Moneyball: A New Approach to an Old Game

Dawn and I watched the Moneyball DVD recently, starring Brad Pitt. We found it not only entertaining but also educational.

The film was based on a book by Michael Lewis: Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. It opens with a great quote from Mickey Mantle: “It’s unbelievable how much you don’t know about the game you’ve been playing all your life.”

The movie is a captivating story about the phenomenal rise of the Oakland Athletics in 2002 that forever changed the course of baseball. They started by redefining the problem of a low-budget team and asking different questions.

There’s a lot more to the story, and I don’t mean to oversimplify it or spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it. But the approach they took can teach us a lot in terms of how we approach the problems and opportunities of business and life.

How we define a problem makes a substantial difference in how we solve it—or IF we solve it. Define it differently and we solve it differently. Ask different questions and you get different answers.

Bottom line: question everything. It’s the beginning of innovation and creativity. Why, what, when, where, how makes us think—and think differently.

I encourage you to rent the movie. Maybe watch it again if you’ve already seen it. And think about how you might take a different approach to solving your problems—or the way you SEE your problems.

You just might be the one to change your industry like Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) did in Moneyball.

And here’s a new movie from Simple Truths (only three minutes). It’s called Attitude is Everything—and it’s free.

Just click on the graphic to watch.

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How Are You Adapting to the 21st Century?

Not long ago, you could start a business, carve out a niche, develop some systems, tweak them until they worked well, then sit back and let the business make money.

Those days are gone.

In an age where entire industries are born and can fade into obscurity in a decade or less, you have to be changing and adapting all the time. Things just move too fast.

Doing the same thing and hoping for better results simply isn’t going to work.

As General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army said, “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”

You’ve got to be well-informed, up to date, open to new ideas, listening to your customers and willing to make changes. If you don’t, large companies with substantial resources or small companies who are more adaptable will eat your lunch.

Now more than ever, we must be willing to grow ourselves and our people in order to compete effectively.

So what are you doing to remain competitive? How many books do you read a month? How much time do you spend working on your business instead of just in your business? Who do you have as a coach or mentor? Do you have a MasterMind Team or board of directors?

If you’re simply trying to do business as usual, you are headed for ruin. I’m not trying to scare you, just trying to warn you.

Here at SuccessNet, we’re evolving our brand, honing our message and diligently striving to stay on the cutting edge of support and solutions to help you and your business grow.

We’re committed to doing all we can to stay abreast of cutting-edge technologies and innovative ideas, all the while remaining grounded in proven principles and practical philosophies.

And it’s what we want to help you do as well.

To paraphrase Gandhi, “You must be the change you want to see in your business.”

You can choose your level of support at SuccessNet.
Click here to see . . .

PS: Going it alone today makes no sense. It takes a long time, it’s hard and it’s dangerous. Let us help you and your business grow. We’ve been helping great people and great companies win outside the box since 1995.

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Can You Tell a Good Story?

In a recent Achievement Code Training about becoming a clear communicator, I was talking about the effectiveness of telling good stories.

I have a sign in my office that says, “Facts Tell and Stories Sell.” Stories truly are important in building rapport, holding attention and making our points more entertaining and memorable.

During the training, one of our participants asked a good question. He wanted to know how you get good at telling stories. Well, I’m the son of a very good story-teller, and I think I tell a pretty good story myself. But I hadn’t really thought about how one becomes good at this art.

Obviously one gets better with practice. But I think what this person wanted were some concrete methods for improving our ability to spin a tale that teaches.

Toastmasters International is a good place to practice and get feedback on all kinds of presentations. So joining your local Toastmasters could be a good place to start.

Beyond that, I think it’s a matter of analyzing a good story when you hear one. What got your attention? What made it interesting to you? How did you relate to it?

The sweet spot is to tell a story that’s not too long, yet not too abbreviated. And one that’s not so detailed the listener gets lost but not so general that it lacks the richness that paints a picture.

Share the emotions you were feeling. Talk about why you felt a certain way and what memories it brought back.

Taylor Sternberg has a formula he uses to construct an engaging story. He recommends breaking your story into six parts:

1. Who: Start with who is involved. Was it you alone, with another person, or a group of people. How are you related to those people?
2. What: Communicate what the action was, such as being at a party or driving to a friend’s house.
3. Where: Actively describe where you are, using senses. If you’re good at establishing the location, you can get the listener to start re-living the senses with you.
4. Conflict: This is the bulk of the story. What is the importance of this story? What happened, and what action did you take to try to resolve what was happening?
5. Resolution: How were you able to handle the task set up in “conflict”?
6. Tag: This one is a bit tricky. It’s the aftermath of the resolution and usually is a joke or the big finish of the story.

I encourage you to try your hand at becoming great at telling short stories to improve your ability to communicate more effectively.

And don’t say, “To illustrate my point, let me tell you a story.” Just tell the story. And let your story do its work.

I can think of no better investment of your time and effort than the study and practice of becoming a clear and effective communicator.

And right now, you can grab these two FREE resources with proven techniques to help you deliver more powerful presentations.

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