Ignore the Noise, Focus on The Gift


A few days ago I met David Snyder when he attended “Gwinnettworking,” sponsored by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, headquartered in Duluth, GA. As we became better acquainted a few days later at lunch, I recognized that he has enjoyed a stellar career.

–Group Sales Manager for Johnson & Johnson
–Vice President for National Accounts, Coca-Cola
–Vice President of Operations, Coca-Cola, Tokyo

Now he provides financial advice for a top-tier client list at Morgan Stanley, operating from Atlanta.

During our conversations, I discovered what I consider the real key to his professional success.

Not his education
Not his networking skills
Not his ability to communicate his ideas
Not his ease in meeting strangers

. . . although with him all of those assets are strong.

Instead, from my viewpoint David’s key to success, both in business and in life, is his outlook on life. In an era when pessimism, gloom, defeatism, fear, resentment, jealousy, and mistrust abound, David said this during our casual lunch chit chat:

“We get two things in life. First, we get a Gift. The Gift comes to us when we wake up, and have another day packed with possibilities.”

What’s the other thing we get? “Noise. Noise is all the things that happen to us, everything that can go wrong during a day.”

So, David went on to explain, “We can choose to let the Noise overwhelm us. But that’s not my choice at all. I focus on the Gift.”

What a powerful way to stay motivated! With David’s permission, I am  sharing his daily approach with you.

You and I face the identical choice day after day.

Let’s ignore the Noise.

Let’s accept the Gift and maximize its opportunities.

To learn more about David Snyder, check his LinkedIn page:


First, visit my LinkedIn page:


Then call me to discuss what you want to accomplish, and we will devise a coaching plan that will help your company communicate more clearly and productively: 678-316-4300

Since 1997, I have provided Speech Coaching for Leaders, Communication Consulting for Companies, and Interview Coaching for Professionals in Transition.


Spieth Loses Masters, We Learn Vital Business Lessons

the 12th green at the Masters viewed from the 13th fairway
the 12th green at the Masters viewed from the 13th fairway

Jordan Speith’s loss at the Masters may have been a big upset in the golf world, but it gives us the opportunity to learn three important business lessons.

You don’t have to be a rabid golf fan to know that something just happened in professional golf that was unpredictable and unlikely. Jordan Spieth lost The Masters golf tournament after leading by five shots with only nine holes remaining.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the trophy presentation. Danny Willett of England shot a final round 67, while Spieth scored a title-surrendering 73, after dunking two balls into the water on the famed 12th hole (pictured above). So Willett—never mentioned as a tournament favorite–won the championship by three shots.

While the golf pundits stay busy exploring what this stunning upset means for professional golf, let’s consider three vital business lessons Spieth’s loss provides.

Mary Kay Ash, who sold and managed her way to the top of the cosmetics industry, said this well, as quoted by her biographer Jim Underwood in More Than a Pink Cadillac: “Never rest on your laurels. Nothing wilts faster than a laurel sat upon.”

Apply her advice to today’s flooded job market. True, job seekers are wise to highlight their major accomplishments in their resumes, and to refer to them during their interviews. Although these achievements help their cause, past activities alone won’t land a new position.

A potential employer will determine what you can do for her company now, next year, and beyond. How will you boost teamwork, sales, and customer service? Will you adjust successfully to the new corporate culture?

In the music industry, the phrase “one hit wonder” applies to many recording artists. Sadly, their careers plummeted soon after a meteoric rise to the top of the charts. They didn’t keep producing what the public would buy.

So follow Mary Kay’s counsel. While describing your career, talk about your wins enough to build your credibility, yet emphasize what you are going to do next that will benefit your employer, clients, employees, other constituents, plus that all-important bottom line.

New Masters Champion Danny Willett didn’t qualify for The Masters by winning something like the Toledo club championship. Though far less heralded in the United States than Spieth, Willett ranked twelfth worldwide among professional golfers, and had finished sixth in the British Open.

One key to remaining at the top in business is to recognize that vastly gifted competitors challenge you–to remain innovative, to adjust to shocking changes, to be the first to offer new products and services, and to treat your customers better than anyone else could.

Think back a few years to the condescending comments some merchants and business owners made about an upstart company called Walmart. You can just hear hear their derisive words:

“From a hick town in Arkansas, won’t amount to much.”

“They won’t affect us. Our folks will stay loyal to this company.”

“They’ll fold soon, like the other store that was on that corner before them.”

As we know, any business executive who thought he could ignore the lesser known competition was miserably mistaken. Walmart has become the world’s largest corporation according to revenue, and the world’s largest private employer.

So here’s a second vital message: Never assume the competition seems trivial, less prestigious, or unlikely to take control. Plan, work, manage, sell, and motivate as though your competitors are gaining on you. . .big-time.

So,  Jordan Spieth did not win The Masters, and resembled an amateur badly in pursuit of his club’s championship. Yet would you consider him washed up, a has been? Would you bet against him in any tournament he enters? A thousand dollars, or more? Not likely–because you know that one loss, even one witnessed worldwide, will not destroy his confidence permanently, reduce his talent, or erase his drive to regain and keep the number one spot.

Relating to the business scene, have you experienced any of these threats?

  • Downsized staff, making you accomplish more with less help
  • Company has a new owner, you get a new boss
  • Your health and retirement plans shrink drastically
  • The company transfers you to a distant location
  • You lose your job
  • A potential employer who seems a “sure thing” hires another candidate

Once more, use the Jordan Spieth analogy. You, too, will reach top levels again.Chances are strong you have done that before, after what you considered a career-ending catastrophe. Now, you are even more skilled, you have additional leaders referring you, and you know you can adjust to unsettling situations.

Yes, Jordan Spieth, you didn’t win the coveted green jacket, but certainly you gave all of us three superb business lessons.

First, visit my LinkedIn page:


Then call me to discuss what you want to accomplish, and we will devise a coaching plan that will help your company communicate more clearly and productively: 678-316-4300

And check with me too about my Speech Coaching plan that will help you speak confidently, clearly, and convincingly.