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"That's Business" is a Bad Excuse - Helping Motivate Employees


Chances are you didn’t follow two Dallas sports trades. Nor would many readers care a great deal. But, look into the locker-room for ways an organization may be improving, or damaging, their precious culture.
Most recently, a defensive-team leader for the Dallas Cowboys, DeMarcus Ware, was traded. Even though Ware admitted to “understanding this is a business,” note the  unceremonious way he found out about his dispensability. Jerry Jones, the owner and general manager, apologized to Ware for revealing to the media his second thoughts about Ware’s age, injuries and production. Jones told Ware, “I should have communicated those things to you directly before ever saying anything to the media about that.” But – That’s business. Right?

Look past the business of football, and imagine the effect this kind of ‘employee’ engagement has on a team’s culture. The message over the locker-room exit might well be: We want people who can help us win.

Jump a few weeks prior to the Ware situation, to a trade made by the Dallas Stars Hockey Team. Stunningly similar circumstances of a star defensive player’s age, injuries and production, yet handled in employee/culture centric way. 

Stephan Robidas was arguably the best defenseman on the Stars’ roster. A large part of his season was missed due to a broken leg. Robidas worked his keester off in physiotherapy and private ice time. As the trade deadline approached, team manager, Jim Nill included Robidas on his thoughts.
Nill let the 37 year-old Robidas know a number of teams were approaching head office with interest in their stellar defenseman’s availability. Player and manager talked about Stephan’s chances of being on a winning team instead of ending his career on a team in rebuild mode. They talked about how a trade could open up the Stars’ roster for a handful of younger players instead of a straight across, star-for-star trade. 

Stephan Robidas liked the Anaheim Ducks and their playoff chances. He was involved in the decision. Nill and Robidas knew about the possibility of facing the Ducks in the playoffs. Yet they both came to a conclusion based on opportunity – not scarcity and fear.

Again, looking past the business of sports, Nill sent a clear message to his ‘employees’ on the team: We want you to win so we can win. 

In Jim Nill’s words, “It’s important to have trust and a good relationship with your players, and that’s what I want to do with our organization.”

This eBrief is not intended to make Jones’ style wrong or Nils’ approach right.

But it is an obvious juxtaposition of Jones’ business centric approach and Nils’ focus on a player's wellbeing. Plus, it should draw attention to how your company regards its employees relative to the bottom-line.

Do you have a culture that leads with individuals winning or primarily the organization winning? 

Either way, when creating a strong culture: 

“We care about you,” is a good justification. 

“That’s business,” is simply a bad excuse.

How to Be Skinny, Rich and Irresistible - Free Motivational Webinar


Which one – or all – do you want to be? Skinny, Rich and/or Irresistible

Here’s a FUNNY video representative of blast we’ll have on APRIL 1st (no foolin’).
How you deal with disappointments and avoidance tactics are the greatest tools you can use to get what you want personally and professionally. Learn how to pivot disappointments and you will thrive with your fitness, finances and relationships.

Next, get insights on how you can flip your avoidance tactics and you will speed forward with your body, money and marital aspirations. 

Until April 1st

  • List the disappointments you’ve had in the last few years
  • List the various ways you avoid stuff that’s important to you.

Bring that list with you to our April 1st webinar learn more on… 

Sign up for How to Be Skinny, Rich & Irresistible

Sign Up Here

Date and Time: April 1st, 2014 12:00 PM - (US/Central)
Meeting Wall: https://www.startmeeting.com/wall/297-455-702
US call-in #: (530) 881-1212
Meeting ID: 297-455-702


At the scheduled date and time of the meeting, dial into the conference line. When prompted, enter the meeting ID, followed by the pound key. To join the online meeting, click on the meeting link listed above, then press "Join". On the next page, complete your name and email address, then press "Submit". The system will guide you through the process of downloading the meeting dashboard to participate in the online meeting.

We will see you at the How to Be Skinny, Rich and Irresistible webinar.

Covered In Champagne - Driving Sales Performance


There’s plenty of dysfunction in corporations. Yours included. Let's be honest. Behind water coolers, the marketing department sneers at the sales folks’ incessant demands. R&D has a love-hate relationship with the sales team. Fulfillment dreads finding out what the sales guys have promised next. And legal counsel doesn’t, for a second, trust leaving a salesperson to his or her own devices. 

That has to change. 

Your sales professional is your F1 driver. He or she must be the focus or your support team. You’ve worked hard to build your business. Let’s stay in business, shall we?

How long do you think it takes to change four tires on your car? Ten minutes?

How about at a F1 pit stop? Ten seconds?

Try 2.2 seconds.

It is time to reconsider the purpose of your team. 

Take a bird’s eye view of this F1 pit stop video clip. Your perspective on the speed of teamwork will be immediately altered. And don't blink, you might miss it!

              (While you look at this video, think of the driver as you F1 Salesperson)

To best support your F1 sales drivers, and eliminate dysfunction in your company - follow these 5 Essentials for Effective Sales Teams.

1. Strategic Leadership

The aptitude to lead people is not the ONLY roll of an expert leader. Before any interpersonal exchange, a leader MUST have the willingness to envision a team with the right amount of support, in exactly the right positions. A strategic leader dives into all aspects of sales support before standing back to convey a vision for sales execution.

2. Tactical Management

Manage the details, not the people. If you like managing people, get a babysitting job. Managers need to target the minutia so the teammates may shine. A manager has first hand, “pit crew” experience. A great manager has had multiple responsibilities before having a perspective on tactics. 

3. Prepared and Egoless Teammates

Now that the leader has conveyed a strategic vision and the manager has educated the teammates on the minutia, every single person knows exactly how to ensure the sales driver can win. These teammates need to set aside their ego and deliver their expertise. 

4. Precise Execution

Expertise delivery must be precisely executed. In the Age of Speed, the days of “winging it” are gone. Focus on being an extraordinary support person in the roll you have been assigned. 

5. Post Performance Preparation

Immediately following the support you have just delivered, don’t turn your attention to other responsibilities. Set the stage for “Next Time Precise Execution” when the sales person needs you for the upcoming pit stop. (See what the pit crew does after the Ferrari speeds off.)

Set-up your sale drivers to succeed - not flounder, falter or fail. 

Do all this and you will be in the winners circle, covered in champagne.

Lost Boy from...New Jersey? "Across Worlds"


What do you cross a "Lost Boy from Sudan" and a motivational keynote speaker from New Jersey? A powerful experience in the magnitude of connection and the sliver of distance between lives.

across worlds tale two lives adventure

At 8 pm tonight, in Alepho Deng and Dr. Jeff Salz are performing “Across Worlds – A Tale of Two Lives” is an inspiring story of two lives,  a Lost Boy from Sudan and an American mountain climber.  It is an unforgettable experience of loss, endurance and redemption chronicling their respective ‘life’s adventure(s)’.  Tales of growing up in New Jersey and mountaineering in South America are interwoven with a childhood in an idyllic Africa, unchanged for centuries, suddenly swallowed up by gunfire, bombs, wild animals and starvation… and a journey to a place called America.

In 1987, when Alephonsion Deng was seven years old, his village in Southern Sudan was attacked by his own government troops.  To avoid capture he ran into the night with many other young boys.  Without food, water, shoes or parents, he crossed 1,000 miles of lion and crocodile infested territory.  After five years of fleeing war, starvation and wild animals, he reached Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya and began his education.  Nine years later,  in 2001, the U.S. Government welcomed Alephonsion Deng as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.

Every child has a right to a joyful beginning, full of hope, affection and possibility.  Alepho has lived through the harsh reality of war – loss of home, family and friends. Most tragic of all is the sudden end of innocence and opportunity brought about by violence beyond the control and understanding of any child.

 My story is not one of sorrow, pity or feeling bad. In fact, it is a celebration   of the spirit of mankind, of the goodness in the world, and of fortitude, faith and caring. As my journey has taught me, you cannot change what has happened but you can create your own future. ….  Alepho Deng

Carlsbad Village Theatre

8pm, Saturday, March 8th 2014

2822 State Street
CarlsbadCalifornia 92008

I hope to see you as we experience a wonderful journey of adventure AND as Jeff says, "inventure."

Ahead of the Nellies - Olympic Speaker Insights


Driving to the DFW airport for a motivational keynote presentation, an interesting lesson revealed itself. The classroom of said lesson - you ask? Icy driving conditions can teach us a lot about Age of Speed leadership.

Let’s be clear. Icy roads are THE most terrifying driving nightmare you could have. In Western Canada icy roads are not the same as icy conditions in the Southern United States. Packed snow can be slippery but tires on Southern States ice is a pure, unadulterated, white-knuckle experience. 


On Monday morning, school cancellations were all over the news. The masses stayed indoors and rush hour traffic was lighter than normal. Even so, every major artery was reduced to a crawl. But, the roads were fine. Bridges were slippery while the balance of the roadways were dry, clean, glorious pavement with bountiful friction. Easily navigated by four willing tires.

There were three categories of people out there.

1. Nervous Nellies (2 out of 10 drivers)
This lot can find them selves at the front of the pack. Out front simply because they were driving the slowest and it was difficult to get around them. Why they’re on the road must have something to do with necessity because they’re not driving like they want to be there.

2. Oh Jeezers (6 out of 10 drivers)
This group adventured out their front door with a reasonable amount of experience in difficult driving conditions. They were generally content with driving slow and being stuck behind the Nellies. They are often heard muttering under their breath, “Oh jeez.”

3. Yankanadians (2 our of 10 drivers)
These are the remaining 20% who are familiar with winter driving conditions and feel comfortable getting around no matter what the weather. This group, normally from the northern climes, can get stuck behind the Nellies and the Jeezers while getting frustrated, annoyed and fed-up with the lack of progress.

The lessons on Monday morning were clear.

  • It only takes a couple of people to slow everyone down. And the kicker is, the slowest people can be holding everyone else back. 
  • If a Yankanadian can get out in front of the Nellies the Jeezers quickly catch on and follow the quicker path. This means progress is flipped (on the plus side) by people who seize opportunities for leadership. 
  • If you see a Prius with Florida license plates, don’t be too quick to judge. It turned out this one Floridian tree hugger was a good driver and proved she was a Yankanadian. In other words, don’t judge a person’s aptitude by his or her appearance.
So what have we learned about the business of life here?

If you’re a Nervous Nellie, God bless you, we love you the way you are, but please let others pass. 

If you’re an Oh Jeezer, there is hope! And she might be in the Prius with oranges on her plates and a bumper sticker that says, “Follow Me.” 

And if you’re a Yankanadian (those from the South who know how to roll can be honorary members by the way) be patient. Your time to lead is ahead of you. Seize it when you can. 

Lost in Space - Olympic Speaker Insight


The experience of hearing a motivational keynote speaker giving Olympic speeches on peak performance – generally, no one knows the dark times of retirement. For a professional or Olympic athlete, retirement depression is very real. Some of the despair is minor, if not imperceptible. Some of the hopelessness is flat-out suicidal. Gold medalists, champions and also-rans alike, we all experienced some degree of depression in retirement.

Sugar Ray Leonard’s post boxing comebacks resulted from his own haunting words, “Nothing could satisfy me outside the ring.” His well-documented life revealed extreme bouts of depression. Other retired elite athletes have made the same brave admission of depression: Ian Thorpe (swimming), Bill Walton (basketball), Dame Kelly Holmes (track), Andrew Flintoff (boxing) and Eddie George (football) to name a few. Warriors, too proud to seek help or admit weakness resorted to suicide - Junior Seau (football) and Wade Belak (hockey) to name two names - too many. 

From personal experience, the depression after the Olympics in Albertville wasn’t from placing 15th. Going through a divorce didn’t help. Working in a place-holder job compounded the effect. The despair was directly from the loss of purpose.


For four years, every waking moment leading to the Olympic Winter Games was mapped out. Training, competing, team travel, a fraternity of world cup colleagues all vanished with the extinguishing of the Olympic flame. 

This week, a smattering of Gold medalists will be recognized in the media. To my family’s credit, a welcoming party was waiting at the airport upon my return from Albertville. But the following 18 months were empty.

I remember sitting at a conference six months after the Games. A gentleman came over gushing about how much he was inspired by my Olympic story. The gift of his words was lost on me. Inside I was in agony. My mouth said, “Thank you,” but my heart was destroyed with the pounding of, “You have no idea what you’re saying. I am nothing.”

In researching this topic for you, many articles surfaced regarding post athletic depression. In many cases, references to "entertaining fans" or "the media spotlight" is what the athlete misses. 

I have to disagree.

A life of purpose is the big loss. The meaning of every day is gone. No matter what others think or may say. It is the internal compass unable to find north like an astronaut spinning into nothingness.

If you’ve recently experienced a loss of identity or purpose, reach out to others who’ve gone through what you’re going through. They can be an extraordinary source of direction, clarity and comfort. 

If you know a recently retired athlete please forward this 70 Second eBrief to them. If you are that retiring athlete, reach out to me. I know how you feel and what it takes thrive instead of feeling like you’re lost in space.

Either way, be brave! Grab onto a helping hand.

No Fate Worse than Fourth - Olympic Speaker Insight


You'll never forget the moment when you look into an athlete’s eyes - specifially one who just placed fourth at the Olympics. Despite my position now as an Olympic keynote speaker remeniscing about a moment 22 years ago... the memory is still fresh.

Laurent Sistach placed fourth in the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Speed Skiing.  I found him in the bar the night following the finals.  Hiding behind a glass of Jagermeister he looked up slowly, shrugged and gazed back in the glass as if it were a crystal ball beaconing his future.

Laurent Sistach

For eight years he had trained hard.  His reward?  He got to watch the medal ceremony wondering why those ancient Greeks didn’t have a fourth podium, an aluminum medal and a token crown of olive branches.

Somebody has got to lose though.  (Besides, imagine being a fourth place luger. Or a fourth place doubles luger…)

At the Olympics there really are only a few dozen really happy athletes.  The rest are thinking about a small mistake, equipment failure or a crappy seed.

The great equalizer is something that nobody knows about though.

It is the athlete’s party at the end.

If you watch the closing ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, realize that 50+ buses lined up outside the Olympic stadium waiting to take the athletes off to a party that was only for them.

No coaches, no officials, no media… just music, dancing and, flat out fun.

Figure skaters run around like Lilliputians between the legs of lumbering Bobsledders.  Lubricated skiers mix with semi-vertical lugers.  Gunless biathletes with toothless hockey players.  Spry ski jumpers with red-eyed boarders.  Medalists with non-medalists.  But every single Olympian has the same thing on his or her mind.  It’s over and I am free for this one night.

Even the person who placed fourth is free.

The Greeks have a saying that the fourth-place athlete should remember in the days and weeks following.

In the Olympics, you don’t lose. 

You win second place… you win third place… you win fourth place.

Ah… bugger it.  You placed fourth and the feeling sucks. 

Cheers Laurent!  Where ever you are.

(This blog was an updated reprint from an eBrief published in 2006 after the Torino Olympic Winter Games.)


Improving Your 'Visualization' - Olympic Speaker Insights


It’s safe to assume Olympians visualize their performance before hand. BUT... there is a special sequence of imagery to cement peak performance before your own event. 

Watch a figure skater, bobsledder, skier, snowboarder (or any other Olympian for that matter) and you will eventually see them visualizing the way they want to perform. What you may not know is the comprehensive nature of their visualization and imagery.

 Olympic public speaker

This three-part approach is what I've used for two decades as an Olympic motivational speaker and what you can use in your quest to be the best at what you do.

  1. Experien-tualize it. This is a new word to better describe visualization and imagery. Just seeing something in your mind's eye is not nearly effective as adding the other five senses of sound, touch, taste and smell. Bring in all the senses to the imagination and the subconscious is imprinted at a more profound level. If you are about to go on an important sale or a pressure situation - experience every detail in your fertile imagination.
  2. Outcomes not ideas. What are the outcomes you seek? As you experien-tualize your performance, be clear on the outcomes. Who will be impacted? What are the benefits therein? Where will you end up? Why will this feel good? When will everything happen the way you want it to? Simply having an idea of what you want is weak. Being deliberate about the outcomes further enhances the performance you are asking from your subconscious mind.
  3. Before, During & After. Don't just experien-tualize the performance. Run through the exact experience you want before your peak performance, your optimum self during and the exact results after crossing the metaphorical finish line. Athletes who don't visualize after the run crash more than those who see themselves crossing the finish line safely and strongly. 

In summary, experien-tualize the outcomes you want before, during and after your performance and you will reach your goals fast -- just like your Olympic heroes competing in Sochi.

Facebook's Olympic Friends - Olympic Speaker Insights


If you've never attended an Olympic Games as a tourist, host city resident or as an athlete, you can only imagine the sense of community this event creates. None of us in 1992 could have imagined the power of connection social media would do to reconnect our significant friendships.

As odd as it may seem, your event only lasts a relatively brief period - in some cases, seconds. All that training, all the tribulations and mountains of preparation. Yet the climb is infused with cherished memories of friendships and brother/sister-hood.

Willamette Pass athletes

Some of our best friends were on the other teams on the world cup circuit. Yes, we each belonged to a team leading up to race or game day. Individual athletes competed for personal excellence and to summit the medal podium - if possible. But after every event we were a family. We broke bread together, we shared rides, toasted local beer, and even, exchanged competitive insights (but not the best advice ;-)

If you found your way to an Olympic Games as a tourist you will generate fodder for flashbacks. As I write I have dozens. Here are a few I have as a tourist from 1988 in Seoul:

  • Chatting with a Hungarian weightlifter on the subway (his frame took up 1.5 seats)  
  • An unforgettable night at the Lufthansa House
  • Celebrating with a Danish Olympian after the closing ceremonies
The flurry of sound bites, stories destined for Olympic keynote speeches, medal runs dedicated to family members who've passed away -- all accumulate to memories infused in the hearts of friendships beyond compare. 
Those of us who competed together in Albertville are each weighing into Facebook or other conversations of the extraordinary time we shared in our Games. In Sochi - memories are being made in the same way.
Three months after the Olympic Winter Games I overheard my dad talk to a buddy of his. As if it was yesterday, the echoes of his voice fill the air, "Those Olympic Games were the greatest experience of my entire life." 
Three years later, my dad passed away.
What a gift it is to share an Olympic experience with those we love.
Whether they are family, acquaintances, teammates, fellow competitors or Facebook friends. 

Setting the Olympic Record Straight - Olympic Speaker Insights

After reading this Canada's National Post article I had to respond.
Let's get the facts straight. (I trust I'm qualified since I represented Canada at the Olympics in Albertville in the 1992 Olympic Winter Games.) 

1. Nicolas Bochatay (Swiss team - not French) was NOT racing or training when he was killed by hitting a snow cat. He, and others on the Swiss team were free skiing the morning of the finals. The driver of the snow cat was coming up the hill on a tourist slope - far from the speed skiing track. The accident happened on the blind side of a large roller. Nicolas piled fatally into the machinery simply because he saw the snow cat at the last millisecond. Because the race committee tried to keep the accident quiet, it was leaked out to the media the same morning, "Speed Skier dies at Olympics." Later that day, the facts were revealed but the media didn't give it the same attention. The damage was done and the story wasn’t as juicy.

2. I've crashed three times going over 100 mph in speed skiing. Not once, before or during the crash, did I feel my life was in danger. It’s terrifying to watch the Downhillers navigate turns with rock faces, cliffs and trees behind protection fences. The last thing on a good athlete's mind is the danger. Overcoming fear is part of the human condition. This is part of the appeal of watching the Olympics. How do they handle the pressure?

3. FIS, the international ski federation would have to be the one to initiate inclusion of speed skiing in the Olympic program. The politics in sport have EVERYTHING to do with money. This is why ski cross, slope style boarding are included in the Olympics. Viewer eyeballs means more money. Speed Skiing has traditionally had a pretty scarce lobby effort within FIS and speed skiing has a small viewership in world of broadcasting.

4. Citing a speed skiing death from 1965 is like saying the Presidents shouldn't ever go out in public because of Kennedy being shot in 1963. Just as security detail changed 50 years ago with the secret service, speed skiing organizing committees have made the fall line safer and death free for 50 years. 

5. Speed skiing is very exciting to watch. You can easily anticipate crashes in the qualifying rounds, if that is what floats your boat. Plus, when someone is skiing over 200 kmph or 120+ mph they are constantly being violently buffeted by aerodynamic turbulence, a wall of air and 240cm skis constantly catching edges. The Olympic champion, Michael Prufer exceeded 230 kmph on his Gold medal run and at one point was practically riding on his tails before the speed trap. Every athlete in the world struggles with the same factors of mental toughness:  how to overcome the instinct to flinch at real-time speed. This is quintessentially demonstrated in speed skiing.

6. For the author to comfortably add, "the sport doesn’t require much athletic ability" I invited him and all those people under the category of "some may say" to strap on some boards and give it a go. 

7. There is no judging in the speed skiing. Judging involves bias. The athlete who wins at speed skiing is the fastest, strongest and went from the highest point on the track.

8. The Olympic motto is Swifter, Higher, Stronger. What part of Speed Skiing doesn't match Citius, Altius, Fortius?

Should speed skiing be included in the Olympic program? Yes.

Will it? Not with the likes of inaccurate and biased reporting found above.

vince on slopes 92

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