Building Community Through Better Relationships

Please Don’t Flunk Me

Exams are coming soon in a course that I teach. While reviewing, a student passionately cried, “If I try really hard, please don’t flunk me”. My immediate thought was that the student had homework, lecture notes, class discussions, available tutors, and a teacher who pleaded students to contact him for extra help. Using these resources easily constitutes “try really hard”, and the student will almost certainly pass. Despite these resources directly paving a clear path toward success, the student begged, “Please don’t flunk me.”

Is this the world where we really live? Individuals have resources to achieve their goals, but often want guaranteed success. They want rewards without risk. They even cloak their demands in humility, as not to seem too greedy. It’s not “gimme an A”; it’s “please don’t flunk me”. But, that is even worse! It is pompous and narcissistic. This individual wants to control the process and the result, with no investment nor effort. Furthermore, the underlying threat is that the authority figure failed if the individual does not enjoy success.

The problem with asking for a hand-out is that you just might get it. Then, when it is time for the next achievement, you default to begging again. You are capped by the generosity of others. Even, if you take the gift and stop striving because you have enough, you are now victim of a fatal flaw in logic. The world does not stop moving forward because you decided to stop. Again, “Please don’t flunk me” presumes deep-seated narcissism.

Instead of being the person that peers into the pool, falls and drowns, be the person lighting the lamp on the table that illuminates the room. Use the available resources to be more productive. Rephrase the message. Tell the teacher, “I am going to ace this class and you are going to help me!” Take ownership of your success. Hold the people who can help you accountable. Make a habit of doing the hard activities leading to success until they become easier, and then routine. Do the homework and the practice problems, regularly. Uncap your ceiling and build the habit of winning your prize. Then, win the next one. But if you do fail, rise again to claim your success!! All winners did it that way.

Use all available resources to ace your individual test and let me know what happened!

By Glenn Hunter


July 26, 2013 Posted by | Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is your Jakarta? Or How Do You Singularly Connect with Your Audience?

How do you connect with your audience? I mean really, singularly connect with your audience. Your audience can be a prospect to whom you sell, or perhaps a whole market place. It can be an established client that you upsell. Connecting to an audience can involve pitching investors. Or, it can be a musician performing. Truly connecting with your audience goes beyond providing your good or service. It means delivering a piece of you so that your target relishes your presence and cannot wait to tell others. But how do you achieve showing such love for your audience or client that they delight in you being part of their emotional experience?

George Duke, a Grammy Award-winning American jazz musician, identified a unique way to connect closely with a specific segment of his audience. In business development language, he connected narrow and deep. This is what happened.

While performing in Jakarta, Indonesia George Duke learned that one of his songs had become a huge hit in Jakarta! The song literally had no special relevance in the rest of the world. Despite over 30 years’ experience with several hits and awards to his credit, he was pleasantly surprised to learn of the song’s popularity. As a result of this special connection, he added the song to his playlist for that one stop in his tours. But, the savvy performer did more. He used the song as his finale in Jakarta. On top of that, he hired a local musician to sing the song. And, in case anyone failed to realize that he was honoring his local fans, he explicitly told this story while introducing the local singer. Furthermore, he respected these unique fans by repeating this process every time he returned to Jakarta.

Thousands of fans come to see this favorite artist. They have come to expect a special experience where this star allows one of their local artist to perform this major hit. Imagine the buzz that this simple action creates in Jakarta’s music industry. Jakarta’s music community ecstatically promotes this concert because the local singer selected by this beloved internationally known singer may play in their local venue next.

From a business perspective, George Duke has not created more clients (fans). He is engaging evangelists! These fans cannot wait to tell the rest of the Jakarta jazz market about their experience and their icon’s musical generosity. The artist has showered love on his fans and they proudly repay him with ongoing loyalty.

Ironically, the song is titled “Born to Love You” which is the exact sentiment demonstrated to the fans in the local market. It is exactly what you want your best clients to believe about you, especially when you serve them personally and singularly. Please click to experience the concert that inspired this revelation and at 1:06:52 hear exactly how George Duke introduces his local hit and performer to his adoring Jakarta audience.

By Glenn Hunter

July 19, 2013 Posted by | Better Business, Better Community | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Images Are What You Eat

The old saying, “you are what you eat” is wrong! When I was in college, a popular eatery had a large cartoon mural featuring a bubbly, curvaceous woman ordering a macho burrito with extra cheese, sour cream, gobs of guacamole and a Diet Coke. The mural captured the image that many of us wanted: being physically desirable and still eating whatever we want as long as we balance it in our minds. Regretfully, the image distorted reality.

The irony of that image is that many years later I am still digesting it. What other images are eaten that people continue to digest? Scary movies give some people nightmares. I am one of them. Thinking about some of them still scares me. How about political or religious bickering? Whether presented through the media, over coffee, or at a business gathering, the issues are far too often deeply fried prejudices wrapped in a thin tortilla of logic. Even watching erotically suggestive images can cause mental flabbiness.

Similar to what we eat, the images that we intake turn into who we are. One mean-spirited argument, or one stand of moral superiority is never enough. Once I defend my position on the evils of human trafficking, I am now ready for a second helping to criticize your immoral support of interracial relationships. Are my opinions formed from researched sociological analysis or the latest rant from “Real Housewives of a Land Far, Far Away”?

Ultimately, beware of the images that you ingest. Much like too many pizzas are easily visible on your waistline, fixation on watching sports, detective shows or reality TV is quickly reflected in your world view. Everyone else is now a cheater, a suspect, or an adulterer. Alternatively, a healthy diet of news, literature and entertainment nourishes a foundation of intelligence and current culture. The images that we ingest, whether visually or in conversation, reflects our individual functionality. Only repeating news or opinions from your crazy cousin, or noxious neighbor will always reflect poorly on your character. Who really wants to demonstrate themselves as poorly informed, flat-out wrong, or a simple idiot?

As we get older it gets harder to distance ourselves from prejudices and ugly images that accumulate over the years. The weight of those images cling to our bodies like intellectual cellulite. So, be intentional in ingesting positive images, honest analysis and encouraging words. Healthy images will process into healthy behaviors and perceptions. These good choices are ultimately reflected in your reputation and integrity. In the adult world which values these characteristics, the importance of eating positive images is essential for success!

By Glenn W Hunter

July 3, 2013 Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , | 2 Comments