All posts filed under: Success

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 …

Characteristics of a 3 time championship team

I was talking to a mentor of mine last week who is the CEO of a local company in Toronto and a top-notch Athlete. He is actually not (self-described) a very good runner, however, he makes up for it in pure athletic ability, strategy, and competitiveness.   I asked him advice for the upcoming race I am doing in Patagonia in November as I will be running for the first time as a team.   He said “you need to discuss your game plan ahead of time. Start with the objective for the team.  Is it to win or compete?  Think about the obstacles you are going to encounter and the spots where emotion will come into play and have a game plan for how to handle those conversations.   If someone is slow, gets sick or injured, know how they react to distress and discuss the best way to handle them.  Two, have your plan B, C, D already talked through when level-headed.  Emotions can make things difficult.   Understand how each person is …

4 Intentions for Growth

I faced some headwind this weekend. Whether the number of training hours catching up with me or a just an off weekend, I hit some obstacles. Sunday Example. 5-hour hike/run Challenges: – Body/mind tired from Saturday 4 hour training – Backpack weight was too heavy to start and couldn’t dump my water weight – My directions were not detailed enough. I was trying to mimic a North Face race course These type of things happen in every race. So instead of stewing on it with negative statements, I asked myself a better question. What’s the upside? – Adaptability is key to finishing these races – Better to make mistakes in practice so you can fix for race day – I’ve got lost on course before. Patience and calm in the storm help you dig out. It was an opportunity to reset and reframe. Now if I step back and look at some overall intentions of a tough training weekend they were: To get set hours and mileage in To problem solve, overcome obstacles and mentally …

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

Push, Push, Push!

Many years ago I volunteered in a race and was fortunate to see the top three finishers come in. Usually, we are far behind and only see them separate from you at the beginning. I asked one of my friends who came in 2nd place that day how he felt at the end of the stage. “Utterly destroyed,” he said. He put his feet up on the tent wall (to reduce swelling), and took in deep breaths as the pain subsided over the next 30 minutes. Sound familiar? We are all pushing against our own limits to a high degree of difficulty if you give it your best shot. This weekend we had a great little group from Salesforce running the Brooklyn Rock & Roll half marathon. Everyone trained really hard, pushed through the pain, grinding up the hills and to the finish line. Each person had a goal in mind, focused on it and beat it by at least 1-2 minutes. It was a high level of effort needed in order makes the goal. …

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