I’m sitting here at Blenz Coffee in Yale Town just 15 meters from where I had my last drink with Captain Trevor Greene before he headed to Afghanistan to take part in what was then coined “Operation Archer.” I met Trevor through my cousin Robyn Gibson who went to Kings College with him many many moons ago. A lot of people ask how tow seemingly very different people ended up writing a book together about multi-million-dollar deal makers.
As most of my stories start, it began with Guinness and good times. I tipped several pints over several nights with Trevor and Robyn and we formed a friendship. Eventually I asked Trevor to help me as a Ghost Writer for my book ( later named “Closing Bigger the Field Guide to Closing Bigger Deals”) yet after a few weeks of working with him his in depth of experience as a real crime reporter, Bloomberg business writer, and all around brilliant guy, I asked Trevor if he would be co-author with me instead of just a writer in the background. At that time I had the first glimpse of this gentle warrior genius and I knew that I wanted to share more adventures, successes and creative moments with him.
It soon came to pass after many months and some great mentoring by people like Dr. Denis Cauvier and my father Bill Gibson that the book was ready for market. Trevor and I liked to celebrate a good day of writing with a a few pints after work. We calculated that “Closing Bigger” took 386 pints to write. Not bad. We should have had more Guinness and written the sequel too. All joking aside, in the year we worked together sided by side we forged a great relationship, and for the first time in a very long time I had found a business partner that I could completely trust, COMPLETELY.
So it was with great sorrow and angst ( I hope I hid it well ) that I bid Trevor farewell from the Yaletown brewing company in Vancouver, gave him a big hug (wasn’t something we did normally) and watched him walk out the door. It’s the last time I witnessed him walk. He as a reservist turned full time military officer he was heading to Afghanistan to emancipate those without a voice. Trevor dreamed of fresh water, young girls with access to education, and renewing hope for those who had lived under tyranny, ignorance, and war for decades.
Three months later; just before 7:00 am in early March 2006 my phone rang. The call displayed “Gregory Kirkpatrick” a mutual friend and rugby buddy of Trevor’s and mine from the Vancouver Rowing Club. I knew it could only be one thing. Trevor Greene.
“Trevor’s been hit in the head, he might not make it, he was ambushed”
I originally thought he had been shot in the head. I later learned that while meeting with some village elders in a small town attempting to find out what rebuilding they needed (schools, infrastructure etc.) he was “Brained, LITERALLY” (as Trevor describes it) with an axe to the head by a deranged young man. The axe literally chopped part of his skull and brain in half, leaving bone, blood and gray matter on the ground. They all thought he was dead. The young man that hit him was riddled with bullets and died before he hit the ground. ( You can read more about the incident here )
That morning was for me the lowest emotional point of my life. We had built a friendship, a brotherhood, and a dream together and now it was taken away from me, from him, from Debbie and little Grace. I woke my wife up sobbing, wailing actually. I had held people while they died, I even while living in Africa witnessed up close an execution/gun fight in front of the Hard Rock Café in Johannesburg of all places, but nothing in my past compared to this.
I was angry, I should have done more to make him stay. I should have made him quit. This angst spread into a low level numbness that lasted months.
Back to Trevor: First he had to stabilize, then they would fly him to a US Military hospital in Germany where they would operate on him. While I was full of sorrow and a healthy dose of self pity Debbie Lepore, Trevor’s Fiancée was arriving in Germany and about to begin an incredible journey with Trevor.
They told her that he might not live, and if he did, he probably wouldn’t wake up. If he did wake up, he would be a vegetable. Debbie simply replied “You don’t know Trevor.” This would become her mantra. Their mantra. No one had ever come back from this, there is no medical case history. Once a Doctor told her to put him in long term care and get one with her life. “You don’t know Trevor” she replied
Experts defined: Ex= “a has been” Spirt= “a drip under pressure.” The problem with these people is they attempt to measure the infinite with finite tools. As much as Trevor’s story is about a hero and a warrior it is one about infinite love and faith. That cannot be measured by indoctrinated “group thinkers.”
“He will not wake up”
He woke up.
“He will be a vegetable”
He responded and was aware
“He will not talk”
“He will not survive several bouts of pneumonia”
He healed, he survived
“He will not have use of his limbs, he will not be able to move on his own”
He now can feed himself, he can now push his own wheelchair and sometimes if he’s really motivated he can tip his own beer.
“But he will not walk again.”
YOU DON’T KNOW TREVOR
I visited Trevor and Debbie in the hospital several times when he was in Alberta. One trip I visited and he according to others was just coming out of a depression of sorts. (I worked with him, and we’re both moody at the best of times!) I asked him why the positive change? What happened? Why had his progress rapidly increased all of a sudden?
In his own words to me:
I forgave my attacker, you can’t hate and heal at the same time.
Love heals. Love creates abundance. Give what you most want. If you want love, give it. If you want respect, give it. If you want peace, give peace.
In the documentary about Trevor Greene and Debbie Lepore that airs today at 7pm PST on CTV here in Canada (done by an amazing woman Sue Ridout) Trevor answers a question and his answer is something that stuck to me, permeated my being.
The question was “Trevor do you have dreams about what happened?” Trevor answers “Yes. I’m in Afghanistan, I’m sitting in the village where I was attacked, I am talking to the boy that attacked me, and I tell him, I’m sorry, I’m sorry that my friend killed you, I was there in uniform in your home, with a weapon.”
Many people think it’s too late to change, to change their lifestyle, to change their habits, to learn new things. At 41/42 years old Trevor has been able to rewire his brain, retrain his Nero system, and rewire the brains of anyone who is influenced by Trevor and Debbie.
Trevor and Debbie, their story, and their friendship has changed me forever. I feel blessed to know these two heroes, these two healers. Some of the lessons that I have been blessed with as a result are:
- Trust your heart not the experts
- One person is a majority not a statistic
- You can’t hate and heal at the same time, so make up your mind
- Love and faith are really great medicine
- See the miracle in every moment you spend with those you love
- Tell them how much they mean to you sooner than later
- With faith, focus, and follow-through anyone can create massive positive change in their life, in their body, and in their community.
December 14th Update:
Summary in Macleans Magazine of the Documentary on CTV ( W five )
Video Trevor Greene “Peace Warrior” You can now watch parts of the documentary on CTV.ca
In our book Closing Bigger Trevor Greene and defined selling as “Creating an environment where an act of faith can take place.” Faith is based upon trust and trust is based upon credibility with the client. Credibility is about being more than a sales rep, it’s about being a business person that sells. Credibility is also about asking great questions, and having a high level of insight into the client, their company and their industry.
Over the past couple of years I have found that there is another way one could look at our definition. “Sales is about creating an environment where an act of faith can take place .” The first enviroment we need to create so an act of faith can take place is within us.
Faith is a belief, and intense belief. We first must be able to truly visualize ourself succeeding and wholly believe in that picture. World class athletes from skiers, to ice skaters to rowers at the Olympic level use visualization as a tool for mentally preparing themselves to win. The difference between Gold and Bronze in giant slalom is usually less than .5 seconds. With all of these skiers basically around the same weight, level of fitness and level of training it eventually boils down to a mental game.
There are many factors that effect our ability to intensely believe that we can win (some of them we will discuss in future blog entries and podcasts) but here’s the shortlist
Self-Esteem and Self-Worth: A sense of our own value and ability based upon mutliple belief structures
Training: Repeated feedback and on-going progress offers proof of success and mental conditioning
Self-talk: The constant dialogue we have with ourselves, the questions we ask, and we respond mentally to what happens to us impacts this as well.
External Models of Possibility: Mentors, Leaders, and other performers that we can model our strategy after assists us in seeing what is possible.
Association: Once again, who we associate with on a regular basis will impact our standards and our concept of what is possible (Olympians tend to train with Olympians).
So before we put our “out-side world” plan together for success we need to make sure that we have put together a solid internal plan for mental and emotional fortitude. The bottom-line is that our business development plans must have a personal development plan connected to them if we’re going to perform at our best.
This is blogathon entry number 16 for the MSMF Blogathon. Visit this page to learn how you can support this cause.
From Shane Gibson co-author and friend of Trevor Greene
Thank-you for all of your prayers and concern for Trevor at this time. I have passed on your well wishes to his family and those closest to him. At this time I will not be commenting on interviews in regards to Trevor’s situation until he and his family give me the okay.
His family is busy praying and hoping for the best and I will forward any requests to make statements or comments directly to them. Just drop an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. At this time I have been asked not to disclose their contact details.
Trevor is very professional in everything he does. This includes keeping in the strictest confidence the nature of his military responsibilities and past experiences while serving our country. Your best source of information is from the Department of National Defense.
Here’s what I can be quoted on:
“Trevor is a talented author, an amazing Dad and partner, the kind of person you can count on always. He is deeply committed to protecting and preserving the freedoms we enjoy as Canadians.”
Co-author and friend
I’m doing a seminar tomorrow for a group of accountants and
partners on Vision and how it enhances the importance of team. Yes accountants,
they don’t just crunch numbers.
In our business Trevor Greene and I use what he calls
“battle procedure” for planning and goal setting. The core success factor in
effective battle procedure planning is a goal or vision that is sharpened to a
Just before the launch of our book we determined what the
vision for Closing Bigger was in 18 months from now. Once that vision was
crystallized we began to plan backwards toward today.
For us crystallized means a goal that is S.M.A.R.T. Most
people reading this will know what that is but as a point of reference SMART
goals are as follows:
This SMART Vision enabled us to track back to 12 months, 6
months, 3 months and eventually tomorrow, creating a sense of urgency and
importance. By setting the SMART Vision and working back to the key benchmarks
we added urgency, and meaning to everyday on the way including today.
Too often people set “nice” easily achievable goals for
this month that are loosely connected to where they want to go in 18 months or
10 years from now. Then they wonder why they aren’t inspired to do it.
Do it with the whole team, be accountable to each other,
and do it in the “battle procedure format.” It will help you keep a sense of
urgency and it will help you know when you have to charge the hill.