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Shane Decker: Add Value … to Yourself

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The keys to a better life and better results are a positive attitude and a dedication to self-improvement.

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What makes a great salesperson … or a great manager, support person, jeweler, or owner? Two things: a positive outlook and an unshakeable commitment to continuous improvement. (Of course, having a strong skill set doesn’t hurt, either.) 

The most important choice you make each day is how you decide to lead. A lot of people I’ve come across either have a chip on their shoulder, or it’s just a job, or their outlook is “woe is me.” To put it bluntly, these attitudes suck.

And then there are those who become very good at what they do, but they also become very comfortable. And because they’re comfortable, they don’t improve. These are the people who say, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” or “I’ve been doing it this way for a long time.” This complacency allows your “good” to become the enemy of becoming your “best.”

My father always said, “Shane, don’t prove yourself — improve yourself.” If you want to be awesome, it all starts with you. If you want more sales, better teamwork, more T.O’s, a happier workplace, a place where employees are excited to say “I work at Joe’s Jewelers,” that starts with you.

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Greatness isn’t achieved overnight. You have to study. Here’s a sad statistic I saw recently: 60 percent of all high school students who do not go to college never read another book in their lives after turning 18. Are you one of those who won’t self-educate? Are you one of those who’s not willing to improve? Are you one of those people who blames others on your team, but who hasn’t taken a hard look at your own shortcomings?

Get out your product knowledge books, your GIA books, your colored stone and diamond information. Read about sales, management, or entrepreneurialism. Study. Don’t let another day go by without doing something to improve yourself. When you improve, the store improves. When you raise your bar, it raises the store’s bar. Not only that, but those around you want to follow someone who is successful. You can be that successful leader. Yes, it does take effort. Something else my father used to tell me is: “Talk is cheap. Action is priceless.”

When you help others on your team to succeed … when you do things to make others look great … when you step up because your teammate needs help … you are leading by the right example. Hold yourself accountable each morning. Make a choice. Greatness can be achieved, but it takes persistence. Don’t settle for status quo.


Shane Decker has provided sales training for more than 3,000 stores worldwide. Contact him at (317) 535-8676 or at ex-sell-ence.com.

This story is from the April 2011 edition of INSTORE.

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