Archive for May, 2009


Management Rewards, Management Strategies, Sales With Purpose No Comments »


Dear Manager,

At a very early age, most likely on the playground, we learned how to compete. Little did we know that we were establishing a foundation for today’s success. We learned that to be a winner we will not always win. We learned that having lost, we are not necessarily a loser. Read this a second time. I believe that down in the deepest recesses of our spirit, we have never fully accepted this absolute truth. This is the same competitive spirit that drives us all. While we might say we are competing with others, truth be told, we are only competing with ourselves.

Based on the many correlations I have drawn between sports and business, one might assume that I have enjoyed an illustrious relationship with competitive sports. Unfortunately, I was young for my grade and washed out of organized team sports after my freshman year. I have since enjoyed individual sports, re-living the elusive dramatic moves of my youth, though only my wife shows enthusiasm for my occasional success. My greatest understanding of sport has come from business…

Like it or not, we are all competitors. We all aspire to be one of the best at what we do, for some … it’s to be a champion. The essential aspects of life, nourishment, housing and simple pleasures, all require that we compete. It is a burning desire that motivates all of us. Take that burning desire, increase its intensity ten-fold, and you can begin to understand the heart of a champion. We can all learn from this intensity, regardless of our desire to embrace the many demands and sacrifices required.

Yes, there is a price to being a champion. Champions can be very one dimensional in nature. Outside their area of expertise it may even be difficult for them to carry on a conversation. Relationships often suffer; one’s self-serving, driving sense of accomplishment may not be at the top of another’s list of priorities. We have all seen the down side risk, yet are still intrigued by a champion.


Have you ever noticed the eyes of a Champion? In a competitive environment, and without a single word, their eyes will reflect an intense resolve and quiet confidence. These individuals have a clear respect for their competition. Rarely will the voice of a champion feel the need to boast, let alone justify their greatness. Those who do must back it up with achievement. Performance is the only standard. It is the single voice of their accomplishment.

A. The quiet confidence of a Champion is founded on the premise that we all compete on a level playing field. We all enjoy an equal opportunity to enjoy greatness. Certainly we all enjoy varied strengths and weaknesses, just like those of a Champion! It’s not that this life provides only a few of us with shortcomings. A Champion looks to how she or he can enhance and take even greater advantage of their strengths, while at the same time minimizing their vulnerability and improving upon their weaknesses.

B. The belief system of a Champion is something to behold. Does the Pope believe? Let me tell you, so does the Champion! With every fiber of their spirit, this individual believes in the ability to ultimately control the outcome. Will there be major road blocks? Will there be nay-sayers? Will there be setbacks? Count on it. These individuals understand adversity, and cut through to the heart of the obstacle!

C. These individuals take nothing for granted. I would go so far as to say they live with a real sense of paranoia relating to their competition. They have personally found the keys to the gates of greatness … others must be in hot pursuit!?! (Butterflies are simply an additional motivational tool.) Discipline at its highest level can best describe their work habits. In the back of their mind they can’t help wondering who might be working to close the gap …while they sleep.

D. These individuals have thrown out all previously accepted standards relating to work ethic. These individuals reach for infinite performance. Did anyone ever believe we’d break a four minute mile or add another revolution to a double lutz? Clearly there are no boundaries! These individuals understand one of their greatest advantages is the competition’s willingness to accept current standards relating to greatness.

E. A Champion is a great daydreamer. A complete visualization carries him or her thorough the rough spots. This individual will often lose all sense of reality between the feelings of future accomplishment and the feelings of actual accomplishment after the fact. A sixth sense develops that allows them to genuinely feel the other five senses in advance of the accomplishment. These individuals can smell it … they can taste it!

F. Finally, these individuals understand the only true competition. It can be found in their own personal resolve and in the depths of their own spirit. Nothing will come between their human ability to succeed and their ultimate success. These individuals assume full and total control for the results. A day of less than their own standards of perfection is of their own doing, and a result of choices they have made.

Very few in life will accept the sacrifices demanded by peak performance. There is no divine or personal responsibility to do so. Can you possibly imagine the log jam at the top? We can all learn a great deal from the heart of a champion. Being a student of those at the top is the first step toward bridging the gap. We’ve all seen individuals take a shot at those who have attained higher performance than themselves. It’s much safer to minimize and cheapen the accomplishments of others than to acknowledge one’s own shortcomings.

We would all like to hold the brass ring at least once in our lifetime! The keys to our own Championship are in our ability to identify our own shortcomings, put aside all ego and insecurities, and rush to the front of the line to …


There is such a huge resource available if we wish to become a student of our chosen profession. It is much easier to become complacent with our own acceptable levels of accomplishment. Watch for speakers of distinction, take additional training, read biographies of those you admire. Search out the assistance of individuals through whom you can find personal growth. Buy them lunch once a month, hire them as a coach or personal assistant, ask probing questions dealing with areas of contrasting approach and style. What better investment could an individual make?

There is not a reader (or author) reading this today that does not have their own bag of shortcomings. It’s time, once and for all, to drive a Mack truck through them. This is the heart of a Champion, this is the difference between losing and being a loser … winning and being a winner.

Personal Regards,


INTERPERSONAL© is published by INTERPERSONALBIZ.COM, Keenan Longcor, Editor, ©2009. Duplication of this publication is permitted for both personal and business use. Excerpts may only be quoted with acknowledgment of INTERPERSONAL/INTERPERSONALBIZ.ORG as the source. For re-publication rights, please contact the editor at KEENAN@INTERPERSONALBIZ.COM


Management Rewards, Management Strategies, Sales Management Abundancy No Comments »


Dear Manager,

In conversations with managers, it has become clear to all of us that the evolution of the marketplace has created a definite shift in the recruitment of both employees and field staff members.

The hiring of one’s staff is the most important aspect of management. It is as close as we get to a treasure hunt, with the gold just a single and fortuitous interview away. A quality staff is a very positive reflection of our business. Will we always hit pay dirt in the hiring process? No. I am convinced, however, that while market conditions play a significant role there are always strong candidates in pursuit of meaningful opportunity. The worst possible reaction to challenging times is to lower the standards established by current staff members.

The hiring process is not what it once was, yet the fundamentals have survived decades of economic and market transition. In a tight job market, the number of quality applicants can often be reduced; the opposite can also be true dependant on the job market. Does this mean we will settle or will we become single-minded in the process to ensure success? Is there an insurance policy available should we crash and burn?!

I can remember once being in the position of needing to hire two new associates simultaneously. After having spent many weeks in my hiring endeavors, I was prepared to offer positions to two outstanding applicants. It seemed so simple and so right when they accepted the positions. Equally as simply, a week later they both changed their minds!

One of the positions had been offered to an individual whose soon-to-be former employer offered her increased salary, flex hours, a bonus, and stock options if she were to reconsider. The second position was offered to a very successful industry veteran who realized that her heart just wasn’t in it anymore and it was “time to do something different.” Even though their commitments to me had been sincere (and their training completed) they had no choice but to reevaluate their situation. I accepted both decisions with a dose of understanding and an equal dose of disappointment.

Certainly there were second place finishers in the original interview process, and pressure was building to fill these positions. Will second best meet the long-term needs of the organization? Is second best simply an easy way out of a more difficult scenario? Is it better to have a vacant position or a long-term commitment to mediocrity?

With an even greater commitment to success I began the process in earnest … all over again. The second search created a new set of demands, as the normal grace period had passed (at least from my own perspective and sense of urgency). The challenge became my resolution to be patient, complete my original objective, and compete for the best.


First, define the qualities you are looking for in this individual. Begin with the review of similar qualities that you admire in other members of your staff. Write them down and begin to envision them in the individual you are attracting to your organization. Never, never compromise on these fundamentals.

Supply and demand dictate all business markets. Is what you are offering CURRENTLY competitive with market conditions? Is your salary and bonus package aggressive in finding only the best? If you offer commissioned positions, is your commission structure and selling package attractive as compared to similar companies in your industry? In other words, are you looking for a miracle?


Are you accurately and effectively promoting the benefits, advantages “and virtues” of working with your organization? Be knowledgeable about the advantages you can provide as compared to competitors and the job market as a whole. We should never have to hard-sell a position with our company to anyone. Without question, we should be candid and objective about who and what our organization is and has to provide.

Pre-screen your prospective applicants. There is nothing worse than wasting your valuable time, let alone the time of a poorly qualified applicant. With just a few minutes on the phone, their attitudes and qualifications can be defined.

Have you checked out the best in the industry? Compile an on-going list of top applicants for current and future review. Speak with business associates, fellow staff members and customers to find out who is the best-of-the-best in the marketplace. In a casual conversation at a recent trade show I was given the name of an outstanding salesperson who had just put themselves on the job market (I hired her!). A more aggressive approach to your own research is imperative in all employment markets. In a strong employment market, individuals who understand their value will go shopping.

Have you considered hiring from within? There are surely individuals in your organization who have the proven capacity and abilities to reach for new heights. You never want to reward average performance with additional responsibility, yet the best you have should be considered for increased opportunities.

It has become apparent that the market has begun to provide very highly skilled individuals who wish to work on a part-time basis. These individuals are former full-time professionals who have begun to feel stagnant and are looking for a challenging position that meshes with their changing needs. Due to family and other considerations, flexibility in hours has now become their priority.

The question becomes, can you structure the position(s) to use this dynamic resource? The quality of work produced by highly motivated part-time employees can be simply outstanding. You might even find that these individuals succeed beyond their full-time counterparts. Their professional history dictates their drive and commitment. Why not consider two part-time positions for your next full-time opening?

Are you prepared to meet with an applicant a second or third time? I’m the first to admit that on occasion my gut has told me in less than five minutes that the perfect applicant is in clear view. Let’s face it, the interviewing process is little more than a dance. Expectations are uncertain, and the first interview provides an hour or so to share what you believe the other wants to hear. Only in a second interview can all parties begin to address their honest concerns and expectations.

The quickest route to failure in any new working relationship is in the lack of adequate, formalized training. I am consistently amazed by the number of sales people asked to fend for themselves with NO initial training. Our greatest opportunity for impact with a new individual is in the very first days and weeks of the relationship. A sizable portion of our investment must come on the front end. In addition to your own commitment, ask for the assistance of those who can enthusiastically teach others the fundamentals, details and essence of exactly how to be the best at what they do.

Let the treasure hunt begin. Yes, the current market has indeed changed. We all have the opportunity to compete for the best. Or, we can settle and rationalize that a very difficult job market has ravaged our business. As in all aspects of management, the choice becomes ours. I recently read a terrific quotation relating to management and this exact scenario. “In business the general rule is that people bet on the jockey, not on the horse.”

Personal Regards,


INTERPERSONAL© is published by INTERPERSONALBIZ.COM, Keenan Longcor, Editor, ©2009. Duplication of this publication is permitted for both personal and business use. Excerpts may only be quoted with acknowledgment of INTERPERSONAL/INTERPERSONALBIZ.ORG as the source. For re-publication rights, please contact the editor at KEENAN@INTERPERSONALBIZ.COM