October 12th, 2010
No Regrets: Finding Your Recipe for
Personal and Professional Success
(This is an excerpt from my upcoming book: Success Simplified with Stephen Covey
Ken, tell me about your idea of no regrets, finding your recipe for personal and professional success?
It began in my professional life, working as a sales leader and vice president of sales for more than fifteen years. For the past thirteen years, I have been consulting with clients helping develop high performance sales teams. In those roles as a sales leader and con, I had to understand both personal and professional goals; in addition, I had to understand their business objectives. I like to say: if you align the soul of the individual to the goals of the organization, it leads to success. Tying all of that together is a very critical step in understanding what the right personal and professional recipe must be for success. From a professional perspective, the no regrets concept moves into the personal level of assisting people to do more in their lives.
Tell me how your sales management consulting moved you to a “no regrets, do-over recipe” strategy for success program.
In developing individuals, both in the field and in the classroom, the coach must observe and correct the actions of the person he or she is developing. One of the greatest training statements a manager can learn to use is: if you had it to do (the action) over again, what would you do differently, if anything? In our workshops or in our consulting role we work with sales managers on re-enforcing the use of this statement.
Typically, in sales role-play situations or after a sales call, the sales manager would ask that question. As a result, the salesperson would begin to self-assess what actions he or she would do differently. The reason this question is powerful and must be used constantly is the act of questioning one’s work it will create a self-managed team and personal development plan.
From that perspective I recognized that we were developing people—not just sales teams—we were developing them personally. The concept of no regrets for personal and professional success came about by realizing how we influence people outside of the sales world and how to
motivate people to move beyond where they are today and improve both their personal and professional lives. My goal is to enhance the success factor for everyone.
That’s how the idea moved from developing salespeople to focusing on how to live life with no regrets. If it were possible to do your life over you might change; unfortunately, none of us have that opportunity. My goal is for everyone to live their lives better!
What would you say would be the greatest contribution to your professional success?
My professional success breaks into four areas.
1. Mentors. Personally, I’ve been fortunate to have individuals who shared great ideas, concepts, and have provided leadership during my life. Finding the right mentors becomes a critical issue for success and leveraging knowledge to improve your life.
2. Risk. Understanding the affect of risk on one’s life is important. Learning to make that critical decision, taking the risk, and learning its affect is important. For example, imagine being in the Olympics and standing on the top of the ten-meter board just before you are to dive. What would you be feeling? You’d be feeling scared, worried, or most likely confident because you had practiced and competed for years. If you had never attempted that dive in competition it would be a risk—that leap—to make the dive. If you took the risk and made the dive, you would know the feeling of what I call “pushing through”—the idea of taking the risk and learning more about yourself, pushing yourself a little bit more. Pushing yourself beyond where you are in life allows individuals to experience the possibility of doing more and expanding your internal belief system.
3. Work. Personal and professional success require focus and work; that is reality. For success, you must commit yourself to achieve predefined goals and objectives in a timeline that is important to achieve. Achieving success through effective work habits and exceeding your success factors in your professional life become critical.
4. Creativity. Creativity is coming up with unique solutions to problems and developing new ways to achieve better results. (I will cover this in more detail later.) The good news is that creativity can be learned!
Creativity, work, risk, and mentors are four categories that each of us can develop. They’ve been a significant influence in my professional and personal life.
In your program, you use a concept of a “Thoreson Theorem.” Tell me more about that.
That phrase was conceived by another individual many years ago when I first began to speak about the power of positivity. Those who know me know I believe: Mondays are marvelous, Tuesdays are terrific, Wednesdays are wonderful days, Thursdays are tremendous, Fridays fabulous, and Saturdays are super. When someone asks me, “How are you today?” I’ll simply refer to the day. For example: “I’m Wonderful; it’s Wednesday.” That puts a positive spin on my life and my attitude. The person who perhaps asked me that question will also feel that positive emotion come back to him or her. My daily/weekly mantra became the first Thoreson Theorem.
I have picked up certain phrases from other individuals. One is: there are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic time frames. In other words, it is a great idea to set objectives or goals but many times we are unrealistic in the timeline that it will take too achieve them. Create a difference in your surroundings and develop a passion. Having an influence on the lives of others and having the opportunity to become passionate and excited about something becomes an important theorem. This action adds another layer to your life and is a key component to personal and professional success. The excitement and involvement brings individuals a new perspective on life.
Another theorem is: your own actions create your own reality. You are responsible for your life and personal outcomes.
A theorem is defined as an idea that’s accepted or proposed as a demonstrable truth; often, part of it is a general theory. I believe these kinds of statements become demonstrable truths as you live your life and experience life.
I use Thoreson Theorems to reinforce my belief that it is important for people to understand the concept of self-improvement and personal responsibility. While the theorems above are general theorems and concepts that others may have created, I think it’s important to create your own personal mantra or motto for building your own successful life.
KEN THORESON, Acumen Management Group, Ltd. founder and principal, offers 25-plus years of sales leadership and management and an energetic, interactive delivery style that fully engages audiences. He infuses keynotes and presentations with real-life anecdotes and client examples that impart philosophical and operational inspiration.
Over the past 12 years, Acumen’s consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated and rejuvenated the sales efforts of hundreds of early stage, turnaround and major corporations companies throughout North America. Acumen is adept at “operationalizing” its expertise in business and sales execution, channel management, revenue generation, sales analysis, forecasting, recruitment, and sales training to help organizations move up and move ahead.
Prior to founding the Acumen Management Group, Ltd., Ken led development stage, entrepreneurial and national vertical software sales organizations as the Vice President of Sales.
Major Speaking Engagements
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Ken Thoreson, President, Acumen Management Group, LTD