Today marks the 70th birthday for the original “Moosh” and I wanted to share with my network how awesome he is.
Dad taught elementary and high school for well over 30 years, then finished his career running a co-operative education program at a local university. He also helped fine tune an “intro to university” course that all students had to take in their first year, and did an outstanding job preparing them for the real world of post secondary education.
But beyond that he has been a tremendous father/grandpa (Gigi)/brother/uncle, friend to many and has lit up every room that he has walked in to throughout his life.
Although we have lived in different cities for 13 years, we make the most of the time our families have together.
We laugh, joke and have fun as often as we can. Life can throw us curve balls, but dad always keeps things in perspective and sees the positive in every situation.
He loves his four grandchildren, my mom, and the rest of our family to pieces, and has been a very popular figure in his community for more than 45 years now!
We tend to put things off sometimes in life for whatever our reasons are. But I recently said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH (thanks to my sister’s idea)!
Myself, Dad, my brother-in-law and his Dad are off to a boys weekend in Minneapolis over the 4th of July week. We will be seeing two Minnesota Twins baseball games against the New York Yankees.
What a thrill that will be to finally get away with him!
All the best dad for reaching this noteworthy milestone.
You are truly one of a kind!
NEVER join a conference call late!
Have a great weekend everyone….
Sometimes as leaders, coaches, or people of influence in general, we over think how to motivate teams.
Several times last year, my son’s hockey team of 4 and 5 year olds had one hour power skating lessons. I was amazed by the instructor’s ability to keep them interested the entire time, even with sessions as early as 6 am on weekends!
This list should seem obvious to us all, but how many of these simple points do we miss with those that we lead?
- Smile, encourage and be enthusiastic
- Have fun and make them laugh
- Know the audience, relate to them on their level
- Be engaging – ask great questions that they will be eager to answer
- Fully explain what you want them to do. Leave nothing to the imagination
I have been a huge Saturday Night Live Fan since I was a teenager in the mid to late 80′s. Like any show, it has had its ups and downs.
I was watching some clips from this year’s episodes last night and am amazed at the raw talent of the likes of Justin Timberlake, Kristen Wig and Bill Hader.
But some of my favourites burst on to the scene in the late 1980′s.
Dana Carvey is at the top of the list for me.
Check out this classic song as he busts out one of my favourite clips - “Choppin’ Broccoli!”
Have a great weekend.
Presenting in front of colleagues, prospects or customers can be very difficult if not terrifying. But it does not have to be. As a Toastmaster for 18 months now, I am continually looking for ways to improve my presentations.
It is a work in process, and thankfully each time I get up in front of an audience is a step in the right direction.
Here are five things that I focus on each time I present:
- Preparation – I know; sounds crazy but it really does make a difference! Practice ahead of time and make sure audio-visual equipment is working before you start
- Timing and organization – Be respectful of people’s busy schedules and don’t go over time. Always have a question and answer period near the end, but close with your own summary
- Less is more - NEVER put too much information on a PowerPoint slide. Information overload tunes people out!
- What is your value – Smile often, be engaging and limit dead air. These speeches tend to get monotonous and boring. Stand out!
- Information gathering – Have a sign in sheet. This is a great way to confirm contact information and follow-up at a later date
If you want specific information on any aspect of public speaking, stop by http://www.toastmasters.org and check out the library of resources!
Pretty self-explanatory! Best part is the employee’s explanation right at the end!
Have a great weekend…
I must admit something. “Hot Calling” is not a new and improved way to cold call. I took a door-to-door sales role in the summer heat of Australia on a backpacking trip in 1998. I called it “Hot Calling” in my head to make it sound more appealing! Everyone I told about this job after the fact thought I was crazy, but I explained to each of them how enjoyable the experience ended up being.
I needed some extra money when I was traveling the South Pacific. I ended up getting a job with a company promoting children’s encyclopedia programs. I did not realize the amount of door knocking and setting up of appointments that I would be required to do. My job was to secure follow-up visits with families, then more experienced sales reps would come back later and try to close the sale on a complete set of books. Yes, Google was still very new at the time!
A fellow backpacker told me the day before I was to start the job that they had a horrible experience performing this role, and I should quit immediately. I ended up giving it a shot anyways. I was planning on making new friends and having a great time. I went in with a positive attitude, and hoped for the best.
I trained at head office in Sydney and soon realized that I was in for an interesting journey! Thoughts of my stutter were front of mind, due to the nature of the role. What better situation to get nervous in then when somebody opened their door, and I had about 10 seconds to convince them that they should invite me in. I sucked it up, and continued with the training.
The managers made a point of having us role play door-to-door scenarios every day before we went in to the field. Initially I thought it was a waste of time, and I was disappointed that it took me away from the pool. It was our warm-up period, and would typically be done in the mid afternoon. We would walk the neighbourhoods later in the day when it “cooled off”.
The most important lesson I learned from this experience was how to handle rejection; and there was a lot of it! I had to be quick on my feet, handle their objections swiftly, with the goal of being invited in for a conversation. It was a positive step for them to open their door, but an entirely different challenge of getting them to commit to a future presentation.
Other skills like persistence, keeping positive and being enthusiastic were pivotal too. Each door was a new one, so I always put the previous one out of my mind quickly. A sale could be waiting for me at the next house, and I always had to be at my best.
Another key attribute that I worked on was focus. It was difficult to stay focused when it was still 30 degrees Celsius or warmer when I was working, but I made it through. I would often ask people for water, run through sprinklers, and wear a large cricket hat to protect me from the sun. In 6 weeks on the job, only one person would not give me a glass of water when I asked!
The team lived just like a big family. On a weekly basis, we all had specific chores to fulfill like cleaning the pool, buying groceries, and cooking for the team. Whatever needed to be done, we all pitched in to get keep the house and our “adopted family” running. You can bet that we let team members know when they slacked off from their responsibilities.
As I look back now, the daily role play for warm up was the key to success. It was like athletes preparing for a game. They need to warm up to get physically and mentally ready. As I practiced regularly, and knocked on more doors, I became more comfortable by the day. As time passed, my stutter was less of a consideration as I spoke to people during the pressure packed opening greeting.
The management team did a wonderful job motivating a group of young adults from around the world to do a less than glamorous job. We learned how to do one of the most difficult sales roles by staying positive, plugging away, and most importantly co-existing with team members that were strangers when we moved in together.
To this day, every time somebody says, “You did what?” when I describe the job, I am more than happy to share the story of my “Hot Calling” experience “Down Under”.
- Have you ever door knocked during your sales career?
- If not, have you have cold called face-to-face or on the phone?
- What did you learn from the experience as you reflect back now?
You gotta have fun in life, bottom line! These gentlemen prove that on a recent live video recorded on BBC TV.
Their energy and passion for life is contagious!
A special guest arrives at the 3:45 mark. YOU DON’T want to miss it!
I dare you not to hum some of this as you remember your youth!
For all my American friends – Happy Memorial Day Long Weekend!