January was a great month for Wright’s Media. Our sales team crushed it all month, and we ended up at 140% over our goal. But if you think that’s good enough, you don’t know my sales team, and you REALLY don’t know me.
While the results of our hard work took some of the sting away from last year’s totals, we’re nowhere near where we want to be. Yes, we patted ourselves on the back for a job well done; but we didn’t buy ourselves flowers and a box of chocolates. Why?
Because, as I said, we’re not where we want to be. If you can show me an athlete that is happy enough with individual accolades without being on the team that wins it all, I’ll show you a liar. Athletes live for the ticker-tape parade, the throngs of fans lining the streets of their team’s town cheering and waving. They live for the front page story detailing their march to being champions. My sales team and I are no different. We live for the ringing of the bell, the high fives, the recognition from our peers. But settling for just meeting our goal? No way.
Being just good enough doesn’t cut it; my sales team and I are like the Pro Bowl player that seeks the Lombardi trophy for the proverbial icing on their career’s cake. For right or wrong, without a championship on an athlete’s resume, there’s always an understood asterisk. No championship means there will always be that lingering “What if?” for any sports star that doesn’t have to set aside some time in their calendar for a meeting with the President. Don’t believe me? Look up John Elway, Jerome Bettis and Steve Young, three players who were tops in their respective positions on the football field but, until their teams won the Super Bowl, were always regarded as just shy of greatness.
Athletes, like my sales team and me, love being on top when the final second ticks off the clock. We are addicted (in a good way) to the natural high that comes from knowing that your best got you past what you thought you were capable of. We love the preparation, the competition, and the all-out effort that is needed to attain a goal. But once we attain that goal, we get a gander of what lies beyond it and we want some of that, too. We see records, we set them, and then we steamroll over them.
The only thing my sales team and I want to hear right now is the sound of victory. More bell rings. More high fives. More broken records on our sales turntable. Yes, we had a great January. But that month is over, and we want to make February a DAMN great month. Ask Steve Young about what winning Super Bowl XXIX meant for him personally and his place among the all-time greats. He understands.
I’m sure you’ve seen the NFL films video of Steve Young on the sidelines during the closing moments of Super Bowl XXIX, having a teammate remove the “monkey” from his back. That might be a cool video to show, as I think it perfectly illustrates what winning the big game (blowing sales records away) means to anyone who has done well but wants to be great.