Category: Motivational Speaker

What I Learned from My Pandemic

 

As a Florida motivational speaker who frequently delivers live presentations in Tampa, Orlando and Miami, I am well aware of what the pandemic did to wipe out everyone’s motivation. In fact, there’s a lot of research to back up why you’re feeling unmotivated following a miserable year of lockdown.

 

Where’s My Life?

Cory Stieg, wrote an article for CNBC (January 14, 2021) entitled “How the pandemic killed your motivation, and 6 simple ways to get it back, according to science.” It is a well-written piece where six key “motivational un-blockers” are identified by psychologists to help you get up and moving once again. The un-blockers include (the italics are mine):

  1. Create a daily ritual. Have a purpose.
  2. Set up routine cues. Make every day places and things special.
  3. Reward yourself in the right way. Celebrate responsibly.
  4. Make room for moments of positivity. Appreciate yourself.
  5. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes we need to go back to move forward.
  6. Know your triggers. Avoid mean people and time wasters.

As I read Ms. Stieg’s piece, I was struck by how well my philosophy of Vision, Mindset and Grit meshed with what the psychologists had identified as being important. I also realized that every one of us, at some point in our lives, will have our own, “personal pandemics.” These pandemics can knock us to the ground, and will un-motivate us to give up hope if we let them. For some of us it’s physical; for others it’s emotional or a devastating tragedy to ourselves or someone we love; sometimes, it’s all three.

Remembering the Moment

I remember the exact moment I awakened in my hospital bed following a horrific automobile accident in which I was a passenger. I was, one minute before the accident, a Florida State football player and competitive martial artist, and one minute after, a quadriplegic. My life, as I had known it, was over.

In that moment of awakening, I also knew that I had a choice. I chose a vision of overcoming “the pandemic” that had been dealt to me. How would I do this? By having a life’s purpose; by setting up strenuous routine to make me as whole and as well as I could be; by celebrating each triumph; by appreciating each victory of movement; by forgiving myself for slipping back or failing and most importantly, allowing no one to sit there and feel sorry for me.

I knew that to overcome the challenge of where my life had unexpectedly taken me, that I needed a singular mindset of wellness. Maybe nothing would ever be exactly the same, but in other ways, I knew it could be better and I could be stronger in purpose. I would not allow anyone to out-determine me.

How would I accomplish what I needed to accomplish? Through daily, hourly, minute-by-minute grit. I would not permit myself to be out-worked, or out-hustled.

This past year might have been the hardest you have ever faced work-wise, socially, physically or psychologically. And possibly, it came on top of another personal pandemic that previously crushed you.

My message is that you can stand-up, you can be greater than you ever thought possible, and you will succeed with vision, mindset and grit. As a Florida motivational keynote speaker, I know you can do it and that I can help.

 

To book Scott Burrows, Florida Motivational Speaker for your next event, contact him today through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

 

Resilience is Forged by Determination & Grit

 

Last year in a virtual speech on resilience, I was asked if a resilient manager is the descriptor of someone without conviction or an objective.

“Oh no,” I said, “it is quite the opposite.”

In fact, as a keynote speaker on resilience, I know that the most resilient managers are determined, highly focused and always have a strong sense of purpose. To illustrate my comment, I gave her an example of a basic household item we all take for granted: the rubber band. I might start by saying that the rubber band hasn’t been made of natural rubber in decades!

Born of Vision

When we think of resilience, our minds tend to wander to elastic objects that stretch, bend and return to their original shape. But an elastic object, be it a rubber band or stretch band is first formed by heating chemical compounds, then poured into hardened steel molds, cured by steam heat and eventually cut by hard steel blades to an exacting thickness.

To make an elastic rubber band requires design, engineering, a manufacturing process, quality control and constant refinement.

The purpose of this post isn’t to teach organizations the art of rubber band making, but to illustrate that even the most flexible of objects or resilient of practices is rooted in solid ground or strong tradition or singular mindset.

While the willow tree may bend in the breeze, its strong roots do not; while the lifelong study of Tai Chi is seen as a process of flexibility and flowing movements, its practitioners are extremely aware of their core and connection to the earth.

Resilient Changes

In these times of constant change and the resilience required to meet those changes, the most successful organizations are those that cultivate three key practices: Vision, Mindset and Grit. Whether your organization is devoted to legal, accounting, healthcare or rubber band manufacturing, resilience must be deeply rooted in purpose.

Having a resilient vision means that although pandemic and recovery will cause our organizations undergo constant change this year, we must develop a plan that will connect us to “the earth” of our mission. This plan means we must be determined to be imaginative, creative, deliberate and powerful.

Having a resilient mindset requires not just our teams, but every individual on our team to work at being at their best. To be the best, we must be determined to develop a resilient mindset by honing our skills and strengths to handle with any problem or task that comes our way. The strong roots of the willow tree did not develop that way because of light breezes and plentiful water, but to cope with the changing terrain.

Developing resilient grit is to know that each day, every hour in that day we will face unexpected challenges that must be overcome. Times may change, workplace stressors and opportunities change, but grit is constant.

Resilience is forged of hard determination; to stand against the change and the challenges and ultimately to win, whether your company is involved in insurance, biotech or rubber bands. Resilience in tough times creates winners; narrow thinking or losing intent leads to failure and defeat.

 

To hire Scott Burrows, Motivational Resilience Speaker for your next in-person or virtual event, contact him today through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

 

The Post-Covid-19 Recovery Looks Promising, But Nothing is Automatic

 

As a motivational sales speaker, I keep hearing from my colleagues in sales all of the “happy news” about how great 2021 will be for sales professionals. On the surface, everything does look positive, but that’s when I start getting worried.

Joyce Chang, Chair of Global Research for J.P. Morgan, wrote on January 14, 2021, “2021 should bring stabilization and a reset for a number of disruptions experienced this year, with front-loaded market momentum and an economic recovery to follow.”

Who better to benefit from that recovery than the sales community? Ms. Chang also predicted that “the strongest global recovery in a decade will play out by the end of 2021 if the vaccine prospects play out as expected.”

Right this minute, at least four vaccines are showing excellent efficacy and the vaccinations nationwide are ahead of schedule. Does that mean sales people are free from challenges? Far from it. Let me take two of the highest-ticket consumer items, homes and cars, plus for balance in business, the computer software industry to illustrate an important point.

Nothing is Automatic 

On March 1, 2021, the Home Buying Institute reported, “Low mortgage rates and a pandemic-fueled desire for homeownership and space have increased demand within housing markets all across the country. At the same time, real estate listings and overall inventory levels have declined sharply.”

If you are in sales for any aspect of the residential industry, unless you are willing to have the mindset to deliver world-class customer service, expect stiff competition and a rough road ahead.

Bill Ross, Founder of Linchpin, an SEO and marketing organization, wrote this about car sales for 2021, “Automotive competition is intense. The concern is the peak demand for their product may have reached its potential. The decline in automotive sales is universal, with most European and American markets down nearly 5%.”

Everyone involved in automotive sales from new car sales to after-market understands 2021 will see many new regulations, a push for alternative fuel vehicles and the meteoric rise of online car sales. Do you know the rules, understand alternative technologies and can you compete against the threat of online car sales?

Finally, the Computing Technology Industry Association issued a comprehensive report at the end of 2020, as vaccines were starting to be administered, “As the industry emerges from a chaotic year, it will begin a rebuilding phase, but this rebuilding goes beyond restoration. There is little opportunity to return to the old way of doing things…this isn’t rebuilding to reclaim the past; this is rebuilding for the future.”

Do you have the vision to help the industry rebuild sales?

What Sets You Apart?

Whether you are in healthcare, landscaping, pharmaceutical, insurance or apparel sales, 2021 will have lots of potential but nothing will be the same as pre-pandemic. In order to compete, you must have the vision to see where your industry is going.  You must develop the mindset to be focused on success – whatever it takes, and the grit to see it through.

As a motivational sales speaker, I know that 2021 will be uncertain. None of us have gone this way before, but with vision, mindset and grit, this uncertain year could turn into the most successful year in your career. Let’s make it happen!

 

To book Scott Burrows motivational sales speaker, contact him today through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

2021 Insurance Sales: It’s About the Attitude of the Team

 

As a motivational sales speaker for insurance conferences, I know that as uncertain as 2020 may have been for the entire industry amid unprecedented changes, 2021 will test those in the insurance industry more than ever before.

Insurance industry expert Jean-François Gasc wrote an article on January 6, 2021 detailing the Top 10 most important trends in insurance sales for the coming year. If 2020 was the year of the pandemic, then we must consider 2021 the year of “trust.”

Every Team Must Buy-In

Gasc makes it clear that more than ever, trust is a non-negotiable element in the insurance industry.

“Consumers will not only expect their providers to give them good service and value for money, they’ll also require them to protect their personal information. What’s more, they’ll expect their providers to behave ethically in all facets of their businesses. Insurers that are perceived to have breached the trust of their customers risk substantial reputational damage.”

Building confidence and trust is a team effort and there must be a common mindset to protect the customer. As we have heard time and time again, selling insurance is a team effort. It is not just about someone closing a deal, but having everyone in the organization delivering world class customer service.

The foundation of the client-broker relationship must be a strong sense of ethics coupled with an understanding of the vulnerability of every valued customer. Personal information must be protected as the highest priority.

Does everyone at your agency have a vision of protecting the client?

Why is this mindset so important? Of all of the negative business news that confronted us in 2020, cyber fraud was at an all-time high. Cyber theft occurred in numerous agencies because employees let down their guards. It ranged from team members opening suspicious emails to using unauthorized websites while at work to openly sharing email addresses and sensitive data.

International cyber security expert Evez Hasson wrote (January 26, 2021):

“The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards a more digital world and triggered changes in online shopping behaviors that are likely to have lasting effects… This trend is predicted to grow in 2021. And with many businesses forced to change the way they conduct their sales; the risk of fraud is growing exponentially.”

If we combine the observations of the two experts, we can see two disturbing patterns: cyber crooks are constantly looking for ways to access sensitive files and customers need reassurance that your team is doing everything in its power to protect them.

Are You Determined to Advocate?

Insurance sales comes down to having the daily grit to place the security of the customer above all other considerations. It is a team mindset where everyone shares in that common vision. In 2021, the most successful agencies will have a positive team attitude on behalf of their clients.

Be a part of that mindset. Live that vision, and have the grit to aim for a level of ethics that will make you the industry leader.

Your client needs an advocate. Be that advocate.

 

 

To book Scott Burrows, insurance sales motivational speaker, contact him today through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

 

Sometimes Resilience Means Standing Firm

As a motivational speaker on resilience and grit, I have learned that most people confuse resilient with flexible. They are different words with different meanings. The definition of resilient I like to use in my motivational speeches is “the ability to spring back into shape; elasticity.”

Flexible isn’t Resilient

There are all kinds of examples of flexible. A garden hose is flexible, and so is spaghetti. In a negotiation, we can say that one of the parties was flexible; students and teachers learned how to be flexible in high school Zoom meetings and certainly a yoga instructor must be flexible.

However, in being resilient, we must strive to get back to our original shape, or to be even better than we were before. Now, as the tragedies of 2020 begin to fade and the sunrise of 2021 optimism looms before us, we must learn how to spring back better than ever. Learning won’t be automatic.

On January 15, 2021, Professor Julian Birkinshaw wrote a guest article for Forbes on resilience. I want to quote part of a paragraph from the piece:

“But what does getting back to normal look like? There seem two very different answers to this question, depending on who you ask. Some argue that the pandemic has fundamentally changed how we live our lives – for better and worse – and that these new attitudes and behaviours are now so ingrained that we aren’t going back. Others see these new behaviours as temporary adjustments to a one-off shock, and predict a wholesale reversion to type as soon as the shock is over.”

Professor Birkinshaw gives us a map with a fork in the road. We can throw up our hands and say, “nothing will be the same,” or we can have the mindset to stand up, stand firm, and be decisive in our determination to claw our way back to the best of what we had.

The choice is clearly ours to make. What is your choice? I surely know mine.

This is Nothing

Many years ago, I was involved in a serious car crash that hurled me from the world of a Division I football player and full-contact martial artist to a quadriplegic. If you would like, you may think of it as 2019 as it got slammed into 2020.

I awakened from the shock of my accident to discover every movement I had learned from childhood, every instinct I took for granted on the gridiron or in the ring was lost. It was from my hospital bed, the very moment I awakened that I developed my philosophy of Vision, Mindset and Grit.

I refused to see myself as a victim. I refused to see myself as having a life that was fundamentally change. I saw, instead, a resilient person who would shake off the worst of what was thrown at me, and that I could “spring back into shape.”

I gave myself a vision of independence and wellness. I empowered myself with a mindset to develop – not arrogance – but high self-esteem, and purposed to do whatever it would take to continue working to achieve my goal, even if I faie.

These years later, I have success I could never imagine, the love of a wife and friends, and the ability to stand firm against the tide. We have all been through a rough patch, but none of us are resigned to the negativity and the hopelessness of what we went through last year.

 

 

Book Scott Burrows, resilience speaker by contacting him through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

 

What does it mean to be “accountable?” As a safety and accountability motivational speaker, I know that my audiences, virtual or in-person, understand “safety” but I am often asked about the accountability part. We all know about accountability, but how it is measured? It is one of my favorite topics to cover in my talks on safety.

The Accountability Factor

It has been nearly a decade (June 1, 2010), since safety expert David Maxfield wrote an excellent article for EHS Today entitled: “Workplace Safety is the Leading Edge of a Culture of Accountability.” In his article, Maxfield wrote about an automotive company executive whose team had an exceptional safety record. The manager stated:

“I use safety as the leading edge of accountability. We need accountability to achieve the quality, productivity and cost targets we set. But I start with safety. If I can’t achieve accountability around safety, then I can’t achieve accountability around anything.”

Another way of starting the accountability and safety interplay discussion is by using the word “mindset.” It is easy for a manager, department or employee to ask themselves, “Are we accountable?” When we do that, every hand in the room is raised. Of course, if we’re accountable the voices might shout in unison. However, if the incidences of workplace accidents are up, if lost hours or days or even weeks are lost due to injuries, if cost targets are completely missed as the result of workplace injury occurrences, then how accountable have we been?

Did our organization have the mindset to see that the leading edge of accountability is quantifiable? If our organization lacks the vision to understand that each safety violation added one on top of the other will result in dollars and cents impact, then all of our talk on accountability is just that – talk.

Grit Averts Tragedy

Several years ago, Angela Duckworth Ph.D conducted a groundbreaking psychological examination on “grit” as the key to academic and occupational excellence. Her conclusion?

“The strongest predictor of success is grit… passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is essentially about stamina, and how consistently you work in a certain direction over time.”

If the desired goal in the workplace is to be accountable, and if accountability is so closely linked to safety, then we must have the grit, the hourly, grind-it-out mentality to persevere to make that happen.

There are no magic safety wall posters or neat safety slogans that can take the place of daily grit. When grit is combined with a safety mindset and the members of the team all pull together with common vision, then quantifiable improvements can be seen.

A safe workplace, no matter the field of expertise of the organization, will achieve a higher quality in its goods or services; it will achieve greater productivity, whether that productivity is measured in units, efficiency or reduced labor.  Clearly, if we have a safe workplace, we will achieve our production cost objectives.

The willingness to get “as gritty as possible,” to make every hour an hour devoted to safety, will define our accountability as an organization – and it will save lives.

 

Book Scott Burrows, Safety & Accountability Keynote Speaker by contacting him through this website or directly calling his office at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

Florida is Coming Back Stronger than Ever – Are You Ready?

 

As a Florida Motivational Speaker who resides in Florida, you don’t have to remind me how badly the pandemic affected our state. A lot of my friends described the pandemic as a massive hurricane. In a way, that’s good. As a Floridian and a Florida Keynote Speaker, I know that no state in the nation gets over a hurricane better and faster than Florida.

Florida, Are You Determined to Make a Stand?

As 2019 gave way to 2020, Business Insider made three important statements about Florida:

  1. Florida is one of the United States’ economic powerhouses.
  2. It’s the third biggest state in the country by population, and has the fourth biggest economy. In fact, its GDP is larger than all but 16 countries.
  3. Florida’s economy is extremely diverse, with tourism and agriculture among its top industries.

While those statements are important, they left out the most important point: In Florida, our strength comes from our people.

As a Florida motivational speaker who has spoken to businesses, associations and other groups in Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Tallahassee and virtually every other city, I know the strength of our people. There is nothing that we can’t accomplish when we set our mind to it.

How do we go from where we were to where we want to be? It’s going to take all of our effort and my philosophy of Vision, Mindset and Grit.

Florida, Are You Determined to be The Best Ever?

I don’t believe in “getting back to where we were,” but getting to better than we were. We had a set-back, but that doesn’t mean we should sit back. Our people, our greatest asset, need to rise up and make a stand.

Florida, what is our vision for the months ahead as we re-energize and lift-up one another? Our vision must be one of pulling together, helping one another and doing all we can to returning Florida to where we need to be.

There will be those who will think that looking forward and being optimistic are not important, and that it is better to remember the good old days and to let someone else be positive and hopeful.

We must all share in this vision together, and we are all important. But it takes more than vision. It is a mindset. The Florida mindset has always been bold and enterprising. Whether your business, association or school is in Miami or St. Petersburg, you have never settled for “good enough.”

So, why start now?

As a Florida keynote speaker, I have always been amazed by the courage of my fellow Floridians. Courage demands that we have the mindset of re-inventing ourselves to be the best ever. We had the mindset to rebuild and to rise up from the worst of natural disasters. Why not now?

“Talking about something,” as we all know, accomplishes nothing. It is why the third part of my philosophy is “grit.” We must develop the everyday, grind it out grit to bring our vision to life and put our mindset into action.

With Vision, Mindset and Grit, there is nothing Florida can’t do.

 

Book Scott Burrows, Florida Keynote Speaker by contacting him through this website or directly calling his office at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

 

Now, More Than Ever, Associations Must Engage Members

 

In my role as an association keynote speaker, I know that now, more than ever, associations must re-engage their members. Association membership has been in trouble for quite some time, and membership loss and membership engagement with those organizations have worsened during the pandemic.

In February 1, 2018, Associations Now published the results of a Member Loyalty Study that listed several reasons why members did not renew their memberships to associations.   Of the top reasons, three of them deserve note here:

  • 34% of members who dropped out said it was too costly
  • 26% of members who dropped out said the association was providing little value
  • 9% of members who dropped out said the organization had declined in quality

Unfortunately, with the pandemic, these same problems increased.  Michael Hickey, also writing for Associations Now (September 25, 2020) noted:

“Losing members is an unfortunate reality for every association. This is especially true in 2020, when new outside pressures—particularly the financial turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic—might have more people ready to cut membership fees out of their expenses, on top other reasons [reported above] that people let memberships lapse.”

Business as Usual or a New Mindset?

There is no doubt that 2020 was a year of “financial turmoil,” but as a keynote speaker for associations I know that to attribute membership declines and a lack of engagement to lockdowns does not tell the whole story.

Unfortunately, in some associations the decline has gone on for years. Ironically, associations are needed now, more than ever. The glue that holds professionals together is the professional association.

Jan Hill, writing for Onelegal.com, a website directed at law associations, listed 10 advantages to belonging to an association. Among those advantages were: getting your name “out there,” job prospects, mentoring programs, networking and resources. If we couple those advantages with the survey above, it is apparent that there is a vision and mindset problem because the advantages an association offers are exactly the things members need.

Associations should be “blasting off” with new members at this time – and they’re not. COVID should be serving as a catalyst for expanding association membership and not a damper.

What is needed is a new association mindset. Whether the association addresses financial services, accounting, agriculture, manufacturing or dentistry, members need the combined expertise and common bonds shared with like-minded people.

Does your association have the mindset and the vision to engage existing members and to attract new members? If, as the survey showed, more than a third of your members may be dropping out because they think it’s too costly, or if more than a quarter of your members have left because they see little value, what is your association’s vision for new programs or services or engagement messaging? Very seriously, if members are leaving because of the declining quality of your association’s professional benefits, what is the collective mindset for improving that quality?

As we are being led out of the pandemic, the association must be there to lead the way and to put a public face to your industry. A healthy industry must have healthy associations. It will take mindset, vision and grit.

 

 

Book Scott Burrows, association keynote speaker by contacting him through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169