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My dad references a famous quote quite often. So much so in fact, growing up I thought my dad originally coined the phrase.

The original author? Wildly successful and renown college basketball coach John Wooden. Nicknamed the “Wizard of Westwood,” he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period as head coach at UCLA, including a record seven in a row. He was coach/mentor to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton to name a few. John was often asked about his success. His response? “Never Mistake Activity For Achievement”.

Great insight for leading a basketball team, but also a sales team! I’ve often remembered this in my career when I find myself busy with menial things I have to do. Emails, busy work, proposals, forecasting, etc. It helps kick me into gear about HOW I’m doing certain things over WHAT I’m doing.

That said — as I’ve had the opportunity to lead my own sales teams — I have realized we need a disclaimer. My team hears this quote from me often. But…I’ve started to add my own $.02 at the end, because in sales — without activity — there will be no achievement. I don’t want to gloss over the fact that hard work breads success. Make that additional phone call when an email is easier. Spend a few more minutes in genuine discovery when its easier to get right into showing a demo. Log that activity, set a follow up task and enter notes in the CRM when “I can remember” sounds easier. In my mind “Never Mistake Activity For Achievement. But Without Activity There Will Be No Achievement” seems to make much more sense in regards to sales activity and achievement.

-Stretch VP

*Bonus…check out 100 awesome John Wooden quotes HERE. How many would apply to you and your sales team?

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