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

Userlevel 6
Badge +1

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!

52 replies

Userlevel 2

I’ve read countless books that helped me sell better.

My persistent spirit always likes the phrases of “never split the difference” and “never be so sure of what you want that you wouldn’t take something better” - things that I learned from the art of negotiation by Chris Voss.


“attitude reflects leadership” - Remember the Titans. 


If my team feels “off,” I usually do two things: 


  1. check up on THEM. see how they are doing internally and externally (if you have that relationship)
  2. check up on YOURSELF. how are you doing? Do you need a break? 


Happiness and frustration/negativity both can spread like wildfire. 


As we rolled out MEDDPICC at Remote I read The Qualified Sales Leader (by John Mc Mahon one of the founder of this qualifying framework). There’s load of invaluable coaching advice in this book, but a list of question stood out:

  • Why do they HAVE TO buy?
  • Why do THEY have to buy?
  • Why buy from US?
  • Why buy NOW?

As we focus on helping Sales Reps gaining more control over their deals and their forecast, those questions can go a long way.


I recently read “Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You” by Anne Morris and Frances Frei. 

There is a section in the book focused on “building trust” within your team. They reference three pillars that are critical to establishing trust between manager and direct reports: (1) authenticity (2) logic and (3) empathy. How much of yourself, your own experiences, professional/personal life are you willing to share? (authenticity) … Have you demonstrated true subject matter expertise in the business? Is the GTM strategy thoughtful, decisive and clear? (logic) …. Do you genuinely care about the people within your team - their professional success, career path, well-being etc. (empathy). Ultimately - i always reference these three pillars when I reflect on my own team culture and what I hope to master. Per “Unleashed” - if a leader struggles with one of these areas, that’s their wobble, while strongest area is their anchor. Its a great read with many case studies, relatable principals and lots of great information! 

Userlevel 2
Badge +2

Favorite coaching quote from an early mentor of mine: “Consistent coaching breeds consistent results.” I’ll never forget it


I recently read this in Cameron Hanes’ book, “Endure”: “Sometimes it’s not about what you’re doing, but rather, what you’re NOT doing, that helps you in your journey.”  


“It’s not all about talent. It’s about dependability, consistency, and being able to improve.” -Bill Belichick




Within my coaching talk track, there are two main areas that I continually harp on:

  1. Push the value: Lead with the WHY
  2. Ask open-ended questions: You will face stoic clients/prospects who will yes/no you to death. Ask compelling questions to get more out of the relationship and ensure they understand what you just taught them. 

With that said, I learned a few anecdotes that I stress for both of these:

  • Push the value - for both internal and external customers, always lead with the ‘Why.’ When you are trying to teach, present, or sell, you need to set the stage of how this matters to this person. We are all busy with our core role functions, explain why they need what you are selling/teaching. 
  • Ask open-ended questions - TEDW framework
    • Tell Me/Teach Me
    • Explain to Me
    • Describe to me
    • Walk me through 

This one is a bit corny and came from my dad who was an old field support guy supporting sales supporting field sales reps. This was his advice to me when I first went into sales...

“I never understand why sales people would get so upset about losing… They chose a profession where you loose more than you win, and people tell you your great with +30% win rate. Don’t get mad and make sure you learn from your losses, because chances are you’ll have more of those than “wins” If you can celebrate 3 to 4 out every 10 opportunities and learn something from the remaining 6, you’ll never really loose.”


I am a big fan of Gary Vaynerman’s approach to management - managing with empathy and kindness. He also brings good perspective to make minor tweaks for improvement.


One perspective that I’ve used with my team that is a good reminder when times are tough: “The second you realize that losing is part of the game . . . . and actually a fun and even exciting part, things will change for you. I love losing. I understand it’s part of this game - micro los to macro win!”


I emphasize not dwelling on a loss, finding 1-2 learning to adjust for the next time, and moving on.


One of the biggest takeaways in my professional career has been ‘The Three Pillars of Success’ from Tony Robbins.  I heard about these pillars about 10 years ago and they’ve stuck with me ever since. 

Pillar one - Get focused and clear

Pillar two - Get the best tools (Gong!)

Pillar three - Unlock and unleash

This is just one of many coaching lessons that I live daily and share with my teams constantly.

Userlevel 1
Badge +1

I am not a fan of Jordan Belfort but I ran into one video where he is asked to “Sell me this pen” and the answer he provides I feel is right on point:

¨Step one what are your clients needs?”

If we do not understand that we will never sell on value.



One quote that has always stood out as a people manager is: 

“Preparation drives confidence. Preparation drives performances. Preparation drives progress. Preparation creates separation...Prepare physically. Prepare mentally.” - Kevin DeShazo


It works for me as a manager and for my team.


One of the best recent sales books I’ve read is Bob Moesta and Greg Engle’s Demand-Side Sales, which has a heavy focus on “uncovering demand” through effective discovery. One gem:

Energy matters: Listen for the energy. It’s not just what they say but how they say it. Do they accentuate words? Does the intonation go up or down? Downward intonation implies that there’s something wrong. Listen for pauses or sighs. Did you hear a comma, but there is no comma? Did you hear all caps, but there’s no caps? As soon as you hear this emotional energy, stop and ask further questions. “Wait, tell me more about that. Why is that important?” When we interview customers, Greg and I focus on how people say things as much as what they say.

After reading that, I can no longer listen to calls without hearing the many nuances of intonation and “energy” that salespeople MUST pick up on to effectively dig deeper and understand the root causes of issues that can unlock ROI and help us navigate a prospect’s path to a decision to purchase. Part of training a seller to maximum effectiveness is to teach them not only the business acumen and analytical skills necessary to identify root problems and their potential solutions, but the alignment with their prospect to understand the pain they are trying to solve for, and to help them overcome their anxieties about the current state (and about the risk of a potential change) so that the analysis can land. Without this attunement, they cannot read between the lines, and they’ll be missing out on half of the discovery game.


“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”


It doesn’t matter if you have or had the best numbers, hit all the KPI’s, etc. If your team members don’t believe that you care about them as humans, they won’t take your feedback to heart.


You can also give direct feedback, and they will understand that you are giving it because you care about them.


One takeaway from the book Standing Tall: “You cannot compare yourself to others. You cannot concern yourself with the girl next to you. As I always tell them, know thyself.” ― C. Vivian Stringer

Winning is about being a team player and learning from those around you. You don’t need to beat anyone, you just need to strive to be the best version of yourself you can be. 

Badge +2

I love Masterclass. There are so many options/courses-my personal favorite is the Chris Voss Negotiation class!


One of my former managers told me about when she was interviewing for her job at Apple. the interviewer asked her what she thought made her a good manager, and she said “I give my people the things they need, when they need them.” This has been core to my coaching and managing philosophy ever since.

I’ve always been a big fan of positive psychology and how that translates to work. Shawn Achor has written a bunch of books and has some great TED talks on the topic.

One of my favorite quotes from Shawn is, “If we study what is merely average, we will remain merely average.” 

In sales, studying the outliers vs just someone at or above the average line can have a huge impact. Something I strive to do everyday. 

Userlevel 1
Badge +1

I have always loved data, competitive sports, and the benefits of being resilient. Reading The Five Secrets of a Sales Coach and The Obstacle is the Way right now is giving me create insight into coaching, caring for, and challenging my team and myself. Working in an Amazing culture @ Sifted gives me the opportunity to share the insights from the reading, as well as applying the lessons to keep up with the demands of the business and serve our clients at the highest level.

I love how Gong always starts with the DATA, the 5 Secrets focuses on the SCALE (a great acronym), and the Obstacle focuses on overcoming challenges.       


Some virtual mentors (that I’ve not met) that are phenomenal are:

Adam Grant, Organizational psychologist at Wharton

  • He has noted that time in meetings has ballooned to 3x since pre-pandemic (Feb 2020). And that a third of meetings are generally unnecessary (and cost $25m / 1k people). He suggests 4 reasons to meet
    • to decide
    • to learn
    • to bond
    • to do
  • If a meeting doesn’t serve one of those - it should be cancelled. 
  • This highlights the power of Gong and the enablement to asynchronously keep people out of meetings and only be called upon when necessary with comments on transcripts or snippets! So much productivity/money saved.

Caroline Webb, Author of How To Have A Good Day

  •  To declutter your mind, she suggests a trick called “chunking.” Science shows that our working memory can only handle 3-4 chunks of information at a time. When we often have dozens of thoughts come up during critical work, you can start to write down in a notebook everything that comes up and cluster them in several chunks of information. This tricks our mind into feeling less overwhelmed. Apparently, humans like and need order! 
Userlevel 1
Badge +1

One of the greatest lessons I learned about coaching is from a book called The Coaching Habit. The notion of the book is that coaching is not about directly telling people what they could have or should have done; this action creates dependence on you. By coaching like this, the coachee will depend on you when a similar situation arises. 

Instead, coaching should aim to teach the coachee how to think, analyze, and respond to situations differently by using forward-thinking questions—challenging coachees to consider alternative routes, predetermining actions when met with obstacles, and visualizing what a successful alternative path would look like.

This way, you are giving the coachee the tools needed to think on their feet in real-time instead of depending on you for guidance on what should or could be said. 

Badge +1

I had a billiards coach explain to me once that “you aren’t playing the person - you are playing the table”.  Meaning, it’s all about strategizing every shot you want to take to win before you even take the first.  I think that fits perfectly with what we are now able to do with Gong - which is to know all the best shots and moves before we even think about sinking the 8Ball!


This isn’t from a coaching book, but from THE coach himself, John Wooden. He said “Success is never final, failure is never fatal, and it’s courage that counts.”


I love this quote because it is my plumb line for creating a team environment where failure, risk, and courage are the norm in how we interact with customers, receive coaching feedback, and try crazy ideas. 


“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” -Francis of Asisi