Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Couch Lou Holtz

The keynote speaker at today's general session was Coach Lou Holtz. A few stats about the legend: Lou Holtz coached Notre Dame to a national football title in 1988. He was a 2-time Coach of the Year (1977,88). He retired after the 1996 season with a 216-95-7 record in 27 seasons with 5 schools— Wm. & Mary (3 years), N.C. State (4), Arkansas (7), Minnesota (2) and ND (11).

Wins, Losses, and Lessons LPWins, Losses, and Lessons LP

He never took over a winning team - and in every case, was playing at a bowl game within 2 seasons. He was a fantastic speaker that was funny, polished, quick witted, and poignant. Here are a few of my favorite one liners from today:

• "Behind every successful man is a surprised mother-in-law."
• "The true key to happiness is a bad memory."
• "I'm the only guy I know who has written more books then I have read."
• "I don't pray for my wife any more, I pray to her. She's a saint!"
• Referring to marriage: "Opposites attract, then they attack."

What made the biggest impact on me during his 60 minute speech was this summation:

"There are only three questions that everyone wants to know about you: Can I trust you? Are you committed to excellence? Do you genuinely care about me?

If you genuinely care about someone, the only way to show it is by the little things. Lift them up, share in their lives, share yours.

Do you want to know who genuinely cares about you? Ask yourself this question: 'If I don't make it back home or back to work – who will truly miss me?' Your answer will be people to whom you have made yourself an asset to. By being trusting, committed to excellence, and genuinely caring about them."

-Coach Lou Holtz

Food and Good Times

There are over 900 people here from my company, and last night an elite 300 or so were at a dinner at Graycliff ( which is a 5 star restaurant, cigar bar and, sports the worlds top three private wine collections.

After drinks and hors d' overs around the 2 pools surrounded by Bahamian foliage and a band, we shuffled into the 260 year old building for dinner. I had the Grouper. Post dinner, I hovered over a Cuban gentleman who spoke no English and was about 75 years old and watched him roll Premium Bahamian Cigars that were "99% Cuban".

Today, I was invited to a "first timers" reception where a record-breaking 250 sales reps attended. All I have to say, is - it was done right. The theme was simply 'glad you are here, DON'T EVER MISS IT!'

Then off to the company dinner with all 900 people. The decks of the hotel were filled with lobster tails on the grill, fillet Mignon, fresh mozzarella, fruit, desserts, and beer and wine and more, much more. I was overwhelmed with the number of people there, and these represent the top sales reps in the company! Good company. My favorite? Macaroons with hot chocolate sauce drizzled on top. CORRECT!

After dinner, I mingled and made my way to the casino where $100 kept me busy for 45 minutes at the Black Jack table, had a few drinks and donated another $100 to the Bahamian gods of cards.

Tomorrow 8am - noon is a general session with all reps from all divisions, free lunch and the rest of the day is 100% free. Sleep sounds good to me.