Make It Happen
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Oscar Performance

by Randall Craig on February 24, 2009

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Motivational,

Tagged as: , ,

While very few of us may be professional actors, how often is our “performance” Oscar-worthy? If you’re like most people, you like to do a great job, but are you doing the greatest job? To do the greatest job isn’t a comment on your effort, but rather that the results of your efforts both surpass expectations, and surpass anyone else’s results.

When asked, most award winners will say that it was hard work and support from others that helped them achieve their greatness. If they focus on doing the greatest job, an Oscar may be on the horizon. But what does hard work and support from others mean? Digging behind these words suggests several specific activities:

  • Put in your time: Nobody can be the greatest without spending time learning their craft.
  • Put yourself in harm’s way: Stretch yourself in new ways – and prove you are up to the challenge.
  • Rehearse your presentations: If your message is important enough to give, then it’s important enough to deliver well.
  • Get feedback from your clients: Consider engaging a skilled consultant to collect feedback in client interviews.
  • Tape yourself: Record your presentations, then review the tapes and videos in detail. If you are humble enough, review them with a trusted advisor.
  • Focus beyond the spoken word: Tear apart your old written reports and marketing materials, and look for ways you could have improved them.
  • Find a coach: No matter how great you are, surely there is something that you can do better? A coach, in a certain sense, can play the role of a “living mirror”, providing feedback and instruction beyond what you can see for yourself.
  • Engage with a mentor: While playing a similar role to a coach, mentors provide a different, often more senior perspective.
  • Give back: If you are approaching greatness, you have an obligation to give back to your professional community, workplace, and to everyone else who helped you find your success. Not only does this make the system work, but by teaching what you know, your knowledge deepens even further.
  • Be grateful: The thank you speech is almost as important as the award itself. The speech does recognize all who helped make the Oscar winner great, but more importantly, what is said and how it is said is a reflection of the winner’s character.

This week’s action item: Of all of the items on the list above, how many are you doing? Pick one or two that are new to you, and schedule them in. While you won’t win an Oscar, you can still deliver an Oscar performance.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


Trusting Opportunity

by Randall Craig on January 8, 2008

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Management, Retention

Tagged as: , ,

If you are in the profession of sales, and your key contact at a client quits, is this a good thing or a bad thing? If your boss moves to another department or a division, is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Both of these situations are full of risk. Your new manager may decide that they don’t like what you’re doing – or that they just don’t like you. You suddenly have no credibility beyond your title and job description, and will have to prove yourself all over again. If you don’t perform, you may even find yourself out of a job!

On the other hand, these situations are great opportunities.

  • The opportunity to “convert” your old manager into a mentor, coach, and great reference.
  • The opportunity to start afresh with your new manager, possibly even changing some of your responsibilities.
  • The opportunity to be pulled by your old manager into their new group.

Earning the trust of your new manager is a key career skill that gets better with practice. In fact, earning the trust of those around you yields results well beyond the workplace.

This week’s action item: Trust is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted with a potential new manager – nor your existing one. Earning the trust of those around you is a skill that only improves with practice – so practice it by always delivering on your promises.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)