When I was younger with a new family, we tried out something new … a boat. We didn’t go for a small boat, we went for medium sized 28’ boat that you could sleep on. A nice Sea Ray with a significant price tag. In the end, we did it for a couple years and then made a family decision that we enjoyed golf and a nice pool more. But it was a great experience.

What has that got to do with drive and motivation? I was on the phone with my sales manager on the Monday after picking up the boat and he was very excited for me. I found it odd, as he was never the ‘interested in your personal life’ kind of manager. I voiced my question:

Me: “Why are you so excited about our buying a boat?”

Him: “I love to see you with a big new boat, hopefully you will upsize the house too. The bigger your mortgage, the harder you will work and the more you will sell”

Motivation, drive, that thing that pushes us to the next level is impossible to teach, very different for each person and often very personal. Good managers understand that and help it flourish. They also understand how to avoid hiring those without it.



The thing about sports stars is that there are two types, those who are good with people and those who are not. Pro Ams are the best example of this, where a group is all excited to be with a pro and he turns out to be brutally unsocial and doing it ‘because he has too’. 

Larry Robinson was great with people. Through the evening he was approached time and time again for autographs, with stories of how he inspired people when they were kids and for pictures. No problem, he was nice to everyone.

Having the opportunity to talk to him through the evening, I learned a lot about him and his views. I enjoyed his views on how to motivate his team (as a coach, with players where money is not the motivator), about his being a super proud Dad and Grandfather (Just like so many other people) and on why Canada beat the Russian Army … It was the thing I was very curious about.

What was it like to play the Russians versus in a Stanley Cup? He described it as being very different. The cup is a long gruelling slog to the top. The national games like the Canada Cup were different. They ended in weeks, were very intense and felt different, because all of Canada was rooting for the team.

He described the Russians as a unique lot. They would head north into Belarus, to an encampment circled by barbed wire, to practice non stop, studying the hockey theory of Lloyd Percival and executing like machines. He stated that when you played them, it was always the same. They were just so good, always playing at one level, their best.

So I asked, then how did you win if they always played at their best? They trained as a team all year round (unlike the Canadian team which was all stars who came together for a month,  then went off to the NHL), were well known to have the government assisting their development artificially, and were machines (he described hitting them like hitting a tree trunk). How do you beat that? He looked at me and said one word …


True in hockey. True in business. I would take drive over skill any day. You can teach skill …


When I was a new sales puppy, I read a ton of sales books. Many books suggest that without goals – you will not achieve success.

The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever   seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way and who will be sharing the adventure with them.      Denis Watley

Early in my career, I set upon one goal: To earn enough money so that money was not relevant. I grew up in a family that was always struggling for money. We were well taken care of, but went through some very tough times. To me, my goal was simple: Make enough money so that I don’t have to worry about money – ever.

In the early stages of my career (When I was 24/25) that became a simple goal: break the $100,000 income barrier. To ensure that I understood my goal every single day, I taped a big sheet of paper to my desk with the numbers $100,000 in a big bold font. Every day, I would get up and look at that number, every evening I would close out my work with a final look at that number. Everything I did was focused on that one goal – breaking $100,000.

This had a very concrete impact on my actions: I prioritized, I worked harder, I built a very big pipeline so that if I closed 1 in 3 deals I would make my $100K number.

That year, I made $103,000. The next year, I made $176,000.

That same philosophy can be applied to many things. For example, two years ago I wanted to break 90 as a reasonably new golfer. It was a big psychological barrier and required focus – but I set my sight on the goal and built a plan on how to attain it (practice, reading, lessons, etc.) That year, I broke 90.

I often ask people that one question: What are your goals? If you don’t know your goals, how are you going to figure out what needs to be done to attain them? In the end, it is goals that make the difference, we make our own fate …. The below should say ‘Those with goals get to be an astronaut’.