I have the highest admiration for some of those early leaders in Motorola Cellular and our great Industry Partners and learned much from them. And yes I also did learn some knowledge on my own, and often not the easy way. This book is my attempt to share that knowledge with others willing to read it. My purpose? I wish I knew these items at the beginning. It should not take 40 years to learn them.
I do understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that there are perhaps other ways to learn business excellence. But this is the learning I received as I grew rapidly in the Cellular Business explosion. I moved from a low paid starting engineer to a VP in a Fortune 500 Company and then to a Sr. VP in a California startup firm, and then to founding a few small businesses on my own. It has been... a fun ride.... and a tremendous learning experience. And I am now trying to share it with others as openly and honestly as I can. Thank you for reading this, and I indeed do wish you the very best.
- Ron Plachno (author)
The author of this book, Ronald J. Plachno, was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1945, the middle of three sons. He was born of parents who were never rich or even that well off, but who believed their children should receive a college education as well as other education in music and more. His father, Joseph Plachno, was a tool and die maker and his mother Mary (sometimes called Marie) often worked long hours to help their family, while encouraging ethics and also continuous learning. It was a great family for a child to grow up within. Later, Ron was also quite fortunate to have a wonderful family with lovely wife Valerie and two great sons Kenneth and Gregory, who now each have families of their own.
Ron graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT in Chicago, and took 6 graduate courses at the University of Illinois. Beginning as a low level engineer, Ron over time had success in engineering and then leadership and became a VP at the Fortune 500 Motorola Corporation and later a Sr. VP at Novatel Wireless, a technology startup company in California. Ron was also listed at one time in the "Who's Who of America". At times he was considered a problem solver and at one point was asked to move himself and his family to England for three years to help a Division, $1 billion dollar a year in sales, that was in trouble. He has since founded a few small companies, and has 16 Copyrights with the US Library of Congress and one more in progress.
But of course, there is more. Ron was fortunate enough to be in the right Motorola group of Car Telephone that exploded in a huge Market to become a giant cellular business. Along the way he learned from some very talented people who also helped lead that very dramatic growth. This book is really a summary of that learning, and what worked for him, and what he believes would be very helpful information to pass onto others who will come after him.
The first two sections of this book speak to Science and Human Knowledge and how much do we humans really know? I have a science degree, but even I learned much in research while writing this book. I tried to begin this book with a completely open mind, since I believe that is how to seek truth. In some cases I found new things surprising - at least to me. In other cases, I just learned what some bright people in the past and current also think - which just made me smile. And I tried to write the book in such a simple manner that even I can understand it. After the first two sections, I do get into some theories of mine based on human knowledge and science in the beginning of the book. You are more than welcome to form other theories. Those ensuing discussions might even make life more interesting. Is the purpose of this book to convince you of something? No. It's goal is to make us all think, including me, and also to get our discussions into the 21st century. For some odd reason, some humans believe that other humans should never think about things that are important. Science has moved on. We no longer believe that the world has only four elements, Earth, Wind and Fire and Water. It is time to get up to speed with what humans have learned. And then ... comes the fun ... of deciding what theories based on that.... each of us wish to believe.
What do you need? A recording studio of course. But also a desire to become your own one person band as a hobby or even more than a hobby. And while a musician who only plays guitar or non keyboards may go a distance into becoming your own band, keyboard background would be even more helpful. What kind of keyboard background would a person need? If a person has experience with piano, organ or accordion or simply a modern day keyboard or keyboard controller and has one already, that would be a great start. Why the emphasis on keyboards? Modern day midi systems or DAW (Digital Audio Workstations) often take their inputs from keyboards and with that can create many sounds and also sound effects. Yes, much can be done with guitars and perhaps just writing notes in for other parts, but keyboard experience is a great help.
What talent is needed? It would be hard for me to define that. I never felt that I was anything special and yet I have accomplished a number of one person band songs with as many as 15 parts, and also enjoyed doing it. Of course if you have something of a music and band background and also some music theory background it is of course a big help. I do wish you the very best in your music endeavor, and hope that this book is at least a little helpful to you and your dreams or hobby.
Ron Plachno (author)
The need to understand what top-performing reps are doing that their average performing colleagues are not drove Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson, and their colleagues at Corporate Executive Board to investigate the skills, behaviors, knowledge, and attitudes that matter most for high performance. And what they discovered may be the biggest shock to conventional sales wisdom in decades.
Based on an exhaustive study of thousands of sales reps across multiple industries and geographies, The Challenger Sale argues that classic relationship building is a losing approach, especially when it comes to selling complex, large-scale business-to-business solutions. The authors' study found that every sales rep in the world falls into one of five distinct profiles, and while all of these types of reps can deliver average sales performance, only one-the Challenger- delivers consistently high performance.
Instead of bludgeoning customers with endless facts and features about their company and products, Challengers approach customers with unique insights about how they can save or make money. They tailor their sales message to the customer's specific needs and objectives. Rather than acquiescing to the customer's every demand or objection, they are assertive, pushing back when necessary and taking control of the sale.
The things that make Challengers unique are replicable and teachable to the average sales rep. Once you understand how to identify the Challengers in your organization, you can model their approach and embed it throughout your sales force. The authors explain how almost any average-performing rep, once equipped with the right tools, can successfully reframe customers' expectations and deliver a distinctive purchase experience that drives higher levels of customer loyalty and, ultimately, greater growth.
The author has simulated the game of Blackjack twice using computers. The first time in 1984 using Commodore computers, that actually did the job, but of course were slower. The author then programmed a new far faster simulator for use on multiple high speed Windows computers and ran many more simulations that have become the basis for this book. All work in this book was done independently. Some of the basics you will likely already know or have read, since "math is math". However, I find no one with the exact same tables. And I certainly find no book I have read that reached the same conclusions about the real chances of winning. That might be because in this case, we simulated not only the game - but also the odds of winning in short periods of play.
This book of course does not guarantee that you can be a winner in Blackjack and make money. It might though give you perspective and explain why your neighbor has not yet quit his job and moved to Las Vegas. But of course in the middle of all of this, it gives help that some of us can used to improve and also have fun. I also found a few things from the simulations that surprised me as well.
- Ron Plachno (author)