Category: Overcoming Adversity

Is Safety for the Other Guy?

 

As a safety motivational speaker, I have never thought it was my mission during a safety keynote speech or breakout session to scare anyone. Because I know, I know what many of you are thinking “Safety is for the other guy. I don’t need lectures, Scott. I know what I’m doing.”

Look in the Mirror

There was a time, as a D-1 football player and martial artist, when I looked at myself in the mirror and thought I was invincible. In addition to sports, I also worked with hazardous materials and heavy equipment at a golf course job, and was trained how to handle my duties safely. There was nothing you could have preached to me about staying safe. In my mind, safety speeches were for the other guy.

One evening my buddies and I headed to the beach to celebrate my latest kickboxing victory. It was a short drive later in the evening to scavenge for firewood, and I figured I could forgo my seatbelt as we scoured the area for supplies. It was a split-second decision not to snap my seatbelt into the buckle, and in retrospect, a lazy one. My friend lost control of his car, hit a mound of sand and sent the car hurtling end-over-end on the beach. When I woke up, I was a quadriplegic. This time, the mirror didn’t lie. I was not invincible. I couldn’t even move a finger.

In 2020, when we were all in lockdown – and seemingly super safety-conscious, national safety and Worker’s Compensation experts found that there were as many accidents as there were in 2019. In fact, statistics for 2019 and 2020 were higher than 2018. Accidents included slips and falls, back injuries, manufacturing incidents, trucking and construction accidents.

By “accidents” I am not referring to scrapes and bruises, but serious injuries; crippling injuries, surgeries and hospitalizations, and tragically, death.

In every case, the workers took on the attitude that safety was for the other guy. Safety didn’t apply to them, just like the seatbelt didn’t apply to me.

An Inescapable Philosophy

My accident changed my life. As I began my rehab, I realized that I was the other guy. It wasn’t about “me and them,” but us. In that hospital setting, supported and surrounded by incredible healthcare providers, I worked hard to get function, to feel better and to pardon myself. I vowed to help others and as a result, I arrived at my philosophy of vision, mindset and grit.

I understood that many of us live in a time where procrastination is easy. In fact, procrastination has gotten worse and not better. After all, why pay attention to a safety video when there are emails that demand response? Why worry about a training podcast when there are texts to send, videogames to play, social media posts to answer?

Vision, Mindset and Grit, requires each of us on the job, whatever we do on the job to realize that nothing is more important than safety. The “Other Guy” is you; the guy in the mirror.

We must all develop the Vision of making our workplace and each other safe; we must have the Mindset of making safety our most important mission and to have the daily Grit to keep safety top-most in our minds.

If we are not committed to safety, we will pay the price. Like an unpaid credit card bill, it will come back to haunt us. Safety may not be “fun,” but it will cost us if we ignore it.

 

For more information on booking Scott Burrows, Safety Keynote Speaker for your next event, contact him through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

 

Resilience and Grit, A Physical Impossibility?

 

It’s a funny comparison, resilience and grit, but as a resilience and grit keynote speaker, I know that what seems opposite are connected.

When we think of “resilience,” we think of a strand of cooked spaghetti, a rubber band, stretch-band or something that bends every which way in the wind but returns to normal. When most of us think of “grit,” we think of holding-fast, grinding it out and never yielding.

As a grit and resilience speaker I know that we can’t have one without the other and in fact, they need each other.

Taking it out of the “physical” and into the organizational, I can almost always predict who in an organization will adjust to change and who will encounter problems.

In November 2012, Laura Quast wrote an engaging article for Forbes on why people resist change. She listed 5 reasons:  fear of the unknown, mistrust, loss of control, bad timing, and every person’s tolerance for change.

The Resilience and Grit Equation

Taking the five points above, I like to turn them around and look at them through the lens of my personal philosophy of Vision – Mindset – Grit. Why? Because I believe that no matter what change you are going through, with resilience and grit, you can accomplish far more than you ever thought possible.

  • Embracing the unknown – Every great inventor, athlete, actor, CEO, sales person, artist, or most anyone who has risen to greatness did so because they embraced the unknown. They drowned out everything negative and had a vision of themselves as being successful, with the mindset of overcoming any challenge and the grit to fight it out.
  • Be in control – No one can be in control one-hundred percent of the time, but we can develop the courage to be resilient no matter what is thrown at us. We can visualize taking that control and understanding we are stronger, tougher and braver than we think.
  • Faith in the future – The resilient person is the one who has the vision and resilience to understand that things will work out IF the effort is made to use the daily grit to make it work.
  • Timing is perfect – The person with resilience and grit understands that “things change” and nothing stays the same. The drive to work changes, the shift from in-person work to virtual to hybrid, new machinery, executives, the organization itself changes. Do you have the vision of seeing yourself in a new role, a new office and even new co-workers? The timing could be perfect to allow yourself to stand-up and shine.
  • Tolerance for change – Who has the tolerance for change? You do. Who is resilient enough to adjust and thrive no matter the situation? You are.

 

The resilient person understands that there is no substitute for grit. It may not be “fancy” day to day, but resilient, motivated employees are those who make organizations work and with purposeful grit, they elevate companies to greatness.

 

For more information on Scott Burrows, Resilience & Grit Motivational Speaker for your next event, contact him through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

 

You’re Much Tougher Than You Think

 

Speaking to audiences across the country about overcoming adversity and developing resiliency, it has been my honor to motivate organizations going through tough periods of change and challenges. In my keynotes about overcoming adversity, I recall my own challenges while still in my hospital bed,  formulating my life philosophy of Vision, Mindset and Grit.

“It was Easier for You”

Recently, I had the honor of addressing an audience in-person and an attendee started his comments in this manner:

“Scott, I admire how you were able to overcome adversity, but after all, you’re special. Before your accident you were a martial artist and D-1 football player. You already had a tough mindset and the vision of wellness.”

The mid-level executive went on to explain that soaking wet he was 140 pounds, and barely topped 5’6”

But I am not special, and while it was true that after the car crash, I was a quadriplegic with multiple injuries facing the fight of my life, I am constantly inspired by the stories of others when facing obstacles and finding the grit to push through their challenges.

Two stories come to mind. An executive who, many years back, lost his job to an acquisition. He launched his own company at 73, and has become quite successful. He still works at 82. The inspiring part is that he simultaneously battled cancer and nursed an ill-wife. Another friend survived several tragedies as well, and became an award-winning author. In addition, she lectures throughout the country on pet adoption and mentor’s at-risk children.

If we develop a vision to overcome adversity, have the mindset to be resilient no matter what life throws at us, and the grit to fight whatever has been dealt, we can rise up against our toughest opponent: ourselves.

You Really Are Much Tougher Than You Think

In 2018, Psychology Today featured an interview with researcher and social activist Emilia Lahti in an article entitled “Are You Tougher Than You Think?”

Lahti wrote about toughness and the Finnish concept of Sisu, having the ability to tap into courage and determination. Whether you are in a company about to be acquired or you are launching a product line or facing any kind of uncertainty, you are tougher than you think. Lahti pointed out five important attributes we all need in life:

Stand up for what is important; for your company, your team, for yourself; adopt an action mindset (don’t just sit there); overcome your inner critic (and by the way, I met incredible martial artists who were not much more than 100 pounds); ask for help (we’re all connected) and foster courage and determination in others (the more you believe in yourself, the more others will believe in you).

You are much tougher than you think, more resilient than you know, and more determined to succeed than you realize. Call upon those strengths and you too will have the vision to overcome adversity, the mindset to be strong no matter the situation and the grit to believe in yourself every day.

 

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

 

If Change is the New Normal, What Must Stay the Same?

 

“Everything is changing, Scott. What do I do now?”

 

Not long ago, as I was about to deliver a change management keynote speech, a harried chief executive manager asked me the question that you see above. If 2020 was a year of confusion and adjustment, what can be said about managing change in 2021 and beyond?

We have all heard the trite expression about change being constant. It has been applied to the stock market, computers, healthcare, transportation and certainly foodservice. As a change management keynote speaker, I was much more impressed with the three-dimensional model of change in the Harvard Business Review (October 29, 2020):

  • Change is perpetual, therefore, occurring all the time in an ongoing way.
  • Change is pervasive, meaning that it is unfolding in multiple areas of life at once.
  • Change is exponential; hence it accelerates at an increasingly rapid rate.

I think back to just last year, when the lockdown first took effect. It changed from indifference and contention to fear to resolve and amazingly to solution. It happened to every aspect of our lives and clearly, the change exploded. Take, for example, video conferencing or the technology involved in the 2020 school year.

The Change Ahead

“Everything changes — that’s the one thing that will never change. If you hide from change, you may find yourself stuck or left behind. If you embrace it, change can take you to some pretty amazing places in life.” – Clare Moore, Forbes magazine, March 30, 2021

Ms. Moore is correct. Everything does change. No human on earth can hide from it, and I would argue that even hiding is a change (we’ve all known people who have “hidden out” in their jobs for years). However, throwing up our hands and “embracing change” hardly means that we are powerless creatures.

In our 2021 lives, both work and personal, if change is the new normal, what must stay the same? We must. You and me; us. We must be rock solid and strong. But how? Here is how I answered the chief executive.

We must look deep within ourselves and our organizations to develop three strong supports:

Vision: What is the vision we have incorporated for ourselves to withstand anything that will affect our organizations, our department, our mission, our sense of purpose in the future? Can others appreciate your vision and do they see the seriousness with which you believe in it?

Mindset: We can all come out with feisty slogans, quotes and phrases, but what is your personal attitude toward standing up to the tides of change when the storms and waves crash over you? How will you hold this mindset close when some around you are ready to fold?

Grit: The best vision and hard-nosed mindset wither and fade without the daily grit to fight to overcome the changes and the challenges.

There is no change in 2021 or beyond that can be met by complacency and “sitting down” when you must be moving forward.

It is not that change is constant, or even that it strikes fear into us, but to understand that with vision, mindset and grit we can overcome whatever is put in our way. We will be the same person no matter what comes next and we will surely win.

 

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

 

 

The Pandemic Might Have Changed Pharma Sales Forever – What About You?

 

As a pharma sales motivational speaker with a long-standing interest in healthcare, I followed how the COVID-19 pandemic affected our industry. There were profound changes – and it was much more than “business as usual.” The question is: “What about you? Are you ready to change with the changes?”

We are Innovation Champions

How can we not be proud of our industry? Seriously. According to a report by Deloitte Consulting (March 30, 2021), in 2020 the FDA “approved a near-record 53 novel drugs—up from 48 the prior year. These innovative therapies…offer new treatment options for patients who suffer from a wide range of illnesses including cancer, spinal muscular atrophy, and hereditary angioedema.”

What a great testament to a great industry! As a pharmaceutical sales speaker, I am amazed at the dedication of everyone involved.

However, this is not a time to rest on our laurels, in fact, the pandemic has exposed serious flaws that everyone involved in sales and marketing must be determined to address.

Brian Corvino and Candy Lurken, principal authors of the report appropriately named “The pandemic didn’t hinder drug launches but it has altered sales tactics”, noted that limited market access, inadequate understanding of marketing needs and poor product differentiation as being “the top reasons the drugs don’t live up to initial expectations.”

It’s about Sales and Marketing

Indeed, the new drug launches have not lived up to sales expectations. Companies have “revised or scaled back” and market response has been lackluster. Everyone is in agreement that the industry has struggled to convey the important sales messages as communication tactics have changed.

The Deloitte research has shown that in 2020:

  • Clinicians are seeing fewer patients and writing fewer prescriptions
  • Reps and clinicians have gotten used to virtual meetings
  • Information is being delivered through new channels

We know that, unfortunately, many patients have suffered due to a reduction in insurance benefits, and some practices cut back on admin people. And while we had no choice but to meet virtually, there may be a permanent move to hybrid situations, and while information has largely been conveyed digitally, it must be differentiated. What are you offering that is above and beyond, that exceeds expectation? What support do you offer that is surprising and shows effort and outstanding customer service?

Why it Matters

If you are in any aspect of pharma sales and marketing, then you are also aware of a simple but important truth as expressed by Corvino and Lurken: The pandemic has not reduced the demand for drugs that address unmet needs.

What you do as a pharma sales rep matters, to companies, clinicians and ultimately to patients. The year 2020 may have altered many things, but it did not affect the need for what you are offering and who it will ultimately help.

To succeed in this post-pandemic world will require your mindset, vision and the daily grit to make a difference. The challenges have never been greater, but neither have the rewards. Are you ready to make a difference?

 

 

Book Scott Burrows, Pharmaceutical Sales Keynote Speaker for your next event, contact him today through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

 

Change is All-Around Us, It’s Time to Rise Up

 

As a motivational speaker for the insurance and financial services industry, I have never seen as much sweeping change as we are experiencing now. I say this as someone who worked in the industry and made it to the Million Dollar Round Table and who carefully follows every industry development.

2020 changed everything, but 2021 will raise those changes to a whole new level.

Regulation 187 and Beyond

The amendment known as New York State’s regulation 187 is just a number to some, but it signaled the start of sweeping change in the insurance and financial service industry. Though its origins go back, to pre-pandemic 2019 it picked up steam across the nation.

Bill Unrue, industry insurance expert said at the start of 2021:

“The rule requiring insurers to act in the best interest of the consumer will likely become the standard for the U.S. life and annuity insurance industry over the next few years. The rule demands more simplicity and transparency within the annuity and life insurance sales experience to prevent what some call “consumer financial exploitation.”

In addition to the changes moving us all to greater transparency, more clarity and policy language that’s easier to understand, is another trend that can no longer be ignored: the 2021 Digital Climate.

Retail and commercial consumers are comparison shopping online as never before. And, what is surprising, are the consumers of that insurance. In a CNBC article on “panic buying” of insurance during the pandemic (October 21, 2020), it was found that:

“There was a 13% increase in life insurance applications among the under-44 age group in the third quarter versus Q3 2019, compared with a 9% jump for 45- to 59-year-olds and 0.4% in the 60-plus category.”

While the industry saw a jump in insurance sales in 2020, and that finally, more Americans are getting insured after years of decline. The so-called panic buying during the pandemic also meant that transparency was at an all-time high and climbing. The Millennial buyer, being an early adopter of all things digital, is seeking easy-to-find comparative coverage rates, superior, online customer service and a commitment of insurers to offering ethical and crystal-clear language as never before. What’s more, with states adopting similar rules to New York State’s regulation 187, anything put out online will be subject to intense scrutiny.

What is Your Vision?

You can turn your insurance and financial services future into a tremendous opportunity, and it’s apparent that customers are receptive as never before, but it’s going to take every ounce of your vision to make it happen. Do you have that vision?

Your mindset must be to offer exceptional and transparent customer service, to be as digitally savvy as you can be and to offer product that is unquestioned on the basis of its comparable value. Pre-pandemic, Americans had fallen off insurance purchases, now it is up to you to take advantage of the renewed interest. Can you embrace that mindset?

However, understand this is not the same industry that it was less than five years ago. It can be better, but it is up-to-you.

To be successful, will take the daily grit to outwork the competition and to convey the importance of what you are doing and why your mission is so important. You can be successful, but it is a commitment as never before.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Insurance & Financial Services speaker for your next event, through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

 

There is no Medicine Like Grit

 

In my motivational presentations on Grit for healthcare organizations, my audiences are sometimes puzzled when I stress the importance of grit in every aspect of medicine and patient care. The relationship between grit and healthcare is stronger than you might imagine.

The Predictor

From physicians in training, to medical equipment sales teams, the topic of grit has come into greater prominence over the past five years.

Allen F. Shih wrote a groundbreaking article for the Journal of Graduate Medical Education in 2017 entitled The Importance of Grit in Medical Training. Shih, a physician and educator himself, understands that it is impossible for medical schools and residency programs to predict success.

To get into a medical school or competitive residency program has long been thought of as the domain of the intelligent and super-intelligent. However, intelligence may not be enough.

Studies of teachers and even West Point cadets has shown that some “intangible factor” beyond test scores, extra-curricular activities, demographic information or GPA indicates those candidates who will fight it out, dig-in, reach down and succeed.

According to research into grit:

“Some have suggested that grit should be integrated into the medical school admissions process by asking recommenders to speak to an applicant’s perseverance or by inquiring about grit during the interview process. We echo these sentiments.

“We expect grit to be an important metric in undergraduate and graduate medical education…we suggest that the academic medical community assess objective measures of grit in their review of applicants.”

As a keynote speaker on healthcare grit who has explored the topic with groups as wide-ranging as nursing students, pharmaceutical sales teams, orthopedic associations, hospital administrators and therapists, I have determined that “qualifications,” while important are flawed. “Over-stressed” measurements such as the need for admissions committees to debate statistically insignificant GPA candidate comparisons often push the topic of grit aside.

What Got You Here?

In a sense, my own journey started in healthcare, as a patient in a large hospital where an accident left me a quadriplegic. I not only understood that unless I developed the philosophy of Vision-Mindset-Grit, that I could languish in that bed and stumble in self-pity. I did improve and my life is much better than I expected due to a vision of wellness and a mindset to go farther than anyone thought was possible. It was grit that separated me from others in my position.

However, in the day-to-day journey that helped me off that bed and allowed me to stand-up and go forward, I was aware of those around me: physicians, surgeons, nurses, physical therapists and all the wonderful support personnel.

What interested me in my many talks to them over the months was that often the most skilled, supportive and compassionate healthcare providers weren’t necessarily those who graduated number one from their many classes and licensing, but those who clawed and fought for every victory and achievement.

These incredible people who formed my team saw in me, what I saw in each of them. They pushed me as others had pushed and elevated them. In the end, we all stood tall together.

Make no mistake, that grit not only belongs in healthcare, but may be its very life-blood.

 

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

 

What is The Winning Script for Writing More Scripts in 2021?

 

The landscape of pharma was radically altered by the pandemic…experts say that the industry will soon be taking stock of how it navigated the pandemic and what the sudden shifts in operations and regulations could mean in the long-term.” – Pharma Manufacturing, January 18, 2021

As a pharmaceutical keynote speaker, I know virtually every area of the industry will be undergoing changes this year including regulatory issues, manufacturing, storage and transport challenges, new vaccines, billing issues, a hybrid of teleconference and in-person presentations, and even controversial drug introductions. This is all in addition to major challenges for sales reps and their healthcare clients.

Collaboration and Teamwork Essential

As the industry projections for 2021 suggest, there will be a lot of “taking stock” this year. The landscape of pharma has been radically altered. With all of the changes and turbulence, teamwork will be more essential than ever. In my virtual pharma motivational sales presentations during 2020 and now, hopefully live and in-person, I stress that the winning script for writing more scripts distills down to three important points: Vision, Mindset and Grit. These points not only apply to the individual, but to the team, and the inter-dependence of teams.

Vision – Market research firm LSA Global conducted a study on the power of companies and teams that come together with a shared mission statement and found that they grew revenue 58% faster and are 72% more profitable while significantly outperforming their unaligned peers. I might add that the study was based on 410 companies. Alignment is another way of saying that teams have a common goal in working together, sharing information, committing to the highest levels of customer service, and essentially driving the sales process. It is a realization that the sum total of efforts, more important now than ever, will yield positive results.

Mindset – Business and sales performance writer Vivienne Dutton offered the top ways to develop a success-oriented mindset. Among the more important points for the creation of a strong team?  Promote problem solving; discuss ongoing challenges; encourage the sales process; endorse a culture of group development over individual genius; and most important, don’t just talk about a mindset, embrace it. Mindset can be very powerful if it is harnessed and put into action. It can also be just a collection of words unless teams truly come together.

Grit – Grit is having resilience and the strength of character to not give up or give in to the obstacles that stand in our way. For everyone involved in pharma sales last year, the concept of grit became ingrained into their thinking. As we go forward in 2021 and we encounter much change, unless teams and entire organizations have the grit to maintain vision and mindset, there will be little or no progress in the year ahead.

Ultimately, it all adds up to determination. Every sales rep of every sales team must have the determination to approach 2021 with vision, mindset and grit. There can’t be shortcuts because the stakes are too high to believe this year will be business as usual. If we are determined, this has the potential to rebound to being the best year ever.

 

 

To book Pharmaceutical Speaker Scott Burrows, 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