If you want to be sold on something, then Blair Singer is your man. His impassioned prose excites you to lap up the message. He could probably sell socks to ducks.
Reading this book will inspire you to buy into the idea of the Code of Honor that “takes ordinary people and turns them into a championship team.”
It is no surprise to learn from his biography that he was Burroughs’ top salesman in the 1970s, and that his Accelerated Training Organization has influenced the success of many Fortune 500 and small companies alike. He is also the author of the Sales Dogs books and training programs.
Here he provides the recipe for the “Code of Honor” – the sauce that binds and blends the individual ingredients; the layer which brings out the best in everything; the “set of simple, powerful rules that govern the internal behavior of any team, organization, family, individual and even nation.”
The book journeys through why, how, what and who. Why you need it, how to get the right people on your team, how to create the code, what you’ll gain from it, what to do if you or someone breaks it, and how to keep going when the heat is on. It concludes by reinforcing that to be the best you need to start right now and develop your own code.
That’s a lot for one book; it takes several sittings to get through it. In its favor is his awe-inspiring tone, his use of analogies (mainly related to sport but also to everyday things like comparing driving a 1963 Chevy Nova to flying an F-18 fighter plane) and his conversational style, which make it very accessible. He uses examples from small, medium and large businesses in various sectors, as well as sports and family issues to illustrate his points. He certainly sells the idea that he knows what he’s talking about.
There are some problems which do not detract from the enjoyment of the book, but which detract from the strength of his message, e.g.
What makes it good, even excellent, and certainly thought provoking, with some great ideas to try out include:
- There are unsubstantiated facts introduced with phrases like ”statistics show that …..,” ”many experts say that …,” ”I was told that….” These would have academic theorists’ hair turning grey as they itch to uncover the evidence.
- He provides many sports analogies, which may be a total turn-off to anyone who groans through Superbowl, the baseball World Series, or America’s cup sailing. That said, the analogies can serve to bring out his points well.
- He exults that a good team needs to have “like minded folks” and proposes that people develop their strengths and avoid overcoming their weaknesses. This would have proponents of other team building theories, personal coaches, NLP practitioners and lovers of Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved my Cheese? raising their arms to say “now wait a minute, Blair! We grow by meeting diverse challenges, not by avoiding them.”
- He asserts that the reason for marriage breakdown is the absence of a common code of honor or rules to hold the couple together. Well, Blair, some people just fall out of love.
- He states that if people don’t buy into the team code, they can choose to leave the team. What a utopia. Can we all just go out and get a new job if there are parts of our existing one we don’t like? What a boon for team leaders - you can look forward to weak team members moving on of their own accord.
- He explains how people in his own air freight trucking company in California subverted individual needs for the good of the team without expectation of additional rewards. Hey, Blair, I assume they were working under better than average working and pay conditions? I am not so sure that anyone on minimum wage, in exploitative conditions would buy into doing overtime without overtime pay.
If you are a small-business entrepreneur, or are in a position of power in a company, and you are willing to go all out for mutual rather than personal success, then read this book and get the tips on how to develop the code of honor within your team to make it a winner.
- It is interactive through the inclusion of team tips and team drills. Throughout and at the end of sections he summarizes the main lessons and provides readers with activities they can do within their own teams to bring the lessons alive.
- His evangelical style, energy and enthusiasm shine through and grip your heart, mind and soul, preparing you and your team to ‘stand in the heat’ and go for gold.
- It covers more than just team building tips and ideas. You also get advice on leadership and personal development.
He has definitely led me to the water, and I think he could sell water to a drowning man, but I find myself only lapping at it rather than gulping it down wholeheartedly. What he is proposing is certainly not as easy as ABC. There are practical business constraints which will hinder the application of much of what he espouses, and there are competing theories for building business and team success. To implement his ”solution”, I believe, will take more than commitment – it needs ideal conditions, a lot of time and an ability to envisage and go for long-term success, possibly at the expense of short-term wins.
Whether or not you buy into the whole message, there are definitely some excellent team building and management ideas in here and it’s fun to read. And if you are sold on it, then he will sell you even more – the invitation to go to
www.salesdogs.com for some free diagnostic tests is just one step towards you buying into a whole training program.