Subscribe to CoachUp Insights!

Jim Collins, in his NY Times bestselling book Great By Choice, shares the startling story of two expedition leaders. Roald Amundsun and Robert Falcon Scott began their quest in 1911 to be the first people in modern history to reach the South Pole. Collins writes, "For one team it would be a race to victory and secure trip home. For the second Pole team, all five members would perish." Both leaders were a near-perfect match. Similar ages (39 and 43). Comparable experience. The journey began within days of each other. 

What separated these two men? It was simple. The choices they made in how to prepare for their journey. 

Amundsun prepared with extensive physical training including a 2000 mile bicycling journey. He experimented by eating raw dolphin meat to determine the usefulness of that type of energy supply. He even made a pilgrimage to apprentice with Eskimos.

Robert Falcon Scott preparation was a contrast in choices. He could have practiced more with dogs. He chose to make himself more comfortable by training with ponies. Scott bet on "motor sledges" that hadn't been tested in extreme South Pole conditions. They cracked within the first few days. He could have extensively trained physically to prepare for the challenge. He did not. 

Amundson built enormous buffers for unforeseen events. Scott did not. One reached the destination. The other was found dead eight months later. 

Craig Groeschel, who is host of the enormously popular "Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast" writes, "It's the small choices no one sees that result in the big impact everyone wants." 

Jim Collins has found that 10x companies (massive overachievers) and leaders are defined by the choices they make. They are in essence, "Great by Choice." The image below captures the concepts behind their powerful choices. 

10x pyramid

Fanatic Discipline. Collins defines it as "consistency of action and daily discipline." For 10xers the only legitimate form of discipline is self-discipline. 

Productive Paranoia. Bill Gates said in 1994, "I consider failure on a regular basis." Great sales professionals have a constant fear of failure which is why they insist on a full sales pipeline. It's not a paranoia that paralyzes them. It's a productive paranoia that pushes them toward daily productivity. 

Empirical Creativity. 10xers make bold moves, but generally not bolder moves than their less successful competitors. They have a much deeper empirical foundation for their decisions and actions. That's why their activity is always greater than those they compete against. Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines, stated, "In my spare time, I work." 10xers know that "work works."

Arguably, one of the toughest daily choices sales professionals make is daily prospecting. Activity is a choice. The right activity leads to achievement. Andy Stanley rightly states, "Direction, not intention, determines destination." No one wakes up one day in the land of achievement. They get there by pursuing daily the path of productive activity. Each selling day is a multiple choice test. Craig Groeschel encourages us to understand, "the best decision you can make is always the next one." As a business coach, I encourage you to "choose" activity. You can't always control achievement. But you can control the choice of activity that will lead you to achievement.

John Maxwell, wisely encourages us to understand "every choice you make, makes you." 

And as always, below is a link to a value added resource on today's topic. Enjoy!

13 Powerful Success Quotes About Making Life Choices

At CoachUp, our passion is to help you get to where you want to go. Faster.

Subscribe to CoachUp Insights!

Topics: sales coaching, Sales, sales habits

Dan Whitfield

Written by Dan Whitfield

Dan is dedicated to "coaching up" small business owners and leaders of growth-oriented sales organizations. His goal is to help you get where you want to go. Faster.