Sales and Sales Management Blog

March 10, 2008

Guest Article: “Attack Yourself,” by Jeb Blount

Filed under: goals,motivation — Paul McCord @ 5:39 am
Tags: , , , ,

Attack Yourself
by Jeb Blount

You want something. You have goals. You have dreams. The reason I know that you have dreams and goals is that as a Sales Professional or Business Leader, it’s just in your nature. It is likely that you chose sales as your profession because you recognize that no other career in business today offers more opportunities for achievement and success.

You just closed the biggest deal of your career, you blew away your quota, you made the president’s club, you were named sales rep of the year. You just crossed the finish line first . You raised your hands, pumped your fists, and celebrated. You are a winner!

Nothing feels better than winning. But while you are cashing that big commission check, relaxing on the beach at your sales award trip, or walking on stage at your national sales meeting to pick up your trophy ask yourself this question: What next? You see, winning was hard. It required perseverance, training, hard work and focus. But all too often, after achieving our big goals we take our foot off of the success accelerator and just coast for awhile. Relaxing in the glow of our victory we quickly forget that the game is still on, our competitors are not resting but instead are plotting our demise. I was reminded of this yesterday when I read a marketing slogan for a company that had just received a top award in its industry. The slogan simply read:

“When you’re in second place attack the leader. When you’re in first place Attack Yourself.”

What a perfect message for winners. In the 21st century there is no time for complacency. We can not afford the luxury of comparing ourselves to those behind us. There is no time to rest easy. And though we must take time to celebrate and enjoy the fruits of victory, we must also stop and create new goals for ourselves. We must learn to take each win in stride and raise our own bar so that we keep reaching higher.

It is easy to look back poor performance or a failure with our 20/20 spectacles on and find all of the areas where improvement can be made. But it takes loads of self discipline and the heart of a winner to break down a brilliant performance and then take action to make small adjustments and improvements that keep us ahead of the pack. The great NFL quarter back Steve Young said once that “the principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than the day before.”

In fact this is what all elite athletes and elites sales professionals do. Real winners constantly attack themselves. They pick apart each performance and seek ways to improve. It is the unwavering focus on constant improvement that separates the good from the great.

Jeb Blount is CEO of The Sales Leadership Group, author of PowerPrinciples, the creator of the popular internet sales community, and the host of the top rate Sales Motivation Podcast, SalesGravy: PowerPrinciples. Considered one of the leading experts in sales and sales leadership with over 20 years experience in Fortune 500 sales and marketing, Jeb holds a core philosophy that in sales and life there are a handful of basics, which if focused on intently, will drive peak performance and achievement. He seeks to remove complexity from inevitable challenges, and instead, focuses individuals and businesses on key actions that deliver quick and sustainable results.  Visit Jeb at Sales Gravy


On another note, Ian Brodie of the Sales Excellence blog addressed the issue of the infamous 80/20 rule. You can find is advice on dealing with rule within your particular business here.

Paul McCord can be reached at


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