Commencement

“We rise by lifting others.” – Robert Ingersoll

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Graduating students from all over the country are walking down the aisle to receive their diplomas and begin the next chapter of their lives.

Before they throw their caps in the air, they are offered some last words of advice.

This comes in the form of a COMMENCEMENT speech.

Some COMMENCEMENT speeches are REMARKABLE.

Steve Jobs gave a legendary talkto the 2005 graduating class of Stanford.

Others, not so much.

The 2018 speakers ranged from Oprah Winfrey telling the USC graduates to “Live your best life. Keep your word. Get your hands dirty.”to Mad Money’s Jim Cramer telling Bucknell graduates that “It’s OK to fail, but it’s not OK to quit.” 

General James Mattis, the current Secretary of Defense, gave the commencement address to the 2018 graduates of the Air Force Academy.

The class got an unedited talk on the complicated world they enter as they defend our country.

General Mattis, known as the “Warrior Monk”, did what all GREAT LEADERS do.

He made his address about the cadets sitting right in front of him.

He focused his thoughts on the people he will now lead, not himself.

INSPIRE BY YOUR EXAMPLE

“Your example will be the thing that inspires others.”

Talk is cheap.

Your impact will be determined by what you do, not what you think.

Want to INSPIRE others?

Take ACTION.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

“Learn to embrace and enjoy the beauty of the unexpected.”

Life is unpredictable.

Preparation is key.

But sometimes the best laid plans fall apart.

We have to develop the ability to think on our feet.

ATTITUDE IS YOUR ULTIMATE WEAPON

Your primary weapon system is your attitude.”

We are responsible for the energy we bring into each room we enter.

Our ATTITUDE will determine our ALTITUDE more than anything.

THE ULTIMATE BATTLE

General Mattis ended with a challenge to the future leaders sitting in front of him.

“You ultimately only have to win one battle, it’s the battle for your peoples’ respect. Once you win that battle, your people will win all the others.”

The people you lead expect you to have their back.

Your people expect you to be there when they need you most.

There’s no other place a true LEADER would rather be.

#Commencement

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

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Lead the Way

“Leadership is influence.  Nothing more, nothing less.” – John Maxwell

 

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What makes someone a LEADER?

The best definition I ever heard is “INFLUENCE”.

Whether you lead a global corporation or run your family, every organization needs the next generation of leaders to step up and LEAD THE WAY.

John Maxwell wrote, “Everything rises and falls with leadership.”

You may be a new leader trying to establish TRUST.

You could be an established leader looking to STAY RELEVANT.

Either way, one thing is certain –

Leaders are CREATED, not born.

HOW TO LEAD THE WAY:

SHARE YOUR BEST IDEAS

Leaders need to ELEVATE the thinking of everyone in the group.

Don’t hold back.

Put your best ideas into world.

Edwin Markham wrote, “What we put into the lives of others, comes back into our own.”

MAKE DECISIONS

Leaders have the COURAGE to make tough decisions.

They gather the available information and have the guts to make a call.

Leaders know that NOT making a decision is making one.

Amelia Earhart said, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity.” 

MOVE ON

Not every decision will work out.

Life will knock you down.

The past is an awesome teacher, but a bad place to live.

Leaders learn the lesson, adapt, then move on.

EMPOWER OTHERS

Leaders take people with them.

Wayne Gretzky said, “It’s not about how great you are.  It’s about how great you make the people around you.”

Empower others.

RAISE THE BAR

Leaders raise the bar.

From Washington leading the Continental Army, to Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat, to Steve Jobs denting the universe…

Great leaders show what is possible.

Seth Godin wrote, “You can raise the bar or wait for others to raise it, but it’s getting raised regardless.” 

Elevate what people think is possible.

STAY RELEVANT

Leaders know the best way to STAY RELEVANT is to keep learning.

John F. Kennedy said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

Leaders keep learning or slowly fade away.

IT’S YOUR TURN

The world is asking you to step up and help show the way forward.

Someone is waiting for you to LEAD THE WAY.

Who will you INFLUENCE?

How far can you take them?

It’s time…

Lead, follow, or please get out of the way.

#LeadTheWay

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

 

 

The Sweetest Thing

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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A woman in India had a son that ate way too much sugar.

No matter what she did or said, her son continued to eat sugar.

The mother was so upset that she decided to take her son on a trip to see his idol, Mahatma Gandhi, to ask for his help.

They traveled to see Gandhi.

They waited a day and half to get an audience with the leader.

When their turn came to speak, the mom walked up to Gandhi with her son at her side.

The women said, “Sir, my son eats too much sugar. It’s affecting his health, his teeth, his mood.  Every time he eats sugar I can see the change in him.  There is nothing I can do to stop him.  I am afraid that sugar will ruin his life.  Please tell him to stop eating sugar.”

Gandhi listened to the woman.

He looked at the boy, then paused.

Gandhi told the mother, “Go home and come back to me in two weeks time.”

The woman was perplexed.

She wondered why Gandhi did not tell her son to stop eating sugar.

The mom took the boy and traveled back home.

Two weeks later she returned, boy in hand.

The pair waited hours again for an audience.

When their time came, Gandhi motioned for them to come forward.

Gandhi looked directly at the boy and said, “Boy, stop eating sugar. It is not good for you.”

The boy nodded and promised he would not eat sugar any longer.

The mother was confused.

She turned to Gandhi and asked, “Dear Sir, Why didn’t you tell him that two weeks ago when I first brought him to see you?”

Gandhi smiled, “Mother, two weeks ago I was still eating sugar myself.”

CHANGE STARTS WITH YOU

Want something to CHANGE?

Change yourself first.

LEAD by example.

Live what you preach.

It’s the fastest way to build TRUST.

There is no better way to establish CREDIBILITY. 

Andy Warhol said, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” 

Start with you.

Earning TRUST and having CREDIBILITY with your colleagues and customers is kind of like winning the SUPER BOWL.

Its…

#TheSweetestThing

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Uncommon Gratitude

“Strength and growth come only through struggle and effort.” – Napoleon Hill

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Last week was a great reminder of all that we have to BE THANKFUL.

It’s EASY to GIVE THANKS for the good things:

  • Our families.
  • Good health.
  • Our freedom.

I just listened to a REMARKABLE podcast with Gary Vee and Tim Ferriss.

Ferriss was promoting his new book,  Tribe of Mentors.

Gary Vee asked Ferriss two of the most powerful questions I’ve heard in an interview:

  • What setback are you most grateful for? 

  • What failure propelled you the furthest?

Wow.

It makes you think…

When was the last time you were GRATEFUL for an OBSTACLE that knocked you down?

  • The injuries.
  • The setbacks.
  • The breakups.

These OBSTACLES, which seem horrible at the time are actually the fuel that make the good stuff possible.

Often the view at the top is fantastic, but GROWTH happens in the valley below.

It takes UNCOMMON GRATITUDE to appreciate setbacks.

If we want to BECOME MORE, we have to CONFRONT MORE.

We have to think every obstacle that comes our way was made especially for us.

The tests of life are not there to break us, but make us.

Tony Robbins says, “Life does not happen to you, it happens for you.”

Looking back, I can see where this has happened for me:

  • I got cut from my high school baseball team.  I was crushed. To fill my newfound free time, I started training martial arts.  I’m still training to this day.
  • After missing out on a promotion I really wanted, I decided it was time to PROMOTE MYSELF.  I hired a recruiter and landed a position with a growing company.  One of the best moves I ever made.
  • My knee blows out while training Jiu Jitsu.  What started off as scary, turned into an amazing journey that showed me a better way to EAT, TRAIN & LIVE.

UNCOMMON GRATITUDE is being thankful for all the tough times that make you better.

Gratitude is not an automatic response, especially for the tough times.

Being grateful for both the good and the bad transforms an AVERAGE life into a REMARKABLE journey.

What OBSTACLE made you better in the past?

What TOUGH CHALLENGE are you facing now?

Time to give thanks.

#UncommonGratitude

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Right Now 

“The present moment is all you ever have.” – Eckhart Tolle

All weeks are not created equal.

Last week I had 2 CHALLENGES to face:

  • A 2 day test for work.
  • A belt promotion in Jiu Jitsu.

They were separated by 48 hours and 1,200 miles.

The 1st took place halfway across the country.

The 2nd happened on the other side of my comfort zone.

This is the type of week that would have gotten inside my head a few years ago.

I would think of all the things that could go wrong.

Seth Godin wrote, “Tell yourself enough stories of your impending doom and you start to believe it.”

To win this week, I knew I had to win the MOMENT.

To succeed in LIFE we have to give ourselves a GIFT

THE PRESENT MOMENT.

Eckhart Tolle wrote, “The present moment is the only thing that matters.”

The toughest battles are the ones we fight inside our our own mind.

Under PRESSURE, our minds wander.

We think of all the bad things that can happen.

Our minds project failure.

Lucky for us 80% of what we worry about never happens.

The PRESENT MOMENT is all we will ever have.

How to Live To In The Present Moment:

BE IGNORANT

We have to free up time to FOCUS on our important work.

We have to learn what to ignore.

I go on AIRPLANE MODE:

  • No email.
  • No news.
  • No social media.

This alone is a game changer.

GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD

To BE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT, we have to get out of our heads and into our bodies.

  • Go for an early AM run.
  • Go for a power walk between meetings.
  • Get on the mat and get choked.

It’s amazing how exercising our body focuses us in the PRESENT MOMENT. 

Or as Jocko Willink says, “Get to the gym.”

BREATH

Focused Breathing helps us live in the PRESENT MOMENT. 

Breathing can be done anywhere.

Breathing 101:

  • Breath in your nose.
  • Out your mouth.
  • Deep breaths.
  • Repeat.

THE ART OF LIFE

Emmett Fax wrote, “The art of life is to live in the present moment.”

There is a CHALLENGE waiting for you.

How you respond in the PRESENT MOMENT will determine everything.

We have no more chances to do yesterday over.

The future is a mystery.

The best place to take on life is…

#RightNow

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

Cross The Gap

“If you want something you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something you’ve never done.” – JD Houston

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Sales & Jiu Jitsu have alot in common.

Both are humbling.

Each take decades to master.

Both have consequences when you underperform:

  • Make a mistake in SALES, you lose a customer.
  • Make a mistake in JIU JITSU, you lose consciousness.

The best practitioners in both fields feel a constant TENSION.

It’s a tension created by the GAP between where their SKILLS currently are and who they want to become.

Crossing this GAP takes time and a ton of work.

Early in my SALES career my skills were pretty awful.

My phone skills were so poor that prospects would actually offer me free coaching advice before they hung up.

Me: “Mr Prospect – Blah…Blah…Blah…”

Prospect:  “Hey buddy – You need to relax & slow down, or no one is going to buy anything from you.  Click.”

At least he did not leave me hanging.

There comes a time when we have to decide if we are going to remain just another face in the crowd or make an IMPACT.

We have to decide if we are going to CROSS THE GAP.

HOW TO CROSS THE GAP:

OPEN YOUR MIND

The best in any field are constantly EVOLVING.

They keep experimenting.

They actively search out NEW IDEAS. 

Ray Dalio wrote, “We have to be radically open minded to see what’s missing.”

ASK FOR FEEDBACK

Don’t wait for your performance review.

Make feedback a constant force in your life.

Feedback may bruise your EGO but will open your eyes.

It will keep you in touch with REALITY.

Elon Musk said, “It’s important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”

Feedback is a gift.

Embrace it.

PRIORITIZE & EXECUTE

Jocko Willink wrote, “Stop spinning. Prioritize and Execute. Pick the highest impact idea and do it.”

MAKE IT ROUTINE

Put your top priority into your schedule.

Work on it 30 minutes each day.

You will be amazed how much progress you make in a month.

JOIN THE COMMUNITY

We become our peer group.

Want to get better at Jiu Jitsu? Join an academy.

Want to get better at SALES?  Attend a sales conference.

Proximity is power.

DO THE WORK

Inspiration is for amateurs.

Professionals DO THE WORK.

  • How do you get rid of writer’s block? Start writing.
  • How do you get out of a sales slump?  Make a sale.
  • How do you get better at Jiu Jitsu?  Train.

Hard work creates luck.

DECIDE

Where are the GAPS in your life?

What part of your life is AVERAGE that you know could be REMARKABLE?

It may be time to LEAP.

#CrossTheGap

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

The Secret Ingredient

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view – until you climb into their skin and walk around in it.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

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My grand mom was a KILLER cook.

Her chicken cutlets were incredible.

The cutlets were so good, they caused arguments before Sunday dinners.

A constant stream of cousins would walk by and grab the cutlets as they came off the frying pan.

Everyone would downplay how many they swiped.

There would be none left to put on the table.

This cutlet heist played out over decades.

The early bird gets the cutlet…

One day I asked my my grand mom to teach me how to make them.

My version was average at best.

The cutlets all made it to the table.

Something was missing.

Years later I learned I forgot her “secret ingredient” that tied everything together.

The art of COOKING & SALES share the same principles.

Leaving out 1 ingredient can separate AVERAGE from REMARKABLE.

In SALES, that secret ingredient is EMPATHY.

Empathy is defined as the ability to step into someone else’s shoes & experience emotions from their perspective.

In his new book, Sales EQ, Jeb Blount writes, “Empathy is the most important of all the Sales Emotional Intelligence traits.”

The BIGGEST communication problem in SALES is we tend to listen to reply, not understand.

This habit can crush opportunities and destroy relationships.

Your EMPATHY must precede your advice.

If your customer doesn’t feel you UNDERSTAND them, you have zero chance of INFLUENCING them.

People like to think they’re special.  This mindset carries over to their perceived problems.

It doesn’t matter how simple the customer’s problem is to fix.

It doesn’t matter how amazing your solution is.

Your solutions (and sales) will go unheard if your customers don’t feel you understand them.

3 Ways To Bring More Empathy to Your Sales Game:

Never Interrupt or Correct

  • Give your customer your full attention.
  • Listen.  Then listen some more.
  • Let them say everything they need to say.

ReState Their Position Back to Them

  • After they finish speaking, say, “If I hear you correctly, you feel that…”
  • Then list each of their points back to them 1 by 1.
  • This will make your customer feel heard.
  • This will make them receptive to what you have to say.

Show How Your Can Help

  • Only after you do the above, offer your ideas.
  • Be Concise.
  • Be Relevant.

Empathy is a key ingredient for success in SALES and LIFE.

Empathy will increase your influence.

Empathy will help you close the sales that feed your family.

Will that food make it to the table?

Depends who’s cooking…

#LeadWithEmpathy

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

The Power of Habits

“First we make our habits, then our habits make us.”  – John Dryden

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Name the 1st book that changed the way you think?

For me, it was The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The 7 Habits changed the way I conducted business.

It changed the way I approached life.

Each habit called me out.

The Habits are simple concepts that separate the REMARKABLE from the AVERAGE.

The Vibe will cover each habit over the next few weeks.

Let’s go…

 Habit 1:  Be Proactive

You can’t wait for things to happen.

Nothing starts until you do.

To live our best life, we need to LEAN FORWARD.

We can’t wait for perfect circumstances or the mood to strike us.

We must create the mood with ACTION.

One of my mentors in Gracie Jiu Jitsu told me “If I only trained when I was in the mood or had the time, I would train 3-4 times a year.”

Tony Robbins said, “Great concepts don’t just appear, they must be pursued.”

Being PROACTIVE means stop negotiating with your mind.

Your mind is wired for survival, not success.

Your mind will tell you to:

  • Stay in bed.
  • That’s too hard.
  • You’re not qualified.
  • It’s too cold.
  • It’s too hot.
  • You’re too old.
  • You’re not good enough.

All lies.

Being PROACTIVE means moving the ball forward a few yards each day.

Proactivity starts with changing your MINDSET.

When we are proactive, we no longer blame outside circumstances.

We become the circumstances.

Think of all the VIP’s in your life:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Customers
  • Coworkers
  • Managers

How can you be more PROACTIVE in their world?

Go there.

How can you be more PROACTIVE in your world?

  • Get proper sleep
  • Limit distractions
  • Eat Right
  • Exercise
  • Read a Weekly Blog J

Where do you need to step up?

Start that habit today.

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net

Own It

“It ain’t the rain, the snow, the boss, the competition, the spouse, the money, the car, the job, or the kids – it’s you! And it always has been.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

The first person we have to lead is ourselves.

We have to own the outcome for all areas of our life.

This is called taking Extreme Ownership.

When we take Extreme Ownership, we change everything.

We no longer have our happiness dictated by circumstances.

We set the tone, not others.

But this mindset requires COURAGE.

Why?

Because when something goes wrong it’s on us.

There is no one else to BLAME.

Taking full responsibility can bruise your ego.

The BIGGEST threat to our own success is not some uncontrollable outside factor.

It’s our decision making process.

Don’t like the way things are going?

Change it.

Not where you want to be?

Adjust.

We may not be able to control what happens to us.

But we have 100% control on how we respond.

Once we figure this out, everything else becomes easier.

#OwnIt

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net

 

Prioritize & Execute

“Make a list of everything you need to do.  Figure out your highest value activity.  Throw the rest of the list away.” – Warren Buffett

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Life gets hectic.

The urgent gets in the way of the important.

We miss opportunities to do our best work.

Daily fires burn up our chances to create an impact.

It’s time to push back.

It’s time to punch our TO DO list in the face.

How?

PRIORITIZE & EXECUTE.

Average sales people check off items on their TO DO list.

This gives them a false sense of accomplishment.

Elite sales performers:

  • Allocate their time to their highest VALUE activities.
  • Create IMPACT by focusing on what matters.
  • IGNORE distractions.

Most people have life happen to them.

It’s time to start happening to life.

Last week’s Vibe discussed the value of putting everything on paper.

This week we turn our TO DO list into a strategic game plan.

“Prioritize and Execute” is a core principle in Jocko Willink’s book “Extreme Ownership:  How US Navy SEALS Lead & Win“.

It goes like this…

You have to be RUTHLESS to the things that don’t matter.

You have to learn to DISAPPOINT the right people.

How to Prioritize & Execute:

  1. Write out your TO DO List
  2. Prioritize your list in order of importance.
  3. Create 2 lists:
    1. Your Top 3 TO DO items becomes List #1
    2. Anything on your list from #4 down becomes List #2
  4. Title List #1: Game Plan
  5. Title List #2: Do NOT DO List

You just decided where you’re going to focus your TIME & ENERGY. 

You also just decided who you’re going to disappoint.

Never fun, but necessary.

Focus and attack #1 on your GAME PLAN list.

Be relentless.

Decline, delegate, or delete everything on your Do NOT DO List.

This is simple, but not easy.

It takes courage to say “No”.

But hold the line.

You will be trading a few uncomfortable conversations for long term impact.

We dive head first into AVERAGE when we try to be all things to everyone.

You’re not here to be AVERAGE.

Someone is counting on you to be REMARKABLE.

Go…

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVobe.Net