What is your company BRAND type?

By Jernavis Draughn

Jeff Bezos once said your brand is what everyone says about you when you’re NOT in the room. Over the last year and a half, our company “Athletes Global” has become more focused on what we want our brand to stand for. We want to align our “what”, with our “why” and our “how”. So our teammates echo and behave consistently with our mission and culture. Your brand is your BUSINESS. The operations of a company will impact the culture, by shaping how people work. The culture also impacts operations by making it work effectively and efficiently. Your culture defines your leadership. It actually affects how you provide your services, even down to the packaging of your products. It also affects customer service, how you win, and how you respond to failure and conflict. All of this defines your BRAND.

In the book “Fusion”, by Denise Lee Yohn, it introduces how integrating brand and culture powers the world’s greatest companies. Here’s nine different brand types that companies are defined by.

  1. Disruptive Brands. Completely changes the entire industry. Examples: Tesla, Apple, Amazon, Walmart
  2. Conscious Brands. Mission to make a positive impact on society. Examples:  American Red Cross, Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation, and LinkedIn
  3. Service Brands. Deliver high quality customer care and service. Examples: Chic-fil-A, Trader Joe’s and BMW
  4. Value Brands. Offer low prices for basic quality products or services. Examples: Walmart, Subway, Amazon
  5. Innovative Brands. Consistently introducing advanced and breakthrough products and services. Examples: Tesla, Disney, Apple
  6. Performance Brands. Produce and deliver superior performance and dependability. Examples: Proctor & Gamble, Toyota, Cisco
  7. Luxury Brands. Higher quality at higher prices. Examples: Mercedes, Hermes, Louis Vutton
  8. Style Brands. Differentiated by the products or services look and feel. Examples: Nike, Airbnb, Starbucks
  9. Experience Brands. Differentiated by the experience they provide. Examples: Disney, AMC, Hilton, Apple, Amazon, Starbucks

What is your company brand type? What is your employee and customer experiences? How would they rate them? Your organizational culture is largely shaped by its purpose and values. Becoming clear on how you want you’re Brand to be defined, will help build a clear vision, mission and a company culture that is committed to success.

Quote of the Day: “Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.”-Walter Landor

The six stages of the VICTIM CYCLE

By Jernavis Draughn

You’re either a victor or a VICTIM. You can only choose one of these paths to travel down in LIFE. The option of being a victim is effortlessly traveled. You can choose to blame others for your life choices, circumstances, beliefs, personal growth or accomplishments. Or you can take the second path of becoming a VICTOR. Where you take full responsibility for everything that happens in your life that you can control. Of course, genetics plays a part on rather we will receive certain diseases that are hereditary, or if a tragic event happens to a loved one or friend that you have no control over. Life is always happening for us not too us. We are plagued with adversity and failures in life to help us grow on all levels. If you cannot fail, you cannot SUCCEED!

Winston Churchill once said, “The price of greatness is RESPONSIBILITY!” You are the beholder of your results, successes, and failures that you endure. Being the CEO of a company that’s currently providing services in 30 states, I could easy blame our teammates for any failure we encounter. I made the decision to take full ACCOUNTABILITY for anything that goes wrong in our company. I believe self-reflection creates self-growth. This mindset keeps me constantly learning and improving in leadership, our systems, customer service, programs, hiring and sales processes. This requires me to SHOW UP every day, committed, motivated to solving any challenge that’s negatively hurting our company.

You must be personally accountable for how you think and act. Most people only change, if they learned enough that they want to, or they hurt enough that they have to. I believe you should change before your forced to change. A person with a victim mentality, never takes accountability of their actions and how they played a role in the outcome. In the book “The Wisdom of Oz, Roger Connors and Tom Smith discuss the six stages of the victim cycle.

  1. Ignore/Deny. Don’t ignore the red flags when you see them. Change before your forced to change.
  2. It’s not my job. Take complete ownership. The people that succeed at a rapid speed in the marketplace are the ones that do more than their job description requires.
  3. Finger Pointing. Playing the blame game never brings better results. Start with the person in the mirror first.
  4. Confusion/Tell me what to do. Confusion at times is a camouflage of not wanting to do something. Ask for clarity and communicate where you don’t have understanding.
  5. Cover your tail. The easiest way to cover your tail is by using effective communication and total transparency.
  6. Wait and See. Taking action is the only way of learning from failure and Growing from success.

You get what you repeat. If you continue to be a victim in life, you will continue to reap the same results that you have received. Greater accountability is a choice. Change starts with a decision. Make the decision today to become a victor in life. We all deserve to live a life of abundance and freedom.

Quote of the Day: “Habits are the fingerprints of your character.”

The Four Wheels of Behavior Change

By Jernavis Draughn

Change is inevitable, but progress is not. The new year is here, and most people are focusing on their new year resolutions. I believe change starts with one simple DECISION. Do I truly want to change? Is what I’m looking to change important enough for me to change my lifestyle, mindset, routine or ritual? Has my behavior caused me enough pain that I NEED to change? Am I too comfortable with my current situation that change is not a MUST? We change in a moment. Change doesn’t’ take long, it happens instantly when we make a commitment to our commitments. Here’s what I’ve learned about behavior “change”. Meaningful behavior change is very hard to do, and no one can make us change unless we truly want to CHANGE.

Our environment drives our behavior. Learn to control and create a healthy environment. Who we associate with, eat, learn from, grow into, religious and limiting beliefs are created by our environment. There’s an adage that says, show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. We become who we consistently hang out with and do daily. In the book Triggers by Marshal Goldsmith, he explains that we all have behavior triggers. He explains, it’s any stimulus that impacts our behavior. To avoid undesirable behavior, we must remove ourselves from hanging with people that live that lifestyle and then change those environments where it is most likely to occur. Goldsmith discusses we have four options in pursuing any type of behavior change.

  1. Creating. Represents the positive elements that we want to create in our future.
  2. Preserving. Represents the positive elements that we want to eliminate in our future.
  3. Eliminating. Represents the elements that we want to eliminate in the future.
  4. Accepting. Represents the negative elements that we need to accept in the future.

Asking yourself what you need to create, preserve, eliminate, and accept in your life is the first step to changing your behavior. Psychologist Carol Dweck once said, “Becoming is better than being.” Whoever you want to become, improve in or accomplished will require some type of change in your life. The questions that will start your journey of change will be, are you ready to make a real decision and are you committed to not quitting on YOURSELF.  

Word of the Day: “Changing your words, will change your WORLD.”

Seven Habits of a Successful LEADER

By Jernavis Draughn

Leadership is not a title; it is a choice. You make the decision to become a leader. I believe everyone has leadership qualities, even if they don’t hold the title of a leader. The best leaders have mastered the art of doing these two things, inspiring and impacting people lives. We live in a world with over 7 billion people and we are consistently meeting, listening, and conversating with people daily. The impact or how we inspire people with our words and actions leave a lasting impression on them. Maya Angelou once said, people don’t remember what you say, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them FEEL.” Leadership is influence. You must lead with your life. Your words must match your actions. The reason why Leadership is a lifestyle.

Athletes Global is a leadership development organization. Our mission is to develop future leaders through our services we provide. We consistently preach this to our teammates to help create a clear vision and the purpose of our organization. It takes a leader to build another leader. You must lead with purpose, be open minded, understanding, calm, positive, give praise, affirm, provide clarity, reinforce, and consistently repeat the purpose and vision of our organization. I’ve failed so many times as leader, that I’ve fell in love with learning everything I can to improve my leadership skills in all facets of my life. Learning is the foundation to self-improvement. Leaders are readers. New information can change your current situation. You first must commit to growing as leader and seeing the value of doing it.

In the book The Ultimate Competitive Advantage, by Shawn D. Moon and Sue Dathe-Douglass, they discuss the seven habits of a successful leader.

  1. Proactive. They take initiative and responsibility for results.
  2. Purpose. They begin with the end in mind. By having a sense of mission and vision that is clear, compelling and infectious.
  3. Put First Things First. Focus on getting the right things done. There’s a difference between important task vs. urgent task.
  4. Think Win/Win. Provide mutual benefit by respectfully seeking to benefit others as well as yourself. Givers Gain!
  5. Seek first to understand then to be understood. Empathize in order to understand people and their perspectives before sharing your own. “You can’t solve a problem you don’t understand.”
  6. Synergize. Leverage the gifts and resources of other people. Give autonomy and allow risk taking and creativity.
  7. Sharpen the saw. Keep getting better and more capable, never standing still. Commit to lifelong learning.

Winston Churchill, once said, “Leadership is the ability to go from failure to failure without loosing enthusiasm.” It’s an infinite game that you commit to improving on for life. You lead by example, learn to speak last, listen more than you speak, be transparent, support and help people grow. They say there’s no success without a successor. What leaders have you created, helped, impacted or inspired? I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou that will help summarize the purpose of this blog, which says, your legacy is every life you touch.”

Quote of the Day: ” If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”-John Quincy Adams

4 Keys to creating QUALITY services and products!

4 Keys to creating QUALITY services and products!

Quality speaks, without saying a word. Your product or service solves a customer problem the moment it’s used or purchased. Quality builds credibility. It either creates or destroys your brand. Jeff Besos once said, your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Quality is a direct reflection of your culture you’ve created for your organization. Your teammates must believe providing quality is the foundation to their personal success. I’ve learned some people innately hold themselves to a higher standard, so teaching them the level of excellence we want to provide our customers comes second nature. It’s part of there character. It’s who they are. They’ve seen it, experienced the success from providing quality products or services, and now it’s a habitual behavior.

The largest organizations don’t always provide the best quality products, but they have created an efficient system that has allowed them to scale exponentially. For example, McDonalds doesn’t have the best burger or the healthiest meals in the fast food industry. Here’s how Mcdonalds provides great quality for their customers. First, McDonalds now has over 36,000 restaurants and the second largest chain in the world. Some of their restaurants are open 24hours. Sauce on the side is FREE. Breakfast is available all day. They serve almost any type of food you have a taste to eat; burgers, fries, chicken, coffee, cookies, ice cream, salads and ribs, to name a few. They offer a play area for kids to enjoy. All of these products and services add value to the customer. The largest organizations today provide array of services or products for their customers to choose from. It’s a buffet business model. It’s one of the reasons Amazon, Starbucks and Walmart are dominating their markets. They have cornered the market by selling a slew of products, while keeping their price point feasible and providing quality customer service.

In the book, People over profit by Dale Partridge, he explains 4 key aspects that create quality products and services for you’re organization.

  1. Physical Quality. Anything a customer or team member can touch should be excellence.
  2. Experiential Quality. Customers don’t only purchase products; they also buy experience.
  3. Visual Quality. Your design must be a core value of your organization.
  4. Personal Quality. It must tell a story that your customers want to be a part of. Stay innovative. Give out surveys. Ask for feedback. Respond quickly to any issues and constantly improve your services and products.

Providing greatness must be your foundation when creating any service or product for your organization. Consistency must be a core value if you want to sustain lasting success. Focus on the few and experiment to see what product or service provides the most value. Quality is birthed by a decision to only create moments that your customers will always remember. Disney World is the most visited theme park in the world, based off the quality of the services they provide and the memorable moments the families create by visiting their park. If you do decide to embark on the journey of becoming an entrepreneur, create quality products and services that make your customers heart sing.

Quote of the Day: “Quality creates credibility!”

4 Keys to CONSISTENT Success in ANYTHING!!

Is there a proven formula to achieving lasting success in any area of your life? I’ve read a great book by, Jim Collins called “Good to Great”. He states, “only a few people attain great lives”, because it’s so easy to settle for a good life. Some people believe that being successful is a choice. The decision to be successful is made when we raise our personal standards. What we do daily determines our worth. We need to have targets and goals that we are striving to reach, which intrinsically inspire us to grow. Money won’t make you or keep you fulfilled, and happiness leads to success. The feeling of purpose will be your fuel to keep your fire consistently burning. How can we ensure that we are intentionally reaching our daily, weekly, monthly and yearly potential? Listed below are four ways that I’ve learned from reading and researching what the most successful people do to achieve consistent success.

1. Out-Work. Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work HARD. Simply put, just out work everyone else. If people are not complimenting your work ethic, then you’re not fully committed to reaching your full potential.

2. Out-Last. The titan warriors live by this mantra, “Sweat more in training so you bleed less in WAR.” People only quit jobs, sports, positions, people, and things that they are not committed too. Pain is temporary, but if you quit, it will last forever. You have to endure the process in order to progress in any area of your life.

3. Out-Improve. Growth has to be your number one GOAL. Constant and never ending improvement is the only way your marriage, relationships, career, your company, your spirituality, financially, physically, and emotionally you will be able to reach your full potential. 

4. Out-Strategize. What you tolerate, your never change. We live in the world that our questions create. So the key is to continually think about how you can make your service, product, career, marriage, and relationships better. Make your better its best by taking time to strategize how you can intentionally create more value in those areas. “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”-Michael Porter

If you intentionally focus on growing in these four areas, 2018-2019 will be an amazing year!

Quote of the Day: “GOALS are not promises, they are COMMITMENTS!”

Why EVERYONE is in SALES!


By Jernavis Draughn

We ALL are selling something every single day. From having to convince your kid to take a bath, or the value of going to school, negotiating a lower price on a new car purchase, to asking for a raise at your job. I believe sales is the number one skill set to attain and mastery for the future. With the rise of artificial intelligence and more jobs being automated, there won’t be many jobs a robot can’t render. Learning the art of communication and the ability to sell, will place you ahead of someone who only has a degree, masters, PHD, certification, etc. You will have the skills to sell your particular skill sets in a manner that will separate yourself from competition and provide complete clarity on why you’re the best candidate for the that position.

Zig Ziglar, once said, “Every sale has five obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, and no trust.” Sales is essentially a transference of feelings. I believe no TRUST, no SALE. Creating a rapport is the first step to connecting with your prospect. Next is using active listening, to hearing the needs of your prospect. Active listening, means listening with the intent to understand. Closing any sale starts with knowing exactly what problems your prospect needs solved. In the book, little red book of selling, by Jeff Gitomer, he explains there’s certain principles that lead you to becoming a top sales producer. Here’s a few that resonated with me that have improved my sales skills.

-Believe you can close every sale. Have a winner’s mindset.

-Plan your day and the goals you want to accomplish.

-Recognize and take advantage of all opportunity.

-Take responsibility for your success in sales.

-Take risk and embrace failure as a learning opportunity.

-Hang around the right people that inspire and motivate you.

-Prepare to win or lose to someone who is.

-Position more. Compete less.

-Prospects buy the sales person first.

-Become an expert or influencer in your field.

-Celebrate effort, not victory.

Commit to sales mastery. Measure your closing rate and continue to work on your sales game DAILY!

Quote of the Day: “Make a customer, not a sale”-Katherine Barchetti