Evolution or Obsolescence?

change is difficult
Once upon a time you were in love. They owned you. Everything they did captivated your soul. But. They just weren’t that into you. You were best friends and you always had been. And that’s where you always will be.

You’ve been in the Friend Zone before. It’s a horrible death for any hope of a romantic relationship.

Just like your comfort zone is a horrible death for your dreams.

And dreams? Are meant to push us to do things we didn’t think we could do. Do you dream of being average? No. You don’t. You dream of being inspirational. Of driving fancy cars, owning your own oceanfront condo in Maui, and wearing Armani suits.

Those dreams don’t come true without work. Without work that kicks you in the teeth. That makes you cringe at the thought of it.

Dreams don’t come true without pain.
The Pain of Dreams

Pain brings dreams to life. The pain of living and breathing outside of your comfort zone, not the kind of pain that hurts you. But the kind of pain that brings growth, evolution, and transformation.

The gorgeous butterfly outside your office window this summer didn’t become a butterfly without bloodshed. That caterpillar created its own deathbed. Only to arise from the bloody mess of death as one of the most beautiful insects in the world.

Just like you. Just like you have to power to do for yourself.

You want to succeed? You have to be willing to bleed. You have to be willing to walk the talk. To make things happen. No matter how scary they are.
Evolution or Obsolescence?

Dave and Rich were best friends in high school. Dave was always looking for the toughest skate pipes. Rich was always watching.

He admired Dave’s abilities, but he never tested his own to see if he could keep up. So he sat. And watched.

Pipe after pipe, the air Dave grabbed was unbelievable. His stunts made Rich and their friends look at him like he was superhuman. He didn’t get that way because he didn’t try. Or because he was scared.

Dave was leery, in the beginning, about throwing his body in the air with only hope that he would land on his feet on the board and not on his neck on the pipe. But that fear didn’t stop him. Even when he saw his friends crash and burn, only to be carted away in the back of ambulances, Dave pushed forward. Prepared to carry out his dream, regardless of what he had to do to make it. He tried new tricks. He pushed himself beyond what he thought his body would let him do.

Because to win? Was the ONLY choice he had…

Thousands of hours and dozens of failed attempts later, Dave skated in the competition of his dreams and took the championship. Year after year.

Rich grew up to be the best mail-sorter in the building. Not Dave. Dave grew up to own and run a successful skateboard company. And now he travels the world talking to kids about staying clean and keeping the board alive.

Rich didn’t test himself. He didn’t push himself to be more than he was. So he stayed right where he was. He didn’t grow. He didn’t evolve. He. Became. Obsolete.

Are you Rich or are you Dave?

My latest project

Seven of us have banded together to create a comic book for kids to show them they can choose to be a superhero in life. All of my fellow authors have devoted our lives to making a difference. This campaign is to create this comic on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding program and you can find it here. If you can find it in your heart to make a contribution (in exchange for a cool prize!), it would mean the world to me and to the kids who will get their hands on this comic.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rtcompanies/the-crusaders

I cannot thank you enough!

Devin

Progress not perfection…

progress not perfection

Don’t do it…

Society

Being strong…

being strong...

The hardest thing…

The Hardest Thing

You decide

If you had all the money in the world but still had to have some kind of job, what would you choose to do?

Change

Many people approach change as if they were holding their breath.  They try to freeze the present, hold things static, and resist change in an attempt to control the world around them.  Teams, our families, and our communities are alive.  They live, breathe, and change every day.  They need movement.

The purpose of work for each of us is to create movement, to produce some sort of change for the organization. Without movement toward its goals, an organization will suffocate.  Hence, change is the oxygen that all organizations need to grow.

 

Luke Skywalker

If you spend a day with a highly accomplished medical sales person then you are probably going to hear that one of their primary drivers for success is cultivating surgeon relationships.  It is a rather obvious point but there is certainly more to this story. You will hear such things as “champion, KOL, thought leader, advocate, race horse, Big Dog and a host of other terms of endearment.

They will tell you that they possess the unique ability to build solid relationships very quickly.  It gets real interesting when you then ask them how they are able to do so when so many others cannot to the same degree.  The typical response is something like “I just do what comes natural” or “it is hard to explain but I just see things differently” or “I have the rare gift of connecting with my customers” or “my customers just know that they are in good hands with me.”   You walk away feeling like you just had a close encounter with Haley Joel Osment from the Sixth Sense ( I see dead people) or maybe “Luke Skywalker” and being that you are a mere mortal, the “force” and the super natural are beyond your comprehension. Do you have a “Luke Skywalker” in your sales force?  I bet you do and I also bet that he is your #1 sales trainer based on his performance.   I found this to be of particular interest because this is often the very same person that is used as the gold standard for “what good looks like” in the sales force.   ”Houston, we have a problem…

This is where the story gets really interesting.  Poor old “Luke” is being paraded around like a show pony and asked to train most of the new people but he is unable to actually articulate what makes him so successful.  Since repetition is the mother of all learning, maybe we can just have the trainee spend the next six months with “Luke” to learn his moves.  It worked for Danielson in the Karate Kid (Wax on, wax off) and maybe Mr. Miyagi is looking for a job as a sales trainer. On second thought, that probably won’t work either.  Instead, we settle for a 3-5 day field ride whereby the trainee watches “Luke” perform his magic show hoping to bottle it up and take “it” home upon the completion of the training ride.  It begs the question, “Is selling medical products an art or science? I would argue both and in the meantime you may want to consider giving “Luke” some science classes.

“First management had plans, and then strategic plans. Now we have vision, and we’re only one small step from hallucination.” – Ainsley Throckmorton

endangered species

The wonderful world of the “rock-star” medical device sales rep is in danger of becoming extinct.  For those of you still knee-deep in the industry and in a current state of denial, please bear with me as I share with you your demise.  Some of you are probably waiting around for the next “hot thing” or that start-up paying big $ and promising you that they are going IPO.  In the interim, you are at your third company in the last five years walking around like a zombie from hospital to hospital because you know that this ship is taking water too.  You have either just left another National Sales Meeting (NSM) or are headed to one and know full well that it will be a waste of 3-4 days of your life because you are totally disengaged.  I bet you are real excited to hear another round of marketing presentations by some folks that have little clue as to what actually happens in the real world.  I forgot about the drink tickets that they now give out too to avoid any mishaps like last years disaster at (NSM).  Wake up call !!  Lets focus a minute on your current reality.

Hospitals do not want your kind in their facilities anymore.   You are probably wondering what “your kind” is but you know that sales rep who walks around the hospital like they actually work there.  The kind of sales rep who actually starts to believe that they are as critical to the success of their surgeons’ cases as the actual surgeon.  That sales rep who wears scrubs to and from the hospital and down deep starts to believe that they actually add value in the operating room by merely standing in the back of the room.  The sales rep who feels the need to share their knowledge with the rest of the sales force as to what it takes to make it happen on a consistent basis without even being asked.  Really?  You know that sales rep that is paraded around like a show horse because they have figured out the secret sauce (according to sales management) to making their # quarter after quarter, year after year etc….  come on everyone. just do it like him! Do you happen to work with anyone who fits this description? I bet you do.   The truth hurts sometimes but sunshine is often the best disinfectant.  Your world has changed and you just don’t see it. In some ways, you are not that much different from a vampire who hides in a coffin to avoid the realities of the world.

Most hospitals now understand that the quickest way to control cost is to limit your availability to their physicians.  Now what?  The thought of spending time in offices is beyond comprehension.  I mean seriously, I am a medical device sales rep. The days of hanging around Operating Room (OR)  lounges, walking from room to room, scrub sink cold calls and literally camping out all day in an (OR) are long gone.  Instead, you have now have RepTrax, Vendormate, Vendor Clear and a host of other monitoring systems to keep an eye on you every time you arrive and depart their facility.  Ouch!  Awfully, difficult to cold call on the new surgeon who is busy and using the competitive product, isn’t it?  This coupled with pricing pressures, competition, commoditization, compliance etc…. it certainly is not like the good ole days.

I know that sounds harsh but if you really think about it for a few minutes, you know that I may be on to something.  Now what?  You can certainly hop from company to company hoping that one of them will be a home run if their stock price goes through the roof.  I am not sure that is a viable strategy but HOPE can certainly cloud ones judgment.   Do yourself a favor and buckle your seat belts because your ride is going to be a bumpy one unless you change.  What’s next?  Stay tuned!