Do We Learn from History?
by Kevin D. Crone
I was 19 years old, we were leaving London, Ontario for Windsor, when I heard a news report on the radio asserting that there was research in England that proved cigarette smoking could kill you. I immediately threw my package of cigs away and my friend proclaimed that I was stupid and when he saw me on Sunday night for the return trip, he bet I would be smoking again.
I won that bet and never smoked again. I was not an incredibly smart or enlightened guy. At the time, I was going to university part-time and working at a big company to support my schooling. I probably had twenty bucks in my pocket. That was a long time ago. Who hasn’t heard the message that cigarettes kill, and how many choose to ignore it? I guess dying doesn’t frighten a lot of people from the number one killer.
While playing tennis three nights a week for 35 years, from my late 20s on, I studied how fat, salt and sugar could make you obese and would cause diabetes and heart disease. Since both of those diseases were in my family background, I immediately eliminated red meat, fried foods, alcohol and salt, and didn’t eat a dessert for 35 years. No big deal. I wanted to be able to run around the court, look half decent in a business suit and prevent my genes from winning. So far, after all these years, it has worked.
Again, it doesn’t take a genius to study what is going on with research, to listen and act . Yet there is an epidemic in our consumer driven society of heart disease and diabetes caused by sugar, too many calories and fat. Just look at the size of most people today. Maybe reading is a problem? No. They don’t have enough information and tools to provide it? No. How about learning from historical data? Yes. I guess we know better than doctors.
We don’t seem to let data and the truth in and we don’t go looking for the truth. We make up stories and spin them to match our desires and turn them into beliefs. These mental tricks keep us in the past and present and block learning and improvement.
It is the same for a lot of things in life and business that hurt us. Motivation? Well, I’m not sure anyone reading this has a motivation issue. If you are lazy and have ‘excuse-itis’ and procrastinate a lot, then maybe you think collecting info is doing something. It isn’t. You aren’t in school – you are in real life. It’s only the beginning.
For over six and a half years, since the great recession started, I have been writing Monday Morning Mentors in order to teach and inspire people to fight back and succeed. I gave all our learning away. I gave away my experience as a business coach. I decided that wasn’t enough, so I began call-in teleconference calls and webinars. Then I decided face-to-face sessions or telephone calls would be better. Then I went to workshops and small group dialogues. All free for the asking. The numbers of those sessions have increased and so has the attendance.
Does it make a big difference?
Well, I get some great emails thanking me but I know change doesn’t happen very easily for people – no matter how much research I reveal. “Thanks for the ideas Kevin.” Yeah, right.
I realize inspiration and ideas are important. We need it every day to cope with today’s hurried, overwhelming data-driven life. But I see that it’s as if we all have ADD. We don’t let a lot in at a deep important level. We probably get used to saying “so what?”
The following are a few things I have learned from coaching both executive teams on improving their business, and individuals to improve their performance:
(I) Data and history and even the truth does not seem to get a lot of people or organizations to change.
(II) Even doctors can’t heal themselves. We can’t handle the truth. (Thanks Jack Nicholson). We aren’t objective about ourselves or our organizations. We need to be swept into change usually by some outside group or individual who makes us do what we need to do. Inertia, procrastination, our stories, our sometimes built in ‘cynical and worry about everything ways’ keep us from action. We make life complicated and difficult for ourselves, don’t we?
(III) Things can be simple. Get the facts and act. Yes, I suggest you get help for the process and how to’s because they have been worked out by those professionals who get paid to drag you through them. We are too consumed with problems and all the things to do to get into action – the right way.
(IV) Excuses are for sissies and wussies. As John Wayne once said, “Life is hard. It is a lot harder if you are stupid.” We aren’t stupid. We are successful people. We don’t live with cynicism and sissy attitudes. We go for life, opportunity and success in business. Yet, I just wish everyone could watch tapes of people and executives I coach. You would wonder why we put these stupid roadblocks in our way. We convince ourselves how life is instead of accepting that it’s just that way for us. Our biases and prejudgements prevent action, especially on any new idea. There are simple truths that come from research and experience that can help us choose the life, the leadership and business we want. Then we act. Proper action is 95% of your success.
Since December, I have decided through the encouragement of a few in my meetings, to drag them through what they have to do to respond to a very different marketplace. Finding customers, leadership, making money, building people, engaging employees and sales is especially different today. There is nothing wrong with you. The world changed. It does that.
I suggest you attend my meetings. See and hear the research. For those who keep life simple allow me (or, if you choose, someone else) to drag you to the change of perspectives, strategies and important behaviours you need. Life and business success is there for you. It is simple. Allow yourself to let the facts and truth in. Find a change structure and act. It takes a lot more effort, stress and money to live with problems, our stories and excuses. Go for it!
My promise is to give you assistance with a structure to take research and ideas, and turn them into the proper, simple action. Try anything on your own and you might do it half-heartedly and improperly. You always have to restart. I will let you know about the implementation days soon.
Are you ready to act on what you need to change?
Have a great week!
Kevin D. Crone
Chairman, Dale Carnegie Business Group
firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-826-7300 / 1-800-361-2032
Not a Monday Morning Mentor subscriber yet? Click here to subscribe.
Read past issues in the Monday Morning Mentor Blog.
A Special Invitation from Kevin D. Crone, Canada’s Monday Morning Mentor…
Dale Carnegie Training® has engaged a world wide study on the emerging trend of Salesforce Transformation to explain the changing motives of customers, their enhanced level of sophistication, and how all of this, including the internet and tightening competition is changing how big sales are becoming more complex.
90% of businesses are seen as being commoditized and only 14% of customers see organizations as having unique propositions.
We are bringing together executives from across the GTA to reveal our research findings that will explain why big sales are tougher, what is different now and what is necessary to grab more market share and increase sales.
Executive Coaching Series: The New Sales/Marketing Transition
Wednesday, May 21st
2:30 – 5:00 pm
As always, you will enjoy Kevin’s style, the peer conversation and the insights revealed in the new research.
If you have questions, please email Chee Vang at email@example.com or call our office at 905-826-7300 / 1-800-361-2032.
A Coaching Process for Profitable Action…
Unique help is on the way!
Invitation to those who are willing to lead:
Since December, I have raised my commitment. Instead of just telling or inspiring you to do what has to be done, I have been working with a few business leaders who actually want to get it done. I am enjoying the work immensely because I can see the results of my business coaching.
This month and next, for a day and a half, a team of leaders (owners, executives, sales managers and marketers) are showing up at our meeting room to go through a quick and impactful process that gets them exploring what they can be to their marketplace. I am very impressed with their progress. They think, take coaching and move on to what needs to be done to identify, find, sell and keep more customers.
I have new dates filling up and I can only take a few companies at a time. May 22/23 has room.
Send me an email or give me a call. I’ll answer your questions and if we match up I’ll prepare you for our work together.
Again, it’s quick, an extraordinary process and inexpensive. It’s more profitable action vs. marketing to consumers who aren’t interested, won’t respond and waste your time trying to sell to them.
Contact me today (take Action!)
office: 905-826-7300 / 1-800-361-2032
Visit us at www.dalecarnegie.ca
For more Monday Morning Mentor blogs, events and resources!