Coach Gary on Teamwork

January 28, 2014
Coach Gary on Teamwork

There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

My plan all along was to utilize this January’s column as a look-forward into 2014. After all, it is ‘that’ time of year, and people traditionally put the current year onto some kind of a back-burner or an old file cabinet, and begin thinking about the new year. Human nature…and it is something which needs to be done. That’s why I do it! But crashing into my thought processes, as I began writing this column, was the death of Nelson Mandela.

Truth be told, I am not at all a fan of his early politics, but I can’t help but be a huge admirer of the man, himself, particularly in his later life. So it is an amazing thing--at least to me—that a conservative such as I would find value in some of the philosophies held by this icon of ‘humanitarian nobility’.

And yet, the quotations and thoughts from Mandela fit nicely into laying out our plans for the coming year! More importantly, these thoughts and philosophies remained a part of Nelson Mandela once he was released from prison—after 27 years. He never once sought vengeance. In fact, at his presidential inauguration, among his invited guests were his jailers from Robbens Prison. My guess is that I could not—or would not--have done the same. Sorry. I’d probably have been bitter, particularly if I thought I was innocent.

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

As a long-time writer of magazine columns-- over 100 of them--Yikes!) my messages of the past few years have all been about the idea of ‘hanging in there’. Persevering through this economy. Keep on ‘keeping on’, and so forth.

People disagree on exactly when the business economy went into its current death spiral, but probably somewhere near the end of 2007. Regardless, it’s safe to say that it has been several years of lower-than-wanted revenues, and I have long been hopeful of a turnaround in the fortunes of everyone.

That hasn’t happened yet. To put it into perspective, I/we could all complain that the last six or seven years might not have been good, but it hasn’t been for twenty-seven years, has it? And I know we’ll be ‘released’ from our economic prison before then!

But there will be disappointments. Talking the other day with a friend of mine named Richard, he told me that the company he founded had suffered a hostile takeover, he was out, and that now he is doing something entirely different—at age 75—but he’s excited about it and the prospects it has.

Mr. Mandela knew intimately what this was like, when he said: Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again. What I love about Richard is that he got up! And by getting up, it reminds me that it is possible for me—and others--to get up. Richard’s reaction and attitude would have made him proud.

How about you? Been knocked down and kicked around for awhile? Let’s make 2014 a breakout year by realizing our dreams. He once said that A winner is a dreamer who never gives up. In the midst of all the turmoil, of the second-class citizenship and extreme poverty of the day, he said Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great; you can be that generation.

Sure, it’s still scary out there. Maybe you feel more like the bulls eye on a target than a mason contractor. We’ve all been there. But for us, the great thing is that we’re not in this alone. We have an advocate, an organization of great people behind us. The CCN embraces the goals of both free market capitalism, along with the integrity, resolve and stick-to-it attitude necessary to win as entrepreneurs providing a much-needed service.

Mandela has said that once people are determined to help themselves, there is nothing that can stop them. A key to winning in 2014 is having the resolve to help yourself, plus networking with organizations that can help you achieve these goals. It is very difficult to do these things on our own.

‘Coach Gary’ says: “Lone wolves often get shot. Smarter wolves appreciate the strength of the pack.”.

As we look at the new year upon us, what are your plans for prosperity—for growing your business? Will you continue to do only the same old things, or will you consider other ways of helping your business? I’m a marketing guy, besides being a project manager, and I know this: in order for your business to grow or survive, you must have sales, and in order to get sales you need to have a source of leads—particularly if you are dealing with consumers.

What I find effective is using what I call ‘lead generation websites’, which are geared towards automatically getting your phone to ring. These work for me. Maybe you’ve got some other ideas. I’d encourage you to test them. If you’d like a short and free report on how to market this way, just contact me (see below) and I’ll send it right out.

This month I seem to be using a ton of old sayings and quotes, but here’s another, and it’s worth your remembering: “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten!” This is the year to step things up, and I’d like to help you any way that I can to make this happen.

In the midst of his darkest times in prison, Mandela wrote a letter to his wife where he shared with her that Difficulties break some men but make others. He taught his countrymen that It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Scary times call for bold plans. Well into his prison stay, the bitterness and hatred had left him. He saw a big picture. For him it was a free South Africa and the passion, strength and courage it would take to pursue it, and end Apartheid. A bold plan! I learnt that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

What are your goals for 2014? Will you commit the time and resources to make them a reality for you, your company, family and community? Things are scary, I’ll grant you that, but you’re not locked up. You can make things happen! Will you work to conquer your fears?

Last month I asked the question, ‘Where is our next Lincoln coming from?’ For we who are in the U.S., the question was a valid one. If someone in South Africa had read my column, he might have known the answer, for to him it clearly could have been only one person!

Regardless of where in the world you are today as you read this column, aren’t you wondering: Where is our next Mandela?

May God bless you this coming year with all of the tools, energy and commitment required to accomplish your goals, but may your goals be big enough to be worthy of your efforts.

Here’s to a great 2014.

Coach Gary’s Corner: What’s your plan for freedom in 2014…and beyond? Coaching will help you get there in less time, and with more success. Ask Coach Gary to speak for your group, association or convention, or even to coach your company? You can at least ask! Coach Gary’s first book, on project management & leadership, “Get Paid for a Change!” is available at His columns have now appeared in over two million print magazines.

Gary Micheloni is currently Director of Marketing for United Infrared as well as for, and also a speaker, author, consultant…and a business development coach. Contact him thru