I was thinking about the Canadian Olympic sprinters the other day, and hoped that they were doing well. Here is a post from last August that really meant something to me. Life can change at a moment’s notice. Are you able to handle the ups and downs?
I love sports, always have, always will. Sometimes I get too emotionally involved in the outcomes. One of those times occurred last Saturday when Canada participated in the 4X100 meter men’s relay final at the London Olympics. I had not heard of one Canadian sprinter since Donovan Bailey and company won gold in the relay 16 years ago in Atlanta! But I heard these guys were young, confident and ready to make some noise behind the Americans and Jamaicans.
The Jamaicans killed it again led by Usain Bolt, and the US finished second. But on an incredible last 100 meters, the anchor sprinter for Canada moved up from 5th place to 3rd, and they finished with a bronze medal. OR SO THEY THOUGHT.
Shivers ran over all over my body as I watched the boys celebrate with true elation on the track. Memories rushed back to me off the great wins Canada had in the past on the track. But in a cruel twist of fate only minutes later, they looked up at the scoreboard to see that they were disqualified. One of the runners had stepped on his inside lane line which is illegal. Those smiled quickly turned to tears, and the same people that they had been celebrating with on the sidelines only minutes before, were now consoling them. Shame on the officials for posting them in the bronze position before all the video was reviewed.
Life can change for you at a moment’s notice (literally) and you have to be ready for anything. In this case, unfortunately for our incredible track athletes, it was a game of less than inches. The outpouring of support for the guys and their coach from Canada has been incredible. When they start competing again they WILL be on the podium, and I fully expect them to get a medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Here is a link to a newspaper article on their story:
5 things that I learned from this experience:
- You can be incredibly close to massive success and still have it ripped away from you. How you respond is the key.
- You win as a team, and you lose as a team. Support each other unconditionally.
- Never discount the benefits that come from an experience, no matter how negative it is perceived at the time.
- As much as it hurts, the sting always goes away.
- Keep smiling, have fun doing what you love, believe in yourself, and visualize the massive success that you will achieve in the future
Eve reached out to me a few weeks ago interested in guest posting on leadership. I was more than happy to oblige. Check out her incredible take on health and productivity!
The modern world is increasingly doing studies on the link between health and productivity. That is hardly a new concept. The phrase “A sound mind in a sound body” is quite old. In general, we all know that if you are sick, in pain, or under the weather, you will not be at your most productive. But what seems to not sink in is the idea that if you really want to excel at sales or in leadership, you really need to be working towards optimal health, not merely avoiding sickness.
Instead of talking in generalities, let’s take one person as an example. Let’s talk about actor, producer, and businessman Will Smith. He has made Fortune’s “40 Under 40” list. He is the first actor to have eight movies in a row bring in more than $100 million. He came from nothing and is now worth millions. He is viewed by many as an inspiration and role model for minorities. His list of personal accomplishments is quite long.
Focus on Will Smith
Will Smith has said “The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might be more talented than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple, right? You’re not going to out-work me. It’s such a simple, basic concept. The guy who is willing to hustle the most is going to be the guy who just gets that loose ball. The majority of people who aren’t getting the places they want or aren’t achieving the things that they want in this business is strictly based on hustle. It’s strictly based on being out-worked; it’s strictly based on missing crucial opportunities. I say all the time if you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready.”
More than an actor
As indicated above, everyone likely realizes that Will Smith is not just an actor but he is a leader in many ways: A producer, founder of I’m more than one company, community leader and so on. If you have ever seen him work the crowd at a red carpet event, you should realize he is also a consummate salesman. That is part of why his movies make so much money. So when he talks about hustle, he doesn’t just mean “work hard.” He also means you need to sell yourself. Constantly.
What may not be obvious is that in order to have the attitude he has, the first thing he needs is the physical stamina necessary to run you into the ground or die trying. If you have seen him in “I am Legend”, a movie filmed in his late thirties, you have seen with your own eyes the kind of phenomenal fitness he has. Similarly, he trained for months to put on the muscle necessary to portray legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. People who are not super healthy don’t do things like that. They simply can’t.
Health and fitness
So if you want to be a great sales person or leader, you first need to be the best that you can be. And that starts with being as healthy and fit as possible so you have the physical energy and mental focus to out-work others, to recognize opportunity when it presents itself and quickly take action, and to be as presentable and attractive as possible. The reality is that both sales and leadership are about influencing other people. Someone who is healthy and fit is far more personable than someone who is not.
Think about this: Shaking hands is a basic symbol of both friendliness and deal-making. People have to touch you to shake your hand. No one wants that if you are ill. Even if you are in good health generally but know there is room for improvement it can be a good idea to take a medical test to highlight where best to prioritize, be it diet or fitness levels. A routine lab test can highlight any problems or deficiencies you may have meaning you can take measures to address these under the advice of a medical professional.
So get cracking. Watch what you eat. Take your vitamins. Hit the gym. Get on that treadmill. Make sure you are healthy enough to be the last one to get off it when you are up against the competition. In other words: Every day.
If you are interested in having Eve guest post on your blog or website she can be emailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I watched this video recently and heard it again on the radio over the weekend. I was deeply touched by the effect of O.J. Brigance’s presence on the Baltimore Raven’s NFL football team.
But this is not only a football story, but an incredible life story as well!
Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
Have a great week.
Dallas Smith is the lead singer for one of my favourite Canadian bands of the last decade – Default. I have had the pleasure of meeting him on at least three occasions, because a good friend of mine worked for the band throughout the years.
Last year, Dallas decided to change it up, and release a country/rock cd. Well he did not miss a beat as he stepped in to a new genre of music! His latest single, “Jumped Right In”, just hit #4 on the Canadian Country charts.
An incredible accomplishment to say the least!
Here is the link to his website as well:
Have a listen and enjoy your weekend!
Do you ever not feel quite right? Things just aren’t as they should be? Maybe it only lasts a day, perhaps a week, month or possibly even years. I had these feeling about my career for a little less than 3 years.
It was October of 2009 that I lost my job, and it sucked. It sucked big time, but I shook it off and was back to work two months later. But that job did not work out, nor did the second, or the third! I had worked for one company for almost eight years before that, and had never categorized myself as a quitter, but I became quite self-conscious with all the changes. But I kept fighting, and believing in myself that I could do whatever I wanted with my career and life.
I stayed in touch over the past three years with a manager at an account during that time period before I was fired. I would stop by, catch up, try to sell him products and services that I was representing at the time. He was never far from my thoughts. We had discussed me coming to work with his company on several occasions, but the timing was never right.
Well that time has finally come and I start my new role on November 1st with that organization. A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I can look forward to work again every day from the moment my feet hit the floor each morning. When you change jobs every year for three years, you start to feel a little lost and temporarily forget what made you successful in the past.
Whatever “indefinite unsettledness” you may be feeling, it will go away, I promise you that. But only if you work at it. I had some horrible days; weeks for that matter over the past three years, but I never gave up. In fact, the best thing that came out of these past three years was picking up a note pad and pen, and starting to write. Now I have this blog, I am in Toastmasters, and I look forward to writing a book, possibly training, teaching and speaking to others somewhere down the line.
As abrasive as it sounds, you need to have that moment where you say something like “screw it, I know I can do this“. And keep fighting for what you really want.
Good luck and remember, if I can get past my “indefinite unsettledness”, so can you!
Special thanks to Michael Kroll over at The Sales Effect for bringing this video to my attention last week. I followed Michael Gerber’s work a couple of years ago, but not as much recently.
After hearing him speak on this video, I am going to look him up again!
Bruce Zimmerman is someone that I have enjoyed corresponding with on Twitter and LinkedIn for quite some time now. He is professional, outgoing and brings an incredible depth of knowledge to his blog. I had the good fortune of speaking to Bruce for the first time a few weeks ago, and I really enjoyed it! I look forward to future interactions with my new blogging and social media friend. Check out this insightful post on Keys To Success.
Some of the most valuable lessons I have learned in life I have learned through sports. Competing from an early age, I was fortunate to learn the value of hard work, persistence, and determination. Growing up one of my favorite athletes was Pete Rose. He wasn’t the most talented player in the major leagues, but what he lacked in talent he made up for with effort and his willingness to make something happen. He gave everything he had every time he played. His persistence and determination earned him the nickname “Charlie Hustle”.
So what if anything can be learned from “Charlie Hustle”? (other than don’t bet on baseball)
It is that persistence and determination are absolutely indispensable if you are to be successful in any endeavor. No matter what it is that you hope to accomplish, the obstacles you may face, or what others may think; persistence and determination…
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