Last Friday (and an Ice Cube movie) I was working with a candidate that was doing a Ride Along (another Ice Cube movie…Ice Cube is my spirit animal) with me.  This isn’t too uncommon…I am a sales trainer as well as a Territory Manager and often ride with and train new employees.  This particular case was an individual who was doing a “day in the life” of what we do.  This candidate was pretty far into the interview process and this ride along is usually one of the last steps.  These field rides are also an opportunity for me to get a feel if this person is a good fit for our company and has what it takes to succeed in medical sales – specifically in our division.  I am tasked to give my recommendation to the manager and other members of the leadership team.

I envision my ride along’s like this…I’m obviously Ice Cube (one bad mofo)

I envision my ride along’s like this…I’m obviously Ice Cube (one bad mofo)

When I work with candidates I’m looking at specific traits in a short amount of time.  I try to uncover these behaviors and skill sets through questioning and basic interaction throughout the day.  If the candidate can demonstrate these traits, they are in.  If they can’t, they’re out.

Here is what I call my Big 6:

  1. WORK ETHIC/DRIVE: Do they have an extremely strong work ethic and drive to be the best?
  2. INTELLIGENCE: Are they smart?
  3. GRIT: How do they deal with failure…are they resilient?
  4. VALUES: Do they operate with sound ethics and good manners?
  5. ENTHUSIASM: Are they passionate or passive? 
  6. CULTURE: Does their personality fit within our organization?

In baseball, scouts, general managers, and personnel people are looking for what they call a “5 Tool Player.”  These players are very rare and are coveted by organizations.  Basically, having the 5 tools means, you are a complete player…you can do it all: run with speed, excellent defensively, have a strong arm, hit for average, and hit for power.  Scouts must rely on their experience, eye for talent, and often “gut,” on these players who are unproven at the professional level.  They have to project whether or not they have what it takes to make it to the “Show.”  These scouts grade potential draftees on these 5 tools.  They would say for example, “He’s a 4 tool guy…he does everything well, but can’t hit for power (lacking that one tool).”

Mike Trout is as the model of a 5 Tool player – he can do everything on the baseball field very well.

Mike Trout is as the model of a 5 Tool player – he can do everything on the baseball field very well.

I apply this same approach in projecting what kind of sales professional and person this candidate will be.  I evaluate whether or not they have what it takes to be a key contributor AND be a President’s Club type representative.  That’s always the hope.  I believe that if a candidate has the Big 6, I don’t care what their sales background is, we can teach them how to sell our products and services and they will have success.

If this is you, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

If this is you, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

This might be a good time to evaluate your Big 6.  Are you a 3 Tool player or a 6 Tool player?  Is it time to revisit your fundamentals and get back to the basics?  Do you need to remind yourself why you took the job in the first place?  Sometimes we can get comfortable and get into modes where we are on cruise control.  I know you’ve heard of Beast Mode…attacking each day and challenge at work with zest and zeal (like how Marshawn Lynch attacked a defense).  I hope for your sake you are not in Least Mode…getting the least out of your skills, while your employer is getting the least out of your position.  Sometimes in life, we need to ask the right questions.  Here are a few for you to think about:

  • How is your work ethic?  Are you still busting your ass, and giving maximum effort every day to be the best you can be?
  • What are you doing to improve your skill sets and knowledge within your position?  
  • How is your personal development outside your role (maybe for a position you want to ascend to)?  
  • How do you deal with change and adversity in the work place…how’s your grit?  
  • Are you living by your core values on the job and treating others with respect and generosity?
  • Are you living each day with passion and enthusiasm?  
  • Do you love what you do?  
  • Do you enjoy the people you work with?  
  • Do you get satisfaction hanging and being around your coworkers?  
  • Does your job give you energy or take it away?

5% – current unemployment rate, thus,
95% of Americans are working
55% of our day (M-F) is spent at work (based on 7.7 hours of sleep)
30% of our life is spent at work
38% of men work over 50 hours per week
15% of women work over 50 hours per week (that number was 5% in 1979)
1800 – hours Americans work per year
$15.7 trillion – American Gross Domestic Product (GDP as of 2012)
$8.3 trillion – China’s GDP in 2012 – our closest competitor

Seriously, take a moment and evaluate yourself, your position, your job, and your company right now.  I’d like to hope that for you, money isn’t the only thing that determines your career and current role.  Life is too short!  Please don’t simply survive Monday through Friday.  


My hope is that you THRIVE in your profession…that you wake up each day feeling blessed and so excited to go to work!  


If you are not 6 for 6 in my BIG 6, how can you improve that?  Remember a few posts ago, I mentioned the power of the Kohler Effect?…how working in groups or with others makes you put forth more effort.  I hope that you love the people you work with.  At my company, the people and the relationships I have with my colleagues is the most enjoyable piece of what I do.  I can honestly say that I LOVE THEM!  Life is all about relationships.  Quality relationships at home and in the workplace are vital for personal fulfillment.  I hope you feel the same.  If not, it might be time to re-evaluate your role.  Most people spend as much time with co-workers as family.  Find a job that fills you up, where you wake up on Monday PUMPED, because you get to go to work.  Find a company culture and a role that PLAYS TO YOUR STRENGTHS!  Do what you are good at and love to do.  Again, life is TOO SHORT to simply tolerate or worse yet, hate your job!!!

Growth and contribution bring ultimate satisfaction.  Finding the right career will do just that.  If you love your job, company, and current role – great.  If not, what can you do about it?  Time is ticking…don’t waste a single day not progressing personally and professionally.  Being the best version of you means you are doing what you love to do and absolutely crushing it.  Let’s GOOOO!  If you are in this place, continue that path.  If you are not, make the changes necessary to be there.  YOU CAN DO IT!!!

G Disain