October 24, 2013 | Tom Suddes

Dismantling the Sales Machine

“You’re in SALES.  Get over it.”

“Commit to SALES.”

“Selling – at its core – is not a business transaction.
It is first and foremost the forging of a human connection.”

If  you’re okay with these 3 quotes and the For Impact Point of View or Just Ask … you must read DISMANTLING THE SALES MACHINE in the latest Harvard Business Review.

The article makes some huge points that everyone in the For Impact world needs to think (deeply) about:

“Selling today requires flexibility, judgment and a focus on results — not process.” 

One of the best parts about this article, for me, was the idea that leading sales organizations track and report only the customer verifiers … not the sales person’s actions!  WOW.  This puts the focus on outcomes … vs. simply activities.

    Personal Note:  ‘Measurement’/’Accountability’ makes a huge deal in the development/ advancement/fundraising world.  Our ‘green sheet‘ tries to measure both ACTIVITY and PRODUCTIVITY.  (OUTCOMES.)
    I get physically ill when I see development officer/major gifts officer reports that include how many contacts (phone or email, etc.) they have had with a prospect or how many events they have attended or how many visits that were ‘cultivation‘ (their word) and not presentations/asks.

Some ‘teasers’ from the article:

  • “(SALES) reps are most likely to succeed when they feel SUPPORTED rather than directed.”  This is the whole idea of coaching and leading and supporting vs. managing.  While the term ‘sales manager’ is not used much in our advancement world, the concept of a TEAM LEADER for SALES is still critical.  Article points out these team leaders/coaches serve as connectors, encourage collaborative strategy and problem solving and push team members to challenge one another.
  • A New Type of Talent.  Using data that CEB has collected on more than 4 million business professionals, they’ve found that only 17% of the existing sales employees scored high on the competencies required for success ininsight selling”.
    Here’s a great line: “… to identify the small percentage of sales people who have a natural ability to succeed in this new climate, (managers) should consider hiring professionals not currently in sales roles who have excellent critical thinking skills and are willing to sell.”  That’s our Ideal Profile we use in our FIT (For Impact Talent) work!
  • Finally, here’s the last sentence in the article: “As knowledge-work leaders know, the key to success, in the simplest terms, is to:
    • hire the best employees,
    • create an empowering environment,
    • provide the necessary tools and guidance,

How ya doing on this?

***I shared this article with our FI|TSG team to help us do a better job of coaching. Decided that it had great value to ‘Tribe’ as well.

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October 22, 2013 | Tom Suddes




Flying back from Colorado on Sunday. Always pop into the airport bookstores just to see what’s on the shelves.

the OneThing

This book title and cover just jumped out at me: THE ONE THING.

The primary author is Gary Keller, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder of Keller Williams Realty, largest real estate company in the United States. That got my attention.

I really like this book/concept because of its simplicity.

“If you chase two rabbits … you will not catch either one.”

Keller opens by quoting that great line from the hit comedy, City Slickers, with Curly, the grouchy old cowboy played by Jack Palance and Mitch/Billy Crystal.

Curley: “Do you know what the secret of life is?” 

Mitch: “No, what?” 

Curly: “This.”  (He holds up one finger.)

Mitch: “Your finger?

Curly: “One thing.  Just one thing.  You stick to that and everything else doesn’t mean sh*t.”

Mitch: “That’s great, but what’s the one thing?”

Curly: “That’s what you’ve got to figure out.”

Keller and co-author Jay Papasan go on to give a ton of great examples around why focusing on the ONE THING creates huge exponential success.

He even quotes one of my favorite thinkers/writers, Og Mandino.

“It’s those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world.”  

The book lays out the six lies around success:

  1. Everything matters equally.
  2. Multi-tasking.
  3. A disciplined life.
  4. Will power is always on will call.
  5. A balanced life.
  6. Big is bad.

Get the book and read these (especially the concept of multi-tasking, which is ridiculous).

It also has the great alliteration around Purpose + Priority = Productivity (and Profit).

Also website at the The1Thing.com.

Special, Special Note:  Like all of my absolute favorite books … everything you need to know about the book is captured ON THE COVER!  THE ONE THING.  THINK & GROW RICH.  START WITH WHY.  THE MAGIC OF THINKING BIG.  SOAR WITH YOUR STRENGTHS.  THE POWER OF ONE.  And on and on and on.

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October 21, 2013 | Tom Suddes




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October 16, 2013 | Nick Fellers

On Giving, Balance & Project Evaluations

A little humor for your DAY!

On Giving


On Balance


On Project Evaluations


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October 11, 2013 | Tom Suddes

Point of View on a Napkin

Working on Be For Impact … the ‘book’ that’s not a book. Saw this quote:

“The soul never thinks without a picture.” Aristotle.

Here’s a ‘picture’ of our Point of View.


Here’s a PDF of this so you can print … and post/share.

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October 8, 2013 | Tom Suddes

E + R = O

Event + Response = Outcome

Summary from Tim Kight and Starbies. If you’re a follower/tribe member, you know Tim from his magnificent quote/challenge:

“Every organization is perfectly designed to get the results that they’re getting.”

Tim and his son Brian are working with Coach Urban Meyer and his staff and team at The Ohio State University on Leadership.

Tim has captured a great attitude/philosophy of life in the above equation.

It’s not the Event that creates the Outcome. It’s our RESPONSE to the EVENT that creates the OUTCOME.

Simple. Straight forward. Sticky.


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October 3, 2013 | Tom Suddes

Our 9 Guiding Principles

Heading to Notre Dame to keynote the IRISH IMPACT SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR CONFERENCE. Then, speaking with a great group of entrepreneurs and business leaders in Elkhart, Indiana on Friday (epicenter of recreational vehicle manufacturing).

Going to share these 9 Guiding Principles with both groups. Thought I would share with the ‘Tribe’ (For Impact, not Cleveland Indians).

If you are a For Impact ‘Frequent Flyer’, you’ll recognize all of this. They are pretty self-explanatory, but I’ve added a thought in parenthesis.

I always appreciate feedback.

    1. Start With the Why. (Altitude/Top-Down Thinking and Selling.)
    2. You Become What You Think About. (Earl’s Strangest Secret … That’s Not A Secret.)
    3. Change Your Vocabulary. (Change the Way You Talk Changes the Way You Think and Act.)
    4. Think Big. Build Simple. Act Now. (THE Entrepreneur’s Mantra.)
    5. Do The Math. (Know the Math. Own the Math.)
    6. Change the Rules. (Transformational Impact Doesn’t Come from Playing by Current Rules.)
    7. Drive the Bus. (You Drive Who’s On Your Bus, Off the Bus and in the Right Seats.)
    8. Commit to Sales. (You’re In Sales. Get Over It.)
    9. Just Ask. Just Ask. Just Ask. (It’s That Simple. Just Ask.)

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September 30, 2013 | Tom Suddes

Did You Live, Love, Matter?


I did a lot of reading this weekend. Was reviewing Brendon Burchard’s THE MILLIONAIRE MESSENGER.

His 3 questions popped out:


I’m getting ready to present a couple of programs this week around BE FOR IMPACT. This has gone from a message for the ‘Not-For-Profit’ world to a high-level message to the Third Sector, the For-Profit world and for each of us personally.

Did you make an iMPACT?

Here is my #6 L Mantra:


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September 23, 2013 | Tom Suddes

Harvard Announces $6.5 Billion Fundraising Campaign!

Yes, $6.5 Billion! Announced that they have $2.8 Billion committed in the “pre-launch phase of the campaign”.

  • Purpose: “To ensure its leadership role in rapidly shifting landscape of higher education.”
  • Priorities: Teaching and Researching Initiatives (50%), Financial Aid (25%), Capital Improvements (25%)
  • Plan: I am assuming it’s JUST ASK.

P.S./By the Way/For What It’s Worth/FYI: Harvard has over $32 Billion in its Endowment! (More than $10 Billion more than #2, Yale University.)

Average annual return for the last three years is over 10%$3.2 Billion plus.

Harvard’s annual operating budget is $3.7 Billion.

DO THE MATH. (Endowment Income almost covers Operating Budget!)

My (subtle) point: Even with a $32 Billion Endowment, Harvard is able to make a Case for Support and Funding Rationale for raising $6.5 Billion.

For the rest of the sector (those organizations who do not have a $32 Billion Endowment), we should also be able to make a Case for Support and provide a Funding Rationale for our best prospective investors!

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September 20, 2013 | Tom Suddes



We just spent four days at Walt Disney World with the amazing Development Team from Catholic Health Initiatives. We spent one day with the Disney Institute talking about LEADERSHIP, and I wanted to share some big, big takeaways.

  • THE IMPORTANCE OF STORY. If you don’t get or need to be reinforced around the POWER OF STORY … just look at DISNEY! The ‘Founders’ Story’ around Walt and Roy, alone, is worth the proverbial price of admission!
    Walt was the visionary. Roy was the numbers and operations guy. Walt has been gone from Disney for over 40 years … yet everything is a function of his dreams, values … and pithy quotes!
    • “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
    • “It’s easy to make decisions … when you know your values.”
    • “At Disney we measure everything.”
    *WWWD. This shorthand has become so overused, but the leadership at Disney still ask themselves all the time: “What Would Walt Do?” Again, this is almost always paired with a ‘Walt Story’!
  • The LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE MODEL. Disney’s definition of leadership: The leader is anyone who influences change.
    Their model includes 4 key functions that each leader must perform:
  • Benchmarking. One of my favorite leadership lessons from this Disney experience was that Disney doesn’t ‘BENCHMARK’ other companies or other practices. They only BENCHMARK amongst themselves! (E.g., each hotel tries to learn from the best practices of the other hotels. Same with the restaurants, etc.)
  • COMMON LANGUAGE! Talk about the importance of vocabulary! Disney (as does every other Elite Team) has its own common language: Cast Members, Guests, Characters, Story, Front of the House and Heart of the House, etc. And, they use it!

*Personal Note: Everything at Disney is not ‘perfect’. Their grand vision is still to make this the happiest experience on earth. That’s not always the case. But you have to admire the commitment to creativity, innovation, values, team orientation … and guest experience. (Imagine what it would be like if the hotdogs weren’t $25!)

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