Business is About Results, Not Excuses

By Ed Rigsbee, CAE, CSP and president of Rigsbee Research

Why do some people seem to have the desirable ability to get things done – to get results – while others seem to continually spin their wheels?

I believe that the results-getters have three common qualities or traits: great self-talk, great alliances and great ability. The complexity of these three traits is part of the mix.

Great self-talk is driven by a number of factors, including personal experiences, both positive and negative; environment; personal goals; the prices that one is willing to pay for success; personal desire to continually improve; minimal concern for what others say about oneself; and a host of other elements. Together, these factors create in a person something that most of us would identify as passion.

The much talked about issue is if passion can be taught or acquired, or does it have to be innate? Many believe one has to be born with passion. I, on the contrary, do not believe this. There are too many negative examples today of religious fanatics that became passionate about their cause after their conversion or, perhaps better stated, indoctrination. This is proof to me that passion can be taught or learned.

If employers or their employees are not enjoying the results they need or desire, positive self-talk is the first step toward results.

Great alliances appear in many forms: camaraderie, friendship, partnership, networks, collaborative activities, master-minds groups and mentorships, depending on the situation. The relationships employers and their employees enjoy will affect their self-talk and their abilities. Great alliance relationships are the glue between the first and third steps to results.

Building great relationships comes naturally to some people; however, it is a skill that can be taught and learned. Organizations that adopt partnering as a key strategy for growth must learn the skills to develop and implement profitable alliances. The same goes for results-driven individuals.

Great ability is more than the sum of one’s God-given talents. Ability is the collective body of one’s knowledge, skills, experiences and talent synthesized through self-talk. The relationships built greatly affect one’s ability.

One’s abilities come from empirical knowledge and experiences. Few people knew how to drive a car upon leaving the womb. Similarly, few people knew how to effectively run multi-billion dollar companies when they were in third grade. These skills were taught to them. Ability comes from the knowledge and skills gained from relationships with others – paid or reciprocal, or through trial and error. Trial and error is costly and time-consuming.

What does this mean? Want results? Anyone can have results if the person is willing to have great self-talk, build better relationships and learn from the people who currently embody the skills needed. Volumes of books have been written to explain the above, yet it is as simple as 1-2-3.

Ed Rigsbee is the founder and CEO of the 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, Cigar PEG Philanthropy through Fun, and president at Rigsbee Research, which conducts qualitative member ROI research and consulting for associations and societies. He holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) and Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) accreditation. Rigsbee is the author of the The ROI of Membership-Today’s Missing Link for Explosive Growth, PartnerShift, Developing Strategic Alliances and The Art of Partnering. Resources are available at