Steve Ferrante's High Performance Blog for Sales/Customer Service/Leadership Champs and Progressive Professionals!

Archive for the ‘John Wooden Maxims’ Category

Things Turn Out Best For The People Who Make The Best Of The Way Things Turn Out

Good Day Pinnacle Performers,

Welcome to May! Hope this post finds you doing extraordinarily well.

We have arrived at the last in the series of John Wooden Maxims:

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”

Excerpt from Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court:

“Why is it so much easier to complain about the things we do not have than to make the most of and appreciate the things we do have?”

This quote ties directly into the Maxim as many folks don’t make the most of the way things turns out, instead focusing on and complaining about what is missing and/or wrong with the situation.

This is a lesson I personally lived out in my professional selling efforts. When I started in business management consulting sales, I was assigned a territory that was considered to be “saturated”, having gone through many years with many different sales reps before me calling on what was, by and large, the same prospective client base.  At the same time, there were brand new “virgin” territories in other areas of the Eastern U.S. that afforded the sales reps there opportunities to get in front of potential clients for the very first time. In a new territory, it was not uncommon for the salesperson who worked there to receive (from the company’s inside sales effort) twice the number of appointments in any given week.

It would have been quite easy to focus on those negatives; I can’t sell because the territory is saturated, I can’t sell because the prospects I’m seeing have seen us 14 times already,  I can’t sell because I’m getting half the appointments, etc.

Instead I chose (with some effective mentoring at the time) to focus on what I did have and could control. If I had less opportunities and the opportunities themselves would potentially be of lower quality, well then I needed to be all that much better with the opportunities I did have or I would surely fail.  I’m happy to report that was not the case…

Over my 10 years with the company, I maintained the highest batting average (sales to presentation ratio) and ended my tenure with the highest generated revenue totals in the company’s history.

One thing is certain. You will have challenges. You will have obstacles. In order to succeed you must build a mental bridge and get over them. What John Wooden said is true:

Thing Turn Out Best - John Wooden

Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

It’s What You Learn After You Know It All That Counts

Good Day Pinnacle Performers,

Time marches on and with it we have arrived at the next John Wooden Maxim: It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.

Wooden On Learning

This popular Wooden maxim is the first quote I reference with new trainees. While select students are novice, inexperienced lads and ladies, most folks enter training with at least several years of experience, up to seasoned veterans with 10+ years on-the-job.

Many of these experienced folks enter new training with a know it all already mentality, seemingly close-minded to new ideas. Obviously this is not the most favorable attitude when it comes to learning anything.

Fortunately, the vast majority of participants in my Pinnacle Performance training do come around. Usually at some point during our first time together they realize they actually didn’t know this or that and, now that they do, they’re better for it.

“Always be learning, acquiring knowledge, and seeking wisdom with a sense that you are immortal and that you will need much knowledge and wisdom for that long journey ahead. Know that when you are through learning, you are through.” – John Wooden

The reality is you can’t learn anything if you already know everything.

You Can't Learn Anything, If You Already Know Everything

Those know it all types aren’t particularly interested in moving forward and growing, contending that if they don’t know it by now then they never will.

Pinnacle Performers maintain an open-mind and pro-actively seek out new learning opportunities and ideas that can help them further their skill set and performance.

Looking to learn more? Visit Steve’s Recommended Reading

Make a Great Day!


Never Mistake Activity for Achievement

Good Day Pinnacle Performers,

This next John Wooden MAXIM is one of the best of his best.

Never Mistake Activity For Achievement

Over my 25+ years in sales/sales management and sales/customer service training, I have witnessed countless sales and customer service people that confuse activity with achievement, many on a daily basis.

The fact is many sales and customer service people routinely engage in activities that keep them busy rather than focusing their efforts and attention on the behaviors that will move them forward towards greater success. They perform their going through the motions routine and have the outward appearance of  lots going on but, like running on the treadmill, tomorrow they’re no father along then they are today.

It reminds me of the wonder years coaching my kids soccer teams. During games, everyone would run around (lots of activity) but hardly anyone would score (achievement). At the end of the game everyone would feel like they worked their butts off and accomplished something but the score would reflect otherwise.

When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur…. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens — and when it happens, it lasts. — John Wooden

This MAXIM ties in perfectly with the previously posted Ben Franklin Lesson 3: Stop Procrastinating! where I wrote about Managing Your Cash Flow Zone and the the difference between high-value and low-value activities

As I often say in training, there’s a difference between activity and prosperity. What will you do today to prosper tomorrow?

Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

Do Not Let What You Cannot Do Interfere With What You Can Do

Good Day Pinnacle Performers,

This next John Wooden Maxim ties in perfectly to one of the principles I preach and teach to my Pinnacle Performance clients; Focus On What You Can Control.

Excerpt from Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court:

When you get too engrossed in those things over which you have no control, it will adversely affect those things over which you do have control – namely, your preparation.

All too often, individuals get bogged down by things that are beyond their control. High-achiever Pinnacle Performers do not allow themselves to become a victim of competition, market circumstances, pricing or other external issues they cannot control that would otherwise undermine their productivity and results.

The reality of sales is you cannot manage your results. You can only manage (control) what you do to achieve those results.

You must be well-prepared, maintain the proper positive attitude, focus on your behaviors (Doing the right things) and your execution (doing the right things the right way).

By focusing on the things you can do you are maximizing your time and best positioning yourself to succeed!

Do Not Let What You Cannot Do Interfere With What You Can Do

Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

Be Quick, But Don’t Hurry

Good Day Pinnacle Performers,

Let’s kick-off the week on a high-note with the next John Wooden Maxim; Be Quick, But Don’t Hurry.

Excerpt from Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court:

“When you hurry you tend to make mistakes.  On the other hand, if you can’t execute quickly, you may be too late to accomplish your task. It’s a delicate but crucial balance.”

This little maxim has big meaning when it comes to maximizing your performance. Customers want you to be pro-active and “act quickly” to address their needs. They also want personal care and attention and, if you hurry this area, they won’t feel your behavior was sincere and you put the relationship at risk.

World class customer service pro’s maintain proper balance; quick in service but slow in interactions with customers. So, like a supercar, you must be “Quick” and responsive when needed and also properly paced “Don’t Hurry” when called for.

Wooden Be Quick But Don't Hurry

Walk The Path!

Steve 🙂

Make Each Day Your Masterpiece!

Good Day Pinnacle Performers,

Here’s your first inspirational maxim from John Wooden, The Greatest Coach.

“Make Each Day Your Masterpiece” is all about the here and now. You only get one shot at maximizing today for tomorrow it’s gone.

John Wooden taught his players to do the best you can each and every day. What you do (or don’t do) to prepare and improve today will shape and create your future success (or lack thereof).

Excerpt from the great book, Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court:

“Too often we get distracted by what is outside our control. You can’t do anything about yesterday. The door to the past has been shut and the key thrown away. You can do nothing about tomorrow. It is yet to come. However, tomorrow is in large part determined by what you do today. So make today a masterpiece. You have control over that.”

This ties very well into the Pinnacle Performance principle I cover in client training: Small changes over a consistent period of time equal BIG results. By applying yourself to be a little better in your behaviors and execution each day, you will become a lot better over time.

It starts today…

Make Masterpiece Wooden

Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

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