Building Community Through Better Relationships

Whose Ways Are The Best Ways?


Wisdom comes from good judgment. Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from mistakes. Mistakes come from bad judgment. ~Chinese proverb
A young student sternly resisted coaching that emphasized him improving his discipline. Stereotypicaly, the youth smugly proclaimed that the old ways do not work anymore. The hilarious irony is that preceding generations said the exact same thing! The best practices of any particular generation over another generation are irrelevant. Maturity emphasizes wisdom. Youth worships innovation. Both perspectives are right, and self-serving. Wisdom is slow and innovation is reckless. Unfortunately, the two perspectives rarely align. Nevertheless, progress continues. Yet, how do these opposites manage to coexist?

Maturity brings a sense of deliberation. A student boastfully tells his teacher that his programmable calculator can solve the math problem. The teacher emphasizes the importance of thinking. The student’s priority is the right answer. The teacher wants students to understand the principle because students will need to apply earlier principles to learn new ones. The student wants to get his A so that he can he can enjoy his rewards for good grades. Regardless of which approach prevails, the point is to align goals. Wisdom is an accumulation of knowledge and experiences. It involves success and struggle. Each generation endures struggle. Developing the tools to engage and overcome struggle is essential to growth. Shortcuts are great until someone needs a bridge to go farther.

However, innovation creates bridges. Applying tools and experiences that result in unprecedented thinking solves future problems. Most certainly, the past clearly teaches that the future presents new problems. However, innovation results from making mistakes and correcting them. It rewards taking established knowledge and improving it. No one gets an iPhone without someone first having a Palm Pilot. Mistakes are learning opportunities. Judgment can only be developed through trial error. Innovation provides new advancements, yet fundamentally they produce new problems that must be solved. Recklessly pursuing progress without embracing the obstacles along the way leads to ignoring the lessons that set the foundation. Skyscrapers are not built from the top down.

Ultimately, learn the rules and then break them! Mistakes are opportunities to do it better. Upon making enough mistakes, the result can be a better opportunity. Viagra was a failed attempt for a better drug in treating high blood pressure and a certain heart condition. But, the pursuit of perfection could have easily stopped Viagara’s other benefits from ever being realized. Nevertheless, pursue the right answer. Also, pursue the knowledge that accompanies it. Accept the wisdom of earlier lessons, and their mistakes. Embrace the new knowledge that results, as well as the pain of failure. Coaching facilitates this purpose. The old ways may or may not be best, but they provide the path to using experience for the greater good. Learn. Fail. Grow. Repeat.

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC



November 15, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Broke It Better

Miles & Herbie

“I played something that was technically wrong…” as shared by legendary jazz pianist, Herbie Hancock, referencing a performance with mercurial jazz giant, Miles Davis. Hancock continued “… I thought I had just destroyed everything. Miles played some notes and he made my chord right. I judged what I had played; Miles didn’t.” Despite his immense talent, Hancock was upset after making a musical mistake despite the piece’s complexity. Equally, he was concerned about the error’s consequences in front of a notoriously exacting taskmaster. But Davis methodically approached Hancock in the middle of the song, before an enormous crowd, then used his horn and moved the music back on track. The outcome was better. This is pure leadership!

Reason for Being Here
Every contributor has a specific purpose. Whether overseeing a complex international operation, or being that guy where “You had one job to do!”, acknowledge the reason for the selection. Sometimes the reason is simply availability. Then, be available. Other times, it is specific set of skills the very few people possess. Nevertheless, embrace the fact that additional gifts can be applied to the most basic responsibility. If the role involves managing others to achieve specific goals, then enforce the processes. If the role includes leading other leaders, then articulate strategy and expected outcomes.

In all situations, specify necessary skills to accomplish the assignment, then permit unique imagination. Leaders prepare for unexpected contingencies by being alert and receptive to innovating for better outcomes. Embrace unforseen possibilities in pursuing goals. Mistakes happen. Creativity corrects them. Value all contributions and deploy them with a singular focus on success.

Contribute Unique Gifts
After accepting an assignment and launching its execution, prepare to deploy all available assets in accomplishing the task. Expect to manage contingencies. A business task force may require a marketing expert. Instead of grabbing the nearest MBA, identify a proven problem solver. Effective leaders identify the most effective option for specific tasks. A proven problem solver with marketing experience, and an MBA should do the trick.

Bring them on board with clear expectations of maximizing their gifts. The most obscure life experiences have value. Great leaders inspire followers to exceed their individual expectations. Transcendent experiences result when every contributor brings all their attributes and is ready to contribute them. According to Shakespeare, “Some people are born great, other people have greatness thrust upon them.” Don’t be that guy who is unprepared to deliver when greatness is thrust upon him.

Returning to Miles Davis’ intervention, his correction produced a more innovative and musically interesting results. Hancock was relieved and Davis seized another opportunity to demonstrate his immense genius. Davis affirmed Hancock’s reason for being there while simultaneously validating his enormous talent.

Too often, in the eagerness to contribute, the journey’s purpose gets lost. While the destination is important, identify other benefits within the mission. Pursue goals with intense focus and attention, yet seize growth opportunities. Unexpected detours occur. Still, pay attention to the journey. The experience is equally important as the accomplishment. Embrace errors. Then, learn from and build upon the genius of innovative solutions. The result invariably leads to improved processes benefitting future accomplishments. But first, break it better!

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC


November 8, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three D’s For a 4.0

A Plus Kid

What is the result of achieving A’s in every class? Any school community recognizes a 4.0 grade point average as the pinnacle of achievement. This academic goal is typically treated with reverence and awe. It implies perfection in that student’s performance that far surpasses ordinary classmates. So, how does a D impact a perfect report card. Furthermore, how can three D’s result in a 4.0 grade point average?

The three D’s specifically point to essential characteristics that result in excellence! High performance is a process. The process’s first step simply is a desire for excellence. Articulating a goal precedes achieving it. But real progress requires passionately pursuing it. Desire is the foundation. From an academic perspective an unyielding fixation on maximum performance creates the necessary mindset for top grades. Competition is always at every winner’s heels. Because great results require great efforts, desire ultimately fuels the intense focus to achieve any goal. Unyielding desire sets the foundation to prepare for every assignment, every test, and every milestone that moves toward individual victory. Regardless of the contest, the will to win paves the road toward achieving the highest performance levels.

Beyond desire, establishing the prescribed steps for superior performance requires another D. Determination involves the necessary work. Beyond wanting an A, executing the process of earning an A requires a higher level of commitment. Each step must be identified and constantly re-evaluated. Determination means fully embracing the established plan. Exceptional performance takes high-achieving principles and puts them into action. A straight A student must study, then execute when tested. Like all competitors, straight A students have options, temptations, and other priorities. Nevertheless, their determination keeps their priorities fixated on the identified goals. Beyond the dream is the work that must be performed while awake. Determination ensures that the work gets done to earn the targeted results.

While determination manifests itself in execution, discipline equates to consistency. For high performers, a good grade is only a data point. Excellence reflects repeated behaviors. However, top performance demands excellence and longevity. Winning habits creates great performers. Furthermore, repeated excellence delivers top champions. The 4.0 student repetitively achieves top results. Discipline empowers the individual to pursue, accomplish and repeat top results at every occasion. Ultimately, discipline is the repetition of successful tactics that result in achieving the desired goals.

According to Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit.” The three D’s that lead to a 4.0 reflect habitual excellence. It starts in the mind and manifests through intentional action. Grades are often mistakenly seen as the product of excellence. In reality, grades reflect the excellence which produced the result. Grades merely are the score. But, the process of earning them is the habit that transforms individuals. And by transforming individuals, high performance can empower opportunities, practices, personalities, and communities. Aspire for excellence. Then, deliver results. Unleash excellence that will transform an enlarged community!

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter and Beyond, LLC

November 2, 2017 Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment