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Some Assembly Required

As a business leader and educator, I spend a lot of time encouraging people to perform beyond their expectations. More accurately, I spend a lot of time encouraging them beyond their perceived limitations. Too often, people ignore their own attributes because they are too busy focusing on the established experts’ attributes. A commonly believed lie is that “I can never be as good as the superstars in my field”. In an age of instant gratification, too many people believe success is instantly achieved. But success is not accomplished in a 60 minute episode, 30 second commercial, or 140 character tweet.

In real life, high performance is an unpredictable result of time, work, sweat, and sacrifice. Shortcuts are a myth. Despite the images of sudden success that circle the globe immediately, do not believe for a moment that any great achievement instantaneously happened. In short, no great accomplishments are ready-made. In fact, if you read closely the directions involved in building any success, you will see the small print that says “Some Assembly Required”.

Great novelists have horrible rough drafts. Popular musicians remember being booed off stages. Successful entrepreneurs endure bad investments and declined loans. What these winners also share is a story of perseverance and persistence in continuing to put the pieces together. Consequently, the next great thinker, writer, or performer must be prepared to continue gathering the parts and acquiring the tools to assemble their excellence. For the individual with business ambitions and a dead-end job, seek additional training during your personal time. Or, the vocalist who continues singing to tiny audiences, may need to find a better band that does not include her childhood friends. No one creates a superior product with inferior parts.

Too often talent is abandoned because instant gratification is elusive. Some Assembly Required involves reading the directions, all of them. Building according to what you think looks right is a fool’s errand. Beyond reading the blueprint, successful construction means following the instructions. Take the time to prepare for greatness. Have the persistence to work through the mistakes. Be diligent enough to fail, start again then, fail some more until you succeed. Some Assembly Required means that you must invest time and energy before your masterpiece is complete. Furthermore, be confident that other great accomplishments endured a similar path.

So, read the blueprint. Acquire the tools. Remember that some assembly is required. Trust the process. Build beyond your perceived limitations. Delight in your new achievement! Now, take a bow. You’ve earned it!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter & Beyond

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August 18, 2014 Posted by | Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Be Great Is Not A Strategy

Be Great is not a Strategy. Greatness is an attribute. Depending on your area of interest, certain innate characteristics may predispose an individual toward greatness. For example, a great basketball player may be predisposed to be tall. Also, greatness can be developed through hard work and diligent preparation. A great physician will endure years of intense study, in addition to countless hours of research. Nevertheless, in neither case does greatness represent a strategy.

The problem with greatness is that too often observers and admirers only see the result. Greatness draws attention. By definition, it is extraordinary. Whenever greatness is witnessed, admirers take pictures, tell stories, and give accolades. And, the individual demonstrating greatness is immediately exalted. These reasons explain why greatness is so seductive; yet still not strategic.

The problem with Be Great as a strategy is that it is not sustainable. It does not come with an on/off switch, nor can it be deployed on demand. A better strategy is consistency in working toward greatness. The consistency takes the greatness attribute and gives it a structure for long-term benefit. Great teams and leaders are built on strategies that emphasize repetition and excellence. Through better preparation, they perform their best when it matters most!

Superior attributes are thrilling to witness. However, the purpose of strategy is to have sustainable plans leading to eventual victory. Consistency in working toward greatness accomplishes the eventual victory. Great contributors work hard. But consistently great contributors earn the greater victories because their work progresses according to a plan so that their greatness is revealed when it matters most.

A process cannot be designed to insure greatness. No plan can cover all contingencies. Besides, greatness requires more than a process. For starters, the inputs may include preparation, skill, and faith that you are practicing the right things. The output may be a remarkable and memorable performance. But, the part that makes it great includes unexpectedness and timing.

Often, it is being in the right place at the right time. Always, greatness involves doing something exceptional with what you have, when the time comes. Be Great is not a strategy. Greatness is doing all the little things in preparation for a moment that may or may not come. But, when the moment comes, and the performer is prepared, then greatness appears. Start preparing for your moment right now and fully expect it to happen. Now, you can Be Great!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter & Beyond

August 4, 2014 Posted by | Better Business, Better Person | , , , , , , | 1 Comment