EMAIL   847.998.0688
June, 2020
Welcome to YOUR newly designed and re-formatted Results Report.
TAKE ACTION. For on the clock of life or watch of winners THE key word is NOW!
Strategies and ideas for life and business, to help you maximize results!
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If something is important enough, or you believe something is important enough, even if you're scared, you'll keep going.
     - Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX
Champions keep playing until they get it right.
     - Billie Jean King, legendary tennis champion
If you want, need or demand more from your life, you may have to change. Your past assures nothing. It's simply an influencer, not a guarantor.
If you think the cost of education is high, imagine the cost of ignorance!
Without integrity, truth and honesty in the business-development process, there's no need to even market, sell, negotiate or serve.

The preceding three quotes, are excerpts from the new 5th edition of my bestselling, Peak Your Profits. Now available on Amazon at:

And thanks to all of you, who helped PYP5 jump to #95 on Amazon.


Since the global pandemic began, my email inbox has been filled with lots of questions, concerns and challenges—from clients and readers. So in this issue of The Results Report, instead of offering counsel and guidance on only one issue, I’ll address two.

First, how to identify a decision-maker—to know if you're working with a player or a pretender. Then, the importance and value of preparation—and its direct impact on your results, revenue, profits and earnings.

QUESTION: Jeff, while my business is slowly reopening—the opportunities are fewer. So it's really crucial to talk to a decision-maker. How do I identify one and what do I ask?

ANSWER: Terrific question. Whether you're in current COVID-19 times, or preparing for your post-pandemic success...

For decades, I've urged clients, "If you want a decision, ask a decision-maker!"

Which means...

You must discover, quickly and accurately:

   • Who's a player versus a pretender.

   • Who's a decision-maker versus an evaluator, recommender, suggester or influencer.

I'll never diminish the quality and humanity of another person who's not a decision-maker. However, if I'm expecting them to give me the thumbs-up, a nod of approval or say "yes" to an idea, solution or agreement AND they don't have the power or authority to do so, I'm wasting their time and mine.

Ouch. Frustrating!

Below, you'll see a series of questions. No, you don't pose them right out-of-the-box. For example, if you were to greet a prospect or client with, "Hi, nice to see you, so is this your decision or somebody else's?"—that would be goofy and stupid!

You still must always—develop rapport and discover what problems need to be solved, needs filled and dreams or goals realized.

Please take a peek at the following eight potential questions, which obviously, aren't listed sequentially. Play with the possibilities. Adapt them, so they work for you and those you serve.

1. Whose budget will be help you...(reference their previously stated goals)?

2. Whose goals or strategic initiatives...are most impacted by this decision? What role will they the decision-making process?

3. How will the success of our i.e., products, services, contributions, or evaluated or assessed? And who will be doing that assessment or evaluation? To make sure we're all on the same page, how soon can we all get together?

4. Who approves our final game plan? If there's a question or a disagreement about our game plan, who makes the final call?

5. Will this be your decision...or will you be making suggestions to another leader or team member? Who might that be?

6. If this was your decision, how would you decide? How would you like to work together?

7. Ethically, I have a responsibility or ethical obligation to your, i.e., President, CEO, Owner, committee, board, senior leadership team, etc., to understand what he/she/they would like to accomplish, and I'd hate to commit an ethical breach. How can you help bring us all play with the possibilities / consider your alternatives / explore various solutions / (use their specific language for a desired outcome or goal)?

8. On occasion, some clients like to include others in the decision-making process, because their company has various levels of approval-authority, and it's usually based upon i.e., a dollar amount / a level of commitment, etc. How might that come into play, if at all...with your company's decision-making process?

When you decide, to adapt and apply the preceding, others will then decide, they want YOU!


QUESTION: Jeff, have heard you speak and read your books. And know how you stress the importance and value of effective preparation. Your ongoing reminders of this strategy, have helped me land major deals. Yet, am curious...did your commitment to planning and prep, start professionally or earlier in your life?

ANSWER: Intriguing question. While there a lots of cherished moments in my childhood or adolescence where I learned the value of preparation, one of the most memorable, is when I was a twelve-year-old. And played on an All Star baseball team.

Our first-round competition was on our home diamond, which included a metal-link outfield fence. During the season, my fellow outfielders and I, had experienced every inch of that fence. The live spots and the dead spots.

Meaning, when a ball hit the fence, we knew if it would bounce back toward us, carom at a crazy angle or hit and merely lay there. We knew when and how—to either charge a ball or wait for its bounce.

These insights, meant playing on our "home field" had
distinct advantages. Our familiarity and perceived sense of comfort with our surroundings worked to our benefit, throughout the regular season and in post-season play too. In the tournament, we easily won our first two "home" games.

For round two, we traveled to Wauconda, Illinois.  Wauconda was only about a 45 minute drive north, but as a kid, this was a "big deal." Because we were now "on-the-road" ball players. A "travel" team.

I'll confess, I have few memories of that game. I know we lost, but can't tell you by what score or how we played. Yet, what I do remember, vividly, is what us outfielders did long before the game started.

We met on the left-field foul line, where the line meets the fence. There, Coach Ken McGonigle said, "Boys, this fence is different than on our home field. It's made of wood. And a ball doesn't bounce off of wood, in the same way, it bounces off of metal."

Coach McGonigle, then began to slowly walk us across the outfield fence, one step at a time. With each step, he
tossed the league ball off another wooden board. He was right, all fences are not created equal.

With some tosses, the fence seemed to suck up the ball.
That meant we'd have to charge hard to get it. With other tosses, the ball seemed to slingshot back toward us. That meant, if we charged the ball, it might hop back and past us, giving a runner an undeserved extra base. So now we knew, to wait, and play the bounce.

While the fence and our ability to play it, didn't influence the outcome of that game, it might have. And if it did, we would have been ready.


- attention to detail matters

- while knowledge might not always secure victory, it'll give you valuable insights for future battles, challenges or opportunities

- preparation is crucial to success

- the phrases, "I didn't know!" or "I had no idea!" aren't used by winners, they're only heard from whiners

- know your surroundings, culture and environment, (look for commonalities, but most important, discover and adapt to the differences)

- all victories, aren't always measured on the scoreboard

- look at the familiar, from a different perspective

- realize, that one bounce, one fact, one detail, one discovery—may be the difference between victory and defeat, (if not now, at some point in the future)

- be creative, do the things others don't think about, it'll give you a competitive advantage

- do the things others are unwilling to do

- be willing to alter your approach or style of play

- arrive early, (physically or virtually), it gives you the time and luxury to experiment and play with the possibilities, (time constraints create pressure and stress)

- realize, that some of the simple and at-the-time, seemingly meaningless moments in your life, are actually the most meaningful and memorable, for they teach you life-long lessons with daily application and significance


A great serendipitous joys of my business, is I'm never quite sure who will be in an audience during a speaking engagement. This past February, on a sub-zero day in Altoona, Wisconsin, one of the attendees was Scott Hoffmann, CEO of WIN.

WIN or The Wisconsin Independent Network offers state-of-the-art fiber optic network and data center services to several Midwestern states and serves over 200,000 telephone, internet and video customers.

Following that speaking engagement, Scott and I chatted. Especially, about The WIN Way—that has helped drive their culture, performance and success. Whatever the size of your company, Scott's insights will help you too, drive short- and long-term growth.

Jeff Blackman: How was The Win Way created?

Scott Hoffmann: WIN Technology began in 1999.  Not a great time to start a tech business, given the dot com bubble unraveling over the next few years. We barely survived. Staffing was reduced to me and a salesperson.

Fortunately, we found a customer niche in the cell phone industry. Cell towers needed to be connected to regional cell switches and Internet connectivity grew in importance. Our fiber network was and has been a great solution for the cell phone industry and Internet transport.

We started hiring employees again in 2004, and since have experienced consistent growth. As our fiber network business grew, we diversified into additional services. And our staffing grew.

By 2017, we had a staff of 110 disbursed across four states managing multiple business units. And experienced cultural issues new to us: Uncertainty from employees as to their role in the big picture. And what was the big picture? What concerned me, was silos were forming.

Our Executive team identified what we valued in our culture and what were important values and behaviors. We held offsite retreats, to think without distractions.

It took time and discussion to collectively agree what we valued and what we wanted our culture to look like. The result: The WIN Way.

The 29 Fundamentals of The WIN Way describe the values, behaviors, principles and practices that are the foundation of our culture. They explain how we relate to our customers and to each other. It's who we are, and what drives our extraordinary success.


"Do The Right Thing Always"

"Listen Generously"

"Make Quality Personal"

"Take Initiative"

"Create a Tone of Friendliness and Warmth"

JB: How is it reinforced: Internally? Externally?

SH: Since the inception of The WIN Way in late 2017, we hold a weekly Monday morning full-staff meeting. Someone presents the Fundamental of the week and provides their thoughts about the Fundamental. For the first 29 weekly staff meetings, they heard from me as CEO. The second time through, they heard from our Executive team. The third time through, managers took their turn. We're now in our fourth time through the weekly fundamentals and employees choose which fundamental to present.

The presenter, during the week, sends out an email reminding all—of this week's fundamental and provides added thoughts to the fundamental's meaning and impact on our organization.

The weekly fundamental, as a reminder, is also posted daily on building video monitors.

Externally, we've printed WIN Way fold-outs we give to customers and vendors. And all 29 fundamentals are featured at:

JB: What impact has it had?

SH: Those silos, don't see them as much anymore. Also, in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, nearly all of our 135 employees were working from home. And we haven't seen a drop in performance or productivity. A lot of cross-functional chat conversations take place every day, which is a part of our culture. As I review The WIN Way, I see our staff actively engaged in every fundamental during this difficult time.

JB: And its effect with the acquisition, satisfaction and retention of customers?

SH: Customers make value judgements. They want to do business with suppliers they trust, who have values similar to theirs. Our motto, "we do what we say we will do." This means we'll deliver your service when promised. Answer our phones or your emails when you reach out. And take care of your service as if we're in our customer's shoes.

A new client may think, "Yeah, that's what they all say." Yet, seeing our WIN Way fundamentals, offers the client better perspective and understanding into our values and beliefs. Clients who see our WIN Way have a link into our culture. That ties their experiences with us, to what we say, we believe in. It's validation.

JB: How do you hold folks/your team accountable to The Win Way?

SH: Interesting question. Over time, I've witnessed employees calling upon The WIN Way in their communications with teammates and customers. It's used to reinforce decisions where judgement may otherwise not be entirely clear. I've seen employees challenge co-workers, and me, using our fundamentals to explain a point they're trying to make or drive a change they're championing.

JB: How do you measure its success?

SH: I'm constantly taking our company's pulse. One measuring point, is employee issues and complaints fielded by our HR department. Overall, my sense is, we have a staff with far better clarity as to what we value. When it's written down and ritually discussed, it's much easier to have a clear understanding of what we stand for and how we should behave.

JB: Since its implementation, what has given you the greatest sense of pride?

SH: A great concern of employees and myself, as we grew in the early years, was growth negatively changing our culture. We liked what we had and wanted to retain it. But, how could we continue to feel like the same company with ten times the employees in the future? Admittedly, at times, we slipped. Yet once we implemented The WIN Way, we got the train back on track. We saved our culture and have become a stronger organization.

JB: For any company, considering implementing their own "winning ways"—what's your advice?

SH: Businesses have a culture, whether a leader recognizes it or not. You must choose if you want to manage it, or be managed by it. If you choose to ignore your culture, you'll likely have a culture that's not consistent with your values—and the behaviors you expect from your team. Culture is seen and experienced by customers, in the everyday contact they have with our employees. Cultural excellence is the best way to guarantee business success or failure.

Decide what you want your culture to be—and dedicate time and energy to live it.

• • • • •

Want to see how Jeff helped one client drive results?
Please take a peek at this video, where Chris Randall, CEO of Ultra Risk Advisors, talks about Jeff's positive and powerful impact on his team:
To explore how Jeff can help you and your team drive results—with speaking, training, coaching, consulting and reinforcment—in-person or virtual, please contact Sheryl Kantor at: [email protected] or 847.998.0688
Your cup of inspiration,   reflection and laughter!


September 28th, 2018—it was official—our eldest daughter Brittany and her boyfriend Rob, were now engaged. Exciting times! So the planning process began.

Their wedding was scheduled for April 18th, 2020. The hotel, florist, band, photographer and videographer booked. The "countdown" began. Invitations sent. Bridal shower celebrated. Wedding dress and tuxes ready-to-go! And then...

The pandemic brought everything to a screeching halt. Yet, not the wedding!

The kids decided to still get married on the rooftop of their Chicago condo. The only attendees: Brittany and Rob, the officiant/Rabbi Held, Brittany's maid of honor/our youngest daughter Amanda, and two witnesses; Rob's cousin Adam and Brittany's dear friend Rachel.

My wife and I, along with Rob's parents, the bridal party and family members—all watched on Zoom.

The kids were ecstatic, and my wife and I, had an extremely short...commute home! The next night, a brief excerpt of the ceremony, was featured on ABC 7 Chicago's newscast.



On June 14th, our youngest daughter Amanda and I, took a five-mile walk through the Chicago neighborhoods of Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville.

Along the way, we spotted some simple, yet meaningful  messages; painted on a boarded-up retail store, chalked on a city sidewalk and displayed on the marquee at Wrigley Field:



Our son Chad, who lives in California—was home last week to celebrate his birthday with our family. The celebration included, a visit with my soon-to-be ninety-one-year-old mom. (It was mom's first social visit outside since COVID-19 precautions began in March.)

Chad has grown-up a lot, since 1989!



While I first wrote the following in 2001, over the past 19 years, I've shared it on occasion in other platforms, i.e., newspaper columns, interviews, speeches, etc. And folks always say, "It's relevant and timeless." May it too, help you embrace your future with hope vs. hesitancy. To your results!

Erase villains. Embrace heroes.

Erase reluctance. Embrase resilience.

Erase selfishness. Embrace selflessness.

Erase getting. Embrace giving.

Erase complaining. Embrace changing.

Erase observing. Embrace doing.

Erase negatives. Embrace positives.

Erase mere interactions. Embrace meaningful relationships.

Erase boundaries. Embrace possibiliities.

Erase delay. Embrace now.



For a bonus dose of inspiration and knowledge, please take a peek at our two latest blog posts:

And of course, you're welcome to become a blog subscriber too!

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Looking for the ideal gift for yourself or others—to make the rest of 2020 a time for dramatic growth and success, then please head to Amazon for the new 5th edition of the bestselling Peak Your Profits:

"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy books—and that's kind of the same thing!"
     - Unknown
MEET JEFF |Jeff helps you win BIG in today's competitive marketplace. His high-energy and high-content messages deliver immediate take-home value, growth and results for you and your team. Whether he works with you once in a dynamic keynote or once-a-month in an ongoing coaching and learning-system, he helps you drive relationships, revenue, profits, results and rewards. Jeff is singularly focused on helping you achieve and surpass your desired outcomes. And you're even protected by Jeff's incredible No-Risk Assurance.
RIGHT FOLKS, RIGHT RESULTS |What's driving current or prospective members of your team? Your salespeople? Service 
                                                    pros? And leaders? What causes them to produce, lead or loaf? What motivates them to attain, or not attain, new levels of success? What direction are they headed? Where do you want their journey to go? How valuable would it be, if you had the answers to these questions? Well now you can!
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"Jeff, the feedback is the best I've received in 9 years of coordinating our Forward meetings. You scored a Grand Slam! Thank you for doing such a great job, in preparing and motivating our team."
David Wallach President
Barclay Street Real Estate
"At DUKAL we have an experienced team, exposed for many years to individuals and speakers who can help us. Yet when Jeff Blackman spoke, (a half-day results-session with reinforcement), I received comments like, 'Awesome!' 'Highly impactful!' 'Learned things I never knew, even after 25 years of selling.' 'I'll now take a different direction on how I present our value and work with customers.' and much more. Jeff's attention-to-detail and fact-gathering, made him better prepared in learning about our culture and team—than any previous speaker. And it showed! I highly recommend Jeff as an impact-player who can make any individual or company better!"
Gerry LoDuca President
"From the moment we met Jeff, he was interested in knowing our business at a fundamental level. He spent multiple sessions with our team, learning our merger challenges, interviewing customers and suppliers, and tailoring his 'change' message. He then set our conference tone with a fantastic kick-off. I highly recommend Jeff to anyone looking to launch a new initiative or jump-start their organization wiht new energy and direction. We value his hard work and preparation and were thrilled with his presentation."
Paul Dean Executive Vice President
LBM Advantage
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