Keeping Score and Personal Accountability

Keeping score is fun! That is a belief that has served me well for my entire life. I think it started with my Dad and the way I was raised. He was a Ford dealer and from a young age I would go with him to the dealership on Saturday mornings to sweep, clean cars and a special pancake breakfast. I would make a few bucks for my efforts too!Dime Kitty crop

We started a savings account and I collected dimes in special holders to take to the bank for deposit. Anyone remember those? I still have about a dozen with Mercury dimes – these were called Dime Kitty. You saved 30 dimes per folder.

“The easy way to make DOLLARS grow is to save your DIMES row upon row.”

We tracked my grades and my chores accomplished around the house. When I started playing golf he was a stickler for putting everything out and keeping score. (For non-golfers that means no gimmies.) Post a real score! Not many golfers do that. He held me accountable and I grew to enjoy tracking. The word accountable literally means to count. There are some key areas where that is easy and advisable – like key health or personal financial metrics. As many of you know I have tracked my workouts on this form the past 23 years and my 57,000+ push-ups on this app the past 27 months

My discipline for tracking came in very handy when I joined the team promoting Tony Robbins. I responded to a classified add in the paper that read:

Earn excellent income promoting a national celebrity.

Five people wanted who are committed to make a difference.

I was intrigued and replied. It was a September 1998 and he was just getting some momentum but still unknown. You may remember the first infomercial hosted by Fran Tarkenton that would soon launch and increase his profile. I interviewed with my great friend to this day Tom McCarthy. “T” impressed me and then I went to meet Tony. If you have had the experience to see him on stage you understand. He was amazing and within a week I was off to Seattle to help promote my first live event. I had not even been to this event before and knew very little. Our mission was to call sales oriented company leaders, get agreement to come to a sales meeting and do a presentation to add value and elegantly persuade them to buy a ticket to a live event with Tony.

What made the difference for me was religious tracking of the KPI’s we established (key performance indicators).

We consistently tracked the activities that would fill our “sales funnel”.

# of Calls made

# of Meetings Set

# of people we were in front of

# of tickets sold

# of referrals received

It worked! I did it every day and it kept me focused on the activities that would get me to my outcome. A key distinction is that as I got better at each activity, my numbers improved in every area with continued deliberate practice. As my phone skills improved, I needed fewer calls to set a meeting. As my speaking and sales skills improved, I sold a much higher percentage of tickets at each opportunity. I ended up offering tremendous value at each meeting. I got so many referrals to other companies that I had to make even fewer calls to get in front of ever-higher quality groups.

This diligent tracking and passion for what I did helped me become the top sales person each year on the road and also help train and lead very effective sales teams during my 5+ years there. If I was coaching someone it started with looking at their tracking sheets. I ended up speaking to promote Tony over 1300 times before I did my first professional engagement. This 5 years of experience, deliberate practice and coaching of course lead to my career today.

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I had not planned to mention this in this post and it is good advice. DO NOT get too hung up on the numbers all the time. Here is a picture of my dad and I when I about age 10 when I was caddying for him. The other picture is of me and my son Davis at age 11 when I was caddying for him at the US Kids World Championship at Pinehurst. He was a truly amazing player at that age. Davis would call Papa (my dad) after he played and my dad did something very unique. He never asked what score his shot.

He would say Davis, “Tell me about three of your GREAT SHOTS.”


Golf can be a cruel game. Too often you tend to focus on the score and where you made bad mistakes. Keeping your memory banks focused on your great shots is a smarter move for the future. You will need to pull them up vividly in your mind when facing adversity in the future. When I play today, I always track on the scorecard my score, if I hit quality tee shot, if I hit the green in regulation, my number of putts and MY GREAT SHOTS!

If you don’t play golf and I really feel bad for you if you do not – maybe you cannot relate to that example. Think of it this way. Track your great moments or your wins in your memory banks or perhaps in a journal. At the end of the day be careful not to focus on just your failures. What is your tendency?

Keeping score in a few critical areas and staying accountable to KPI’s in your life will boost your performance. Where do you keep score?

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