Thoughts from Get Motivated Speakers

I had the opportunity to attend the Get Motivated seminar in Nashville yesterday. I was not particularly impressed with the heavy sales pitches during the day, but I knew going in that to hear these speakers for two bucks, I was going to require hearing a sales pitch or two. All in all, the speakers provide great food for thought.

I thought you might enjoy some of the key points I considered noteworthy:

Krish Dhanam Learned from Zig Ziglar who helped him know his faith as his future as a speaker and trainer. Understands the blessing of the U.S. having come here as an immigrant with $9 in his pocket. Book: ­The American Dream from and Indian Heart

Hope in Turbulent Times comes from:

  • Genuine Leadership
  • Restored Relationships: Political correctness may be the one thing that can destroy the U.S. – giving rise mediocrity. There is no such thing as “equal”, just fair.
  • Amicable Relationships
  • Complete Partnerships
  • Effective Stewardship – leave more than you take

Howard Putnam, former CEO of Southwest Airlines. Started out as a baggage handler in the airline industry. His father taught him to pilot as he did his son. Succeeding through Turbulence requires:

  • Value of Preparation: When the time to perform arrives, the time to prepare is past
  • Very Clear Vision – a Clear Flight Plan – What is your ultimate value proposition? Sell the vision and the experience – now you have a brand i.e. Southwest, Starbucks
  • Support it with the Culture. Hire attitude and fit for the culture – Teach skills. Pay attention to the small stuff
  • Get balance in your life: An airplane will fly with an engine with two propellers if they are balanced. Are your priorities (propellers on your engine) in balance – work, family, faith, health
  • Get out of your comfort zone and do something new and challenging till you die.
  • Thoughtful bumper sticker “Are you really the person your dog thinks you are?”

Rudy Giuliani – America’s Mayor

  • We’re in a revolution. Most people don’t know they are in one until it is over – i.e. the industrial revolution, travel, technology.
  • Catastrophizing is the new marketing strategy because it seems to be the only thing that can get people’s attention anymore.
  • Allow information and technology to be your ally. NYC was changed from a crime ridden city to one of the safest cities in the country by our use of Com.Stat that helped us track crime and deploy the right resources in the right place. We changed our welfare agencies with a similar tracking program that turned welfare workers into employment agents helping people find good jobs. We rewarded them for their success in helping people find work and stay in good jobs.
  • Advice: Read – for knowledge and fun Listen – to successful people – copy relentlessly Take Notes – engages the mind Love People and be there for them, especially in their time of need

Colin Powell – former Secretary of State

  • In my first leadership post, I was told that my job as Lieutenant is to put followers in a position where they can get the job done and succeed.
  • Be concerned for all – from janitor to president – all are valued and important to the mission.
  • Take care of the troops – equipment, tools, resources, recognition, notes of encouragement and thanks, getting them connected.
  • Don’t tolerate poor performers – don’t allow them to hold the good performers back
  • Build trust – Will they follow you, if only out of curiosity?
  • There are only about 500M people caught up in conflict around the world. We don’t hear much about the other 6.5B who are not in conflict and who are out there working hard to make their economies work. We should focus more attention there.
  • The U.S. is still the inspiration for the world.

Lou Holtz

I’m a pretty simple man. Don’t tell people about your problems. 90% don’t care and the other 10% are glad you have them.

  • Choose your Attitude. You are going to get knocked down. Choose an attitude that gets you back up.
  • Great stories about coming into the South Carolina program and getting knocked down, about getting fired from Arkansas and being hired by Notre Dame, about having to suspend his 3 star players just before Arkansas played Oklahoma – where they went into the game as a 24 pt underdog. Went into the locker room and said “Everyone is telling us why we can’t win. I want you to tell me why we can beat OK.” Players gradually began speaking – got fired up and beat OK 31 to 6!
  • Dream – you will go nowhere without dreams. Started marriage with 108 goals and have completed 102 of them. You’re either growing or dying – don’t stop risking
  • Make good choices. Committed to excellence. Do right. When I got fired in AR – after leading them to their seven best seasons ever, I wanted to retaliate and go to the media. My wife wouldn’t let me. It was Frank Broyles who later told the guys at Notre Dame to hire me, because he was going to try to hire him back. If I had let my bitterness show, I would never have gotten that recommendation.
  • Do everything to the best of your ability. Focus on what you can do – just like that underdog AR team against OK.
  • Show people you care. Never attack the performer – just the performance

James Smith – I don’t understand why people buy and wear shirts with someone else’s name and number on them. They are certainly not wearing a shirt with your name and number on it. Why not wear a shirt with your own name and number on it?

Bill Cosby

  • Told the story of his 1st 16 months as a comedian wanting to play the prestigious Kelly’s Club in Chicago.
  • How he had been incredibly successful in smaller venues and was recruited to play this one – his dream.
  • How he let the demons of insecurity completely consume him and how he failed miserably during the first show of the night.
  • Then how the off stage banter between him and the person who was to introduce him was being overheard by the audience, and got them to laughing, which eased the tension and allowed him to go on stage and bring down the house.

Mary Buffet – daughter of Warren Buffet – on Warren’s investment advice

  • Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful
  • Buy companies that have durable competitive advantage – household names that people will keep on buying in good times and bad – Coke, Johnson and Johnson, Gillette – those that own a piece of our conscious mind.
  • Buy Timeless Companies – similar to above. The reason Buffett does not invest in most technology stocks is because they are too easily put out of business.
  • Buy when the Price is Right. He bought RJR Nabisco after the Surgeon General required cigarettes to be labeled as causing cancer. He said that people forgot about the Nabisco part of the company and as the stock plunged, it became undervalued.
  • One rule – “Never Lose Money”
  • Can’t make a good deal with a bad guy. It is easier to stay out of trouble than to get out of trouble.

Christopher Gardner – the subject of the movie – “The Pursuit of Happiness” with Will Smith

  • Memoirs are hard to write because you are required to open all those little boxes that you have closed up in your mind and heart that are labeled “Do Not Touch”.
  • Difference in the movie and reality: my son was only 14 months old when we lived in the homeless shelters and in the park bathroom. I was not treated well by my stepfather and I was committed to be the best father I could be. I promised myself that my kids would know their father.
  • My first step in overcoming the adversity was owning the fact that I had actually driven myself to this place (of homelessness). Once I owned it, I knew that I could change it. The reason I knew is because my mother instilled in me that I could be anything I wanted to be. She almost over did it as I was intent on being Miles Davis. I played the trumpet pretty well, but finally about 18 yrs old she told me that someone else already had that job. But I knew I wanted to be world class at something.
  • I fought hard to have the movie script rewritten such that Will Smith would leave that same optimism with his son in the movie (referring to the scene on the basketball court).
  • Find your button – the one thing that you’re truly passionate about. Nobody needs to dig it but you. Mom called them “my ghosts” when I started dreaming. As soon as you need someone to validate it, it may be a mirage.
  • My mom used to tell me to “Keep working because the Calvary ain’t coming. God’s too busy helping people that are worse off than you.” When you find that passion, keep working.

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