Halt Or My Mom Will Text

By Joe Schum / January 4, 2022 /

The photograph above is true.  The names are being revealed to protect the opportunity to shift. Background: My mother is 86!  She’s a retired educator who found her way teaching reading at the elementary school level.   For Thanksgiving this year, we decided as a family to eat out.  It started post Dad, the turkey junkie of the family, and it’s brought a new tradition to carry us forward.  “Mom, go ahead and make the reservation.”  With her iPhone 12 in plain sight, my mother, a one-time educator of the year, grabs the Yellow Pages!  How is that even possible?  Well,…

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The World’s 90 Years w/ My Father, My First Coach

By Joe Schum / December 3, 2021 /

My father would have turned 90 this October. His human form left the building seven years ago and I think about him often.  In honor of his birthday and him, I decided to finally read his doctoral dissertation.  He gave me a copy years ago and I unceremoniously shelved it.  I was aware of some of the content including its inspiration prompted by incidents and experiences I had as an unworldly third grader.  Now as a coach I was more open to the ‘what’ as much as the ‘why,’ maybe even more so. My father’s area of study was how…

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The Sopranos Teach Us About Being Present

By Joe Schum / October 6, 2021 /

There’s a huge revisiting of The Sopranos right now.  When I thought about this blog, I didn’t realize it and it’s true.  With a couple of prequel-type productions and the recent 20th anniversary (2019) of the iconic series, The Sopranos are interesting again.   I happened to watch the entire series over the last month, a la binge! Or should I say “a la Bada Bing”!? There were many “a-ha” moments across my viewing journey and without going down a tangent befitting of 10th-grade Geometry, I’ll share the one that woke me up and drove me to channel my best Roger…

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Ricky Bobby, Tommy Boy and the Comfort Zone

By Joe Schum / September 24, 2021 /

Last weekend I took in two comedy favorites. I hadn’t seen either in quite a while and was eager to relax and get in some laughs.  Oh, the two?  Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Tommy Boy.  Don’t judge me on why I selected these two iconic modern comedies.  I like to laugh, and these films always do the trick. So I got to laugh and, more importantly, I saw some learning moments that in previous viewings never occurred to me.  These movies are about your comfort zone, and the ability and the need to step outside of…

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Beware The Challenger: a model that looks great and is not for everyone

By Joe Schum / August 17, 2021 /

The Challenger sales rep.  It just exudes images of Arnold Schwarzenegger dressed in a beautiful suit, wielding an iPad and a broadsword, ready to engage his inner Closer the Barbarian upon some unsuspecting Star Trek redshirt procurement officer, otherwise known as…the client.  Redshirt won’t even know what hit him. Sexy right?  Full of revenue-gathering testosterone.  And very “me” oriented.  An individual contributor’s dream state, later riding off on the armoured horse to fight another day.  Into the sunset of course . Let me be clear, this is NOT an article chastising the challenger model.  I have participated in Challenger training,…

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Pez People

By Joe Schum / July 27, 2021 /

“We can’t just be product people!” Shouted my spouse, an accomplished sales professional exasperated by a client’s tired approach to seeking relevance regarding a particular product that was being promoted. Fortunately and unfortunately, her office is right next to mine so she’s bombarded by my presence and passion for better connection and conversation between people, especially between sales professionals and their clients and prospects.  Send her your love, she’s resilient. I affectionately call those in the sales profession, who are convinced that they are the reincarnation of their company’s website, Pez People.  Remember Pez?  Funny, comical dispensers of identically shaped…

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Cousin Izzit

By Joe Schum / July 12, 2021 /

Cousin It, diminutive member of Addams Family fame, had an IQ of 320 and talked at approximately the same pace in miles per hour!  His genius was lost on all but his closest family members.  What was he saying? None of us knows, and it’s my guess that he talked fast because he was asking the questions and also giving us the answers.   The most decelerating question you can ask is the one that immediately follows a powerful question.  So many of us do it.   We land really great questions that begin with What, How and Why and then immediately…

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Revealing Our Inmost Selves, Or Lessons in Vulnerability from Beneath the Planet of the Apes

By Joe Schum / June 8, 2021 /

Remember the dystopian sci-fi classic movie “Beneath the Planet of the Apes”?  If you were born in the 60s or 70s, especially if you were a guy, and it was scheduled, it was THE movie to watch on a Saturday night before you had the freedom of a driver’s license and $5 in your pocket (adjusted for deflation). The first movie sequel features a really creepy scene in which the human population who escapes the inversion of the food chain are locked underground, evolving from a life exposed to, well, nuclear exposure, that develops their minds into wireless Cray computers,…

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Dad, When Do We Get There?

By Joe Schum / May 14, 2021 /

“Dad! When do we get there?!?!”   “Stop asking me!  We will get there when we get there!”  That’s what my Dad used to say to us, sequestered in the back seat of an unairconditioned family truckster heading to Grandma’s Florida retreat.  We wanted answers and didn’t know where else to go for them. There was a map, folded in a variety of permutations, and a clock on the dashboard that, if it still worked and you were past the seventh grade, gave you the knowledge to combine those two tools into a reasonable idea of just “how long?” Now where…

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The Godfather of Coaching

By Joe Schum / April 26, 2021 /

The Godfather, iconic and critically acclaimed for many reasons, is considered one of the greatest and most influential films of all time. It was the highest grossing film of 1972, winning a record five Golden Globes (not to be surpassed until 2017), three Academy Awards, and surprisingly, not one for coaching.  Well, that’s a miss in my book!  Now I’m often accused of seeing coachable moments everywhere, so, yes, I actually found a coaching moment in this film.  In the opening scene, a man, an undertaker by trade, narrates a story of woe.  His daughter has been beaten by two…

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