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Hear How to Create Your Own 12 Week Year With Brian Moran

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  • Was with UPS and Pepsi Co
  • Got into high performance
  • Got into consulting
  • Process-reengineering back in the day
  • There's no "secret sauce"

Apply To Work With Wes

  • Implementation is key
  • Ideas are a dime a dozen
  • Close the knowing-doing gap
  • Stop adding new before you use what you have
  • The world judges us by our actions, not our intentions
  • He was "foolish enough" to jump out on his own 
The world judges us by our actions, not our intentions."
  • The grass is always greener!
  • Have a plan connected to a longer term vision
  • Goals need to be tied to that vision for consistency
  • Leaving things up to chance is not a recipe for growth
  • Are you afraid and avoiding taking action

Related Posts:

Brian Moran's 'The 12 Week Year' review by Wes Schaeffer, The Sales Whisperer®

  • There is no perfect plan
  • You gotta walk it out
  • Take your shot
  • It's all feedback
  • Learn, adjust, grow
  • You're statistically more likely to succeed with a written plan
Join The Club
  • The drills are not wasted time
  • You can't steer a parked car
  • 12-week planning is tactical
  • You need to know which actions are worthwhile
  • The goal is to accomplish big goals fast
  • Not by working harder
  • Be consistent
  • Fear of success is real
  • "Can I attain it? Can I maintain it?"
  • There is no failure unless you quit
  • Failures are learning
  • Fail faster
  • Keep leaning forward
  • There is no overnight success
  • Lots of hard work precedes the breakthrough
  • Share your goals with people who will support you
  • Keep your goals in front of you
  • Make your goals somewhat public
  • The success in life comes from the daily mundane
  • Get out of the annual environment
  • In January you have too much time ahead and you fall behind quickly
  • Draw a hard line in the sand to have a sense of urgency
  • This will take effort
  • It will affect your team
  • Clarity: vision, goals, expectations so you need a tactical plan
  • Transparency: execution
  • Evidence: is it producing?
  • Step up or wash out
  • The marketplace determines what is needed
  • The five fundamentals
  • His weekly plan drives his daily work
  • Win the day, win the week.
  • Outcomes and actions are different
  • Sales is an outcome

Links Mentioned In The Sales Podcast


Brian Moran on The Sales Podcast.m4a: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Brian Moran on The Sales Podcast.m4a: this m4a audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Brian Moran: And when it's not working, you feel crippled now.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, amen. All right, here we go. I already hit record. I might just leave that in there. I don't know. It's just what I do.

Brian Moran -- the man, the myth, the legend, author of The 12 Week Year. I've wrote a synopsis of your book. I did an audio synopsis of your book. So it's awesome to have the man in the house. Welcome to The Sales Podcast. How the heck are you?

Brian Moran: Thanks, man. It's great to be with you. I'm good. I'm good. All is good.

Wes Schaeffer: I love your LinkedIn little snippet here, "It's not what you know; it's not even who you know. It's what you implement that counts." Amen. Amen! You probably don't know this, but I have a group called The Implementors.

Brian Moran: There you go. All right.

Wes Schaeffer: Part implementing, part mentorship because it's so true. But how did you -- how do you arrive at this point? How did you become so efficient?

Brian Moran: Going back, I started out in corporate America, I started with UPS and PepsiCo, and I was fortunate enough to work for some really good folks and got switched on to this whole concept of high performance and what it takes to perform at your best. And joined a consulting firm, which was a great education, seeing lots of different companies, all trying to prove performance with different cultures; we were doing process reengineering before. That's what it was called. But all that really led me to just kind of this quest on my own to figure out what works for me and what works for the people I'm leading.

And ultimately came to this realization that it's not about what you know. I mean, there's this tendency to think you're missing something; right? You're missing the secret sauce, or there's this one technique that's going to change everything. And I realized that most people most organizations have a lot of great ideas. They got a lot of resources -- that it's really all about the implementation. And so that was when I realized that then it was a question of, okay, what does it take to really execute at a high level, if that's really what drives high performance, if that's what it takes to live your best life; right? Closing that knowing-doing gap; right?

Brian Moran: Wes, I talk about, hey, if people just did more of what they know consistently, they'd be happier, they'd be healthier, they'd make a lot more money before they learn anything new. But there's this quest to add new potential and new capacity when we haven't even tapped what we have. And so our whole existence, everything we do is really designed to drive more of what you want faster than ever by focusing on the execution.

Wes Schaeffer: So -- but look, you're different; right? You were gifted. I mean, Zeus made you; he chose you.

Brian Moran: Oh, yeah. You bet.

Wes Schaeffer: You specifically. So, I mean, we can't be as efficient and as good as you; right? I mean, give me an excuse for my underperformance. Make me feel better about myself.

Brian Moran: Yeah. You mere mortals can't expect that. That's right.

You know, it's learned like anything else. I mean, it really is. Some people have a natural bent for it, but some people are more disciplined than others. And I think the more disciplined you are, the more you follow through. But I don't care how disciplined you are. There's always -- some of us have -- some days were more disciplined than others, and it really is about, we tend to judge ourselves by intentions; the world judges us by our actions. So how do we close that gap? How do we just become more consistent? Not perfect. It's not about being perfect, but just being more consistent with working on the things that are most important.

Wes Schaeffer: Isn't there's something about the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Is that the saying?

Brian Moran: That's the saying. Yes.

Wes Schaeffer: So all right, so you're working with some big companies. I mean, look, a lot of people, if they got with big, good companies, they get the golden handcuffs and -- I mean, those are a couple of companies, you literally could stay 20 or 30 or 50 years. I mean, in this chaotic world, a lot of people are probably seeking that. But what gave you the itch? Obviously, you were looking for more; right? I mean, you left big companies. Consulting can be exciting. It can also be risky as well. Then you branch out on your own. I mean, did you always have kind of that little entrepreneurial drive? What made you get curious enough to jump out on your own?

Brian Moran: Yeah, it might be the better question, what made me foolish enough; right? But it was that. I mean, I think I had this entrepreneurial bent from the get-go. Although I grew up in corporate America, there was a lot I didn't appreciate about it because there was a lot of stuff that kind of got in the way of you performing. And in certain environments, underperformers were coddled and protected. And I was like, well, they're making a choice; right? It's always it's always a choice.

And so I had always wanted to go out on my own, got an opportunity to do that, started a company in health services that I still own today, but then really started doing what I love to do, which is the coaching, consulting, training. And that's where "The 12 Week Year" was born out of that. But it came from this notion of, yeah, I want to do it myself. And the grass is always greener that way; right? There's stuff I miss about being in a big company right now, the resources you have and all that stuff. But when it's all said and done, I think at heart I'm an entrepreneur.

Wes Schaeffer: And there is some foolishness. I think if we knew everything, would we have done it right? Tell people I'm glad I was born when I was. I mean, I didn't have the Internet and everything, and I was recruited by the Air Force Academy. And it's like I remember getting there day one and they're screaming at us; my hands were shaking so bad I couldn't tie my name tag on the little green duffle bag they're giving us.

I'm like, wait a minute, the coaches did not show me all of this.

Brian Moran: That's right. I didn't get the whole story there, baby.

Wes Schaeffer: Oh, my gosh. I tell my kids, then they send me to Texas A&M for a year for a meteorology degree, like 44 hours in 12 months and it's all my physics and thermodynamics. I had to take three extra math classes because technically they shouldn't have sent me; I didn't have the math. I got calculus II and III and differential equations. So I should have already had all this stuff and I'm in classes where I need it. I'm like, wait a minute, I'm still on chapter two.

Brian Moran: I'm still behind. Yeah.

Wes Schaeffer: Oh, my gosh. But hey, it was fun, you know. Are people too analytical sometimes? I mean, when when should we measure twice and cut once and when should we just cut?

Brian Moran: You know, yeah, great question. I think it's different for everyone, but I know we're more effective when we've thought it through and we got a plan that's connected to a longer-term vision; right? And then get after it. Because if if you're just getting after it, that's chaotic; right? If it's not connected to a set of goals, it's connected to a longer-term vision, then you're going to be all over the place and you're going to be really inconsistent because then you you see this other thing and squirrel in there, you're off chasing that, too.

So I think there's a process in a way to to live your best life and it's not by chance. I mean, you might you might be one of the lucky few that if you do it by chance, it all works out. But for me, I always felt like it was too important to leave to chance. And so when it comes to the big things in life from a very early age I sort of learn to set goals and I sort of learn to envision what I wanted in the future and strive to take my life in those directions.

And it hasn't always worked. But along the path, I find something that does work. And so there is a sweet spot between trying to force it and then going with the flow. But it's always in the direction of what I want my life to look like personally and professionally.

Wes Schaeffer: So how do you avoid the other extreme, the analysis paralysis? Because a lot of people are getting ready to get ready; they're majoring in the minors and they never get out to the big time.

Brian Moran: Fixing to get ready, as they say in Texas, right?

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah.

Brian Moran: I think that's just realizing that for the most part, that's an avoidance of taking action for for one reason or another, one might be fear; right? I'm not sure it's going to work out. It's probably not going to work out the first couple of times you do it, but you're never going to figure it out on paper at some point.

You've got to walk it out and it will be different when you walk it out than it is on paper because there is no perfect plan and you don't have -- you'll never have full information or full understanding. So this notion that I'm going to keep going through the numbers and keep plan and keep plan at some point you've got a good plan. Forget about a perfect plan. Now go take your shot and the marketplace is going to tell you what about your plan is spot-on and what isn't so good. And that's how you make adjustments.

You can't make them -- you can't figure it out on paper. I mean, you can figure it out to a degree on paper, but in the end, you've got to go out in the marketplace and you've got to, whether it's your personal life or business and you've got to put it to the test. And that's why you'll see some people that some people'll say, here's the recipe; right? This worked for me. Just do this and it doesn't work for other people. Why? Because everybody's a little different.

And so you got to go out there and you've got to be -- have this mindset that, look, I'm not surprised when it doesn't work. I'm not discouraged. It's just feedback, and it's learning for me so I can dial it in. Otherwise, every time I do that, I get defeated. And then I get to the point where you're talking about where I'm so afraid of taking my shot that I just sit and I think about it and analyze it and I analyze it some more and by then the opportunity is gone. And then if you do take your shot, you missed it anyways because the opportunity's come and gone.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah. We always make the joke in jujitsu hey, I've been watching YouTube videos, man, you better be careful. Yeah, I mean, let me know how that works out.

Brian Moran: Yeah. That's like the flight simulator. How are you going to go fly a plane? Okay, good luck.

Wes Schaeffer: Mike Tyson, everybody's got a plan until they get punched in the mouth. I was telling this story, not too long ago I spent -- I had ordered this guy's course in particular attacks, and like and I studied one move at home for 90 minutes. I mean, I'm rewinding, rewinding and analyzing it. And then the next day, I went and trained in drill with the guy and I did that attack. And literally, I mean, the first three seconds I screwed up. Watching it and thinking of and then doing it against an opponent that's fighting back -- and we'll do the same thing. We'll practice a drill like no resistance, just. Okay, I got it. And then you fight and the guy is resisting. All that move doesn't work.

Brian Moran: You're not supposed to do that.

Wes Schaeffer: Wait a minute. This was supposed to be like a for-sure thing.

Brian Moran: That's right.

Wes Schaeffer: And so should we not even plan then? I mean, where's that happy medium?

Brian Moran: I think that's a great analogy, Wes, because that's life, isn't it? I mean, you work it out, you practice it, you skill-drill it, but the real world is always different in. And so, yes, you should plan. Statistically, you're so much more probable of success with a plan, a written plan than a plan between your ears. It's not even funny, but you need to understand that that plan is not going to be perfect. And how you dial it in is by going out and like you just did; right? How do you dial in that technique? You've got to try it. You've got to try it in a real-life situation. You've got to try it with someone fighting back and then you improve.

Now, the stuff you did prior, the drills, that's not wasted time; right? That all helps. But in the end, you can't perfect it until you go out and you put it in a real-world situation. And it's the same with your plan. But absolutely plan how you plan matters. And most plans are conceptual, which aren't very helpful, and they're directional. They need to be tactical.

And that's one of the big things with 12 week planning. It departs from traditional planning in a big way in that it's focused. There's a limited number of goals. There's a limited number of actions. And the actions in the plan, the statements in the plan really describe actions that you could take. We call them tactics. So it's it's much more granular. It's much more tactical, because that way specifically which actions worked and which ones did; right?

We go back to your move. There's probably certain aspects that you drilled off that move that that worked the way the video said it would. There were others aspects that did it. And so you know because there's specific steps to that that movement. Same thing with a plan; right? The tactics in the plan are specific, discrete actions so that not only do we know what we need to do, but now there's a breadcrumb trail for each one of those actions so we can make meaningful adjustments and take corrective action sooner.

Wes Schaeffer: So can I really get as much done in 12 weeks as I could in a year?

Brian Moran: We have thousands of people doing it. And it's really -- we focus more on accomplishing more in 12 weeks than most do in 12 months because I don't want to give people the impression I'm going to take everything I do in 12 months and cram it into 12 weeks. It's really about the results of the outcomes.

Can I accomplish in 12 weeks what used to take me 12 months to accomplish in? Absolutely. We've got thousands, tens of thousands of salespeople, entrepreneurs, business owners doing that, where they're doing more in 12 weeks than they did the prior 12 months. And it's not by working harder; it's not by working longer. It's about working different though, and being more consistent with the things that really matter.

Wes Schaeffer: Right. Because most people are just running ragged. Was it was it Eisenhower that made the the quadrant urgent and important? I think it was Eisenhower, looking it up the other day because it's like urgent and urgent and important or urgent and not important.

Brian Moran: Right. Right.

Wes Schaeffer: The phone bill is urgent, but is it important? Why do we let so many things get bogged down? I mean, I've always said I think people are more afraid of success than failure, so they just keep their head down tinkering instead of setting those bigger goals and going for it, maybe because they're afraid of ridicule. People -- who are you? You never should have gone for that; you're nobody; why are you going to save the world? You just go back to your cubicle. I mean, do you think we're more afraid of success?

Brian Moran: I think there are two sides of the same coin, really. I think that fear of success is really a fear, like you said, I either won't be able to sustain it or in fact, I won't be able to create it or or some some version of that.

And so it's really about just being committed to living your best life and realizing that there there is no failure unless you quit. Vince Lombardi, I love a lot of what he said, my favorite quote is, "It's not whether or not you get knocked down, it's whether or not you get up again." So those failures are learnings. And if you're not afraid of that, you know, especially -- think about this.

If you're doing something nobody's ever done before, the only way to figure it out is to fail faster. Because you're not -- like we said, you're not going to figure it out on paper, typically you're going to have to go and try some things. It's like Edison with electric light. You know, how many of those experiments didn't work over years? But every one he did he learned something from it, made an adaption -- an adaptation from that one to the next one.

And it's the same thing for us in any area of life; you have to be willing to fail. You can't be afraid of that. And I think too often we get caught up in them what are people going to think? Or because they failed before and then I back away, it seems final. If I just keep leaning into that, that's a completely different mindset that creates a different result.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah. And it's -- like, we have these these unrealistic goal, as I've always said, we. We overestimate what we can achieve in a year and underestimate what we can achieve in five. We think we've got to have this immediate success. I mean, do you think, is this a modern thing because of the technology and the Internet and everything, we've got got to have this immediate success, or are we always -- is it human nature just to want that instant gratification?

Brian Moran: Oh, I think it's -- I think it's more exacerbated today than ever before. I mean, everything in society leads you to believe that it should be overnight and that the success curve is kind of the straight curve, when my experience is it's a bumpy road and it's not overnight.

And if you dig into most of these overnight successes, there was a lot of hard work ahead of that. All you hear about is the breakthrough. And what I think, we are led to believe that today. And we're also kind of misled to think that it'll come without some effort; right? That it's going to there's going to be easy. It's going to be quick. Anything worthwhile in life takes effort. And in previous generations, I mean, my parents, my grandparents, they were all about when I was coming up, just as a as a young man, just to be successful in life. They talked about you got to you got to work hard. You can't be afraid of discipline.

Those are like four letter words now. People don't want to hear that. They want it to come easy. And I would love it to come easy, too, but again, I think the stuff that's worthwhile takes takes effort. And it's sustained effort. And for most of us, the heavy lifting isn't physical; it's emotional. It's making those phone calls when I don't feel like making them if I'm in sales or asking for the referral when it's uncomfortable to do it or whatever it is.

But yeah, I think there's just -- right now we're more than ever before. We've been misled to think it should be easy, it should be overnight. And if it's not, something's wrong with me.

Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm. Man, yeah. So in this goal setting, goal planning, goal achieving, are you a big -- make the goal public, tell everybody, hold yourself accountable -- or is it write it down review it, but keep it to yourself and just plug away? Because I've seen -- there's two schools of thought on goal setting.

Brian Moran: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I think any time you share it with people that are going to encourage you, that's a good thing. But like you alluded to earlier, there are a lot of naysayers out there, too, and those people are just uncomfortable with other people succeeding around them. So I think you have to be careful who you share with. But the people that are going to encourage you, they're going to challenge you that that are going to help you along the way, absolutely. Make it public with them. Share it.

I think keeping it in front of you and and making sure other people know, at least a small group of people know what you're trying to do so that they can encourage you and help you -- and it does help create more accountability that there's something in all of us that we're less likely to let others down than we are to let ourselves down. So making it public in some form or fashion creates another level of ownership that often doesn't happen if I just keep it to myself.

Because if I keep as myself and I fail, nobody else knows; no harm, no foul. If I make it public now, it's like, well, I don't want people to see that, so I try a little harder; I work a little more consistently. So there is from my experience, there is something to that that's beneficial.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, yeah. My jujitsu instructor, he said, you do one tournament, it's like you learn as much as two months of practice because it's public, right? There's no, oh, that move didn't work, let me tap and reset, no big deal. Now you out get there, everybody's watching, I better -- he always says those fancy YouTube moves, it's like that's not how you win tournaments. It's by mastering the fundamentals.

I gave a talk a couple of years ago, it was a golf theme. And I was I was the speaker just before they all went golfing. I'm like, oh my gosh, how do I keep these people's attention? It's Day two, they're already hung over, about to go golf. And so I was looking at -- it was right when Tiger had just won his Masters for the first time after the big layoff. And I remember he had made more putts outside of like 20 or 22 feet than like the next three or five competitors combined. So big, strong Tiger Woods, but it was the putting; but everybody they buy the $800 driver and they don't go to the putting green; right? Just human nature.

Brian Moran: Yeah. Your notion of mastering the fundamentals; right? I think the success in life comes from the daily mundane. It's not about the big sexy things. It's not about the home runs or the long drives. It's about doing some of the mundane stuff consistently; right? If you want to be wealthy, it's not about a big stock score. It's about spending less than you make and investing the difference. You want to be healthy. It's not moving from South Beach diet to paleo to keto; it's about exercising and eating good day in and day out.

You want good relationships; right? Same thing. I mean, it's really a combination of the fundamentals and then really lean in into the daily mundane because those are the things that create the success. And that's why most people aren't as successful as they could be. They don't consistently perform those. They do them occasionally when they feel like it.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah. So in your book and in your course, so I'm linking to the book, we've got to pull it up, 12 week year, oh, you got an acronym there. But 12weekyear.com/gettingstarted, is that right?

Brian Moran: Yep. Yep.

Wes Schaeffer: So you've got a course there. And I said I mean, I read your book; I made an audio about it; big summary. But how -- because people are going to read this, it's like "The Four Hour Work Week." I mean, when I read that years ago, Tim Ferriss even admits, he's like that wasn't his title; the publisher did it just to create buzz.

Brian Moran: Yeah. It worked.

Wes Schaeffer: And it did work; right? But he I mean, he admits you look around, he's working more than four hours. But I mean, this isn't gimmicky. It's not NLP; it's not hypnosis; it's not making a deal with the devil. I mean, people that if they may still be kind of doubting that, can I really -- you're saying it's a 4x improvement. Yeah, it is. Are there some little nuggets you can share on on some of the specifics that you teach in there without giving the farm away that kind of makes some believers?

Brian Moran: Yeah, yeah. And I don't mind giving the farm away; that getting started course is free, by the way.

I mean, the first thing is you got to get out of this annual environment, because when Michael and I -- he's the co-author, he's my business partner -- when we started doing this, we were working in the annual environment like everybody, and where we'd set annual goals, breaking the quarterly, monthly, weekly. And we were having an impact and people were pretty happy, but we felt like they weren't getting what they were capable of.

And that's when we realized it had to do with this annual environment, because earlier in the calendar year, it looks like there's a lot of time; right? In January, December is a long way off, and so everybody's fired up. You get to the end of January the most everybody's behind, but nobody's worried because they're thinking, hey, I got 11 more months. And it's that mindset that really holds people back. And so the first thing is getting out of that annual environment. The 12-week year is not like the four hour work week. It's it's literally how our clients work.

They work in the context of every 12 weeks as a year and, no, there aren't four of those in the year. That's annualized thinking. There's just this 12-week year followed by the next. And what that does, Wes, is that it puts a hard line in the sand that's near enough to have a healthy sense of urgency day in and day out, yet far enough to make profound progress.

And so again, the person making 10 times as much as you isn't working 10 times as long or as hard, but they're working different. And that's what the 12-week year is. It causes you to behave differently. It causes you to focus in on the things that really matter and just be more consistent with them.

And initially, a couple of days of that, no big deal, a couple of weeks, but day after day after day, week after week after week, and pretty soon it's like compound interest. And it's amazing what can happen in 12 weeks. Now, you multiply that over a number of 12-week years and it literally becomes life-changing in a hurry.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, but, Brian, we have a good culture. I mean, we shoot each other with Nerf guns, and I'm bringing in lunch, and this just sounds too restrictive. I don't know, man. I just this is really going to affect our company culture.

Brian Moran: Yeah. It will. You bet.

Wes Schaeffer: Wait a minute. What?

Brian Moran: Yeah. If you're if you're content where you're at shooting Nerf guns, keep shooting them. The 12-week year isn't for everybody. It's for people that are really committed to improve it because it's going to take some effort and it's going to cause you to engage differently, especially if you've got a team.

There are three structures in order for an individual or a team to perform at a high level that have to be in place. One is clarity -- clarity of vision, clarity of goals; most importantly, clarity of expectation. That's why you need a tactical plan.

Second is transparency -- transparency with regard to execution. Are we doing it or not?

And then the third is the evidence -- is it producing? And so what the 12-week year does is it brings those into play. And so in in a team environment especially, there's nowhere to hide. So you will see real quickly who executes and who doesn't. And as a leader, you come up alongside that, you coach that; you'll figure out really quickly if they're capable. And if not, you may find another place for them, whether it's in your company or some other company. But there will be -- you won't be able to ignore it because of the fact that those structures are in play.

And it's clear to everyone who's executing, who's not, what it's producing, what it's not. And so, yeah, it'll change. Doesn't mean you can't shoot Nerf guns; you can still shoot your Nerf guns. And in fact the 12-week year gives you more opportunities to celebrate your progress and success, which is important because it shapes culture. It creates focus. It creates energy.

Wes Schaeffer: Right. Yeah. And you kind of address it, I was going to ask how many of your clients end up having turnover because of this, because I got to imagine it's like they probably were a little too loosey-goosey; it probably was a little too forgiving of of subpar performance. And when you start holding people accountable, that probably ruffles some feathers, I got to imagine.

Brian Moran: Yeah, depending on the performers on the culture. But I think in this example, we had a group that had five salespeople and we started with them. And in the first month, one quit and by the end of the first 12 weeks, a second quit. So we went from five down to three, but we were up 35 percent in sales. So not only were those two not performing, but they were having an adverse effect on the entire team.

And so you'll see. I mean, people that are not going to step up will wash out, which is a good thing. It's a good thing.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah. So funny. My jujitsu instructor, I taught him a while ago and he reminded me other day, is like you can't save every puppy in the pound, you know? He had -- one of the parents were whining about their kids or whatever -- I can't believe he said it to him. But it's like, hey, can't save every puppy in the pound; right? Got to step up. It's a contact sport. Like, stop whining, suck it up, get after it.

Brian Moran: Yeah. The reality of business is, look, we're in business to provide a service and and make a profit in the marketplace, determine what's required of us; right? It's not the the leader -- sometimes in bigger organizations, you got people in the organization on the front lines that think that the leaders are making their life difficult. And the reality is, is what's dictating the actions to be successful is really the marketplace.


And so you can fight against that or you can say, okay, that just is what it is; what do I got to do to embrace that and to be more consistent with those actions? Because if I fight against it, I'm going to struggle.

Wes Schaeffer: And is this 12-week year, is it just a sales book? Does it work for HR and accounting and operations?

Brian Moran: It works in any area that you are striving to get better at. So we've worked in just about every industry and in every walk of life. Where it doesn't work is if your inputs during the day are just coming at you. So if my job is to answer the phone rings and all I do is say hello and transfer the call, you don't need the 12-week year; right? There's nothing the 12-week year's going to do unless you're trying to improve that process in some form or fashion.

But if you're trying to make strategic improvements in any area, whether it be your health, whether it be growing spiritually, building relationships, improving your business, 12-week year works phenomenally well.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah. Cool. So that company where three of the five salespeople were gone, but sales were up, did they replace those salespeople or they say, hey, we're killing it with three. We got three good ones, you know? Do you recommend they backfill with better talent that fits into the new scheme of things or just keep growing with their three?

Brian Moran: Yeah, that can -- you can go either way. In this case, they searched out another performer. And what was different this time is from the interview process on, they were able to communicate with them, look, here's the thing you're going to be asked to do. This is what accountability looks like in our organization; it looks like you taking ownership. This is the process we use.

And so they they really hit the ground running. And they had a 12-week plan, a best practice plan for that person for the first 12 weeks. You know, what kind of training do they get, what's expected of them in terms of activity. And so you're managing that week in and week out, and so if someone's off track after week one, they know it, you know it, which is really powerful.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah. For sure.

Brian Moran: So, yeah, in this case, they went ahead and they went replaced that person -- they replaced one in the next 12 weeks. They probably went on to -- if you're going to continue to scale, you need more salespeople, you reengineer the process. But it was easier to see now what they were looking for in a successful person versus a non-successful because they had that -- they had an example of each; and then really to start this person out very different than they had started the other people.

Wes Schaeffer: Right. You always tell

Brian Moran: That onboarding really matters.

Wes Schaeffer: Oh, totally.

Brian Moran: You've got 12 weeks to really turn them on or turn them off. Now, they may linger for years, but the first 12 weeks is what really matters.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, you got to start off right, in the right trajectory. I always tell my clients you manage activity and pay on results, but they don't know what activity to even manage. They're just kind of winging it. The sales manager was a top-performing salesperson, so they promote them, and all of these attributes that made him a good salesperson -- aggressive, lone wolf, competitive -- now they're sales manager and and they're beating up their people and they were just a natural and hustled -- and maybe got lucky -- how do you scale that? And then just get this revolving door and it's just a mess.

Brian Moran: Yeah, yeah. Now they lost their best salesperson and they don't have a good leader either. Yeah. The deal is that person is unconscious-competent. For someone to train and coach you got to be conscious-competent. And they're on autopilot and now you put them in a leader role and they don't get why these people don't do what they do. I tell them what to do. Why don't they do it? Well, if everybody did that, life would be great. But that's why leadership is leadership.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah. And that's why, like, Kerr makes a better head coach than Michael Jordan. He had to work harder to compete. He didn't have the natural abilities that Michael Jordan had. Tiger Woods will probably never be a great teaching pro. You get the guy that he's got to scratch a living scrape and scratch for a living, has to really be good. Like Corey Pavin is probably a better teacher than Tiger; he's just got to work so hard.

I could talk golf and jujitsu forever. So, man, well, this is great catching up. I'm glad your wife reached out. We were chatting, so that was cool. We're linking to your course. So it's the number 12; right? 12weekyear.com/gettingstarted.

What are they getting in that? Because I have not gone through that.

Brian Moran: Yeah. So if you haven't read the book, you probably want to pick up the book, too. You can get it on our website. You can get it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. But that Getting Started course, you can get three emails from me. The first is around creating your vision and your plan. And there's a set of disciplines that are part of the 12-week year; vision and planning are two of them.

A couple of days later, you'll get a second email that talks about process, control and scorekeeping. And then a few days later, you get another email on performance time, which is how do you use time blocking to take back control of your day, which -- so that getting started course covers the five fundamentals, the fundamental disciplines of high performance and high execution.

And so we walk you through some examples. You'll get to see how goals and tactics are different; outcomes versus actions; how to create a tactical plan. There's some sample plans in there. There's some exercises in there. So it's a really great tool to help you apply the 12-week year, because if you know it and you don't do anything with it, it's wasted.

Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm. Are you like a strict, set the clock, wake up at 5:00 a.m., get this done, blah-blah, knock it out; or a little looser maybe like, okay, look, these are the three things that have to get done every day as long as they get done. I don't care if they're done at 5:00 a.m. or 5:00 p.m., but those three or four, seven things have to get done every single day.

Brian Moran: Yeah, I'm probably somewhere in the middle, in that what drives my day is my weekly plan, which is tied to my 12-week plan, which is tied to my longer term goals.

So my weekly plan tells me what has to happen this week and then I go calendarize that, because it's not my whole week; right? And then I'm checking in with that thing throughout the day. If I've got stuff for Monday, I'm making sure I get that stuff done. If not, it's still got to get done by the end of the week because we talk about win the day, win the week.

The real big thing is win the week. I'm going to have days of blow up. But if I win the week, how do I win the week? It's not about -- in sales, this is going to sound weird, but it's not about what I closed. It's about did I do what's in my plan? Because outcomes and actions are different. We don't control the outcomes. We control the actions. Goals are the outcomes. Sales are an outcome.

And if I'm closing something today, it's probably because I planted some seeds earlier. So I'm really focused on the way I win my week as execute my plan. And so that drives my day. It drives my week. I'm fairly structured, but it's not -- I'm not anal with it.

You know, we live on a horse farm, too, so we've got chores and we've got some of that stuff. That stuff happens pretty routinely because the animals need it that way and it just works out better that way. And my days are pretty routine. But what I find is that if you can create kind of the mode week and you work to that, now there's a rhythm to how you work, You know you check voicemails and emails at this time of day and you return calls at this time of day. It's not I'm not a slave to when the phone rings; I'm not a slave to my inbox. I'm much more intentional about how I move through my day.

But I would say it's not to the point where if you've got every minute scheduled out, your day is going to blow up for sure because there's stuff going to happen. You need margin in the day.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah. Leave some white space on your calendar.

Brian Moran: There you go. Yep.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah. I always tell people your number one job in sales is not to sell, because I can't force you -- unless I pull out a knife - I can't make you buy from me. But I can force myself to wake up on time, to make the calls, to send emails, to go to the networking functions, whatever -- do the habits that create the opportunity.

So very nice. All right. Well, I'm linking to that. 12weekyear.com/gettingstarted. I'll get the book, I'm telling you.

We were driving home from Texas actually a few years ago. And I just -- my wife likes to drive and I like her to drive. And I was reading -- I mean, it's like -- it was ridiculous, just like I stopped highlighting because everything was highlighted. I got to figure out something else. Okay, I'm going to star. I'm going to triple star. If it's quadruple-starred and underlined and highlighted, then that's the number one thing on this page.

So thanks for putting it out there, man.

Brian Moran: Yeah. Appreciate that.

Wes Schaeffer: It's a great model and it's cool catching up.

Brian Moran: Yeah. It's also awesome being with you. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Wes Schaeffer: Have a great day, man. If you move Scottsdale, let me know. I'm out there often.

Brian Moran: We'll get out. We'll chase the little ball around a little bit.

Wes Schaeffer: I'm chasing. I buy less expensive golf balls. I don't keep that many in the center but I don't hit them as far either, so they're not as far lost. So it's kind of a balancing act.

Brian Moran: Not so great as far as you used to, huh?

Wes Schaeffer: But at least when I play at my college buddies, they know I can choke them or break their arm so they don't pick on me too much. So it all kind of evens out.

Brian Moran: It all works out. You're going to to meet up with them on the green no matter what; no matter how many strokes it takes to get there.

Wes Schaeffer: That's right. You can taunt me while I'm in the woods, but --

Brian Moran: We'll see on the green.

Wes Schaeffer: Awesome. All right? Brian Moran, all the way from Michigan. Thanks for coming on the show, man. It's been great.

Brian Moran: My pleasure.

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