Terry’s takeaway 2016-10-31

One thing after another:

Welcome back and after my week away, although I did find myself working because you never really do get time off in sales you just have time away from your normal working environment, I’m feeling really refreshed.

My first day back in the office today and remarkably my inbox was very successfully dealt with during some of my downtime, enabling me to get back to it much faster. I know that it is not expected of me, but then again why shouldn’t I?  You’re supposed to do things you enjoy when you’re off right? So I enjoy my job and therefore if I throw in a few extra hours when I’ve got the time during my vacation why shouldn’t I.  Bedsides which this is a very busy week, end of the month today, second 1/3rd of the final quarter starts tomorrow and I’ve just had my busiest sales month for a long time so it all made sense to me.

One of the downsides to being so busy is getting things done and inevitably something will slip if you’re not careful.  I’ve read a number of books on how to get things done in an efficient manner but here’s a little snippet of wisdom from the coal face. YOU CAN NOT DO MORE THAN ONE THING AT A TIME!

This is a proven medical fact and all those “masters of multitasking” out there are probably screaming at me right now about being able to type whilst they’re on the phone or reading an email during a conference call …blah blah blah, but believe me your mind can only do one thing at a time. You may well believe that you’re doing things faster but you’re not. The reality is you’re most likely doing more things less efficiently and that’s where careful time management and planning comes into play.

So this morning I set out my stall, my task lists were prioritised and I completed one thing after another (One frog at a time). As the day went on it was beginning to look like I could even bring frogs forward from tomorrow’s list but sadly the unexpected happened and they’ll just have to be done in the morning now. Nonetheless I’ve completed my task list for today and whilst given everything my full and undivided attention.

Terry

Terry’s Takeaway 2016-10-21

Compliments.

There is so much power in a compliment. Just a simple “hey you’re looking well” can give you all the strength you need to get through the day, particularly when you’ve had a 4am start.

So when this happened to me on my return walk from dropping my youngest off at nursery this morning; it had more power than the triple shot espresso I’d used to get me there in the first place. It was doubly powerful too as I’d had the 4am wake up, and a 5am start to my day, due to the female side of my family leaving the boy and I on our own for a week. Their early start found them flying out to Sweden for a short vacation with my wife’s amazing parents.

As the day went on, more coffee was required but then I received yet another great compliment and this time from a source that does not regularly offer these, my eldest son David. He called from Germany to have a catch up during his afternoon, which fortunately coincided with my lunch. So caffeine free I continued the rest of the afternoon and passed on similar compliments to my team in Spain and my clients all over the globe at every opportunity I got.

The results we simply profound, this was not just the Friday feelgood factor, this was a wonderful human reaction in a business world. People do buy from people and if you are a real person with real intent and integrity people will naturally feel happier talking to you than they will to some script driven machine.

Now I’m away for then next week and I do not intend to write my daily takeaway during that time. So please, if you would, find one good thing to say to somebody each day during the course of the following week and we’ll all be feeling much happier when I return.

TGL

Terry’s Takeaway 2016-10-20

Be polite

Most  human beings have an apparent hierarchical understanding and they tend to picture themselves somewhere within it; be this in the business world, a sports club or at home. It is often heard that someone is labelled “the head of the household” or “the boss”, “the club president” and I’m sure you can all think of many more.

In my younger years I signed up to this way of thinking in a big way. I spent my first few adult years staring upwards and picturing myself in a higher position, always wanting to “better myself” then becoming too big for my boots and getting knocked back down again; and on more than one occasion landing right back where I started.

This constant craving to step up and be someone that I’m not, but who at the time I thought I should be, brought out some or the worst traits in my personality and consequently I lost a few good people along the way.

Over the many subsequent years I managed to see sense, I became able recognise the subtle difference between ambition and aspiration and the dangers of letting the former turn into an obsession.

However throughout all of this there is one trait that has got me further than any other in my life and that is being polite and today was another example of why it is so important.

Upon reaching the PA of corporate executive this morning I expressed my sincere apologise for intruding into her busy day. Now if you need to know just one thing about a PA then this is it, they are by far some of the busiest people in the corporate world. I could go on to wax lyrical about all the things these people have to do but that’s not the point of today’s takeaway. The point is that by being courteous and polite I was able to have a conversation with a person within this organisation who has her finger on the pulse of everything that is going on in this executive’s environment. As a result she was able to help me in a way that no other executive would even have thought of doing.

This has pleased me on so many different levels and here’s why:

  1. I was pretty stressed when I made this call yet still my politeness shone through.
  2. I proved, once again, that cheap “old school” cold calling tactics are worthless in the real world.  Come on how many times have you heard, so called sales trainers, tell you that to get passed the gatekeeper you have to treat them like a door mat. When they answer the call just say “Mike Jones” and wait for them to put you through. (This is my absolute pet hate, the height of rudeness)
  3. I had a very pleasant conversation which gave me some exceptional insight into a company structure I have been, thus far, blissfully unaware of.

So yes when you do interact with another human being please remember to do so humanly, humbly and politely.

TGL

Terry’s Takeaway 2016-10-19

“Do it!”

I’m now about 3 weeks in to my daily work week takeaways and, with the exception of 1 or 2, I’ve delivered a daily takeaway at the end of each of my normal working days. I do this for two reasons:

  1. To help me reflect on things that have influenced me during the course of that day.
  2. To help others get an insight into my thought processes and to hopefully help them  when they encounter similar situations during the course of their working day.

It has taken a huge amount of self-belief to be able to put these things down in writing and even more to broadcast them to the World Wide Web, but believing that what I am saying will help others has been the driving force behind making this decision.

Today I was asked the question, “where do you post these insights?” The question actually hurt at first, because I chose my selected audience fairly carefully and they hadn’t seen it, but in true Terry fashion I listened to what they had to say and acted upon it. At the end of the conversation this business contact, and close friend of mine, uttered these two words, “do it”

Think about that for a moment! There is a MASSIVE sports brand out there that’s added a third word to this, patented it, and made a fortune out of it.

Now I’m pretty certain that this wan’t subliminally on their mind when they uttered those words, however the sentiment behind those words are the reason why today’s post is going out to a much wider audience. One I neglected through the fear and trepidation of not being able to portrait to them correctly about who I really am. This wonderful being actually gave me the power of conviction today to state that:

“I am a trusted advisor, I do help people in areas beyond my own core areas of expertise and I always deliver on my promises.”

So to all of you reading this if you believe that what you are doing is really making a difference then “do it!” and more importantly keep doing it.

And to my dear friend this is me following your advise and delivering on my promise to you.

TGL

Terry’s Takeaway 2016-10-17

Free your mind

Weekends are generally full of things to do. Mostly it is about doing those things you don’t find time for during the week, but as the nights are drawing in here in the northern hemisphere the outdoor tasks are mounting up more than they do during the summer months. So when I started work this morning I had a whole bunch of unfinished weekend tasks still outstanding and they were lying heavy on my mind.

Consequently today I’ve not been with it. In fact I’ve been quite out of sorts thinking about all the other stuff that needs doing and therefore not doing the workday stuff efficiently as I would normally.

By lunchtime today I had to take action. I usually take an hour for lunch and I normally get about 1/2 hour of that to read and take some “me” time. Today I didn’t. Today I rushed lunch and had 40 minutes to clear up a few of those outdoor tasks left outstanding from the weekend. In so doing my afternoon has been twice as productive as my morning was.

So in order to do be your best from the outset you have to clear your mind. If something can’t wait, then do it now. Even if it means taking 10 minutes out of your personal time these few extra minutes will make all the difference and that may be just enough to free your mind.

Terry’s Takeaway 2016-10-13

Reflection:

From time to time it is a good idea to look back on what you’ve been doing to see where you are in relation to where you want to, and need to, be.

Today has been a 3/4 year analytic view of where I’m at; allowing me to see the focus points required for the final quarter of 2016. Facts and figures do give you this focus and in some cases they can be a rude awakening. Fortunately that is not the case today, in fact quite the opposite. Q2 -2016 didn’t make for the best reading but knowing how much work I’d put into the pipeline leading up to that I was confident that Q3 would paint a prettier picture. I wan’t wrong.

So moving into Q4 I can concentrate on 2 main areas, both of which will ensure that my accountability for delivering in 2016 is upheld and also reduce the feast and famine from earlier in the year going forward into 2017.

All in all I’ve managed to produce what I set out to do, albeit not in the way I had hoped to do. Looking back and reflecting on how things have materialised in the manner that they have, has given me direction and insight into what I can do to improve for the coming year.

“Reflection is not you looking into a mirror and seeing yourself looking back. Reflection is the art of looking beyond that image and seeing how to improve and move on to where you want to be.” – Terry G Lambert 2016-10-13

TGL

Terry’s Takeaway 2016-10-12

Take a helicopter view:

Yeah yeah yeah, we’ve all heard this one before and sometimes management speak just annoys everyone, but today has produced a few great examples of why taking this approach actually saves time.

After yesterday’s late night finish the resulting reflection on events has enlightened me to this very simple, but effect, approach once again. It is very difficult to do at times, especially when you’re right in the think of it, but all these age old sayings of “you can’t see the wood for the trees” etc have got some pretty solid foundations. I find that I have to use a trigger word to step out of the situation, others click their fingers, pinch their leg or bite their bottom lip but whichever method you use it is always good to have an autopilot for using it when the alarm bells start ringing.

STOP —
Recognise – CHANGE
Pause
Escape
Helicopter
Plan
Reflection/ Activation
Smile

If you want to learn how to do this properly I’ve already mentioned the book before.. Dr Steve Peters Chimp Paradox.

It works

TGL

Terry’s Takeaway 2016-10-11

Can we do it or not?

In our makeshift complicated world we tend to over protect ourselves in business these days. The fear of being made accountable for the success or failure of a project over-complicates the things, and we implement safeguards for everything. There is, of course, a need to be realistic and very much a need to ensure you haven’t forgotten something, but there comes a point where the remaining unknowns in a situation just have to be taken on “Gut Feeling”.  Can we do it or not?

Today has been a day made up of these over-complicating questions and clouding the actual question that is being asked. Is it possible? The short answer is, yes and that is what our client wants to know.  How we do this is quite immaterial, and frankly not their problem but ours.

So now, approaching midnight, we’ve resolved everything and can move forward.  What a day but I’m sure it will be worth it.

TGL

Terry’s Takeaway 2016-10-10

Politics can stop you from living life:

I have always believed that I have a healthy interest in politics. Micro, macro local, national and international no matter where you look there is something political going on and living in the belief that you should be informed to make a voting decision; I’ve kept myself up to speed with most things that are going on.

More recently though, things have changed.  I have found myself getting uptight, angry, annoyed, in fact, outraged at the way our political landscape is shaping up. Not just here in the UK but the world over. It has absorbed me and I can’t listen to anything without finding myself ranting on about how people should educate themselves before being allowed to tick the box or how can the politicians just lie like that without being held to account….

…..BUT STOP isn’t that the whole point of democracy? Freedom of speech, the free will of the people, the right to exercise your democratic right in a voting system designed to be fair, which express the wishes of those who can be bothered to turn out and put their “X” in the box of their choosing (again their choice to go out or not).

So what good is this ranting and raving doing me? Why should I actually care about what others do? Why, in fact, should I flesh out the content of my social media posts with political rants in a partisan attempt to inform the unwitting/ unwilling of the mistakes, I believe, they are making for not voting the same way I do? Yes WHY?

My sales idol Anthony Iannarino has been talking for years about discarding politics out of my daily routine and this is one of those elements which I’ve found so difficult to do.  But here’s the thing, and I have to thank Anthony for this because it is only due to his words that I’ve come around to this way of thinking. If I want to influence the outcome of an election then I should become a politician. I should set out my stall, lay down my values and preach them to the world.  Those who agree will vote for me and those who don’t, wont. As I’m not a politician, nor do I want to be one, then I should not be doing their job for them. Why, if they’re not reaching the wider public like they should be, should I feel compelled to do it for them?

I would dearly like for the world to be a better place for my children to grow up into and I would dearly like for large swathes of society to hold the same beliefs I hold about the environment, human rights, sexism, equality …the list goes on. The thing is, people are different, beliefs are different and though I strongly believe that I hold a very strong and moral high ground  on some issues that does not mean to say that it is right in other people’s eyes.

So here’s my vow.

For the sake of my own sanity, to stop the unadulterated filling of my social media feeds and so I can get on with my own job and not do that of a politicians; I will no longer get involved in politics.

This includes micro, macro, local, national and world politics. You all have the same level of access to information that I have so read it if you want, leave it if you don’t. I know how I feel about things, and on certain issues I will stand up to be counted if there is a need to do so, but I am no longer going to allow politics to get in the way of life.