All posts filed under: Leadership

How strong is your WHY?

I do these races to better myself, to acquire new skills, life lessons and test my metal in the toughest of elements. In addition, the shared sense of purpose you encounter with like-minded individuals create an experience that is hard to replicate.   This year as I wrote on Monday, I entered as a team. I now start these races knowing what it takes to finish and am prepared to handle the majority of obstacles that stand in between me and the finish line.  The team element is a new level of difficulty and risk/reward that increases the learning I bring home. Like mentors before me, I enjoy sharing these experiences and paying forward to those who are interested.   Who are some of the characters you meet and why are they there? Three entrepreneurs who ran together 14 years ago in the eco-challenge and are using this as a forum to bond a relationship as they start a new business venture A former top runner and world-class photographer from Korea.  He was there for the …

Sons of Patagonia

In every race, you experience new highs, new lows and meet unique personalities of impeccable character.  In the coming weeks, I will profile some of those people from all over the globe. Once the race is done, everyone heads back to the host hotel to clean off 7 days of grime, lie down on a real bed and reflect on the adventure. In the evening, the race organization hosts an awards banquet to hand out recognition for the top individuals and teams. To get through these races you need an incredible amount of grit, camaraderie, and belief in yourself. The logistics that go into the week are incredible. Weather systems in Patagonia are highly unpredictable and we had at least two course change during the week.  The race brings volunteers and partners with local workers to make sure everything runs as smooth as possible. Every runner is up between 5-6am preparing for the start of each day.  We need hot water for our breakfast and often corral around the campfires in order to warm up. …

Sacrifice for the team

We are officially done the race and resting in Bariloche! What an incredible adventure! I can’t say enough about what a spectacular week the race organizers put on, the professionalism of the local camp team and the spirit of the volunteers and fellow competitors. When we started the week, what success looked like to us as a team was: 1) Start as a team, finish as a team 2) Finish in the top 3/5 teams 3) Finish in the top 1/3 of all competitors 4) Have many laughs along the way and enjoy the journey We delivered on all those goals and made memories to last a lifetime. We almost blew up as a team on day 2 and found a way to hold it together to finish out strong! We ran through hot climates, alpine forest, the Andes mountain range, national parks, private lands, saw the most incredible stars and finished at one of the most recognizable extinct volcanoes in the world, Tronador.  Spanish for Thunder, Tronador is located on the border between Argentina …

How to prepare for your biggest talk ever

When I was a sales rep, I used to get nervous presenting in front of customers or even my own sales team.  Groups or 8-10 were intimidating to me!   I made a decision that good public speaking was a skill I want, no need, to have.   What did I do? I took a one-day presentation class offered by my company I took a 13 weeknight class offered by our University in Toronto I put my hand up for any chance to present in front of our company I found colleagues inside and outside the company that also wanted to learn a great skill and asked them to join. It kept us both accountable and helped have an internal advocate when I needed it. I found my own secret sauce. I combined my skill at work (sales) with my passion in life (running) to make a unique presentation that people would want to hear. I made some big improvements and some crash and burns, along the way! I slowly moved from being more comfortable in front …

Top Leaders Share Four Ways to Approach a Challenge

  I had dinner with two smart leaders last night. They both work for fast-growing companies and are plugged into other smart companies.  We had some great conversation on challenges across all components of a business.   The consensus:   The best companies go through growing pains and it’s often messy. Clarity is on the other side. Obstacles are just a short-term impediment to be looked upon fondly once overcome.  Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Moving your weakness from a 3 to a 5 isn’t worth missing taking your strength from a 7 to 9.  Take time out of the business consistently to learn from others. Courses, conferences, taking in knowledge.   Thanks for recharging my batteries.   Colin  

Push to your limit, then keep going.

Push to your limit, then keep going. The anxiety you are feeling is growth. I was fighting with the treadmill with this morning. An hour straight up a hill. Forced speed and incline will push my heart rate over 160-180. Then I ease off until it comes back to 150 beats per minute. Tough stuff. When I felt like quitting, I pushed a little further. 1 min, 2 min, 5 min. In the desert, it may be an hour or more. What you do in practice come out in life. When you hit that resistance today, keep going. Colin

5 Ways to Handle A Daunting Road Ahead

Many of us climb the hill every week.   Tough conversations with employees, bosses, customers, and peers.   Tight deadlines on projects, deals, and customer events.   Not to mention personal and family challenges.  How are some of the best leaders seemingly immune to stress?   Most of them are not. They have more practice and a template to handle it!   What do top leaders share with me?   1. Expect it and have a plan.  Visualize your way over and through.   2. Know when to recharge and restore so you can hit it hard the next day.   3. Look back and review what was once hard and how you overcame it?  The past provides clues.   4. Like military men and women making their bunk first thing every morning, get your day started off with even the smallest success.   5. Start the day well and end the day well. End the day with a win to ride the momentum into the next morning. This can be as simple as asking ‘what you are …

Cross-Functional Approach

In talking to both top sales reps, sales, and enablement leaders the last couple weeks, working across the matrix (all pillars in an organization) in one form or another has come up. Who are the people that you need to partner with to get things done? Partnership is one of our top values in enablement. The world is too complex to get most things done alone. Many early in tenure in role try and muscle the sale or program through, instead of quarterbacking the play. I learned the hard way both in sales and in enablement/sales training. It takes a village to onboard a sales rep, to sell a big deal, to accomplish any big hairy audacious goal. Question: Does your calendar align to all those “partners” who will help you get the ball across the line? Your calendar speaks volumes about how you manage your relationships and your time. Have a great hump day! Colin

Tough Conversations

I was talking to a group of young sales professionals in Dallas today. One of the questions that came up at the end of the talk was about confidence in having tough conversations. I’ve been there. Having a tough conversation with a customer more experienced than you takes discipline, patience, and courage. The only way to learn, rip off the band-aid…and realize at worst, its what you thought, and could be less painful than you think! Top Tips: 1. Write out potential objections to your proposal or position and practice answering with a peer 2. Be accountable for anything that you need to own up to. Be firm and honor where you have earned a positive outcome. 3. Be curious! Curiosity is the great equalizer to aggression. “Help me understand where you are coming from? What are you hoping to get out of this conversation?” Take on one tough conversation next week! Colin

What does world class mastery take?

Planet Earth and Planet Earth 2 have been some of the most captivating documentaries ever produced. They are made once a decade! What does it take to get pictures like this or the video we have seen? One story I heard from our guide in Africa was that it took one videographer 8 weeks to get enough film to produce a very short clip. It took five weeks to get the trust of the chief to get let onto sacred land. It took three weeks sitting in dirt and dung in order to find the rare bird that would get 17 seconds on air. What does world class mastery look like for you? Have a great hump day. Colin