Category: Scott Burrows

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

 

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

 

Have You Neglected Your Most Important Client?

 

As an insurance speaker and former advisor for Northwestern Mutual, I know the insurance industry fared pretty well in 2020. However, many media outlets viewed life insurance through the lens of “panic buying.”

In a piece by Greg Iacurci for CNBC (October 14, 2020) entitled “Americans are ‘panic buying’ life insurance due to coronavirus pandemic” Iacurci states:

“Insurance sales have been dwindling for years. In 2020, just over half of American adults reported having a life insurance policy, down from 63% a decade earlier…But Google Search traffic for “life insurance” jumped 50% between March and May this year compared with the same period in 2019.”

He cited growth of policy sales for major companies such as Northwestern Mutual by 15 percent, however he also noted 30 percent increases in the online insurance marketplace. The jumps in policy sales were especially strong among younger Americans. Iacurci 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.”

Where’s My Boomerang?

Close to 60 million Americans have now been vaccinated against COVID-19. While there are still several pockets of non-compliance and irresponsibility, Americans are in general more optimistic. Dominic Mastroangelo writing for The Hill (March 14, 2021) said:

“A CBS News/YouGov poll released this weekend found 64 percent of Americans say they think efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus are going well. Another 74 percent say they are excited about the prospect of businesses opening as more Americans get vaccinated against the virus.”

How then, will Americans respond to optimism in terms of insurance purchases? More importantly, how will you respond?

If the economy is projected to have more of a “V” shaped recovery and, as appears, a more optimistic outlook than at the start of the pandemic, does that mean insurance sales will see a 2021 downturn? Even if we don’t see a dramatic downturn in terms of overall sales, will online sales organizations try to crush the insurance sales rep?

Have You Neglected Your Most Important Client?

As an in-person and virtual insurance speaker and former member of the Million Dollar Round Table, I have seen the industry go through major swings.

No one in our industry can predict the future but I do know this: in 2021 your most important client is you. Unless you are completely committed to your own success, unless you have the Mindset, Vision and Grit to succeed, no economic recovery pattern will make much of a difference.

As your most important client, you must be on-board with elevating your personal brand. That means a positive mindset. Your positive mindset isn’t about being Pollyanna, for none of us can turn our backs on life’s challenges, but as a successful insurance sales rep, be aware of the trap of negative thinking. How will you, as your most important client, focus on the optimistic and not pessimistic? A negative personal brand is a virus all its own. Have the mindset that no matter what the challenge, you can be determined to overcome it.

What is your most important client’s vision for 2021? Does your client have a personal vision statement and are you ready to act on it? Why is a vision so important in insurance sales? Among many other benefits, a personal vision helps to reduce tentativeness and dread of selling and creates confidence; it reinforces your ethical principles and best of all helps you advance your sales goals.

Finally, your most important client must have grit. Grit is more than determination. It is the daily, hourly, minute-by-minute conviction that you will succeed, out-hustle, out maneuver and win against the competition.

Your most important client deserves the best. Don’t neglect them. He or she will have the best if they convince themselves to be the best no matter what this year will bring.

 

 

To hire Scott Burrows, Insurance Sales Keynote Speaker for your next in-person or virtual 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

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