Share a takeaway from your favorite coaching book, movie, story, or quote!



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My favorite podcast about coaching is the Coaching for Leaders podcast.
It provides insightful interviews with successful leaders, coaches, and entrepreneurs. I recently read the book Coaching for Performance by Sir John Whitmore which has been incredibly useful in helping me understand the fundamentals of coaching.

One movie that has stuck with me is ‘The Greatest Showman’, which is a great reminder that you don’t need to be perfect to be successful. It also highlights the importance of having a strong vision and staying resilient in the face of adversity.

One of the most invaluable coaching lessons I have learned came from a mentor who said “You must always be learning and growing in order to be the best coach you can be.” This has been fundamental in helping me to stay open-minded and to constantly learn from my experiences. I strive to incorporate this lesson into my job by continually pushing myself to learn new skills and expand my knowledge.

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Persistence beats resistance. Great change comes from persisting every day, every week, every month and every year. Each small action adds up to one big result. Persistence beats resistance.

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My top one book I come back to each year is: Never Split the Difference by Christopher Voss

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Anything by Mike Weinberg is worthwhile. “Sales Management. Simplified.” is a favorite.

A must read is “The Qualified Sales Leader” by John McMahon:

“Champions have personal aspirations, to realize those aspirations, they need to differentiate themselves within the organization. One way to do that is to solve notable business problems. It’s a way for them to obtain a personal win by being recognized for their efforts and showing their added value to the company.”

 

For sheer entertainment, a favorite movie quote:

“There is no such thing as a no sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can’t. Either way a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close? You or him? – Jim Young, Boiler Room

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I’m a huge football fan and I love Friday Night Lights so I’m going with a Coach Taylor quote:

 “Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door.”

This is pretty straight forward and almost always true, whether you apply it to your career, your life in general, or making the world a better place. Don’t sit around and just hope good things will happen. Go make them happen.

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“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”

We all makes mistakes, but those who learn to adapt based on their past experiences will be able to grow exponentially more than those who are ‘stuck in their ways’. 

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My favorite book is The First 90 Days.  One takeaway for me has been that you always have to tailor your strategy to your role and organization.  What has worked in the past will not necessarily work everywhere!

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Have a favorite coaching podcast? A favorite book you read about coaching? A movie that stuck with you? Learned an invaluable coaching lesson from a mentor or colleague? 

 

Share a quote or a story about how you incorporate that takeaway into your job below!

A favorite book is “It’s Your Ship” by Michael Abrashoff. It speaks to owning your part in a team and bringing the best out in a team by empowering them to do their best work.

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The example I think of isn’t from a source as concrete as a movie or book. There’s a local journalist and author named Tommy Tomlinson and I subscribe to his Substack newsletter. In one edition from June of 2022, a theme mentioned was from a coworker of the author and it was swallow the frog. “What it meant was that now and then, in her job, she was faced with an unappetizing assignment and she might as well get it over with. Swallow the frog and move on.” I think this is a major hurdle that sales reps will have to overcome. When you feel like you just can’t make another call, swallow the frog and do it because you have no idea what opportunity could be on the other end of the next call. 

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Excellent Executive Coaching is a a great podcast that I find myself returning to. It has helped me enhance my craft in coaching which comes in handy in my quality assurance position.

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My favorite piece of coaching advice didn’t come from a book, movie, or podcast. A former sales manager of mine once shared this with me during a particularly rough sales patch: ‘there are only two things we can ever control; our attitude and our activity.’ In the years since, I have not only found this to apply to sales but life in general. 

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“Worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.”

Baz Luhrmann

Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen

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One of my fav non-fiction books is Invisible Influence by Jonah Berger. It talks about how our decisions are being influences every day from our peers, society,, social media etc. 

One of the stories talked about how the more we see something/someone the more we start to like and trust them even if there is no obvious interaction. I think about this a lot of how this kind of marketing is used in sales today, and I also believe this is why longer sales cadences are more effective than shorter ones.

 

Another take away is how the number of names ending in a vowel for girls born in recent years has increased and now I keep noticing it!

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“Feedback is a gift”

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"A coach is someone who tells you what you don't want to hear, who has you see what you don't want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be." - Tom Landry

  • A coach provides blunt, constructive feedback - not just positive reinforcement.
  • They illuminate blind spots and issues the person may be avoiding.
  • The discomfort provoked is in service of tapping into dormant talent.
  • An effective coach believes in the inner capabilities of those they mentor.

A good coach won't simply validate someone, but will push them beyond their comfort zone. This requires honesty, candor and a belief in the abilities of the person being coached. The ultimate goal is to help them achieve their highest aspirations.

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Lead with the why!

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My dad always said, “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar” and this has stayed with me throughout my life and career. 

“Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished.”

– Lisa Cash Hanson

 

“A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.”

– Ara Parasheghian

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"Success is not measured in the position one has reached, but in the obstacles one has overcome." - Jaime Balmes

This quote by Jaime Balmes, a 19th century Spanish philosopher and theologian, highlights the importance of overcoming obstacles and challenges in the pursuit of success.

I can apply this quote to my company by reminding myself and my team that success is not just about concrete achievements, but about the ability to overcome difficulties and adversity on the way to your professional goals. Resilience and determination are valuable qualities in the work environment, and this quote emphasizes their importance.

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I am a huge subscriber to Clifton Strengths. I was very fortunate to have a coach/mentor introduce this to me and the company I was working at at the time. It was an incredible lens into what my peers and managers found important and how they used their strengths to conquer problems on a daily basis. Knowing my own strengths was also a huge advantage and shaped how I went about my daily activities in my old role as well as what I wanted out of future roles. I highly recommend Clifton Strengths and applying it at the team level.

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When the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it ourselves.’ - Lao Tzu

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‘Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.’- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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I had a college professor tell me this one time as we were speaking on my learning style and it has stuck with me since.

 

"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” - Benjamin Franklin

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The AWE (‘And What Else?’) step from Coaching Habits is a great tool to have when you are trying to dig deeper and you get the sense that they’re not quite telling you everything.

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“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” - Pat Riley

 

As a platform, Gong allows our sales reps the tools to improve using qualitative data.  When given the proper tools, and a consistent striving to improve where they can, excellence is inevitable.

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