Archive for Team Building

How Winning Organizations Transform Their Conference Openings from Average to Unforgetable

“Logic will get you from A to B.
Imagination will take you everywhere.”

Albert Einstein

My name is Sam Glenn and for the past 20 years, companies and associations from every type of industry, have hired me for one very specific purpose. They want an exceptional conference opening that captures the human attention, creates focus, produces energy and promotes engagement for the balance of their event. It sounds like a mouthful, but a conference opening is the one segment that sets the tone for the rest of the conference.

The opening session either creates focus, enthusiasm and engagement or it’s business as usual and hoping for the best.

How do you know if you need to upgrade your conference opening session?

One big sign is if the best seat in the house is located anywhere in the back of the meeting room away from the front. If attendees scramble to fill up the back of a conference room first, it should communicate that people do not fully trust the stage or agenda of presentations that will be taking place. Their frame of reference for this reasoning is based on past conference experiences. They feel the safer place is away from the front or stage area. The good news is, with a little strategic planning, this can easily be adjusted. The front of a meeting room should be like a magnet that draws people in with readiness and excitement.

So, let’s play this out a little — let’s say your company is planning their annual conference for leadership. Your event will be held in Orlando, Florida. Most everyone arrives the day before the conference officially begins and there is an opening cocktail reception that evening. Then the next morning, breakfast starts at 7-7:30 and 8 am sharp the conference opening starts. The day is filled with general sessions, workshops, concurrent breakouts, networking, training, possible team building and extra curricular activities. The next few days are jammed packed with learning, and more networking and activities. By the time the conference is over, you are pretty much ready for a 12 hour nap. Sound familiar yet?

The question is, how will you (your company or association) start your event knowing that everyone is going to need a lot of energy and focus to be engaging, learn and participate???

Some organizations stick to the same format year after year because they are simply afraid to change or fear resistance from attendees. Let’s be real, nobody really loves change, but do you know what conference attendees dislike even more than change? A boring -no life -put you to sleep – same as usual opening session. Trust me, I give 100 + speeches per year, and after 20 years of doing this professionally, you pick up on what works and what doesn’t. If people aren’t engaged, then what’s the point of being there?

When you are planning your company or association conference

It’s important to understand the two most memorable or what I call “stick with people” moments to any event are – the opening and closing. Again, for the sake of this article, I’m gong to focus on the opening because the opening is the key segment that defines everything else.

Think of it this way – do you have a favorite sports team? Do you like when they won? Of course you do. Now, what do you think a winning coach might say to “your” personal favorite sports team before game time? Do you think the coach gets everyone pumped up, focused and ready to play? Or do you think the coach simply tells the players to hope for the best? If you had to pick an option for your personal favorite sports team, which option might you pick? When you want people to win, hoping for the best is simply not a winning strategy. The game plan must consist of raising the energy level, establishing focus and preparing for engagement.

Strategy is key to crafting an effective
and energetic opening conference session.

I subscribe to Steve Jobs philosophy, “Keep it simple.” This doesn’t have to be complicated at all. Here are 3 simple rules to transforming any conference opening from average to unforgettable! And by the way, these ideas are what Winning organizations do who desire their people to win everyday – in service, leadership, sales, teamwork, etc..

Rule #1. Energy is essential.

You want your opening session to have LIFE. If people have traveled in the night before, chances are they maybe a little fatigued. It means they have been working, had to pack, prepare and plan to attend. Their energy level may not be at a 10. Now, I travel over 200+ days a year. which puts me into a category called road warrior, however when I get off a plane, I feel exhausted. Travel equals fatigue. Take my word for it, travel by land or air, it can zap you of valuable energy. So imagine how unseasoned travelers might feel when they arrive to the conference? A lack of energy creates a lack of focus and engagement.

Creating an energetic opening doesn’t mean people have to be jumping all over or bouncing off the walls. If you watch or attend a Tony Robbins event, the reason he gets everyone fired up, jumping around and going full on bananas is a strategy. It’s done with a purpose. Tony does this to get people energized because they are going to require a lot of energy to learn, think and grow based on their week long conference agenda.

To get people focused and excited about learning, growing and getting involved, energy will be required. Coffee will help, but it won’t be enough.

Rule #2. Position presentations
and presenters with purpose.

Recently, I attended a conference and the opening was the CEO giving a 55 minute “meat and potatoes” kind of speech about the state of the company, partnered with a less than thrilling power point. All while the audience seemed out of it, tired, unfocused and disengaged. There was no part of that opening that captivated and connected. It was business as usual. Conservative or not, creating a captivating opening should be a huge priority if you value the overall purpose of why you are there having a meeting in the first place.

My suggestion: Position the meat and potato
type sessions for the middle of your event.

I understand a lot of elements have to be squeezed in to a very short time period. However, to be effective with these elements, it’s best to position them where they will have the greatest impact and connect with people verse just doing something to mark it off the checklist. Sandwich the heavy stuff between an awesome opening and a grand finale closing.

If your CEO or someone in leadership wants to do a greeting, that works and I think a warm greeting is always a must- but keep it simple. They should greet people, praise them for being there, maybe share a personal story and why they are looking forward to the conference – be heartfelt and connect. Then follow that with a really great opening presentation that fuels people to go from fatigued to charged up. The goal of a great opening is to get everyone focused, ready to participate, learn, grow and be engaged. This is smart and strategic planning.

You want to be strategic about who and what you position in the opening. It can be fun, creative, entertaining or balance out part of the opening that may entail heavier agenda objectives. What I often suggest to my clients is they don’t have to overhaul everything, but implement some balance.

Sometimes when I speak at an opening, the first half of the opening may be on the heavier side, but my program balances everything out going into a break. Think about it, you probably don’t want to start things off with a social media presentation, a panel session or a sad story kind of presentation. While those may be great segments to have depending on your group and agenda, they are not effectively positioned as strong in the opening.

The reason my clients love opening with my presentation is that it’s not to content heavy, but it’s a session “purposely designed” to get the audience focused and ready for the rest of the meeting. I have done this for every industry you imagine and it works for all of them – healthcare, real estate, employee meetings, insurance industry, banking, education, sales, leadership, sports, plumbing, administration, retail, government, legal, manufacturing, oil, agriculture, food and that list goes on and on.

Often, I am the only non industry speaker at these events, but I am there with a purpose – I am an expert at kick starting a meeting. My clients want that because they more than want the entire event to be a great experience for their employees or members.

There are so many unique and creative ways to open a conference. One of my clients in the banking industry hired a famous drummer to kick start things and he brought the place to their feet. It got so loud, the conference center thought there was an earthquake. That’s awesome!!
I’m not suggesting a drummer for your opening, but it’s an idea.

Now remember, not all openings have to be
over the top, crazy or insane.

It’s about positioning the right presentation that will set the right tone. My personal tools for creating engagement involve using humor in my speeches and performance art that visually communicates a simple message. At the end of the conference, the group that hired me might auction my painting off for a special cause they support. It normally auctions between $2,000 -$29,000! I also give away a free painting to someone in the audience. So I try to make the experience fun, offer take away points that pertain to personal and professional growth, but most importantly set a tone of enthusiasm, focus and energy for the balance of the event.

Positioning is everything when it comes to a great conference opening session.

transform opening session with strategic plan
Rule #3. Have Fun.

The more fun you have, the better your event will be. Even if it’s a lot of training and informational sessions, you can still have some fun.

This last year, a few groups I worked with actually based their conference theme off the title of my book, Be Your Own Real Life Superhero. They decorated everything in a superhero theme and even allowed attendees to dress as their favorite superhero for the evening reception or pick a t-shirt at registration that signified their favorite superhero and inspirational quote. I personally like to make learning fun, and it creates more retention. It creates a memory that people talk about and look forward to again.

One meeting I spoke at last month was a retail Jeweler, and they did it right. From the start they made energy, focus and engagement a priority. They were impressive to say the least. But the key factor was the leaders and planners worked as a TEAM, worked hard and had an incredible amount of fun in the process. It transferred over to all the attendees. They all had fun!!
Fun is one of my favorite attitudes and a key element to Winning in life and setting the tone to a great conference.

If you found this article useful, please share it with someone in your organization who could benefit from it.

Sam Glenn
Award Winning Motivational Speaker, author and performance artist
Celebrating 20 years of empowering and inspiring conference openings
Booking Inquiries

4 Leadership Skills to a Positive Work Atmosphere

4 Leadership Skills to a Positive Work Atmosphere

Wе hаνе all worked in places where we grew to drеаd getting up in the morning, and a few οf υѕ hаνе hаd thе pleasure οf working fοr a boss whο mаkеѕ υѕ feel lіkе wе саn dο anything right. Lеt’s examine a few differences between a positive аnd a negative work environment.

Signs οf a Negative Work Environment

  • Thе boss іѕ unfriendly.
  • Thе boss іѕ critical.
  • Thеrе іѕ high employee turnover.
  • Thеrе іѕ low employee morale.
  • People watch thе clock.
  • People don’t gеt much performance feedback.

Sam Glenn, Leadership QuoteSigns οf a Positive Work Environment

  • Thе boss demonstrates interest іn thе employees.
  • Thе boss hаѕ аn encouraging attitude.
  • Employees lіkе working thеrе.
  • Thеrе іѕ evidence οf company pride аnd loyalty.
  • People know whеrе thеу stand wіth thеіr supervisors.

Thousands οf books hаνе bееn written οn thе subject οf managing аnd motivating people, аnd аѕ many training seminars аrе conducted οn thіѕ subject around thе world еνеrу day. And уеt іt’s іntеrеѕtіng thаt even wіth аll οf thіѕ available information, few companies succeed аt сrеаtіng a positive work environment. Why is that?  Is it really that complicated or is someone making it complicated?  My research points to someone or several who make the process difficult.  There are four simple skills that if you implement them, you will begin to experience a more positive work atmosphere.  Lеt’s see whаt’s involved.

Four Key Leadership Skills to a Positive Work Atmosphere

Crеаtіng a positive work environment іѕ based οn four key skills. Thеу аrе:

  • Tеll people whаt уου expect οf thеm.
  • Shοw interest іn уουr team members.
  • Crеаtе аn encouraging environment.
  • Recognize аnd reward gοοd performance.

Leadership Skill #1 to a Positive Work Atmosphere:

State Yουr Expectations

Telling people whаt уου expect οf thеm means doing thе following:

• Communicating expectations clearly

• Having a specific job description

• Identifying specific performance standards

• Specifying deadlines

• Setting goals

Leadership Skill #2 to a Positive Work Atmosphere:

Shοw Authentic Interest іn Yουr Team – Employees – Associates

Whаt behaviors convey thаt someone іѕ interested іn уου?

  • Mаkіng eye contact
  • Calling уου bу name
  • Asking уουr opinion
  • Smiling
  • Complimenting уουr work
  • Taking уουr suggestions

Thеѕе behaviors convey a lack οf interest:

  • Ignoring уου
  • Nοt knowing уουr name οr nοt using іt
  • Nοt asking уουr opinion
  • Ignoring уουr suggestions
  • Nοt commenting οn уουr work
  • Following уουr suggestion, bυt οnlу whеn heard frοm someone еlѕе

Such signs discourage productivity bесаυѕе thеу mаkе people feel discouraged, аngrу, less confident, аnd stripped οf self-esteem.

Leadership Skill #3 to a Positive Work Atmosphere:

Crеаtе аn Encouraging Environment

Mοѕt people wουld agree thаt аn encouraging work environment іѕ one whеrе:

  • Yουr іdеаѕ аrе valued.
  • Creativity іѕ encouraged.
  • Initiative and risks аrе encouraged.
  • Fun аnd laughter аrе accepted.
  • Nеw іdеаѕ аrе rewarded.
  • Yου feel appreciated.
  • People thank уου fοr уουr contributions.
  • Flexibility іѕ valued.
  • Yου feel lіkе раrt οf thе team.

Crеаtіng such аn environment results іn thе following benefits tο employees.


• Contribute more іdеаѕ.

• Feel more committed.

• Look forward tο coming tο work.

• Arе more productive.

• Hаνе increased self-esteem.

• Have loyalty

Crеаtіng such аn environment results іn thе following benefits tο managers аnd business owners:

• Less turnover

• Less sabotage

• Greater loyalty

• Easier tο find employees due tο gοοd reputation

• Higher productivity

Leadership Skill #4 to a Positive Work Atmosphere:

Recognize аnd Reward Gοοd Performance

A reinforcer іѕ anything thаt happens, аftеr a behavior, thаt tends tο increase thе chances thаt thе behavior wіll bе repeated. Meaning, if you like what someone is doing, reinforce it my acknowledging the action.   Included аrе such things аѕ:

• Compliments

• Smiles

• Thumbs-up gesture – a little cheesy, but still fun to do.

• Saying “Thank уου″

• Public announcement οf уουr achievement

• Positive letter іn уουr personnel file

• Promotion

• Time οff

• Special parking space

• First сhοісе οn schedule

• Dinner wіth thе boss

• Tickets tο аn event

• Extra employee discount

• Picture οn thе bulletin board

• Applause аt a meeting

  • A gift card for gasoline
  • An all paid vacation.  (my personal choice)

Here are a few Recognition Guidelines

  1. Describe thе results уου аrе recognizing. Bе specific. It’s іmрοrtаnt tο mаkе сеrtаіn thе employee knows whаt behavior οr accomplishment уου аrе referring tο.
  2. State уουr personal appreciation. Sау, “I appreciate іt.” Adding уουr personal appreciation mаkеѕ thе compliment feel more genuine.
  3. Encourage thе person tο continue producing such gοοd work. Thіѕ increases thе chances thаt thе person wіll repeat thе desirable behavior.

Would you like a more positive work environment and the positive benefits that come along with it?

Then,  start small to get the ball rolling in the right direction by taking initiative to implement these 4 skills to a positive work environment.  Are they hard to do?  Not at all.  Can you start right now?  Yes you can!


This information is compiled, researched and written by Sam Glenn, The Attitude Guy.   Sam is a sought after motivational speaker by companies and organizations that want to re-charge attitude’s for positive action.  Sam Glenn offers strategies that combat stress and negativity in the workplace and ideas that ramp up teamwork, communication and the right culture where people will thrive.  Sam Glenn is a great kick off or closing to any event.  Sam Glenn’s Official Website: (

3 Tips to Effectively Manage Change

It’s easy to say, “Have a good attitude,” but sometimes that is easier said than done.

I’ve devised these tips to get you started on keeping your team cohesive and with the best odds of success:

1. Hold weekly meetings.

If staff is cut back, or projects are being sliced or changed, undoubtedly there is a lot of uncertainty. This can create hearsay or confusion, which results in reduced productivity. A weekly meeting wherein objectives and updates are given clearly and concisely will improve team morale and success. Don’t forget to make your meetings fun!

2. Value progress over perfection.

I borrowed this from Larry Winget, but it’s a great tip. During times of change, you might not be accomplishing as much, as quickly. But if you are making progress, that is something to celebrate. Mark your calendar for the 15th of each month, and ask yourself where you are, and where you were last month. List at least 5 improvements you have made. If you haven’t made any, then plan them for the coming month.

3. My next tip – celebrate small victories.

You may not have budget for a lavish party, but surely you can pull off a potluck or bagel bar (bring in all your favorite toppings!). Low on time? Send a postcard to the desks of the employees you appreciate, letting them know what a great job they are doing. Be creative about what pictures you choose! The important thing to note is that employees feel the pinch too. They need your support and praise. They need good news, even if it is, “Hey, your signature looked REALLY good on that document yesterday!”

Remember, your attitude is your strongest bottom line, and often it will help increase your bottom line. So in all you do, think of your attitude as your “sink or swim” muscle. You either use it effectively, and move ahead. Or you flail around complaining, and sink to the bottom of the mucky lake. Which do you choose?

I know a lot of you have tips from the front lines on how to manage change. What do you do? Comment below!

10 Think Positive Quotes by Sam Glenn, The Attitude Guy

10 Think Positive Quotes by Sam Glenn, The Attitude Guy

Positive quotes inspire the mind to think better so we act better to achieve better. As I coined the phrase, “A positive quote a day keeps a negative attitude away!”   The following are 10 of my personal  think positive quotes to keep you positive and point your attitude and actions north.

Think Positive Quote #1: Your greatest opponent in life isn’t your competition, it is a negative thought.

Think Positive Quote #2: A positive attitude doesn’t stop negative things from happening to you, but it does give you the mental clarity and creativity to overcome the negative things better and faster than negative thinking will.

Think Positive Quote #3:  Enthusiasm gives your attitude and actions SOUL!

Think Positive Quote #4: Thinking negative has negative consequences.  If you want to change your consequences, then you have got to change your thinking.

Think Positive Quote #5: Your attitude can be your greatest asset or your biggest liability and you determine that every day.

Think Positive Quote #6: When you doubt yourself, you defeat yourself.  When you believe in yourself, anything is possible.

Think Positive Quote #7: In life we will look back and see either Footprints in the Sand or Butt Prints in the Sand. Footprints in a positive impression in time with the greatness of who you are. If you see footprints, it means you gave your best. If you see butt prints, it means you made excuses. Do your best with what you have every day.

Think Positive Quote #8:  Adversity doesn’t make appointments.  Adversity is an unscheduled appointment to wrestle with your attitude.  This is why you have to keep your attitude in tip top shape every day, because you never know what you may encounter.

Think Positive Quote #9:  Positive thinking will do more for you than negative thinking.  To think positive, you must feed your mind positive information daily.

Think Positive Quote #10:  Thinking positive is not about living in a fantasy land and ignoring reality, but rather it is developing the mental pathway to positive options for your life.  When you think negative, your mental pathway leads to a dead end.  When you think positive, you have a mental toughness to overcome obstacles, try new ideas and do what has to be done in order to succeed.

Motivational quotes are an excellent source of nutrition for your attitude.  It only takes you a few seconds to read one and the affects will last you a long time.  Read a positive quote every day.  A positive quote a day keeps a negative attitude away.

This information is compiled, researched and written by Sam Glenn, The Attitude Guy.   Sam is a sought after motivational speaker by companies and organizations that want to re-charge attitude’s for positive action.  Sam Glenn offers strategies that combat stress and negativity in the workplace and ideas that ramp up teamwork, communication and the right culture where people will thrive.  Sam Glenn is a great kick off or closing to any event.  Sam Glenn’s Official Website: (

“Bad News… We Are Broke”

It is easy to use this terminology when things are stretched as tight as possible. Companies are feeling the pinch everywhere. Some are robbing Peter to pay Paul. An employee of an organization reached out to me recently about getting some of my motivational materials to generate some positive energy in the workplace – ‘cause I am good at it. J However, the company vice president said, “We have zero training budget for that.  It’s bad news; we are broke in that department. We don’t have any funds to invest in personal development.”

The employee’s response was simple, yet dynamite! “How does an organization expect to get better and have better results when it is not investing in making their people better?”

Things that make you go “HMMMMM…”

Sam’s 5 Rules For Going from Broke to Positive

Read More →

Chilean miner rescue gives prime example of teamwork in action

It was inspiring! The anticipation built as Anderson Cooper narrated the final minutes of the first Chilean being rescued. With more than 60 days trapped in a mine, 33 Chilean miners got to see the light of hope and home through the power of teamwork. Observing the teamwork of the rescue and watching people pitch in and make the mission of the rescue realized, you can’t help but to feel inspired by the example of teamwork from the Chileans.

As I watched the first miner come to the surface after a 20-minute, half-mile ride in a small tube to the cheers of teammates— family, friends, a country—it was awesome!

You have to have teamwork in order to get the results you want. But sometimes teams, offices, and organizations get out of balance and the teamwork is not in full gear. Something is amiss. But really, when you think about teamwork, what might you decide is the starting point for teamwork?  Is it ability? Is it a plan? An idea? Or could it be ATTITUDE?

I have played on winning teams in sports and work, and I know with 101% assurance that teamwork starts with attitude. It is the attitude of the team that drives the abilities, the plan, the idea to achieve the mission.

But if not everyone is on board, it’s hard to make teamwork possible.

One of the frustrating aspects of my job is selling training tools to companies that help create positive teams. The challenge is when it comes to the topic of attitude, it’s deemed as something whose value is difficult to measure.

I don’t think it is. It’s actually simple. Do you want your people working with a positive attitude, or a negative/ average attitude? Of the two attitudes, which one do you think will achieve the best results and strongest teamwork?? The math is easy.

My suggestion is when you have your team meetings, don’t be all about business. Direct a little focus to something that inspires people to get better. When people get better, they do better and your organization gets better. How much is that worth? Check your attitude budget. Does it cost more to invest in tools to boost morale or does it the company more when teams are not working at 100% or there are negative attitudes making it hard to get the right results? One negative attitude can cost your organization thousands and thousands of dollars a year, a month!  And misery loves company, so if that negative attitude gets a teammate to join them, you lose even more.

Want to create inspiring teamwork? Start by implementing inspiring strategies that get the attitude tone set, so you know what will drive the plan, idea, and abilities to achieve the mission of the team.

What will you do to inspire teamwork? Do you think attitude is important? Post your comments and ideas.

I Hate My Job!

10 Reasons 46% of Currently Employed People Hate Their Jobs:

I recently had the good fortune to chat with a job recruiter, and was able to get some valuable insight which I will be sharing in the next few months. What got my attention was that she informed me of the following: an estimated 46 percent of people who are currently employed are dissatisfied in their current positions, and would leave for a new job with the same pay.

Here are the top 10 reasons people hate their current jobs:

1. Don’t feel appreciated or valued.

2. Aren’t challenged.

3. Don’t like job responsibilities.

4. Underemployed—doing something they are over qualified to do.

5. Job isn’t bringing them any closer to their goals. Job and goals don’t align.

6. Don’t see value in what they do.

7. Coworkers are negative.

8. Don’t respect manager or corporate vision.

9. Working just to pay bills. There is no purpose other than to pay bills.

10. The job is so consuming they don’t have time for a personal life.

The good news? I HAVE THE SOLUTION to get people to LOVE what they do!

For the past 14 years, hundreds of companies have hired me to speak at their meetings, conferences and events, with the following challenge: “How do we get our people more engaged and positive about their jobs?”

It’s actually easier than most realize, but most don’t take the time to actually do what they know they should do. How many of you know you should do something to improve your life, but keep putting it off?

We all do that in our personal lives at times, but we also do it in our work lives.

My first priority with managing any team is to ensure the attitude of the team is positively charged. I start with attitude first because whatever the attitude is of anyone, it moves to action and then to results. So if a customer is treated poorly, it’s because of a bad attitude in action.

Hating your job is a negative attitude towards your job and current situation. The more you hate what you do, the more you will feed that negativity and look for more reasons to hate your job and not give your all.

They key is recognizing that if you want positive results, it doesn’t start with another board meeting, budget meeting, to-do meeting; it starts with an ATTITUDE MEETING. An attitude meeting is not a bad thing either. It’s a meeting to recognize the value of your people, and help them to get positively recharged.

Whatever the attitude is of your coworkers, that is the attitude they put into action every day. If that attitude is negative, everything is going to go wrong. I get tons of stories emailed to me every week about this. Employees tell me, “My company says holding an attitude meeting is a good idea, but they don’t have time.” This is funny to me; it’s like trying to expect a new result by doing the same thing over and over.

I am excited about the launch of my Telly-Award-Winning Employee Motivational Training Tool that is easy to use, fun, and will recharge any organization’s office or team. It provides a recipe for recharging your team’s attitude. Click here to read about it.

What do you do to recharge the attitudes in your workplace? Would you hold an Attitude Meeting? What would it look like?

For Love of the Game: 5 Attitude Lessons Learned from a Not-So-Broken-Down QB

Whether you like him or hate him, Brett Favre exemplifies attitude in action. The 40-year-old quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings demonstrated several lessons this past season that we can all learn from and implement personally and professionally.

I have to admit, when I heard that Brett would be playing for the Vikings in 2009-2010, I didn’t know what to expect. I already respected him as an athlete and competitor; but in watching him this year, I came to respect him more as a person, and notice the lessons he has laid to legacy.

I had the opportunity to attend several games this year and watch Brett in action. Here are the lessons I observed, which apply as much to our attitude and life as to football:

1. Never give up.

I think if Brett could play football until age 100, he would. He loves the game and it shows. Brett plays to the very end. He doesn’t give up at halftime when his team is down, or three minutes before the end of the game. He plays until the last second. Sometimes, it is hard to get him off the field. Brett demonstrates you can be older than the rest of your team, but the youngest at heart. You can get knocked down, criticized, but not sent out of the game. Life’s adversities have a way of presenting us with every opportunity to give up, but if we can learn from the examples of people who don’t give up in the face of fear, adversity, and critics, we can be inspired to do the same. And we can benefit as well. Every great success story involves the element of “not giving up.” Don’t forget that.

2. Have fun.

From the first game of this past season, I could see Brett was having fun. In one game, he got laid out flat and the guy who hurt him helped him up again. Brett just smiled and gave the player who sacked him a pat on the back. When I watch Brett on and off the field, I could tell there was something within himself that granted permission to enjoy the moment and have fun. Shouldn’t we all have this?

3. Own your results; don’t blame others.

I am sure Brett has looked back on moments of his career that he wished he could do over again, like throwing an interception with a few seconds left. If he had made a different choice, his team may have ended up going to the Super Bowl. Brett didn’t lay blame to the offensive line, the coach, his receivers, the fans, the government, or the weather. He owned his actions and the results that came with it. Bottom line, he accepted responsibility for his actions. It’s so easy to blame others when things don’t go right. Even when it is someone else’s fault, if you take ownership, you also step up and empower yourself to deal with the situation in a positive way.

4. Encourage your teammates.

There was a lot of controversy and stir amongst teammates when Brett Favre entered the picture. Most thought it would be all about Brett. But Brett won favor with his teammates by encouraging them in the good and not so good times. Praise your teammates in life for the little things… whether your co-workers, spouse, kids, or anyone you can think of. We are surrounded by teammates daily, so why not say a few words that bring out their best?

5. Celebrate your victories.

Brett holds numerous records; however, after each touchdown pass or score, Brett celebrates like he never saw one before. He demonstrates that we need to celebrate even the little victories. They all add up. You don’t need to wait for the big score in your life; you can celebrate the little things as well. Next time you find a penny, and you are one cent richer, why not celebrate that?! Celebrate smart and healthy, and you will find that celebration contributes to a positive outlook.

Whether Brett Favre’s future holds, no one knows, but one thing is for sure: He is a legend and his lessons will live on and impact us all. I think we can learn something from Brett Favre: a not-so-broken-down QB.

What athlete or sport inspires you, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

7 Tips for Selling More in a Tough Economy

Hi guys… This article was sent to us by John Chapin, and I thought it had some great tips for those of you working in sales. Even if you aren’t selling a product, you are likely part of a sales process in some manner, whether that be helping your company run so that it can be profitable, or providing the best attitude you can to attract the best outcome into your life. Enjoy! -Sammy

You hear it everywhere you go: “Sales are down because of the economy. My customers simply aren’t buying as much.” There are some people out there saying the economy doesn’t matter, it’s what’s going on in your own head that matters. While it’s true that what goes on in your brain is always more important than outside circumstances, the economy is still what’s affecting many businesses. If yours is one of them, put the following seven ideas into practice and you’ll find that the affect on you will be minimal, and in fact, you may notice no change or even a positive one.

Tip 1 – Don’t let the economy be your excuse.

After a tough day or some difficult sales calls, it’s easy to use the economy as an excuse. If you do, people will hear it in your voice and you’ll sell less. This attitude also leads to working less. In a down economy, when salespeople should be increasing their calls and activity level, the average salesperson cuts calls by 37%. The answer?  Use the down economy as a warning and motivation to work harder and smarter, not as an excuse to back off. If you back off, business will go down, if you work harder and smarter, business will improve. As the saying goes “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Tip 2 – Get better at selling.

When there are fewer sales opportunities and prospects, you must do better with the ones you have. The way to do this is to get better at selling. Read books, listen to tapes and CDs, watch DVDs, become a sponge and absorb everything you can get your hands on. Using this strategy has helped many salespeople improve to the point where they actually sold more in a so-called down economy than they sold when times were good. Now is the time to improve your skills; constant and consistent learning is the best way to grow your sales.

Tip 3 – Keep a good attitude.

Your attitude is your most important sales tool in your arsenal; you have to keep it sharp. Now is not the time to read the front page of every newspaper and watch every newscast. Our brains are like computers “Garbage in, garbage out.” What you should be doing is putting as many good ideas as possible into your brain. Pick up anything that is inspirational, motivational, positive, and upbeat and use it to keep a good attitude and stay focused. Be positive and persistent. In addition to putting good ideas into your brain, surround yourself with positive people and stay away from negative people.

Tip 4 – Prepare for the price objection and build value.

People are focused on price more than ever these days. Prospects and customers will do everything they can to commoditize vendors and simply go with the lowest price. Thus it is very important that you build value. What are your primary benefits? How are you, your company, and your product better than the competition? Are you local; is your long-term cost less, can you respond to service calls faster? You need to accentuate your primary benefits, make them as powerful as possible, and provide proof in ROI Models, testimonials, and the like. Finally, come up with some solid responses to the price objection.

Tip 5 – Build relationships.

The relationship with the salesperson is the number one reason people give for doing business with a particular company. We’ve all seen it happen, you make an overwhelming case for your product versus the competition and yet, the prospect still buys from your competitor because they’re golf buddies.

Relationships are extremely important, in most cases more than anything else, so you need to focus on not only staying in touch with and keeping your name in front of customers and prospects, but also on taking that next step and building solid relationships.

Tip 6 – Go back to the basics.

Now is the time to increase the personal touch. Make more face-to-face visits to customers, send handwritten notes, stop by occasionally simply to say “hello”, and drop off the proposal in person instead of mailing or e-mailing it. Your objective is to touch the customer more often on a more personal level at a time when your competitors are calling less and being less personal.

Tip 7 – Remember, you are completely responsible for your success.

Five years from now you and your career will arrive somewhere, the question is: where? If you decide that something outside of you, such as the economy, is responsible for your success or failure, you give away control of your destiny and your ultimate success. The way to change that is to remember that your success is up to you, you own it, and you control it. Provided you have solid goals and strong enough reasons why you need to get there, you will arrive where you decide to arrive, regardless of the economy, or anything else for that matter. Reminding yourself that you are 100% responsible for your success keeps your success under your control and within reach.

If you put the above tips to work, you will see an improvement in business, perhaps a significant one. Many people have found that as a result of the above tips they are doing more business now than they were when the economy was good. What are you capable of if you really set your mind to it and get to work? The sky is the limit, so stay positive, work hard, work smart, and dream big!

About the Author:

John Chapin is a sales trainer and the co-author of “Sales Encyclopedia,” a comprehensive how-to guide on selling. Covering all areas of selling in depth, “Sales Encyclopedia” is written for sales professionals in any industry with any level of experience.  Utilizing more than 20 years of sales experience, John is the co-founder of Complete Selling Incorporated, a company helping salespeople significantly increase their results.  . He can be reached at or

8 Leadership Principles for Navigating Change

My colleague Marlene Chism, founder of Attitude Builders, a no hassles staff development program, sent me this great article on how to find empowerment amidst change, which I wanted to share with you! -Sammy

Change, whether it is wanted or unwanted brings out our best and worst. The Stop Your Drama Methodology incorporates 8 principles and multiple tools for navigating change or reinventing any part of your life or business.

1. Clear the Fog

Where drama is, clarity is not. If you feel like you are shoveling coal in the boiler room instead of navigating the ship, then you have a clarity issue. When you are clear, your decisions are easy and emotions are steady. Clarity helps you handle the winds of change and life flows. First get clear about your values and vision. Everything flows from there.

2. Identify the Gap

The distance between where you are and where you want to be is the gap. The bigger the gap, the more potential for drama. If you can identify those times when you are moving faster than your resources allow, or when what you want seems too far out of reach, find a way to shorten the gap, by taking only the next right step. When you learn how to identify the gap, you can shorten it instead of suffering.

3. Tell Yourself the Truth

Drama is often the result of undisciplined thinking, manifesting as over-reaction to some imagined problem, regret about the past, worry about the future, or denial about the present challenges. To stop your drama, learn how to separate fact from feeling. Knowing your feelings won’t change the facts, but knowing the facts can change your feelings. Consciously changing your thoughts and feelings is the beginning of stepping into a new truth.

4. Reinvent and Realign

When your actions do not align with your values and beliefs you will experience an integrity gap. The integrity gap is when your desires are in conflict. You have the power to reinvent a new you that aligns with your values so that your life is congruent and you are not pulled in opposing directions.

5. Stop Relationship Drama

Where you struggle, you will find a relationship problem. Besides the relationship you have with yourself, there is the relationship you have with others. Then there is the relationship you have to the situation, to your past, your imagined future, to time, money, food and everything else in your life. If you want immediate change, change your relationship to the area where you struggle.

6. Master Your Energy

Down to the smallest unit, everything in the universe is energy. The five types of energy are physical, environmental, emotional, spiritual, and mental. Since even thoughts are energy, remember that negative thoughts drain your energy and can contribute to illness. Slow down and make decisions from inspiration rather than from desperation. Take charge of your energy by mastering your environment, your physical health, your emotions, spirituality and thinking.

7. Release Resistance

Resistance is an energetic state in the form of non-acceptance to what is. Before you can make any change you must quit fighting the current by blaming, excusing, and judging. Accept where you are, then be willing to do what is required to make the shift.

8. Become a Creator

Instead of waiting for things to happen to you, initiate change. Become fully responsible for the contents of your life. Entertain the possibility of what you want by asking, “What if.” Until you consider another reality you cannot create a new one.

What drama is in your life that you could do without? How do you handle drama? Post in the comments section below!


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