Preppers: A Success Story

By Joe Schum / June 11, 2024 /

“I’ve got a big call this morning.  Really big.  The biggest.  Let’s all get on a call 15 mins before and get everyone’s roles straight so we knock this out of the park!” Okay, how do you think that big client call went?  Not bad? Pretty good?  Great?  Or, it could’ve been better, there were good points, I didn’t see that coming, let’s regroup and set up another call. Or maybe, that really was not good… This is about show prep.  What’s show prep?  If you have ever been involved in the theater, as an actor, director, producer, stage manager…

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Play Like You’re In The Masters, Or Maybe Not?

By Joe Schum / April 26, 2024 /

The Masters Golf Tournament is happening as I write to you dear hippos. For the first time in many, many years, I have spent time watching this storied and supreme sporting event day after day.  (I was recovering from surgery so that’s why I indulged in this decadent use of time) Even if you don’t golf, the Masters is something to witness. From the beginning, the Masters shows its brand. Its tradition to have the greats – the legends –  tee off to commence the tournament is brilliant and nostalgic.  This year, three of history’s best –  Gary Player, Tom…

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Did I Say The God Part Out Loud?

By Joe Schum / March 5, 2024 /

“First I want to thank God for giving me this platform and putting so many amazing people around to help support this dream I’ve had since I was a little kid.  Without him, none of this would be possible.”  Who said this?  Hint: Not me. Patrick Mahomes.  The quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs and three time Super Bowl champion.  What struck me about this quote, among others he made post Super Bowl victory,  is that no one questioned his bringing God into his workplace.  No one, of consequence at least, was upset with his declarations of faith and beliefs…

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Active Replying

By Joe Schum / February 14, 2024 /

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen Covey I agree with Mr. Covey to a point.  I know we do this as a society, and we don’t go far enough.  We listen to reply – exchanging information by telling and asking – because most of us are transactional conversationalists.  Some, with training, lean into a cliched action called Active Listening: a broad action that causes us to listen more intently to what others are saying so we can get what we want out of the exchange. Enter Covey’s…

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The Nine New Year’s Hippo-lutions for 2024

By Joe Schum / January 17, 2024 /

For years I’ve resisted this exercise, and now based on some things I’ve experienced and encountered in the last year, I’m encouraging my authentic “me” to share what I’ve seen and heard to encourage change for the better.  Could any of these be “a better way” for you in 2024? I’ve listed them from things that could make your work different to things that could make your life and the world better… 1. Conversation-serious Stop saying “you guys,” “awesome,” “gotcha” and the ubiquitous “like.. Our conversations are becoming lazy and unprofessional. You’re not an influencer (which btw have been around…

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Finding Einstein

By Joe Schum / December 21, 2023 /
Albert Einstein writing on a blackboard in Pasadena (1931)

Einstein once said “I don’t need to know everything, I just need to know where to find it, when I need it.” Einstein was someone who spent time defining problems and then looking for solutions to them.  He also said “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” But that’s what we, as sales professionals, do many times.  We look to solve a client or prospective client’s problem with things that only make incremental change.  “Same thinking” change. And that’s an incremental change for both them and you!  What do I mean by…

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Where Is William Wallace When You Need Him?

By Joe Schum / November 1, 2023 /

To set the stage, let’s think back to William Wallace (or as we know him: Mel Gibson in a kilt) screaming from horseback, face painted in the antique blue and white, holding a broadsword in the air, screaming: FREEDOM! There are a lot of ways this one can go. I’m going to share my personal experience with a very unscientific anecdote that, while it happened a few years ago, has stayed with me for the duration.  I was conducting a workshop for a company’s new sales professionals – frankly new professionals – and since it was the beginning of the…

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Curious Joe

By Joe Schum / September 12, 2023 /

Green Day. Linkin Park. Black Eyed Peas. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Miley Cyrus. Eminem. And even Barbra Streisand…in sheet music. These are the answers to a question recently posed to a group of clients I work with weekly. “What’s the first music you bought for yourself with your money?” And here’s the most interesting part to my very informal survey over the course of a week –  no one asked me what my first music purchase was, acquired with my hard-earned money.  Insert frowny face here.   When I first began asking this question at the beginning of the weekly workshop…

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You Want to Lead, Now What?

By Joe Schum / August 22, 2023 /

You want to be a manager!  They want to promote you! Now what? Being a first-time leader, and a first-line leader, can be an exciting and scary place when one takes the next step in a corporate career setting. Many companies and organizations promote individual contributors internally, and once they arrive at their new role, leave them to their own devices, managing others, managing KPIs, managing administrative deliverables, and, um, managing to stay in control.  Oh, and all while usually making less than they did before they were promoted.  For sales professionals, the road to on-target earnings (OTE) is harder…

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Tyrants And Saints

By Joe Schum / June 30, 2023 /

CS Lewis once wrote: “How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been; how gloriously different are the saints.” That really stuck with me.  And prompted me to consider all of the leaders in my life, including myself as a leader within, and to take inventory on how many were tyrants and how many saints. Think about your inventory of leaders for a moment.  What makes them a tyrant or a saint for you?  And who came to mind first: a tyrant or a saint? The impact leaders make, whether great or terrible, changes our lives daily.  With…

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