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Crossroads Business Development Inc. | Nampa, ID

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Jim Stephens

Often, we’re frightened when we come to terms with a problem that has grown out of proportion and seems dangerous. As these problems manifest, we become more and more aware of the intricacies that have created it. The hardest truth to face when it comes to challenges that build up overtime is that they are typically products of our own creation. Often, built out of a lack of perspective to our own coded responses that come from the autopilot of repeated behavior.


The programmed patterns that we have transcend our roles in life. It's not something that you only do at work; this happens at home too. Contemplate a situation which causes you to react regularly in the same way:

What's the situation, what do I think about it, how does that make me feel, and what do I do.

We've adapted patterns, or scripts, for dealing with stressful situations and this began in childhood. Since we learn them under stress, we adhere rigidly to them. This means that we might notice the patterns we follow in ourselves or our people more under stress. The reality, we can't coach anyone to train anything if we don't know its origin. If its rooted in behavior associated with programming then it will be more difficult to change than if it is simply a problem from a lack of process.

Thought produces feeling. Feeling produces action. Action produces belief. A new programming that we write for ourselves requires confronting and understanding the truth. If you need help with coaching yourself or your team check out my reminder lists on take aways for managing your emotions and your teams behaviors.

Even if you are unfamiliar with the law, you’ve felt its influence. This law states itself plainly, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” When I was preparing to leave for a two week trip this year I found it amazing how much I could get done on the day before the trip. It rang true with the corollary that, “if you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do.”

Parkinson’s Law influences our productivity and if we don’t manage our time we will allow our duties to expand to fit the time we have available. Have you found yourself struggling with your daily duties? Has this led to frustration and caused you to be more reactive rather than proactive? Are you concerned that this lack of time is leading to anxiety in your work life? Read my blog on best practices of time management and time blocking and reach out if you’re ready to have a conversation about what you can do to reduce stress and increase productivity and growth.

Personal standards lay down the foundation for performance in your life. Your standards for yourself are on display for the public, and whether we like it or not, our standards are part of what sends subliminal messages to others about how we feel about ourselves, others, our life, and events as they transpire.

Within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone, we create a narrative about who they are based on what they are wearing, how they communicate, and how they move and hold their body. The messaging we allow to send out is relative to the standards we uphold for ourselves; standards are a set of guidelines on how you will conduct yourself and temper or expand your expectations on the future.

Do you live with a sense of urgency, but constantly find that either the urgency is not shared with others or it’s built out of traps from past experience where you have experienced disappointment related to your expectations? Check in with your operating principles and read my blog post on setting your own standard for excellence if you’re ready to see more improvement and mobility in the status quo.

Initiating change is difficult, oft times dangerous to handle; it carries with it doubts for success but is a vital part of any organization. With the rate of change in technology, innovation, and various new modes of business to business and business to consumer exchanges, companies are constantly facing the need to reorganize. This disruption to the status quo creates a threat to jobs and an anxious feeling for the entire team.

But because this disruption exists on the periphery, the change necessary to take advantage of innovation is put off until the gap has grown to the point where it must be addressed, or a significant investment is made to bring outside help in to solve what has been ignored. Selecting a strategy that works for your organization requires a strong understanding of the strengths of your team and a plan to deal with the expected causes for resistance your organization might face.

Read my blog on some of the necessary steps you might take to ensure your organization’s success and what competencies you should look for in your team—most importantly how to find them and harness them.


Imagine yourself at a networking event: what do you say? Someone walks up to me and asks who I am, here’s my pitch (tweaked based on any information I can find in the small talk leading up to the question which most millennials think is malicious).

I’m Jim with Sandler Training and I help successful business owners who are frustrated by their salesforces’ prospecting that seems more reactive than proactive. Or, if they’re worried that their sales team wastes a majority of their time on unpaid consulting which helps drive down the overall industry value and commoditizes their offering. Sometimes, they’re just experts in their field, who are realizing that their field is not management and they’re looking for strategies to bolster their effectiveness and help build a team that will meet their growth vision and company goals. I don’t suppose any of these three issues are worth us having a conversation?

Your 30-Second Commercial is built from a variety of tactics that don’t present what you do, but rather offer third party narratives that invite the person you’re speaking with to place themselves in the scenario. Think about your elevator pitch. Compare the two: how effective is yours? What strategies do you use that make yours effective? What do you see in mine?

Read this article on how to build an effective 30 Second Commercial and reach out if you want to have a conversation about any of the issues mentioned.

The worst time to shop for groceries is when you’re hungry, and the worst time to start hiring is when you need help. A hiring pipeline is an important threshold that some businesses never attain, but you can make the hiring process easier and more objective with a few tools and some strategy.

 In my latest blog post I go over some keys to the hiring process that we use, important filter thresholds, and an in-depth look at the Devine Inventory which we use to hire, onboard, and train employees, owners, and dedicated learners. Follow this link and read some strategies for best hiring practice then write back if you need help with implementation.

New or young in the profession of sales, we’re all capable of conducting a seminar on how to manipulate salespeople. This is a cultural past time. We learn it from the generations that come before us and it is an accepted and expected interaction. Knowing this and having experienced it; what do you think a seminar on how to manipulate salespeople would consist of?

Check out the list of issues we commonly hear sales professionals mention when referring to abuse from prospects. Are any familiar to you? Did I miss any? Is your company’s sales system sophisticated enough to overcome the prospects strategy to manipulate your team? Reach out and let me know what your expectations would be on this seminar.

The way that we treat our clients is with mutual respect and concern for the longevity and success of the relationships. Why then do we sometimes feel free to treat our coworkers as less than? Often the largest conflicts in business arise within departments and inside of the office. These conflicts can color relationships, cause long-term issues, and even lead to mistakes and problems with clients.

The importance in separating your Role from your Identity is to create an emotional firewall to help you achieve success; seeing this firewall for other people can help mitigate some of the lackluster encounters we have that lead to issues. Read through a recap on I/R Theory and why you should own it and some of the common complaints that we hear our clients share about their coworkers. Make sure when it comes to office conflict, you’re offering a solution, not fueling the fire.

Often times when we look to provide feedback we don’t close the loop with either encouragement or follow-through to set up a clear future or bolster a relationship that needs primed. In work and in relationships we often have to provide feedback that can either sound like criticism or be a critique.

As you think about the next steps that are important to you, I encourage you to also think about what habits you have to ensure that your encounters with others lead to stronger relationships or clear futures. Read my take on Critique vs. Criticism and let me know what you think about that distinction.

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