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December 2008
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February 2009


Develop your sales strength.


In working with presidents who are very scared about the impact of the economy on their sales, we are finding that it is taking longer to close and firms often do not have enough in their pipeline to make up for the delay.  Times have changed.  Have you modified your sales approach?  How effective is your sales force? Does your sales process consistently move leads to qualified prospects and onto closed accounts? Are your sales people up to snuff?


Some sales people will give excuses, “These are tough times, no one is buying anything.” This is not true.  One of my clients reports 144% sales growth last year.  Recall the cliché, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’ The overachievers, the A players that you want and need on your team, still produce sales results.


Seven Practical Pointers on What to Do to Develop Your Sales Force.


  • Ask yourself the tough questions.  Be honest.  Take this free simple sales force assessment at   Along with your score, you'll see how your sales force compares with others, receive an explanation of what your score means, and we'll recommend what you can do to improve your score.
  • Conduct a thorough evaluation of your sales force and sales management
  • Raise expectations by establishing a clear sales plan with goals and process
  • Topgrade – free up the future of the underachievers and recruit A players
  • Continue to develop your sales team through training
  • Keep your people passionate and more productive
  • Hold them accountable


Don’t just wish for growth in 2009!  Now is the time to assess, upgrade, and train the trainable. 


Proactive companies thrive in a recession -- they believe and act. Many firms find they can’t do it alone and turn to a consultant/coach to help navigate choppy water.


Theresa M. Szczurek ( and


With the historical inauguration on 1/20/2009, record numbers of Americans and citizens of the world paused to listen. President Obama's message ignited millions of people. Many were moved to tears or felt goose bumps and tingles up their spine. Why?

As summarized in the Denver Post on 1/21/09, "The president's much-anticipated inaugural speech fused inspirational rhetoric with pragmatic goals aimed at compelling Americans to act while reassuring them that the country can rise to the occasion." The inaugural address tapped into a ancient, universal and sacred process that has been proven to help people produce extraordinary results -- the results needed by America and the world. Here is an overview of how Obama's message utilized the four-step process, called the "Pursuit of Passionate Purpose" process (, to inspire hope, courage, and action.

Assess Progress.

Obama honestly assessed the current situation, "We are in the midst of a crisis..our nation is at war...our economy is badly weakened...our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and ... the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land--a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable and that the next generation must lower its sights. Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America -- they will be met." Built from this honest assessment, the new president then reaffirmed our passion, connected it with our purpose, and established a clear plan of action to pursue.

Find Passion.

Passion is the fuel of any pursuit. It is found in the alignment of values with core competencies. Obama restated what we stand for, "We're guided on a path by core values and what our system stands for. Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends -- hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old. These things are true."

Our core competencies are many as Obama explains, "It has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are...productive. Our minds are...inventive, our goods and services...needed. Our capacity remains undiminished." Obama also stated, "Our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth."

Align Passion with Purpose.

Passion alone is aimless, it must be aligned with a meaningful purpose. As Victor Frankl concludes in Man's Search For Meaning, "There is a human need for purpose." Obama connected our values and gifts, our passion, with a noble purpose, "On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit,... to carry forward that noble idea that ...all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. We understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. The success of our economy depends not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity, on our abiity to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity -- but because it is the surest route to our common good. " Thus, our passionate purpose is to continue the journey toward freedom, greatness and common good.

Pursue Purpose.

In setting a plan with clear goals, the new president encouraged right action, "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin the work of remaking America." Highlighting some of the key strategic initiatives in his plan of action, the president stated, "The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and
  • We will act--not only to create new jobs but to lay a new foundation for growth...

  • We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost.

  • We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.

  • We will transform our schools and colleages and universities to meet thedemands of a new age."

Obama continues:

  • "We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan.

  • We will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

  • Those who manage the public's dollar will be held to account--to spend wisely, reform bad habits and do our business in the light of day."

Having a plan is not enough. It takes courage and action to pursue it. Obama charged Americans to pursue this passionate purpose and in so doing reap the real rewards of meaning and satisfaction, "What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility--a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

And so President Obama on this historic inauguration inspired Americans and the world to 'Believe and Act' and in so doing continue to bring forth the great gift of freedom.

Theresa M. Szczurek ( and


If you slow down enough to be mindful, you might notice and treasure the spirituality of every day life and every day work. What is spirituality? It is connections -- with your self, with other living thngs, to nature, and to the greater spirit. These connections nourish the soul. When asked in my "Pursuit of Passionate Purpose" research study what brings meaning to life. Most people mentioned two things -- contribution and connections. Contribution is what you get from a pursuit of passionate purpose. Connections are deep caring, meaning relationships. They are the spirit of life and the Connections Strategy is one of the six Success Strategies that facilitate forward movement on your journey.

Scott W.Alexander in his book Everyday Spiritual Practice: Simple Pathways for Enriching Your Life encourages intentional, active, and regular practice by engaging the mind, body, heart, will, and soul. How do you engage and connect? Here are some ways to engage.

  • Engage the mind through meditation, prayer, affirmations, journaling, planning, writing, speaking, and silence.

  • Engage the body through exercise, dance, yoga, eating, singing, and other physical activity.

  • Engage the heart through everyday relationships, grieving, parenting, and partnership.

  • Engage the will through recycling, social justice activities, vegetarianism, volunteering, giving, and working toward a cause.

  • Engage the soul through music, cooking, art, gardening, story telling, and meditation.

Passionate purpose optimally engaged your whole self, or spirit, as well as others in the pursuit. The pursuit is consistent with the common myth about the hero's journey. The hero leaves home in service of a worthwhile purpose, encounters obstacles and hindrances, eventually succeeds, and returns home to be of further service. Work and life is our story of living this myth.

What is your spiritual maintenance schedule on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis? Have you, like me, built spirituality through engagement and connections into your personal action plan? This practice can bring the peak performance you seek. Begin now! Believe and Act!

Theresa M. Szczurek ( and


What makes your spirit soar? What makes your heart sing? What makes you feel great? It is helpful to know because you can be more productive, creative, and happy in this state. I find that certain music helps.

Last Sunday at church our congregation sang this song, Let It Be A Dance, by Ric Masten with Mastenville Music. It really lifted my spirit. If you are like me, perhaps it will help you too. It speaks to an attitude and belief that can carry you to greater joy, passion, performance, success.

Chorus: Let it be a dance we do.
May I have this dance with you.
Through the good times and the bad times, too,
let it be a dance.

Let a dancing song be heard.
Play the music, say the words,
and fill the sky with sailing birds.
Let it be a dance.
Let it be a dance.
Let it be a dance.
Learn to follow, learn to lead, feel the rhythm,
fill the need to reap the harvest, plant the seek.
Let it be a dance.


Every body turn and spin,
let your body learn to bend,
and, like a willow with the wind,
let it be a dance.
Let it be a dance.
Let it be a dance.
A child is born, the old must die,
a time for joy, a time to cry.
Take it as it passes by.


Morning star comes out at night.
without the dark there is no light.
If nothings's wrong, nothing's right.
Let it be a dance.
Let it be a dance.
Let it be a dance.
Let the sun shine, let it rain,
share the laughter, bear the pain,
and round and round we go again.
Let it be a dance.


As you embark on this new year, you have a choice. You can choose to trudge on with heavy spirit OR to lightly dance through life with laughter and joy. Why not sing the songs, dance the dances, and pursue the passionate purposes that can carry you, your business, your customers, and others to greatness.

Let it be a dance!

Theresa M. Szczurek ( and