Best Practices for Using Microsoft Outlook from a Sales Perspective

This morning, I taught my son to fly a 747!

From Misty:  My husband posted the following on his company blog and since I thought Arrow-Tips readers might enjoy it, he agreed to post it here as well.  Enjoy!

This morning, I taught my son to fly a 747.

Actually, no I didn’t.  But we used a tool pilots use every day:  a checklist.

Recently, we’ve been spending a lot of time working with our son Zack on improving one area of his school work:  consistency.  We’ve tried most things most parents try like focusing on what he does wrong. 

When I picked him up yesterday, he told me about a bad grade he got.  I decided to hold off on my normal reaction and instead focus on something else.  I asked him the following question:  “What do you notice about the times you get very good grades?”.  He asked what I meant.  I explained a little more, “What kinds of things do you do to get good grades?”.

We talked for about an hour on the few common actions he takes that have produced great performance.  For example, he did a written assignment a few weeks ago that earned a 95.  He explained that he did the following on that assignment: 

– wrote neatly

– checked for spelling, periods and commas

– checked for missing words (when he writes, he sometimes leaves out words on the page even though he’s thinking them).

– added a little extra detail

So, this morning, we created a pilot’s checklist that included the items above.  He decorated it with pictures of planes and at the bottom he wrote:  “Ready for Takeoff”.  He is going to use this checklist to remind him to do that things that produce good grades. 

Zack loves planes and it’s always something that grabs his attention.

So, this got me thinking.  What is my personal checklist for the day?  What kinds of things should I remind myself to do each day?  What should yours be?

Here is what I’m thinking for me:

1.  Did you take at least one step towards achieving your goals today (ok, that’s a gimme since I’m hard wired on that one).

2.  Did you find a way to help someone achieve thier goals today?

3.  Did you use one of your strengths today (more on that later).

Think about something simple…something aligned with one of your goals.  Put it somewhere where you can use it (Zack put his on the front of his school binder).

If you are in Billing, you could have a couple of things you must do to produce accurate billing.  If you are in Sales, you could have a reminder to make a couple of follow up calls.  If you are in ops, you could have something about housekeeping.  It doesn’t have to be complicated.

This post was written by MushahidKhan and published on May 6, 2010 in the following categories: Front Page, Guest Posts, Management. You can leave trackbacks on this post at this address. To follow the comments on this post subscribe to the RSS feed.


Enjoyed reading your post. I’m sure Zack’s grades will improve with his trusty checklist! :)

You know, Atul Gawande wrote an article in “The New Yorker” about the very same thing: using checklists to reduce infection rates in hospital. A simple thing but highly effective.

Cindy, that is hysterical! This morning when I was posting Mush’s article I remembered that I had a draft on creating a “sales check list” that had been inspired by an artilce I’d read a while ago, but I couldn’t remember which article until I saw your comment. Great minds think alike and thanks for saving me from racking my brain! Misty

  • Cindy Robertson
  • 17:52
  • May 6, 2010
  • 1.

What a wonderful lesson for Zack, Mush. I’ll be interested in hearing what kind of results he gets.

By coincidence I was re-reading an old story about Ivy Lee, a consultant to Charles Schwab a few days ago and just re-introduced checklists into my routine.

Here’s the link to that original article:

I’m sure you will be getting the full scoop over Mother’s Day brunch this weekend from your god son, Uncle Bill! Thanks for the comment, Brother! Misty


Lists are a very good thing! Great idea for Zack! Benjamin Franklin also had a list… he would check himself daily against his 13 Virtures (throughout his life!)…

Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues.
1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
11.TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Love this list – thanks so much, Hilary! Misty

  • Hilary
  • 12:10
  • May 10, 2010
  • 3.

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