Archive for spencer hays

Southwestern Company / Great American Ranked In Top 5,000 Companies In America

Posted in Leadership Coaching, Sales Coaching with tags , , , , , , on September 11, 2012 by Dustin Hillis
Southwestern/Great American Inc. 5,000

Southwestern/Great American ranked in the top 5,000 companies in America by Inc.

http://www.inc.com/inc5000/profile/southwesterngreat-american

Inc. Magazine recently ranked Southwestern/Great American as one of the top 5,000 companies in America.

For more than 30 years, Inc. has celebrated the fastest-growing private companies in America. To be honored this year is a particularly notable achievement. To rank among the 2012 Inc. 5000, Southwestern had to thrive through three of the toughest years this economy has seen in living memory. To be successful in such times takes a team with creativity, resilience and tenacity.

As an Inc. 5000 honoree, the Southwestern Family of Companies now shares a pedigree with Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, Jamba Juice, Timberland, Clif Bar, Pandora, Patagonia, Oracle and other notable alumni. The class of 2012 added such powerhouses as Chobani, CDW, Levi Strauss and a little social media company called Facebook.

Several people have already asked us “how did you do it?”

The top 3 common characteristics in the Southwestern Family of Companies are:

1. Persistence:  “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge
Most companies think they need to hire the right talent to be successful.  Southwestern focuses on hiring people who are willing to work hard, study hard and are teachable. Then we plug them into a proven sales system and sales culture, and that is what makes them top producing salespeople.

2. Focus On Doing What’s Right:  Henry Bedford (CEO of Southwestern) often says “It doesn’t matter who is right.  All that matters is what is right.”
The removal of the ego and being okay with “not being right” is one of the hardest things a driven business leader has to do.  Bad decisions are made when a business leader is focused on “being right” and saving face or trying to look good. It’s easy to make progress when everyone in the company is focused on doing what is right.

3. Build Your People and They Will Build a Great Company:  Spencer Hays (the majority share holder of Southwestern/Great American) has always focused on putting resources, training, coaching and consulting into his sales teams, leadership teams and team of employees.  He says that the secret to success is not having the fanciest product or technology on the market.  It’s having a quality product that your company can provide that fills a need in society.  Then focus your time and effort in hiring, training and motivating quality salespeople to serve your customers well.

For more information about how to build these types of systems in your company, fill out this form:

The 3 Types of W.O.R.K.

Posted in Sales Coaching with tags , , , , on March 1, 2012 by Dustin Hillis

Here is another sample of my upcoming book: Navigate: The Art of Not Thinking.

The 3 Types of W.O.R.K.

Showing up for work, being focused at work, and doing your dead-level-best while working should not be something anyone has to think about.

Work Hard

Work Hard

If you spend even just 5% of your brainpower and energy on considering if you should go to work or focused on “wasting time until work ends” or “getting ready to get ready to work”, then you are doing a disservice to society. In the Hebrew language, work is defined as “fulfilling a need in society”. That is also why in the Hebrew language you will not find the word “retirement” because the Hebrew people believe that if someone “retires” then they are removing something that is needed from society.

Personally, I have no retirement plan. I’m going to follow in the footsteps of my mentor Spencer Hays and work until I die. When you love what you do working is just a hobby.

So why do so many of us think that WORK is a 4 letter cuss word?

I think it’s conditioned in us by the society we live in today.

Spencer Hays says there are 2 types of people in this world. Those who make an excuse, and those who work out a way. Which one are you? Do you make excuses to not work hard and do your dead level best?

There are 3 types of work:

1. Just Showing Up
A lot of times just showing up is enough to get by. It’s amazing that a lot of people struggle with even this phase of work.

2. Producing
My father-in-law loves telling the story of when he had my wife Kyah vacuum the stairs. She had a bad attitude toward the work and did a half-hearted job. After vacuuming all the stairs, she told her dad she “worked hard and vacuumed the stairs”. Upon inspection Jack (her dad) said “no, you’re not done. There are still dirt spots on some of the stairs.” Kyah replied “but I worked so hard” and Jack responded “just because you ruffed up the carpet doesn’t mean it’s clean. I don’t care how long or hard you worked it doesn’t matter if you didn’t get the job done right.”

My coaching clients often tell me “how hard they are working” and what they mean is that they are putting in a lot of hours. I always respond to someone telling me “how hard they are working” with “we all work hard. How much are you producing during the time you’re working?”. Usually, people are being busy being busy, putting out fires, responding to emails, and not proactively and intentionally being a top producer.

3. Kicking Booty
After personally coaching hundreds of sales professionals, leaders, sales managers, and business owners, I have found it is a rare individual who gets more done than 5 people combined in the same amount of time. This individual wakes up in the morning and jumps out of bed ready to take on the day. There is no question in this person’s mind whether or not they’re going to go to work and be productive every day. They eat problems for breakfast, check emails at night, and during the income-producing time of the day all they do is win. There is a name for this rare individual… and that name is “Booty Kicker”.
It’s up to us every day to decide, “am I going to kick booty today?” or “am I going to get my booty kicked today?” It’s one or the other and you have to decide daily which one you’re going to choose.

Being a booty kicker is simple, but it’s not easy. Here is an acronym to use to help make sure you are a booty kicker every day.

W.O.R.K.

W – Wake up with a passion for the day every day. Make sure the first thought you have is “I’m going to kick booty today.” Be as productive when you’re not at the office as you are when you are at the office. Momentum is a powerful thing. It can cause you to have a kick-booty day or a lousy day. In marriage, momentum can cause a marriage to be happy or end in divorce. In sports, momentum is the difference between winning and losing. In battle, momentum is the difference between living and dying. You decide everyday… do you want momentum?

O – Organize. Live by the philosophy “Your schedule dictates your day. Your day does not dictate your schedule”. Be proactive, not reactive. If it’s not in your schedule… DON’T DO IT! Plan out every hour of every day.

R – Recruit the help of others. Anything great has been built on the backs of giants. It takes a village to raise a leader to success. Hire help! You focus on what you’re gifted at doing and let other people focus on what they are gifted at doing. If you’re a producer, then 99% of your time should be spent producing! Time is your most valuable asset that can never be replaced. Know what your time is worth. If you are spending time on something that you could pay someone less money then your time is worth, you are not only wasting time… you’re wasting money!

K – Keep perspective. Understand you only live life once. Make a decision of the kind of person you want to be, and be that person every day, every hour, every second. Treat every day like it’s your last… because it really might be. Choose to make a difference in the world and in other people’s lives.

Batman said it best “It doesn’t matter who I am on the inside; all that matters is what I do.”

What is there to think about? Either you work or you don’t. Either you produce or you don’t. Either you kick booty or you don’t. You choose everyday.

Leadership Tips from Dan Moore (Part 3: Leadership by Example)

Posted in Sales Coaching with tags , , , , , , , on January 30, 2012 by Dustin Hillis

Leadership By Example.

“You cannot teach what you don’t know; you cannot lead where you won’t go.”

At Southwestern ConsultingTM, we have a saying “if you want respect around here… go sell something.”  The reason I’m personally committed to working as a partner at the Southwestern Family of Companies is because the leadership lives by this philosophy, “You cannot teach what you don’t know; you cannot lead where you won’t go.”

Dan Moore

Dan Moore, the President of the Southwestern Advantage

Henry Bedford

Henry Bedford the CEO/ Chairman of the Board of the Southwestern Family of Companies

Spencer Hays

Spencer Hays the majority shareholder of all of the Southwestern Family of Companies, Founder of Tom James, and many more successful businesses

Dan, Henry, and Spencer have all personally been in the trenches and sold books door-to-door to earn their stripes at Southwestern.

When Dan Moore takes the stage, his keynote is called “Mr. Mediocrity” and he goes on to tell a story about how he personally learned how “his mind is not his friend”, and how he first learned how to use Positive Mental Attitude techniques to help rewire his negative way of thinking.  Anyone who knows Dan would agree that he is one of the most positive people on earth.  Dan personally sold books, recruited teams to sell books and managed people on the field.  When Dan recruited people, he would tell them “I’m not going to ask you to do anything that I’m not willing to do”.  Living by this philosophy is probably one of the main reasons that Dan has gone from being an intern selling books door-to-door as a college student at Harvard University to now being the President of the Southwestern Advantage.

At Southwestern ConsultingTM, we take the leadership example from Dan Moore and apply to everything we teach and do.  In order for someone to be a Southwestern ConsultingTM Certified Sales Performance Coach, they have to have 10 years of experience and certifiable awards of being a top producer.  Additionally, all of our coaches have to sell coaching in order to be a coach.  In order to be relevant and provide true value to our clients, we believe a coach’s successes in the past, books they’ve written, and amazing accomplishments they’ve achieved is what gets them in the position of being a coach.  But actually selling coaching and personally being a top producer is what makes them a great coach, and how they keep their job, and ultimately become a partner in our consulting firm!

“You cannot teach what you don’t know; you cannot lead where you won’t go.”

For more information about Southwestern ConsultingTM Sales and Leadership Coaching:

Leadership Tips from Dan Moore (part 2: Servant Leadership)

Posted in Sales Coaching with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2012 by Dustin Hillis

Leadership Tip #2: Servant Leadership

“It’s hard to be nervous when your mind is on service.”

Servant Leadership at its finest transforms lives.

Servant Leadership Dan Moore

Dan Moore is one of the best Servant Leaders I’ve ever met!  At our first Southwestern ConsultingTM Success Starts Now! TM sales training seminars, Dan not only was one of our speakers at the event…but he also was the cameraman, set-up crew and clean-up crew.  There have been countless times that we’ve been in a business meeting and Dan is the first person to stand up and get everyone a cup of coffee.  Dan is the first person to offer the best seat to someone else.  Dan is the last person to get his food.  If someone needs anything, Dan gets it or does it without hesitating.  Dan Moore is a Servant Leader.

Here are the 5 Characteristics of a true Servant Leader:

  1. They care more about other people’s success than they do their own.
  2. They listen more than they talk.
  3. They consider how all of their decisions affect their team, customers, company and other people.
  4. They never try to position themselves to take credit for success.  They give other people the credit for success instead.
  5. They live by 2 rules:
    1. Treat others the way they want to be treated.
    2. The first will be last.

Being aware of your actions and decision and being considerate of the effects on others is at the core of a Servant Leader. Being considerate does not come natural for a lot of people (myself included).  Being considerate of my teammates, my loved ones and other people in general is a discipline that as a leader I have to practice everyday.

I thank God everyday for putting Servant Leaders like Dan Moore, Henry Bedford, Steve Hillis and Spencer Hays into my life.  As a leader striving to be a true Servant Leader everyday, my goal is simple.  As Dale Carnegie suggests in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People – stop focusing on what I want and help other people get what they want in life.

What You Are Someday Going To Be You Are Now Becoming

Posted in Leadership Coaching, Motivational, southwestern company truth with tags , , , on November 8, 2011 by Dustin Hillis

Other than the Bible this writing is the single most powerful truth I’ve ever read.  Enjoy!

WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE YOU ARE NOW BECOMING: BY JIM MCEACHERN

ONE OF THE MOST SOBERING THOUGHTS I HAVE EVER BEEN CONFRONTED WITH IS THIS. “WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE YOU ARE NOW BECOMING.” YOU ARE NOW, THIS MOMENT, EXACTLY WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING ALL YOUR LIFE.

ARE YOU NOW THE PERSON YOU DREAMED ABOUT BECOMING? IF YOU HAD WRITTEN DOWN SEVERAL YEARS AGO EXACTLY THE TYPE OF PERSON YOU WANTED TO BE NOW, WHAT KIND OF PERSON WOULD YOU HAVE DESCRIBED? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO BECOMING THAT PERSON?

WHAT KIND OF PERSON DO YOU WANT TO BE A YEAR FROM NOW? OR TWO YEARS FROM NOW? OR FIVE YEARS FROM NOW? OR 10? OR 20?

RIGHT NOW YOU ARE IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING THE PERSON YOU WILL BE IN A YEAR, OR TWO, OR FIVE, OR 10 OR 20 YEARS FROM NOW. THE HABITS YOU HAVE NOW WILL DETERMINE THE KIND OF PERSON YOU WILL BECOME UNLESS YOU CHANGE THOSE HABITS NOW.

WHAT ATTITUDE WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE SOMEDAY? THE ATTITUDE YOU HAVE NOW IS A GOOD INDICATION OF THE ATTITUDE YOU WILL HAVE SOMEDAY, UNLESS RIGHT NOW YOU BEGIN TO DEVELOP A NEW KIND OF ATTITUDE.

IF YOU ARE NOT NOW DOING THOSE THINGS YOU NEED TO DO TO BECOME WHAT YOU WANT TO BECOME, WHAT MAKES YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU EVER WILL?

DO YOU HAVE SITUATIONS OR CIRCUMSTANCES THAT ARE PREVENTING YOU FROM BECOMING WHAT YOU WANT TO BECOME? THOSE SITUATIONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WILL PASS BUT THEY WILL BE REPLACED BY NEW SITUATIONS OR NEW CIRCUMSTANCES. IF YOU WANT TO BECOME A BETTER (OR DIFFERENT) KIND OF PERSON, YOU BETTER GET STARTED NOW. YOU CANNOT WAIT FOR SITUATIONS OR CIRCUMSTANCES THAT ARE JUST RIGHT.

HAVE YOU EVER TOLD YOURSELF. “SOMEDAY I AM GOING TO BEGIN TO SAVE SOME MONEY ON A REGULAR BASIS?” ARE YOU SAVING NOW? IF YOU ARE NOT NOW, YOU PROBABLY WON’T EVER—UNLESS YOU BEGIN NOW. IT WILL NEVER BE ANY EASIER, EVEN IF YOUR INCOME DOUBLES OR TRIPLES. IT WILL NEVER BE ANY EASIER, EVEN IF YOU SOMEDAY EARN TEN TIMES AS MUCH AS YOU DO NOW; SAVING/MONEY REGULARLY HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH INCOME. IT RELATES TO THE DECISIONS YOU MAKE. IF YOU WANT TO DEVELOP A GOOD SAVINGS ACCOUNT, YOU BETTER BEGIN NOW. IN ALL PROBABILITY, IT IS NOW OR NEVER.

DO YOU PLAN TO HAVE GOOD “WORK HABITS” SOMEDAY? DO YOU NOW HAVE GOOD “WORK HABITS?” IF NOT, YOU PROBABLY NEVER WILL, UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO BEGIN TO DEVELOP THEM RIGHT NOW. WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE, YOU ARE NOW BECOMING. MAYBE YOU HAVE SAID, “SOMEDAY, I AM GOING TO SET ASIDE TIME TO READ THE BIBLE AND PRAY EVERY DAY.” WHY SOMEDAY? IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO SET ASIDE TIME NOW, YOU PROBABLY WON’T DO IT SOMEDAY. IF YOU PLAN TO EVER BEGIN, YOU BETTER START FORMING THE HABIT TODAY.

MANY YEARS AGO SPENCER HAYS ASKED ME, “JIM, WHAT KIND OF PERSON DO YOU WANT TO BE IN FIVE YEARS? WHAT KIND OF HUSBAND DO YOU WANT TO BE? WHAT KIND OF FATHER DO YOU WANT TO BE?” I ANSWERED SPENCER BY TELLING HIM THE KIND OF PERSON I WANTED TO BECOME. I TOLD HIM WHAT I WANTED TO BECOME AS A HUSBAND AND AS A FATHER. SPENCER THEN TOLD ME ONE OF THE MOST FRIGHTENING THINGS I HAVE EVER HEARD. HE SAID, “WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE YOU ARE NOW BECOMING.” THEN HE ASKED ME, “IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DO THOSE THINGS NOW, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU EVER WILL?” I RESOLVED THEN TO BEGIN DOING THOSE THINGS WHICH WOULD ENABLE ME TO BECOME THE PERSON, THE HUSBAND AND THE FATHER I WANTED TO BECOME.

WE ARE FACED WITH A CHOICE. WE CAN EITHER BEGIN TO DO THOSE THINGS THAT WILL ENABLE US TO BECOME WHAT WE SOMEDAY WANT TO BECOME—OR WE CAN LEARN TO LIVE WITH REGRET. I WOULD PREFER TO DO EVEN THOSE VERY DIFFICULT TASKS THAT WILL ENABLE ME TO BECOME WHAT I WANT TO BECOME THAN TO LIVE WITH REGRET. EVERY TIME YOU DO THOSE THINGS YOU KNOW YOU OUGHT TO DO, YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF. WHEN YOU DO NOT DO WHAT YOU OUGHT TO DO, YOU FEEL BAD ABOUT YOURSELF.

EITHER WAY YOU ARE IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE.
ALBERT GRAY SAID, “THE SECRET OF SUCCESS OF EVERY MAN WHO HAS EVER BEEN SUCCESSFUL LIES IN THE FACT THAT HE FORMED THE HABIT OF DOING THINGS FAILURES DON’T LIKE TO DO.” TO BECOME WHAT WE WANT TO BECOME REQUIRES FORMING THE HABIT OF DOING THE RIGHT THINGS, THE THINGS FAILURES DON’T LIKE TO DO. THE BEST TIME TO BEGIN FORMING A GOOD HABIT IS RIGHT NOW.

WE ARE NOW, DELIBERATELY AND CONSCIOUSLY, CHOOSING TO BECOME WHAT WE WANT TO SOMEDAY BE, OR WE ARE UNCONSCIOUSLY MAKING THE CHOICE. EITHER WAY WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING WHAT WE ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE. KING DAVID IN THE OLD TESTAMENT DELIBERATELY SOUGHT GOD’S WILL IN MOST FACETS OF HIS LIFE AND BECOME A GREAT MAN. HE APPARENTLY DID NOT CONSCIOUSLY DECIDE WHAT KIND OF FATHER HE WOULD BECOME. AS A RESULT, HIS CHILDREN WERE THE CAUSE OF MUCH SORROW. ONE OF HIS SONS GATHERED AN ARMY TO OVERTHROW HIM. ANOTHER SON RAPED HIS OWN SISTER. THE SON WHO COMMITTED THE RAPE WAS MURDERED BY ANOTHER OF DAVID’S SONS. YOU ARE NOW IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING THE PERSON YOU’RE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE.

I’VE HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF HEARING MANY OUTSTANDING SUCCESS STORIES. THE ACHIEVERS OF THOSE SUCCESSES INVARIABLY STATED. “I DECIDED TO.” IMMEDIATELY AFTER DECIDING THEY TOOK ACTION THAT ENABLED THEM TO BEGIN ACHIEVING THAT WHICH THEY DECIDED TO DO. IT IS THROUGH ACTION THAT WE BECOME.

THIS WORLD IS LITTERED WITH FAILURES. THESE PEOPLE DID NOT INTEND TO BECOME WHAT THEY ARE; THEY INTENDED TO ACHIEVE GREAT THINGS. THEY INTENDED TO BECOME MUCH MORE THAN AVERAGE, BUT THEY WAITED FOR THE RIGHT SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
WHAT ARE PEOPLE WAITING FOR? CHILDREN ARE WAITING UNTIL THEY FINISH SCHOOL. ADULTS ARE WAITING UNTIL THEY GET PROMOTED.    MIDDLE-AGED PEOPLE ARE WAITING UNTIL THEY CAN RETIRE. MANY ARE WAITING FOR CIRCUMSTANCES TO BE “NORMAL.” IN THE PROCESS OF WAITING THEY ARE BECOMING WHAT THEY ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE, EVEN THOUGH THAT IS NOT WHAT THEY INTEND TO BECOME. LIFE DOESN’T WAIT. YOU’RE, RIGHT NOW,

BECOMING WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE. WHAT ARE YOU DOING RIGHT NOW TO BECOME WHAT YOU WANT TO SOMEDAY BECOME?

LOSERS DON’T INTEND TO BECOME LOSERS. THEY BECOME LOSERS WHILE WAITING FOR CIRCUMSTANCES TO GET RIGHT. WINNERS DON’T WAIT. THEY DO WHAT IT TAKES TO BECOME WHAT THEY WANT TO BECOME. THEY DO IT NOW.
-JIM MCEACHERN (1930-2011)

For information about the Southwestern Company Leadership Coaching:

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