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  • Teamwork

    Guest Post By: Gary Michels

     

    blueangels
    When I think of the ultimate in teamwork, I think of the Blue Angels flight team.  These pilots must be not only perfect but also precise in their daily performances.   They do this not only entertain, but to stay alive.  They raise the bar in a multitude of ways.  Their passion for what they do along with the amount of preparation and dedication to being the best is remarkable.  Regarding teamwork, when it is at its best, amazing standards are being set daily.  What level do you think your team is currently operating?  I am referring to the team you work with, and perhaps your family unit as well? Where do you and your team and need to raise the bar?  What areas do you think need the most improvement?
    Below you will find a few common characteristics seen in teams that work well together and achieve significant successes, both together and as individuals.

    teamwork

    Teams that rock, or are wildly successful, tend to share certain common values.  I find these teams typically have very focused goals along with a passion for succeeding.  You can ask any member of that team what is the focus of their team.  Each member of the team will know the main goal and they will all answer in a similar fashion. These teammates are so committed to their shared goals and success that they will put the success of the team first and be willing to make personal sacrifices in order to help the team.  One person on the team may purposefully take a back seat for a short while and let another teammate succeed.  They realize that a short-term sacrifice of glory and ego, today will help the entire team in the long run.

    When you are a part of a top team, teamwork is not something you only do part time. You live your life by doing what is best for the team.   I like to teach the concept of either/and instead of either/or. Top leaders of top teams must have a team first attitude and mentality.  Also, they must make sure they are performing at their very best.  When you are at your very best, in most cases you are helping the team as well.

    Top teams tend to consist of several leaders, leaders that are confident and skilled enough to walk the talk, not just talk the talk. In all areas both personal and professional you will see top teams whose leaders lead by example and set the pace. They are proactive, rather than reactive and plan on winning no matter what.

    Yet another part of teamwork to be aware of is trust.  Teams that have a great chemistry also have amazing trust for one another.  This comes from amazing communication amongst the team.  Often teammates will carve out  time to communicate when challenges arise.  Typically the type of situations that may threaten the bond and success of their team.  Often, trust is broken when communication is poor.  People who want to grow their teamwork skills must make good communication a priority.

    Teams that succeed are the teams that prepare the most. They often work harder and more diligently than anyone would imagine. Whether its additional hours of work in order to prepare, or tenacious effort during the hours of preparation, strong teams do the work. Ask yourself this question: Does your team put, less, the same, or more work when preparing for success than the average team?  The answer probably lies in your results.  If your team isn’t where you want it to be, it is because you need to work on becoming more prepared.

    Lastly, great teams have great attitudes. Attitude stems from what and how teammates talk to themselves when no one else is around.  They have clear affirmations and the words they said whether to themselves or to their team.  Of course, things happen in life and having a good attitude and good self-talk can help everyone bounce back fast from the challenges one may experience.

    You don’t see winners walking around defeated and down.  It’s because they have mastered the self – talk and attitude skill set.

    What type of team do you want to build? When do you want to start? What are you and your teams biggest growth areas to Turn It Up A Notch in your teamwork abilities?

     

    Gary Michels is a co-founder of Southwestern Consulting. He is a keynote speaker, sales trainer and business consultant and has motivated nearly 1,000,000 people to achieve their highest potential nationwide. Gary spent 19 successful years as a sales representative for a national fund-raising company.


  • Achieve Your Dreams

    Achieve Your Dreams

    It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. ~ Joanne Kathleen Rowling

    As I talk to people around the world, I have heard many say more than once that “my perfect dream would be….” or something to that effect. So, I thought I would talk a bit about this today.

    The key to achieving your dreams is simply making a choice to do just that – go for it. The most common difference between those who have an AWESOME life and those who don’t is simply the choices they make every day. It is not their circumstances, the way they were raised, or even their education as most people think. Most people who don’t accomplish their dreams simply choose not to. They just are not willing to do what is necessary to have a life that good.

    Think about your life for a minute . . .

    What do you want and what will it take to get it? What do you really want in all the areas of your life? So why haven’t you been doing what it will take to get there? I imagine, of course, you are doing some of the things, but why not all of them or most of them?

    Before you start with the excuses, ask yourself if you really had to, could you? Let me make it a little clearer how this is a choice. I don’t like to think these thoughts, but it will help you understand that you can do it if you want it bad enough.

    If the person or persons you care most about in life depended on you living your dream, could you absolutely 100% do it?

    We both know the answer… of course you could and you would.

    Once again, life is a series of choices.  I like to call them the Y’s in the road.

    In most cases, if you take the easy path, the one most people take, you will experience short-term gain (it’s easier to live a life that is ¼ of ½ or what you actually want) and long-term pain (the regret of never going for what you want).

    Let’s look at it this way:

    Choosing the ½ life nets you short-term gain, long-term pain.

    Choosing to really go for what you want nets you short-term pain (e.g. major adjustments need to be made to move in this direction, which could result in changing jobs, moving house, ending relationships, any number of what may be considered big stressors) and the long-term gain (once you’re firmly set on the path, the personal and professional joy and satisfaction will far outweigh the initial upset).

    I WANT YOU TO REALLY THINK ABOUT THIS LAST THOUGHT. How can some of your choices change for long-term gain by taking the short-term pain?

    Start “Turning It Up A Notch” by making the choice every day to FEEL GOOD…Because when you FEEL GOOD, you are ATTRACTIVE… when you are ATTRACTIVE, you have AMAZING PRODUCTIVITY… when you have AMAZING PRODUCTIVITY, you have EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS… and when you have EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS, you feel even better!  This is what I call the CIRCLE OF SUCCESS! And when does success start? Success Starts Now!™. That’s right, baby!

    So make the choice to live a life of pure magic. Pay the price of short-term pain, receive the long-term gain and kick up your heels and dance – life is for LIVING!

    What one thing can you do today to move yourself toward your dream? Doesn’t matter how small, even just leafing through a magazine about people doing the things you want to do is not insignificant…it starts your mind believing what you want it attainable.

    Make it an incredibly successful week.

     

    Gary Michels

    Co-Founder Southwestern Consulting™
    408-888-4848
    www.southwesternconsulting.com

    www.turnitupanotch.com
     

                           

     

     

     

     

     


  • Why are Some People Successful?

    Why are Some People Successful and Others Not? Let me count the ways . . .  

    I was recently listening to a podcast from Sam Crowley of Every Day is Saturday and I was so excited to hear his enthusiasm and excitement about all of the possibilities for success that await those who seek it out. I am sharing his message with you today, because it is the same message that the Southwestern Consulting™ team shares in their workshops, seminars, writings and the actual work that they do everyday.

    If you are looking for a quick, get rich quick scheme this isn’t it. But, if you are a hard-working person willing to give your best everyday, then success is within your reach. Listen now to “Over Deliver on Your Promises and Stand Out From Everyone Else” and let me know what you think.

    To your success,

    Dawn Beauvais

    Social Media Manager, Southwestern Consulting™

    Thank you to Sam Crowley for his permission to link to his podcast.

  • GET OFF TO A FAST START IN 2011

     

    The most successful salespeople I know get off to a fast start in the New Year.  They realize that if they start the year over plan they can build on their success throughout the year.  Otherwise you spend most of your year just trying to catch up.  Here is a recap of the 5 ways to have a fast start:

    1. Renew and Up-Sell Existing Clients:  We need to treat last year’s production as a foundation for this year’s revenue!  Ask yourself this question; who could be using more of your services? Start there. Step 1, make an active account list and identify where additional business lies. If you can identify additional services they should be doing label those on your sheet.  Step 2, schedule Re-Focus Meetings with each of these accounts so you can stay aware of potential business opportunities and get referrals!
    2. Regain Former Clients:  Identify five to ten former customers that haven’t used your services in the last 3-5 years.  Send a ‘New Year’s message’ email just touching base, updating them, re-providing them with your contact information and offering them a ‘review meeting’ to go over their current financial situation.
    3. Ask for (and receive) Referrals on a Regular Basis from active clients:  It’s important to set the stage for referrals with all of your customers.  One good way to do that is to teach your customers how to give referrals by giving them a referral.  Identify five good customers that haven’t given you a referral in the past and if possible start the referral process by giving them a referral. The 2nd thing you should do is send them a ‘New Year’s message’ email following the former client email but instead of offering a ‘review meeting’ you will be asking for referrals! The goal is to get a 5% referral return rate.
    4. Target Specific Companies/Industries for New Business Development: Profile what your “best” customer looks like and create a prospect “Hit List”. You have already done this do you are ahead of the game here!
    5. Generate Additional Referral Resources:  In order to outsmart your competition you need to create yourself a niche market within a set group of 6-10 repeat referral partners.  One way to stick out among other financial advisors is to highlight what it is that you do that your competition doesn’t do, can’t do or won’t do in this market place. The goal would be to get 1 solid referral/month from each referral partner.  The target is on accounting firms and bonding firms.

     

    Here is the text I generally use for obtaining referrals via email. Feel free to use and edit this as you see fit.

     

    Hi ______,

    First of all, I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are having a great start to 2011! I am looking forward to getting this year underway which is actually why I am emailing you today. I just wanted to give you a quick update on some new things that I will be doing in my business this year that you may or may not be aware of.     (list 1-2 things that you are doing this year … i.e.; seminar classes, newsletters, etc…)

     

    Sample verbiage:

    In 2011 I will be proactively holding educational seminar classes for my clients on a variety of topics including; ___,___,___. I will be conducting private classes for organizations, as well as be participating in hosting public seminars available to all of my clients free of charge. I will also be incorporating a quarterly newsletter for my clients to keep you updated on market trends, industry facts, new products and services and all company updates. Lastly, I would like to invite you to join my professional network on LinkedIn so that we may continue to keep in touch on a regular basis.

     

    I look forward to speaking with you soon as I will be following up via telephone in the next several weeks to go over a review of your account. Please feel free to contact me in the meantime if you have any questions.

     

    Lastly, I was actually hoping to ask a favor of you. As you know, your business is very important to me and I look forward to continuing our business relationship for years to come. I was curious to know if you knew of anyone who is currently looking to ___,____ or ____. Or perhaps you know someone who is just looking to switch advisors and needs a good recommendation. Whatever the case may be I wanted to ask the favor of you to please let me know if you know of someone who may be looking to work with or simply talk to a financial advisor. If so, I would love the opportunity to meet them to see if I could be of assistance.  Thank you in advance for these efforts.

     

    Wishing you continued success in 2011!

     

    In the Spirit of Success,

    Amanda Johns

    Corporate Partner and Program Director

    Southwestern Consulting

    ajohns@southwesternconsulting.com

    Corporate website: http://www.southwesternconsulting.com

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