Business 101 taught by Marv Levy

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to attend an awards gala sponsored by a NYC surgical supply distributor. It was much like Runco’s Annual Awards Gala, with the absence of the tropical location, oceanside stage, and talent show. In all seriousness, the recipients’ accomplishments were astounding and the address inspiring.  

NFL Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy was the guest speaker for the event. To be honest, I had not recognized him nor glanced twice when we spotted him in the hotel elevator hours before the event (which is no surprise because unless it was Belichick or Parcells, I wouldn’t have a fighting chance to pick a coach from the crowd). BUT, when the former Buffalo Bills coach stepped down from the podium, I made a mental note to not forget him again.  (By the way, Joe Paone, I’ve been doing research, he was born in 1928, you were not far off.)

He addressed a room full of successful, award-winning salesmen with the perfect blend of motivation, reflectivity and humility and albeit, a little promotion (plugging his book “Mark Levy: Where Else Would You Rather Be?” which I am now plugging because I just HAD to order online when I returned home). I must admit, I was temporarily (internally) mortified when he asked the audience what PR stood for (I know, I KNOW!), then concluded the sentence with “and if you think it is ‘public relations’, you are wrong!”. Considering my profession, I am excusing myself for the incorrect assumption. 🙂 For the next 20 minutes we listened to Mr. Levy discuss persistence, rejection (ah HA – PR), success and failure.

Levy left guests with his list of “wishes” (which I will share when my book arrives in the mail!). It was by far the best Business 101 course I have had the opportunity to take.

Thought I’d share a few of Marv’s famous quotes as our words of wisdom for the day…

  • “Where else would you rather be than right here, right now?” (okay, TODAY cold Northeasterners – temp not attitude –  might want to be in Costa Rica, but you get the point…)
  • “What it takes to win is simple, it’s not easy.”
  • “Plan your work and work your plan.”
  • “If you have everything prepared, the rest will take care of itself.”
  • “What you do should speak so loudly that no one will hear what you say.”
  • “Expect rejection, but expect even more strongly to overcome it.”
  • “There will be many failures sprinkled among the successes you enjoy.”
  • “A failure becomes just one time at bat if you refuse to let it defeat you.”
  • “Great football coaches have the vision to see, the faith to believe, the courage to do… and 25 great players.”
  • “Security comes from earning it–not seeking it.”
  • “Systems don’t win, players do.”
  • “Adversity is an opportunity for heroism.”

Posted by: katie | find me on twitter


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