I am all about collaboration.  First of all, failure is not necessarily disastrous – personally, I believe that failure leads to opportunity if you can frame it properly and see it via the right perspective.  After all, if we’ve learned nothing else from Facebook, we know that both Michael Jordan and Albert Einstein failed more times than they succeeded.  My daughter recently drew my attention to a Disney movie (which she of course claims is for babies, considering she’s already a tween) with a fabulous little clip in it about the advantages of failure.  Check it out.

My Cold Call Training is a bit unorthodox, partially in terms of my first stage.  Initially upon commencement of a new project, I listen.  I don’t just listen to the people who hire me (management) and dictate their message.  Instead, I really tune in to the folks on the sales floor – the ones pounding out calls – the ones making appointments and getting through to the decision maker – to find out what they believe is inhibiting unprecedented success.  Sometimes, they reveal genuine gaps in the process that management had not identified (lack of product training/knowledge, limited time to research a prospect properly, faulty technology.)  This post is not about those times.  Today’s blog is about the whiners.
It seems that our society has gotten to a point where we are all very comfortable not only identifying fault (as if that’s productive) but pointing our wagging fingers at any culprit in the vicinity that does not make us personally culpable.  I attended a holiday dinner recently (’tis the season, after all) where the conversation turned to diets and eating habits.  Groan.  One of the guests insisted that that the growing obesity problem is not due to people’s individual eating habits, lack of exercise or emotional hangups about food.  On the contrary, she declared, whipping out a book from her purse (who walks around with a diet book?) citing that we evolved as hunters and gatherers to store fat.  She continued to offer other evidence supporting her book’s theory that we as individuals are not responsible for the shape or health of our bodies.
This intrigued me.
Curiosity has always been one of my strongest attributes, so when I got home, I Googled “not my fault diet book”.  You wouldn’t believe how many books and websites there are dedicated to explaining, proving, theorizing about and walking the reader through how it is not his or her fault that he or she is overweight.  This is one of my favorites, and this one is a close second.  Now, I have no explicit feelings about dieting or eating, but the piece that overwhelmed me was the lack of personal responsibility.  I sometimes find the same in my work.  If your Cold Calls are not generating the results they should, the most likely reason is because you are executing them incorrectly.
Yes, I said you.  It’s probably not your Sales Manager who is failing to motivate you properly or gently enough.  It’s unlikely that you are promoting a product without a market. Your offering is too expensive?  Improbable. If you are not selling, the most likely explanation is that you are doing something wrong.  It’s unpopular to say that these days.  Politically incorrect.  If you recall, I never made any claim that I was either popular or politically acceptable.  I’m comfortable with that.
Let’s take some personal responsibility for our success, both in life and in our career pursuits.  Let’s quit the whining, the finger pointing, the blame and focus on what we can do differently to achieve the results we desire.  Dissatisfied with your weight? Put the donut down and go for a run.  Unhappy with your career choice?  Enroll in night school and become the dental hygienist you always dreamed you could be.  You own your success and I own mine.  It’s time to face it.