I want you to imagine you’ve been training for a single event for four years – the 18-mile cross country ski. You’ve worked yourself to the bone, and by the time the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics in South Korea starts, you’re considered one of the best in the world. People expect you to challenge for a medal. You expect to challenge for a medal. As the skiers crowd around the starting line, your anticipation builds as you see years of training leading to this one very moment.

Then the gun goes off and there’s a frenzy of action. And then disaster strikes. You fall at the very beginning of the race, colliding with two other racers and breaking your ski pole in the process. You look up and the entire field pulls away while you try to untangle your skis. It’s all over. Your four years of hard work all gone in an instant.

Or is it?

This was the scenario at the start of the 30-kilometer ski race in this month’s Olympic Games in South Korea. The man who fell is a guy named Simen Hegstad Krueger, from ski-crazy Norway. Krueger’s Olympic dreams seemed to be dashed early when he hit the ground. Remember, these are the best athletes in the world. Krueger could’ve curled up in a ball and let the Olympics get away from him… but he didn’t.

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He slowly worked his way back into the race. He went from dead last, to 24th, to 17th, to 8th, and by the end of the race Krueger had done the impossible. He won the gold, crash and all. The reaction from the “Vikings,” which the Norwegian team calls themselves, was awesome.

Possibility thinking at its finest.

One of the secrets to the success of our sales, leadership and customer service programs is something I developed called the Consciousness Chart. This is what that looks like.


Imagine you walk into a new job tomorrow. You’re walking into an established culture with programming driven by media, by family, by peers, by past work environments. That programming either tells you that you’re “enough;” that is, you have support, inspiration and love. Or, it tells you that you’re not enough. And that filters up the pyramid. Ultimately, that core programming effects the results you get on a daily basis.

The point of our programs is to reprogram, essentially. If that past programming is off, we need to get it back to a positive place so companies can truly drive their profit through their people. Because we know that companies don’t get results. People get results.

What we coach our clients on is essentially to be programmed like Simen Hegstad Krueger. Everyone falls. Everyone starts a race at one point or another with some sort of setback. The key is whether they’re programmed to overcome that fall and slowly work their way not only back into the race, but to the head of the pack. This is the key to truly elevated performance. Can your culture’s programming uphold the standard even when the going gets tough?

The reason we’ve won five international Stevie Awards to date is because we focus on this behavior change at the root of results. When you can truly control that programming and make it beneficial, your profits will soar and no fall will keep you from achieving your goals. No matter how big the stage.

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