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

Fired-Up Friday & Your Quest for Success

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Three things to remember regarding your quest for success:

  1. Fear robs your potential.  It keeps you from asking for the deal, getting the information needed to deliver, meeting the person who can make a difference in life or you just don’t even try.  Kick fear in the teeth!

Whenever you feel fear…do exactly what you are afraid of.  You will reap the benefits!

  1. The street of results is paved with ridiculous amounts of action.  Every time I have reached an unprecedented success, it is because of breaking previous records of activity.

Every Friday your competition is late to the office, reading the paper or knocking off early.  Buck the conventional, make today your most productive.

  1. Ask this question right now.  “What is the most important thing I can do right now to accelerate success in my life?” Do it… Now.

Heck, now I’m even fired up!

Life Hacks for Success in Business

by JP Moery

IStock/Credit: yuriz

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.

What Does It Take? Brains or Behavior?

by JP Moery

IStock/Credit: ismagilov

To be the best, you need to hire the smartest people or those with the best attitude and self awareness?

Recently I thought about my most fantastic colleagues and what made them so. Upon reflection I realized many of these special individuals weren’t the “smartest in the room,” or maybe they were. In this knowledge economy, with information so readily available, I rarely see a situation where the team or the company is not smart or informed enough to succeed.  But the team that behaves best, collaborates well or buys into the values and mission are the long term winners.

The individual superstars may not have looked best on paper. But, they did get great results through behavioral qualities:

They showed up and posted a quality effort every day. Hall of fame baseball players get an extra hit each week more than the run of the mill journeyman. That is what it takes – an extra hit each week. The key is to engage every day – be solid.

Without exception, they possess a “let’s light this candle” attitude. It’s really simple. Do you generate energy or suck it out of your organization? Organizations have very little time for the excuse, the maintenance or the drama. Those types of individuals eventually just play themselves out of the game, largely because there is just too much time on the negative. The very best just keep grinding away with a “can do” approach.

They are passionate solution providers. I’m convinced most companies, associations and people are a little (or a lot) screwed up. However, great talent is willing to do something about it. The person griping about the problem can hit the door, and the person willing to fix it (or keep improving) gets the promotion.

Behavior over brains has been my experience.  What’s yours?

Overcoming Decision-Making Paralysis

by JP Moery

IStock/Credit: francescoch

I’m concerned. Associations are taking too long to make decisions.  The problem you face isn’t going away, getting better or resolving itself.

The decision to start a project, hire some help, or shutter a program – are the decisions business leaders in the for-profit world are making on a daily basis.  However, my experience is associations choose to not respond as quickly.  And, the result is a less nimble, relevant organization.  The “waiting is the hardest part” as Tom Petty opines.
If leaders think about the long-term impact, use of resources, or the opportunities ahead of the decision – making the call could be a bit easier, and faster.

Consider this:

  • Looking ahead 5 years from now, is this really a big deal?  From this perspective, the decision could get easier to make.
  • If we move forward, could there be significant long-term benefits to my organization?  Then, what’s taking so long to pull the trigger?
  • Will making the call now, with the information I have at hand – help address a situation, which has long been problematic and caused tension within the organization?

As a leader, think about making a decision every day with an eye to the future.  Work that decision-making muscle, the exercise will enable you to be proactive, feel empowered and demonstrate your ability to move ahead.

Bad Advice & Mistakes Made

by JP Moery

IStock/Credit:CreativaImages

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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5 Things I Wish I’d Done Differently in My Career

by JP Moery

IStock/Credit: Francescoch

Looking back at my career path, I find myself reflecting on the decisions I made or actions I didn’t take along the way. This blog has been an excellent exercise in self-reflection as every experience I’ve had has led me to where I am at this moment – both professionally and in my personal life. Perhaps, you can relate.

#1) I wish I’d started my own business sooner. There is nothing like the challenge of it – the energy, the motivation of building up your own organization.  Hiring people and giving them an opportunity to prosper.  I also thrive on controlling a bit of my own destiny. If the notion of starting your own business is strong and you’ve got that fire in your belly – let me tell you: go for it. Do it. Because you may be looking over your shoulder regretting you didn’t take the leap.

#2) I wish I’d learned more about money. For a big part of my career, my sole money strategy was this: to make more of it. But, that was it. I knew zero about investing, cash flow, asset allocation – really, how the money systems work. And, it took me way too long to start digging in on it. This is a problem for many people, probably because we think money is too complicated.  And, there are those folks who want us to think that the complexity is too daunting because they gain from our confusion, fear and lack of knowledge. So, yes. I wish I’d learned more about money sooner.

#3) I was also late recognizing that organizations are limited by leaders.  Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to work for great leaders and poor ones.  Yes, it’s totally possible to learn just as much from the poor leader.  Through these experiences, I learned organizations are most often limited by its leadership.  It’s the root of success or failure.  I recognize that leadership can actually be “the” problem if a business is failing. But, here’s the good part – leadership is also part of the solution. I wish I’d recognized that sooner: recognized that leaders of organizations are the driving force for success. As a business owner, I wish I’d studied facets of leadership earlier.

#4) I regret not recognizing sooner the importance of giving and receiving candid feedback. Regretting the notion I should have spoken up earlier or listened more. How many times in your life have you walked out of a meeting or an interaction and said, “Man, I wish I would have said …” It happens to all of us, right? I wish I would have been more candid earlier in my career – even today. I’d like to be more open to candid feedback than I am now. Less defensiveness on my part. I recognize how constructive it can be. The bottom line is: if someone is willing to go out on a limb and offer you his thoughts; there’s probably an issue.

#5) And, finally – I wish I’d had the self-awareness earlier on that I can’t compartmentalize work and my personal life. They are intertwined. They always have been. Believe me, the way you behave when no one is looking in your personal life affects the way you are going to lead your company or organization. And if you don’t believe that, then you are fooling yourself. It would have benefited me greatly to have learned earlier that compartmentalizing your work and personal isn’t possible. So, bring everything you have at work and at home.  Friends, family and colleagues will all know whether you are or not.

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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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Three Leadership Truths

by JP Moery

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I’ve learned successful leadership often comes down to some simple truths. Whether you are an association CEO, company president, or head of a department: here are 3 things I hope can help you run your show just a little bit better.

First: Don’t expect people who work for you to hit it harder than you do. If you aren’t getting the results you need from your team, you should take a look at yourself. Are you bringing it to the table every single day? Your employees are simply taking their cue from you. There should be no one more invested in your organization’s success than you – so make yourself the example and bring 110% engagement to everything. You should be working so hard, your people are paddling fast to keep up. Make sure your example is a damn good one.

Second: You are the #1 sales person in the company. You are the evangelist. No one is going to carry the message like you can.  This is most important to the small business owner. If you think someone else is going to sell it for you, get that resume together, because you will be out of business real quick. Get out there – you’re the one who came up with the idea. You are the person with the most passion about your company. Even if you have sales people – you need to be out there with them engaging prospective clients; and, oh by the way, communicating with existing clients on how you can do it better. Spread the message about your product, your people, you company culture and how awesome it is. You’re the #1 sales person.

And, third: Do you have someone on your team who just isn’t cutting it? If the answer is – “Yes,” that’s your fault. Either you didn’t train him well enough, clear goals weren’t established, or you didn’t give him the candid feedback required when he went off track. If you took all those measures and you’re still not satisfied with the results – that’s on you.

Take some time to reflect on your leadership truths and consider changes to improve the overall. Again, 1) don’t expect your people to work harder than you do; 2) embrace the notion that you are #1 sales person, and 3) take the responsibility for those who aren’t a fit for your organization. After all, you hired them.

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