Dear London Realer,
As I approach what I believe to be my first live appearance in about 15 years, outside of my QLA Castle Seminars, I am reflecting on the career I have had - especially as a high performance coach and mentor. It has been a remarkable run. As I work simultaneously on the London Real 1-day presentation at the Ritz and my upcoming QLA Castle 8-Day Experience, it’s given me much to ponder. However, though I am cognizant of the past, I look with laser beam-focus on the bright future. Of course, some say I could give both of these presentations in a coma and some say I could give them from my grave! LOL!
QLA is my life, I live it each and every day. Yet I prepare, prepare, prepare and practice, practice, practice all the time! WTF! To say “I walk my talk” is an understatement of biblical proportions!
I would not normally be preparing my monthly London Real Blog this early, but I have the 8-day QLA seminar beginning 1st of April, to another full house. As I say, until I am blue in the face, there is no rest for a high performance person. If you don’t believe me, look at the travel schedule on my site Contrary to those of you that are reading this blog, I work every day I am on the road – no matter what the occasion, even when I am chasing Silver Back Gorillas. I spend virtually no time hanging or chilling. I am 100% committed to being a high performance person, no matter where I am or what I am doing! I even demand all my QLA mentees to do the same. Of course this regimen is not for everybody, as evidenced by your probable daily endeavours!
Since entering the professional world of High Performance Executive Coaching almost 22 years ago, I’ve had many thousands go through my various QLA programs. The pundits say I have reached at least a million people, either directly or indirectly, perhaps even more – not the least of which was Brian (QLA) Rose. I’ve worked with many hundreds personally, as if I were their father or big brother, inflecting tough love. LOL! And as many of you know, I coached and mentored for twenty five years before devoting my full time to it, whilst in the military, as a university teacher and when building Great Western Resources, Inc.
I’ve been privileged to make a few friends and to work with some of the greatest minds and spirits on this planet – QLA mentees, devotees and believers in me, Dan Peña; a founder of a Fortune 50 Company that built a $30 billion empire from scratch in 8 years; the former CEO of a Global 25 company with 400,000 employees; the CEO of Onassis Shipping Lines and long-time confidant of Aristotle Onassis; Board Directors of FTSE 100 and Fortune 100 Companies.
I’ve worked with US governors; members of the US President’s cabinets; world class athletes, including the National Baseball Association World Champs and their coach; All American collegiate athletes; mayors; chiefs of police; geniuses; individuals of low I.Q.; the brave; cowards; engineers; psychics; members of the British House of Commons and House of Lords; former ministers of European governments; counts; princes; priests; nuns; rabbis; doctors; shamans; lawyers; judges; movie Stars; authors; IT/Internet gurus; psychiatrists; teachers; professors; nurses; chiropractors; dentists; Success/Life Coaches; the French Foreign Legion; professional soldiers – including mercenaries; accountants; children of dictators and a couple of dictators; the Vatican – including the head of the Vatican Bank; numerous governments; the Church of England; the first Female Fortune 500 President; policemen; firemen; the extremely well educated and the uneducated; extremely super wealthy and the abject poor; men, women and children of all religious and political persuasions from all parts of the planet from age 14 to 82. WTF!
Dealing with all the above, I’ve encountered individuals of integrity and honesty along with the liars, cheats and thieves. Most of all though, I’ve seen people lie, cheat and steal from themselves – ensuring that they will not be all they can be. They engage in self-sabotaging activities that never ceases to amaze me! Unfortunately, being honest with yourself is not the same as being honest with others. It can be a lot easier to be honest with others than yourself. Frankly, for most people it’s very, very difficult to be hard on ourselves and the ones we love. Very often being honest with yourself means doing what makes us most uncomfortable and this notion is reinforced every week in my QLA mentee reports.
For me, I’ve learned the truth isn’t always what’s necessary – though I never will mislead. As I’ve aged or mellowed (which I don't think I have), I learned that many people “...can’t handle the truth!” as Jack Nicholson bellows in a A Few Good Men. Lord knows he is correct! Most people don’t really want the truth because it is easier to live a quiet life of desperation. That’s why my coaching market is so much smaller than other coaches, because I only want to work with the finite group that really want the fucking truth – no matter what. Of course, wanting and being able to deal with the truth, are two very different things.
The characteristics of the very best of the super high performance individuals listed above is authentically consistent. Most of all they’re trendsetters, going against conventional wisdom and taking risks. They do whatever it takes to get the task completed - failure is not an option!
These very unusual people understood ‘not having’ is no excuse for ‘not getting’. They understood the difference between knowing the path and walking the path, they "walk their talk!" Most importantly, they understood what ‘signing-up’ and ‘knowing what you’re signing-up for’ really means. After all Brian volunteered, though I had to push him! LOL!
For those of you that have heard me speak or read my book Your First 100 Million know I speak ad nauseam about a price that must be paid - "a pay price to action". All too few men and women understand this simple axiom.
No one is drafted into this opportunity. You must volunteer! Jack Welch (former CEO of GE), fighter pilots, Richard Branson (Virgin), astronauts, Lou Gerstner (former CEO of IBM), Seal Teams or SAS Members, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates - all volunteered... For ultimate accountability, you must volunteer to be a high performance individual knowing what you are volunteering for. Certainly not knowing the details, but knowing the sacrifices in macro terms.
Virtually all mentioned above had mentors and/or executive coaches — as did I for twenty five years. Of course through QLA and the year-long FREE mentor program associated with my Castle Seminar, I continue to mentor many worldwide.
Much like war, a super high performance life is a series of battles, and while “all battles are not won”, you are either in a "hunt or being hunted" mode - as put by former CEO of Vodafone, Chris Gent. Ironically Mr. Gent was a proponent of the use of Executive Coaches, using one himself. The former Chairman/CEO of Vodafone was not a university graduate nor was he a member of the privileged. Only through hard work did he become a distinguished alumni, a Chairman Emeritus of the global high performance elite. Still, however, 15 years later, I always liked his “hunt or be hunted” mantra! I teach and demand my QLA mentees the same.
In that regard, not many have succeeded better than Microsoft did in its first twenty years. Though Gates appears to most as a quiet well-mannered guy, he was as tough as nails. Not as cut and slash as he was driving Microsoft, the following precepts show a lot about how he thought! Coincidentally, 9 of his 11 rules for life are pretty much mirrored in QLA!
The following 11 rules by Bill Gates are very good. QLA Methodology is a lot more aggressive, but they still make a lot of sense. I strongly believe we’d do our youth an injustice, if we are too easy on them. Life will not be easy on them, which is of course why many of you London Real kids are the way you are (LOL!), but we can prepare them for the world.
RULE 1 (QLA)
Life is not fair; get used to it.
RULE 2 (QLA)
The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
RULE 3 (QLA)
You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice president with a car phone, until you earn it.
RULE 4 (QLA)
If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure.
RULE 5 (QLA)
Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called it opportunity.
RULE 6 (QLA)
If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about mistakes, learn from them.
RULE 7 (QLA)
Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rainforest from the parasites in your parents’ generation, try "delousing" the closet in your own room.
RULE 8 (QLA)
Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades; they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
RULE 9 (QLA)
Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employees are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that in your own time.
Television is not real life (Dan: except for my upcoming reality show). In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.
Signing off. To your Quantum Leap in Life and Business!