Now think for a moment, have you ever worked with someone who really does put the “me” in team? My guess is that one or two people come to mind. I know I have worked with one or two and it’s not a lot of fun.
I’m not much of a golfer. In fact, I’m no golfer at all. But my youngest son has caught golf fever and, as a result, I got to watch the final round of the British Open on television. The golf didn’t interest me as much as the mental aspects of what transpired.
If you didn’t see it, Adam Scott had a four stroke lead with four holes to play. He had just birdied hole number 14 to extend his lead and had been playing brilliantly all day. He looked to have the victory in hand.
If you’ve read any of my writing, you know I hold legendary football coach Vince Lombardi in high regard. I’m a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan and have great admiration for the man who coached the team during the 1960s, so I often quote him when I write.
One quote often attributed to Lombardi is, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” And while Lombardi wasn’t the first to utter those words (they’re actually attributed first to UCLA Bruins football coach Red Sanders dating back to 1949), he did, on occasion, use those exact words.
I consider myself reasonably open to new ideas and exploring new opportunities, but the other day when a financial consultant began questioning some things we have and have not done in our business I felt my temperature begin to rise.
I must admit it was my idea to take this consultant and his colleague to dinner after they’d spend the better part of the day reviewing our financial results. It seemed like a good idea to spend some time outside the office getting to know the people who were reviewing our finances. What I didn’t expect was for this guy to be an expert in our industry after spending all of about six hours reviewing our finances and without even stepping foot inside our company.
Rest and relaxation are important ingredients to maintaining a healthy and productive work life. Sounds funny doesn’t it? Not “ha ha” funny, but a little strange to say that rest and relaxation are critical to being productive at work, but they are. Taking time away from work lets you come back to the office refreshed, reenergized, and rejuvenated.
Recently, the Miami Heat won the NBA championship. It was the team’s first title since the “Big Three” — LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh — joined forces, with great fanfare, predicting a multitude of championships for the Heat a few years back.
This year’s championship silenced a lot of critics who, after a couple of years passed without a title, started to openly question whether the famous trio and those around them were a team or just a compilation of talented individuals.
I’m always intrigued with presidential politics. Specifically, I like to watch how politicians — often with track records in a governor’s mansion, Congress, or even the White House — go about getting elected or re-elected. Maybe it’s the marketer in me, but I’m fascinated by the way the candidates position themselves to win an election.
Take a look at the 2012 presidential race between President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. The race has already taken on a very negative tone. A recent study by Wesleyan University showed that 70% of the ads run for this election have been negative. That compares with just more than 9% at the same point in the 2008 presidential election. By my math, that means ads are more than 7 times more likely to be negative this go-around!
It can be hard to describe good customer service, but you sure know it when you see it. Last week, I was at — of all things — a baseball tournament in the greater Atlanta-metro area. The tournament wasn’t a small volunteer undertaking. The organization that sponsored the tournament is national in scope and has a great deal of experience holding these events. In this case, more than 100 teams were playing at fields all over Atlanta.
When it came to customer service these guys had it figured out. The staff, made up mostly of high school and college kids, was friendly and poised. In each interaction I had with one of the tournament employees, I walked away impressed.
When people question what it takes to be successful in business, my response is often, “You should ask someone who is.” The best way to learn about anything is to ask someone who has been successful at it.
If you want to learn how to throw a great curve ball, ask someone who throws a wicked curve ball. If you want to know how to bake the perfect chocolate cake, talk to the best baker you can find. If fishing is your passion and you want to know how to land the big ones, ask someone whose walls are covered with fishing trophies. Likewise, in business if you want to know what it takes to be successful, ask people who know.
Have you ever noticed how traveling with someone helps you really get to know them? In 1976, my mother, two siblings, and I embarked on a trip across the country with my grandparents. My father, what a wise man he was, somehow avoided this particular trip. The six of us spent two weeks together “on vacation” with a full half of it spent riding in the car — three across the front seat and three across the back.
Now, as you would expect, I knew my mother and siblings quite well, but in those two weeks I really got to see another side of my grandparents. I learned their habits, their triggers, and their personalities. My grandfather, for instance, was a big breakfast man. For two weeks, I got to see him consume two eggs, bacon, toast, coffee, orange juice, and, much to the chagrin of a 10-year-old, two prunes. That was breakfast for Grandpa. Like I said, I got to know him well.