Tag: Scott Burrows

The Challenge of Buggy-Whips, Slide Rules, VCRs, and Caramel Macchiatos

 

In delivering motivational keynotes on adapting, reinventing, and the flexibility needed in the modern organization, it is important to illustrate what happens when companies fail to change. Unless a business – or industry – is determined to change, it may cling to an old vision that is not only counterproductive to growth, but hopeless in offering a solution.

To illustrate my point, a great example is a publicly-traded company (I won’t tell you its name until the end of this post) that only 16 years ago had $5 billion in sales, more than 9,000 stores and 60,000 employees. Their stock certificates can now be used as wallpaper. At nearly the same time, a forward-looking organization seeing the incredible change the internet was about to bring launched its service. The company, having adapted to what was the new internet market, is currently worth about $150 billion.

Change is a Mindset, Not a Fear

It was the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates who observed something that could apply to any keynote speech on adapting, reinventing, and being flexible in today’s business world: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but building the new.”

Change is a mindset, not a fear.

It was the “Chicken Man,” Frank Perdue, who said: “A business that doesn’t change is a business that is going to die.” Prior to Perdue launching what would eventually become a $6 billion company, his competitors were largely non-branded, disjointed companies. Perdue was determined to create a major niche in the industry by advertising and branding his product. They laughed at him. It was not long before the Perdue brand was asked for by name.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wrote: “Grow with discipline. Balance intuition with rigor. Innovate around the core…make the tough choices…be decisive in times of crisis. Be nimble. Find truth in trials and lessons in mistakes. Be responsible for what you see, hear, and do. Believe.”

In other words, be adaptable and be flexible. You may fall down, but there is wisdom that naturally comes from the lessons that have been learned from falling. You must develop the grit to get back up if you fail. Change is not easy. Despite the incredible success of Starbucks or Amazon for that matter, there were points in their growth when they could have failed. They developed strategic plans, they overcame “disagreements” within their ranks, and they both established a pattern of “do as I do, not as I say.” There was no task that Howard Schultz preached that he did not do himself.

Another famous example is one of the original officers of Costco, James (Jim) Sinegal. Sinegal routinely dropped into stores around the world, often unannounced, and helped bag orders if he noticed customers waiting too long in a line. The customers never suspected who he was. He never took a salary of more than $350,000 annually.

Sinegal, Schultz and Perdue wanted to be close to the action and to observe any changes to their industry first-hand to quickly adapt and reinvent their operations. They worked with managers, vendors, distributors and employees to constantly learn and to explore new options and avenues.

This was something that the executives at Blockbuster never cared to do. When Netflix launched in 2007, Blockbuster, much like old buggy-whip manufacturers, failed to heed what they needed to do to adapt. They lacked the mindset and the determination to change. They never recovered.

Contact Scott Burrows, Motivational Keynote and Breakout Speaker on Adapting, Reinventing and Flexibility through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

The Difference Between Noise and Knowledge is You

It is no secret that I admire the sales representatives who work in the pharmaceutical industry. As a motivational sales speaker for pharmaceutical conferences, it is my mission to assist all of you in helping to overcome the adversity you encounter every day.

A Hard Life, A Rewarding Life

The Princeton Review describes the life of a pharmaceutical sales rep in these terms:

“This territory-oriented business can be a hard life, particularly for those trying to maintain their family life as well. The need to sell extends to social functions and free time…This difficult balancing act is complicated by the additional pressure of being in a commission-based occupation.”

The description, as we all know, is just the beginning of the obstacles. Chances are, you will be on the road 100 or more days a year, you make at least 2,800 visits a year, and you are constantly “facing managed care rejections.” Then there is the public and professional perception of pharmaceutical companies that often extend to those of you just trying to do their jobs.

The data backs me up – no, it’s not your imagination. There was once a time when most health care providers were “rep accessible.” In 2008, a responsive provider might have been available 80 percent of the time – or more. By 2015, it had slipped to about 50 percent and two years later to just under 45 percent.

In my work as an inspirational sales speaker for pharmaceutical conferences, I know the importance of what you do. I have met you, understand you and value you. You bridge the huge gap between research and knowledge, better health and wellness, and often, between unawareness and awareness. You bring worth and you are appreciated. The appreciation must start with one important person, you.

You are the Difference Maker

The pharmaceutical sales rep working a territory, often with only a car radio and GPS as friends, are the true changemakers in a time of adversity for the pharmaceutical industry. Are you willing to overcome that adversity and add the value that you know you can bring?

How do you make a difference in the lives of people who need the product you represent? How can you carry the desire to make that difference into every healthcare setting and to every HCP you meet?

Do you have the vision to believe that what you do brings incredible value to the healthcare equation? You bring value, knowledge, experience and you make a true difference.

Do you have the mindset to overcome the adversity you encounter on a daily basis? It isn’t always easy, but with a mindset of understanding that what you do can ultimately bring a benefit to someone’s life, how can you not develop the mindset?

Finally, how determined are you to make the difference? If not you, then who? Determination, the grit within you to overcome the adversities you may encounter, is a skill you can learn.

I believe every pharmaceutical sales rep can make a true difference. Let me help prove it to you at your next conference.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Motivational Sales Speaker for Pharmaceutical Conferences through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

Stay Engaged to Save Lives at Work

 

As an inspirational safety speaker, I know all too well that the safety industry has traditionally focused on force feeding workers a diet of safety posters, safety lectures, safety demonstrations and horrific tales of gruesome injuries about “someone else.” It is a multi-pronged attack that checks all the right compliance boxes. This approach often causes people to disengage.

Part of the problem stems from the traditional “blue collar” and “white collar” designations. Those who toil on the job are often viewed as having less of an ability to personalize safety messages as the folks in the air-conditioned offices. Having been “a worker” and “an executive,” I knew this bias was untrue. In fact, when “safety” gets divided into “them” and “us,” it often results in more injuries throughout the organization. Scientific research backs me up.

Safety is a Story

The frontal lobe is one of seven parts of our brains. It is where we do our higher reasoning, however, appealing to only reason does little to drive a message home. This is not a new fact. It’s been around for centuries.

For example, when workers pass one of those safety posters with the stick figures lifting the wrong way, it does practically nothing for engagement. Even when the posters have info-graphics as to lifting, pushing and pulling statistics, no one fully takes that into their memory.

Telling a worker that in 2018, nearly 300,000 workers (based on National Safety Council statistics) were badly injured by incorrectly lifting does little good, if he or she didn’t know any of the injured people.

If the “blue collar” workers are found to disengage from safety messages, those in the office aren’t faring better. For example, Automotive Fleet magazine (May 25, 2018) explained that commercial automotive fleet accident rates have risen to almost 20 percent of all automobile accidents. The reasons aren’t faulty tires or winter storms, but far more basic, “…the No. 1 factor contributing to the increase in accidents continues to be distracted driving, especially among company drivers. Employees use company vehicles as their mobile offices and multitask while driving, which creates more opportunities for distraction.”

The same executives who stress workers aren’t being mindful on the job are themselves not mindful when they are driving to sales calls, job sites or to and from the office. Who’s to blame for the lack of safety engagement? Perhaps we should put the biggest blame on our amazing brains.

While there is a part of the brain that remembers facts and stick figures crying “Ouch!” it doesn’t prevent someone from lifting the wrong way or getting into an accident when driving while on their smartphone. Am I saying posters or classes are useless? Not at all. They can reinforce the story, but they are not the story. The inspirational safety story is a memorable story.

Engagement Demands “Why”

I am a safety statistic and safety storyteller. On November 3rd, 1984, I was a passenger in a friend’s car. As an athlete and martial artist, I guess I thought accidents happened to other people. Despite everything I had seen, heard and read I decided to not wear a seatbelt for a short ride down the beach. My friend lost control of the vehicle and I broke two vertebrae in my neck and suffered a serious spinal cord injury. I went from an athlete and martial artist to being diagnosed a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair. It is an intensely personal safety story and it is impactful for my audiences.

A safety story, up close and personal, is the best way to engage the entire brain, along with the other tools. Our brains are more likely to wire in information when it is tied to emotion. What engages us is that personal connection.

My mission is to tell that story, and help every employee develop a safety mindset and safety vision, with the determination to make safety a daily part of their story.

Contact Scott Burrows, Inspirational Safety Speaker through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

To Change Careers at Midlife, Change Your Mindset

 

At the height of my career as a top producing sales agent in the insurance and financial sector, I suffered a second accident that forced me into recovery for nine months. During this time I had to reevaluate, reframe and expand my mindset and vision to include the challenges I was experiencing physically in relation to my career. This ‘setback’ allowed me time to reconnect with the passion I experienced educating my clients, the excitement I drew from viewing inspirational business speakers at the Million Dollar Round Table, and set the stage for a successful new career as an international motivational business speaker.

A Matter of Mindset

At the end of my keynote speeches on change, audience members frequently ask if it is possible for them to successfully change careers as they approach mid-life. I answer that change isn’t a matter of age, but of mindset, determination, persistence, and grit.

In September 2016, the University of Michigan studied occupational transitions of older Americans. They found that at what many of us consider retirement at age 62, about 57 percent are no longer in the labor force, but that 26 percent are still in their profession and 17 percent have decided to completely change their careers.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which conducts bootcamps for those who want to become entrepreneurs, found that people aged 55 to 64 now comprise about one-third of America’s entrepreneurs.

However, older employees aren’t just becoming entrepreneurial but are in demand as full-time employees.

As of February 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the unemployment rate for those 50 and above was lower at 3.2 percent, than the overall unemployment rate at 4.1 percent. These aren’t fast food jobs either, but careers as diverse as banking, healthcare and insurance.

The Determination to See It Through

Nevertheless, having the mindset to change jobs or create new jobs isn’t enough. Older workers need the determination and persistence to see it through. The website Next Avenue (December 21, 2017) stated:

Among the biggest obstacles to people’s ability to create a career they love (after 50) is a preconceived notion of ‘where they should be’ and what they ‘should do.’ But success doesn’t have to follow a scripted narrative.

To take the leap, you need to fundamentally believe that it’s never too late to transition into a career that aligns with who you are.”

Forbes magazine (June 21, 2017) debunked five myths normally associated with older employees determined to change careers. These myths included that it’s never too late to change careers; that it’s embarrassing to admit that you are not happy with a career you’ve been working at for many years; that the over 50 workers can’t get hired; that the only kind of work out there is part-time; and the biggest fear of all is that the older worker can’t compete against Millennials or younger.

Every one of these myths regarding change has been disproven providing you have the vision that lets you see that obstacles can be overcome.

How Determined Are You?

Nicole Maestas, Ph.D., is an economist, professor, and expert in the study of aging at Harvard University. In a recent interview for the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Maestas stated that when older workers are determined to work, they get work, when older workers want to succeed, they will succeed. She summarized:

“The labor-demand study simply shows that when there is a shortage of skilled workers, older workers will get jobs.”

To compete in the job market, workers over 50 will need to re-train themselves to be current on technology. Age will not be the factor to hold them back, rather an unwillingness to learn. In short, be a student.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Keynote and Breakout Speaker on Change through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169.

 

 

 

Scott Burrows: Change Management Speaker

Not long ago, I was in my office working on a keynote presentation when a meeting planner called me rather late at night. I picked up the phone and I know I surprised her.

“Oh, I thought you would be voicemail,” she stammered. She looked for the right words. “Are you Scott Burrows, the overcoming adversity speaker?”

I assured her I was, that I had overcome a lot of adversity in my life but that it didn’t define me. She gave me the name of her organization. She was in the healthcare industry and was considering a keynote motivational speaker to talk on corporate change and the management of change.

“I have done many keynotes on change for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.”

She confided that her industry was facing several major challenges. There was much concern throughout her association as to whether executives could adapt to some of the uncomfortable adjustments coming that would include initiating sweeping rules, being mindful of pricing and insurance regulations and the increased need for transparency. There were already a number of disagreements and foot-dragging among the association members and the companies they represented. They needed to understand the importance of change or get swept away.

She asked me if I had experience motivating executives to change their mindset. I asked her if she had a few minutes. She was stuck in the airport and she laughed that she had plenty of time!

Scott Burrows: Speaker on Corporate Change

I told her that I developed my life’s philosophy of VISION, MINDSET and GRIT out of my personal challenge and ultimately triumph. I wondered if she knew my story and she said she was only vaguely familiar with it.

I quickly summarized that when I was in my late teens, I was already playing Division I collegiate football and I was a kickboxing champion. I thought I was invulnerable and that I would be a champion kickboxer forever. A few weeks after ESPN broadcast one of my fights, I went out celebrating my victory with friends. Even though I was trained to engage a safety mindset working with hazardous materials and heavy equipment at a former job, I made a poor split-second decision to not put on my seatbelt. My friend lost control of his car. He ran off the road and crashed. I broke my neck and I was paralyzed from the chest down. They told me I would be quadriplegic. I could hear her gasp.

“I had no choice but to accept change,” I said. She told me she could understand that.

My challenge was a lot like what her organization was facing. Unless the members of her organization were willing to overcome their obstacles, unless they were motivated to find a new vision for themselves, to develop a mindset that was more powerful than any of their challenges, they would not get off the mat.

I added that as a speaker I knew that corporate change can’t occur without a daily dose of GRIT, the ability to grind things out every single day to achieve success. Commitment to really change is an extremely powerful weapon, but if it is haphazard little will be accomplished.

Keynote Speaker on Organizational Change

My own story is a story of rising above adversity through VISION and MINDSET to overcome paralysis and to rewire my brain and body. It led to a transformation in my physical and emotional status. I went far beyond what any of my physicians ever thought I could.  It did not and could not happen without GRIT, my forcing myself to literally rise out of my chair and to not accept the easy road but to be the best I could be. Modern day medical science tells us that we can go far beyond our initial prognosis if we put our minds and bodies to doing so.

“Using my own true-life story as an example,” I reassured her, “I can teach the members of your organization to prevail over their resistance to change and to empower themselves to be better and to be more successful than they ever believed.”

I am no longer a kickboxing champion, but I have been blessed to be able to show organizations to change their mindset from “Can’t do,” to “Can do!”  That is, to rise above their situations.

The meeting planner and I decided then and there to work together and I am happy to say my keynote address got through to the members of her organization. They rose above their fears, individually and collectively, and put plans into place to elevate their industry. They are better prepared for the years ahead and for whatever challenges will come. As a speaker it is impossible to say how proud it made me feel.

Want to be inspired to change?

To learn more about Scott Burrows, Keynote Motivational Speaker on Corporate and Organizational change, contact us today through this website or call our office at: (520) 548-1169