A Non-Lombardi Moment… Part 2


“This…,” my new boss said, “is a phonebook. Now get out and make some sales.”

As you learned in Part 1, that was it… training over!

I didn’t know it at the time, but my next several moves in that new position would change the course of my life forever… at least the working portion of my life.

So what was so powerful that morning in 1986?

Well, let me take a quick walk down Memory Lane and then I’ll consider a few lessons that are with me yet tonight!


I knew nothing.

Not about the business… nor its history… nor the markets it served.
Didn’t know the product line… the profit margins… or the competitive advantages.
Never worked in the industry… had no training… and no mentor.

What I DID have was a high quota, so I picked up the phone and started calling.

It had to be pathetic… it couldn’t have sounded professional… this would never work, except…

Suddenly, after three or four calls… I had the President of a large manufacturing firm on the line and he wanted to know if I could be there in twenty minutes!

“Twenty minutes? Of course, I’ll see you then!”

It was thirty minutes away… I made it on time 🙂



I walked through the front door of my very first prospect… was greeted and then told to wait for what seemed like forever in… you guessed it… an office down the hall with no furniture at all! When the potential client finally appeared, he was aggressive and ornery and vulgar and disrespectful.

I walked away with two job orders.

As I got in my car to leave, questions raced through my mind. I wondered… if THIS guy can be THIS successful being THIS much of a tyrant… what could a guy do who treated people with respect and dignity?

More specifically, what could I do?

Then I thought about how my day had started that morning… how that new job had begun… and the same questions popped up. If THIS company I am now working for can be THIS competitive with NO training… NO systems… and NO sales process…

What could I do?

A few more stories and fifteen months later… we found out 🙂


Several Important Insights:

I didn’t wait ’til I knew everything in that position before I took action.
Once I acted, it wasn’t long before I produced.
As I produced, I found things to innovate.

Several More:

Respect is one of the greatest gifts you can give to another person.
Ideas are more likely to be implemented in a culture of respect than in a culture of fear.
The Golden Rule is as powerful and true today as it has ever been.

Final thought:

If you’re unhappy with the culture of the business you’re in… you may want to consider starting your own.

Just sayin’ 🙂

I look forward to speaking with you soon.


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