and fellow team members seek out for advice, a joke and a kind, uplifting word of encouragement.

Corey Jahnke is also a student — a perpetual, ongoing student — and a teacher (Yes, I really do refer to him as, The Zen Pharmacist) of success and personal development.

And, his new book, The Successful Thinker, has everything it takes to become a classic in that genre.

Written as a business parable, it’s a quick, easy-to-read, and life/business changing story based on what the author calls “The 7 Laws of 21st Century Leadership.”

In this brief interview with Corey, we mainly explore what I believe is the premise of everything he teaches; the ability to catch ourselves telling a “really lousy story” about our own lives and situations, as well as about others.

Yes, it’s much more than that. However, just listening to what he says in this discussion can make a huge difference in your personal and professional effectiveness.

Enjoy our chat!

The Successful Thinker - Corey Jahnke

See what I mean? Easy to see why he has won awards in his field. The wisdom in this book can help you to win awards in yours. 🙂

Visit his website, www.TheSuccessfulThinker.com and receive the first four chapters, as well as some other value-based goodies. Be prepared to be hooked on the book well before you are through reading those chapters.

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Curing The Leadership Crisis

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

John Allison: The Leadership Crisis and the Free Market CureWould the principles that make one an effective, successful and happy individual create those same results for a company, and for society as a whole? In this absolutely terrific book on leadership, the author says that yes, indeed they would.

The following is from John A. Allison’s introduction to his recently-released, The Leadership Crisis And The Free Market Cure:

“{T}here is a set of ethical principles that is consistent with the laws of nature and the nature of humans that is the foundation for individual success and happiness. These same principles are applicable to organizations and to society.”

“The ultimate goal in life is to achieve happiness {in terms of} a life well- lived.” … “In this overall context, this is a book about leadership in the pursuit of happiness, at the individual, organization, and societal level.

“The foundation for this concept is self-leadership, which is essential for organizational leadership. Most failures of leadership are failures of self-leadership. And, most organizational failures are caused by failed leadership.”

It’s safe to say that Mr. Allison knows from whence he speaks. The prestigious Harvard Business Review named him one of the decades top 100 most successful CEOs.

More importantly, for 20 years he served as Chairman and CEO of BB&T, one of the largest financial institutions in America, growing the bank from $4.5 billion to $152 billion in assets during his tenure. And, they were hugely successful during a time when many banks failed spectacularly.

But, perhaps the banks’ huge profits came as a result of cronyism and sub-prime loans?

Actually, no. BB&T was one of the few banks that did not involve itself in sub-prime lending, writing only conventional mortgages. Mr. Allison was very outspoken against sub-prime lending, as well as cronyism in all its forms, including that between Washington, D.C. and many of the major banks.

When the bubble burst and banks were going under, he and his bank were left standing tall; not only in reputation…but in profitability, as well.

How Was This accomplished? Through rational, long-term thinking combined with a desire to provide exceptional value to customers, employees and shareholders alike.

And…by acting from a base of uncompromising values.

Now CEO of the highly-regarded libertarian think tank, Cato Institute, Allison approaches life and leadership from a very practical, logical, and rational viewpoint. He also approaches his relationships with employees and customers with an extremely benevolent, win/win mindset (as he referred to it, “getting better together”) always at the forefront.

Like the vast majority of ultra-successful people I’ve known and in this case, studied (I’ve been a fan for quite a while), he understands that happiness is the ultimate goal; that financial success is just one aspect of overall success and happiness. And, that all leadership begins with self-leadership; mastering ourselves and our character traits.

Two Distinct, But Integrated Parts

Part One, “Values in the Pursuit of Happiness” includes a chapter on each value that he deems vital and necessary to one’s successful pursuit of happiness. They were also the principles he used to lead at the bank.

They include being Reality Grounded, Reason (Objectivity), Independent Thinking, Productivity (Profitability), Honesty, Integrity, Justice, Pride, Self-Esteem (Self-Motivation) and Teamwork (Mutual Supportiveness).

According to the author, “Not only are these values not contradictory but they are integrated. Failure to execute on one value will make it impossible for you to execute on another value.”

Part Two, “Leading for Personal, Organization, and Societal Greatness” is really a Masters Degree in business leadership. That it’s told from the personal experiences of a man who has been there, done that very successfully, and is willing to share exactly how, is truly a gift. Absolutely fascinating and enlightening.

While again, logic and reason are very important to the author, his writing is warm and thoughtful, and he certainly understands the dynamics of emotion and human nature; that most people make decisions based on their emotions being in control. Yet, as he says, “Emotions are not a valid means of knowledge.”

So, how does he suggest we don’t make counterproductive decisions based on this fact?

“The goal should be to train your emotions so they automatically support the conclusions that your rational mind determined.”

Powerful!

One of my favorite points had to do with the importance of understanding the relationship of value and money, and that a business only makes money to the degree they focus on bringing value to their customers. I loved this gem:

“In the 1960’s, the CEO of General Motors announced that the mission of GM was to ‘make money.’ Shortly thereafter GM’s earnings started to decline. GM was created to make cars in a variety of price ranges and quality categories. Its real purpose is to make ‘good’ cars, and when it does this very well, it gets to make money. At BB&T our real purpose is to help our clients be financially successful and economically secure, and when we do this well, we can make money for our shareholders.”

He also warns about what he calls the “ultimate psychological sin of evasion.” This occurs when we choose not to explore what we know we should explore because we are afraid the information will not concur with our already-established views. Evasion has a dramatically negative impact on one’s happiness, as well as the success of a business or a society.

The author is very firm regarding the importance of staying focused on truth. He says, “When we evade, we are detached from reality and cannot learn or grow.” True both for individuals and for businesses. And, for society? He asks, “Do our political leaders make decisions based on reality?”

The pages of my copy of the book are filled with notes and underlines as well as starred and bracketed sentences and paragraphs. I simply cannot do this book justice in a single post. Let me suggest — if I may — that you purchase this book, read it, study it, and then buy it as a gift for all the leaders and potential leaders in your life.

There are a lot of excellent leadership books on the market and I’ve benefited from reading many of them. This one might just be the most important one yet!

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P.S. Here are just a few more gems from the book I couldn’t resist including. And I worked hard to whittle it down to just these: 🙂

“It is a significant error for a leader to promote a vision and not deliver. This is a fundamental breach of trust with the organization’s constituents.”

“The organizing principle of human action is purpose….{W}e are purpose-driven entities.”

“If your work is just ‘work,’ you are missing a lot of what life is about.”

“The ultimate societal incentive is freedom.”

“It is noteworthy that we seem to tolerate a level of dishonesty in politicians that we would not tolerate at work or with our friends.”

“It is irrational to expect someone to change his or her behavior based on nonexistent feedback.”

“The primary manner in which you earn self-esteem is by living your life with integrity and living your life consistent with your values.”

“Much of leadership is based on the ability to integrate multiple specialists to accomplish complex work that no single specialist could achieve alone.”

“Successful communities (teams) are created by voluntary mutual consent…Successful teams and communities cannot be built using force.”

“The compound self-esteem impact of working to your potential day in & day out is significant.”

“Earning money is tremendously rewarding, even if you give it all away. Earning money in a free society is a symbol of productivity and has a meaningful psychological reward. It is the earning, not the having, that is valuable.”

“Remember human flourishing — happiness — is the end of the game.”

The Next Best Thing to Controlling Our Brand

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

To What Degree Can We “Control” Our Brand?At our recent Speaker Certification Training for a group of our Certified Go-Giver Speakers, the following was pointed out:

“Bob, you are really protective of your brand.”

All heads nodded in agreement…including mine.

Allow me — if I may — to set the stage: On the day that our speakers were giving their presentations, whenever there was a statement that could possibly be misunderstood, I would, afterwards, gently (yes, gently) point it out and explain why.

I’m also known to politely email bloggers and those on Social Media platforms who take the philosophy of The Go-Giver out of context or misquote. And, it happens often.

Does it drive me a little bit nutty keeping on top of it? Sure, to a certain point. Fortunately, it also teaches me two very valuable lessons:

  1. To the degree you can care without emotional attachment to the results, that’s the degree to which you’ll have peace of mind.
  2. You can manage your brand, but you can’t really control it.

We, as business people in today’s environment, cannot control it any more than we can really control anything that is outside our direct influence. We can manage it by taking all the steps that are within our influence. That begins by communicating our message correctly, always doing our best to provide an exceptional customer experience and being ultra-responsive to our customer’s needs.

Along with that, we can utilize various Internet and social media “alerts” to let us know when something about our brand is positively or negatively mentioned, stolen (accidentally or…”accidentally on purpose”) 🙂 or simply misinterpreted. People who are “watching our backs” will also let us know, and this includes customers, clients and friends.

There are major corporations that — especially in their utilization of social media — do this extremely well. Others? Not so much. And, we continue to see examples of both.

Regardless, whether huge or mid-sized companies or small entrepreneurial firms, none are actually controlling their brands. Those days are along gone. We can manage our brands; not control them.

Wisdom is knowing the difference.

Success is doing it effectively.

How do you do in that regard? And, do you agree with my premise or have I missed the mark?

Agreement and disagreement are both welcome, as I hope you know.

Take The Stairs – Powerful Wisdom from Rory Vaden

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Sure, we all know that to be successful it takes self-discipline. How could it be any different? By its very nature, success is determined by one’s willingness to do those things they don’t want to do, and that separates them from pretty much most of the pack.

In other words, it takes doing those things we know we need to do…even when we don’t want to do them.

However, and somewhat paradoxically, this self-discipline actually set us free and provide us with the power to accomplish the success we desire.

And, as the young entrepreneurial phenom-turned popular speaker and bestselling author, Rory Vaden tells us in his terrific book – and in this fascinating discussion – it often means being willing to Take The Stairs…in what has very much become “an elevator world.”

Rory VadenTake The Stairs

Enjoy Rory. You’ll see why he’s one of my favorite people and a powerful example of doing things right!

Oh, and be sure and stay around until the end and find out exactly how, at seven years old, he…”created his new Dad.” 🙂 It’s one of the most awesome things I’ve ever heard.

So, did Rory inspire you to Take The Stairs? Be sure and take the first…“step” and order his excellent book. And, feel free to share any personal stories inspired by today’s interview.


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