#033: SIV David Mead – Start With Why

How Great Leaders Inspire Action


I don’t know about you, but I have had a handful of epiphanies in my lifetime that dramatically impacted my thinking, my business success, and my life.

Early in 2010, someone introduced me to a TED talk given by Simon Sinek that absolutely changed the way I looked at my life. I have always had a strong vision of why I was doing what I was doing, but I didn’t understand the importance of sharing my why with the people I was leading, including my own family.

The TED talk is titled How Great Leaders Inspire Action. It is the 3rd most watched video in the history of TED.com with over 37 million views. Shortly after the video was released, Simon released his first book titled Start With Why which expanded on the concepts he had laid out in the video. It was a runaway best seller.

I contacted Simon’s organization and they were gracious enough to offer to bring David Mead, one of their top trainers, onto the Success Is Voluntary podcast. David has been with The Start With Why Movement since almost the beginning. In fact he was working with Simon before the TED talk. David travels extensively all over the world speaking and helping organizations instill a Start With Why culture.

The 13 WHYS David And I Talked About

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How Do You Know?

Do you really want to know?

In sales we often are so driven by emotion that we don’t stop and really analyze what is going on in our business. We just bebop through our day doing the activities we think will drive our business forward. We end the day on a high. We have accomplished every thing on our task list. We made two DM presentations that we feel really good about. We even found time to make a bunch of new contacts that we are convinced will turn into new customers. It seems our business is about ready to explode. Well to borrow a phrase from ESPN commentator Lee Corso,

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#031: SIV Tom Hopkins

Tom delivers once again.


When I relaunched the Success Is Voluntary blog and podcast this January, one of the first congratulatory emails I got was from Tom Hopkins. Tom had been a guest on the podcast 4 years ago and his episode still holds the record for the number of downloads of a SIV podcast (just over 4,500.) In his email he asked me if I would like to have him come back on the podcast. I was stunned and incredibly humbled that A) Tom is a subscriber to SIV, B) That he actually reads my emails, and C) That he contacted me with his very generous offer.

If you listened to his first appearance you know what a huge influence Tom has had on my sales career and quite frankly my life. I could not be more thrilled to get to gleen more wisdom from Tom during this interview. The thing I love about the SIV podcast is that I get to ask questions and learn from every guest we have on. The way I look at it is that I get at least 1% better from each and every guest. I thank you for coming along with me on this incredible journey.

In the interest of time, so that you can get to listening to the podcast asap, I have again bullet-pointed the things we talked about on today’s episode.

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You Are A Leader (Like It Or Not.)

“Leadership is influence; nothing more, nothing less.” - Dr. John C. Maxwell.

I have heard dozens of people try to define leadership. Most of the time they were doing it in the context of what makes a great leader, great. Dr. Maxwell is paraphrasing the accent Chinese proverb, “If a leader doesn’t have anyone following him, he is simply taking a walk.” To lead, you must have people that are following!!!

Leadership Success Is By Working Together Like Gears

The reality is that you and I have worked for good leaders and those that couldn’t lead a starving man to a steak. As you move through your career, the thing that separates those that thrive in their organization, versus those that languish, is they have learned how to lead. Sometimes they have the position and authority to lead. More often they have the moral right to lead based upon their contributions. Contributions to their customers…. Contributions to their company…. Contributions to their boss…. And most importantly….Contributions to their peers.

True Leaders Often Don’t Have The Title

Ask yourself this, have you ever been in a meeting where one of your colleagues drove the conversation even though they weren’t the “boss?” Of course you have. We have all been in that meeting. Why do you suppose that happens? I have an idea… You don’t have to be the “boss” (or named leader) to lead.

In fact, if you wait until you have the title, you will never be the leader. In my career I have had the privilege to promote over 200 people to leadership positions. Guess what I based EVERY SINGLE ONE of those decisions on? That person’s CURRENT influence. Sure, performance and work ethic had influence in the decision. But overwhelmingly I have looked to promote people that others were already following. Call me lazy, but I have always wanted to run with those that were already running.

Tim’s Six Leadership Tips

So how do you gain influence with you boss and your peers? I have six, sure-fire ways to gain influence and join the leadership ranks of your company.

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Every success I know has been reached because the person was able to analyze defeat and actually profit from it in the next undertaking.

William Moulton Marston

#032: Jackie Kohorst-Payne: Grit + Professionalism Always Wins

Where is VB headed?

Are You Stubborn Enough

Have you ever meet someone that you instantly knew was a true professional and that you were really going to enjoy collaborating with? Someone you knew was going to make you better? I first meet Jackie in early 2016. Her story of grit, determination and triumph inspired me then, and it continues to inspire me today!

Not only is Jackie inspiring, she is a world class professional and leader. In today’s episode Jackie breaks down where they VB industry started, how it got to where it is now, and where it is headed. I know I have never heard

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Doing The Work SUCKS!

But the results are worth it

Most people who begin a career in sales are a little pollyannaish over the trajectory of their career. When I began my VB career in 1998, I thought insurance salesman took clients golfing, out to lunch and then were done with their day at 3:00pm. Perhaps I’m exaggerating a little but I never expected to have to work as hard as I did. (My natural state is lazy. Not kidding.) I am incredibly glad that I chose to volunteer for success and do the hard work necessary to succeed in the great adventure of professional sales.

As I have watched literally thousands of new, straight commission salespeople begin their career,

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Luck is the last dying wish of those who want to believe that winning can happen by accident. Sweat on the other hand is for those who know it’s a choice. So decide now because destiny waits for no man. When your time comes, and a thousand different voices are trying to tell you you’re not ready for it, listen instead to that lone voice of dissent. The one that says you are ready. You are prepared. It’s all up to you now.”

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