UpliftAnother1

Building Community Through Better Relationships

Yellow Means You Can Do It

yellow-traffic-light

Never has running a yellow light been so hazardous! As more people migrate to Tennessee for the great cost of living, good quality of life, and beautiful changes of seasons, they all bring their native driving habits. Particularly, Californians who move to Tennessee have to adjust to a dramatically different driving culture. Tennessee’s driving culture sees yellow lights as a warning that the light will turn red, so let’s stop. In the hustle, bustle and unfathomable traffic of California, their drivers interpret yellow traffic lights to mean to go faster: “You can do it!” Same traffic light, but different cultures, results in multiple collisions.

Can Do Attitude
Regardless of which culture is right, the resulting accident is bad. But, the crashing of the two cultures still intersect at a common understanding. The yellow light literally means caution, but a pervading attitude is “you can do it.” People relocate for a better life, regardless of any number of factors that ultimately drive the decision. That sense of optimism generates hope and opportunity. By setting goals, the mindset assumes a perspective that a better existence results from achieving the stated goal. Whether it is a healthier lifestyle, a better career, or educational accomplishments, acknowledging that “you can do it”, is an essential first step. Naysayers and failure are often around the corner. All the same, see the caution, then go for it anyway!

Still Pay Attention
Despite the decision to seize opportunity, the yellow light still means caution. Risk remains. Not every entrepreneurial venture is a roaring success. Some ideas never take flight. Effective planning helps mitigate some risks. Better information and creative alternatives provide options to the original plan. Inner confidence contributes an even heightened priority because people who want to squash progress and achievement everywhere. Sometimes they are part of the journey. The line between being concerned for someone and selfishly wanting to hold them back is often indistinguishable. Be wise. Be alert. Be courageous.

Yellow lights are not a license to speed, nor permission to enter a congested intersection, regardless of what Californians say. But, they are right when they believe that the caution signal means “You can do it.” Find an intersection. Life is full of crossroads. Drive through it. Don’t let your old ways, prevent you or anyone else from advancing. Recognize the risk. Perform the necessary internal calculations. Then, seize the moment. Take the chance. Set an ambitious goal. Accomplish it. Or, fail at it. But either way, take the experience, then speed to the next intersection. The road leads to more opportunities. Recognize the caution. Then, proceed to get somewhere new. You can do it!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

March 31, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get An Old Man

Two Men Talking 2

“You have to get an old man” advised the half-crazy upperclassman tutor to a group of freshman trying to survive their first term at an elite university. The freshmen were baffled how an old man could help navigate their coursework. Then, the tutor elaborated that the old man was for wisdom, not education. This was real-world knowledge. In any complex organization, success requires more than raw, intellectual firepower. Negotiating cultural landmines and systemic distractions requires understanding and revelation that only comes from wisdom. Figuring out any large institution demands more insight than any one individual can acquire in a few months. It takes scar tissue to navigate the intricacies of complex systems. Why not benefit from someone else’s wounds?

Wisdom
“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.”, according to Vernon Law. Wisdom comes from learning the lesson and surviving to tell the story! Lessons are not simply endured, they must be learned. Old men have already learned the lesson. Imagine the advantage of having the lesson before the test. Youth involves absorbing experiences for the first time. The advantage of maturity is knowing that someone’s first time, is most likely not the first time something happened. Youthful exuberance does not provide that perspective. Every old man was once young. Identify one that has walked the trail that youngsters are preparing to walk. Realize that the old man does not just know the challenges, they know how to avoid them.

Results
Another benefit of old men is that they have seen great ideas come and go. They have seen talented people long on vision and short on execution. They understand that results matter! The upperclassman had personally witnessed brilliant students that struggled because they had always excelled alone. They had never needed help, so never learned how to ask. Corporations, academia, bureaucracies are full of these types. The wise old man knows what newbies need before they do. He is not competing for a grade, or a promotion. He wants to be part of their success. Wisdom will be shared with someone and it will be valuable. Get in line and receive it.

The most fascinating part of engaging an old man is what he gets out of the deal. Some youngsters avoid bothering an old man because they have nothing to offer back. Their intelligence blocks their understanding. They assume they cannot reciprocate, then applaud their brilliance. Old men vary; often relevance is all they seek. Other times it is repaying an internal debt from when they finally accepted wise counsel. Occasionally, they see the greatness in a potential protégé that the youngster is afraid to embrace. Regardless, seek wisdom. Wisdom does not follow age. But, wisdom ages well. The old man does not have to be old. It does not have to be a man. Mentors only require understanding that can guide toward a desired result. Get an old man. Then later, remember to find a young person!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get On The Lifeboat

Titanic Band

According to historic accounts, the band played until the Titanic sank. People’s lives are at stake, and these musicians did their jobs. Jobs are important. But, priorities have a hierarchy. Preserving life is more important than hitting your note. Flatteringly, history acknowledges that the musicians provided a noble service. Still, an individual possesses a higher calling than their occupation. Each individual must take into account their entire contribution for every community where they participate. Then, maximize it. If the ship is sinking, make it a priority to help others get on the lifeboat. Life is precious. Consequently, by all means get on the lifeboat, too!

Your Job
Receiving value for individual contributions is part of the economy of humanity. When money enters the equation, quantifying the contribution’s value and discerning comparisons, become measurable, if not easier. Roles as parent, sibling, companion, mentor, bridge partner, or golfing buddy also matter. Fulfilling the highest contribution takes many forms. Understandably, work demonstrates economic and psychological worth. But, what happens when a worker’s replacement is identified? Is the predecessor rendered worthless? What about the boss who benefited from extraordinary efforts from previous staff? Is that contribution marginalized by the inability to maintain productivity? To the contrary, effective leaders constantly develop talent for contingencies. Inevitably, needs emerge for replacements. Hopefully, contributors evolve and grow. No rational individual should confuse their entire personal value with their organizational position, or economic contribution. The job is important. So is individual self-worth.

Your Responsibility
Saving and comforting perishing passengers is a noble duty. However, every individual has individual gifts to perpetuate. The Titanic’s exceptional musicians admirably performed their jobs and tragically left gaping holes with friends and families. Ultimately, responsibility is contributing to a greater benefit than the individual. The job is important. Fulfilling each human’s potential is also important. A higher responsibility is to contribute to family, community, and mankind. That greater purpose features assorted talents. Develop and deliver diverse and evolving skills that greater purpose. Seek opportunities to grow and contribute more. Ignoring that personal responsibility empowers someone else who will gladly use the value of such individual gifts for their own personal improvement.

Try naming ten martyrs. How about five? On the other hand, quickly name five lives that you presently enhance! Your personal gifting, not your professional role enhances those lives. Clearly, establish a purpose and fulfill it. It can certainly coincide with professional duties. Performing a job well is important. But, it does not qualify as a life purpose. Account for the impact that an individual’s successful performance delivers. Recognize the difference between a duty and a calling. A duty is the performance of a task for a specific benefit. A calling is the application of individual passions and skills to maximize contribution for many. No one can save another in the long-term, if the first person sinks in the present. Yes, you have a job. You also have a responsibility. To maximize your personal contribution, choose which of your attributes impact the lives or community that most matter to you individually! Prioritize and deliver on that calling.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter & Beyond

March 8, 2017 Posted by | Better Community, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment