Month: February 2012

February 14, 2012

George Washington Learned From His Mistakes

By Gary Polson, CEO

Many military historians consider George Washington to be America’s greatest general. He led a tattered, under-equipped, under-manned, and starving army to defeat the greatest army of the world at that time to win our independence.

He was not always such a great military man.  As a colonel for the Virginia Colony, he made strategic blunders that led to the slaughter of his men and the start of the French and Indian War. After that defeat, the Governor of Maryland described Washington as a  “dangerous mixture of inexperience and impetuosity.” As horrible and humiliated as Washington felt, he did not give up on himself.  He learned from these mistakes and eventually became a great general and the first President of the United States.

Like George Washington, we all have setbacks that feel devastating. He is a great example of not letting those setbacks stop us in the pursuit of our dreams.


February 6, 2012

Insight from a Navy Seal

All of us at the recent Keys to Success event, an annual kickoff meeting attended by all sales office owners in North America, were so lucky to hear from our guest speaker, Eric Greitens, Navy SEAL and award-winning author of “The Heart and the Fist.”  The most powerful part of his message was the mindset required to survive the Navy Seal boot camp. Only about 10 percent of these highly-fit soldiers make it. Eric said that it was not the great collegiate athletes that survived. Instead, it was the ones with the greatest will.

The attributes that he described for the successful are the same ones that are needed for success in our business. Here is a sampling of his comments that I wrote down:

“Confront your fear and push yourself.”
“Courage is the courage of perseverance of willing to do the hard things day after day.”
“People quit when they think how hard it is going to be, but rarely when they are doing those hard things.”
“The Navy Seal challenges are called ‘evolutions’.  Your character evolves until you get to the place where you change who you are.”
“To get the life you want, change the compass just a few degrees and march in that direction every day.”
“If you attempt a challenge and do not succeed, the challenge always remains – the challenge always remains.”

Lessons for all of us.  Eric, we will always be grateful and learned so much from you during the conference. Your words will stick with us now and in years to come.