You, Too, Can Win A Radio Wayne Award

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Jan 20, 2002 by Sean Luce

One of the most important days of my life occurred on February 7, 1998, when I stood up in front of 2,200 of my peers and accepted the Radio Wayne 'Sales Manager of the Year" award. Since that day I have been honored with several awards, but the one that stands in the middle of my awards shelf, prominently displayed like a college football "Heisman" award, is the Radio-tube "Radio Wayne" award given to me by Eric Rhoads during the RAB conference that year. Another reason that award means the most to me is that Wayne Cornils, who directed the annual RAB conference, was my speech coach before he passed away - and I credit him with being hugely responsible for my success on the seminar circuit.

Since 1992, when Radio Ink started giving the "Radio Wayne" awards at the RAB annual conference, I visualized standing up there and being honored by Wayne and Eric with this prestigious trophy. I have to think that the people who have been awarded a "Radio Wayne" in the past - and those who will be honored this year - probably have gone through some visualization of their own when it comes to winning this award. If you are one of these individuals, or if you have dreams of winning a Radio Wayne Award in the future, here are some things to consider as you set your sights on being honored as Radio's best!

VISUALIZE. When I have talked to or interviewed previous Radio Wayne Award winners, they always give "visualization" as one of the most important techniques they used to put themselves on the winners' platform. Most successful athletes testify that visualization - picturing oneself in a successful situation - is the key to achieving their goals. That's why it is Number One on this list. In order to see, feel, smell, touch and hear yourself winning, you have to do the little things that set you apart from others on the Yellow Brick Road to success.

NETWORK. Nobody succeeds alone. In fact, being successful largely depends on the contributions of others who help you get where you're going - in this case, up those stairs to the stage, where you'll receive your award. It seems that the Rolodex - or in modern times, your computer database - holds the key to success. Having people on your team but outside your station, wherever you can find good ideas - or simply having people who believe in you and what you stand for - can give you a leg up on your competitors. It always sounds better when your accolades come from someone else's lips rather than from your own. Selfpromotion is one thing, but promotion of you by people who are influential in your industry is far better.

READ. The best always read.They read constantly,they read everything they can get their hands on, and they are always in tune with what's going on - both inside and outside their business. The most successful business people I know have subscriptions to at least five or more business magazines, and never fail to read The Wall Street Journal on a daily basis.They know industry trends. They know how the most recent Worldcom debacle will affect their local market.You can ask them what happened in Sri Lanka today; they know and will tell you how it might affect the world economy, how it might make the cost of gasoline rise by 2 cents, and what it would mean to their local direct retail business. Reading expands vocabulary, and readers have a better grasp on speaking and communicating.They also learn to write better than the average executive - able to communicate their thoughts in memos, reports or letters. And they read more than the sports section of the newspaper!

COMMUNICATE. The most successful business people have the power of persuasion, and they don't feel out of place when they have to give an impromptu five-minute speech. You find these people well drilled as "Toastmasters," and they're never at a loss for words. Many have a Churchill effect when they speak, holding an audience in suspense by their very words. They also excel as listeners, remembering that they have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Memory comes in here: You can be a great communicator, but if you forget the names of people you meet, your eloquent words will be lost on them as they wonder why you didn't remember their name. The sweetest sound in the English language is your name, coming off someone else's lips.

SELL IDEAS. It's one thing to have a great idea, and it's another thing to actually execute it. Successful people have the ability to sell their ideas. Selling is more than getting a prospect to buy a schedule. These people understand that selling is just as important in the station as it is outside the walls of the building.

BE CONSISTENT. You can be a onehit wonder, but in order to win the Radio Wayne Award, you'll have to show more than one great year. Getting up on that stage takes years of over-achieving your goals and having other people take notice. Anybody can have that perfect year, where everything goes just right and your market is up. But what about when the market is down, or when you've lost three salespeople out of seven, or if your station is sold to another company - can you still be up 20 percent for the year?

LEAD. If you notice one thing about past Radio Wayne winners, they seem to have the sense that, no matters what happens, they can be counted on to win for their team. They have confidence and a look in the eye that says, if all else fails, they'll lead you through the muck. They have a singular focus that lets nothing get in the way of accomplishing their goals. Simply put, their self-discipline determines their success.

LOVE WHAT YOU DO. I've never met a past Radio Wayne winner who didn't love what he or she did.They don't talk about changing professions, nor do they dwell on their shortcomings.

SET GOALS. Radio Wayne Award winners are obsessive goal-setters. If you ask them where they expect to be 10 years from now, they will tell you their expectations without hesitation. They also have their goals in writing, like a blueprint for a house they're building. They are tenacious with their goals. If you need a good example of this type of person, go to the library and find a book on Abraham Lincoln.

LOOK LIKE A WINNER. In real time, as I was writing this article, an e-mail popped onto my screen. The message exemplifies how successful people view their appearance and what it means to their careers: "Things have not changed externally at the station, but I'm kicking it into high gear personally. Not only am I getting into shape, but I'm scheduling a hair restoration procedure for January. It'll give me coverage to the point where I'll go from being "bald" to having a bald spot. I feel like it's a necessary investment in my career, since it will make me look much younger and more presentable. I'll have the procedure with the people who did Kenny Rogers (Bosley Medical)."

Now, I don't know whether it's time to "head" over to the Bosley Medical Clinic or not, but congratulations to all the winners this year for being head of the class! And remember, winners never quit. It was only after I was nominated for the third time that I succeeded on taking that walk to the stage to accept the greatest award in Radio!

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