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LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Joe Theismann, former quarterback and two-time Pro Bowl player for the Washington Redskins, confronted showgoers Monday with the “Challenge of Change.”
Change, as Theismann demonstrated, can come in abrupt and traumatic forms before leading to a long-term positive transformation. On the evening of Nov. 18, 1985, Theismann learned first-hand about adapting to change when he suffered a compound fracture to his leg during a big game. He said that despite the challenge to his career, he learned to see the incident as an opportunity to try something new. Put the word “opportunity” in your vocabulary, he told show-goers.
“I’ve experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. And that’s what you’re doing right now,” he pointed out, adding that he looked for lessons from the accident that he could apply to his life. He encouraged the audience to embrace change instead of dreading it, and to figure out how to make it work for them.
Part of turning change into opportunity, Theismann said, lies in identifying goals and writing them down. Theismann claimed that 98% of people refuse to write down their goals. “An unorganized mind is an unorganized life,” he warned.
Goals should be specific, measurable, and attainable, he said, adding, “You should ask yourself, ‘what price are you willing to pay?’”
Theismann related another change he has grabbed, just as many others have: technology. He told the audience that he recently purchased an iPhone. “I’m so connected, it’s scary. But, it’s exciting,” he said. He conceded that technology is raising customer expectations for scheduling and speedier delivery, but he said, that raises opportunity as well. “Accept the challenge of change. Don’t be afraid to try new things.”
The former football champion also stressed that professionals should take pride in and be passionate about their work. They should keep learning about the business. “If you’re going to do something, do it with enthusiasm,” he urged. That attitude, he emphasized, will be reflected in the quality of the business, and service demand will be higher.
He recalled a limousine service with a chauffeur that arranged for every vehicle on a run to be stocked with Pepsi after finding out it was the client’s favorite beverage. “You are in the special industry. Are your people doing things for your customers to make them feel special?” he asked.
Theismann also asked the audience to consider the appearance of their chauffeurs, and noted that professional dress is necessary to convey the proper image. “Unless you demand excellence from your people, you won’t get it,” he explained.
Everyone on staff needs to work as a team to achieve success, and it’s up to the leader to provide a positive mental attitude, he noted. “Is everyone in your organization dedicated to winning, and have you defined ‘winning’ for them?”
Applying the lesson of providing a positive outlook on change, Theismann volunteered a slogan for the limousine industry: “It’s not extravagant to be chauffeur-driven. It’s smart.”
Source: Nicole Schlosser, LCT Magazine
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