Jon Gordon Shares The Greatest Success Strategies of All

 

When I pick up one of Jon Gordon’s books, I have high expectations.  I expect to be entertained, moved, and motivated to think differently and take action.  That’s not an easy accomplishment for any book.

 

“Your optimism today will determine your level of success tomorrow.” –Jon Gordon


His latest book, The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All, exceeded my already high expectations.  Jon once again narrates a story in such a way that it:

  • Reminds me of timeless principles
  • Zeroes in on something I need to work on
  • Inspires me to become a better leader

I recently had the opportunity to ask Jon a few questions about his work.

 

“Negative thoughts are the nails that build a prison of failure.” –Jon Gordon

 

The 3 Greatest Success Strategies

 

Jon,The Carpenter’s subtitle is A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All.  Let’s talk about a few of these strategies.

The 3 greatest of them all are:The Carpenter by Jon Gordon

1. Love

2. Serve

3. Care

I go into more detail in the book of why they are so powerful, but after studying the most successful people and organizations, I found they truly loved the work they did, and they did everything with love instead of fear.  The love they had for their product, people and passion was greater than their fear of failing.  They loved their work so much that they overcome their challenges to build something great.  They loved their people, so they invested in them and helped them achieve great results.  They also cared about everyone and everything.  They put in a little more time with a little more energy with a little more effort with a little more focus, and this produced big results.  They also served and sacrificed.

Only through service and sacrifice can you become great. When you serve others, you become great in their eyes.  We know when someone is out for themselves and when they are here to serve others. You can’t be a great leader if all you are serving is yourself.

 

“Only through service and sacrifice can you become great.” –Jon Gordon

 

The Importance of Rest

You talk about the importance of rest.  Most of us are so busy achieving, setting goals, and driving that we have learned to smile and nod in response to hearing “get some more rest.”  My subconscious often responds with, “I will rest when I’m dead.”  Why is rest so important?  What made you decide to start with it as a success strategy? 

I’ve noticed that the enemies of great leadership, teamwork, relationships and customer service are busyness and stress.  Our lives have become so crazy that we are continually activating the reptilian part of our brain and the fight-flight response.  So without knowing it, we are living and working from a place of fear where we are just trying to survive instead of thrive.

When we rest and recharge, we can think more clearly and live and work more powerfully.  For example, instead of running people over because you are so busy, you can take time to build relationships with your team and customers and create more success in the long term.  Instead of just trying to get through the day, you can live and work more intentionally thinking about who needs your time and energy to develop and grow.  Instead of rushing through conversations with customers, you can take more time to listen and solve their problems.  Every great athlete must rest and recharge and so must we to perform at our highest level.

Bestselling Author Jon Gordon

 

“Anyone who attempts to build great things will face challenges.” –Jon Gordon

 

How Gratitude and Love Make The Difference

Taking Your Team to the Top

How to Take Your Team to the Top

As a leader, how do you spot talent?

How do you take talented individuals and turn them into a winning team?

How do you create a winning culture?

Is it possible to use adversity to your advantage? 

What team is the greatest of all time?

 

I asked Ted Sundquist all of these questions and more.

Ted Sundquist played fullback at the U.S. Air Force Academy, winning the 1982 Hall of Fame Bowl and the 1983 Independence Bowl.  He later served as a flight commander in Germany before returning to the Academy and coaching.  In 1993, the Denver Broncos hired Ted as a talent scout.  Ted was named General Manager of the Broncos in 2002.  Today, Ted is an analyst for the NFL network, a radio personality, a commentator and a blogger.  This year, he added author to that list with the publication of Taking Your Team to the Top.

 

Identifying Talent

Ted, you’re known for grabbing talent others passed over.  How were you able to see potential where others saw problems?

I think first and foremost you have to identify the talent pool that you’re dealing with.  Understand where the best and the brightest come from that can contribute to your industry.  In professional football, that’s dealing with the entering college football player pool, as well as players already in the NFL, and those available on the street (free agents).

 

Leading a team in any capacity is not a right but rather a privilege. -Ted Sundquist

 

Then you have to have a VERY good understanding of what traits are necessary in these individuals in order to execute the plans & procedures required to pursue your mission.  One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to football, and I’m sure that’s the case in other arenas as well.  We had prioritized our requirements prior to searching for those individuals to fill our positions of need.

You must be as detailed with the back end of your prospect list as you are with the top candidates. Look for those individuals that fulfill your priorities in the Critical Factors, those traits which run “vertical” through the organization and are analogous for every person on the team, regardless of position.  Know which factors are most important and which you can “live with.”  Then have a thorough breakdown of the Position Specifics, those skills necessary to fulfill a specific task required of the candidate.

Ensure that the positions are evaluated from various angles within the organization and not from a single viewpoint.  This eliminates personal bias and provides for a crosscheck of opinions.  Mistakes made on the front end of the selection process are difficult to correct once the player is on your team.

Greeting linebacker and team captain Al Wilson after a hard fought win on the road. Greeting linebacker and team captain Al Wilson after a hard fought win on the road.

If you take the time to do your homework, finding the pool of talent, identifying what’s most important to your team to accomplish the mission (Critical Factors [vertical traits] & Position Specifics [horizontal traits]), and then implementing an evaluation system from multiple angles & crosschecks . . . your chances of making mistakes are minimized and you’re more apt to find the best and the brightest talent to execute your plans towards goal achievement.

 

“The culture should reflect the mission.” Ted Sundquist

 

Creating A Team Mission Statement

42 Team and Teamwork Quotes

Working effectively as a team creates momentum, improves morale, wins contests, and can even save lives. Here are 42 quotes on teams and teamwork:

 

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” -Michael Jordan

 

“The speed of the boss is the speed of the team.” -Lee Iacocca

 

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” -Henry Ford

 

“Teamwork makes the dream work.” -Bang Gae

 

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” -Helen Keller

 

“The strength of the team is each member. The strength of each member is the team.” Phil Jackson

 

“A successful team is a group of many hands and one mind.” Bill Bethel

 

“Good teams incorporate teamwork into their culture, creating the building blocks for success.” -Ted Sundquist

 

“None of us is as smart as all of us.” -Ken Blanchard

 

“No individual can win a game by himself.” -Pele

 

“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” -HE Luccock

 

“Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results.” -Ifeanyi Onuoha

 

“The ratio of We’s to I’s is the best indicator of the development of a team.” -Lewis B Ergen

 

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that’s what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Vince Lombardi

 

“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.” -Bahaullah

 

“We must all hang together or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” -Ben Franklin

 

“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” -Napoleon Hill

 

“Trust is knowing that when a team member does push you, they’re doing it because they care about the team.” – Patrick Lencioni

 

“A group becomes a team when each member is sure enough of himself and his contribution to praise the skills of others.” -Norman Shidle

 

“If a team is to reach its potential, each player must be willing to subordinate his personal goals to the good of the team.” -Bud Wilkinson

 

“People achieve more as a result of working with others than against them.” -Dr. Allan Fromme

 

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.” -Andrew Carnegie

 

“Teamwork. A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.” -Justin Sewell

 

“Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.” -Stephen Covey

 

“The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side.” Margaret Carty

 

“There is no ‘I’ in team but there is in win.” -Michael Jordan

 

“Strategy is not a solo sport, even if you’re the CEO.” Max McKeown

 

“A leader must inspire or his team will expire.” -Orrin Woodward

 

“Bad attitudes will ruin your team.” -Terry Bradshaw

 

“The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.” -John Wooden

 

“Teams share the burden and divide the grief.” -Doug Smith

 

“Everyone is needed, but no one is necessary.” -Bruce Coslet

 

“On this team, we’re all united in a common goal: to keep my job.” -Lou Holtz

 

“With an enthusiastic team you can achieve almost anything.” -Tahir Shah

 

“Many of us are more capable than some of us, but none of us is as capable as all of us.” -Tom Wilson

 

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” -Ryunosuke Satoro

 

“We realized that no one of us could be as good as all of us playing unselfishly.” -Bill Bradley

 

“Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” -Kenyan Proverb

 

“When he took time to help the man up the mountain, lo, he scaled it himself.” -Tibetan Proverb

 

“When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” -Ethiopian Proverb

 

“A single arrow is easily broken, but not ten in a bundle.” -Japanese Proverb

 

A boat doesn’t go forward if each one is rowing their own way. Swahili Proverb

 

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Igniting Passionate Performance

Photo by timsackton on flickr

This is a guest post by Lee J. Colan, Ph.D. Lee is a leadership advisor and author of 12 popular leadership books. This article is based on his bestselling book Engaging the Hearts and Minds of All Your Employees.

In today’s hyper-competitive market, creating sticky customer relationships is paramount.

After all, keeping existing customers is five times less expensive than finding new ones. That’s good business in anyone’s book.

Traditional competitive factors like product design, technology and distribution channels are harder to sustain in a super-fast, mega-networked world. In fact, the good old “Four P’s of Marketing” – product, price, promotion and placement – are having much less impact for companies competing in today’s marketplace.  A fifth “P” – people – has become an increasingly important competitive factor.

Consider this: About 70% of customers’ buying decisions are based on positive human interactions with sales staff. Add to this the fact that 83% of the U.S. gross domestic product comes from services and information which are created and delivered by people. The bottom line is that people buy from people, not companies. So, your people – and the performance they deliver – are the defining competitive advantage for your organization.

The Anatomy of Passionate Performance

Think of the times you’ve gone shopping or to a restaurant and dealt with service people who were visibly excited to be in their jobs and to be serving you. Their words jumped out of their hearts rather than being regurgitated from a script. They probably surprised you with the extra effort and thoughtfulness they put toward satisfying your particular needs or questions – and they actually seemed happy to do it!

70% of customers’ buying decisions are based on positive human interactions with sales staff.

Now, consider how you felt when you left these establishments. Did you buy more than you had planned? Were you likely to return? Did you recommend these businesses to friends? You probably answered “Yes” to at least one of these questions. That’s the beginning of a value chain that starts with engaged employees.

When people are engaged in their work and feel a deep connection to it, they deliver Passionate Performance. Passionate Performance creates satisfied customers, and ultimately, value for the organization.

Fred Returns With New Ideas to Deliver Extraordinary Results

Photo courtesy of istockphoto/MichaelShivers

He’s an international bestselling author of eight books who regularly tops the bestseller lists, a global leadership guru and one of the most in-demand speakers on the subjects of leadership, customer service and team building.  His many awards include the Cavett Award, the highest award the National Speakers Association bestows on its members.  He’s a member of the Speaker’s Roundtable.Mark Sanborn Picture

As you’d expect from a world authority, his clients include the biggest corporations, names like Cisco, Costco, FedEx, Harley Davidson.  Add the important alphabet companies like IBM, GM, KPMG, RE/MAX and ESPN.

Outside of all of that, Mark is one of the most decent people I’ve ever met.  He’s smart, caring, and he passionately wants to serve others.

WHAT IS A FRED?

Nine years ago, Mark Sanborn invited us to meet his own postman, Fred Shea.  Fred embodied true success by taking what seems to be an ordinary job and making it extraordinary.  To this day, when I see someone who serves in an extraordinary way, I think, “There’s a Fred!”  The Fred Factor became an international phenomenon, selling millions and millions of copies.

FRED RETURNS

This week, Fred returns in Fred 2.0: New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results.  Last summer, I had the opportunity to get to know Mark.  When he told me that Fred 2.0 was on the way, I couldn’t wait to learn more.Fred 2.0

Mark, let’s start out with two questions many people ask you.  Is Fred real?  And, if he is, are you in touch with him?  Maybe one more: Does he know he’s the star of this book?

Skip, Fred is very real and still delivering mail in Denver, CO. Over the years we’ve maintained a friendship and connect periodically for lunch or dinner. Fred is a big supporter of The Fred Factor and Fred 2.0, and in the new book I share—with his permission—much more about him, his background and his beliefs.