Three Things That Changed My Professional Life

by JP Moery

My professional career was moving at a good pace as I entered my 30s, and I have a lot of people to thank for that. But, several things occurred in my life at that time that were absolute game-changers for me.

Now, these might not be the right things for you; but, I think there are linchpin moments that can really propel your professional career and the way in which your approach your work. For me, there were three:

#1 – Without a doubt, the most important thing to take place for me was being Reborn at 32 years of age. I was saved, and it freed me and my spirit because I knew somebody else was in charge. This knowledge and strength enabled me to propel myself with abandon in a way I hadn’t done before.  To provide a quick Scripture: 2nd Corinthians 3:17 – “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” And, that is absolutely true – so, that is #1.

#2 – In practice, this next experience may be strange to many of you and some of my friends out there may not know this; but, I became a Free Mason in my 30s as well. The life of Freemasonry gave me teachings and thoughts around ethics and morals, which really helped my professional career and greatly improved the way I deal with my employees, business partners, and my clients every single day. My Freemasonry affiliation was a very key moment for me; you meet some of the most spectacular people in the world in these types of social fraternities, and the Freemasons are a special one. We meet at Alexandria Lodge #11 – George Washington’s Lodge, by the way.

#3 – Some time ago, I bought a Tony Robbins CD set called Lessons in Mastery – I’ve recently plugged this back into my car and am listening to it again. Whether it’s Robbin’s Lessons in Mastery or Awaken the Giant from Within – I would encourage you to find a force who can help you move forward with increased momentum and focus.

Each of these experiences had a collective impact, which added up to freedom, confidence, and liberation. You, too, have all the ability to take the next step and that knowledge is truly empowering. Look inside yourself for something that can really push you to the next level and tell others how it has helped.  Evangelize!

Has Complacency Become a Leadership Hurdle for You?

JP Moery

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As a leader, have you found yourself content with the status quo? Unwilling to make a growth change in your organization? Yes, you’ve had success in business – but hey, ask yourself, “What have you done lately?” When was the last time you ventured outside the comfort zone, took a risk? My guess, if this is the case it’s gnawing at you a bit. Time and again, I’ve seen complacency in leadership, which reverberates down to those you lead – and, this can be the decline of your association. If the people you lead aren’t pushing the envelope, how in the heck can your membership be fired up about what you’re doing?

Complacency stunts innovative energy, organizational growth, and can have a negative impact on your image as a leader – from your staff to your board – believe me, they’ve noticed. I’ve seen some very good executives out there that have an image or aura that they have played the last great game. It all comes down to you and your next move. The good news is, leadership stagnation can be overcome with some simple steps and a bit of initiative. Some things to consider to get a jump start:

Assess Your Leadership Muscle

Trace your career path – recognize the drivers that took you to the top in the first place. My guess is you took a risk, swam upstream or launched a breakout service. An honest self-assessment can quickly get you back on track. Replicate the characteristics needed during your most effective times.

Reconnect with Your Staff

This step is critical as staff will lose respect if your leadership muscles are in atrophy. One of the most powerful leadership tools can be weekly one-on-one meetings with your direct reports. These meetings should not be “weather reports” but equal parts of what the staff member’s needs are and your key performance areas for them. Listen. Hold yourself accountable and bring energy and passion to these conversations. When challenges are shared by staff, empathize and assure them you are in this together and charging ahead. By the way, ask your employees what they need from you as a leader. Again, weekly repetition is needed for optimum effectiveness.

Communicate over and over again

Be vulnerable and authentic that you want to revitalize leadership qualities. Be transparent about your efforts as this will rally the troops. Ask them to challenge you to address the best opportunities and the biggest challenges which must be solved. Update your staff on the progress made, and promise them your very best effort. These successes fuel your momentum and reinvigorate your staff.

The key is to consistently seek out the new challenge and forge ahead with a trusted team. Long-term success as a leader can be yours. Get moving.

If this content was meaningful to you, check out Hit the Reset Button or Life Hacks for Success in Business.

Game Changer – Implementing the Power of Five

by JP Moery

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Early this year I was “firing up” about the prospects of 2018 – and, scouring my resources to find a new tactic which might add a gear to my productivity. Fortunately, I connected with @andyfrisella and his MFCEOProject – a series of advice podcasts and postings. Warning: Very explicit.

What resonated so much was his Power of Five concept. I’ll tell you about the impact, but to learn the details you might connect with his content. It happened for me this way.

  • List 5 actions to take every day. The same, non-negotiable actions – some personal, business, spiritual, etc. Write them down every single day.
  • Determine a Win or Loss every day based on completion of the 5 tasks daily. Write W or L on your action sheet.
  • After 21 days of consecutive completing a task it comes off the list. This action is now likely a habit.
  • Then, add a new task to the Power 5

Here are the results of this simple system in 16 days. 600% increase in my sales activity (and folks, trust me, I wasn’t sitting on my ass before) and a massive pipeline. Spiritual connection almost every day thru prayer and Scripture. Thought leadership posting up 500%. Increased workouts/physical activity.

And, this is with a “won/loss” record of 12-4.

An incredibly simple and powerful system. I hope you think about a similar launch program in your life, today!

Do You Really Want It?

JP Moery

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I’m so encouraged by people who show desire and enthusiasm for success.  Images of material wealth are all around us, seemingly accessible (especially in the Washington, DC area) and almost easy to obtain.  Beautiful homes, fast cars, lots of nice gear.  These images are a mirage for many.

Those who seek these proxies of material wealth and success may have the perception that because they can see it….it must be easy or certainly obtainable due to proximity.  That’s BS.  Let’s be honest, do you really want it?   Are you willing to work or sacrifice enough to be in the top 5% of your field?  For most, it’s an emphatic “no.”

People like Mark Cuban, Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins and others, work so hard and put in so much effort – you’d feel like a car hit you if you spent a day in their shoes.  In some cases, they may be more talented.  But quite possibly their success skills were developed in the mid-morning hours while you were reading The Washington Post or sitting on the couch binge watching Netflix.   While you were doing that, the top 5% just finalized a new deal or moved it forward.

When The Moery Company launched pre-2010, I was consulting and working after hours.  It was difficult, I was tired and it frankly affected the quality of my work.  However, this effort began to test my thesis and challenge myself for the right stuff.  Sometimes, I question whether that kind of edge might be gone.  Maybe I’m not willing to give everything necessary to build the greatest association consulting firm in the world.

So I want you to be absolutely true to yourself today.  What do I want to be – the greatest salesperson in the world, my country, my town, my block, my company or my house?  Reflect on whether you want to be the best in your company, but giving the effort to be the best in your own home – of two.

You’re not fooling people when you say – you want to be the best association executive in the world, but are unwilling to make the sacrifices needed to achieve that.  It just doesn’t work that way.

If you want to be among the top 5%, then you must outhustle, outthink and outwork 95% of everyone else.  Or, you can just get lucky.

PS – And, it’s absolutely OK if you don’t want to be in the “Top 5.”  Just don’t claim to be disaffected, a member of the shrinking middle class or whatever excuse that’s out there.  Because most often we know where the buck stops. The image is in the mirror.

I’m Ready to Be on Your Team

by JP Moery

Throughout the association space, senior-level professionals face mounting pressure to grow their organization’s bottom line. Yet, many don’t have a trusted resource for candid, confidential advice on how to move the needle.

In response to this growing need, I’m very pleased to announce the launch of my 1:1 Association Consulting Program, designed for business development, membership, sponsorship, and marketing leaders to improve performance and achieve better results.

1:1 is an exclusive program featuring weekly, monthly, and annual engagement opportunities focused on providing consultation, relevant communications, and advice in the areas specific to your unique challenges.

Here are the details –  JP Moery’s 1:1 Association Consulting Program. And, then let’s get to work. – JP

Life Hacks for Success in Business

by JP Moery

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When are my best days in the office? Those are the days I get out of bed and WORK OUT. I hit CrossFit 3 times a week because it’s something that gets my blood going. By the time I walk into the office, I’m ready to go, instead of trying to do it with a cup of coffee. And, by the way, coffee is my fall back on days I don’t work out. Now, CrossFit isn’t for everyone. But, I encourage you to find something that gets you moving in the morning.

Leaders of today are really “corporate athletes.”  Over the years, I’ve learned productivity and effectiveness increases the better physical condition of the executive.  I  have to be in pretty good physical shape to run a business. The day of the ‘fat cat’ is done, because frankly, people can’t maintain success with a lethargic approach or without great energy.

I remember talking with a corporate attorney who, back in the day, would wake up; go to the office; open the mail; and, dictate to an assistant his responses to the mail. He’d then go have a big lunch, throw back a few drinks, and go home – because his day was done. And, then he’d do it again the next day – mainly because the flow of work was so predicated on the rhythm of snail mail. What an incredibly passive approach to work, which obviously can’t keep pace in today’s business.

My second strategy is a powerful exercise I’ve read about and successfully incorporated into my mornings: the personal journal. I write about anything and everything – like, “Man, my baseball team really sucks,” to “Isn’t the world wonderful?” The topics run the gamut, but pushes me to be more reflective.  To start the day thinking.   I believe this exercise starts to work the emotional intelligence muscle a bit. When I’ve mistakes in business, it’s often the result of emotion. Keeping a personal journal keeps life in perspective and a place to pour my emotions out.  Journaling has become a safety valve – so my business thinking is more balanced.

The third part of my overall approach is effectively scheduling my time. My docket is essentially full each day and I work as hard as I can motivate myself. Meaningful scheduling keep things moving for me. If you wake up with an empty calendar, you become a victim of other’s agendas and priorities – they take over your life, because you have allowed it.

So these are things that keep me fired up and moving forward: physically, emotionally, and structurally.

How do your best days start? I challenge you map out your best days – and try to replicate those activities that make it so.

Bad Advice & Mistakes Made

by JP Moery

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Having recently blogged on the best pieces of advice I ever received, my thoughts have naturally drifted to the bad advice that came my way as well. I should give my thoughts some context. I’m a little more reflective these days (on the good and the bad) having recently given high school commencement comments at my alma mater, and the fact that my oldest daughter, Grace will graduate next week.

So, yes. I’ve been thinking about high school, college, and even my professional life in which I listened to some bad advice and made a few mistakes.

Don’t go into debt: when I graduated from college I bought a car. That was stupid. I didn’t have money for a car, but I felt like – I’m a college graduate and now tired of driving this piece of crap. Let me tell you, don’t do things if you don’t have the cash.

That simple mistake right out of college, set me back for a very long time because it limited my freedom to move, make changes and saddled me with financial obligations I wasn’t ready for.

So, the bottom line is – don’t buy a car unless you have the means to do so.

So many opportunities to lead, and I sat on my ass: I didn’t really leverage leadership and volunteer opportunities in high school, college, and for a long time in my professional career.  Maybe, it just wasn’t “cool enough.” But now I’ve learned the network built, opportunities provided, and just awesome experiences are for those who raise your hand – “I’ll do that.”

Yeah, well no one’s laughing now at the leadership dorks, because the skills you learn in leadership as a young person  propel you forever.  And, what do organizations need more today than ever before? Better leadership.

So, the bottom line is – step up and lead.  Companies pay a premium for those qualities.

Don’t wait for the perfect job: “Make sure to wait for the great job to come around. You have time.”  There is no perfect job, and their are things you learn in the least glamorous positions.  I remember when I came out of the University of Oklahoma, I received two job offers. Interestingly enough, these were in sales – pharmaceutical sales and food and beverage sales. I turned them down, because I damn sure didn’t go to school to be in sales.

Fast forward 30 years: I am in sales and wonder how accelerated my career path may have been if I would have learned from those experiences. Waiting for the perfect job delayed my professional growth for some time. I treated my life like filling little buckets of experiences instead of climbing a ladder, with each position presenting an step-by-step building experience.

So, the bottom line is – treat your job experiences like ascending a ladder, learning as you go. Sometimes you need to go down a rung or two, but it’s part of the process.

Learn from my life mistakes: don’t buy stuff you can’t afford, don’t blow the opportunity to take on a leadership position, and don’t wait around for the perfect job.

And finally, don’t forget where you came from.

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Four Secrets to Success from Small Town Oklahoma

by JP Moery

Recently, I had the great pleasure of visiting my hometown of Hennessey, Oklahoma, and my high school alma mater – where I shared a few thoughts with the 2017 graduating class. It was fantastic to be there.

I lived there for 18 years – spent 12 of those in the school system and I graduated with about 70 people back in 1983.

Here are my 4 small town-takeaways for success:

First: There is no one else to do the work when you live in a place like Hennessey, Oklahoma – population 2,100 people. There were so few of us, that to get anything done (like winning a championship football game, putting on some type of program, or holding vacation bible school) you had to be willing to do the work because there just weren’t a lot of people around.

The call would come, “Hey, we need someone to coach a team.” A quick response, “Yeah, I got that.” “Hey, can someone run this committee?” Again, “Yeah, can help.” The thing you learn from living in a small town is that you have to get involved or nothing gets done.

Folks from small-town America take the tasks at hand and engage right away.

Second: When you grow up in a small town, it’s really hard to “fake” it. I lived there for 18 years and everyone knew my mom and dad, what they did, where we went to church, and where we bought our groceries. Everyone knew everything about you. And, as a result, it was very difficult to fake things in life – so, in a way, you grew up as your authentic self – no pretense, no faking.

As a result, I grew up with a real sense of the true self.  That also instilled a certain amount of self confidence that would serve me well.

I had no idea a more humble beginning would actually provide more confidence moving forward.

Third: There’s always a game day. My friends and I were always in game mode.  We knew it would take extra reps and laps, extra practices during the day, and leadership from our coaches and teachers was necessary.  And, everyone would turnout and focus on game day.  In effect, this was great training ground for the world of big presentations, sales meetings or other deadlines.  You knew that preparation was key.   The practice and extra repetition prepared us for disruptions like injuries on the field, officiating calls that didn’t go your way, adjustments by the opponent, etc.

How to respond to game day was ingrained in all of us. This experience taught me to meet every single day with that same focus and energy, because game day was coming eventually. The more often you are ever present – like game day –  the more success ahead for you.

Fourth: We were all connected in a small community. When tragedy occurred, we always came together. All different types of people (religion, socio-economic status) banded together to respond to a problem, opportunity or tragedy in our town.  I learned quickly that the quality of character had very little to do with position or financial status.  Our proximity to each other bound us together, whether we liked it or not. Our current society and systems can make our network very homogenous, so we are never consistently present with those different than us.  On any given day, workplace, school or social scene is comprised of those that look, talk and practice much like me.  So, the introduction of a different perspective is lacking.  If this is your life, I encourage you to venture outside your bubble for different experiences.

Upon reflection, you can learn a great deal in a small town.  It wasn’t better, but it was different.  And, it provided the opportunity for truly unique experiences.

Photo credit: http://www.hennesseyok.org

The Four Best Pieces of Advice I’ve Ever Received

by JP Moery

A good deal of advice has come my way over the years – but, there are four bits that have stuck with me and really became a part of who I am today. And, oh by the way, I apologize ahead of time for some of the language to come; but, I think it’s essential to delivering the message today.

First piece of advice came from my Dad, Johnny Moery. About 30 years ago, when I first moved to Washington, DC, I was complaining to him about the people, my job, the traffic – everything. He said to me, “If you’ve met more than one asshole today, maybe it’s you.” Food for thought. If you think everyone around you is wrong, maybe you’re the one who needs to reevaluate where you’re at.

The second piece of advice was about sales, which I received from the CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donohue. I’ll never forget this. When I was to lead a sales meeting, he told me, “First, you give your pitch and then you look them in the baby blues and you shut your mouth. The next person who speaks, loses.” Great advice from the greatest association sales person, ever.

The third piece of advice came from my high school football secondary coach – Coach Jones. Right before a game we weren’t expected to win, Coach Jones said, “Guys, you’ve got to go out and play like a bunch of mad, rabid, angry dogs. I actually think that applies to a lot in life. Whatever you are seeking for yourself in life, your career, your personal life – you have to pursue it with that kind of energy and focus. I loved Coach Jones. I would have run through a brick wall for that guy because he got me so motivated.

The fourth and final piece of advice came from a gentleman, who’s name I cannot remember, but he was the General Manager of the TV station in Abilene, TX. I was a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma and showed up with my broadcast tapes trying to get my first radio/TV/film job. What he told me changed my life. He said, “Son, tapes look good, but to be honest with you, your voice is so bad, you will need to get thousands of dollars of vocal coaching to work anywhere outside of Ada, Oklahoma. And, that’s nothing against the good people of Ada, Oklahoma – it’s a great place to live, but it wasn’t what I had in mind.

From that General Manager, I learned that if you don’t have the desire to go out and get the extra coaching, extra skill, and sacrifice, you will never be very good at anything. So, I decided during my long trip back from Abilene that broadcasting wasn’t for me.

Eventually, I did discover career passions I was willing to invest the extra time and got the professional development I needed to take that next step. I’m sure you’ve received pieces of advice throughout your life, and frankly I’d love to hear about them. Give me a shout at jp@moerycompany.com. Look forward to hearing from you.

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