6 ways to gain cooperation today

Build better rapport and relationships with your colleagues, sales prospects, subordinates, boss, and even your children today by doing the following.

  • Listen more than you talk.
  • When you do talk ask more questions.
  • Focus on what you can do for them instead of what they can do for you.
  • Take the “I” and “me” out of your language.
  • Show them what can be done instead of saying what can’t be done.
  • Show and tell them how it will benefit “them

Apply these principles today and share your results with us in the comments section.

Brian Willett




Say my name, Say my name

Destiny’s Child has a song by this title.  And I think the song has something to do with a boyfriend not calling his girl by her name nor is he calling her baby like he used to, and she is upset thinking he is cheating or something. I am not an expert on music, especially the lyrics.  But what I do know is that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language as Dale Carnegie states in his 30 Human Relation principles.

I found this to be true in my life as well.  If I go to the grocery and I use the cashiers name, they act differently. They smile, they are courteous. Also, if I am at a restaurant and I make it a point to have a conversation with the server and I use their name over and over throughout our interactions over the course of the meal, I get better service. When I remember and use a person’s name that I met months or even years ago, it makes a huge impression on them.

In all of these interactions by using and remembering a person’s name, I am telling them that they are important and that I do care about them.  In society today, we need more of these kinds of interactions.

How often do we grow through the day and say hey, you, we, them, or just deliberately not use a person’s name because we didn’t take the time to ask them their name and remember it.

So here is a quick guide to remembering a person’s name.

1.  Ask.

Yes! Take the time to ask a person their name.  I prefer servers to have a name tag on, because I can start using it immediately.  But if they don’t have one, just ask them their name.

2.  Once you ask it, remember it. 

I prefer the old method of repetition.  Once a person tells me their name, I say it 10 times in my head. 90% of the time this works.  I also will write it down.

3.  Rhyme/features

Association.  There are multiple ways of doing this, but I am kind of weird in that I like to use a rhyming word that just makes sense with their name.  There are certain words that we all have a natural proclivity to tying to another word, usually because they rhyme with each other.  Watch Family Feud and you will see that they ask this question a lot.  What is a word that rhymes with ______?  And usually the contestants get most of the answers correct. You also associate a person with physical impressions.  Like Fred has a big head. Or short person and think of a word that will allow you to remember their name tied with their height. I like to use a MIC with people’s name that are Mike.  Seems goofy, but it works.  I just picture a big microphone and them saying something in it, then it is ingrained in my head.

Some of you are saying this seems like a lot of work!  Is it really?  Secondly, how much do you care about having better relationships, making more money, and showing someone else that you care enough to remember their name?

Brian Willett


15 Invaluable Laws of Growth Summary

My mentor and favorite thought leader John C. Maxwell published a book titled “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” about a year ago.  It is a great playbook on how to be intentional about your own personal growth.  I pulled it back out and read it again, and I want to share the super short summary of the book.

1.  The Law of Intentionality

  • Growth doesn’t just happen.  You must be intentional about your growth

2.  The Law of Awareness

  • You must know yourself to grow yourself. The first step in change is awareness, then you can change.  Check out my blog titled “Are you competent”.  For additional insight on the phase of learning and growing.

3.  The Law of the Mirror

  • You must see value in yourself to add value to yourself.  Don’t compare yourself to others and limit your own self talk that is negative.

4.  The Law of Reflection

  • Learning to pause allows growth to catch up with you.  Peter Drucker says it like this:  “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”  I personally need to do more of this.

5.  The Law of Consistency

  • Motivation gets you going–Discipline keeps you growing.  Develop the good habits that lead to success.  Just showing up is 80% of success.  Some people just don’t show up. You can beat them pretty easily by just being consistent in showing up.

6.  The Law of Environment

  • Growth thrives in conducive surroundings.  Mark Cane says: “The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment you first find yourself in.”  Check out my blog titled “Are you in a Growth environment.”  If you are always at the head of the class you are in the wrong class.

7.  The Law of Design

  • To maximize growth, develop strategies.  Jim Rohn says:  “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you will fall into someone else’s plan.  And guess what they may have planned for you?  NOT much.”

8.  The Law of Pain

  • Good management of bad experiences leads to great growth.  You must suffer pain to realize a gain.  No pain, No gain.  No investment, no ROI.

9.  The Law of the Ladder

  • Character growth determines the height of your personal growth.  Doug Firebaugh says: “Achievement to most people is something you do…to the high achiever, it is something you are.”  Be great!

10.  The Law of the Rubber Band

  • Growth stops when you lose the tension between where you are and where you could be.  W. Somerset Maugham says: “Only a mediocre person is always at his best.”  If you aren’t stretching yourself than you aren’t growing.  Don’t let the rubber band become limp.

11.  The Law of the Trade Offs

  • You have to give up to grow up.  Eric Hoffer says:  “People will cling to an unsatisfactory way of life rather than change in order to get something better for fear of getting something worse.”  The difference between where we are and where we want to be is created by the changes we are willing to make in our lives.  This is an area where I need to continue to grow.

12.  The Law of Curiosity

  • Growth is stimulated by asking Why?  Ask more questions.  The old saying:  Those who can do will always have a job, and the people who know why, will always be their boss.

13.  The Law of Modeling

  • It’s hard to improve when you have no one but yourself to follow.  Find a mentor and look for a coach.  You can’t learn from someone who hasn’t been there before.  Find the people who have been there and done that and ask them lots of questions.

14.  The Law of Expansion

  • Growth always increases your capacity. Most experts believe we only use 10% of their potential.  Wow!  Scary and wonderful at the same time.  We all have the capacity to grow ourselves.

15.  The Law of Contribution

  • Growing yourself enables you to grow others.  You can’t give what you don’t possess.  So first you must grow yourself to be able to grow others, the 14 other laws tell us how to grow ourselves.

There are a lot of little nuggets in the above text.  As the last law states, my hope through my blog and my book summaries is to make a contribution to someone else’s growth.

Brian Willett

Are you a COACH?

This morning I spent some time reflecting on some of the books I have read over the last couple of years.  I did this mainly because I have become a better note taker in the last six months and I wanted to be sure I wrote down the material from some of the great books I have read. Secondly I started this blog seven months ago and I want to share the information.

I was having a conversation yesterday with a really good friend of mine.  I was humbled when he asked me to be his personal coach.  The reason I was humbled, is because I get as much from them as they get from me.  We really do make each other better.  Our conversations and meetings haven’t been well scheduled or planned, but we made an agreement to make sure we plan some regular meetings. We get so much from each other, we need to spend more time talking to each other.  Planning well means we are intentional about our growth and development.  We coach each other.

I pulled out one of my books from one of my favorite authors and thought leaders.  Mr. John C. Maxwell.   His book titled the 15 Laws of Invaluable Growth is probably one of the best play books on personal development that I have read.  In one of the chapters he shares some insights on coaches.

What is a coach?  The word coach is actually derived from the horse-drawn coaches that were developed in the town of Kocs during the fifteenth century.  The vehicles were created to transport Royalty, but they also carried valuables, mail, and eventually common folks.  Kevin Hall wrote in his book Aspire, a “coach” is something or someone, who carries a valued person from where they are to where they want to be. So if you have a coach you would end up at your desired destination.  Isn’t this what a coach does?

Who is a coach?  We can all be coaches.  If you are a parent, a sibling, a manager, a leader, a CEO, a friend, a colleague, a subordinate, a middle manager, a trainer, etc.  We can all be coaches.  You don’t need a title in a company to be a coach.  You can coach from where ever.  It is all about making a decision to do the things below and do it with grace and a good heart for the right reasons.

  • C  are for the People the Coach
  • O  bserve their Attitudes, Behavior, and Performance
  • A  lign Them with their strengths for Peak Performance
  • C  ommunicate and Give Feedback about their Performance
  • H  elp them to improve their lives and their performance

I think the acronym above explains exactly what a coach is.  So for my coaches out there, are you doing those things? I would love to hear any feedback that you may have on this subject.

Brian Willett


Game plan for your success today

Today will be a busy day.  Everyday is busy isn’t it?  We are all so damn busy.  Every one I know is busy.

So here is your agenda for today?  What is the one thing that you must do today that will get you closer to your personal and professional goal(s)?

Pick one thing and one thing only.  Pretend it is life or death if you don’t accomplish this one thing.

Go do it!!!!!

Please share with me by sending me an email or posting in the comments section what that one thing was for you today!


You don’t get paid for merely showing up

I just finished “LinchPin” a great book by Seth Godin.  This book really gets you thinking about how you can become a “Linchpin”.  A person that adds so much value to your organization or your market that they can’t afford to lose you, you are “Indispensable”.  In this book he talks about how the Attendance Based Compensation is dead!   Attendance based compensation (ABC) means you get paid for just showing up to the job, showing up to the factory, and that you can earn a decent wage for just showing up.

In 2014, this (ABC) no longer exists and if it does, then it shouldn’t.  Everyone should be more worried about the value they bring to a company, a job, and the workplace.  Jim Rohn says it like this: “You don’t get paid by the hour, you get paid for the value you bring to the hour.”  To get more money and hour, you must become more valuable, and the way you become more valuable is develop your skills.

First, are you bringing so much value that your company can’t afford to lose you?  Can’t afford to outsource you?  Cant afford to bring in an expert and pay them on a contract, versus paying you a full-time wage with benefits.  Do your actions, thoughts, ideas, suggestions, etc. move the company forward and make the company better?

Don’t just show up to the job, bring value, become a “LinchPin” become a difference maker, be so busy doing that you don’t have time to think about anything else.

Brian Willett

Don’t be an incompetent

My goal in my Sales Class courses is really two-fold:  First and foremost is to teach the class participants how professionals use a process to make sales.  Amateurs wing it and professionals have a process and they know why they win the sale, when they win the sale.  Meaning they follow a sound process.  The second goal in my class: to provide tools and resources that the class participants can apply to their life.  Real leadership is first leading yourself.  Meaning you do what you ask others to do.  Secondly, creating inspiration for others to see that they can become more and have more.

Throughout my class I start with the core of the curriculum and then weave in personal and self-development resources that the class participants can apply to their business, their profession, and their life.

All of my class participants start in 1 of the 4 competencies outlined below.  In their sales knowledge and skill as well as their personal development, they all start in 1 of the 4 areas.  By the end of the course my goal is to have them at least to the 3rd competency.

They can be: 

1.  Unconsciously / Incompetent:  They don’t know they don’t know.  We have all been here before.  They have never been trained on a sales process, they have never been coached for improved performance, so they don’t know that this stuff exists.

They then become…

2.  Consciously / Incompetent:  Meaning they know that they don’t know.  The people who fall into this category are a lot of fun, because if they are aware enough to know that they don’t know, they usually really want to be in my course.  This applies to life as well.  When you can admit that you don’t know something it is usually a great first step in the right direction.

Through the course they become…

3.  Consciously / Competent: Meaning they have now learned a process and they are applying it and are aware of what they are doing and have applied some of the skills learned. This is a really good place to be.  See most people are not aware of where they are and they don’t even know it.  So in my course when a person becomes consciously/competent about the sales process and where their buyer is in the buying decision, it allows them to know what to do next, and by being consciously aware of that you can have more success than you normally would have if you didn’t know what you were doing.

A great example of this is when I play golf.  I have to really focus on are my arms straight, is my head down, and my swinging through the ball.  As you will see below, the golf professionals are not in this category all of the time, they get to the next level of competency even though we all bounce back and forth between the last two competencies.

When you get here during this process on any new skill or trade it is good place to be, because you now have a foundation and you can build off of it, if you continue to focus on it.


4.  Unconsciously / Competent: At this stage you become so good at something that you just do it.  You don’t even have to think about.  It’s like driving a car.  When you get into your car, you just put the key in the ignition and go.  But watch a new driver.  What do they do?  They are a little slower usually aren’t they?  They check the mirrors, they adjust the seat, they are just a little slower than those of us who are more seasoned aren’t they. Another good example is this.  When Kobe Bryant is dribbling the ball down the lane going for a lay-up and the defender steps in his way.  He unconsciously knows he has to crossover the ball to his other hand so the defender doesn’t steal the ball.  He doesn’t even have to think about it, he just does it.  Its like the professional golfers.  They don’t have to think about the little things like I do when they are playing golf. They are unconsciously/competent on those things.  They are more worried about other things.

So where are you in your life, your skills, your career.  Do you not know what you don’t know?  Do you know you don’t know?  So what are you going to do about it?  Or are you aware and you’re applying the training you have received and maybe you need more.  Or are you just so good that you “just do it”.  Be aware of where you are, that is always the best first step and then create some goals to get where you want to be. If you don’t know where you are going you just might end up there.

Brian Willett

The people I want to be around

We are all products of our own environment.  We are who we are because of the associations and company we keep. Growing up your parent(s) may have said now “I don’t want you hanging out with, ________., they are bad news.”  I think we all knew what our parents meant by bad news.  These people would get us in trouble.  Back in those days, what was trouble?  Well, it was staying out too late, or in my case riding my bike in the “next” neighborhood” as we called it.  It was the neighborhood next to ours, and this is what we always called it.  So what was trouble then, is not the same as it is now.

As we get older our associations have much more influence and impact on us than we even know.  If you hang out with Negative Nancy all day at work, but you think you are a positive person, you are just crazy.  Matter of fact, the fact that you hang out with Negative Nancy, and everyone knows that Negative Nancy is Negative Nancy for a reason, you are automatically considered negative as well.  But it is not only the fact that Negative Nancy hurts your image and brand, but she also brings you down.  See, you can’t think forward when you are thinking backwards, duh, right?  So what is that association doing to you?

The law of limited association is where I am seeking to get better with who I am spending my time with.  I can’t spend major time with minor people. Minor meaning: They are great people, but if they don’t think the same way as I do, then it is what it is.  I must cut the amount of time, period.  There are some associations you need to spend more time with.  This is an area where I am seeking to get better.  I have to spend major time with major people.  Major in this case meaning, push me to places I wouldn’t go on my own.  Challenge me to be better.

Someone can always add value to you and your life, if you just take some time and listen and try to learn from them.  However, there comes a point where its time for you to be around people and associate with people who are looking forward to the future the same way you look forward to the future.

The people I want to be around:

  • Seek growth over comfort
  • Fix problems over ignoring them
  • Focus on how we get better today and tomorrow instead of getting through the day
  • Realize they haven’t arrived
  • Have been there before and can tell me how they did it.
  • Inspire me
  • Bring something of significance to the table
  • Tell me something I didn’t know
  • We work together to design something of value and significance
  • Work harder than I do. 
  • Thinks BIG picture and BIG life over the challenges of the day. 
  • The biggest problems we discuss are not WHAT, it is how! 

Last night, I had a great conversation and drinks with a very good friend and colleague of mine.  This person inspired me enough to write this blog today.  I think it sums it up on who I need to spend my time with.

Brian Willett

Why Greg Popovich is the definition of leadership!

Greg Popovich just won his fifth NBA Championship as the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs.  Did you see him on the stage getting the trophy?  Nope, he was in the background, he appeared to be posted up against the scorers table while his team was interviewed by Stuart Scott of ESPN.  I actually think if Pop could have went back to the locker room he would have.

We all know he is a great coach, and he gets joked on a lot about his short interviews at half-time and in between quarters, but this guy is the true definition of a leader.

What makes “Pop” so great?

  • I don’t think I have ever heard him use the pronouns I or me. It is always them, the players, the team, the (INPUT Players names).
  • He makes sure his team gets the credit when they win
  • He takes the blame when they lose.
  • He never talks about his career or his legacy.
  • He loves his players.
  • His players get better each year.
  • He leads by example.
  • He has a system and sticks to it.
  • He has created a winning culture
  • The team is always having fun.
  • He doesn’t want credit, he wants to give credit.
  • He is loyal and the team knows it.
  • He never talks about what he did or how he did it. It’s always about the players.

I know there are a lot of other reasons why Greg Popovich is a great leader.  But last night as I watched the San Antonio Spurs win their fifth NBA Championship under Greg Popovich, I was in awe of how he handled it all.  He is the true definition of great leadership and a great example for all aspiring leaders or current leaders to emulate.

Brian Willett


6 Awesome Book’s you have to read

My last 6 reads were awesome!  I have read a lot of great books, but these were all amazing.  What I have discovered through this journey is the more I read the better resource I become, and I can be a better friend, employee, leader, colleague, mentor, etc.

More than Enough; author Dave Ramsey

If you don’t know who Dave Ramsey is, then you must live under a rock or don’t listen to the radio very much.  Dave Ramsey is the financial guy.  Over 25 years ago Dave went broke twice and after that he decided to create a system that helped him get out of debt and on the path to wealth.  This book doesn’t go through all of the steps he teaches in his programs, but it does give a lot of content on how to live a life of contentment.  That is the key to financial success.  How can you be content today with what you have, while you work towards having more.  And then obviously, he says never, never borrow money.

Crush It (Why now is the time to cash in on your passion); author Gary Vaynerchuk

This book was written in 2006 and some of the information was a little dated.  However, Gary is now the expert in the speaking and author world on anything related to social media.  His style is very unique in that he tells it how it is and he will actually use cuss words in his speaking engagements.  Not to say that it is right, but it shows how passionate he really is.  Currently, he has amassed a sizable fortune, but it all started with him being passionate about being passionate about something.  That is the gist of this book.  What are you passionate about, and how can you start to monetize it. Period.

START (Punch fear in the face, escape average, do work that matters); author Jon Acuff

Actually this book was really along the same lines as the above book by Gary Vaynerchuk. Except, Jon Acuff has a very unique and witty writing style that keeps you interested.  He found his passion and monetized it, just like Gary recommends.  Jon was founded by and developed by Dave Ramsey.  So Jon’s style is very similar to Dave’s in that he talks about walking away from whatever one else is doing, because most people are average and you don’t want to be average “do you”.

Never Go Back (10 Things You’ll never do again); author Dr. Henry Cloud

I recently posted a blog on this book.  I found it so inspiring that I had to write about it.  Check out my blog post titled the same as the book.  But just like the title illustrates, we have all learned lessons in our life, and many of these lessons revolved around the 10 things Dr. Cloud talks about.  This book will now be the book I recommend to people who ask me for advice on relationships.  This book is very relational, but so is life.

48 Days to the work you love; author Dan Miller

I went into this book thinking that it would be a road map to figuring out your passion.  Instead it was really a play book on how to find a job/career that you want to really be in.  The author does a great job at providing resources and really a “how to”, to finding a new job, if that is what you are looking for.  It will now be a book I recommend to any one looking to find a new job, his playbook is well done.

The Laws of Lifetime Growth (Always make your future bigger than your past); author Dan Sullivan 

Dr. John C. Maxwell, one of my favorite authors and speakers wrote a book last year titled the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.  This was a great read and provided a lot of great tools on how to be intentional about growth and development.  The book by Dan Sullivan, has a little bit different tenor and style to it.  It was more about the mindset and attitude you should have with your growth, your growth is all about your attitude.

Brian Willett