EMAIL   847.998.0688
October/November, 2015
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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"The most common way people give up their power, is by thinking they don't have any."
- Alice Walker
"Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement."
- W. Clement Stone
"I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions."
- Stephen Covey

QUESTION: Jeff, when I turn on the radio or TV, or pick up a newspaper or magazine, sports broadcasters and even business journalists are talking about the remarkable transformation of your beloved Chicago Cubs. How'd they do it and what lessons can be learned about life or business?

ANSWER: Whoa! Intriguing question!

Every April, family, friends and clients ask me, "How will the Cubs do this year?" Seven months ago, I confidently exclaimed, "They'll be better, a few games over 500. About 85 victories and 77 losses." I was wrong. Big time! Yet never have I been happier, to drastically miss-the-mark.

The Cubs finished the 2015 season 97 – 65. That's 32 games or wins above 500! They headed to baseball's postseason. Shocking! Surprising! Exhilarating!

They then defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Wild Card game. And then whupped their arch rival, the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Divisional series. And then came the New York Mets and the National League Championship series. Ouch! The Cubs were swept 4 – 0.

So how do I now feel about this year's Cubbies season? It's interesting how overachieving creates new expectations. For years, decades, ummm, even centuries, Cub Nation has declared, "Wait 'til next year!" It really wasn't a confident, prophetic prediction. Instead, it was more akin to a resigned consolation. An acceptance of prolonged defeat and mediocrity. Until...

We Cub fans started to wonder, imagine, dream...could "this" year be "THE" year? Nope! Yet once you shake away the disappointment and heartbreak, you realize there are SO MANY positive things that happened this year for the Chicago Cubs and their fans, that they teach you valuable lessons about life and business. For example:

youth is a great thing, it represents talent and potential, yet it'll always get beat by successful execution

Lesson: It's not what you know or can do, it's what you do DO!

 little things really do matter; one play, one pitch, one inch

Lesson:  Pay attention to the details, they're likely to be the difference in your life, personally and professionally.

leadership starts at the top, from the moment he was hired as the new Cubs manager, Joe Maddon set the stage for positive possibilities and a new mindset of optimistic expectations (When I shared a flight to Tampa with Maddon in January, I simply said to him, "Joe, welcome. We're thrilled you're here!" At the time, I and others couldn't predict, how thrilled we'd be!)

Lesson: Choose your leaders wisely. Culture starts at the top. Whether it's who's heading your company, a division, a department or a committee, the right leader better be in place. While they may or may not help you "win the prize" this year, they'll sure increase your probability for victory. And along the way, drive lots of other successful results and outcomes.

baseball's regular season is a grind, 162 games over 6+ months, it's easy to lose focus, especially with exhausting travel, injuries and slumps, which is why the Cubs relied upon Maddon's motivational mastery...with music, magic or other motivational mayhem to keep players interested and performing

Lesson: Know what drives your team. Individually and collectively. And that only happens, when you know your people. Their hopes, dreams, desires and motivators. Build and strengthen relationships. Let others know you care.

unorthodox, unconventional and unexpected work, some think Joe Maddon is crazy, he might be, yet that also makes him a brilliant baseball strategist, i.e., batting the pitcher 8th vs. 9th, having players play multiple positions, executing back-to-back, run-producing safety squeeze bunts, etc.

Lesson: Forget about the naysayers and critics. Do what you think is right. Rely upon your knowledge, metrics, experience, statistics, eyes, ears and gut. Then decide. Confidently. Then execute or get the heck out of the way, and let your team execute. Your results will infom the world.

control what you can control: Maddon would stress, "Forget about yesterday, don't worry about tomorrow. Focus on today."

Lesson: Be in charge, every day, of your attitude, choices and actions.

For you and the Cubs, may next year, be "the" year, to attain new levels of success. Live and work, like a champion!


A great blessing of my personal and professional life, is having a large network of really talented folks. They bring vast knowledge and a unique perspective to topics important to you and me. The kinda stuff that drives results. Consistently. Dramatically!

That's why I enjoy my time with Dr. Alan Zimmerman, a friend, fellow Hall of Fame speaker and author, The Payoff Principle: Discover the 3 Secrets for Getting What You Want Out of Life and Work. Here are edited excerpts from a recent conversation:

Jeff Blackman: What's the Payoff Principle?

Dr. Alan Zimmerman: Everybody wants to be happier and more successful. Get bigger, better results on and off the job. The question is: How? Some think the answer is in one's attitude or passion. Many books tell us, "Attitude is everything." Yet we all know people with a passionate attitude, but they aren't going anywhere in particular.

Others think the answer is found in purpose. We're taught, "If we don't stand for something, we'll fall for anything." It's good advice. However, the world is filled with good-intentioned, purpose-driven people with no idea how to turn their ideals into reality.

Still others think the way to get desired results is with process. They'll say, "Don't bother me with pop psychology, touchy-feely info. Just tell me what to do." That works for a while, but it comes with a high relational cost.

From my 30 years of research, I'm convinced those approaches are partial truths. To have the happiness you want, to achieve the success you desire, you can't focus on just one of those three elements. You need a formula with all three. That Payoff Principle formula is: Purpose + Passion + Process = Payoff.

JB: How does it work?

AZ: When you find purpose in what you do, exhibit passion for the outcome, and master the process to make it happen, you produce the payoffs you want, need and deserve. You become a "Producer!"

JB: For most, what gets in the way of their success and happiness?

AZ: They don't know what they really want. They spend their lives thinking, "I don't know what I want to do when I grow up." So their lives, careers, and relationships are oftentimes a mishmash of trial and error, versus a straight path to what will bring them the success and happiness they desire. If you don't know what you really want, your only alternative is to settle for less. And that'll depress you or defeat you.

JB: What questions should one ask, to determine what they really want?
AZ: I suggest people write down three phrases:

  1. "Success is..."

  2. "Happiness is..." and

  3. "The most satisfying life would be..."

 Over the next ten days, take ten minutes daily to write down whatever answers come to mind. It's the first step towards getting/achieving more of those things.

Here's another useful exercise. Imagine a three-legged stool. Each leg asks a key question. When you answer these questions, you build the top of the stool or you define your purpose in life and work.

First, ask yourself: "What am I good at?" You have several talents, strengths and abilities. Write them down.

Next, ask yourself, "What excites me?" Look at how you're wired. What stirs your juices? Or doesn't? Some activities make you feel alive, others might diminish your spirit. Also answer, "What would I do, if I knew I couldn’t fail?" and "What would I do, if no one would say 'No'?" You'll get energized about your answers!

The third leg of your stool asks, "What difference do I want to make?" The first two legs or questions are focused on you, your talents and feelings. The third question focuses on people or situations beyond you. Maybe you want to solve problems for customers, develop employees into leaders, or raise financially independent children. Write down the differences or impact you want to make.

When you answer these questions, you'll know what you really want. You'll know what meaningful success and true happiness mean to you. And now, you'll have a clearer path to follow.

JB: Since attitude drives choices and behaviors, how does one change or improve their attitude?

AZ: Let's reframe just a bit and talk about Passion, the second ingredient in The Payoff Principle. Passion has three elements: Attitude, Persistence and Character. Some have a positive attitude, yet not much to show for it, because they lack persistence. Others may have a winning attitude yet their behavior choices are anything but winning, because they lack Character.
Attitudes though can be changed or improved by applying a few key strategies. First, see something positive in every situation. Life isn't totally good or bad. Yet when you can see "good" you'll maintain your attitude. 
Second, expect good things. Psychology repeatedly proves the power of the self-fulfilling prophecy. If you expect a bad day, you'll find something to gripe about. If you expect a good day, you'll find lots of good things happening. So look for them!
Third, counteract every negative with a positive "but." I often have clients take a piece of paper, and put a line down the middle. They write the word "Problems" on the upper left column and the word "Blessings" on the upper right column. Then they list every problem and its counteracting blessing. 

One woman wrote:

"I lost money in the stock market … but I have my house and other valuable assets."

You can focus on the left column and be depressed, or you can focus on the right column and create an empowering positive attitude.

JB: What's a "Mind Binder?" And how can it/they be altered or eliminated?
AZ: A Mind Binder is a repeated negative comment. It binds success and ensures our failure. One might say things like:

"I can't remember names." or "I can't stick to a diet." or "I can't afford that." or "I can't close that sale." or "I'll never get ahead."

Mind Binders are dangerous to think or utter. The more you do so, the more you're stuck with its corresponding losing behavior. You perform as you tell yourself and you won't rise above your own negative self-talk.
To take control of your mind, success and happiness, do two things. First, when you catch yourself thinking or speaking a Mind Binder, say "Cancel! Cancel!" This puts a counteracting command into your thoughts that'll neutralize your Mind Binder. Second, talk back to yourself firmly, repeatedly. Tell yourself, "Stop it! Just stop it!" With practice, you get rid of Mind Binders holding you back.

JB: With demands at work and home, I hear others exclaim, "I'm overwhelmed!" How does one achieve balance?
AZ: You need Purpose, Passion, and Process working for you to get the Payoff of balance, as well as other payoffs. 
Purpose: Define what's most important to you and do those things. Let go of good things to have better things in your life. There isn't time for everything.
Passion: Look at how you use time, at work and at home. Every activity adds to your passion and energy, or subtracts from it. Eliminate passion-subtracting activities.
Process: Get the skills you need, to get the results you want. Quit complaining. Learn something, to do something.
JB: What's the role of risk?

AZ: It's critical. If you want more of anything; a bigger paycheck, a healthier body, stronger relationships, it requires leaving your comfort zone. What got you here, won't take you there. If you want bigger, better personal and professional payoffs, leave your comfort zone and take more constructive risks. My research tells me, a risk is constructive when you get two or more "yes" answers to these questions: Is it necessary? Is it cost effective? Will it work? Is it worth it?

For more payoffs that'll be worth it, please take a peek at: www.

Your cup of inspiration, reflection and laughter!

And...they're off! Blue skies. Crisp fall air. And hangin' with 45,000 of our closest friends! We weaved our way along Chicago's magnificent lakefront and down empty downtown streets cleared of all cars. This past Sunday, my wife, eldest daughter Brittany and I, participated in the 8th annual Hot Chocolate 5K/15K Chicago.
Plus it was for a great cause, Ronald McDonald House Charities. Brittany knocked-out an impressive time for the 15K or nine-mile course. (In September, she completed Chicago's half-marathon.) Sheryl and I walked the 5K or three-mile trek. And, don't mean to boast, yet I finished first in my category: "Guys over 50 with at least four knee operations and two achilles tendon surgeries!"
One of the most popular weekly sections in our local newspaper, is the Police Blotter. It features the unfortunate "alleged" mishaps and misdoings in our community. What I find especially entertaining, is what qualifies as mischief, that merits a call to the police. For example, the following are two verbatim excerpts:

"At 8:51 p.m. syrup was stolen from an unlocked trailer." (Feel free to insert your own punchline, that includes the words, "sticky situation!")

 "At 2:28 p.m. someone tried to engage in unwanted conversation." (Uh oh, if that's the new standard for criminal behavior, how many chatty airplane seatmates will soon be found guilty?!)



How ironic, the place we enter for energy, couldn't provide it, because they literally, didn't have it! (Can you guess where I spotted the following sign?)

Our nearby:

  A. gas station

  B. fitness center

  C. Starbucks

The correct answer is C. Guess that's the extreme example of DE-caffeinated!


Coffee Break for the Mind is a trademark of Blackman & Associates, LLC

To make a submission when you see or hear something funny, quirky or offbeat, please send it to: [email protected]

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!
AUDIO EXCERPTS | Listen to powerful excerpts from Jeff's audio growth tools, CDs or interviews. | LISTEN NOW
“When we hired Jeff, I was lucky enough to have already known him for a few years. My confidence in him was already high. And when he started working with our team, I realized how he had developed masterful methodologies based on his experience and ethics. From the first day of the program and learning-system, our team was energized, eager to prepare for ongoing meetings and quickly leveraging the techniques. Knowledge builds confidence and practice builds skills. Jeff gets it.”
Tim Padgett CEO/Founder/Eye Candy Pepper Group Palatine, IL

“Jeff has had a powerful, positive impact on our company. We reference his teachings on a daily basis. And his generous and ongoing email and phone availability, plus counsel and support have kept us engaged. Most important, Jeff’s ideas and strategies have stuck!”

George Couris President
Pepper Group Palatine, IL
"My firm, a commercial insurance program management company, engaged Jeff as a sales training advisor in June, 2014. He helped us design a customized training and reinforcement system. In addition to his people skills, Jeff is consistently prepared for meetings and has excellent follow-up with our team and even 1:1 counsel. We're extremely pleased with our significant improvement and results. That's why we have an ongoing relationship with Jeff, and I enthusiastically recommend him."
Chris Randall CEO
Ultra Risk Advisors Bellevue, WA & Atlanta
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2130 Warwick Lane • Glenview, Illinois 60026
[email protected]
phone: 847.998.0688 fax: 847.998.0675
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