Guest Blog: How to Create a Solid Team by Daniel Milstein

Image result for teamThere is generally no such thing as a successful “lone wolf.” Talent might win the game, but it takes teamwork to capture the championship. Nearly everything I have accomplished so far has been the result of a group effort. From my work at McDonald’s as a teenager, to becoming the founder and CEO of the Gold Star Family of Companies, I was always aware that my success wouldn’t have been possible without the other team members’ support. If you want to succeed, you must depend on the cooperation of co-workers, business colleagues, family members and friends. Here’s how:

Build your team. You may not have a formal team to support you. However, you still have a group of people with whom you work—even though you may all have equal standing. Consider colleagues and associates as team members who can help you reach your job-related goals. Include them in your planning process when appropriate, and listen to their suggestions. You can also help them reach their goals. If you are self-employed and work alone, you still have family and friends who can provide a strong network of support for your business. Bounce ideas off of them, ask them to help spread the word about your work, and collaborate with others when necessary. Even an artist or writer doesn’t work alone. They need readers, printers, art collectors and reviewers to truly be successful. Build your team well. Fill it with those willing to support you. You cannot expect to lead a positive life if you surround yourself with negative people.

Be willing to collaborate.  Don’t aspire to be the best on the team. Aspire to be the best for the team. Many people feel competitive when working with others, and try to get their ideas heard above the rest. I’ve been in meetings where ego gets in the way of production. People get so caught up in figuring out who gets the credit that nothing gets accomplished. Sometimes things even go into litigation over ego issues. If you are simply trying to be the best on the team, you don’t leave much room for other people to grow and to lead. Don’t be a spotlight-stealer. What you build together will be stronger than what you build alone.

Create more leaders. True leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders. That’s why we at Gold Star look for new employees who have the potential to become leaders; they can continue helping us grow while they develop their careers. The great ones want to be coaches and get better every day. If you give people the opportunity to lead, they become more invested in the company. As their ideas become reality, they aspire to have even more contributions. It feels good to succeed. Teach the beginners, help them grow, and your company will thrive.

Value every team member. There is no one person on a team that should be underestimated. Everyone is important. The automobile is a great example of teamwork. In order to build a car, someone had to make the tires, someone had to build the components, someone had to mine the copper mine for the wires, and someone had to make and drive the trucks that hauled the copper ore. It takes so many people to make a car, and no one can say that the tire is more important than the copper. The car can’t run without all the parts. Every member of the team is essential.

Teamwork is the key to success. It is often said that if service is beneath you, leadership is beyond you. Someone is sitting the shade today because someone planted a tree long ago. Success is like that—it takes many steps to accomplish your goals, and a lot of hard work. As I always say, success is never owned. It’s rented, and the rent is due every day.

 


Daniel Milstein is the CEO and founder of the Gold Star Family of Companies, operating in over 40 offices worldwide, specializing in financial services, sports management, publishing, and film production. Under Dan’s visionary leadership, Gold Star has been named among Inc. magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America. He is a best-selling author and shares his other strategies for success in his new book Rule #1 Don’t Be #2: You Get What You Work For, Not What You Wish For.  Learn more at DanMilstein.com.

New Summary posted! The Future-Proof Workplace by Linda Sharkey and Morag Barrett

111928757XNobody can really be sure what tomorrow will bring — what game-changing technology, history-shaping demographic shifts or unanticipated market forces will emerge or how they’ll impact the way we work and lead. But, what we do know for certain is that the future will be different from what we’ve known; it’s already taking shape right before our eyes, and if we don’t prepare for it now, we can surrender any hope of our organizations surviving or thriving tomorrow. In The Future-Proof Workplace, you’ll discover how emerging technologies and advances in neuroscience research are toppling 20th-century organizational paradigms and transforming the way we work. And you’ll find out how yesterday’s biases are being replaced by tomorrow’s values, culture and relationships. In addition, you will learn to look deep into the heart of your company to determine if it’s ready and willing to adapt to the purpose-driven business paradigm of the future. You’ll gain powerful insights into the new organizational models that are coming into being at the most successful, forward-thinking companies worldwide. And you’ll learn to identify and seize the bold, new opportunities that 21st-century organizational structures will offer.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• How to assess and reshape your company for tomorrow’s challenges, today.
• The six factors of change that must be addressed to remain competitive.
• How to adjust your leadership style for the 21st century.
• How to embrace technology rather than shying away from it

Friday Book Review! Trap Tales by David M.R. Covey & Stephan M. Mardyks

51qWN3zM3TL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Through the fictional narrative of a man struggling through financial problems, marital problems, dissatisfaction with work and career, and raising two children, consultants and leadership trainers David M.R. Covey and Stephan M. Mardyks highlight in their book, Trap Tales, what they’ve identified as the seven obstacles to success, which they describe as “traps.” These traps, they write, are seductive, deceptive and sticky — in other words, they lure you in, give you momentary gratification that turns into long-term pain, and like quicksand, refuse to let you go. As a result, the authors write, “A trap holds you back from progressing toward your goals.”

For example, the Focus Trap is a universal problem in the 24/7, anytime-anywhere digital age. The authors lay out the clear reasons for the Focus Trap:

  • No filtering of the constant flow of incoming information and entertainment and, thus, no focus on what truly deserves your energy, time and attention.
  • Nonstop connectivity, clogging people’s lives with distractions and “thin things — time wasters — leaving the thick things of true substance on the back burner or forgotten entirely.”
  • Demand for instant gratification, failing to realize that the best things in life take time.

The conventional approach to the Focus Trap is to learn how to juggle better. The authors disagree, arguing that a more productive approach is to realize that we cannot do it all, to filter out the unimportant from the important and to learn…(click here to continue reading)


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Guest Blog: Five Easy Steps to the Brighter Future You Deserve by Daniel Milstein

 

56677-Don-t-Stop-BelievingSuccess isn’t reserved for a select few. It’s out there and available to anyone who wants it. It’s available to me. It’s available to YOU. And I’m here to tell you where to find it.

Is there a job you’ve always dreamed of having? A business you’ve always wanted to start? A career you thought could never be yours?

When I found out that sales was the field I wanted to work in, I went above and beyond being a loan officer and opened my own financial lending business. Then, years later, realizing my other passion was hockey, I thought of a way to be surrounded by what I love. So I started Gold Star Sports Management and we now work with players who are household names, such as Pavel Datsyuk, formerly of the Detroit Red Wings- now with SKA St. Petersburg in Russia, Artemi Panarin with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nikita Kucherov with Tampa Bay Lightning, and Nikita Zaitsev with the Toronto Maple Leafs, among others.

My dreams were big—so big that I was hesitant to share them with my friends—but I didn’t let that stop me. Instead, I went for it, giving it all I have.  In my new book, Rule #1 Don’t Be #2, I explain in detail the lessons I learned on my way to success, and what I do every day to stay there. Here are my top five to get you started:

  1. Begin With Your Dream – What is it you really want to do? We all have a dream. For many, it’s to own their own business and to be their own boss. Some want to be the best athlete or musician they can be. Others want to write a best-selling book. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s your passion. It should be something you can’t wait to get of bed for in the morning and never want to take a sick day from. Every success story began with a dream. So write yours down and put it in a place where you can see it every day. Walt Disney once said, “All of our dreams can come true, if we just have the courage to pursue them.”
  2. Give it Your All: Dreams don’t work unless you do. I’ve observed our athletes winning in what sometimes seem to be insurmountable odds, but the one thing they have in common is they give it everything they have. They rarely make excuses and do everything possible to avoid stopping short of the finish line. The same is true for business. If you want it bad enough, you will work for it. The key is to give it everything you have, every time. I’m not satisfied at the end of each day unless I know I gave it my all. You will have to do the same, but it will be worth it. Pain is temporary but quitting lasts forever. Work so hard that your signature will one day be called an autograph.
  3. Pick a Good Team: Part of your success can be attributed to collaboration with others. None of us can go it alone—at least not very far. There is generally no such thing as a “lone wolf.” You must depend on the cooperation of co-workers, business colleagues, family members and friends. I am the author of several best-selling books, but I didn’t do it alone. I had an editor, a cover artist, and a publicist to help me come up with a publishable product and get it in the stores. While the books were my dreams and the results of my hard work and determination, I wouldn’t have wanted to do it without the help of those colleagues who had knowledge and skills in different areas than I do. Also, surround yourself with positive people. Naysayers will only bring you down. Part of having a good team is having people who look for solutions instead of problems. You can do amazing things if you have the right team.
  1. Don’t take shortcuts: We all want to get “there” faster, hoping to take a more direct route in reaching the finish line of success ahead of the rest. Most times success is a road you have to travel. Sometimes you will need more training, but often it’s more time. Malcolm Gladwell says that “10,000 hours is the magic number of greatness” whether it’s playing the violin or shooting hoops. I always say an overnight success usually takes ten years. Do your homework, plot your course and eventually you will get there. When things don’t happen right away, just remember: it takes six months to build a Rolls Royce and 13 hours to build a Toyota. There are no discounts on the price of success.
  1. Stay Positive: Failure will happen, but don’t let it get you down. Instead, learn from it. Part of achieving your dream is being able to deal with less-than-positive results. I remind myself that in every challenging situation, I either succeed—or I learn from the unsuccessful outcome. But I am still committed to the win. Stay strong and never give up. Choice, not circumstances, determines your success. I don’t stop when I’m tired. I stop when I’m done.

Those are my rules for staying on top of your game and achieving the dream you have always wanted. It won’t be easy, and in most cases it won’t come quickly or without a lot of hard work. But it is possible, and you can reach the success you deserve.   As I always say, success is never owned. It’s rented, and the rent is due every day. Keep working hard and I will see you at the top.


Daniel Milstein is the CEO and founder of the Gold Star Family of Companies, operating in over 40 offices worldwide, specializing in financial services, sports management, publishing, and film production. Under Dan’s visionary leadership, Gold Star has been named among Inc. magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America. He is a best-selling author and shares his other strategies for success in his new book Rule #1 Don’t Be #2: You Get What You Work For, Not What You Wish For.  Learn more at DanMilstein.com.

New Executive Summary: Executive Presence by Sylvia Ann Hewlett

Executive-Presence-280Do you exude confidence and credibility? Can you command a room? Sylvia Ann Hewlett, one of the world’s most influential business thinkers, cracks the code of Executive Presence (EP) for men and women intent on winning the next plum assignment and doing something extraordinary with their lives. You might have the qualifications to be considered for your dream job, but you won’t get far unless you can signal that you’re “leadership material” and that you “have what it takes.” Professionals are judged on presence as well as on performance. Using a wealth of hard data, Hewlett reveals EP to be a dynamic mix of three things: how you act (gravitas), how you speak (communication) and how you look (appearance). Executive Presence is immensely practical. Hewlett teases out tactics that can help you raise your game and close the gap between merit and success. She offers the unvarnished advice you won’t get from supportive friends and tackles head-on such touchy subjects as too-tight clothing and too-shrill voices. She shows how the standards for EP vary for men, women, multicultural and LGBT employees, and she shares how to get meaningful feedback from politically correct bosses intent on avoiding the real issues. With hard facts and vivid examples, Hewlett shows you how to ace EP and fully realize your unique potential — no matter who you are, no matter where you work.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:

• Why gravitas is the core characteristic of executive presence.
• The six key elements of communicating with executive presence.
• How to balance authenticity with conformity in the business world, no matter who you are.

New Summary: The Spark and the Grind by Erik Wahl

the-spark-and-the-grind-hardcover-whiteWe’ve been conditioned to think about creative genius as a dichotomy: dreamers versus doers, the spark of inspiration versus the grind of hard work. But what if we’re wrong? What if it’s the spark and the grind? Erik Wahl, a visual artist, speaker and entrepreneur, helps us unite the yin and the yang of creativity — the dynamic new ideas with the dogged effort. He shows why we won’t get far if we rely on the spark without the grind or the grind without the spark. What the world really needs are the creators who can hold the two in balance to further innovation. Wahl offers surprising insights and practical advice about how to fan the sparks and make the grind more productive. He deftly synthesizes the wisdom of other artists, philosophers, scientists and business visionaries throughout history, and adds the secrets of his own practice. If you want to ensure constant creativity in your life and produce your most innovative work — this is your guide.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• To discover the creativity within yourself, as well as how to harness and cultivate that creative spark into something tangible.
• To trust the unpredictable nature of the creative process, and then develop a disciplined routine that will strengthen your creative drive.
• To embrace the unfamiliar, take risks and find comfort in being an amateur knowing that the unknown can only fuel those creative sparks.

Guest Author Blog: #1 Strategy for Outsmarting Your Competition by Daniel Milstein

How-to-use-content-marketing-to-outperform-the-competitionWe will all face competitors during our lifetime. If you pursue your most ambitious plans and dreams, you’ll encounter more than most, and they must never be underestimated. There’s an arrogant complacency in thinking your customer or prospective employer will simply believe you’re the best because you’ve said so. Only one company or individual can rightfully claim to be #1. Rising to the top among people with whom you are competing – whether for a customer’s business or a dream job – takes hard work, cunning and determination. Hope is not a strategy. As Vince Lombardi said, the man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.

I found out early on that you can’t do today’s job with yesterday’s methods or mediocre service and hope to be in business tomorrow. First, determine exactly who and what you’re up against, and then develop outside-the-box methods to infiltrate your enemy’s camp. In my fourth book, Rule #1 Don’t Be #2, I describe a covert tool I developed early on my road to success which I call “mystery shopping”. This strategic recon work involves representing yourself as a competitor’s potential customer to explore and identify what they’re doing differently and possibly more effectively. Every competitor knew something I didn’t, and through diligent research, I was able to visualize their playbook. It’s one of the ways I was able to reach the top of my game in finance and create a “sales call to conversion” rate of 78.5 percent, which is a staggering 75% higher than the average of 3%.

Don’t overlook the many ways to research competitors online. Exploring the social media platforms of both individuals and businesses is a great way to assess their messaging, values and target markets. You’ll be surprised by how much you’ll learn, and you’ll be a far more impressive candidate, presenter or business owner if you can demonstrate topic or market intelligence beyond the norm.

For example, this recon will be essential when you engage in the interviewing process. Prospective employers will dismiss you instantly if you can’t answer questions regarding the company you claim to want to join. Enthusiasm and a slick resume will only take you so far. Demonstrate expertise with regard to their mission and product or service line, as well as more obscure facts not every candidate will have been able to excavate. Don’t leave anything to chance. Choice, not circumstance, determines your success.

Some people have told me they’re not comfortable with researching competition. That sounds like either laziness or an excuse to me, and both must be avoided at all cost if you’re going to distinguish yourself among the rest. Excuses are nothing more than self- sabotage. Think of getting the handle on your competition as an investment in yourself you can’t afford not to make. If you’re not willing to step out of your comfort zone, you’re probably not really committed to winning that contract or big promotion you’re dreaming of.  Well, you can sleep with your dreams or wake up and chase them.

Getting out in front of your competition is only one of the many lessons I share in Rule #1 Don’t Be #2. These are the lessons that have fueled my success. I’ve used them to persevere, and I use them still today. Like anyone who has achieved substantial success despite being tested by failure and adversity, I’ve found that the difference between those who will merely dream of success and those who will successfully reach their dream lies in attitude and action.

Here’s the bottom line: success or failure is only determined by where you decide to stop, and stopping should never be an option even when you do succeed. Whenever I encounter people who tirelessly go the extra mile in their quest to reach their dream, I’m reminded that amateurs practice until they get it right, but professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.  My goal is always to be better than I was yesterday. As I always say, success is never owned. It’s rented, and the rent is due every day.

 


Daniel Milstein is the CEO and founder of the Gold Star Family of Companies, operating in over 40 offices worldwide, specializing in financial services, sports management, publishing, and film production. Under Dan’s visionary leadership, Gold Star has been named among Inc. magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America. He is a best-selling author and shares his other strategies for success in his new book Rule #1 Don’t Be #2: You Get What You Work For, Not What You Wish For.  Learn more at DanMilstein.com.

Friday Book Review: Agile PR by Marian Salzman

C08TpwXXcAADpN6Although a familiar term today, “metrosexual” was not heard of until a PR agency used it in an advertising campaign for its client, the Italian beer company Peroni. That agency was Havas PR North America, headed by Marian Salzman, author of a new book called Agile PR: Expert Messaging in a Hyper-Connected, Always-On World. As Salzman explains, when Havas “hijacked” the term coined by English writer Mark Simpson and introduced it into popular culture, Havas was engaging in what she calls “news-fluence.” News-fluence is the art of newscrafting in order to create influence. Newscrafting is what PR agencies have always done: crafting great stories that help their clients to create news. A key component of newscrafting is trendspotting, a term that’s self-explanatory.

Salzman doesn’t waste time. Newscrafting, news-fluence and trendspotting are introduced in the first two pages of this highly readable and comprehensive overview of public relations in the age of social media and the “prosumer” — Salzman’s term for today’s proactive consumers. Readers receive the first list of imperatives — which she summarizes as “grab attention, expect trouble, master the media, know your story and spot trends” — on the third page.

The pace of the book reflects the pace of the world as Salzman describes it in this eloquent overview: “Back before everywhere-all-the-time technology was the norm… communication strategy could be planned in advance. The campaign blueprint plotted out a timeline with a series of milestones to be activated and checked off… The whole thing could be set up and executed more or less as planned, give or take a few adjustments to accommodate occasional unexpected events.”

“But that world is gone,” she continues. “Technology has made…” (click here to continue reading this review)

New Summary: The High-Potential Leader by Ram Charan with Geri Willigan

HighPotentialLeader_3D-838x1024How to Grow Fast, Take on New Responsibilities, and Make an Impact

Companies need a new kind of leader to meet the enormous challenges of today’s fast-moving business world. Whether you have potential to step up and lead or are charged with finding those who can, The High-Potential Leader is your authoritative guide. Known for his coaching work with many of the world’s leading CEOs, bestselling author Ram Charan explains how “hipos” can know who they are, create their individual path and accelerate their growth. The book also helps top management and human resource professionals cultivate in their hipos the skills, judgment and mental capacity needed at the highest levels. This hands-on guidebook contains practical advice for making daily progress toward running a large team, business unit or company, a framework for deciding when and how to make job changes that speed up development and firsthand examples and lessons learned from top leaders around the world in a variety of industries.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• To build the skills and capabilities you need to be a high-potential leader.
• When to make big moves that will get you ready and battle test you.
• How to redefine leadership potential.
• How to rethink your role in supporting high-potential leaders.

Guest Blog: Three Things You Must Tell Yourself Today by Daniel Milstein

Milstein bookIn Rule #1 Don’t Be #2 I share the incredibly valuable lessons I’ve learned on my path to achieving great and lasting success.  Among the most critical, but one I find most people overlook, is the importance of keeping your self-talk positive.

As the sole architect of your destiny, you need to make sure you’re utilizing one of your greatest tools: your own voice. It’s that inner voice that will help you formulate a plan and drown out the external voices of critics and naysayers. Your voice holds the power to boost your confidence and help you both navigate and learn from setbacks when they occur.

Be very honest with yourself. Is your own voice joining the negative chorus of doubters? If the answer is yes, you’ll need to reprogram your thought process by telling yourself these three things today – and every day –for the rest of your life.

  1. Do it Now!

Procrastination is like quicksand. If left unchecked, it will pull you into a quagmire of crippling indecision. You’ll make excuse after excuse that will eventually foreclose on your dream. If you’re continually telling yourself it’s okay to do nothing, then nothing will be what you achieve. Instead, allow your inner voice to motivate you from morning ‘til night, and fiercely commit to your dream with a sense of urgency. Remember, the difference between “could” and “did” lies in planning and action, so become your own greatest coach and advocate for change. Don’t take no for an answer, especially from yourself.

  1. I Deserve This!

Whenever I meet someone who’s allowed their dream to derail, or who appears to be passing up opportunities for personal growth or improvement, I always ask why they don’t deserve their absolute best. If you’re among the folks who are settling for anything less than the success about which you dream, you simply must get out of your own way by escaping your dangerous comfort zone. Whatever your dream may be – whether it’s pursuing a career change you’ve always wanted, or finishing your degree, begin by reminding yourself that you deserve a brighter future, and then invest in yourself by giving your all to you. Never cut corners on what’s most important: your happiness.

  1. I Know I Can!

Fear of failure, including the inability to reclaim your forward momentum after a set-back, is one of the greatest obstacles to success, and one that can often be effectively addressed by empowering your inner voice. We all have fears, but we can’t habitually make fear-based decisions, or we’ll never reach our full potential. If we allow fear to paralyze our progress, we’ll create a blueprint for mediocrity, and miss the priceless lessons only trial and error can reveal. Make sure your self-talk is stronger than your fear, and relentlessly affirm, “Yes, I can!” I understand overcoming fear is not an overnight process, and may also require that you take advantage of additional resources at your disposal, such as individual therapy. I know that it can be extremely uncomfortable to get out there on whatever happens to be your personal “ledge”, but the feeling of freedom is incomparable, and I assure you the view will be spectacular.

As I look back at the journey I’ve traveled to achieving success, I can definitely attest to the power of my own self-talk. There have been fears and set-backs to be sure, but I resolved the first time I met the wake-up call of ground-shaking disappointment to never consider myself as having failed. I either win or I learn. There are times when the road will be steep, challenging and tiring. It is during those especially trying days that you must be able to rely upon your inner voice to drive you on. It will mean the difference between giving up and persevering. The only time you run out of chances is when you stop taking them.

Start listening to your voice today. What are you saying?  Do you believe you can succeed? It’s true that whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you’re going to be right.  When you do find yourself achieving success, make sure your self-talk remains positive and motivating. You don’t want to start telling yourself you’ve arrived and become complacent. As I always say, success is never owned. It’s rented and the rent is due every day.”

 


Daniel Milstein is the CEO and founder of the Gold Star Family of Companies, operating in over 40 offices worldwide, specializing in financial services, sports management, publishing, and film production. Under Dan’s visionary leadership, Gold Star has been named among Inc. magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America. He is a best-selling author and shares his other strategies for success in his new book Rule #1 Don’t Be #2: You Get What You Work For, Not What You Wish For.  Learn more at DanMilstein.com.