Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

Roger Bannister, Fred Smith and YOU

What do Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in less than four minutes, and Fred Smith, the man who founded Federal Express, have in common?

“I knew I was very close. I did collapse at the end. If you don’t keep on running, keep your blood circulating,.. the muscles stop pumping the blood back, and you get dizzy. I did lose my sight for a bit because I was crowded in. Everybody rushed on to the track.”

So said Roger Bannister, who did what was commonly thought impossible at the time: he ran a mile in less than four minutes. Experts had widely believed it was impossible for a human being to run a mile in less than four minutes. The year was 1954.

As remarkable as the achievement was, what may be even more remarkable is how quickly the record fell – and how many people ran sub-four minute miles afterwards. Once people believed it was possible, it became almost commonplace.

Today, the record stands at 3 minutes, 43.13 seconds, held by Hicham El Guerrouj, set in Rome in 1999.

John Walker has run an astonishing 129 sub-four-minute miles, and Steve Scott has the most so far: 136.

In 1994, the Irish runner Eamonn Coghlan became the first man over age 40 to run a mile in less than four minutes.

And they said it couldn’t be done.

“The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win,” says Bannister.

A few years later (1965) Fred Smith turned in a class project at Yale: he outlined a business plan for a guaranteed overnight package delivery company.

His teacher told him the idea was interesting, but couldn’t be done. He was given a C for the assignment.

Scraping together $250,000 of his own, and getting others to invest, Smith started Fed Ex with two jets bought on credit. The rest, as they say, is history.

But the rest wouldn’t have been possible had not Fred Smith created a vision (and worked his butt off) to get people to believe it was possible.

As I see it, what Bannister and Smith have in common is the willingness to believe that the “impossible” IS possible, and to demonstrate it for others. Once that’s done, others will follow – gladly, and in great numbers.

Where’s the bar set for your team? Have you accepted any conventional wisdom about what’s possible – and what’s not?

What could happen if you committed yourself to raising the bar beyond what people think can be done?

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is the sequel to the very popular “What Your Boss Never Told You.” Packed inside are more tips, techniques, and insights about the challenging, but rewarding leadership position.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is written in a conversational tone, as though you and the author were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about the issues that emerge for new leaders. It stands alone, and/or could be read before or after the first volume, “What Your Boss Never Told You.” You can start with any chapter and read in any order you like.

if you search for a book on management, you’ll find a staggering 600,000+ books currently available. How can you narrow that down? “What Your Boss Never Told You” is the best place to start.

No textbook here – this book is short and sweet. It’s designed to help you “unpack” your new job and be effective from the first day with your new team. It contains twenty-one chapters filled with the wisdom Winters has gathered from real managers – effective, successful leaders in organizations much like yours.

Leaders make decisions every day – big and small. Most know that if they include others in the decision-making process, the quality of those decisions – and the commitment to them – will likely improve. That said, they also know it’s impractical, if not impossible, to include others in every decision they confront.

“To Do or Not To Do” tackles the question of when to make decisions on your own, and when to involve your team. It gives you a deceptively simple but proven method to determine, when you are facing a difficult decision, how to decide how to decide.

Far too many meetings are dreadful, mind-numbing, energy-draining, productivity-sapping, colossal wastes of time. As someone once said, “To kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon.”

Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to learn and apply the techniques in “So, How Was Your Meeting?”, you’ll call fewer meetings, while vastly improving the ones you do lead. They’ll take less time, have more balanced participation, produce better decisions, and result in concrete action items for follow-up afterwards.

While there are thousands of books written for people about to retire, this may be the only book for people who manage soon-to-retire employees. Written in a casual, conversational style, “Managing the Soon To Retire Employee” will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

You can be successful with Sooners. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’ve learned right away.

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward. When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of ground rules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future. 

Have you been approached by management with an offer to promote you to supervision? Or, are you mulling over the possibility for the future? Find yourself not sure whether to accept the promotion?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Help! They Want to Make ME a Supervisor will help you sort out a very big question: Should you accept the offer to become a supervisor? Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision for you and for your organization.