Jun 27, 2016

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Hard work is smart work - Waldo Waldman

Hard Work is Smart Work

Hard work is smart work - Waldo Waldman
I was recently working out in a hotel gym and had a great conversation with an attendee from a conference I spoke at.  As he departed he said, “don’t work too hard.”  I laughed and said, “Don’t worry, I won’t!”

 

I then proceeded to suffer through a super set of lunges and wall squats that left me gasping for air.  Guess what?  It was pretty hard work!

 

We’ve all heard the expression, “work smarter not harder.”  There’s a lot of truth to it. Sure, we need to work smart and avoid the pitfalls of unnecessary labor.  We need to leverage technology, utilize creative marketing strategies, partner with reliable vendors, and manage our schedules relentlessly. But at the end of the day, all things being equal, nothing beats hard work. It’s a trait that separates the successful from the survivors.

 

I have a personal acronym for WIN – “Work it Now!” Winners work.  They sweat. They sacrifice. They don’t put off tomorrow what can be done today.  Is that you?

 

Those who are willing to grind it out, put in the hours, make sacrifices, and out-sweat their competitors will eventually win. Period!  This is true in sales, operations, entrepreneurship and any facet of business.

 

Hard work is smart work!

 

When I was a fighter pilot, the best pilots I flew with weren’t always those with natural skills.  They were the ones who spent more time in the simulator, studied the training manuals, worked weekends, and constantly got coaching. They were relentlessly committed, and sacrificed more to become more(more…)

Jun 27, 2016
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May 25, 2016

In PEAK PERFORMANCE/ Wing Blog
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Moments of Silence – How to Cultivate Gratitude in Life

F16-inspirationalMy days as a cadet at the Air Force Academy were truly remarkable.  The intensity, military regimen, and intense discipline were quite new to me as young teenager.

 

What stood out most were the meals. (more…)

May 25, 2016
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Mar 1, 2016

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Train to Win – Developing a Peak Performance Mindset

In the world of the fighter pilot, we have a saying – you fight like you train.

 

When the pressure is intense and the missiles are real, you better be able to perform and perform well.  If not, you’re dead.

 

There’s no second place.  If you can’t find a way to win, the job isn’t for you.

 

I get that for most of you, performance on the job isn’t life or death. But it is the life and death of the sale, your career, and perhaps your child’s education.

 

Each day, your future is on the line. How you perform counts!

 

So how do you win?

 

You train intensely.  You master the fundamentals and take ownership for your success. You read the books, attend the seminars, and become an expert in sales, communication, technology, and performing under pressure. You have teammates (wingmen) that enforce standards, emulate excellence, and hold you accountable.

 

Winners fight like they train. They don’t train to survive, they train to win! And they take it seriously.

 

Do you?

Business is ultimately about performance, not philosophy. Regardless of your position or title, you need to constantly be thinking about how you can improve your performance and ultimately win the business missions you fly. On the flight path for success, you must improve every day.

 

Innovation comes from the Inside out.

 

  • How serious are you about your training: in sales, customer service, communication, technical skills, marketing, health and fitness, etc.?
  • What books are you reading and what seminars are you attending?
  • Who are you training with?
  • Who are you training, coaching, or mentoring?

 

At end of the day, it involves a lot of sweat and sacrifice. But you have to want to get better.  Winners love the “battle.”  You should too.

 

It’s about growth. And guess what? Growth takes work. This mindset and culture of performance is not only in the DNA of every fighter pilot; it’s in the DNA of every fighter squadron.

 

So find out what you need to do (today) to sharpen your skills and adapt to the ever-changing competitive world you live in.

 

Stretch. Grow. Get uncomfortable! Your wingmen need you.

 

You never know the life you can impact because you’re better than you were yesterday.

 

 

Mar 1, 2016
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Dec 23, 2015

In WINGTIPS
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Holiday Message – Tighten Down the Rivets

As we experience this holiday season, I wanted to send you a little reminder to spend some time in the hangar these next few weeks. We all need maintenance on our airframe, especially with the pressures and challenges of life.

 

Take some time to review the areas in your personal and professional life that perhaps you may have neglected this past year. But don’t forget to explore what’s been going well.

maintenance wingman

– Examine your health and fitness
– Rekindle the relationships you’ve been careless with (and nurture current ones)
– Plan some focused relaxation time with your family and loved ones
Celebrate this year’s accomplishments
– Write down what you’re thankful for
– Attend a personal development seminar
Volunteer for the needy
– Establish some specific goals for 2016 and make a plan

 

Refine your vision of success. (It can change!)

 

Network…attend some parties…have fun.

 

Just because it’s holiday time doesn’t mean you should be complacent with your growth. After all, maintaining your energy, joy, and peace can take some effort.

 

Don’t let yourself burnout before you get airborne in 2016. Tighten down the rivets, refuel your jet, change your tires.  The world needs you.

 

Have a wonderful holiday season my friends.

 

Your Wingman, Waldo

Dec 23, 2015
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Nov 11, 2015

In LEADERSHIP/ NEVER FLY SOLO
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Loyalty, Courage and Service

“Don’t’ worry, we’ll be back for you.”

 

That’s what U.S. Navy pilot Thomas Hudner told his wingman Ensign Jesse Brown after he got shot down in North Korea.

 

Hudner crash-landed his Corsair to save his friend, but wasn’t able to pull him from the burning wreckage. Now 65 years later, with a Medal of Honor around his neck, Captain Hudner has a lifelong quest to recover the remains of his trusted wingman.

 

Hudner was a wealthy white man from Massachusetts, and Brown a poor man from a farm in Mississippi, who happened to be the US Navy’s first black combat pilot.

 

Race didn’t matter. Background didn’t matter. Religion didn’t matter.  The only thing that mattered was their friendship. They trusted each other completely.  

 

In the military, you never leave your wingman behind. As a fighter pilot who’s flown in combat, I can truly relate to this amazing story. And any soldier who ever felt the fear of battle can as well.

 

Captain Hudner’s actions symbolized loyalty, courage, and service – powerful words that have special meaning to those who have served in uniform. If You Want To Thank A Soldier Waldo Waldman

 

So, what do those words mean to you? How do they show up in your life?

 

I love Veterans Day because it reminds us how fortunate we are to be living in this amazing free country. It’s a time to be thankful and reflect on those who dug the well of our freedom, but also to think about how we can better serve each other – like Hudner did for Brown.  

 

 – Who do you know that’s been “left behind” who can really use your wing of support?

 – Who in your life may be trapped in the dungeon of despair that you can pull out?

 – What can you do to show appreciation for someone who’s gone above and beyond?

 – How can you better serve your community or family?

 – What veteran charity can you support?

 

As we honor our veterans, particularly during this holiday, please take some action to make a difference. Sacrifice. Give your wings away. Make their service mean something.     

You don’t need to wear a uniform to serve.  

Nov 11, 2015
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Aug 24, 2015

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE/ WINGTIPS
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How to Become a Champion of Change

Mom and kids cleanup small-1I recently witnessed a woman and her three young children cleaning up a littered sidewalk in downtown Atlanta.  It was a hot and sticky August afternoon.

 

She had them all lined up in a cute little formation – guiding them to “litter targets” and encouraging them the entire time.  They were all dressed in proper “litter detail” attire along with latex gloves. It was a sight to see.

 

I rolled down my window and simply said “Thank you.” She smiled. I could see the sweat pouring down her face.

 

I felt so proud, and couldn’t help but think about the lesson she was teaching her children (and the amazing example she was setting for them…and the public.)

 

Perhaps this was her way of giving back to the community. Or maybe she was tired of seeing excessive litter along the sidewalk where she shopped.  (BTW – I assume she didn’t write her congressman, launch a protest, or picket on the corner for cleaner streets!)

 

It didn’t matter.  The point was – she saw a problem and took action! She was a champion of change.

 

This woman exemplifies what true leadership is about:  Action and Influence.

(more…)

Aug 24, 2015
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Jun 25, 2015

In Wing Blog/ WINGTIPS
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THE POWER OF THANK YOU

The two most important words that inspire action are thank you.Thank Accounts Waldo

 

During most of my time in the military, I rarely said thank you to the troops that mattered…especially the younger, enlisted folks.   After all, I was the fighter pilot. I had the Air Force Academy ring. I was an officer. They worked for me! (more…)

Jun 25, 2015
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Apr 21, 2015

In LEADERSHIP/ TEAMWORK/ WINGTIPS
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Delta Flt attendant Don Laney

Unconditional Service – The Wingman Way


Acts of kindness and the life lessons they teach us can appear in the most unlikely of places.

 

I was recently flying from Atlanta to Phoenix and became friendly with my seatmate Don Laney, a former Special Forces soldier who was now a successful businessman living in Georgia. We had a wonderful discussion about the military, business, and success.

 

At the end of the flight, I watched as he handed the Delta flight attendant a crisp $100 bill as a tip for her amazing service. She broke down in tears as she explained how she was going through some tough times and had been unable to work for a month because of some personal challenges. As a result, she wasn’t going to be able to buy the bicycle that she had promised her daughter for her birthday (pictured on her iPhone). And now she could!

 

Delta Flt attendant Don Laney

Her tears of gratitude were heartfelt, and I couldn’t help but think about how that gift would impact this woman’s life. Not only would her family benefit, but also her friends, co-workers and even the future passengers she would serve. I walked off the plane feeling great, and I have a feeling the others who witnessed what happened did as well.

 

I told Don I had never seen anyone give a tip like that, especially on a plane ride. He said it was she who gave him the gift – and it was worth a lot more than $100. Not only did he feel good about giving, but he knew its positive impact would ripple throughout this person’s life in ways we would never see. He said “you can’t put a price tag on that.”

 

How true that is!

 

For some of us, $100 is a lot of money. But we don’t need a lot of cash to tip or say thank you to someone for going above and beyond. A $100 tip can come in the form of:

  • Sharing positive feedback with the GM of a restaurant for the wonderful job your server provided
  • A genuine thank you wrapped with a smile (and maybe $5?) to the cashier at the grocery store
  • Sending a handwritten note to someone who had an impact on you (like a co-worker in your office or perhaps a new friend you met on a plane.)
  • Referring a friend or a vendor you work with some business…and expecting nothing in return
  • A special greeting card or a warm hug to your spouse sharing how much you love and appreciate them

All these things say: You Matter…You are Appreciated…You Make a Difference!

 

Smiles are contagious. And so is the positive energy that results when you acknowledge someone for being special. It’s about honoring one’s humanity (which in my opinion is a great way to serve someone.) You never know how your kind word, extra tip or gift will affect someone. Perhaps it will lift their depression, inspire them to take action on an important decision, work harder, or appreciate others more. It leaves a ripple on the ocean of life.

 

Don Laney was my inspirational coach that day. He was a wingman not only to the flight attendant, but to me as well. He reminded me about unconditional service, generosity and kindness. He left a mark.

 

I hope you too will serve someone today in some special way.

 

Join the Conversation…

My favorite part of writing these articles is participating in the conversation they provoke.
Question: I would love to hear some of the ways you serve your wingmen. What happened and how did it make you feel? Share your answer below.

Apr 21, 2015
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Feb 17, 2015

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE
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The Most Important Leadership Trait in Business

Are you committed to the same standards you expect of others?COPE NORTH

 

This is a powerful question to ask yourself when working with other wingmen in your organization. It’s critical for effective leadership and is the foundation of influence.

 

If you don’t aspire for excellence, then you can’t inspire others to aspire for it. If you’re not committed to growth, you can’t expect others to grow.

 

Civil War General George Crook said it best, “Example is the best general order.” In other words, you have to walk the walk. You have to aspire before you inspire.

 

When you commit 100% and give it your all in the face of obstacles, others’ confidence in you will grow. In addition, your passion and belief in the mission will inspire your teammates and co-workers to believe in you. The same holds true for your customers.

 

Excellence starts with you.

 

In my experience in the military, sales, and with leaders all over the world, I’ve learned that people have to trust your heart before they trust your head. Organizational success doesn’t start with a “mission statement,” a strategic vision, or even a great product or service. It is born in the unrelenting passion of each employee, regardless of title, who believe in what they are doing and who commit themselves to excellence…before asking others to do so.

 

It’s about accountability, responsibility, and passion.

 

When everyone’s core values, beliefs, and goals are aligned, trust is built. And trust sells.

 

What’s beautiful about this is that commitment is contagious. When you commit to excellence, lead by example, and set the standard, others will do the same.

 

So commit first. Lead the way. Emulate excellence.

 

Your wingmen will follow you.

Feb 17, 2015
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Dec 8, 2014

In PEAK PERFORMANCE/ WINGTIPS
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F-16 thrust smaller

Push it up! A Winner’s Mindset

I’ll never forget the first time I flew the F-16.

 

The tower controller cleared me for takeoff and from the back seat my instructor pilot, Captain “Deke” Slaton, called out over the intercom, “Push it up, Waldo!”

 

“Yes, Sir!” I replied.

 

I anxiously pushed up the throttle to full power and felt a kick in the seat unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. 30,000 poF-16 thrust smallerunds of pure thrust. The power was unreal and in seconds, I was airborne, accelerating to 350 knots.

 

It took a lot of hard work and sacrifice to make it to the cockpit that day. But it paled in comparison to how hard I would have to work to stay there. I had to push up my throttle every day to earn my wings and eventually become a mission ready fighter pilot.

 

I’ve embraced the phrase “Push it up!” in my personal and professional life and use it as a motivator to take massive action. I want you to use it as well because it symbolizes what it takes to succeed. It’s the thrust that can drive you forward and give you wings to fly.

 

Push it up means you:

  • Put forth maximum effort
  • Discipline yourself to take daily action
  • Commit yourself to your goals
  • Stay relentlessly focused
  • Face adversity with courage

It’s about personal leadership, and you’re the pilot in command.

 

Some people really believe in the adage that “attitude determines altitude.” I disagree. While attitude is a tremendous asset in in your life, by itself it won’t directly give you results. Here’s a better formula:

Attitude + Action determines Altitude.

 

The world doesn’t reward your attitude.  It rewards your results.

 

Winners possess a positive attitude and are disciplined, passionate, and committed. But at the end of the day, they take action to make things happen. Winners push it up consistently and do the necessary work to win – even when obstacles come.

 

Most importantly, they avoid the greatest deterrent to success – complacency.  They resist the temptation to ease up on their throttle of success once they’ve tasted the nectar of victory.

 

Remember  – you don’t need to fly an F-16 or wear a flight suit to push it up.  It’s a mindset that drives you out of bed every day ready to take action and break your barriers.

 

Maintaining a push it up state of mind isn’t easy. It takes hard work.  But it’s what separates the mediocre from the “Mach-1.”  Ask yourself each day “Am I pushing it up or pulling it back?”

 

Don’t let yourself become complacent.   Stay committed.  Get excited to strap into your cockpit. Be willing to earn your wings.

 

I guarantee you’ll fly.

 

Push It Up!

Waldo

Dec 8, 2014
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Dec 1, 2014

In PEAK PERFORMANCE/ TEAMWORK
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tfe_no_thumb (6)

Creating a Culture of Performance

When you walk into a fighter squadron, one of the first things you’ll notice are the walls.  They are covered with photos and artwork of jet fighters, famous military leaders, and articles that share in the heritage and history of the unit. It’s impressive and fills one with a sense of pride and fellowship.  You realize you’re part of something bigger than yourself.

 

But the most prominent feature hanging from the walls are the awards of the squadron’s greatest performers.

 

BlogPost_PerformanceBasedCulture_ImageTop Gun of the Quarter, Flight Lead of the Quarter, Instructor Pilot of the Year, Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year,” etc.  They are normally large wooden plaques – classy pieces of artwork that are customized with the person’s name and the squadron logo.

 

These plaques are sacred and mean much more than a cash bonus or a new watch. They symbolize the respect and pride the entire squadron places in its top performers. And when a pilot walks into that squadron and sees those awards, trust me, they’re thinking: “I want to be on that wall!”

 

Sure, every squadron has fun, high-energy pilots that everyone loves to be around.  But we don’t have a “nice-guy” plaque. The only thing that really counts is one’s ability to lead and perform in a high stress, constantly changing, and competitive environment. That’s the overarching mission of any fighter squadron.

 

Does this sound like the mission of your company?

 

To create a culture of excellence where people are motivated to do their best, an organization must be focused on performance as its ultimate criteria for success.  When you really think about it, nothing else matters.  Organizations that have great morale and teamwork aren’t going to be around for long if they don’t deliver on the mission!

 

As Stephen Covey once stated,  “start with the end in mind.”  That end is ultimately successful performance (i.e. execution) – be it closing a sale, delivering your product on time, solving an IT problem, or taking care of  a patient in an emergency room.  Yes – attitude, teamwork, excellent training, and open communication are critical to successful execution. Every organization must embrace these fundamentals.  But performance is the ultimate metric. That’s all a customer really cares about.

 

Don’t be afraid to be performance focused.  Award your company’s “top guns.”  Keep them front and center.  Create a special plaque for them.  Let your employees, customers, and partners see their names on the wall.

 

Finally, make it a point to call a special meeting to recognize these winners.  Get them front and center and show them off.  After all, a little pride mixed in with a dose of appreciation goes a long way.

 

The end result? Everyone will “want to be on that wall.”

 

Performance is contagious.

 

Never Fly Solo,

Waldo

Waldo@YourWingman.com

866-925-3616 

(If you like this post, please comment below and share using the links below)

Dec 1, 2014
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Oct 1, 2014

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Mission Briefing: Focus, Mindset, & Finding Meaning in Your Mission

These short Mission Briefing videos share powerful tactics and success philosophies designed to overcome obstacles, break barriers, and maximize your performance in business and life.

This inaugural message is about discovering the meaning to your mission as you strap in and fly on the flight path of success!
It’s about focus, commitment, and waking up every day with a relentless passion to succeed despite challenge and adversity.

Watch the Mission Briefing by clicking the video below, and feel free to share your comments:
If video image doesn’t show below, please click here: http://tinyurl.com/AnotherMission1

embedded by Embedded Video

Oct 1, 2014
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Sep 17, 2014

In PEAK PERFORMANCE/ WINGTIPS
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What 9/11 Can Teach us about Focus and Success

Two weeks ago, I was boarding a flight from LA to Atlanta. I had been gone for almost a week and was eager to get home and hug my wife and son. The only thing different about this day was that it was 9/11.

 

The news was full of heart wrenching 9/11 stories, ISIS terrorism, the threat of a possible attack on US soil or even a plane hijacking. America was on edge, and there was a sense of unease amongst the passengers.

 

As we took off, my mind raced. What if we get hijacked and crash into a building? What if I never get to see my family again? The fear got the best of me. One second I was excited to get home, and the next, I was full of dread as I pondered the “what-if’s.”

 

I quickly realized what was happening and shifted my focus. I put on my headphones, cranked up some energizing music, and perused photos of my son on my IPhone. Within an instant, I was in a better place. I went from focusing on fear to focusing on joy. Which do you think felt better?

 

Life is full of challenges. The missiles of adversity will come. While they may not be as serious as 9/11, sooner or later, they will strike. You may lose the sale. You’ll get turned down for the promotion. The market will crash. You’ll have a health scare. Bad news will come. That’s not to say you shouldn’t prepare for challenges. (We need to be realists.) But focusing on fear and on life’s “9/11’s” will rob you of joy and can sap you of the energy, passion and courage needed to perform at your very best.

 

Each day, we have a choice to focus on our fears and doubts or on our passions and joys. And that choice has to be intentional. It takes discipline not to get distracted by the news, the naysayers, or the doubts in our head. But success requires us to be in control of our aircraft and keep our heading towards what makes us happy!

 

I believe survivors focus on threats and winners focus on targets.

 

Survivors stagnate. Survivors play it safe. Survivors get distracted. Survival is never fun. Winners take risks. Winners are disciplined. Winners break through barriers and take action.

 

Are you a survivor or a winner? Are you focused on the missiles or are you focused on your goals?

 

As we head into the last few months of 2014, I challenge you to transform your fear into focus. Each day, do your best to maintain a disciplined focus on what you really want. Keep your eyes on the prize and focus on the good. Make sure you have headphones and photos around to fill your head and heart with the music of peace and happiness. And also make sure you have positive wingmen in your formation to keep you on target.

 

I guarantee when you do, you’ll face each day with courage, hope and optimism. Most importantly, you’ll become more peaceful, content and joyous. Which, BTW, isn’t a bad way to define success.

Fly, Fight and Win

 

Our Motto in the US Air Force is NOT “Fly, Fight and Survive.”
It’s Fly, Fight and Win!” 
Waldo

Sep 17, 2014
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Jul 16, 2014

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE
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THE POWER OF COMPETITION

I love to compete. It’s in my DNA. Quite frankly, it’s one of the ways I motivate myself every day to improve.

 

As a matter of fact, I hate losing more than I like winning! Can you relate?

 

When you walk into a fighter squadron, the first thing you see are plaques on the wall and trophies honoring the squadron’s best – Instructor Pilot of the Year, Top Gun of The Quarter, Maintenance Technician of the Half, Wingman of the Month. We highlight our very best because being the best allows us to win. In the military, winning is seriously important!

 

When a fighter pilot walks into that squadron, this is what’s going through their mind – “I want to be on that wall!”

 

If you don’t like to compete, you won’t last very long. Our culture is competitive. Competition improves performance. Performance leads to results. Results count.

 

What culture is your organization promoting?

 

Do you want to be on the wall?

 

When wingmen in a fighter squadron perform at their best, they aren’t rewarded with cash, commission checks, or gold watches. Their name inscribed on the wooden plaque or on the trophy hanging in the bookcase means so much more than that. It’s the honor and pride that is connected with “being on that wall.” And it paves the way for improved performance in the future. It can never be taken away.

 

Winning is about honor, respect, and intrinsic motivation. It’s a product of living the core values of hard work, discipline, teamwork, and trust…all of which lead to winning. That’s not to say you can or will win every time. But if you want to win and aren’t preparing to win, you’ll likely lose.

 

Is winning important in your business? I hope so. For just like in the military, there are no points for second place.

 

Bottom line – if you want to succeed in any environment that expects the best performance from you and your co-workers, you have to want to win. If not, my advice is to pursue another profession. And if it doesn’t hurt when you lose, your heart’s likely not in it.

 

As a leader, make sure you:

  • Create challenging, fun, and performance-enhancing competitions that bring out the very best in your team.
  • Reward your Top Guns with plaques or trophies.
  • Recognize the best of the best, not only at annual meetings, but monthly, quarterly, and as often as you can.
    (see image below.)

 

Finally, don’t be shy when it comes to competing with others (and yourself.) Be willing to fail. Stretch yourself. Take some risks. Lose with honor and learn from your competitors. It will make you more resilient.

 

Increased performance and being the best is a direct result of competition – of stepping up and giving it your best. More often than not, it’s honed during times of failure.

Check out this cool “Waldo Award” created by my wingmen at Old Dominion!

OD Event Icon FINAL - Accelerate to great

Waldo Award

Jul 16, 2014
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May 16, 2014

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Chasing Excellence

I recently had the opportunity to deliver the opening sales keynote forWaldo and Rick Floyd small HomeBridge Financial, one of the largest privately held mortgage companies in North America. Formerly known as Real Estate Mortgage Network, HomeBridge has its sales team led by Executive Vice President Rick Floyd, a high energy, relationship focused leader with a passion for excellence.

 

Rick and I had a chance to discuss what excellence means in our personal and professional lives, and he really got me thinking of what excellence is all about.  We even conducted a short interview that you can watch on his “Chasing Excellence” blog (link below.)

 

Excellence is one of the three core values in the Air Force, along with Integrity and Service.  While there are dozens of factors that effect one’s ability to achieve excellence in life, I want to share eight examples of what I believe are the most critical “Excellence Attributes “ that true leaders embrace:

 

1. Relentless passion for growth – leaders maintain high standards and never settle for the status quo. Complacency kills.
2. Willingness to fail – leaders take risks and step outside their comfort zones.
3. Integrity in everything – Character and values are lived 24/7
4. Relationship builders – true success cannot happen without the help and support of others.  BTW – Giving is as important as receiving.
5. Ability to focus – to achieve daily and long term goals, one must avoid distractions that can take you off course
6. Lifelong learners – Personal and professional development are part of one’s daily regimen
7. Discipline and Attention to detail – Excellence is often hidden in the details. Everything counts!
8. Extraordinary work ethic – peak performance is a bi-product of effort, sacrifice, and hard work. “The more you sweat, the less you bleed.”

 

I believe excellence is a journey, not a destination.  It’s a continuous process that must be refined, fueled, and executed each and every day.

 

As you chase excellence, keep in mind that what helped you gain success today may not be what you need tomorrow. Be flexible, adapt to change, and be open to new processes, disciplines, and relationship that can help you achieve future success.  The result will be an extraordinary ability to perform and accomplish great things in your personal and professional life.

 

How do you chase excellence?  Please share with other wingmen and leave your comments below.

 

To watch our interview, click here: 

 




 

May 16, 2014
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Mar 28, 2014

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Never Outsource Accountability

You’re at 20,000 feet and 550 knots on a training mission in your F-16, and your instructor pilot (IP) just demonstrated a perfect offensive BFM (Basic Fighter Maneuver) engagement. Now, it’s your turn to show him what you’ve learned.

He yells out on the radio, “You have the aircraft!” Waldo Stage small Serious Talking 2013

You respond, “Roger Sir, I have the aircraft!” confirming you’re now in control of the jet and ready to perform. (You also know your IP is there to assist you if you need help.)

Soon you won’t have an instructor in the cockpit with you monitoring your maneuvers. You’ll be by yourself, fully responsible for successfully accomplishing the maneuvers and supporting the mission.

Are you truly ready to fly that $30 million piece of machinery? Are you prepared, focused, and confident? Are you accountable for your actions, and ultimately for results?

When you say, “I have the aircraft,” you had better be.

Each day you’re given the aircraft to fly – contracts, sales calls, customer inquiries, budgets and proposals to review, and meetings. The stakes are high. Are you ready to step up and fly?

“I have the aircraft” means:

  • You take full responsibility for your job and own the results.
  • You’re prepared – you’ve taken the time to study, chair-fly, and contingency plan
  • You’ll follow through until the mission is complete.
  • You understand that your actions affect others in your organization
  • You have the integrity to admit a mistake because you understand the mission comes first, not your ego!
  • You’re willing to ask for help.

It’s all about accountability.

Great companies have 100% committed wingmen who want to take action – to grab the stick of the aircraft and fly the toughest missions. They seek responsibility and challenge rather than shirk it, understanding that their actions affect others in the organization.

Bottom Line: Wingmen never outsource accountability, nor do they blame others for not holding them accountable. They have the discipline, focus, training and confidence to win.

Are you one of these wingmen?

Ok then – ”You have the aircraft!” I’ll see you at 20,000 feet!

Push it up!

Nexeo Push it up Crowd Oct 13 small

Mar 28, 2014
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Jan 21, 2014

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE/ WINGTIPS
0 comments

Walk the Flight Line: Leadership, Appreciation, and Being a Wingman at Work

The best leadership lessons are often learned when we mess up.

 

When I was a young Captain, I verbally disrespected a maintenance crew chief for not fully fueling my F-16 before an important training flight.  It wasn’t a big deal, but I was frustrated because it would cut my training short.

 

After landing, my commander, who heard about how I treated the airman, ordered me to walk the flight line to see what the soldiers did behind the scenes so that I could do the coolest job in the world – fly the F-16.

 

The experience was humbling, to say the least.  I did inspections, changed tires, and yes – re-fueled jets. The work was much harder than I expected. Quite frankly, I really didn’t understand what the soldiers did every day to make sure the pilots were mission-ready.  As far as I was concerned, I was the officer and they were enlisted. They worked for me. 

 

I was cocky and had an ego.  I wasn’t a wingman.

 

After “walking the flight line”, I got to know the airmen as people and learned about their dreams and passions.  Some even wanted to fly the F-16 but couldn’t because they didn’t have the money or the grades to go to college.  It made me thankful for the blessings that I had growing up which afforded me more opportunities.  What I ultimately realized was that I really didn’t know the people who worked with me.  I never took the time to appreciate these unsung heroes who truly had an impact on the mission. 

 

Who’s flight line do you need to walk? Who are the unsung heroes who do the tough jobs in your office every day? Do you know them?  Do you thank them?    Do you appreciate them?

 

People work harder and go the extra mile when they are appreciated. They also adapt to change and are more resilient.  

Walking the flight line not only improves morale and relationships, it improves performance!

 

Waldo and Enos Dodson

Waldo and Enos Dodson

PS – This month, I was fortunate to spend time with the commander who taught me this valuable, humbling lesson about appreciation over a decade ago.  At the time, I admit I was sort of angry at him – even though I deserved it.  But being a leader sometimes means reprimanding people that work for you when they mess up. It’s not easy to do. And while they may not realize the lesson at the time, it can make a lasting impression and help them become a better leader in the future.  Thank you Lt Col “Enos” Dodson!

 

Jan 21, 2014
0 Comments

Nov 1, 2013

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE
0 comments

How to Fly Like a Champion

FLY LIKE A CHAMPION

  

Fly Like a Champion Edited

I love this photo. It represents the mindset a fighter pilot has before he/she walks out the door to face the enemy.

 

It symbolizes confidence, preparation, discipline, and even courage.

 

Flying like a Champion means you’re prepared to go to battle – to face the enemy, perform under pressure, and hit the target. It means before you execute the plan, you’ve done the hard work. You’ve studied, planned and rehearsed.  You’ve sacrificed.  You’re focused on the mission.  You’re ready to WIN!

 

Champions are confident.  And they never “Wing It.”

 

Before you walk out the door to attend that meeting, give that presentation, perform the inspection, or make that cold call, are you confident? Have you done the work required to be a champion?

 

So many people are looking for a magic formula or short cut for success.  It doesn’t exist.  If you want to be a wingman and deliver value to your customers, partners, and co-workers, the best way to do so is through your preparation and hard work.

 

If you’re ready to execute your business mission and are planning to “fly by the seat of your pants,” chances are you’ll get shot down. But if you’re prepared and confident…and have wingmen you can count on…you’ll win.

 

Now get out there and Fly Like a Champion!

 

Waldo’s WingTip: Winners Never Wing It. 

 

Nov 1, 2013
0 Comments

Oct 17, 2013

In Popular/ Press/ TEAMWORK/ Uncategorized/ Wing Blog
0 comments

Waldo Waldman inducted into the NSA CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

CPAE Speech smile Jul 13A few months ago at the annual convention for the National Speakers Association, I was thrilled to be inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame (along with four other speakers.)  As you can imagine, I was extremely honored to receive this award, and it truly was an experience of a lifetime.

 

Also known as the Council of Peers Award for Excellence (CPAE), the award honors speakers who have reached the top echelon of platform excellence, and has been bestowed on less than 200 speakers worldwide since 1977.  Recipients include General Colin Powell and Zig Ziglar.

 

Waldo and Dan CPAE new smallMy dear friend and fellow speaker Dan Thurmon nominated me for the award and I am sincerely grateful for his generosity. What makes my profession so awesome are the relationships I’ve nurtured over the years. I’m proud to call Dan my wingman. 

 

 

 

How blessed I was to also have my mom and dad (Sylvia and Leonard – 79 and 84 years old!) at the event, along with my wife Dana, twin brother Dave, older brother Steve and his wife Kerry, and my awesome assistant Mallory. 

The Waldman Family

 

As I reflect on my career the last ten years – with its up and downs and lessons learned – I just want to thank all of you who have seen me speak, hired me, supported me and encouraged as I worked to earn my wings in the profession of speaking. As the wingman philosophy goes – you can’t truly succeed alone.

 

You need wingmen to win.

 

Thank you sincerely for being my wingmen and for believing in me and the wingman message of trust, commitment, and partnership in business and life.   You give meaning to my mission. 

Waldo CPAE stage new small

 

To view my acceptance speech, click here

Oct 17, 2013
0 Comments

Sep 2, 2013

In LEADERSHIP/ TEAMWORK
0 comments

We Are All Dishwashers

Wingmen

Wingmen

When I was sixteen, I worked part time as a dishwasher in a very popular Mexican restaurant on Long Island named Meson Ole’.  I’ll never forget how hard it was. I was on my feet for five hours straight in a hot, steamy kitchen that must have been 95 degrees. There was an endless flow of dishes and I barely had time for a break.

 

I remember watching the other dishwasher and all the folks who chopped the onions, sliced the meat, and cooked the food. They were working even harder than me.   Most were in their mid 20’s and barely spoke English and probably had families to feed.  Here I was, just a kid looking for extra money to buy baseball cards and a cheeseburger at McDonald’s.  But for some of these employees – they were totally dependent on that job for income.

 

What was most interesting is that I never heard them complain.  They all had fun and took pride in their work.  They were simple, honorable people, and at the end of the night, I too felt a sense of pride knowing we all gave our best and together helped that restaurant run great.

 

After that summer, I made a vow to do whatever it took to never have to work as a dishwasher again.  Perhaps I would own a restaurant one day.  But work as a dishwasher?  Never!

 

So now, whenever I go to a restaurant, I’m thankful that I don’t have to be a dishwasher.  I’m thankful that I got to go to college and now earn a living as an entrepreneur. Sure I worked hard for my succes and still work hard each day. But I don’t have to do so in a hot, sweaty kitchen.

 

Here’s what else I’m thankful for:  the dishwasher – The person sweating behind the scenes. Maybe they don’t have much ambition or skills.  Maybe they are content with being a dishwasher. Or maybe they just weren’t blessed with some of my God-given talents.  But being a dishwasher is the best they could do to earn a living, feed their family, or make some money to go to college.

 

Here’s my point.  The world needs dishwashers. And there are a lot of dirty dishes out there!

 

Every business has “dishes” that need to be cleaned.  The sales calls, paperwork, admin duties, and maintenance all have to get done.  Every one of us has our roles to play. Some jobs are more “glorious” than others.  But the money we make doesn’t make us special. It’s our character that truly counts.  

 

As we reflect on this past Labor Day weekend, let’s not forget all the folks who wash the dishes.  They are our wingmen. Let’s thank and appreciate those unsung heroes who often sweat and sacrifice to get the job done.

 

And finally, let’s be thankful that there are dishes to clean in the first place. As laborers, we all have the opportunity to get paid to clean them.  Most importantly, we should endeavor to do our work with honor, integrity, and a commitment to excellence. It’s what makes our labor worthy.

 

At the end of the day, we’re really all dishwashers.

 

Your Wingman, Waldo

Waldo@YourWingman.com

 

Sep 2, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 15, 2013

In wing store
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Final CD + Case.indd

Never Fly Solo MP3 Audio Download

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Final CD + Case.inddNever Fly Solo MP3 Audio Download

$29.95 | Buy Now!

1 hour of the Wingman’s high energy sales keynote program.

Jun 15, 2013
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Jun 15, 2013

In wing store
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Wingman Teambuilding & Leadership

wingmanteambuilding-cd-label-1901 (1)Two hours of high energy and interactive (live) leadership content on trust and mutual support in business and life.

Jun 15, 2013
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Jun 15, 2013

In wing store
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Jun 15, 2013

In wing store
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Crystal Business Card Holder

crystal-of-f-16-never-fly-solo-191Never Fly Solo Crystal Business Card Holder

$47.95 ($37.95 for order of 10 or more) | Buy Now!

High quality, crystal card holder…perfect as a gift for one of your special wingmen.

Jun 15, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 15, 2013

In wing store
0 comments

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Wingtips Mission Ready Card

mission-briefing-card-191Peak Performance Wingtips Mission Ready Card

$0.30 cents each (minimum order of 100 if purchased alone) | Buy Now!

 

Jun 15, 2013
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Jun 15, 2013

In wing store
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Wingman Baseball Hat

Jun 15, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 15, 2013

In wing store
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Wingman Mission Ready Coins

Jun 15, 2013
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Jun 15, 2013

In wing store
0 comments

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Mission Possible!

mission-possible-180Waldo Waldman, fighter pilot, keynote speaker and author, has been selected from a nationwide search to be featured in the 10th Anniversary Edition of Mission Possible, a highly successful book series from Tennessee based Insight Publishing.

The book features best-selling authors Stephen R. Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) and Brian Tracy (Turbo Strategies). Waldman, Tracy, and Covey, are joined by other well known authors and speakers, each offering time-tested strategies for success in frank and intimate interviews.

Order your copy of Mission Possible, now 
or Contact Waldo at 1-866-Waldo-16 (1-866-925-3616) to order by phone

 

Jun 15, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 9, 2013

In Testimonial
0 comments

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Tim Krzyzanowski, VP Sales, Philips Medical Systems

Waldo, your “One Team, One Mission” message, philosophy of trusting your wingmen, and becoming Mission Ready totally aligned with our teamwork goal. In all my years of attending sales meetings, you were simply one of the best!

Jun 9, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
0 comments

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Pat Lupsha, EVP & COO, Davidson Hotels

You took us on an unforgettable and inspiring journey that was fun, fast-paced, and engaging. You provided front-line hotel leaders with great takeaways for their everyday business interactions. Quite simply, you have strengthened our entire company…enough to have you back two years later….Another homerun!

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
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Kevin Yates, Director, President, LMV Division

“I’ve attended hundreds of meetings and I must say Waldo is one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard.  Even though we gave him the challenge of an after dinner program and a day-worn audience, his speech was engaging, motivating, and very powerful.”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
0 comments

auto_owners_insurance

Steve Zabriskie, Asst. VP Sales, Auto-Owners Insurance Company

“You delivered more than a “call to action” keynote to our Sales, Marketing, and Underwriting teams.  We distributed your book and have used it in our training, and have adopted the “One Team, One Mission” mantra throughout our entire organization.”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
0 comments

ssi

James M. Lyons, President and CEO, The SSI Group,

“We tasked you with helping us to focus on embracing our customers, providing them with the guidance that together we can reach new heights, and you exceeded all of our expectations! You showed phenomenal skills in relating your message to the healthcare industry, and your effective use of humor and “industry language” was engaging and a huge plus.”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
0 comments

sumitomo_drive_technologies

Matthew Roberson, Sr. VP of Sales, Sumitomo Drive Technologies

“Your opening keynote speech at our National Sales Meeting was the “WOW” factor we needed to fire up our group…. Your personal touch will sustain the memory of this event for years to come.”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
0 comments

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Tom Arnold, SVP Sales & Marketing, Colonial Life Insurance Company

“Weaving our business into your presentation made it very personal and our sales organization really liked that. Your message about “never flying solo” and trusting partnerships certainly resonated with Colonial and I’m excited about the renewed  enthusiasm our sales organization has shown this year.”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
0 comments

metz_culinary_management

Maureen Gallagher, VP of Marketing, Metz Culinary Management

His engaging personality made the presentation very effective, and his ability to relate to our industry was outstanding. Waldo’s keynote was by far the favorite of the conference. Every business needs to listen to his speech.”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
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Us_foods_keeping_kitchens_cooking

Rocco Alianiello, Division President, Western PA, US Foods

“Your message made us feel as if you were speaking to each one us personally. The energy you brought was contagious and the lessons invaluable. As you know, we brought you back to speak at our awards banquet a few moths later, which is a testament to your impact. Thanks again for everything!”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
0 comments

delphi

Claudia Piccinin, Dir. of Mktg and Communications, Delphi Thermal Systems

“Your message transcended across the 100 top leaders of our global audience and inspired them to action.  This was your second engagement with Delphi and you certainly did not disappoint.  Still today, your motivational phrases continue to energize, and we are reminded to engage our fellow wingmen and create a culture of mutual support.“

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
0 comments

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Bruce Himes, President, Western Water Works Supply Co.

You were the best speaker we have had, which is quite the endorsement since all of our previous speakers were outstanding.  You informed, instructed, and inspired us, and are a great role model of a person who overcame real fears to achieve their real passion.”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
0 comments

schneider_electric

Charles Forsgard, Director, OEM Sales, Schneider Electric

“As a company in the process of driving major change, we needed a speaker who could help us focus on selling and working as a team. Waldo’s “trust your wingman” message went right to the heart of that concept. His energizing messages about perseverance, strategy, teamwork, and sales execution are ones that any true sales professional will take to heart. I couldn’t be happier with his program.”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
0 comments

johnson_&_johnson

Ian Eggs, WW Dir. Laboratory Automation Systems, Johnson & Johnson

“The three hour seminar in Germany shot by, and many commented how you were able to understand our world so well.  We re-used much of your messaging throughout the rest of the week, and I see elements permeating our daily work.  Your session will last a long time in the memories and actions of our team!”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
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aflac

Randy Bartlein, State Sales Coordinator, Aflac

“Waldo, your presentation resulted in a record breaking week of prospecting.  We closed 70 new accounts, which is almost our monthly quota!  You weren’t just another “motivational” speaker.  You invested in the process and dedicated yourself to learning the Aflac business. Thank you for helping us to “Push it up!”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
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new_england_coffee

James Kaloyanides, Director, Sales & Customer Service, New England Coffee Company

“You were able to create an emotional connection with our group. While many expected to hear another speaker talk about their personal accomplishments, you were able to weave your life story of service and success in business into specific info relevant to our company.  It really brought the message home for the audience.”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
0 comments

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Melissa Withrow, Exec. Asst. to Jeff Connolly, President of Michigan Ops

“One of the most exciting aspects of your program was your ability to interact so deeply with the audience.  You were able to make personal connections that allowed all of us to feel like your “personal wingmen.”  This helped us all to connect more intimately and understand that we can grow stronger as a team rather than individually.”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
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leaseplan

Nancy D’Amica, Sr. VP and CIO, LeasePlan

“This was Waldo’s second engagement with Lease Plan and each was meaningful and full of passion. Whether he is speaking to Sales, IT or other departments, his ‘Never Fly Solo’ message is relevant and inspiring at all levels of the organization.  His mantra to ‘Push it Up!’ is the exact message our Leadership team needed to hear as we demand more from ourselves, push our teams to the limit, and strive to sustain organizational greatness.”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
0 comments

bluestar_distributors

Dean Reverman, Global MARCOM Manager, BlueStar Distributors

“Waldo was credible and professional from the pre-planning stages through event execution. He did a fantastic job connecting his real-life fighter pilot and business experience to the challenges faced by our vendors and distributors. His empowering and emotional message set the tone for the entire event.”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
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Connie Schaeffer, President, The Air Carriers Purchasing Conference

 “The relevant presentation, specifically tailored to the aviation industry, together with your sincere brave heart, was a perfect match for our attendees. You brought energy and zest to the last day of our conference and our attendees not only received a strong message, but left smiling with renewed enthusiasm.”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
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good_source_solutions

Eric Shiring, CFO, Good Source Solutions

“Your tailored message resonated very well with every member of our organization. Emotions ran the gamut from laughter to tears and I believe you left a lasting impression on our entire organization that will benefit us for years to come.”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
0 comments

cleveland_browns

Jerry Butler, Director of Player Development, Cleveland Browns

“Thanks for helping is defeat the Giants in the best game of our season! Feel free to take credit for any of our victories as we continue to build our new dynasty within the NFL.”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

Jun 3, 2013

In Testimonial
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Mark Carlson, President, Association of Independent Mailing Equipment Dealers

“You provided the conference focus for our remaining three days and set the stage for one of our most successful conferences ever.

We couldn’t have had a better take-off for our 35th anniversary celebration.”

Jun 3, 2013
0 Comments

May 31, 2013

In Debrief
0 comments

whitepaper

MOTIVATE YOUR SALES TEAM

Download a copy of  Waldo’s whitepaper on motivating your sales team

May 31, 2013
0 Comments

May 31, 2013

In Debrief
0 comments

sales_mission_debreif

SALES MISSION BRIEFING

Download a copy of  the 
Wingman Sales Mission Briefing Guide

May 31, 2013
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May 31, 2013

In Debrief
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credo

THE WINGMAN CREDO

Download a copy of 
“The Wingman Credo” and share the values of a wingman with your team.

May 31, 2013
0 Comments

May 31, 2013

In Debrief
0 comments

wing-store

WING STORE

Visit my wingman store to purchase my NY Times bestseller Never Fly Solo and a host of other educational resources and gifts for yourself, your team, or a special wingman in your life.

May 31, 2013
0 Comments

May 31, 2013

In Debrief
0 comments

wingman

WINGMAN LEADERSHIP

The Wingman Leadership summary and debrief captures how to Build a Culture of Courage in Business and Life. Click here to download the complete pdf file.

May 31, 2013
0 Comments

May 31, 2013

In Debrief
0 comments

wingman

NEVER FLY SOLO DEBRIEF

The Ultimate Flight Plan to Win in Business and Life. Click here to download the full pdf of the Never Fly Solo Keynote outline. And click here for a pdf of the presentation slides.

May 31, 2013
0 Comments

May 31, 2013

In Debrief
0 comments

break_right

BREAK RIGHT

Break right, break right: combat video.

[jwplayer player=”1″ mediaid=”3121″]

May 31, 2013
0 Comments

May 31, 2013

In Debrief
0 comments

3green

YOU’VE GOT THREE GREEN

“You’ve got Three-Green” Emergency landing video.

[jwplayer player=”1″ mediaid=”3123″]

May 31, 2013
0 Comments

May 31, 2013

In Debrief
0 comments

inspire

WALDO’S OPENING VIDEO

Waldo’s High Energy Opening Video. 

[jwplayer player=”1″ mediaid=”3127″]

May 31, 2013
0 Comments

May 17, 2013

In PEAK PERFORMANCE/ Popular
0 comments

tfe_no_thumb (3)

Flawless Preparation: The Key to Winning

Nothing gets me more excited than carrying out a mission exactly to plan. Whether flying a jet fighter sortie, delivering a keynote, making a cold call, or successfully bluffing at poker, when things go flawlessly, it just feels great!

 

But let’s face it…it almost NEVER happens!

 

I have a question for you. Are you perfect? Do you ever make mistakes?

 

In the world of the fighter pilot, no mission is ever complete until we de-brief. Why? Because mistakes will always are made and we need to figure out how not to make them again. After all, if we don’t fly the mission right, we may not have dinner that night!

 

In business it’s the same.  No mission is ever flawless, regardless if you’re a CEO, sales manager, or an IT specialist. We’re all human beings, and human beings make mistakes.

Fly Like a Champion Edited

Many great companies stress the concept of flawless execution to their employees. They understand that without proper execution, they are useless. And they are 100% correct.

 

The challenge with this type of business philosophy is not the concept, but how it’s communicated to members of an organization. If communicated correctly, it can lead to positive change. But if communicated improperly (via poor leadership), it can back-fire. Here’s why: When people are pushed to be perfect, they stop taking risks and start accepting mediocrity! They become afraid to push the envelope and make mistakes. After all, if they don’t perform flawlessly, they must be messing up!

 

In essence, they become fearful…and fear drives away our winning spirit. In an age where innovation and risk taking are so critical to business growth, that type of behavior can prove fatal.

 

Here’s another question: Do you want to work in an organization that promotes mediocrity? Hmmmmm….

 

My friend Jeffrey Gitomer is one of the top sales trainers in the world. His best selling book “The Little Red Book of Selling” is packed with great ideas to motivate your staff. Here’s an idea he promotes: He actually pays his employees when they make a mistake!! That’s right. When they use their best judgment and make a decision that they feel is in the best interest of his company, they get paid. WOW! Talk about a leader motivating employees to take risks!

 

Here’s a suggestion. Rather than demand flawless execution, command (through your leadership and training programs) flawless preparation! Now that’s something that is attainable. Discipline yourself and your corporate team to:

  • Extensively study your prospects & competition
  • Mission rehearse (chair-fly) every sales call or product demo
  • Plan for contingencies (‘what-ifs’ of business)
  • Attend seminars & read books to strengthen your personal development & business skills
  • Build trusting relationships with wingmen you can turn to for help

 

Failing to flawlessly execute is excusable. But there is no excuse for not flawlessly preparing!

 

Bottom line – don’t focus on flawless execution. Focus instead on flawless preparation which will eventually lead to flawless (or near flawless) execution. That’s how you build a confident workforce ready to win!!

 

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)

PS – If you like this blog post, please share it with your wingmen.

 
May 17, 2013
0 Comments

May 5, 2013

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
0 comments

tfe_no_thumb (3)

A Lesson in Balance

Last week I got to celebrate my 45th birthday by flying with my good friend Ty in his Extra 300 high performance aircraft.  I had a blast.  We tore up the sky and performed a ton of aerobatics – Cuban 8’s, loops, aileron rolls, and high-G turns.  It was awesome. (See video clip below.)

 

It totally brought me back to my days as an F-16 pilot. I actually forgot how much I enjoyed flying. But I also realized I forgot how to have fun. In the last ten years, I can count on one hand the number of times when I’ve been that exhilarated, inspired, and present. I was home again in the cockpit and it felt great.

 

What I learned that day is that I’ve been too caught up in my work – the deadlines, speeches, customers, and commitments.  My radar has been way too focused on my targets on the job.   As a result, I’ve been missing other important targets in my personal life – the things that make me joyfulengaged, and most of all, present.

 

I’m not saying I was wrong for being so focused on work. But I was definitely starting to burn out and realized I had lost a balanced crosscheck of what was important in life. I was denying myself the opportunity to have fun!

 

Perhaps you can relate.

– When was the last time you were fully engaged while doing something outside of work?

– What can you do that will inspire you and make you feel present? 

– What brings you joy?

 

Spending time (either alone or with wingmen you care about) – be it in a cockpit, on a golf course, at a concert, a hike in the mountains, or on vacation, can fill up our spiritual fuel tank and re-energize us for the tough work ahead. It can lead to greater adaptability to stress, improve creativity, and strengthen relationships.

 

So my wingtip for you is make sure you park your jet in the hangar and get some much-needed maintenance. Don’t wait too long to tighten down your rivets and refuel your jet. Schedule time to relax and have fun.  Otherwise, you may crash and burn.

 

When you do things that bring joy and peace to your heart, you’ll be better equipped to fly the tough missions when called to battle.

 

Never Fly Solo,

Waldo

Waldo@YourWingman.com

www.YourWingman.com

866-925-3616

May 5, 2013
0 Comments

May 4, 2013

In Press
0 comments

May 4, 2013

In Press
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May 4, 2013

In Press
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May 4, 2013

In Press
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May 4, 2013

In Press
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May 4, 2013

In Press
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Best-selling

Best-selling author and marketing expert Chip Cummings interviews Waldo on his coaching success radio program.

[Download Radio Interview]

May 4, 2013
0 Comments

May 4, 2013

In Press
0 comments

May 4, 2013

In Press
0 comments

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Job search tactics

Job search tactics interview with Waldo Waldman and NY Times bestseller Harvey Mackay

[Download Radio Interview]

May 4, 2013
0 Comments

May 4, 2013

In Press
0 comments

May 4, 2013

In Press
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May 4, 2013

In Press
0 comments

May 4, 2013

In Press
0 comments

May 4, 2013

In Press
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May 4, 2013

In Press
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May 4, 2013

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May 4, 2013

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Chief Executive

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May 4, 2013
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Veterans Today

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Career Bright

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Apr 18, 2013

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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THE INNER WINGMAN: Trusting Yourself!!

Before fighter pilots can fly in combat, we have to demonstrate expertise in tactics, technology, and hands-on flying. Extensive hours of study, simulation and practice missions must be accomplished before we are designated “M/R” – MISSION READY!

Simply put, we’re not trusted to fly with other wingmen until we can fully trust ourselves!

In business and life, before you can be trusted to execute a mission and work with others, you too have to become Mission Ready. You have to trust yourself to win!

 

You have to Prepare!
You have to Train!
You have to Sacrifice!

This process of becoming M/R isn’t very fun. However, the fun starts after you have paid the price to turn into a winner. Arnold Schwarzenegger once said: Nobody ever got muscles watching me lift the weights! I have a question for you: Have you lifted your weights today?

If you’re in sales, you have to practice your cold calls, study the competition, plan your schedule, and discipline yourself to follow the right processes that will lead to a sale. You, and no-one else, have to lift the weights and develop sales muscles! This is how you develop your Inner Wingman.

When you trust your inner wingman, you become confident. Confidence breeds action which leads to performance which results in joy. People who lack confidence are fearful. They fear change, failure, and rejection. Fearful people have a survival mentality, but confident people have a winning mentality. Confident people, on the other hand, are enthusiastic and passionate about winning. Confident people have positive attitudes and customers love to buy from salespersons who are positive and TRUSTWORTHY. Bottom line – If you don’t trust yourself, neither will your customer!

So, before you start complaining about how difficult your job is or how teamwork is lacking in your organization, ask yourself if you’ve done the heavy lifting necessary to build trust in yourself. In business and life, nobody is flying your jet but you. You must be in control. Remember, the best wingmen are those who can expertly execute their own missions and thus contribute to the success of their organization’s mission.

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)

Apr 18, 2013
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Apr 16, 2013

In Uncategorized
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Client list for testimonial page

  • Aflac
  • AGL Resources
  • Alabama Power
  • AmericInn Hotels
  • American Public Works Assoc.
  • Amer. Assoc of Dental Group Practice (AADGP)
  • Ash Brokerage
  • Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC)
  • Automated Logic
  • BAE Systems
  • Bank of America
  • Baptist Health Hospitals
  • Blackbaud Software
  • BMC Software
  • California Highway Patrol (CHIPS)
  • Casio
  • Choicepoint
  • Citizens Bank
  • CIT Financial
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Con Edison
  • Continental Tire
  • Don Pablo’s
  • Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Enzymatic Therapy
  • Federated Dept Stores
  • First National Bank
  • FPDA (Fluid Power Distributors Assoc.)
  • GA Association of Realtors
  • Gallo Wines
  • Genworth Financial
  • General Reinsurance Corp
  • Germania Insurance
  • Granite City Brewery
  • Harris Corp
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Hilton Grand Vacations Club
  • Home Depot
  • Honeywell
  • Illinois Credit Union League
  • Infusion Nurses Society (INS)
  • International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA)
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Joe’s Crab Shak
  • Kiewit Construction
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • John Hancock
  • Jones Lang LaSalle
  • Juniper Networks
  • LandAmerica Financial
  • Leslie’s Pools
  • Manhattan Bagel
  • Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA)
  • Material Handling & Eqpmnt Distr. Assoc (MHEDA)
  • Medco Health
  • Marriott Corporation
  • MassMutual
  • Medtronic
  • Michelin
  • Methodist Hospital
  • National Association of Fixed Annuities (NAFA)
  • National Assoc. of Floor Covering Dist. (NAFCD)
  • Nat’l Assoc. of Healthcare Access Mgmt. (NAHAM)
  • National Association of Retail Marketing Services (NARMS)
  • National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP)
  • New Hanover Medical Center
  • New York Life Insurance
  • Nokia
  • Osteomed
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • PA Assoc. of Township Supervisors
  • Panasonic
  • PC Connection
  • Pennsylvania Bankers Association
  • Performance Food Group
  • Philips Medical Systems
  • Premier Inc
  • Qwest Communications
  • Raytheon
  • Reliant Energy
  • Reinhart Foodservice
  • Safeco Insurance
  • Sage Software
  • Self Regional Hospital
  • Shell Chemical
  • Smith Barney
  • Sticky Fingers Barbeque
  • SunTrust Banks
  • Swatch Group USA
  • Syngenta
  • Sumitomo Drive Technologies
  • SXC Healthcare
  • TN Valley Public Power Authority (TVPPA)
  • Trimble, Inc.
  • YellowPages.com
  • UPS
  • Zeus
Apr 16, 2013
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Apr 13, 2013

In Home-page-tesimonial
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JChris Ogburn, Director

“Waldo’s story lines around
teamwork and trust really
resonated with our organization. “

JChris Ogburn, Director

Personal Systems Group

Apr 13, 2013
0 Comments

Apr 13, 2013

In Home-page-tesimonial
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Home testimonial 2

“Inspirational and packed
full of relevant business
take-aways..”

Jeff Duckworth, Exec VP of Sales

 

Apr 13, 2013
0 Comments

Apr 13, 2013

In Home-page-tesimonial
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Home testimonial 1

“… one of the best speakers I 
have ever seen!”
Kevin Yates

President, LMV Division

Apr 13, 2013
0 Comments

Apr 11, 2013

In Testimonial
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David Wilkins, VP Contracts — Raytheon Network Centric Systems

Your Wingman message had such a profound impact on the team, that we scrapped the rest of the day’s agenda and built on your critical theme of teambuilding and trusting your wingmen.”

Apr 11, 2013
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Apr 11, 2013

In Testimonial
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Kaye McComas, Director of Recovery — Federated Department Stores

Waldo, you were the highlight of our meeting! Thank you for taking the time to know our business inside and out. I am, without hesitation, proud to be your wingman!

Apr 11, 2013
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Apr 11, 2013

In Testimonial
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Laura Marsh, Vice President, Marketing — LandAmerica Financial Group West

Your 2 days of speaking was of immense help to our sales teams. Not only was your presentation informative and real world, but you also captured everyone’s attention and peaked their motivation, two very direct benefits for our sales force and our company. You are a true professional!

Apr 11, 2013
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Apr 11, 2013

In Testimonial
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Chris Ogburn, Director — HP Personal Systems Group

Waldo has a great ability to translate his military experience into key sales and leadership principles that can apply to each of us. His story lines around teamwork, trust, preparation, focus, and execution really resonated with our organization. We’ll continue to ‘Push it up!’ here at HP!

Apr 11, 2013
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Apr 11, 2013

In Testimonial
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Lauren Berg, Marketing Manager — MTM Technologies

Waldo was amazing! Bottom line — he didn’t deliver a canned speech on teamwork, change, and unity. He gave a speech to MTM Technologies, about MTM Technologies as he knew the difficulties we faced as a newly merged company. I would highly recommend Waldo for any event whereteamwork and peak performance are goals. He makes people laugh, listen, and engage, and in the end…remember!!

Apr 11, 2013
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Apr 11, 2013

In Testimonial
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Hal Hitch, Vice President, Product and Marketing — CIT Financial, Office Technology & Finance

Waldo — fantastic job in both your preparation and execution! From our first contact through thehigh energy engagement and then finally with your follow up by way of helpful advice and e-mail tips, you are a true professional. Your ability to personalize your message was admirable, as you really embraced our focus on teamwork and trust at a critical time for our business.”

Apr 11, 2013
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Apr 11, 2013

In Testimonial
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Lynette Schick, Education Director — Society of Government Meeting Professionals

Waldo, I’ve worked with many speakers over the years and you stand out as one of the most client-focused I have ever worked with. Moreover, your interaction with the audience and passion are commendable, and your message is relevant to all phases of life…from business to the home. Thank you for making our National Education Conference in Nashville a mission success!

Apr 11, 2013
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Apr 11, 2013

In Testimonial
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Linda Hodo, VP of Corp Development — Zurich Insurance

This was our first ever sales conference and Waldo delivered! His preparation and care in understanding our business challenges made his message extremely relevant. He’s an outstanding storyteller…funny and authentic.

Apr 11, 2013
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Apr 11, 2013

In Testimonial
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Craig Atkinson, Director of Career Development — Walsh Construction

Your approach combined the panache of a fighter pilot, the knowledge of a business commentator, the focus of an executive consultant, and the wisdom of a sage. You were engaging without being flippant, you were motivating without being ‘over the top,’ and you were highly prepared without being canned.

Apr 11, 2013
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Apr 11, 2013

In Testimonial
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Larry Harvey, National Sales Director — Osteomed

Having been in this business for 20 years and having witnessed dozens of great speakers while working for two of the largest medical companies in the world, I have never seen a speaker that was more genuinely effective then you were for Osteomed.

Apr 11, 2013
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Apr 11, 2013

In Testimonial
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Jeff Duckworth, Exec VP of Sales — John Hancock Funds

Waldo’s presentation was inspirational and packed full of relevant business take-aways. His content was heartfelt and the audience never drifted. He didn’t just talk about being a wingman, he showed it.

Apr 11, 2013
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Apr 11, 2013

In Testimonial
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Jonathan O’Neill, Managing Director of Sales — Hilton Grand Vacations

Exciting, Challenging, Emotional, Entertaining and Thought-Provoking” are the first words that come to mind when describing your performance Waldo. The experience was simply “worth every penny“, and has given us our battle cry for 2008…”One Team, One Goal!

Apr 11, 2013
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Apr 10, 2013

In Testimonial
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Frank Marcus, General Sales Manager — Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery

Our decision to hire Waldo was the best choice we could have made. He customized a unique program tailored just for us by carefully blending examples from our own business, his military and personal business experience, great audio visual footage and powerful, practical ideas. Waldo was the perfect climax to our conference and his program was better than I could have even imagined.

Apr 10, 2013
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Mar 11, 2013

In LEADERSHIP/ TEAMWORK
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Commit to Excellence

Are you committed to the same standards that you expect of others?

 

Do you walk the walk or just talk the talk?

 

If you don’t aspire for excellence, then you cant inspire others to do the same. If you are not committed to growth, you can’t inspire others to grow.

 

You have to aspire before you inspire.

 

General George Crook once stated, “Example is the best general order.”  So true.

 

Push It Up!

 

If you’re not willing to “push it up” – to sacrifice, adapt to change, and work harder when things are tough – then others likely won’t follow you. Your teammates and co-workers won’t believe in you, and neither will your customers. They have to see your commitment.

 

Today, businesses have to be believable before customers will buy. When you’re believable, you build trust. And trust sells.  People buy your heart before they buy your head. 

 

Commitment as an organization first starts with individuals committing themselves to excellence before others are expected to. What’s powerful about this philosophy is that commitment is contagious. When you commit to excellence and set the standard, more often than not, others will do the same.

 

Leadership is about influence. And it starts with you.

 

So commit first. Lead the way. Be the example.

 

Your wingmen will follow you.

 

Never Fly Solo,

Waldo

Waldo@YourWingman.com

www.YourWingman.com

866-925-3616

Mar 11, 2013
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Feb 10, 2013

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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WINGMAN Sales Strategy #1: PICK UP THE PHONE!!

Last month I keynoted at a national sales meeting for an amazing company – Philips Medical Systems. At a social afterwards, I asked one of there their top gun sales performers (his nickname was ‘Opie’) what the key to his success was. He simply smiled and answered, “Waldo, I pick up the damn phone!”

He then went on to explain how salespersons today fail to do the most critical thing when it comes to closing business – establishing and maintaining relationships. I couldn’t agree with him more!

 

I have a formula when it comes to business: B = V * R (Business = Value times Relationship). The greater the value and/or relationship, the greater your likelihood of getting the business. In today’s world of commoditized products and services, it is the relationship that truly earns the business.

After doing business with a client or when first establishing a personal and professional relationship with an associate, do you do the following wingman actions?

  1. Call just to say thank you or hello
  2. Follow up with a personal card or perhaps a gift
  3. Take your new client or business wingman to lunch
  4. Leave your phone number in your e-mail signature so people can call you!
  5. Ask how you can help them (perhaps with a referral, lead, etc.)

Today, with technology, auto-responders, and blackberries, (in addition to our hectic schedules) it’s so easy to forget to stick to the basics of talking with people. After all, why call when we can send a quick e-mail?

My friend and business wingman Jim Ziegler spends the first part of every day just calling past clients and business associates. He knows the value of personal connection, and his bank account proves it.

Bottom line – People like to be treated as human beings first and businesspersons second. For many of us, calling is simply a luxury we cannot afford. However, when you go the extra mile and pick up the phone, you strengthen your relationships and distinguish yourself from average businesspersons. This can make a huge difference not only to your business, but in your personal life as well!

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)

 
 
Feb 10, 2013
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Jan 29, 2013

In LEADERSHIP/ TEAMWORK
0 comments

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Lessons From an NFL Legend

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As we approach The Super Bowl this weekend, I thought I would share a short story about an experience I had with the NFL a few years ago.

 

I had the rare opportunity to speak to The Cleveland Browns in 2008 the evening before they played The New York Giants on Monday Night Football. It was one of the most rewarding (and, quite honestly, intimidating) speeches I ever gave.

 

The Browns were having a poor season. At 2-3, they were a far cry from living up to their solid 10-6 record the year before. The Giants were the reigning Super Bowl champs and were red hot with a 4-0 record. They had racked up an 11-game winning streak on the road–the second highest in NFL history! This would be no easy match up and as you can imagine, the tension in the room was high. I spoke about commitment, courage, and winning as a team. It was intense and fun.

 

After the program, an older gentleman in his late 60’s approached me from the back of the room. He was ~250 pounds, 6’2, and walked with a cane. “Hello Waldo, my name is Jim Brown,” he said as he shook my hand. It felt like a vice. I knew who he was, but didn’t expect him to be in the room during my program. A legendary running back, he was named by Sporting News as the greatest professional football player ever and is considered to be one of the greatest professional athletes the U.S. has ever produced. I instantly was mesmerized.

 

He spoke quietly and stared into my eyes. He didn’t blink. This man was serious. My hand got numb. “Waldo,” he said, “They may have been smarter than me, but they never worked harder than me.”

 

Wow. I’ll never forget those words.

 

We have a saying in the military – “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in battle.” What an awesome philosophy to have in business. Jim brown lived that philosophy and his record and reputation showed it.

 

In business, you’re going to go up against some awesome competitors. They’ll have a better reputation, a more recognizable brand, and a larger marketing budget. They’ll be smarter and faster and stronger. But you can still beat them IF you outwork them.

 

There are no short cuts for success. No secret formulas for building your income. Beware the new age business philosophers and “experts” who promise more success with minimum effort. It’s bologna.

 

The greatest asset you have that can lead to victory is your work ethic. It can’t be commoditized or outsourced. You have to own it.

 

Do what your competition isn’t willing to do. Put in the extra effort. Hit the office earlier. Network consistently. Leverage technology and social media. Give and earn referrals. Stay fit. Read the books, attend the seminars, and sharpen your sword.

 

Train. Sacrifice. Commit. Sweat.

 

Your competitors will hate you for it, but your customers will love you.

Push it up!

 

Never Fly Solo,

Waldo

Waldo@YourWingman.com

www.YourWingman.com

866-925-3616 

 

P.S. The Browns crushed The Giants! 
See the full story here

Jan 29, 2013
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Dec 19, 2012

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Leaders Lift

As we prepare for this holiday season, it’s important to reflect on the past year:  the highs and lows, the exciting and the dreadful, the wins and losses.   We may not have done everything right, but there were lessons learned that will undoubtedly help us grow in our personal and professional lives.

 

The lessons may have come from the “process,” but more often than not, they came from the people who we worked with.  When I think back on my Air Force years – the  intense training programs, deployments, and combat missions – I don’t think about the flying as much as the relationships.   Sure the flying was fun and exciting, but the people made the memories.  The people created the moments that mattered. I miss them.

 

The ones I will never forget were the encouragers – The wingmen who always found a way to inspire me when I was demotivated, and who lifted me when I was down.  They saw my greatness and didn’t let me fester in mediocrity.  They helped me take off when I much preferred to stay on the ground.

 

This coming year, be the type of person that others want to be around.  Be someone who inspires other to take action and who adds fuel to the fire of enthusiasm.  And most importantly, lend your support to those who really need it.  When you see someone at home or in your office with a clipped wing or who is having a flame-out, support them.  Be the wind beneath their wings.  Don’t let them fail. They may not ask for help, but they need you.

 

You can be the difference for someone who is having a bad day.  It may not make the news and nobody else may know about it.  But they will.

 

In these trying times, let’s be lifters, not draggers. To me, that’s what the holiday spirit is all about.

 

May you and your family have a healthy, prosperous, and blessed holiday season.

 

Your Wingman,
Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com

 
Dec 19, 2012
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Nov 12, 2012

In LEADERSHIP
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Be a Commander, Not a Demander

Have you ever worked for a leader or peer who was great at barking orders, but did little to emulate the characteristics of a real leader? I bet you didn’t feel motivated to put in a lot of effort for that person. You probably didn’t respect them either.

 

In the military, most leaders are referred to as commanders (i.e. Squadron Commander, Battalion Commander, Wing Commander, etc.)   These leaders aren’t demanders.  They lead through example.  If not, they don’t lead very long.

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Sure, in the military there is a chain of command and rank often has a lot of influence on the behavior of subordinates.

But all things being equal, leaders command the best out of their people and get them to put in the extra effort during tough times.

 

Demanders lead by fear and use their power to serve themselves. Commanders lead by example, and use their power to serve others.

 

Leadership in any endeavor is about influence. And influence is about trust.

 

So the questions to ask yourself when leading others are: Do my people trust me when I give them “an order?” Will they give 100% or be complacent?

 

You command through your example, connection, and compassion.  Most importantly, you command through your core values of integrity, respect, and trust.

 

So if you want to be a leader, get out there and take command of your team.  Take command of your life. Be a Commander!

 

Never Fly Solo, 

Waldo

Waldo@YourWingman.com

www.YourWingman.com

866-925-3616

Nov 12, 2012
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Oct 29, 2012

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Customer Service and Being a Brand Ambassador

The best examples of customer service don’t normally come from the airlines. In fact, they are notoriously terrible at customer service. But after a recent flight I had on Delta Airlines, I feel compelled to share a great one with you.

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Like some of you, I fly a ton for work and subsequently have the highest status on Delta (Diamond Medallion.) I fortunately get upgraded to first class often, but other than the Twix bars and extra legroom, there really isn’t anything special about it. It’s not that Delta’s service is bad, but in my opinion, they fail to take advantage of the many opportunities to wow their customers.

 

But this experience was different. I was on the last leg of a six-city, eight-day trip and was exhausted. That first class upgrade came at the right time and I planned to catch up on a few emails and sleep. My “expectation meter” however, was low.

 

I settled in for the three-hour flight and my flight attendant Beverly (“Bev”) showed up with a smile on her face and a refreshingly warm personality. Not only did she acknowledge me for being a diamond medallion, but she treated me in a way that can be summed up in one word: special.

 

I asked for nothing, but received everything.

  • First choice as to lunch selection? Done! (A Diamond status perk I was unaware of.)
  • “Upgrade” from macadamia nut cookie to a delicious chocolate brownie? Done! (How did she know I loved chocolate?)
  • Fresh coffee with that cookie? Done!
  • Perhaps a splash of Bailey’s? Done!

Ok. Some of you may be thinking: Big deal! That type of service should be expected in first class. However, being acknowledged and more importantly, treated as a high priority customer is rare. Most importantly, that type of great service makes a significant impact on the perception of a brand – enough of an impact that I am writing this newsletter and sharing it with you.

 

So here are a few questions as you kick off this busy week: How do you treat your most loyal customers and prospects? Do you fascinate or frustrate them?

 

Exemplary service is much more than just offering an extra “widget” or saying, “thanks for being our customer.” It’s about making a connection that makes your customer feel special – i.e. appreciated, unique, and valued. And it goes a long way in building loyalty – another rare and precious commodity in business.

 

After the flight, I thanked Bev for being awesome and told her she gave the best service I ever had on Delta. What she then said really impacted me. “Mr. Waldman, I know when I step aboard this plane, it’s up to me to set the tone for the entire flight.”

 

She summed it up perfectly. You ultimately set the tone for your customer’s experience. Not your co-worker, boss, or manager. Service is a mindset. And you have to own it.

 

Bev was an outstanding brand ambassador for Delta and as a result, my perception of Delta soared. It negated some of the poor service I received in the past from Delta and reinforced my trust in them as my preferred airline. I do hope they continue to impress.

 

Today, it’s critical to be an ambassador of your company’s brand, and that includes everyone on your team, regardless of their role. Finally, your service must be consistent across the board. After all, brand loyalty is built one encounter at a time, and it’s destroyed the same way.

 

Thank you Bev – for making my flight home special. Even after 35+ years as a flight attendant, you still know how to be a great wingman.

 

Never Fly Solo,

Waldo

Waldo@YourWingman.com

www.YourWingman.com

866-925-3616 

Oct 29, 2012
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Aug 1, 2012

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
0 comments

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Being busy is not an excuse

Being “busy” is not an excuse to not help, stay connected with or appreciate the people in your life who you have relationships ships with (especially those that have gone above and beyond in helping you.)

LEADERS LIFT

We’re all busy. We all have stuff going on that pressures us during the day.

All successful people are busy.

It’s easy to go out of your way when your schedule is clear, pressure is low, and business is good. But sometimes you’ll have to be inconvenienced to make things convenient for someone else. Sometimes you have to sacrifice in order to nurture a relationship, show appreciation, or help someone.

In the stressful, constantly changing world we live where time is so precious, it’s more important than ever to invest a portion of our day to write that personal thank you letter, give that referral, donate that money, or coach that peer.

People open doors.

People offer leverage for us to accomplish more.

People lift us out of the dungeon of despair when our wings are clipped.

People are the gateways to success, freedom, and joy.

YOU are the people.

Elizabeth Dole (former head of The Red Cross) once stated, “I didn’t wait for the rivers to flood before I built relationships.”  The best time to build relationships is when you need them the least. Don’t wait for the rivers to flood, your engine to fail, or the emergency to strike to build relationships.  Start today.

Be inconvenienced.  Help someone. Lend your wings.

People need you more than ever.

Don’t be too busy to be a wingman.

 
 
Aug 1, 2012
0 Comments

May 27, 2012

In LEADERSHIP/ NEVER FLY SOLO/ TEAMWORK
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Memorial Day 2012

“If you want to give thank the Americans who fought for our country, then be the type of American worth fighting for”…Rob “Waldo” Waldman

 

As a veteran, Memorial Day means a lot to me. It brings me back to my deployments overseas and the combat missions I flew in Iraq and Serbia. I remember the fears, doubts, camaraderie and excitement. And I also remember how great it felt to return home. Nothing can describe the feeling. Nothing.

 

I believe you don’t need wear the uniform of our country or serve in battle to truly appreciate the U.S. and what our fallen soldiers have done to make it the amazing country that it is. All we have to do is look around – our comfortable homes, our families, the gorgeous wheat fields in the Midwest, the sky scrapers in NYC, a Packers football game, our supermarkets and iphones and cars. Sure we’re not perfect. Sure we have problems. But, I tell you – there is no place like this backyard of ours we call The United States.

 

I love our country. I’m a patriot. No excuses.

 

So, thank you fallen soldiers. You helped create and sustain this – the U.S.A. You sacrificed. You gave. You served. I will surely raise a glass to you (and all those who currently serve) as I relax this weekend and focus on how blessed I am to live in the greatest country in the world. I hope you’ll join me.

 

We can never forget America’s Wingmen.

 

P.S. I also want to pay my respects this weekend to a special man – my father in law Bill Wilson who passed away last week at the ripe old age of 85. An immigrant from Ireland, he came to the US and worked to create his American Dream. A WWII Veteran (volunteer!), businessman, faithful husband, recovered alcoholic and subsequent AA counselor (he wasn’t perfect but became a better person because of his errs), and father of four (including my beautiful wife Dana.) He represented everything great about our country. Humble, compassionate, patriotic, honorable and proud, I will never forget him. He truly was the type of American worth fighting for.   Waldo 

May 27, 2012
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Mar 14, 2012

In LEADERSHIP
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THE PRICE OF INTEGRITY – The most important building block of a successful business and life

I’m a businessperson. I deal with competitors, changing markets, client demands, and a volatile economy.  I do the best I can to support my family and create a fulfilling life.  Some days the mission is easy and on others, the missiles and turbulence are intense.  But that’s what makes the journey exciting.

I don’t want things to be easy.  I don’t like my life being safe.  Safe is boring.  I like knowing that when I wake up each morning, I may lose.  It energizes me. It fires me up.  It forces me to out prepare, out think, and out work my competition.   Because I know deep down I will do whatever it takes to win.   But not at all costs.  Not if I have to lie, manipulate, or cheat.

Winning to me means that I may have to lose. It may not be profitable or feel good, but sometimes losing is the best path to take…the right thing to do.  Truly successful people realize this.  Winning, while an awesome thing, isn’t everything.  It doesn’t have to come at “all costs.”

wingman – someone who you trust implicitly – has to be willing to lose.

Today, the news is filled with examples of people who pay any price to win.  They sell out to their fear of losing.  They do this by sacrificing the most critical building block of a successful business and life – their integrity. Sure they win.  They beat the competition, get the business and gain market share.   But the price that’s paid is character and honor.   The cost normally can’t be measured in dollars, but sometimes it can (i.e. Enron, Bernie Madoff, etc.)

There are many ways to define integrity.  But to me, integrity means:

  • Honoring your commitments
  • Being a man or woman of your word
  • Doing the right thing (even when no-one is watching.)
  • Admitting when you mess up (and accepting the consequences.)
  • Never sacrificing your relationships or honor for money.

How do you define integrity?  What does it really mean to you?

Of course, our integrity will be tested at times. Our judgment clouds as our passion, selfishness, greed and fear fight to take over on our quest to win. Sometimes, we mess up and our integrity gets scarred and cracked. When this happens, we need to fix it ASAP – We need to fess up, apologize sincerely, and pay the consequence. After all, integrity also means becoming whole.   Nobody is perfect. We’re human.

Maintaining your integrity takes disciplinesacrifice and oftentimes an inordinate amount of courage. When you sacrifice your integrity, you erode your character.  And over time, you will likely lose your most important asset – your reputation.

After your reputation, the next casualty is your honor. Without honor, we are nothing.  We can’t be trusted.  And we can’t trust ourselves.   Are you willing to pay that price?

The cost of winning is indeed sometimes greater than losing. If you want to succeed in business and life, never lose integrity.  Lose a sale, lose a client, lose a friend. But lose your integrity, and you lose your life.

Never Fly Solo,

Waldo Waldman

Your Wingman

Waldo@YourWingman.com

 

 
 
Mar 14, 2012
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Jan 10, 2012

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Thrust and Vector – The Key to a Successful 2012

Have you ever met someone who’s highly motivated, full of energy, and ready to take on the world, yet they never seem to get anything done?  They’re passionate and have the greatest intentions, but for some reason they just can’t seem to accomplish their goals.

In the fighter pilot world, they are what we call “All thrust and no vector.”

They have the power and motivation but lack the vector – the guidance, the target, the direction.  They’re flying in all directions at full afterburner without a plan to guide them to their goal.

The end result?  Wasted energy coupled with frustration and disappointment.

 

We’ve all been there. We have great intentions (perhaps in the form of a new year’s resolution) but then get distracted and pulled off course.  Sometimes it’s very difficult to convert our motivation into action.  But if you really want to accomplish something worthwhile, you ultimately have to take focused action.

As you fly into the New Year, I’m sure you’re re-energized about your future. You’ve got sales goals to reach, a new diet to start, and a promotion to pursue. But what’s your plan? Where’s your vector?

In the world of the fighter pilot, nobody takes off without a specific target and a plan.  Training and commitment aside, if we don’t have a flight plan, we don’t fly.  We need thrust and vector.

The same holds true in business.  Successful leaders who break performance barriers and accomplish great goals do three important things.

  1. Formulate a detailed plan
  2. Channel their energy into a specific direction (vector)
  3. Execute.

They don’t fly around aimlessly, changing direction when a random opportunity arises. And they don’t quit at the first sign of adversity.  This is because they utilize the two most valuable tools available when executing a plan: Discipline and Sacrifice.

Top Gun leaders have the discipline to do whatever it takes to succeed and simply work hard to get it done. Moreover, they’re willing to make sacrifices in order accomplish their objectives.  They’re willing to give something up in order to succeed.

How about you?  Undoubtedly, you’ll experience turbulence en route to your target.  The winds of adversity will come and attempt to alter your course. You’re commitment will be tested. You’ll have to sacrifice. It won’t be easy. But that’s the price you must pay for success.

As you take flight this New Year, I challenge you to set aside some focus time to establish a clear vector towards your target.  Do what it takes to convert your motivation into a concrete plan.  It will inspire you to take action. Get with successful wingmen – a peer, mentor, or mastermind group comprised of individuals who’ll hold you accountable and who will challenge you stay the course. Never fly solo.

 

Ask for help.  Solicit feedback.  Be open to change. Get busy!  Don’t let the motivation that you re-ignited on 1 January go to waste. Channel it into disciplined (and often painstaking) planning. I guarantee your results will be positive.

Remember, “wingmen never wing it.”  Plan your mission, set a vector, focus your thrust, and then release your brakes.
It’s time to take off in 2012.  You were meant to fly!

Your Wingman,

Waldo

 

 
 
Jan 10, 2012
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Nov 11, 2011

In LEADERSHIP
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Veterans Day 2011 – “Earn This”

Two nights ago I watched Saving Private Ryan. It wasn’t easy. Watching war movies for me never is. But I felt compelled to do so as a personal way to reflect on the meaning of Veterans Day and pay homage to our veterans.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, the movie is an emotional and graphic depiction of WWII with a message that delves deeper than the horror of war. The main character, Captain Miller, played by Tom Hanks, dies in the final battle and his last words to Private Ryan (played by Matt Damon) are “earn this.” The movie ends with Ryan (as an older man) visiting the grave of Miller at Omaha Beach (with his wife and grandkids) reflecting on his life.

“Earn this.” Those words really impacted me.

“This” being the sacrifice. “This” being the tragedy and misery of war …the fact that others died not only so that Ryan could return home alive, but so that we as a country could remain free.

I thought to myself, if I were Ryan, could I look back on my life and honestly say, “I’ve earned this.” Could I reflect on the actions of my day, year or life, and be worthy of the sacrifices of those who fought for me and my country?

So, as we celebrate this Veterans Day, we need to think about what we have done with the peace that our veterans fought and died for. Are we truly deserving of this tremendous gift? More importantly, how can we honor those who died by how we live?

Patriotism and honoring our veterans is more than just waving a flag, attending a Veterans Day ceremony, or giving to a veteran related charity. It’s about how we live our lives. It ‘s how we serve in our communities, support our families, and deal with our co-workers. It’s in the everyday things we do…behind the scenes…that no one ever sees. This is how we can truly “earn this.”

If we want to thank the veterans who have fought for our country, the best way to do so is by being type of Americans worth fighting for.

Today, and every day, I’m proud to be an American.

Nov 11, 2011
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Oct 4, 2011

In LEADERSHIP/ Popular
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Leadership Starts With a Vision

Knowing your long and short-term objectives, having a solid focus on where you’re going along with the flight plan to get there is a fundamental to success in any venture.

 

But what about others’ vision of you? As a leader, how do your co-workers employees and customers see you? Will they follow you when times are tough?

 

George Patton once said, “You’re always on parade.” What you say, how you say it, and how others view you really counts when it comes to enrolling people to support your vision. Without a team of supporting wingmen who trust you and your vision, achieving your vision will be next to impossible.

 

A key component when enrolling others in your vision is your personal presence. Personal presence may be difficult to define, but you know it when you see it. People with presence look confident and comfortable, speak clearly and persuasively, think clearly—even under pressure. They act with intention and integrity. What they say and do matches who they are. 

 

Wherever you are and whatever target you want to reach, presence can help you get there.

 

That’s why I would like to recommend a book from my colleague, business communication expert Dianna Booher, Creating Personal Presence: Look, Talk, Think, and Act Like a Leader (Berrett-Koehler). In it, you’ll learn 20 principles and hundreds of practical tips to improve your communication, increase your credibility, and expand your influence.

 

As a bonus for ordering on Amazon TODAY, Tuesday, OCTOBER 4, you’ll receive bonuses worth more than $2,100 from 15 celebrity authors and experts—including my own bonus—at http://www.booher.com/buybook/

 

I’m confident you’ll get a ton of value out of it. Let me know what you think.

 

Never Fly Solo,
Waldo

 
 
Oct 4, 2011
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Sep 12, 2011

In LEADERSHIP
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The Character of America

 “A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”  John Stuart Mill

As I flew over the NYC skyline this weekend as the 10th anniversary ceremonies for 9-11 were taking place, I reflected upon this quote and what it revealed about the character of New York and our country. Having grown up on Long Island and with parents from Brooklyn, I’m a New Yorker through and through. But I never felt pride for New York like I did in the plane this weekend.

I believe the true test of character comes in the heat of battle.  When the stress is real and the risk is high…when failure is possible.

9-11 not only demonstrated the fighting spirit of a great city, it revealed the core of what America is made of.  It revealed the values that make us the greatest country in the world.  Values displayed by average Americans with above average character. First responders, tugboat captains, and businesspeople.  Courageous, committed, and compassionate warriors. Wingmen.  Heroes coming together and heeding the cry for help.

Undivided and united. One Team with One Mission.

Imagine if every day, this spirit pervaded our homes, offices and communities?  What if we treated each other with this sense of commitment and compassion not just during tragedy, but every day? Think about how this would affect our personal and professional lives

Unfortunately, I feel America has become complacent in our character.  We’ve lost the edge in some way. We’ve become numb and divided.

So, here’s question to you as you kick off this first day after the ten year anniversary of 9-11…When the missiles of adversity are launched, what will you do?  What will your actions reveal about your character, community or your business?  As John Stuart Mill alluded, what are you willing to fight for?

The key is to resist complacency and maintain our commitment, courage and compassion every day. For the warrior spirit is within us all. Let’s not wait for another 9-11, war or a tragedy to reveal it.  We need to be wingmen and find ways to demonstrate what it means to be an American each and every day.

This is how we can honor 9-11 and those who sacrificed so much. This is how we can be a country worth fighting for. The United States of America.

Your Wingman,

Waldo

Sep 12, 2011
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May 28, 2011

In LEADERSHIP/ NEVER FLY SOLO/ Popular
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How to Say Thanks on Memorial Day

Many people ask me how they can give thanks to those who serve our country.  This is particularly true on Memorial Day.   After all, it’s impossible to truly appreciate the sacrifices of our country’s soldiers unless you’ve been a soldier yourself.

I believe we can honor our soldiers and fallen heroes by living up to the core American values that they fought and died for: integrity, service, courage, hard work, commitment, and respect (to name a few.)

Here’s the point: We don’t need to wear a uniform to serve our country.

Each day is filled with opportunities to serve.  We can donate to a charity, volunteer at VA hospital, join a non-profit, assist the elderly, give blood,  be a great parent, mentor a teenager, support our troops both at home and abroad, help a stranger in need, etc.  The list goes on and on.

America… and the character and freedom it represents…starts and ends with you.

So, this Memorial Day and every day, if you want to really give thanks to those who fought for our freedom, then be the type of American worth fighting for.

Your Wingman,

Waldo

 

 
May 28, 2011
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Apr 20, 2011

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Are you a cheerleader or a Wingman?

The Wingman Philosophy is all about mutual support. It involves creating an environment where your associates, partners, and significant others can approach you and give you the feedback you may not want to hear, but need to hear.

To be a wingman, you not only have be approachable and open to criticism; but also have the courage to give feedback that may put the relationship at risk in order to do what’s right for your company, customers, and team.

For example, even though I may be good friends with a fellow pilot, if they did something dangerous on a flight and/or put the safety of the formation at risk, then they were going to get some tough feedback!

Being a wingman is not about being a cheerleader. Sure, encouragement is important (especially in adverse times,) but sometimes we have to be willing to bruise someone’s ego and give them feedback that may sting.

My good friend Terry Brock, CSP, CPAE and I had lunch last week discussing this subject. Terry is an amazing speaker and technology wizard. But he is also an absolute expert at creating sustainable relationships (he actually coined the term “R-Commerce” {Relationship Commerce.}

Terry knows that no matter how much technology we have at our disposal, it’s the relationship that truly serves as the conduit to getting things done and accomplishing our goals.

Watch this short video and let me know what you think.

 

How does being a wingman show up in your life? What can you do to be more approachable?

Feel free to share your thoughts below and forward this to a wingman you care about.

Never Fly Solo,
Waldo


 
Apr 20, 2011
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Mar 18, 2011

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Preparation leads to Trust

How many times a week do you get an unsolicited call at work (i.e. an interruption) where someone tries to sell you something? The person on the line knows absolutely nothing about you or your company (other than the name on the call list in front of them), but is convinced that their product/service is critical for your business.

“Can I send you an e-mail and a few pdfs that outline our services?” “Let me direct you to our website and show you what we do?”

I’ve got a suggestion for you cold caller – get another job. And, please, make sure it’s not in sales! You didn’t do the work to prepare for your call and show me value, so why should I waste my time looking at your information?

Unfortunately, this so common in business today that it drives me crazy. It’s the norm, not the exception. Why? Because it’s easy to do the minimum. It’s easy not to put in the effort.

 

A-10 and pilot – mission ready

Before you pick up the phone to call a prospect, meet your client for lunch or attend a meeting with your team, what are you doing to prepare? What are you doing to show that you’re not a commodity employee, partner, vendor or sales rep?

What are you doing that your peers and competitors are not willing to do?

Remember, WIN stands for “Work It Now!” Winners work. They prepare and sacrifice to show value.

The more you sweat, the less you bleed.

Waldo

(Feel free to share some of your techniques on how you prepare for a business mission below.)

 
 
Mar 18, 2011
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Feb 2, 2011

In NEVER FLY SOLO/ PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Finding Purpose in Your Goals and Meaning in Your Mission

It’s already a month into 2011 and I hope you’re all off to a great start. One of the most effective things you can do to reach greater heights this coming year is to set high but achievable goals in your personal and professional life. Establishing challenging goals that are specific (and measurable) helps you formulate a game plan for success.

A key component in reaching your goals is to write them down and visualize them every day. This makes your goals real. (I put my goals on my bathroom mirror so that I see them every day.  I did this when I wrote my book Never Fly Solo as I wanted to become a NY Times bestseller.)

When you see your goals, it challenges you to ask yourself: “What have I done TODAY to reach them?” “What’s my plan?” “Am I progressing towards my goals?”

But if you really want to accomplish your goals, here’s a secret question you must ask yourself: “Why do I want to achieve this goal?”

In other words, what’s your purpose in reaching your goals? Is it your retirement home,  dream vacation or the ability to send your kids to college? Answering this question will help give you the thrust necessary to overcome adversity and challenge on the flight path to achieving your goals.

On 17 Jan of this year, my wife and I gave birth to our first son – Ace Benjamin Waldman. It was the most amazing day of my life. Not only was it special because of the beautiful life we brought into the world, but it also reinvigorated my passion to accomplish my goals! Like many of you with children, we work and make sacrifices for those we love. My son has given me more meaning in my life, and I now have a greater purpose in reaching my goals.

Wingman call to action: Make a list of the things that are most important to you – the things that get you motivated to put in a few extra hours at work, continue the exercise program, make the extra sales call, or start your new business. And then (this is the critical part) take a picture of them and keep them visual every day. Put a photo of your kids next to your computer screen. Paste a picture of your dream vacation on your office furniture.

We have a saying in the fighter pilot world – Lose Sight, Lose Fight. If you lose sight of your target, you’ll lose the fight. But if you stay visual and connect with your purpose, you’ll dig deep and do what it takes to break through the challenges that can hold you back from reaching your goals. You’ll find the courage to strap in and take off.

When you find your why, you’re sure to fly.

 

Never Fly Solo,

Waldo

P.S.  I would love to hear what gives meaning to your mission.

 
 
Feb 2, 2011
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Dec 7, 2010

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Confessions of a Claustrophobic Fighter Pilot

How courage, focus, and wingmen can help you tackle your fears

 

Three years into my eleven year Air Force flying career, my life changed when I almost died during a scuba diving trip in the Caribbean. Thirty feet under the water and exhausted from excessive use of my arms to swim, I inhaled a full lungful of water and had the most intense panic attack of my life. I literally thought I was going to die.

 

A week later, I found myself back in the cockpit on a training mission in bad weather. Unable to see the ground or the sky, I felt closed in. My mask tightened, my pulse quickened, and I suddenly had difficulty breathing. I became lightheaded and anxious and the panicky feeling I experienced a week ago reared its ugly head again. I screamed to myself, “Get me out of this plane!”

 

Within seconds, I transformed myself from a confident, fearless jet pilot to a doubtful claustrophobe. For the next eight years of my flying career I had to carry around that huge secret. Despite the fact that my skills never suffered, if my fellow pilots found out, there was a chance I could have my wings taken away.

 

Every training and combat mission I flew, I had claustrophobia as my companion, waiting to attack me and spin me out of control. But I fought it. On four hour training missions over the Sea of Japan and six hour night combat missions over Iraq in the cramped cockpit of the F-16, I fought it. And I won.

 

I never aborted any combat mission and always mustered the courage to do my job and execute the mission. It wasn’t easy. There were times when the panic was so great that when I landed, I would walk into the squadron with my wings in my hand ready to quit. But I never did. I didn’t let my fear take over me.

 

So how did I do it?

  1. Mental Rehearsal: I envisioned having panic attacks in simulated flights while on the ground. Rather than fight it, I “befriended my fear.” I got used to the feeling in my mind and prepared to cope with the fear by shifting my focus.
  2. I focused on the mission: Regardless of my fear of having a panic attack, I had a job to do. It was my responsibility to live up to my commitment as a fighter pilot and soldier. If everyone quit when fear or challenge struck, nothing would get done. I had to earn my wings.
  3. I focused on my wingmen: No fighter pilot flies solo. We have wingmen who help us deal with emergencies and change. When I focused on my wingmen who were there to support me and who also needed me as well, it gave me more courage.
  4. I focused on what I loved: On every mission, I carried a set of silver angel wings that re-affirmed my faith in God. And I also carried a picture of my niece and nephew. They needed me to get back home. They gave meaning to my mission. Love is greater than fear.

I never quit on any combat mission. However, I did quit a ferry flight I was supposed to fly from Spain to the U.S.  Seven hours over the Atlantic Ocean was simply too much for me to handle. I reached the limit of my courage and I aborted. I thought my wingmen would mock me for quitting, but they didn’t.

 

What I learned from my experiences is that by stepping outside of my comfort zone, focusing on the mission, and pushing the limits of my courage, I could do almost anything. By facing my fear and not letting it strangle me, I was able to take action, do my job, and plant the seeds to a future of amazing opportunities and personal growth.

 

But it also taught me that my ego was more powerful than I realized. I learned that it’s OK to quit when all else fails. I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to beat every fear, overcome every challenge, or fly every mission.

 

And neither do you.

 

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season full of hope, joy, and great wingmen!

 

Never Fly Solo,
Waldo
info@yourwingman.com

 
 
Dec 7, 2010
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Oct 12, 2010

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Leadership Lessons from a Homeless Wingman

This weekend I gave $5 to a homeless man that looked genuinely down in the dumps. I rarely give money to the homeless as you never know what the money will be used for. But this guy seemed different. He looked around 30 years old and was frail, in dirty, worn out clothes, and was walking slowly with his head down. As I sat in my car, feeling the breeze through the open window while waiting for the light to turn green, I couldn’t help but stare at him. The contrast between his haggard body, the green grass on which he walked and the cool breeze got to me.

 

I watched as he reached into his pocket, pulled out a square piece of white paper and unfolded it very slowly – as if he was performing some kind of ritual. I looked at the words in black marker, “Homeless and hungry. Please help me.”

 

I would have given him a dollar (my “personal homeless donation limit”) but the smallest bill I had was $5. I almost started to drive off. But then I stopped myself. “Give it to him.” My conscience barked at me. “Just do it!”

 

“Here you go, Sir” I said as I extended my arm out the window. His dry, dirty, and calloused hand eagerly took the bill. When he saw it was $5, his eyes lit up. He looked me square on, smiled and said, “God Bless you.”

 

I felt good for a split second, and then suddenly I had the urge to “preach” to him….to perhaps share a lesson on success or question him on how he got himself into his predicament. Maybe he could clean up the garbage that was lying in the grass as a thank you for my gift. I also wanted to ask what he would do with the money. Would he buy drugs, a can of beer, or maybe a cheeseburger?

 

Instead, I (reluctantly) kept quiet, gave him the money, and returned his smile. I think I genuinely made his day. And then I thought about how fortunate I was to have my health. To be able to drive my beautiful car, not feel hunger pangs, and have clean clothes on my body. I thought about the four $20 bills that were still tucked inside my wallet next to the $5 bill that was no longer mine.

 

And then I realized that if I am going to give, I need to give unconditionally, and just let it go. And I need to practice this more in my life. Sure, this guy very well may have used my money for drugs, alcohol, etc. But once I decided to give him the money, I had to release my judgment on this person.

 

As I drove off feeling rather inspired, I also learned that I need to be a better receiver. I need to give others the opportunity to feel the gratitude and appreciation that comes when we give. This is the essence of Wing-Giving. For when we lend others our wings to fly, we too fly to greater heights.

 

Never Fly Solo,

Waldo…Your Wingman

Waldo@Yourwingman.com

 
 
Oct 12, 2010
0 Comments

Oct 4, 2010

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Mission: Excellence! How you respond to challenges determines the altitude you’ll reach in life.

From SUCCESS Magazine Oct 2010

Imagine being strapped into a single-seat fighter jet at 25,000 feet above enemy territory. You tear through the pitch-black sky at the speed of sound in a cockpit so small there’s barely enough room to shrug your shoulders. You must maintain laser-like focus as you operate dozens of weapons and sensors and fend off surface-to-air missiles.

This was a typical day in my life as an F-16 fighter pilot. But, despite the challenges of combat, I loved every minute of my U.S. Air Force career. I was constantly pushed to my limits and challenged to break my performance barriers. Because in addition to the missiles I faced in combat, I also faced the missiles of adversity and fear. My battles didn’t just occur over the skies of Iraq; they happened each day as I struggled to overcome my fear of failure, self-doubt and a lifelong battle with claustrophobia.

In cramped cockpit of F-16 after combat mission in Serbia

You and I have more in common than you may think. Sure, I’ve flown fighter jets, but we both have to dodge the missiles of change, fear and adversity as we seek to fulfill our mission objective. The flight path to success is never easy, and to stay on target we have to earn our wings every day.

Regardless of profession, missiles will threaten to keep us from reaching our potential. How we respond to those challenges will ultimately determine the altitude we reach in life. I learned many powerful lessons in combat that helped me break my performance barriers, and I would like to share four of them with you. They have worked for me as a pilot, entrepreneur and professional speaker, and I am confident they will work for you.

Push It Up: Commitment is attitude in action.

Before flying a mission in the 35th Fighter Squadron in Korea, my wingmen and I called out three words while simulating pushing the throttle to full power. Those words were “Push it up!” It meant we were 100 percent committed to the mission and had each other’s backs.

In today’s constantly changing and stressful world filled with budget cuts, layoffs, and limited resources, it’s not a matter of if the missiles of adversity will come your way, it’s when. They key is not to get shot down. The question you must ask yourself is, are you willing to face the missiles or will you abort the mission because of your fear?

You have a choice each day: You can either push it up and stay committed to your mission, or you can pull it back and allow yourself to be discouraged by adversity. The key is to take action. Living up to your potential means resisting the temptation to ease up and pull back on the throttle of commitment when the missiles start flying. This is where your character and courage are tested. Growth comes when you face the missiles and stay the course to reach your goals.

This type of commitment takes effort and discipline. One of my favorite sayings is “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in battle.” Winners work. They sweat, sacrifice and take action. They avoid becoming complacent when things are going well. Remember, complacency kills.

Mission-Ready: Preparation leads to confidence and success.

One thing was certain when my wingmen and I strapped into our F-16s: We never flew by the seat of our pants. We prepared relentlessly, studied the threat, and knew our tactics inside and out. By the time we took off, we were mission-ready. One of the keys to our planning success was our focus on “chair flying” every possible contingency. We mentally rehearsed every missile launch, engine failure and aircraft malfunction. We did this on the ground, so that in the heat of battle, we would be able to confidently execute the plan.

How do you prepare for your missions? Are you mission-ready? Do you execute a well-prepared plan, or do you fly by the seat of your pants and simply react when adversity strikes? Preparation is a critical factor to reaching your potential. Study your competition, stay current on new technologies, attend seminars on personal development, leverage social media to build your brand and practice responses to business objections before heading into battle. When you rehearse for success, you’re much more likely to achieve it. Preparation leads to confidence and confidence builds trust. Trust sells. Remember, Wingmen never “wing it!”

Check Six: Mutual support inspires trust and leads to success.

When I was a young instructor pilot, I committed a major faux pas by missing a critical flight briefing. I accidentally slept through my alarm and my negligence cost the squadron valuable training time. I was subsequently grounded from flying that day and I expected to be reprimanded by my commander (a rather intimidating officer whose call sign was “Psycho.”) But instead of the reprimand I expected, he asked a few questions that changed my opinion of him as a leader. “This isn’t like you Waldo. You’re never late. Are you feeling all right? Is everything OK at home?” His questions surprised me, but they also made me feel appreciated.

Psycho showed me he cared by the questions he asked. He connected with me as a person, not just a fighter pilot. In fighter-pilot lingo, Psycho was checking my six.

Fighter pilots provide mutual support by checking six, or watching for threats in their wingman’s most vulnerable blind spot—directly behind them (i.e., their six o’clock). Checking six is about keeping an eye out for the missiles being fired at your teammate, co-worker or friend. It means helping them see what they cannot. It also means respecting your wingmen, being receptive to critical feedback and having the courage to give honest feedback.

We all have blind spots, negative habits and personal emergencies that may limit our potential. But when we have a wingman in our formation who has our best interest in mind and who can help see what we can’t, we’re less likely to get shot down.

How are you acknowledging, appreciating and connecting with your wingmen? Do you have the courage to tell them what they need to hear, and not just what they want to hear? Are you checking their six or are you checking out?

When you build a check-six culture of mutual support at work and at home, you help create an environment of trust where people aren’t afraid to make mistakes or take risks. Most important, it helps people to push it up and take action when the missiles start flying.

Release Your Brakes: Find the courage to face your fears and take off.

The greatest factor in limiting our potential is fear. I remember being overwhelmed by fear on many combat missions. Rather than trying to eliminate it, I learned to shift my focus by “thinking outside my cockpit.” I looked outside to my wingmen and realized that even though I was flying alone, I wasn’t flying solo. Their support gave me confidence and helped dissipate my fear. I also looked down at a picture of my niece and nephew. They reminded me of what was important in my life, and how I needed to get back home for them. They gave meaning to my mission and helped me build the courage to push up my throttle, release the brakes, and take off.

Never Fly Solo,

Waldo

info@yourwingman.com;  www.yourwingman.com

Link for Never Fly Solo on Barnes & Noble http://tiny.cc/NeverFlySolo

Amazon: http://tiny.cc/NeverFlySolo84

 
 
Oct 4, 2010
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Aug 31, 2010

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Failure is an option!

When I flew in combat, the risk of failure was always present. I could have an aircraft malfunction, mess up a critical maneuver, or even get shot down. Success was never guaranteed. Success never is.

The possibility of failing at something is a beautiful thing. It incites risk and even helps eliminate complacency.

When something is at risk, fear, anxiety and doubt can result. But risk also forces you to stretch yourself and grow. It makes you train, focus, and contingency plan with a greater sense of discipline and attention to detail. And when you train, focus, and plan to the best of your ability, guess what normally results? Success.

Here’s what else happens: you build confidence, ability, experience, resilience and most of all, trust, in the most important wingman you have in your life…yourself.

If you want to take your business or life to new heights, try something where there’s a possibility you’ll fail. Be willing to stretch yourself and push your personal envelope. Step outside your comfort zone. Perform in the face of fear.

Top Gun winners in life take-off and fly even when there is a chance they’ll get shot at or fail. They face their fear, strap in, and fly the tough missions when others stay in the hangar of mediocrity. Winners prepare for failure and in doing so, avoid it.

But winners also accept that they may fail, regardless of how much they prepare. They embrace failure as an opportunity to grow.

So here’s a question: When the tough missions come, what will you do?

Yes – failure is always an option. Just do your part to avoid it. And don’t make it an option that chooses you.

Push it up!
Waldo

Aug 31, 2010
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Aug 17, 2010

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Great new book on technology in the workplace

Wingmen,

If you’re like me, there may be times when your IT systems are enough to drive you wingnuts!  You may find your business struggling with costly computer networks that never seem to perform to your expectations, wondering what will happen if your systems break down, or you may even be experiencing losses in productivity, customer confidence, and even employee morale.

To deal with these missiles, I leverage a reliable ITwingman (Randy Pelkey in Atlanta) who comes to my office every month or so and reviews my network, updates my anti-virus, and makes sure my blackberry, laptop and desktop computer are all in sync.

Having an IT wingman is important. But if you’re serious about having IT work for you and are looking to build a better understanding on how to leverage technology at work, I highly recommend a new book by my trusted friend and IT guru Charles L. Nault called “Risk-Free Technology.” Charles is a technical consultant and Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Atrion Networking Corporation. The book is a detailed guide to successfully implementing a simple, yet risk-free technology network in your workplace.

If you purchase it in the next next 24 hours, you’ll receive hundreds of dollars worth of valuable gifts (my own included!) brought together by a formidable group of well-known business experts.

Some of the e-books, tip sheets, posters, and mp3s you’ll gain access to include:

  • “Developing Effective Collaborations Using SEALL” by Jeffrey Deckman, founder of Capability Accelerators
  • “Best Practices: Authoring Books With New Technologies” and “How Consultants Can Improve Recognition for Their Expertise” by Carl Friesen, Chief Associate at Emerson consulting group
  • An excerpt from a new book: “Building your Bridge to Sales $uccess” by Steve Gareau, an experienced sales veteran
  • “The Expert’s Edge Primer” by Ken Lizotte, Chief Imaginative Officer of emerson consulting group, and author of McGraw-Hill’s “The Expert’s Edge: Become the Go-To Authority People Turn To Every Time”
  • The “Never Fly Solo” audio recording by yours truly

…And more!

The promotion is today only, so don’t miss out! For more info and to buy the book, click here:http://riskfreetechnology.com/.

IMPORTANT NOTE: After you purchase a copy of this helpful resource, please forward your receipt tomichaela@thoughtleading.com so you can receive the bonus list of downloadable gifts!

Wishing you a stress-free,  IT friendly day.

Waldo

 
 
Aug 17, 2010
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Aug 9, 2010

In LEADERSHIP
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How to Deal with Bad Weather on Your Flight Path to Success

For every pilot, weather is always a critical factor in flight. Blue skies and perfect visibility are a rarity. Sooner or later, thunderstorms, lightening and turbulence will appear. When this happens, we don’t turn around and head back to base. If we did, we would never reach our target.

 

When bad weather strikes, pilots:
1.  Alter our flight path away from the weather
2.  Seek an altitude that has the least amount of turbulence
3.  Slow down to minimize the effect of turbulence.
4.  Tighten down our lap belts and hold on for the ride.

 

The path may get uncomfortable, but we press on until we break out of the weather, hit the target and land.

 

On your flight path to personal growth and success,  bad weather and turbulence will undoubtedly appear. There will be change, stress, fear and doubt. You will get uncomfortable. Will you abort the mission and head back to base, or will you alter your flight path, tighten down your lap belt and press on to the target?

 

The key to success when flying on the tough missions in life is to:

1.  Re-focus on your goals
2.  Adapt to change (and slow down if necessary.)
3.  Adjust your flight plan
4.  Find the courage to hang on and fly through the ensuing turbulence.

 

If your goal means enough to you, you will do what’s necessary. If you abort, your goal probably wasn’t high enough.  After all, it’s important to set goals that will stretch you!

 

Remember, bad weather not only tests your character, it develops it as well.  Personal growth doesn’t necessarily happen when the skies are blue and the winds are calm.  It happens amidst the storms of life. You just have to be willing to be uncomfortable.

 

So my suggestion to you is to beware being comfortable. Comfort leads to complacency and complacency hinders growth.  Complacency kills.

 

What turbulence and bad weather are you facing today that’s holding you back from hitting the target and reaching new heights in your life? Are you willing to step outside your comfort zone and hang on for the ride? Do you have wingmen in your formation that can help you along the way?

 

What’s waiting for you when you land?

Never Fly Solo,
Waldo Waldman

 
 
Aug 9, 2010
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Jul 7, 2010

In LEADERSHIP
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BP Leadership Lesson

Has CEO Tony Hayward Been a Wingman to BP?

The BP gulf oil spill is one of the greatest environmental disasters our country has ever experienced. Not only will the long term environmental consequences be felt for years to come, but the price tag for cleaning up the spill will be over $20 billion. Finally, BP, a once reputable giant in the oil industry, is dealing with a $100 billion loss in market valuation and its brand and reputation has taken a huge blow.

While there are dozens of lessons that can be learned with the way BP has handled this disaster, one cannot shy away from the lackluster leadership attributed to its CEO Tony Hayward. In essence, Hayward committed the greatest sin any leader can make – he lost the trust of his customers and his employees. He lost his trust as a wingman.

A few weeks ago, I was interviewed on Fox News discussing Hayward’s leadership challenges and why he lost trust as a leader. Click the photo below watch the 4 minute clip and share your feedback.

0c402689411647ac37888b11dd36aebd: BP Leadership Lesson

 

 

 
Jul 7, 2010
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May 27, 2010

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Remembering on Memorial Day

I love Memorial Day. It’s a holiday to connect with friends and family while paying respect to the soldiers of our great country who have paid the ultimate price so that we can live free.  

 

From the young soldier in the War of Independence, to the fighter pilot over Nazi Germany, to the infantrymen in Iraq and Afghanistan, they were the ultimate wingmen for our country.  They gave their wings away so that we could fly.

 

In our busy, everyday lives, it’s easy to take for granted the freedom we have as a result of their sacrifice. Sure, we all need to be reminded of that sometimes. But we can never forget.

 

We can never forget our past. We can never forget the term “Nazi.” We can never forget 9-11. We can never forget the families who lost their special wingman to battle.  And we can never forget the American values of courage, commitment, honor, integrity, and service. These values are what America was built on and what should still guide us in our business and personal lives today.

 

We must remember.

Memorial Day is such an important holiday because it reminds us to remember.  It reminds us to remember not only who means something in our life, but what.  What is it about our country and our lives that are worth fighting for?  What are we doing to live up to the American values that our soldiers fight for?  To make this holiday really mean something, we must truly embrace the values and symbolism of Memorial Day.

 

So today and this weekend, let’s remember America by creating memorable moments. Let’s honor our fallen heroes by serving each other.  Let’s lend a wing to a hurting friend, be a good neighbor, donate to charity, volunteer at a homeless shelter, encourage a broken heart, and inspire a desperate soul. That’s the American Way. To me, that’s what patriotism is all about.

 

We don’t need to wear a uniform or go to war to serve our country. We can be a country worth fighting for by serving each other and upholding the values that make America the land of the free and the home of the brave.   For when we act in service and are wingmen to each other, all of our actions are memorable.

 

I am proud to be an American…and proud to be your wingman.

Waldo

 

Do you have a wingman serving in the armed forces that you want to say thanks to? Visit Amazon.com gift them a copy of Never Fly Solo, and let them know you appreciate their service.

 

 
 
May 27, 2010
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May 24, 2010

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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How do you define commitment?

If you want to examine your results for today, last week, or even this past

Push it up!

year, take a look at how consistently you took action to make things happen.

* How did you act in response to adversity?

* What risks did you take?

* When did you try something new in business? Something that may have gotten you nervous.
* Did you get up early and stay focused, or did you slack off when the going got tough?

You see, success isn’t necessarily about attitude. It’s about the action you take in the presence of your attitude.

My definition of commitment is Attitude in Action!

Remember, your customers don’t reward your attitude. They reward your actions.

How do you define commitment? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Push it up!
Waldo

www.yourwingman.com

 
May 24, 2010
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May 16, 2010

In WINGTIPS
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WingGiving – How to Build Trust in a Tough Economy

One of the most challenging times of my life was in April of 1999 during Operation Allied Force. I was flying night combat missions in Serbia against the corrupt regime of Slobodan Milosevic. The anxiety and fear I felt during this period was at times overwhelming.

It wasn’t just the enemy surface to air missiles that got me nervous. Nor was it the fact that Serbian forces had already shot down several jets and were jamming our radars.

It was strapping into the tiny, cramped cockpit of my F-16 and flying six hour night missions that got me the most panicked. You see, not only did I have to fight the enemy during my missions; I also had to battle the demons of claustrophobia! Three years into my eleven year flying career, I almost died during a scuba diving accident. That near death experience brought out the latent claustrophobia that lay dormant my whole life. For the next eight years, not only did I have to overcome the fear of combat that most soldiers have, but I also had to learn to conquer my fear of having a claustrophobic panic attack every time I flew.

So, needless to say, walking out the door to fly those missions was difficult. But on the toughest days, when my fear was at its worse, there was one thing I did that helped me more than anything. I called my identical twin brother Dave.

“Dave, I don’t know if I can do this bro. I’m really scared.” I would tell him. “Rob, I know you can do it. You’ve prepared your whole life for this. Go make me proud…I believe in you!” He would say.

That one phone call helped me get my head straight. It got me focused and fired up, and was the boost I needed to get me out the door and release the brakes on my jet.

Dave was my wingman.

How fortunate I was (and still am) to have someone to call out the three most important words there are in life – “I need help.”

Mayday is the wingman’s call to action.

As a leader in your company or as a brother, sister, parent, or friend, when you call out Mayday, who is there for you? When the missiles of fear and adversity strike, who can you turn to for help?

Most importantly, are you the type of wingman that others can come to for help?

Here’s a question to ponder: Who believes in you?

Elizabeth Dole, the former President of the Red Cross, once stated, “I didn’t wait for the rivers to flood before I built relationships.”

In these challenging days where the economy, earthquakes, and life challenges threaten to shoot us down, we need each other more than ever. We need to lift others up and be around others who give us the courage to take action despite our fears.

So, my wingtip to you today is to build strong relationships now before adversity strikes. Sure, you have to your wings every day. But don’t forget to give one away.

Be a WingGiver. Do something that can make a difference in someone’s life. Give them hope, courage, guidance, and love. And don’t hold back from asking for help yourself. When you do, you give someone the joy that comes from giving. This is a wing gift that gives meaning to our missions and helps us to fly.

Never Fly Solo
Waldo

 
 
May 16, 2010
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May 13, 2010

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Wingtip of the Week – Love Lifts, Fear Drags

Love Lifts; Fear Drags.

When you are feeling fearful, full of doubt, and paralyzed, re-focus on what you love. What is it that you are passionate about? Perhaps it is your kids, your faith, the commission check, or your dream retirement home.

 

Hone in on what that is, meditate on it, and let the positive emotion that results shift your mood and lift you up. Then, you’ll be ready for action.

 

Remember, you can’t take off with your brakes on! Find the courage to release the brakes and push up the throttle.

 

Action is the enemy of fear and doubt.

 
 
May 13, 2010
0 Comments

Apr 28, 2010

In WINGTIPS
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The Westin Hotel: Customer Service Wingman of the Month

The Westin Hotel is my new favorite hotel.  And Brian Green is my new favorite concierge.

Here’s why.

The hotel industry relies upon creating the ultimate customer service experience which is critical in building a reputable brand and maintaining a loyal customer base.  I travel extensively, so when I experience good (or not so good) customer service, it makes a big difference in my stay and in my perception of that particular hotel brand as a whole.

A few weeks ago, I was staying at the Westin Hotel in downtown Denver and just completed a keynote for my client.  I needed to ship supplies back to my office so I stopped by the concierge desk and spoke with the head concierge, Brian Green, to arrange for a FedEx ground shipment.

Unfortunately, he was out of ground shipment forms so instead, he offered me an air shipment form. However, because this was not time critical, there was no reason for me to pay the significant extra charge to ship the box via air.

I became a bit frustrated. I didn’t want to lug my large box to another FedEx store just because the hotel was out of ground shipment forms. Call me thrifty, but I also didn’t feel like paying the extra money to ship it via air. Brian sensed my frustration and told me he would look a little harder for the forms. I waited in anticipation, wondering how this would turn out.

He returned a minute later with the air shipment form in hand and told me he would ship it via air at no charge.  Brian’s next comment was on target.  He said, “You shouldn’t have to pay for something that the hotel should have taken care of in the first place.”

Wow! My attitude instantly shifted from frustrated to satisfied.   I shook his hand, thanked him for being mywingman, and told him he would be hearing from me.

Was Brian’s service out of the ordinary? Not necessarily. He did what any quality vendor would do.   After all, if you can’t deliver on your service promises, the customer shouldn’t be penalized. But these days it seems the opposite is true.  Good (or even average) customer service is rare.  Merchants are always cutting corners and they would rather save money than take care of the customer when they make mistakes.   More often than not, the customer has to “suck it up.” (Airlines, I hope you’re paying attention!)

When it comes to good customer service, sometimes a small concession on the part of a merchant can yield huge results. Brian’s simple action totally changed my experience with the hotel. Sure, it cost the Westin $50.00, but in the long run that was a small price to pay to keep a customer happy and their reputation intact. Word travels fast.

When you can’t accommodate your customer’s needs or expectations, what do you do? Do you make an excuse and send them on their way? Or do you add a line item to your expense account and take care of them. Most importantly, do you empower your employees to take action that is in the best interest of the customer, even if may cost a little extra?

Sometimes, how you respond when you fail to meet a customer’s expectations can create an even bigger impact than when you meet their expectations! And you just never know when and how that experience will be shared.

At the Westin, I didn’t get what I wanted or even expected. I got more. Today, I’m a loyal fan and my newwingman is Brian Green.  I hope my next client books me to speak at a Westin hotel.  And guess what? Now I’m sharing my experience with 15,000 people who subscribe to my newsletter, I will post this on my Facebook page and tweet about it to 10,000 more people.  These days, you can’t buy that type of advertising for $50.00!

It pays to be a wingman.

Push it up!

Waldo

 
 
Apr 28, 2010
0 Comments

Feb 24, 2010

In WINGTIPS
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WINGTIP OF THE WEEK – Never Outsource Accountability

Many people confuse responsibility with accountability.

 

They are different.

9c30dbcd74b0af208979d674f391adbe: WINGTIP OF THE WEEK   Never Outsource Accountability

As a leader, manager, or entrepreneur, you can delegate responsibilities to a co-worker, vendor,  or even your spouse, but you can never outsource accountability.  Ultimately, you are accountable for and own the end results.

 

Remember, you are the pilot in command of your jet. Don’t expect anyone to hold you accountable but yourself!

*****************************************************

 

Every month or two, I like to share recommendations on great books that are coming out that can really help you in this tough economy.

 

Phil Town is the NY Times bestseller of Rule #1, and I recently read his latest book Payback Time.  I was impressed with how he takes the mystery out of finding well run companies, verifying their fundamentals, and positioning yourself to cash in on their success.

 

Watch this video and see how he simplifies the process: Top Gun Financial Strategy

 

Packed full of practical, easy to implement advice, his book will help you as you strive to reach new heights in this challenging economy and educate you as you aim to hit your financial targets. If you’re looking for a Top Gun financial strategy, add Payback Time to your flight plan and let Phil Town be your wingman!

 

Hit Your Financial Targets
Never Fly Solo,
Waldo

 
 
Feb 24, 2010
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Jan 27, 2010

In NEVER FLY SOLO
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Waldo featured Live on Fox & Friends

Waldo discusses how our country’s veterans can be wingmen for businesses and corporate America. The challenging economy and repressed job market presents an opportunity for employers to hire veterans who are well trained, disciplined, team players and know how to work under stressful conditions…all traits of a great wingman.

d7c5b9fa81d594664bcb73db6468444d: Waldo featured Live on Fox & Friends


 

 
Jan 27, 2010
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Jan 6, 2010

In NEVER FLY SOLO
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Visualizing Success: A Goal setting flightplan for 2010

In January of 2007, I made a commitment to write a book.  But it wasn’t an ordinary commitment.  I wanted to write a New York Times bestseller.  After all, if I was going to do something as unique as write a book, why not challenge myself to see if I could make a it a bestseller?

After I made the commitment, I got busy.  Real busy.

I attended seminars on book publishing, connected with fellow speakers who were successful authors, researched agents, built relationships with marketing experts, and started outlining the content of my book.  I hired a writing coach who helped me to “think outside my cockpit” with regards to my content. Then, I shared my goal with my family, friends, and my closest business associates.

I wrote most of my book at a local Barnes & Noble bookstore.  Whenever I was there, I would religiously walk over to the business section and peruse the bestsellers. I would check out the covers, testimonials, and acknowledgments.  And then I did something that really made a difference. I envisioned my book in section.
I would smile as I said to myself, “My book is going to be right here. I am going to be a NY Times bestseller!”

Then a wave of fear would hit me as I thought of the daunting task ahead and all that needed to be done.   But instead of letting my fear hold me back, I would grab my favorite cup of coffee, re-focus my energy, and get down to the painstaking task of writing.

Page by page. Chapter by chapter. I finally got it done. It took me three years.

Within three months of the book’s release, I sat down in my office, grabbed a black sharpie and wrote the title of my book on a piece of paper.Underneath it (in big bold letters) I wrote these words: “NY Times bestseller!”  I taped it to my bathroom mirror so I couldlook at it several times a day.
And on Dec 8, 2009, my dream came true.  I became a NY Times bestseller! It’s 2010. We’re starting a brand new decade. What extraordinary goals are you trying to achieve this coming year?  What do you want to accomplish that will stretch you beyond your limits and test your determination, work ethic, and passion? The new year means new challenges.Are you ready to tackle them head on and take your success to the next level?

Here are seven powerful wingtips to help you reach your goals and start planning your 2010 flight plan for success:

  1. Set a high but achievable goal – Choose a goal that will get you to step out of your comfort zone and stretch your limits. Be careful. If you set the bar too high and miss the target, you may get de-motivated and frustrated.
  2. Share your goals with your wingmen – By letting others know your goal, you create accountability partners who will help keep you on track and force you to live up to your challenge. Don’t just tell anyone. Tell only those who know you, believe in you, and who will be brutally honest.
  3. Establish a flight plan:  Don’t fly by the seat of your pants.  Formulate a strategy for success. Invest in yourself by attending seminarsand workshops, and stay disciplined and focused as you pursue your goal.  Remember, a goal without a plan is like a combat mission without a target.
  4. Ask for help: Solicit advice from experts and successful people and model their actions (and attitudes!) However, also take the time to build meaningful relationships by offering your advice and expertise to others as well.
  5. Set a timeline:  Pick a realistic date when you expect your goal to be accomplished.  Then, establish “checkpoints” along the way to monitor and assess your progress. (*I failed to do this initially and it prevented me from achieving my goal a lot sooner!)
  6. Visualize the goal:  Envision how success looks and feels. Feelings incite action. Write your goal down and look at it every day.  By writing down your goals, you visualize the goal and make it real. Then repeat the goal out loud…and with confidence.

Commit to making several professional and personal goals. But don’t over commit. It’s easy to become overwhelmed in the pursuit of success. Be tough but patient (and understanding) with yourself.  Finally, be prepared for setbacks along the way.  Remember, hidden in the soil of failure are the seeds to success.

Thank you for being my wingmen in 2010 and for supporting me in my goal of becoming a New York Times bestseller! Without your encouragement, none of it could have happened.
Wishing you health, peace, and success in 2010 and beyond.

NEVER FLY SOLO,
Waldo

 
 
Jan 6, 2010
0 Comments

Dec 16, 2009

In NEVER FLY SOLO
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Never Fly Solo Soars to Bestseller

Book by Decorated Fighter Pilot Soars Up

the New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists

 

Atlanta, GA, December 15, 2009–Only one week after publication, NEVER FLY SOLO: Lead with Courage, Build Trusting Relationships and Reach New Heights in Business (McGraw-Hill; December 1, 2009; $24.95) hit both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. The author, Rob “Waldo” Waldman, kicked off the launch with high profile interviews on CNN and several nationally syndicated radio shows. All pre-advance profits from the book are being donated to Veteran’s charities.

 

“I’ve always wanted to share the important lessons I learned in combat and how they can help improve one’s personal and professional life,” says Waldman. “I’m grateful that my book’s message of courage and trust is resonating and that people are seeking new ways to build more meaningful relationships in today’s highly volatile job market and demanding workplace.”

 

 

Whether you are a seasoned executive, entrepreneur, or new to the business world, creating a work environment based on mutual support and trust is crucial to success. NEVER FLY SOLO reveals how the same steadfast interdependence of wingmen in combat is necessary to transform relationships with colleagues, co-workers, and friends into interdependent partners for success.

 

At a time when our country is sending more troops to Afghanistan, NEVER FLY SOLO is a timely reminder of what we can learn from these brave men and women as we dodge our own missiles of fear and adversity at home.

 

Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman, MBA, CSP, is a former decorated Air Force fighter pilot, sales manager, and professional leadership speaker. He completed 65 combat missions in Iraq and Kosovo in the cockpit of an F-16 jet fighter.  His clients include Hewlett-Packard, Aflac, Marriott, New York Life, and Nokia and he has appeared on CNN, Fox News and other networks. Waldo lives in Atlanta, where he was ranked one of the Top 40 Business Leaders in Georgia. Find out more at www.yourwingman.com.

 
 
Dec 16, 2009
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Dec 7, 2009

In NEVER FLY SOLO
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Never Fly Solo hits #1 on Amazon

Never Fly Solo was rated at number one in 3 categories on Amazon.com’s website on December 3, 2009. The ratings came just 2 days after the initial release of the leadership and motivational book by Rob Waldo Waldman

  • #1 in “Motivation”
  • #1 in “Leadership”
  • #1 in “Business Management”

Reviews from readers and bloggers included a recommendation from
Bnet.com’s Geoffrey James. ”You Gotta Buy (and Read) This Book!“ 

and LeadershipNow.com, “Got Wingmen? Never Fly Solo“.

 
 
Dec 7, 2009
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Nov 30, 2009

In NEVER FLY SOLO
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Waldo Waldman CNN Interview, Never Fly Solo

Lead with Courage, Build trusting partnerships and Reach new heights in Business

Rob “Waldo” Waldman was interviewed by CNN regarding his new book, Never Fly Solo.

 

CNN Interview Transcript   To purchase Never Fly Solo click here

WHITFIELD: Focus, discipline, and relying on your wingman: all secrets to success for fighter pilots. As our next guest has learned, these secrets to success can translate in life for those of us who are civilians and who don’t have those stripes. Rob “Waldo” Waldman is the author of Never Fly Solo. Good to see you – Lieutenant Colonel, right?

ROB “WALDO” WALDMAN, AUTHOR, NEVER FLY SOLO: Great to be here.

WHITFIELD: OK, so we understand that to be a great pilot, there is discipline. There is certainly trust. How do we, as ordinary citizens, reach out to someone and say, “You’re my wingman” or “I want to be someone’s wingman?” And what does it mean to be a wingman?

WALDMAN: Well, like you said, being a wing man is about trust. And I remember flying combat missions, 65 total…and when you’re strapped into an F-16, you’re barely able to move, and you can’t see your most vulnerable position which is behind you! So what we do as fighter pilots is we check each other’s six, which is 6:00 on a clock.

So it’s hard for me to check my own six, But, if I’m flying with you Fredricka, and you’re a mile to my right or left, you can easily look over your shoulders and call out the missiles to us. So it’s about encouraging each other and calling out the missiles, because we all have blind spots.

WHITFIELD: Right.

WALDMAN: So I need to build trust with you and be willing to hear you call out that missile and say, “You know what, Fredricka “thinks outside of the cockpit” and cares about me.” Then, I need to take action.

WHITFIELD: So in other words you’re referencing a mentor — finding a mentor or being someone’s mentor. But many of us are so busy in our lives just trying to take care of ourselves and trying to take of family members, and now we’ve got to try and think, ”How can I help someone else?” How do you encourage someone to communicate you want to be someone’s wingman and this is how do you it?

WALDMAN: Well, we have to embody the principles of courage and trust and accountability before we can ask for help. But I believe the most important words in life are, “I need help.” So how do you do it at home?

WHITFIELD: And that’s hard to say, “I need help.”

WALDMAN: Yes! It’s that we all have egos. But “mayday” is the wingman’s call to action so don’t ever turn away a wingman. But be careful here. Wing nuts will try to drag you down, so be selective with who you’re working with…

WHITFIELD: Yes.

WALDMAN: But also volunteer. Review somebody’s resume. Wing work; don’t just network. Get out there and find people who you know in your network that can help the person out.

WHITFIELD: So you’re in your workplace. You’re going about your regular routine. You’ve got your morning routine, your afternoon duties, et cetera. When do you make that time to even identify that someone could use assistance or to say, “You know what? I need help.” without looking vulnerable? How do you do that?

WALDMAN: Well, the key is not to call out for help until you build the relationships. In my book, Never Fly Solo, I talk about walking the flight line. When you’re at work, if you’re in sales, connect with the people in tech support and customer service.

Right here at CNN you have makeup people, behind the scenes people. What do they do? What do your marketing people do?

And when you build relationships with them and the missiles do come, you can ask for help and know they’ll be there for you.

The key is this: treat each other as people first and employees second, and they will push it up and go to full power for you.

WHITFIELD: And you know we’re giving thanks this weekend for a lot of things. People need to think about what’s important and not necessarily those material things…

WALDMAN: Yes.

WHITFIELD: … but if someone else’s effort, someone extends a hand to help me along, you’re now saying it’s time to return the favor.

WALDMAN: It’s about being what I call a wing giver. In this economy, people are being shot at. Let’s not get shot down. Let’s give our wings away. And if you look at troops that are serving overseas, we just had Thanksgiving…We need to be thankful.

WHITFIELD: Yes.

WALDMAN: Look in your communities. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. You might have a neighbor whose husband or wife might be deployed. Bring over a cake. Maybe they need some help. You don’t need to wear a flight suit or fly an F-16 to be a wingman. It’s the little things in life that acknowledge our humanity and give each other courage. That’s the key.

WHITFIELD: Excellent. Never Fly Solo, Lieutenant Colonel Rob “Waldo” Waldman, thank so much for helping all of us who are nonmilitary try to apply these military disciplines to our regular civilian lives and help everybody else in the interim.

Good to see you. Appreciate it.

WALDMAN: A pleasure to be here.

WHITFIELD: Very nice.

WALDMAN: Thank you.

 
 
Nov 30, 2009
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Nov 26, 2009

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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BE A WING-GIVER

Thanksgiving is always a special holiday as we reflect on what we are thankful for. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and forget to take time to smell the flowers and appreciate what we have.  I surely am guilty of this.

When we really think about it, this holiday is really about being thankful for our relationships – the wingmen in our lives who give meaning to our missions.

So, as we ponder what we’re thankful for this year, I would like you to join me in reflecting on those wingmen in our lives who:

  • Give that extra wing when we need a lift.
  • Encourage us to take action when we are immobilized by fear and doubt.
  • We can call out “Mayday” to when adversity strikes
  • “Check our six” and see our blind spots, and then have the courage to give us feedback so we don’t get shot down.
  • Celebrate our victories and cheer us on when we succeed.

269b38acadda30c3073649caa15b9886: BE A WING GIVER

Today and every day, let’s also remind ourselves to lend a wing of courage and support to our co-workers, family, friends, servicemen and women, and anyone in need. They too need us to be their wingmen. You just never know the difference you can make for someone.

Let’s be wing-givers.  Let’s lift each other up.

This is what gives meaning to our mission and helps us to fly.

 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Never Fly Solo,

Rob “Waldo” Waldman

Your Wingman

 
 
Nov 26, 2009
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Nov 11, 2009

In LEADERSHIP
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Honoring our Country’s Wingmen on Veterans Day

As we celebrate this Veterans Day to honor our country’s heroes and pay respect to their service and sacrifice, it’s difficult not to get caught up with the emotions and controversy surrounding the recent massacre at Fort Hood Army base in TX. What happened was indeed a tragedy and the families and loved ones of those killed or injured will have many challenging days ahead. My heartfelt condolences go out to all of them.

 

Although difficult to do, I am trying not to focus on the individual responsible for this tragedy. I believe he was a traitor to the core values that have established America as a pillar of freedom and democracy and I will not let his act of cowardice dilute the true meaning of Veterans Day. With the war on terror so prevalent in the news, we need to remind ourselves that those executing government policy on the battlefront are real men and women with families, dreams, and aspirations. They don’t make the policy, but simply carry out their duties with honor, courage and commitment. 

 

As a former fighter pilot and veteran with 65 combat missions in Iraq and Serbia, believe me when I say there is no greater advocate for peace than a soldier. And while we may not agree 100% with the decisions our country makes, our commitment and our responsibility to our country should always take precedence over our personal opinions and feelings. When we take an oath to “support and defend the constitution of the United States,” we should honor it. 

 

It’s about commitment, integrity, courage and sacrifice and I am a firm believer that it takes character and discipline to uphold these patriotic values.

 

Commit to Service

So, as Americans, how can we pay tribute to our veterans and to those currently serving on this special day? We do it by committing ourselves to service in our everyday lives andcreating an environment in our country that embraces the values and principles that our soldiers fight to protect. We should:

  • Honor our responsibilities as parents, employees and business owners.
  • Live with integrity at home and at work.
  • Lend a wing and help those who are suffering in this tough economy.
  • Respect our environment, give to charity and volunteer in our communities.

In essence, we need to set the example and live our lives with honor and integrity so that our veterans and troops abroad can truly say, “America is worth fighting for!”

 

So my question today to you is this. Are you worth fighting for?

 

YOU are America. Don’t look upon your neighbor to serve if you aren’t willing to do so yourself.

 

Service begins with you.

I believe you don’t need to wear a flight suit or army fatigues to serve our country. The best way we can thank our veterans is to make them proud of us through our own personal commitment, courage, and compassion. We need to be warriors for freedom and do the right thing by living with honor. This is how we can make Veterans Day…and every day….a day worth celebrating.

************************************************************************

I am donating all of my advance profits of my new book Never Fly Solo (McGraw-Hill) that releases on 1 December to veterans in need. Please click here http://tinyurl.com/yfno5yf and buy a book for the special wingmen in your life to let them know they aren’t flying solo with you on their wing.

 

For more information about my book, visit www.NeverFlySolo.com

 

Lt Col Rob “Waldo” Waldman

Info@YourWingman.com; www.YourWingman.com

 

Please share your thoughts with me.

Nov 11, 2009
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Oct 20, 2009

In LEADERSHIP
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How You Can Be a Wingman for Veterans

 

Never Fly Solo is a business leadership flight plan that exemplifies the essential core values of integrity, courage, and service. No group embraces these values more than our country’s veterans. That’s why I am donating 100% of my advance purchase proceeds to veterans in need. My goal is to raise $100,000 for these heroes who have given their wings for our country.  But I need your help.

Help me support and make a difference for our Veterans in need.

  1. Visit Never Fly Solo and purchase a copy of Never Fly Solo for yourself and a friend.
  2. Send an e-mail to your wingmen and share this video on Twitter, Linked In, Stumble, Digg, Facebook and other popular social networking sites.
  3. Partner with me on my Never Fly Solo book tour and let’s create a fund-raising flight plan for our veterans. Please e-mail my Marketing Wingman Steven Roddy at steven@yourwingman.com for more information.

When you buy a book for the special wingmen in your life, you’re letting them know that they aren’t flying solo with you on their wing. And you’re also being a wingman for our veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country.

Let’s “Push It Up” for our Veterans!

 
 
Oct 20, 2009
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Aug 25, 2009

In LEADERSHIP/ TEAMWORK
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The Definition of a True Hero

I came across an article written by Ben Stein and I just had to share it. Ben Stein’s article sums up the philosophy of the wingman. The only life worth living is a life that is lived for other people. True heroes are not the ones in the tabloids but are the ones who are living in the trenches of life to help make a difference.

How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today’s World?

“…I no longer think Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people, and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated. But a man or woman who makes a huge wage for memorizing lines and reciting them in front of a camera is no longer my idea of a shining star we should all look up to.

How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insane luxury really be a star in today’s world, if by a ‘star’ we mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model?  Real stars are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails.

They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer. A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who poked his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq. He could have been met by a bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets. Instead, he faced an abject Saddam Hussein and the gratitude of all of the decent people of the world.

A real star is the U.S. soldier who was sent to disarm a bomb next to a road north of Baghdad. He approached it, and the bomb went off and killed him.

A real star, the kind who haunts my memory night and day, is the U.S. soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of unexploded ordnance on a street near where he was guarding a station. He pushed her aside and threw himself on it just as it exploded. He left a family desolate in California and a little girl alive in Baghdad.

The stars who deserve media attention are not the ones who have lavish weddings on TV but the ones who patrol the streets of Mosul even after two of their buddies were murdered and their bodies battered and stripped for the sin of trying to protect Iraqis from terrorists.

We put couples with incomes of $100 million a year on the covers of our magazines.  The noncoms and officers who barely scrape by on military pay but stand on guard in Afghanistan and Iraq and on ships and in submarines and near the Arctic Circle are anonymous as they live and die.

I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such poor values, and I do not want to perpetuate those values by pretending that who is eating at Morton’s is a big subject.

There are plenty of other stars in the American firmament…the policemen and women who go off on patrol in South Central and have no idea if they will return alive; the orderlies and paramedics who bring in people who have been in terrible accidents and prepare them for surgery; the teachers and nurses who throw their whole spirits into caring for autistic children; the kind men and women who work in hospices and in cancer wards.

Think of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the World Trade   Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my idea of a real hero.

I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters. This is my highest and best use as a human. I can put it another way. Years ago, I realized I could never be as great an actor as Olivier or as good a comic as Steve Martin or Martin Mull or Fred Willard – or as good an economist as Samuelson or Friedman or as good a writer as Fitzgerald. Or even remotely close to any of them.

 

But, I could be a devoted father to my son, husband to my wife and, above all, a good son to the parents who had done so much for me. This came to be my main task in life.  I did it moderately well with my son, pretty well with my wife and well indeed with my parents (with my sister’s help). I cared for and paid attention to them in their declining years. I stayed with my father as he got sick, went into extremis and then into a coma and then entered immortality with my sister and me reading him the Psalms.

This was the only point at which my life touched the lives of the soldiers in Iraq or the firefighters in New York. I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path. This is my highest and best use as a human.

Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will.”

Never Fly Solo

This is the essence, the very core of the wingman message of mutual support, courage and  service before self. We all need wingmen like the soldiers and people in uniform who fight for the freedom and safety that we often take for granted! They are the unsung heroes who serve our country every day.

This is why I am donating 100% of my profits for my upcoming book, “Never Fly Solo” (McGraw-Hill, Dec 09) to Veterans charities. Please visit Never Fly Solo to preview and receive a free chapter of my book.

 

 

 
Aug 25, 2009
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Aug 19, 2009

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE/ TEAMWORK
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Check Six – Mutual Support and Communication in Business

My wingman screamed over the radio “Break Right, Break Right! Missile launch your 3 O’clock!”

fea334a7c61f24463c2388b2d13d7ea4: Check Six   Mutual Support and Communication in Business

I looked to my right and saw two SAM’s (surface to air missiles) skyrocketing towards my aircraft at twice the speed of sound.  If I didn’t maneuver my aircraft immediately, I would get shot down.  There was no time to think.

 

I lowered the nose, went to full power, banked the aircraft aggressively to the right and performed my best missile defense maneuver.  Then I heard my wingman (call sign “Pigpen”) yell “Magnum” over the radio. This meant he was shooting an anti-radiation missile at the radar site that was tracking on me! Within several seconds my radar turned off and the missiles lost track of my aircraft and exploded only a ½ mile away from me!  I survived.

 

Pigpen was my wingman over the skies of Yugoslavia that night and he possibly saved my life. His job on this mission (and every mission) was to provide mutual support to the formation. How did I know this? Because on every mission fighter pilots back each other up and cross check our most vulnerable position – directly behind us. It’s where most of the threats come from. We call it the “six o’clock” position and when we’re strapped into the cramped cockpit of the F-16, it’s the location we can’t see on our own.

 

Fighter pilots train in an environment of mutual support and always check each other’s six for the unseen threat.  And when our wingmen call out break right to avoid the missiles, we never question their judgment.  We act because we trust each other.  We act because this is what we’re trained to do.

 

We survive solo, but win together.

In the heat of battle in business, it’s easy to get channelized and blow off your cross check (i.e. sales processes, budget, customer courtesies, critical appointments, etc.) You may be way too focused on the task at hand, overwhelmed, or stressed out. You become what fighter pilots call “task saturated.”

 

When this happens, it becomes easy to  lose sight of the big picture and your cross check can suffer. This is when you leave yourself vulnerable to the unseen enemy and can get shot down (i.e. lose the sale, alienate a co-worker, miss a critical appointment, etc). To avoid this, you need your wingmen to provide mutual support during these stressful times.

 

Here are five WingTips to facilitate a check six culture in your organization.

Start by asking others for 1-1 intimate feedback on your performance:

  1. Start by asking others for 1-1 intimate feedback on your performance
    1. Ask them to sit in on a sales call or meeting or review a proposal.
    2. Ask these two questions: “What did I miss? And “How can I Improve?”
    3. Avoid being defensive.  Then, thank them.
  2. Openly reward employees who demonstrate mutual support and who encourage others to succeed.
  3. Be willing to say “I don’t know” or even “I messed up”
    1. When the boss publicly admits a mistake and fesses up to it, others will too (especially the new hire who may be scared an intimidated by your organization.)
  4. Set expectations during a daily/weekly briefing to highlight performance expectations, delegate responsibilities, and contingency plan emergencies. Let your team know that you expect them to tell you if you’re messing up.
  5. Be willing to give extra support to a wingman who may be experiencing a challenging situation at work or even at home.

 

In fast-paced, high-risk environments, close coordination is required among team members to accomplish a mission and avoid errors.  Creating a check six environment with your wingmen is critical to mitigate risk and ensure the missiles of adversity, change and fear don’t shoot you down. It also helps to break down communication barriers so that all members of a team feel empowered to speak up, ask questions, and call out missiles.

 

The result? Team members become more trusting and engaged while leaders benefit from the improved flow of vital information up and down the organizational hierarchy. Your customers and prospects will also see a big difference in the quality of their service. Finally, having an extra set of eyes looking out for you (like “Pigpen” did for me) will allow you to function more productively and with less stress during those challenging missions.

 

Never Fly Solo,

Waldo

PS. My new book “Never Fly Solo” (McGraw Hill, Dec 2009) goes into great detail on this concept of mutual support.

 
 
Aug 19, 2009
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Aug 12, 2009

In LEADERSHIP
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The Secret Ingredient to Business Success

Jules Ormont once said, “A great leader never sets himself above his followers except in carrying responsibilities.” In business the more you increase the altitude of your success the less rights you have. When you are the CEO of a company you no longer have the right to a vacation, when you are the owner of a business you no longer have the right to get paid and when you are in management you no longer have the right to be respected. When you hold leadership position you have to earn your vacation, you have to earn your next paycheck and you have to earn the respect of your employees.

Earn Your Privileges

How do you earn these privileges? Through performance. If you do not make the sale you do not get a paycheck, if your business is in crisis you cannot desert the mission. And if you treat your employees unfairly and without respect you can expect little effort on their part in return. So what is the secret to finding success with your employees and inside your business?

The Secret Ingredient to Success

Wingtip – The secret ingredient to success in business is servant leadership. Wikipedia describes servant leadership as, “Servant-leaders achieve results for their organizations by giving priority attention to the needs of their colleagues and those they serve. Servant-leaders are often seen as humble stewards of their organization’s resources (human, financial and physical).” Through servant leadership you demonstrate that you care for both your employees and your organization.

Become a Wing-Giver

Be selfless, put others first and become a Wing-Giver. If you want to increase the revenue of your company, stop and listen to your employees when they are having problems at home or at work. If you want to increase job loyalty express your loyalty by praising your staff in public and correcting them in private. Not only will they respect you more but you will also notice that their desire to work will increase simultaneously.

Leaders do not demand respect or performance, they command it! Leaders command performance through their actions, by demonstrating servant leadership, by offering solutions in difficult situations and holding true to the integrity of their word. Watch this video to view servant leadership at work in the biggest business in the world…the military.

 

 

 
Aug 12, 2009
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Jul 3, 2009

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE/ TEAMWORK
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The Meaning of the 4th of July

What is the meaning of the 4th of July?

On June 5, 2009, a young rancher named Neal Wanless claimed one of the biggest undivided jackpots in U.S. lottery history — $232 million. He bought the ticket in the small town Winner, SD, part of Todd County, which according to the Census Bureau, was the nation’s seventh-poorest county in 2007.

In this rural and impoverished area where cows outnumber the human population, people do whatever they can to help one another. They brand cattle, dig neighbors out after snow blizzards and free tractors from mud – all without expectation of repayment. Serving each other is part of the culture of their community. Nobody goes hungry in Winner.

In a few days, our country will be celebrating the 4th of July holiday and pay tribute to our forefathers who banded together against a common enemy and committed themselves to a cause so great that many gave up their lives for it. This cause was freedom.

Those who fought for freedom have a lot in common with the citizens of Winner. They were unified against a common enemy, fought for their survival, and served one another. In the face of incredible odds, they were wingmen to each other and to their country. They were warriors, and they battled together to overcome a common enemy that stifled their ability to live in peace.

If we look across the world today and witness the oppressive regimes where human rights violations are rampant, it’s almost unimaginable that only a few hundred years ago, our own country was struggling to create peace, freedom and independence for its citizens. We owe so much to those who planted the seeds of freedom so that we may enjoy its harvest. We cannot forget what they’ve done.

And we also cannot forget the citizens in our own backyards…in towns like Winner…who struggle amidst adversity to partake in the American dream and taste the fruits of freedom that our forefathers fought for.

Those of us who are “living the dream” in America, more often than not, fought for it. And we need to continue to fight for it and not take our freedoms for granted!

So – how can we show our appreciation for those who fought for and continue to fight for our freedom? How can we fight the good fight and be warriors for freedom?

We can do it in our own backyards and businesses.

Let’s not just “do more with less” in this tough economy. Like the impoverished citizens in Winner and the embattled soldiers who fought for our independence, we need to “give more with less.” Serve at a soup kitchen, be a mentor for a struggling employee at work, or help out a veteran who has broken wings.

As you watch the fireworks this weekend, let the glow and thunder in the sky stir your spirit a calling to become a warrior for peace and freedom. Then go out and take action. Reach your wings into the dungeon of someone’s life who may be struggling and lend them a wing of service. Be a warrior for peace and freedom in your community.

This is what America is all about.

It’s the best way we can honor our forefathers who fought for what we all have today.

Never Fly Solo, Waldo

 
 
Jul 3, 2009
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Mar 30, 2009

In PEAK PERFORMANCE/ TEAMWORK
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WINGWORKING – How to Network like a Trusted Partner

As a professional speaker and consultant, I’ve been able to network and build trusting relationships with a lot of very successful people all over the world.  This truly has been a blessing and I really enjoy facilitating what I call “wingman connections” in my network.

 

My travel schedule often prevents me from networking locally in my hometown of Atlanta, but this past week I was home so I went to a few events. Now, I’m no pro at networking.  I wish I was better at working a room but I would rather have 3-4 personal conversations about something of substance than meet twenty strangers, sling some cheesy conversation back and forth, get 20 business cards, and then leave wondering who the heck I spoke with. I want to plant seeds and nurture future wingmen, rather than seek my next business opportunity.  It’s just not me.

 

I have to admit that I get wound up watching certain people who will only acknowledge or speak with someone if they see a big, juicy dollar sign on their forehead, or if they look like a person of influence who can ‘hook them up.’

 

You may bump into them at the hors devours table and they strike up a (one-way) conversation. Then they enthusiastically ask for your card and toss it in their pocket without even looking at it.  “I’ll send you an e-mail and we’ll connect” they say.  They go home, toss out your card and you never hear from them again (unless of course, you had that dollar sign on your forehead.) But rest assured, you’re now on 3 new marketing lists and getting spammed from some nimrod who knows nothing about sales, networking, or relationship building.

 

“But hey, it’s all about relationships.” Yeah right!

 

Can you relate?

 

 

Well, let me be up front. I used to be that wingnut!  Maybe not to that extreme…but when I networked in the past, it was all about me.  But not anymore.

 

So, now here’s what I do.  I sit back and watch.  I watch the people who are listening rather than talking. Are they paying attention, or just waiting for the next dollar sign to appear? Are they smiling? Do they appear interested in who they are talking to? Do they seem kind and trustworthy?

 

I look for a possible wingman…a future trusted partner.

 

Now, this person doesn’t have to have a job, be super successful or have the potential to get me business.  I just want to meet someone I can build a connection with…someone I respect from the inside out who wants to take their life or career to the next level. Someone passionate about growth and who is a hard worker. I get excited about helping these types of people. It gives meaning to my mission. 

 

We all know the job market is tough right now and business is lean. People are struggling.  Many are out of work and they’re trying to fly with broken wings and they can’t. They need help. But unfortunately, most networkers look for the next job instead of the next relationship. They look to garner the next sale, instead of garnering trust. Their radar can’t see beyond their own short range targets.

 

So, here are a few “outside the cockpit” networking wingtips that will plant seeds for future personal and professional opportunities and build wingman relationships.

 

  1. Take the focus off of yourself.  Look to meet a few people who you can help, either through your knowledge, your trusted connections, or your encouragement. Ask yourself – “if not me, then who in my network do I know that can possibly help this person.” Be genuine in your desire to help.
  2. Connect with your new contact after the networking event if you do decide to help or refer them. Meet for lunch, have a conversation, and exchange e-mails. Build on the relationship and learn more about them.  
  3. Ask unique questions like, “What are you passionate about in your life right now?” or “What are you doing now that’s cool?” (My friend Brendon Burchard likes to ask that.)
  4. Wingwork, don’t network – Introduce people and facilitate new connections during the event.  Be a connector. If people you meet have similar hometowns, hobbies, or business backgrounds, introduce them.
  5. If you say you will follow-up, make sure you do.

 

Remember, in order to find new wingmen, you have to be a wingman.

 

Networking is just as much about finding those with broken wings who you can help to get airborne again as it is about finding new wingmen who can help you fly to new heights. In this tough economy, let’s all do our best to be wingivers while networking. Let’s not leave anyone behind. 

 

If we all lent a wing, we all would fly. 

 

NEVER FLY SOLO!

Your Wingman!®
Lt . Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman

Mar 30, 2009
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Mar 30, 2009

In PEAK PERFORMANCE/ TEAMWORK
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WINGWORKING – How to Network like a Trusted Partner

As a professional speaker and consultant, I’ve been able to network and build trusting relationships with a lot of very successful people all over the world.  This truly has been a blessing and I really enjoy facilitating what I call “wingman connections” in my network.

 

My travel schedule often prevents me from networking locally in my hometown of Atlanta, but this past week I was home so I went to a few events. Now, I’m no pro at networking.  I wish I was better at working a room but I would rather have 3-4 personal conversations about something of substance than meet twenty strangers, sling some cheesy conversation back and forth, get 20 business cards, and then leave wondering who the heck I spoke with. I want to plant seeds and nurture future wingmen, rather than seek my next business opportunity.  It’s just not me.

 

I have to admit that I get wound up watching certain people who will only acknowledge or speak with someone if they see a big, juicy dollar sign on their forehead, or if they look like a person of influence who can ‘hook them up.’

 

You may bump into them at the hors devours table and they strike up a (one-way) conversation. Then they enthusiastically ask for your card and toss it in their pocket without even looking at it.  “I’ll send you an e-mail and we’ll connect” they say.  They go home, toss out your card and you never hear from them again (unless of course, you had that dollar sign on your forehead.) But rest assured, you’re now on 3 new marketing lists and getting spammed from some nimrod who knows nothing about sales, networking, or relationship building.

 

“But hey, it’s all about relationships.” Yeah right!

 

Can you relate?

 

 

Well, let me be up front. I used to be that wingnut!  Maybe not to that extreme…but when I networked in the past, it was all about me.  But not anymore.

 

So, now here’s what I do.  I sit back and watch.  I watch the people who are listening rather than talking. Are they paying attention, or just waiting for the next dollar sign to appear? Are they smiling? Do they appear interested in who they are talking to? Do they seem kind and trustworthy?

 

I look for a possible wingman…a future trusted partner.

 

Now, this person doesn’t have to have a job, be super successful or have the potential to get me business.  I just want to meet someone I can build a connection with…someone I respect from the inside out who wants to take their life or career to the next level. Someone passionate about growth and who is a hard worker. I get excited about helping these types of people. It gives meaning to my mission. 

 

We all know the job market is tough right now and business is lean. People are struggling.  Many are out of work and they’re trying to fly with broken wings and they can’t. They need help. But unfortunately, most networkers look for the next job instead of the next relationship. They look to garner the next sale, instead of garnering trust. Their radar can’t see beyond their own short range targets.

 

So, here are a few “outside the cockpit” networking wingtips that will plant seeds for future personal and professional opportunities and build wingman relationships.

 

  1. Take the focus off of yourself.  Look to meet a few people who you can help, either through your knowledge, your trusted connections, or your encouragement. Ask yourself – “if not me, then who in my network do I know that can possibly help this person.” Be genuine in your desire to help.
  2. Connect with your new contact after the networking event if you do decide to help or refer them. Meet for lunch, have a conversation, and exchange e-mails.  Build on the relationship and learn more about them.  
  3. Ask unique questions like, “What are you passionate about in your life right now?” or “What are you doing now that’s cool?” (My friend Brendon Burchard likes to ask that.)
  4. Wingwork, don’t network – Introduce people and facilitate new connections during the event.  Be a connector. If people you meet have similar hometowns, hobbies, or business backgrounds, introduce them.
  5. If you say you will follow-up, make sure you do.

 

Remember, in order to find new wingmen, you have to be a wingman.

 

Networking is just as much about finding those with broken wings who you can help to get airborne again as it is about finding new wingmen who can help you fly to new heights. In this tough economy, let’s all do our best to be wingivers while networking. Let’s not leave anyone behind. 

 

If we all lent a wing, we all would fly. 

 

NEVER FLY SOLO!

Your Wingman!®
Lt . Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman

Mar 30, 2009
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Dec 10, 2008

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE/ TEAMWORK
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We’re Angels With One Wing

Arlete is my cleaning lady.  She is the most positive, loving person I know. And I love her for it.

I have to admit I just don’t like to vacuum and mop my floors so I would rather pay someone to do it. So, Arlete comes by when I need her and she creates a space happiness in my life by giving me TIME.

But she’s much more than that to me.  Arlete always has a smile on her face and has such positive energy that she changes my mood instantly. She hugs me and says “Robert, God Loves you…he has such great things in store for you.  This year is going to be wonderful for you.”  She even gives me advice on my relationships, on living in the moment, and appreciating things that I have.  She is always, always positive! I write my checks to her with love.

So here’s a lady barely making ends meet…a single mom with two children…on her hands and knees scrubbing my floors, cleaning my refrigerator, vacuuming my house, sweating and sacrificing…with a smile.

I learn a lot about life from my cleaning lady. I think she’s an angel.

We all have angels in our lives who show up and teach us things about ourselves and life. They may not always come in the form we expect. They are disguised. Some angels are our friends who are brutally honest with us by telling us things we don’t want to hear but need to hear.  Some show up for just a few minutes and leave forever…perhaps during an encounter at a restaurant, while shopping, or while stuck in traffic. And yes, some even clean our house.

Angels aren’t always “nice.”  Angels help us see ourselves not just for who we are, but by who we can become.  They make us look inward. They help us grow.

What angels are present in your life?

As we finalize the last week of 2008 and prepare for another year ahead, I want to thank you all for being angels in my life. You may have encouraged me, you have humbled me, and you may have even upset me, but you have always helped me.

As Luciano de Crescenzo once stated, “We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing each other.”

Let’s look to this coming year as another opportunity to spread our wings and become angels for as many friends, clients, and strangers we can. Let’s reach new heights and fly even higher.

Never Fly Solo!
Waldo

 
 
Dec 10, 2008
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Dec 10, 2008

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE/ TEAMWORK
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We’re Angels With One Wing

Arlete is my cleaning lady.  She is the most positive, loving person I know. And I love her for it.

I have to admit I just don’t like to vacuum and mop my floors so I would rather pay someone to do it. So, Arlete comes by when I need her and she creates a space happiness in my life by giving me TIME.

But she’s much more than that to me.  Arlete always has a smile on her face and has such positive energy that she changes my mood instantly. She hugs me and says “Robert, God Loves you…he has such great things in store for you.  This year is going to be wonderful for you.”  She even gives me advice on my relationships, on living in the moment, and appreciating things that I have.  She is always, always positive! I write my checks to her with love.

So here’s a lady barely making ends meet…a single mom with two children…on her hands and knees scrubbing my floors, cleaning my refrigerator, vacuuming my house, sweating and sacrificing…with a smile.

I learn a lot about life from my cleaning lady. I think she’s an angel.

We all have angels in our lives who show up and teach us things about ourselves and life. They may not always come in the form we expect. They are disguised. Some angels are our friends who are brutally honest with us by telling us things we don’t want to hear but need to hear.  Some show up for just a few minutes and leave forever…perhaps during an encounter at a restaurant, while shopping, or while stuck in traffic. And yes, some even clean our house.

Angels aren’t always “nice.”  Angels help us see ourselves not just for who we are, but by who we can become.  They make us look inward. They help us grow.

What angels are present in your life?

As we finalize the last week of 2008 and prepare for another year ahead, I want to thank you all for being angels in my life. You may have encouraged me, you have humbled me, and you may have even upset me, but you have always helped me.

As Luciano de Crescenzo once stated, “We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing each other.”

Let’s look to this coming year as another opportunity to spread our wings and become angels for as many friends, clients, and strangers we can. Let’s reach new heights and fly even higher.

Never Fly Solo!
Waldo

 
 
Dec 10, 2008
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Nov 27, 2008

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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RELEASE BRAKES: How to Break The Fear Barrier In Business

As I write this article at my favorite Starbucks, I can’t help but hear the conversation next to me.  A middle-aged woman is having a coffee meeting with a peer discussing job opportunities, the market, and their personal networks. It’s obvious that she’s lost her job due to cutbacks and is networking like mad, reaching out to her wingmen and exploring job opportunities.

 

Sound familiar?

 

We all know someone who recently lost a job or who is struggling with their business. The economy is tough today. Sales are down, credit is tight, budgets are being slashed, and jobs are being cut.  We’ve all been affected. It’s just reality. And while we can’t control Wall Street, the only thing we can control is how we react to what’s going on. As my friend and wingman John Harrington of OTR Consultants says, when adversity strikes, “we either fear or we lead.”

 

If we fear, we crawl out of bed anxious, worrisome, and focus on what we don’t have.  We become strangled with doubt.  We strap into our jet ready to take-off, but push up the throttle with the brakes on. Doubt prevents us from releasing our brakes and destroys the warrior spirit. It kills performance which eventually leads to failure.

 

If we lead, we jump out of bed, acknowledge our fear (hey, it’s normal to be afraid when adversity strikes!), and then give thanks for what we have.  We gather our resources, plan the day’s mission, and then take action.  We focus on doing, not doubting…on performance, not philosophy. We understand that we’re in control of our jet and are ultimately responsible for results.

 

Here’s the question you have to ask yourself during adverse conditions: Will you fear or lead?

 

In turbulent times like today with the missiles being launched, we have to be warriors, not worriers.  Warriors confront the reality of their fears, and then lead by taking action.  When I flew in combat with my wingmen, sure we were scared. Sure we had doubt. But when it came time to execute, we prepared relentlessly and then took action as a team. We felt confident because we weren’t flying solo and knew we could count on each other for mutual support. Most importantly, we focused on our actions, not on our attitude.

 

In business, attitude alone won’t get you to take off.  Yes it’s important, but ultimately you have to take action for change to occur. Attitude gives the thrust, but action provides the vector.  You have to release the brakes on your jet and roll down the runway with a target and a plan, knowing full well what the stakes are.  I know it can be overwhelming and it isn’t easy. But let’s face it; the greatest results in business often require the greatest effort and risk.

 

I want to emphasize that being a modern day warrior isn’t about combat.  It’s about commitment, courage, and accountability. It’s about fighting for a cause that means something. Warriors fight for those they serve, but they also fight for freedom, peace, family, and love. Warriors work. Warriors live by the credo “the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in battle.”   They plan and train with discipline and intensity and put forth the effort so that they never have to go to battle. As the great Chinese General and military strategist Sun Tzu wrote in “The Art of War,” the greatest victories in war are the ones that are never fought.

 

Most importantly, warriors are a beacon of hope for those in need.  In essence, warriors are wingmen.  Warriors are your friends who refer business to you, who share their best practices, give feedback on your sales performance, and who take your keys when you’ve been drinking. They give their love and advice freely, but also help you be accountable to the most important wingman in your life…yourself!

 

Warriors are wingmen who will do what it takes to help you turn your fear into courage, push up your throttle, release your brakes and take-off. Warriors want you to win.

 

As we deal in these uncertain economic times, I would challenge you to lead rather than fear. Be thankful for the warriors in your life who fight the good fight and who give you the courage to release your brakes and take-off in turbulent conditions.  And last but not least, pray for the strength to be a warrior for your customer, your co-workers, and for those less fortunate who can’t release the brakes on their own.

 

Be a wingman – a warrior with a heart.

Never Fly Solo!

Your Wingman®
Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman

Nov 27, 2008
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Oct 21, 2008

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE/ TEAMWORK
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WINGIVING: How to Become a Comrade of Courage in Tough Times

I’ve been getting countless e-mails and newsletters this past week from coaches and consultants capitalizing on the downturn in the market.

 

Their message is fear based.  “The market is down again. It’s scary out there! Layoffs are rampant!”  Then they offer a $1,995 weekend seminar on wealth building or business growth that will solve all of your problems.  These “compassionate coaches” become opportunistic vultures praying on the carcass of your fear.

 

Give me a break!

 

Here’s my take on it wingmen – Strap in, focus your radar, and hold on. Its time to push it up! These adverse times separate the top guns from the lazy bums; the philosophers from the performers; and those with attitude from those with aptitude.

 

If you want to dodge the missiles and break the fear barrier holding you back from succeeding in these tough times,

  • Stop dwelling and start doing.
  • Stop groaning and start giving.
  • Stop whining and start winning.

 

Pretty simple if you ask me.  Get back to the fundamentals of hard work, focus, discipline, accountability,and most of all, service.

 

Look, its times like these where your character will be tested. The missiles are being launched.  Whether or not you get shot down is entirely up to you. But I would challenge you to dismiss the naysayers on TV and in the break room and solicit the “YaySayers.” Jettison the wingnuts that are strangling your ability to take off in life and find your trusted partners – your wingmen – who will elevate your spirit and encourage you to take action.

 

Be thankful for the blessing you have today. Write them down. Then, go out and find somebody who is in the dungeon of their life, reach in, lend a wing, and pull them out.

 

Finally, be a comrade of courage, not a lightening rod of fear. Be the type of person others can come to for help when they are down on luck and strangled by fear. Courage is contagious. And so is performance. When you give courage, it may be all someone needs to take the action that can help them release their brakes and take off.

 

We’re all in a difficult time right now but please have faith that the pendulum will swing and the economy will improve. Stay focused and keep working.  The weather will get better.

 

Today, be open to receive a May Day call which says I Need Help. Lend your wing. Make a difference in any way you can not just at work, but in your personal life. It’s how we’ll survive these tough times. This is thewingman’s call to action.  It’s your call to action. I hope you’ll take it.

 

Winners Never Fly Solo!

 
Oct 21, 2008
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Sep 17, 2008

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE
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How to Become a Business ACE: And avoid getting shot down!

If you want to test the true character of a person, see how they respond to adversity.  Watch how they handle the pressure of a lost sale, an angry client, or a difficult boss.  What do they say?  How do they act?  What is their emotional state?  Do they freeze up and get angry, or do they buckle down and increase their focus and commitment?

The same holds true for those who would assume the mantle of leadership in business.  When adversity hits, how they respond in the market will determine their ability to stay in business and win. Leadership – both on a personal and organizational level – ultimately drives the actions taken amidst crisis and change.

Today’s economy is full of adversity. I call them “missiles of business and life.” It seems we are being fired at every day. Rising costs of fuel, shrinking budgets, demanding clients, and a lack of qualified (and loyal) employees all create an intense and constantly changing environment. As soon as we think we defeated one missile…BAM! Another one is fired.  As soon as profits start coming in…BAM, another competitor enters the fight.

The missiles will come and you will be fired upon. It’s not a matter of if, but when and how often. The key is NOT to get shot down!

This week we saw one of the most reputable giants in the financial industry – Lehman Brothers – get shot down.  Just a few years ago, who would have thought such a thing could happen?  But it did. And it will happen again. It’s just the nature of business…and life.

In fighter combat, the best pilots who are able to adapt to adversity and change are called ACES. They prepare relentlessly and are the most focused and committed under pressure. They are the respected and accomplished leaders in their squadrons because they don’t run away when fear knocks on their door. They buckle down and ultimately take action.

The right action.

Here are a few WingTips that can turn you into an ACE and help you avoid getting shot down on your next mission:

A: Attitude + Action:  Attitude does not determine altitude. Attitude plus Action does. Being positive and enthusiastic is a critical component of success, but your customer ultimately rewards your actions, not your positive attitude!  An attitude that breeds confidence is a by-product of disciplined preparation and mission rehearsal. When dealing with a price objection, last minute competitor, or late product shipment, it’s the commitment, focus and sense of urgency you have to fix the problem, provide value, and deliver results that counts.

C: Customer: Success in business is not about you, your company, or your product. It’s about your customer.  Prior to each meeting, gather the latest, up to date intelligence (from multiple sources) and commit yourself to meeting the needs of your customer. Be original. Come prepared with questions. Learn about the person you’re meeting.  If you’re not focused 100% on your customer – your target – you shouldn’t strap on your jet to fly. (By the way, it can’t hurt to learn about your Competition too …but onlyafter learning about your customer.

E: Environment: Every mission is unique. What works with one client or industry, may not work with another. The environment in which you and your customer operate will ultimately determine your tactics.  Was there a recent merger or perhaps some lay-offs at the company you’re meeting?  How’s their stock price? What’s the nature of the industry you’re operating in? Who are you meeting?  Who is the decision maker? What resources (wingmen) do you have that can help you prepare for your meeting? Never sell by the seat of your pants!  

Take it from somebody who’s been shot at in real combat, the winning ACE’s in business and life prepare for the worst, but then expect the best. They acknowledge adversity and develop the confidence to overcome it by hard work and focus. But being an ACE is not easy.  You can either “push it up” on your throttle and defeat the missile, or pull it back and risk getting shot down. It’s your choice.

I hope you’ll push it up!

 
 
Sep 17, 2008
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Jul 1, 2008

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE
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PUSH IT UP!®

“You’ve got to Push it up to take off.  And you have to take-off to fly!”

I’ll never forget the first time I flew the F-16.  The rush of adrenaline was amazing. The tower controller cleared me for take-off and from the back seat my instructor pilot, Captain “Deke” Slaton, called out over the intercom, “Push it up, Waldo!”

“Yes, Sir!” I replied.

I nervously pushed up that throttle to full power and felt a kick in the seat unlike anything I’ve experienced in my life.  30,000 pounds of pure thrust. The power was unreal as I became airborne and in seconds accelerated to 350 knots.

I won’t forget how hard I worked to make it to the cockpit that day. But it paled in comparison to how hard I would work to stay there. I had to push myself beyond my limits to earn my wings and become mission ready in the F-16.

I’ve embraced the phrase “Push it up!” in my personal and professional life and use it as a call to action to my clients, fellow wingmen, and friends. I want you to use it as well because it symbolizes what it takes to win. It stands for maximum effort. It’s the thrust which drives you forward.  It’s what gives you wings to fly.

Push it up means you:

  • Put forth maximum effort
  • Discipline yourself to take (the correct) action every day
  • Commit yourself to your goal
  • Stay focused until the mission is complete
  • Face adversity with courage.

It’s about personal leadership, and you’re the pilot in command.

Push it up also means you’re a trusted partner in life – a wingman. Someone others can count on to get the job done. You have a disciplined, determined and passionate approach towards living every single day and you don’t need to wear a flight suit of fly an F-16 to develop it.  It originates in your heart, is inspired through your attitude, and is executed through your action.

Let me share something with you.  Success isn’t necessarily about motivation or even attitude. It’s about action. Action that leads to performance that leads to results. The world rewards results, not attitude… and while your attitude is a tremendous asset in your life and will likely inspire you to act, it’s not going to directly give you results.

Some say attitude determines altitude. I totally disagree.  Here’s a better formula:

Attitude + Action + Ability determines Altitude.

What drives you to get out of bed every day ready to push it up and take action? Are you willing to work for it?

Hard work is the impetus to action. It’s the sun to the blooming flower and the sweat to the athlete. There is no substitute when it comes to success.

Winners in business and life possess a positive attitude that is seasoned with discipline, passion, and commitment. But at the end of the day, they take action to make it happen.  Winners sharpen their sword and do the work to perfect their craft.  Most importantly, they resist the temptation to ease up–to pull back the throttle–despite the missiles of life that are constantly being launched.

Push it up isn’t easy. But it separates the mediocre from the “Mach-1.” Are you pushing it up or pulling it back in life? How hard are you willing to work? The difference will determine whether or not you take off and reach new heights.

 
 
Jul 1, 2008
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Jun 26, 2008

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE/ TEAMWORK
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Lift vs. Drag: A Leader’s Perspective

So, how do you get a 35,000-pound F-16 jet fighter to fly?

It’s no easy feat. To overcome the force of gravity, you have to create a force that is greater than gravity’s grasp.

That force is lift.

As the F-16 blasts through the sky, there is an “enemy” of  lift that must be overcome known as drag. There are two kinds of drag – Induced and Parasite. Induced drag is a “good drag’ in that it is a bi-product of lift and is necessary for flight. Parasite drag is not helpful as it battles against the “good” drag, working to slow the aircraft down. It’s caused by the non-lifting portions of the aircraft, such as the landing gear, missiles, and fuel tanks.

Ok – here’s the big picture.  In order to fly, a jet’s lift must exceed drag. The less drag, the easier it flies.

Let’s look at this in fighter combat. When evading missiles or engaging another fighter, one of the first things you must do is jettison your stores. You have to get rid of all the parasite drag hanging from the jet that’s not critical to immediate, fast flight. Fuel tanks and bombs, for example, go. This reduces your weight while simultaneously reducing drag, allowing the fighter to be much more maneuverable to avoid getting shot down.

Simply put, if you don’t need it, you drop it.

What ‘parasites’ do you have dragging you down and stopping you from reaching new heights in your life?  Do you find yourself unable to avoid life’s the missiles because you have too much weighing you down?

Parasites are the negative relationships that sap your energy and time. They are also the fears, doubts, mental baggage, and self-limiting beliefs that strangle your ability to take action. Parasites suck the life out of you. They can drag you down emotionally and hold you back from being a successful leader.

Do you have any of that “hanging around?”

We all have parasite drag in our life and we know it.  We’re just not aware that we have it, or we put off doing anything about it until our own personal “missiles” begin to fly.  The problem is if we’re dragged down too much, the missiles will hit us.

What are you holding on to that you really need to let go of?

Here’s my advice.  Jettison your parasites now!

Are you willing to jettison what’s dragging you down so you can become more fulfilled and successful? Perhaps it’s an unhealthy relationship, laziness, or a private addiction such as TV, gambling, or even that sugar fix you seem to always crave.  Or maybe it’s a bad job that is bringing you down or a fear of failure that is stopping you from starting a new business.

Want to find what gives lift in your life? Look at what drives your passion. Look at the relationships and activities that get you excited and energized and ready to “push it up” in life. Then, pursue them relentlessly. Seek what gives you life.

When flight planning for success, winners have an ability to get rid of distractions and focus on action that leads to positive results. They also surround themselves with people who challenge them.  If you want to be a success, spend time with people that lift you up to greater heights. They are your wingmen.  Folks who have the courage and compassion to tell it like it is.  They won’t settle for your excuses, but they will also inspire you and give you hope.

So, how do you attract these type of people into your life? You do it by giving your time, advice, and hope to those in need.  You become a wingman to others and help them to fly to greater heights. You do the hard work to build your own character before expecting it of others. This is the core of leadership. When you do this, wingmen will naturally be attracted to you. They will feel comfortable coming to you for help and you will slowly but surely find yourself surrounded by people you trust. As I always say, never fly solo.

Leadership Wingtip:
Leaders push themselves up, while pulling others up.
Discipline, hard work, and productive relationships are the lifts in life that overcome the parasite drags of unhealthy relationships, addictions and complacency. They are your tools to conquer mediocrity and live with courage. They will help you to win.  Don’t leave them from your flight plan.

If you want to reach new heights in business and life, make sure you do whatever it takes to maximize your lift and minimize your drag. Not only will you avoid the missiles, but you’ll hit your target as well!

 
 
Jun 26, 2008
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Apr 1, 2008

In LEADERSHIP/ TEAMWORK
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Be a WingGiver

“We’re each of us Angels, with only one wing, and we can only fly embracing each other”
Luciano de Crescenzo

It’s 25 April at 1:30 am and I just turned 39!

As I celebrate the start of my birthday, I can’t help but think about how awesome of a year it’s been for me. So many great victories and exciting opportunities that were a direct result of you…my wingmen! You’ve supported me, instructed me, and most of all, encouraged me. You gave me a wing when I needed it most. (special plug for mom, dad, and my twin brother Dave – yes…there are two Waldos!)

 

Today, I would ask you to ponder those people in your lives who gave you that extra wing when you had only one. Who pushed you to take action when you were immobilized by your fear and doubt…Who made that ‘out of the blue’ phone call to you just when you needed it most…Who ‘checked your six’ and saw your blind spots…Who told you to ‘break right’ before you got shot down…

Little things make a huge difference in our lives.

More importantly, I would like to ask you to reflect on how willing you are to lend a wing to your co-workers, customers, family, and friends when they need it the most. You see, in order to find wingmen in your lives, you have to be a wingman. In order to find courage, you have to give it to others.

So – earn your wings every day and then give one away. Be a WingGiver. Do something…anything…that can make a difference in someone’s life. Give someone hope, courage, guidance, love…these are the wingman’s tools that give meaning to our missions…the tools that help us to fly.

Wishing you peace on my Birthday and always.

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)


 
Apr 1, 2008
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Mar 25, 2008

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE/ TEAMWORK
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COMMIT COMMIT! Where Discipline Meets Action

COMMIT COMMIT!

December 21st, 1998 – a brisk winter day in Saudi Arabia. I was stationed on my first combat deployment, flying missions enforcing the Iraqi southern no-fly zone.

I was scheduled to take off on only the fourth combat sortie of my career, inexperienced and quite nervous. It was a mission I’ll never forget.

I was flying that day with my flight lead Lt Col “Hos” Hyatt, the commander of the 79th Fighter Squadron Tigers. Our “2 ship” of F-16’s were charged with “sanitizing” the airspace of any enemy aircraft that might be crossing the restricted area. It could have been a routine patrol – or not.

Suddenly, our radios blared with an urgent call from the radar ground controller, “Viper flight, you’ve got a MIG-23 150 miles off your nose headed south…hostile, hostile!”

This meant the MIG had crossed the no fly zone and was headed towards us and the fuel tankers we were in charge of protecting. A split second later, my headset erupted with a call from Hos.

“Viper flight, COMMIT, COMMIT!”

Almost unconsciously, I pushed up my throttle to afterburner and started to climb as I struggled to stay in perfect formation with Hos. There was no turning back. We were going after that MIG.

With those two words, “Commit, Commit,” my destiny was set in motion that day. No time to think – there was simply time to react. I was trained for that moment and my instantaneous choice was really quite clear: it was time to “commit.”

 

My heart raced. The intensity was beyond words. Quite frankly, there was a part of me that asked, “Am I ready to do this? Will I get shot at? What if my engine fails?”

In the moment, doubt crept in.

But deep down, I knew I was ready and I was mentally and emotionally prepared. Otherwise I had no business being in that jet. Aborting that mission was not an option – period. I had a job to do. All of my military training boiled down to this one moment and I simply had to trust my wingman, stay in position, and execute the briefed plan. It was time to act.

That moment may have come in the extreme of combat, but it was really no different than the “call to duty” we all face in everyday life and business.

Do you have the discipline and training to commit to action in your life – to “push it up” and go after your target with confidence? Perhaps it’s the challenge of raising a family, a new job opportunity, going for a promotion, embarking on a fitness regimen or a “serious” diet, or the trust and rigors that come from of a relationship. The actions you take once you commit will determine the quality of your outcome.

If you’re not ready to commit, no problem. Perhaps it’s not the right time, or you just need more time.

But, if you really are committed to take action in your life, then you better have the discipline to do what it takes to commit with confidence and a foster that level of trust others can count on.

True commitment only exists when it is aligned with action. Action that is based on disciplined preparation, laser sharp focus, and most of all – courage, the sort of courage that says even though you may get “shot at” – you will carry on regardless! This is the reality of flying fighters in combat, and it is also the reality of leading a life of passion that is based on commitment and action.

Bottom line, before you commit to anything, you have to risk getting “shot at.” You have to be willing to work and sacrifice. Let’s face it, it’s not easy to commit. If it were, everybody would be doing it!

My good friend Dirk Jones does 110 push ups every morning and he’s in the gym more than I am. Dirk is 73. He’s committed to staying fit and takes action to do so every day.

I recently spoke to people from an amazing retail management company named Jones Lang LaSalle. Last year, a severe tornado ripped through one of their properties in Memphis – the Hickory Ridge Mall. Petrified, one of the employees refused to evacuate the building. But Pat Jacobs, the mall’s GM, stayed behind and risked his life to make sure she was safe. Another wingman named Barry Woods drove eight hours and spent three weeks with his co-workers to help them recover from the disaster.

Barry and Pat were committed to serving their wingmen at JLL. They took action and it made a deep difference for their company.

So, here’s the wingtip: The ability to face our fears, harness courage, and commit to action when the stakes are high is made a lot easier when we act in service to others. More importantly, when we have a trusted partner on our wing backing us up, it gives us courage to press on.

Hos was on my wing. Who is on yours?

Mar 25, 2008
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Sep 1, 2007

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE
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LOSE SIGHT, LOSE FIGHT: How Focused Vision Leads To Victory

We have a saying in the fighter pilot world, “lose sight, lose fight.” Lose sight for just a second of the ground or aerial target, and chances are you’ll lose the fight (i.e. miss the target or get shot down). It takes intense concentration, discipline, and focus to keep sight. Your vision is only as good as how well you see the immediate target.

We’ve all heard the experts talk about vision. Vision paints an inspiring picture of what an organization can become and gives us something to believe in, work towards, and identify with. Warren Bennis calls it ‘a compelling goal.’ When we have a vision, we’re naturally driven to achieve it and it inspires us to action every day. It gives meaning to our mission as it provides a purpose in all we do.

 

Henry David Thoreau once stated, “In the long run people hit only what they aim at.” He was onto something here. The key word is ‘aim.’ Aim requires focus, and lack of focus is a huge factor that leads to failure. Most of us have a decent vision of where we’re going. But in my experience, it’s rare to find someone with a clear and laser-sharp focus who has the discipline to stay on target to achieve this vision. Long term vision is great, but it’s useless unless you stay on target every day and not become distracted by non mission critical items.

“Beware of Distractions Disguised as Opportunities.”

This gets to the core of why focus is so critical to success. Focus guides us in the daily activities which lead to the accomplishment of our vision. Think about it. You’re entrenched in writing an awesome sales proposal and the phone rings. You’re practicing your sales pitch to that huge prospect and an e-mail pops up ‘demanding’ an immediate response. You’ve just sat down to plan tomorrow’s schedule and your friend calls to discuss a relationship issue.

One second you’re ready for action, the next, you’re off target trying to deal with an ‘opportunity’ which is simply a distraction designed to help you lose focus on what’s important. What you do at that moment is critical.

I’m not saying blow off everything other than the task at hand. But if you’re serious about success, you better have your mission priorities straight and multi-task only items that support the immediate mission. Real leaders are great at this.

Vision without focus is like a combat mission without an objective. You fly around going after targets of opportunity but in the end never accomplish anything.

The key to keeping focused is establishing parameters and boundaries for your activities and staying disciplined.

  • Silence the phone, shut down outlook, and lock the door to your office.
  • Have focus sessions – u p to 50 mins of uninterrupted time when you’re focused on a single task.
  • Delegate, delay, or ignore non-mission critical tasks.
  • Hire wingmen and outsource these tasks.

Staying focused is difficult and requires intense training and discipline, something that fighter pilots rely on to win in competitive and rapidly changing environments. In today’s world of changing technology, constant communication, and ‘I need it now’ mentality, the difference between Top Gun and average is focus.

I hope I made my point clear icon wink: LOSE SIGHT, LOSE FIGHT: How Focused Vision Leads To Victory

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)


 
Sep 1, 2007
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Aug 1, 2007

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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LABOR DAY: A Salute to Those that Work It Now

I just started re-reading certain chapters of one of my favorite books…Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It’s an amazing book that emphasizes the power of our thoughts in creating our reality (in particular when it comes to business).

I definitely believe in the power of our minds, and the control we have over our success. But as I read through certain chapters I started thinking of the most successful people I know and what created their success. If I had to boil it down to a simple concept, here’s what it would be: HARD WORK!

 

Look, I don’t want to bash the philosophers and thought leaders who preach the power of our thoughts in creating success. But I think that many of us refuse to grasp the concept of hard work in creating results.

Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t think himself to winning Mr. Olympia 7 times. Yes, he thought about winning it, but then got about the arduous task of hitting the weights and dieting like a mad man.

Thomas Edison, one of the most prolific scientists and inventors in history, didn’t think himself to inventing the light bulb or phonograph. Yes, he came up with the idea first, but then worked sleepless nights and experimented for years before finally creating each one.

The best salespeople don’t think themselves to success. Yes, they envision being the best, but then read the books, attend the seminars, practice the cold calls, solicit criticism, and fail and fail and fail before becoming Top Gun sales people.

The winners in life create the reality of their future in their minds, but then TAKE ACTION to make it happen. They understand that WIN Stands for Work It Now, and realize the beautiful premise that in order to win, sometimes you just have to sweat and sacrifice. (By the way, please note the first 3 letters of wingman are WIN!)

I want to write a book, WORK AND GROW RICH, but I doubt people will buy it!

Which brings me to my final point. This weekend we celebrate Labor Day, a holiday I love because it celebrates those (past and present) who work for the American Dream. Our great country was built on the sweat and sacrifice of Americans who got up one day and said, “I’m going to work my butt off today and make a difference.”

This weekend, I hope you’ll spend some of that money you earned working it now! Thank yourself and your co-workers, family, and friends for thinking (and working) your way to success.

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)


 
Aug 1, 2007
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Jul 3, 2007

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE
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The Meaning of the 4th of July: A Wingman’s Perspective

 am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of light and glory; I can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph. John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776

Tomorrow is the 4th of July. My ‘orders’ from my trusted wingman and business associate John Harrington is to relax. I plan on doing so.

But when I look up into the sky and see the fireworks, I won’t relax. I can never relax. And neither should you.

 

For while the fireworks are dazzling and beautiful to the eye, what they symbolize is far from that. They symbolize the ‘rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air’ as Americans fought for our freedom. They symbolize sacrifice. They symbolize those who stood up for principles…who didn’t shirk from their responsibility – their DUTY – to fight for what is right.

These were real wingmen, without which we would not be able to enjoy what freedoms we have today. Do you think the average terrorist knows how much blood was spent to bring America the ‘spoils’ it so rightly enjoys today?

Here’s the real tragedy – many Americans don’t even know (or appreciate) what our forefathers endeared to allow us to sit by a pool with a beer and our friends…in peace. We curse America as we feverishly consume its riches.

Where has patriotism gone in America? It saddens me.

We’ve lost touch with what the stars and stripes mean. It’s not greed – it’s a gift. It’s not sin – it’s sacrifice. It’s a reminder that freedom is never free. And as the doors of America are flooded with immigrants clawing their way into this country, let’s not forget how truly blessed we are.

If you don’t believe the words above, then please remove yourself from this newsletter. For you’ll never grasp the concept of the wingman. The concept that says, “I AM HERE FOR YOU WHEN YOU CALL OUT FOR HELP. PREPARED, READY TO SERVE, COMPASSIONATE, I WILL STEP UP AND DO WHAT IS RIGHT!

When I look up at the fireworks, I will gaze beyond to the stars and say a prayer for those who gave and those who currently give…in and out of uniform. Folks like you and me. Free Americans.

I hope you’ll join me.

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)


 

 
Jul 3, 2007
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Jun 1, 2007

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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CUSTOMER SERVICE: Are you a WingNut or a Wingman?

I recently moved into a new town home in the quaint community of Vinings ~20 minutes outside of Atlanta. I have been checking out the local business establishments and wanted to share a few experiences.

Scenario #1: Searching for a new local chiropractor
Location: “The Joint” (www.thejoint.com)
Overview: It was my first visit. The young receptionist didn’t welcome me or say hello. Her first words were “Name, please” as she searched the computer for my records. When she realized I wasn’t in the system (I had to tell her it was my first visit), she handed me paperwork and said “fill this out.” No eye contact. I felt like I was in-processing at basic training. When I told the owner owner/chiropractor of the business (Dr. Fred Gerretzen) that his receptionist’s customer service was lacking and that she needed training, his response was “Well, don’t let the door hit you in the a_ _!!” I couldn’t believe what I just heard. I left shaking my head.
Conclusion: Dr. Fred is a Wingnut! I will never go to “The Joint” for any chiropractic work and neither will anyone I know. Why? Because I don’t trust him and he has no people skills. Here’s the bottom line, if Dr. Fred treats his prospects this way, what kind of attention to detail will he pay when he evaluates and adjusts my back??! (BTW – I don’t blame the receptionist for her poor service. It’s the bosses responsibility to make sure his staff is trained. (He obviously he has no clue what customer service means.)

 

Scenario #2: I needed my Wingman flight suit repaired
LocationClaude’s Tailoring & Alterations; 3222 Cobb Parkway, Atlanta; 770-952-7711
Overview: This is a small custom tailor shop that specializes in tuxedo rentals and alterations. I entered the door, and was greeted with a smile by Mr. Claude Clark, “Hello, Sir! How can I help you today?” I told him I had a seam in my flight suit that needed repair. “Be right back” he said and returned in 5 minutes with the flight suit repaired. The charge: $0!! He said simply to keep him in mind if I ever need a tuxedo to rent or some custom work done. (BTW – Claude is the owner!)
Conclusion: Claude Lark is a Wingman! He knows the meaning of customer service. I have been back 3 times and was met with the same focus and positive attitude. When I told Claude how much I appreciated his service, he told me that when he bought the company 5 years ago, he made a commitment to focus on the customer. Today, Claude’s sales (and customers) have doubled. Guess what? I tell all my friends about Claude and his great service!

Are you treating your prospects with respect and gratitude? When they walk in your door and give you feedback on your service, do you listen or do you turn them away by telling them you “hope the door doesn’t hit them in the a_ _?”

When someone walks in your doors for the first time, they are not a customer. They are only a prospect.It’s up to you to convert them to customers and keep them loyal.

Being a business wingman is about trust. It’s about trusting your vendor, supplier, or even a chiropractor that they will deliver the best possible service. Listening to your customer’s feedback and then taking action to improve is how you keep your current customers loyal. It’s also how you build trust in your prospects which converts them to customers.

In business, everything counts. Be a Wingman, not a Wingnut!

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)


 
Jun 1, 2007
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May 1, 2007

In TEAMWORK
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Memorial Day 2007: Remembering our Fallen Wingmen

It’s 7:00 pm on a warm and sunny day in Atlanta. It’s Memorial Day, 2007, and like many of you, I had a great time at a barbeque/pool party with some friends. We shared some laughs, good food, and relaxed. Life is good.

As citizens in the U.S. and abroad, it’s easy to forget those who have paid the ultimate price so that we can live free. We go about our lives and reap the benefits of the sweat and sacrifice of others. From the young soldier in the War of Independence, to the fighter pilot over Nazi Germany, to the infantrymen in Iraq, they were the ultimate wingmen who literally gave up their wings so that others could fly. Memorial Day gives us the opportunity to really be thankful for the blessings we have as a result of their service.

 

But to me, Memorial Day means more than just paying homage to our fallen comrades. It meansremembering what they fought for. As a veteran myself, it means doing my part every day to appreciate my freedom. For I believe we honor those who have sacrificed for us by living honorable lives…lives worth fighting for. By demonstrating the attributes of courage, generosity, loyalty, and compassion, we give meaning to their mission.

Memorial Day also means remembering to love and appreciate those who fight for us today – in and out of uniform. From our parents who gave us knowledge, to our friends who give us courage, to our mentors who give us direction…these are the wingmen who give us wings to fly our tough missions in life. Let’s not wait to remember them after they have fallen. Let them know how much you appreciate them today.

BTW – if you’re looking for a unique charity in honor of our troops, check out www.fisherhouse.org. Fisher House has made support to service men and women hospitalized as a result of their service in Iraq or Afghanistan, and their families, its highest priority.

Remember, wingman is a state of mind, not a job title. It’s a disciplined, determined, and passionate approach towards living your life every day. Each day, set some time aside to ‘remember.’ Then, dosomething to give hope, courage, or strength to someone who needs it. This is how we can truly pay homage to those who have given us so much.

Wishing you peace from the inside out…

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)


 
May 1, 2007
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Mar 1, 2007

In LEADERSHIP
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TUMBLEWEED: Building Trust through Effective Communication

Lack of communication can take the most carefully laid plans and destroy them with the corrosion of doubt. It can transform the most confident person into a “second-guesser” and that’s bad for everyone on your team.

I remember flying a combat mission in Iraq when I lost radio contact with my wingmen. I was flying in the “dark.” Having no radio contact at 20,000 feet and separated from my wingmen by 10 miles on a night combat mission in hostile territory was not an ideal situation. What if I lost my engine or was engaged by ground fire? How could I call for help? Was something wrong with my radios?

 

I was quickly reduced to a ‘second guesser’ filled with doubt and fear, and fear kills the warrior spirit! I felt clueless. This is the state that fighter pilots call “Tumbleweed” – having limited to no situational awareness (SA) and barely hanging on.

Suddenly my back-up radio blared with the terse (yet comforting) sound of my flight lead, “2, come up frequency 239.9.” I realized then that I had accidentally typed in the wrong frequency of 233.9! I was relieved! My flight lead continued, “Vipers, check!” We responded in a crisp, monotone cadence, “2, 3, 4.” With a brief position update, Viper flight was now marching to the same beat. We had SA. We were ready for battle.

Looking back, it was a single act that changed everything. One second, I was in the dark, unknowing, afraid and full of doubt – a “second guesser” with no SA. Then, with the crackle of the radio and the reassuring sound of my flight lead, I was back in the game and had re-gained situational awareness – just like that!

Communication is not important, it’s critical. This holds true in every walk of life whether in business or combat. Communication keeps wingmen focused on their responsibilities and builds situational awareness in rapidly changing environments. It makes or breaks a mission. It’s all based on trust.

Here’s the kicker. Great communication doesn’t just happen. You build a framework that assures it. You train for it, and then you hold everyone accountable to it!

On every mission, fighter pilots and top businesspersons should:

  1. Brief the mission to establish and communicate objectives, delegate responsibilities, analyze threats, and review contingency plans.
  2. Establish a communication plan (a “Comm Plan”) by confirming when and where to change frequencies.
  3. Brief a back-up plan in case communication fails (known as “radio-out” procedures).
  4. Ensure positive two-way communication is established between wingmen during critical elements of a mission.
  5. Debrief every mission to review lessons learned and reinforce training.

– Do you have a “Comm Plan” with your wingmen?
– Are you taking the time to brief your sales, IT, or marketing missions?
– Do you ensure all team members are on the same wave length and understand their roles, responsibilities, and objectives?
– Are you aware of those wingmen that may be on the wrong frequency with no SA (Tumbleweed) and do you have a plan to get them back on frequency?

Leaving any of your wingmen in the dark guarantees one thing – that you’ll have “second guessers” on the team making decisions on their own that might not be in the best interests of the mission and the other wingmen involved. Communication is the conduit of teamwork and is the basis for all trust. Without it, a team is useless.

Checking in with your wingmen and making sure they’re on the right frequency, listening to their questions, and understanding their challenges are fundamental components of teamwork, leadership and trust. When people’s problems are acknowledged and they know who to go to for help (and that it’s okay to ask for help!) they are more likely to admit mistakes to their wingmen (supervisors and/or peers) and reveal situations that can adversely effect the accomplishment of a mission.

Most importantly, they will trust that someone on their team will heed the wingman’s call for action which is “I need help!”

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)


 
Mar 1, 2007
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Feb 1, 2007

In LEADERSHIP/ TEAMWORK
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Walk the Flight Line: Get Dirty with Your Troops

When your squadron commander meets you at your jet, it’s normally not a good sign. “Waldo, we need to talk,” he said as he headed for the aircraft hangar. Had I messed up? Was I in trouble? I gulped. Was something wrong at home?

“Waldo, Sgt. Tyler told me what happened before you took off this afternoon, and I am not impressed.” In an instant I knew what he was referring to.

 

Just a few hours earlier before taking off on a training mission, I had reprimanded my 22 year old crew F-16 chief for shorting me 500 lbs of fuel. My wing tanks just wouldn’t feed and there was nothing he could do. It didn’t matter to me. My mission was going to be cut short and I was upset…it reflected in my tone of voice and I unintentionally insulted him.

The commander continued, “Waldo, I’m taking you off the flying schedule tomorrow, and I want you to dig out your oldest flight suit. You’re spending the day on the flight line with the crew chiefs.”

That day was the longest of my career. I was up at the crack of dawn and didn’t stop for twelve hours—fueling jets, inspecting engines, and inventorying aircraft parts. By the end of the day I was exhausted. I smelled of jet fuel and my flight suit was trashed, a huge grease spot down the length of each pant leg.
Despite the negatives, walking the flight line gave me an appreciation of what the maintenance troops go through to make sure the jets of the 79th Fighter Squadron are mission ready. It also gave me the opportunity to get to know them on a personal level. Without their sacrifice, there would be no mission.

Are you getting out there with your troops and walking the flight line? Do you know their issues, gripes, and personal concerns? Are you spending time with your IT staff to see the hoops they have to jump through to make sure your web site, computers, and software are up to speed? Do you walk the factory floor and talk to the quality assurance inspector about the challenges she may be facing? Have you ever spent a day with your channel partners and joined them on a few sales calls?

William James, a well known psychologist, said that the desire to be appreciated is one of the deepest drives in human nature. Knowing that our contribution is valued gives us fuel to crank our engines to afterburner when the heat is on and the missiles of business and life come zinging our way.

You don’t need a formal title to do the things that great leaders do. Here are a few examples:

  • Take one person out to lunch each week from a department other than your own.
  • Schedule an (unannounced) “squadron tour.” Visit your various “shops,” and—casually, in a way that doesn’t put anyone on the spot—randomly interview your wingmen.
  • Sit in on a strategy session with your marketing team or a weekly budget update with a project manager.

Walking the flight line builds your credibility and effectiveness as a leader. When you know the job details and understand the challenges your wingmen face, you’ll be far better prepared to deal with human resource issues such as hiring, firing, and job moves.

What results is a more trusting work environment. Your coworkers and employees will be more likely toapproach you with their problems, because you know what it’s like to walk the flight line in their shoes. They’ll view you as a wingman, a trusted partner, and will see that you care—not by your philosophy but by your action. Sure, you may have to get a little dirty, but the rewards are well worth it!

See you on the flight line…

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)


 
Feb 1, 2007
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Dec 1, 2006

In TEAMWORK
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Find your Ivan: A New Year’s Message from the Wingman

POSTED BY WALDO WALDMAN ON DECEMBER – 1 – 2006

A few weeks ago I lost a friend. Most of you don’t know him, and you never will.

His name was Ivan Weinstock. And he was a wingman.

Ivan was a consultant to OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety) and was instrumental in having me become a columnist for the magazine. I met him and his wife Sheila at the 2005 Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) Conference. An Air Force veteran, Ivan was inspired by my wingman message of trust and could relate to it. But it was actually Ivan who inspired me. You see, Ivan epitomized everything about being a wingman, and his countless friends will tell you so.

 

Ivan gave unselfishly. He was intensely passionate about helping others and making the world a better place. He gave his time freely and never expected anything in return. Most importantly, he always had a smile on his face.

Before he passed away, Ivan gave his friend a list of people to call to say goodbye. Even at the end, he was a wingman.

Ivan made me think a lot about my relationships. He made me realize that I often don’t take enough time to call or reach out to the people in my life that are special to me. I get so bogged down with work that I forget about my relationships. The days fly by and before I know it, another year has passed by. I mean, what am I fighting for?

Sound familiar?

As we celebrate this holiday season, ask yourself who the ‘Ivans’ are in your life that you need to call.Don’t wait until it’s too late…and don’t stop come 2 January!

Make it a point to connect with at least one friend, customer, and family member every day in 2007 and beyond. Find your ‘Ivans!’ Make them feel good about who they are…and mean it when you tell them.

We all want to be appreciated. It fuels our soul and gives us courage to engage the challenges of life. Ivan gave that gift to me and everyone he came in contact with. And I would like to offer it to you as we start a brand new year filled with wonderful opportunities, health, and peace.

Thanks for being our wingman Ivan. We’ll miss you.

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)


 
Dec 1, 2006
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Oct 1, 2006

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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I Have the Aircraft! – Where Accountability Meets Action

You’re at 20,000 feet and 550 knots in your F-16 and your instructor pilot (IP) just demonstrated a perfect offensive BFM (Basic Fighter Maneuver) engagement. Now, it’s your turn to show him what you’ve learned.

He yells out on the radio, ‘You have the aircraft!

You respond, “Roger Sir, I have the aircraft!” and waits for you to shake the stick (meaning you’re now in control.)

 

Are you really ready to fly that $30 million piece of machinery? Are you prepared, focused, and confident? Are you mission ready? Well, let’s hope so. Because when you say “I have the aircraft,” you better be!

Everyday at work you’re given the aircraft to fly. RFP’s, contract reviews, sales meetings, marketing strategy, cold calls, etc…Are you ready to step up and fly?

“I have the aircraft” means:

  • You’re prepared – you’ve taken the time to study, chair-fly, and contingency plan
  • You’ll follow the mission through to completion – you’re committed
  • You’re willing to relinquish control if/when you need to – you know you’re wingmen and can ask for help
  • You’ll admit when you’re wrong – you have integrity and understand the mission comes first…not your ego!

Saying “I have the aircraft” means YOU OWN THE RESULTS and are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the mission. It’s all about accountability.

Successful companies have dedicated wingmen who want to fly the toughest missions. They seek responsibility rather than shirk it. Why? Because they have paid the price in training and have the discipline and focus to win. More importantly, they are committed to the mission and to results.

Are you one of these wingmen? Hmmm…That’s what I thought icon wink: I Have the Aircraft!   Where Accountability Meets Action

Ok…”You have the aircraft!

I’ll see you at 20,000 feet.

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)


 
Oct 1, 2006
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Sep 1, 2006

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE
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MAY DAY…MAY DAY!!

“We’re each of us angels with one wing, and can only fly by embracing each other”
Luciano De Crecenzo

Mayday is the universally recognized call of distress. It’s a call you never want to make, but it could be the most important call of your life.

Fighter pilots use it during extreme emergency situations – when we lose an engine, are getting prepared to eject from an un-flyable aircraft, or even when witnessing an emergency of one of our wingmen.

Mayday translates to I Need Help…NOW!!

 

As we reflect this week on those brave men and women who lost their lives 5 years ago during the 9-11 attacks, we can’t help but think of their families and loved ones, and the tremendous impact they had on the entire world.

While 9-11 bore witness to terror and evil, it also shed light on the amazing sacrifices of those who literally gave their limbs and lives so that others may live. From policemen, firemen, emergency nurses, and city officials, to every day citizens reaching out a hand of help, we saw how selfless others could be in the face of real danger. They heeded the wingman’s call to action – I NEED HELP – and delivered with bravery and honor.

Being a wingman in life means being a person others can come to for help…it means when someone calls out Mayday to you, you’re there…ready for action!

  • Are you there for others when they call out ‘Mayday’ to you?
  • Are you willing to ask for help when you really need it?
  • Are you a WingGiver – a person who gives freely, unconditionally, and with love?

When we give of ourselves and put others first, we change the world one person at a time.

When we reach out our hand to those who may be in the ‘dungeon’ of life and pull them up, we plant seeds of hope and courage that blossom into joy and fulfillment. It is a gift that costs no money and enriches lives. Most importantly, it is how we can show gratitude to our fallen wingmen of 9-11, and pay tribute to their sacrifice.

I wish you all the best, and may all your Maydays lead to Paydays!

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)


 
Sep 1, 2006
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Jul 1, 2006

In PEAK PERFORMANCE/ TEAMWORK
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ENGAGED vs. SUPPORTING: What’s your Business Role?

“Survival is when you’re focused on the competition. 
Winning is when you’re focused on the customer!”
Waldo Waldman

Many of you have heard me emphasize that no fighter pilot ever flies a combat mission solo. We always fly as a team – with our wingmen. It’s impossible to win solo because the missions are very complex and change so rapidly. As a unified team, we assign roles and responsibilities to each member of the formation, train accordingly, and finally – hold each other accountable!

 

During an air to ground ‘engagement’ when seeking to eliminate a ground target (power station, bridge, etc.), there is always an engaged fighter pilot and a supporting fighter pilot.

The engaged fighter:

  • acquires the target
  • sets up the geometry for the ‘attack’; &
  • dispenses ordnance

The supporting fighter:

  • monitors fuel state
  • keeps track of emergency airfields
  • listens on the radio for intelligence updates
  • ‘clears’ the area for enemy aircraft or ground threats

Mutual support is the key phrase here.

The engaged fighter must be focused on one thing and one thing only – The Target!! The supporting fighter allows him/her to stay focused on the target by preventing distractions (i.e. the competition). For if the engaged fighter loses focus of the target – even for a split second – the mission could fail. That’s why we have a saying in the fighter pilot world – lose sight, lose fight!!!

This whole process is choreographed and rehearsed during the most critical phase of the planning process – the mission briefing. It is during the briefing when objectives are established, roles are assigned, and contingency plans (the what-if’s) are made. More often than not, a great briefing leads to a great mission.

Look at your business and you’ll see the same dynamics at work. If you’re in sales, you are the engaged fighter when performing a cold call, delivering a sales presentation, or negotiating a contract. Your supporting fighters are your inside sales team, customer service, sales manager, and marketing – each providing intelligence and sales tools to allow you to win.

As an IT manager, you’re the engaged fighter with a target/mission to ensure your network infrastructure, software applications and operating systems up and running 100% of the time. Your supporting fighters are your system administrators, developers, HR department to ensure training, R&D, vendors, and project managers.

Whenever you become distracted from your primary target – your customer – you transition from winning to surviving. And we all know that winning is a lot more fun than surviving!

You must stay focused and coordinated as a team to win! Understanding each other’s roles, being 100% accountable and prepared, and knowing who to turn to for help are critical to your ability to be flexible and defeat the ‘business missiles’ that are being launched on you every day.

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)


 
Jul 1, 2006
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Jun 1, 2006

In PEAK PERFORMANCE
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10 Steps to a Top Gun Sales Call

I’ve got a secret for you. The best fighter pilots aren’t those who ‘pull the most G’s’, fly the fastest low levels, or perform the best aerobatics. The best (the Top Guns) are the ones who discipline themselves toconsistently follow tried and tested processes.

Whether it is radar mechanics, surface attack tactics, or low altitude navigation, the key to peak performance in highly volatile and challenging environments is following critical processes and training accordingly.

 

The same holds true for sales. Average salespeople reap above average results when they follow a tailored process and execute it as flawlessly as possible. It’s not brain surgery! It takes disciplined preparation, resilience, and above all, an incredible drive to win!

Whether you’re making a cold call or visiting a prospect for the first time, here are 10 steps you can follow to ensure a successful mission.

Mission Preparation

  1. Attitude Determines Altitude – Get your mind right! Know your objective for the call and get pumped up. Enthusiasm breeds confidence and confidence absorbs fear. Focus on the mission – the customer!
  2. Gather Intelligence – Study websites, press releases, vendors, and your competition. What questions will you ask to qualify/disqualify this lead? How can you differentiate yourself from the competition?
  3. Contingency Plan – Ask ‘what-if’ ???’s and have answers to objections. What if they challenge me with price? What if they are engaged with another vendor? Who can I turn to for help?
  4. “Chair Fly” – Mentally rehearse the call…delivering your value proposal, asking the right questions, and rebutting concerns.
  5. Brief the Mission – Review and confirm your objectives, questions, rebuttals, clients, intelligence, and contingencies. Revisit step 1, strap in and take-off!

Mission Execution

  1. LISTEN! Follow the “3 Q’s”: Question – Qualify – Quiet! Learn about your prospect. Don’t over-react to objections. Smile and be flexible.
  2. Take notes – Record every detail. You can’t remember everything. This intelligence is critical to your follow-up game plan. Do you have one?
  3. Abort Decision – Know when to press on with a call and when to abort it. Don’t get shot down! When your objective is met and/or when you feel the prospect is no longer willing to listen, end the call. Reengage in the future.

Mission Debrief

  1. Debrief the call – Review positives & negatives. What went right or wrong? What were the lessons learned? Why did they happen? How can you/your training be improved or revised?
  2. Follow-up/Follow-through – What’s the next step? Don’t just follow-up. Be a trusted resource!Exceed expectations – send information, articles, or referrals to your prospect that can help them. Finally, stay in touch.

Do you have any Top Gun Sales Processes that you would like to share with others? E-Mail me the details. I will compile a list, send it out in next month’s newsletter and give you the credit!

Becoming a top gun pilot or salesperson takes work and sacrifice. But the rewards are worth it. The key is keeping the focus on those you are serving – your customer – and building trust in the most importantwingman in your life – yourself!

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)

Jun 1, 2006
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Jan 1, 2006

In TEAMWORK
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BREAK RIGHT! How to Survive the Missiles of Business and Life

POSTED BY WALDO WALDMAN ON JANUARY – 1 – 2006

Picture this – You’re on a combat mission in the no-fly zone in southern Iraq at 19,000 feet. Your wingmanis 2 miles away directly to your left. Suddenly, you hear him scream over the radio. “Break Right, Break Right! Missile launch your 6 O’clock!!

Instinctively, you crank the stick to the right, bank the aircraft 90 degrees, and pull back as hard as you can as the g forces compress you back into the seat. You lower the nose, go to afterburner, and dispense chaff to break the radar lock. Luckily for you, it runs out of energy and detonates 1,000 feet from your. You survived!

 

Just another day in the life of the fighter pilot…

What do you think made surviving that attack possible?

  1. Without hesitation, you took your wingman’s advice when he said ‘break right!”
  2. You successfully applied the evasive maneuver procedures.
  3. Your wingman never lost sight of you.

Each day, you’re flying missions at work and at home. They may not be as intense as combat, but the pressures and threats are just as real. The key to winning these missions lies with your wingmen – your trusted partners. They can be your coworkers, your supervisors, your spouse or your best friend.

Are you aware of the wingmen in your life? Are you backing each other up, ‘checking-6’ for threats, and calling out ‘break right” when necessary? Most importantly, when your wingman says ‘break right’, will you:

  1. Heed their call? Or,
  2. Question them, doubt their credibility, or resent them for judging you?

The choice you make in that moment is critical. Heed the call and avoid getting shot down. Or, ignore the warning and you or someone you know may get hurt.

Being a wingman implies shared responsibility. You not only need to listen (and act) when you hear “Break Right,” you need to be willing to call it out as well. A good wingman checks your blind spots for threats and will also recognize when you’re not functioning at “maximum performance.” They don’t hesitate to call out a “Break Right” in order to help you refocus on the mission and perhaps avoid a fatal business (or life) mistake.

The key is self leadershipaccountability, and trusting those working beside you. It means beingopen to feedback and heeding the warning calls that your wingmen may send you. Then, by taking action (re-focusing your attention and adjusting your flight path), you’ll avoid the missiles, get back on target and continue the mission safely and effectively.

So I invite you – my fellow wingmen – to look around the skies and identify those wingmen that may need to hear you say “break right!” Just as important, keep an ear out for their calls too. Your co-workers, customers, and even your family may depend on it.

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)


 
Jan 1, 2006
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Dec 1, 2005

In TEAMWORK
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What Is A Wingman?

In the world of the fighter pilot, being a wingman means you’re trusted to go to battle…it means you’re mission ready. It’s a position of honor that incurs tremendous responsibility and sacrifice, but it also comes with incredible rewards. You have to earn the right to be a wingman, and it’s a bi-product of sacrifice and many hours of hard work.

Being a wingman in business and life also has to be earned. It means you are someone others can count on to get the job done. It means you’re prepared, responsible, compassionate, and disciplined. When you’re awingman, you are someone others can come to and ask for help. This also incurs great responsibility and is a position that should not be taken lightly. Nonetheless, it too has tremendous rewards.

 

As you begin to “Push it up” in 2006, take some time and ask yourself:

  1. Who are my wingmen? Who can I count on to help me deal with the proverbial ‘missiles of life’ that are being shot at me every day?
  2. Who am I a wingman for? Who needs me in their life? Who depends on me to make their life a little easier?

Reach out to these wingmen and let them know how much you appreciate them, and re-affirm your commitment to them in your personal and professional life.

Finally, challenge yourself this year to become a better wingman as a salesperson, manager, partner, or friend. Make a greater effort not only to sharpen your skills, but to reach out to those in need, to be a better listener, and to be there for others when they need you. For the best way to find a wingman…is to be one yourself!

I wish you a healthy and successful 2006 and may all your dreams come true.

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)


 
Dec 1, 2005
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Oct 1, 2005

In PEAK PERFORMANCE/ TEAMWORK
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CHAIR FLYING: Winning Sales Through Mission Rehearsal!

I remember my first job interview after leaving the military for a business career. It was for a personal advisor position with an exclusive financial services firm, and the vice president of human resources asked me a critical question: “How do you expect to be successful at selling financial services with absolutely no sales experience?”

My answer was simple – I led men and women into aerial combat in Iraq and they trusted me with their lives. If I could inspire trust in this environment, then I could do the same for my clients. I told her I would prepare for every client meeting and sales proposal with the same attention to detail, discipline, and passion that I used in preparing for my combat missions. Ultimately, my objective was to have my clients trust me, and with trust I could sell anything.

 

Fortunately, she liked my answer, and I was eventually offered the job. While I turned the job down, I learned a valuable lesson – preparing answers to tough questions and contingency planning for objectionsbefore the interview helped me to win! I repeatedly ”mission rehearsed” my answers in my mind and to my friends, which gave me the confidence to execute a successful interview.

Before every mission, fighter pilots also mission rehearse. We call it “chair flying” because we mentally fly the mission while in a chair (or any location for that matter). We review every detail of the mission in the simulator and in our minds and we plan for contingencies (“what-if’s” such as a missile launch, failed engine, or weather change) prior to the flight. While this takes time, energy, and discipline, it is essential to our success.

The key to chair flying in sales is to envision every outcome. This means actually envisioning not only the perfect sales call, but also common mistakes and then going back to the beginning of the call and ‘re-flying’ it. Ask yourself if you performed every procedure (i.e. building rapport, asking for a follow-up meeting) and anticipated every contingency (i.e. price objection, working with a competitor, etc.). The final goal should always be the perfect mission…the closed sale!

How do you prepare for your sales missions?

  • Are you chair flying your sales calls to ensure success?
  • Do you practice different delivery styles and opening/closing statements?
  • Do you have pre-planned answers to standard sales objections?
  • Are you gathering intelligence on your prospect and competitors?
  • Do you envision success in your mind before executing your plan?

Chair flying builds confidence as it reduces your fear of failure and gives you more courage to take risks. So, stop selling by the seat of your pantsSM and start chair flying. Not only will your clients grow to trust you, but you’ll also build more trust in the most important wingman in your life…yourself!

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)

Oct 1, 2005
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Sep 1, 2005

In LEADERSHIP/ TEAMWORK
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I NEED HELP! – The Wingman’s Call to Action

“I need help!” In my opinion, the three most important words in the English language other than “I love you.”

 

Since the beginning of September 2005, we have all witnessed our fellow citizens trapped in a sea of desperation, fear and helplessness as Hurricane Katrina literally swept away their lives, homes, and dreams. As a nation, we have heeded their call for help and have responded with our wallets, prayers, and compassion. It’s been far from perfect, but slowly, hope is being injected back into their lives and they can now look to the future in faith rather than fear.

 

As a leader in your company or community, who can you turn to for help when tragedy strikes? When you do ask for help, are you confident others will respond?

 

More importantly, are you the type of leader that others can turn to and ask for help? Do they trust you enough to bring you their problems and are you competent enough to help solve them?

 

Leadership not only means listening, but also responding to co-workers, family members, friends, and yes – even our fellow citizens, when they come to you for help. When you do this, you become a trusted partner in business and life – a Wingman!

 

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)

Sep 1, 2005
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Aug 1, 2005

In LEADERSHIP
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Surviving Vs. Winning: The Leader’s Mindset

I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life.”
Admiral James Stockdale

Admiral Stockdale was the highest ranking U.S. officer at the “Hanoi Hilton” POW camp during Vietnam. A navy fighter pilot, he was shot down and endured brutal torture, all while doing everything possible to inspire and strengthen the spirit of his fellow prisoners. When he returned a free man, he earned the Medal of Honor. He never lost faith that in the end he would win.

 

Admiral Stockdale was a leader.

We all experience setbacks and defeats on our journeys towards victory in business and life. The death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a serious illness, or even losing that major sale…they all have a tremendous effect on our lives. But it’s how you deal with them that counts! When you never lose faith that in the endyou will prevail, that’s the key to winning in life.

The best leaders embrace a mindset of winning, not surviving. They have the courage to confront the factsand focus on the things that have the greatest impact. They know when to ask for help from their wingmen, and always manage to give in the face of adversity.
Admiral Stockdale passed away in July at the age of 81. May we never forget this amazing leader and human being, and always strive to lead like he did.

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)


 
Aug 1, 2005
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Jul 7, 2005

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE
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Independence Day: Mission Objective – Freedom

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As we celebrated our country’s independence this weekend, we were reminded of the sacrifices our forefathers made to accomplish a critical mission – the freedom of America. Their passion and focus on this mission was so great that they were willing to die for it. It allowed them to overcome insurmountable odds and ultimately build the courage to win despite their fear.

What is your mission? Who are you fighting for? Who needs you to win?

 

When you wake up every morning and head to the office, are you passionate about your mission and do you have the focus and discipline to face your challenges despite your fears? This is the key to winning the daily battles of business and life.

Perhaps you’re fighting for your shareholders, your customer, or your children! The bottom line is that you must have a clear and achievable mission objective otherwise your work and life will be meaningless. When things get tough and when fear seems to paralyze your ability to act, remind yourself what you’re fighting for! Take the focus off of yourself and put it on your mission and those who need you to win!

Our greatest joys come when we serve those in need. May God bless our country’s wingmen this 4th of July and always!

PUSH IT UP!®

Waldo
waldo@yourwingman.com
1-866-Waldo-16 (925-3616)

Jul 7, 2005
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Jul 3, 2005

In LEADERSHIP/ PEAK PERFORMANCE/ TEAMWORK
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The Meaning of the 4th of July

What is the meaning of the 4th of July?

On June 5, 2009, a young rancher named Neal Wanless claimed one of the biggest undivided jackpots in U.S. lottery history — $232 million. He bought the ticket in the small town Winner, SD, part of Todd County, which according to the Census Bureau, was the nation’s seventh-poorest county in 2007.

In this rural and impoverished area where cows outnumber the human population, people do whatever they can to help one another. They brand cattle, dig neighbors out after snow blizzards and free tractors from mud – all without expectation of repayment. Serving each other is part of the culture of their community. Nobody goes hungry in Winner.

In a few days, our country will be celebrating the 4th of July holiday and pay tribute to our forefathers who banded together against a common enemy and committed themselves to a cause so great that many gave up their lives for it. This cause was freedom.

Those who fought for freedom have a lot in common with the citizens of Winner. They were unified against a common enemy, fought for their survival, and served one another. In the face of incredible odds, they were wingmen to each other and to their country. They were warriors, and they battled together to overcome a common enemy that stifled their ability to live in peace.

If we look across the world today and witness the oppressive regimes where human rights violations are rampant, it’s almost unimaginable that only a few hundred years ago, our own country was struggling to create peace, freedom and independence for its citizens. We owe so much to those who planted the seeds of freedom so that we may enjoy its harvest. We cannot forget what they’ve done.

And we also cannot forget the citizens in our own backyards…in towns like Winner…who struggle amidst adversity to partake in the American dream and taste the fruits of freedom that our forefathers fought for.

Those of us who are “living the dream” in America, more often than not, fought for it. And we need to continue to fight for it and not take our freedoms for granted!

So – how can we show our appreciation for those who fought for and continue to fight for our freedom? How can we fight the good fight and be warriors for freedom?

We can do it in our own backyards and businesses.

Let’s not just “do more with less” in this tough economy. Like the impoverished citizens in Winner and the embattled soldiers who fought for our independence, we need to “give more with less.” Serve at a soup kitchen, be a mentor for a struggling employee at work, or help out a veteran who has broken wings.

As you watch the fireworks this weekend, let the glow and thunder in the sky stir your spirit a calling to become a warrior for peace and freedom. Then go out and take action. Reach your wings into the dungeon of someone’s life who may be struggling and lend them a wing of service. Be a warrior for peace and freedom in your community.

This is what America is all about.

It’s the best way we can honor our forefathers who fought for what we all have today.

Never Fly Solo, Waldo

 
 
Jul 3, 2005
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