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Building Community Through Better Relationships

Naughty Manager

Old School Manager

Bad managers aren’t born. They are made. Unfortunately, they are often made very early in life. Unlike genuine leaders who continuously evolve and grow, immature managers get some authority and park. It is not really the managers’ fault that they were made that way. It is totally their fault that they refused to acquire skills and evolve to the point they develop team members. Consequently, they fail to deliver sustainable results. Their small mindedness is evident in their behavior, motivation and lackluster productivity. Leaders take responsibility for their teams’ results. Mangers should aspire to assume responsibility for others, as opposed to barking about their authority and whining about their lack of respect.

Old School Guy
“I’m just an old school guy. That is how I came up in the business.” is a common statement by stagnant managers. What that really means is that they are old and lazy. You don’t want to work to improve. You don’t want to be held accountable for progress. Progress requires learning skills. It also requires accepting responsibility for better communications. Old School Guy complains that no one listens. He is oblivious to demonstrating respect or earning it with people skills.

When results become a problem, discipline is the default. Teams do not produce for Old School Guy because they do not like him! While this manager quickly points to his 20 years experience in the business, his more mature superiors regretfully recognize that he really had one year’s experience 20 times! But like any naughty child, opportunities to learn to improve happen. If only he grasped the opportunities to learn. If only….

New School Results
Communication, inclusion, dialogue are not fads. Results emerge by getting colleagues to buy into both vision and goals, then working hard toward metrics. Being the boss is not most important. Delivering results is. Communication requires listening first. As a leader, authority means having the last word. Is the first one necessary, too? For leaders who listen poorly, practice using phrases like: why do you think that?; what have you seen work in this situation?; how would your idea impact your direct reports? The magic happens when the leader embraces the silence after the question and listens!

Better questions yield better answers. Honest dialogue cultivates better solutions. Ask any child, the threat of pain promotes additional lying. Remove the pain through open, pre-emptive dialogue and more honesty results. Subordinates tend to respond better when they are genuinely heard. As a leader, make the decision. Also, consider other perspectives. Disregard the team’s input long enough and leaders will have no followers. And, a parade leader without a marching band is just someone with a stick taking a walk.

Ironically, the beauty of team success is that when it happens, enough credit is available to share. This by no means suggests rewards are distributed equally. It means the team wins. Nevertheless, mistakes happen. All knowledge does not reside in the masses. Bad decisions occur. Naughty managers start blaming everyone else in those times. However, according to leadership expert, John Maxwell, “Leadership is taking responsibility while others are making excuses.” Leaders stand tall with integrity in tough times when that attribute is most valuable. No excuses. No threats. Just clear direction and accountability. Seize opportunity to lead. Or, just pout alone with no other toys to abuse!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

August 2, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better Communication, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Overcommunicate

Dysfunction Overcommunicate workplace-bullying-1

How many relationships turn for the worse because someone else does not communicate enough? Organizationally, romantically, relationship dynamics work the same. A listener checks out, then the speaker overcompensates. The opposite of overcommunicate is not under-communicate. Overcommunication’s opposite is disinterest! Considering that Dr. Albert Mehrabian’s legendary research states that up to 93% of emotional communication is non-verbal, overcommunicating requires two parties to be over-exposed to language, tone, and visual cues in a conversation. Consequently, in the time for a listener to roll their eyes, communication has smashed into a roadblock. One gas-face, or daydream, during a discussion and communication suffers. Overcommunication? How about at the beginning paying attention explicitly and implicitly to what is said?

Lack of Respect
Across groups and organizations too often co-workers suffer from self-absorption. Typical they feel that they are under-challenged and definitely under-paid. They do not respect their role, or their superiors in too many instances. According to comedian George Carlin, “Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.” Purpose is an afterthought.

Overcommunication typically occurs after the lack of communication has created an impasse. Lack of respect precedes the lack of communication. Regardless of the relationship’s structure, people pay attention to people whom they respect. No respect leads to minimal communication. Lips move. The other party nods during pauses. The verbal affirmation, meaningful response, or insightful questions that are signs that communication transpired is missing. Consequently, understanding is absent. Communication does not occur and respect is doomed!

Lack of Care
Unwillingness to care creates a similar dysfunction. Communication fails, then overcommunication seeks to fill the gap. The classic story of the aloof teenager being scolded in high school illustrates this point. The teacher accurately, but poorly worded, berates the disengaged teenager for not paying attention. “Child, what is wrong with you? Are you ignorant, or apathetic?” Then, the teenager makes eye contact with the teacher long enough to respond: “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

Not caring has deeper ramifications than lack of respect. Without respect, acknowledgment can still occur. Not caring creates an emotional vacuum. Overcoming the emotional void that leads to overcommunication is nearly impossible. Overcommunication results from an overcompensating mechanism from a prior lack of communication. Without caring, an individual will not even fake a relationship. Consequently, communication fails to launch. Overcompensation to enforce the point results. Overcommunication starts. It does not matter.

When poor communication fundamentals invade any relationship’s or organization’s culture, accountability falters and performance erodes. The following office sign summarizes this phenomenon: “Helen Waite takes care of such problems. If you have a problem go to Hell-En Wait!” But, to save this environment, communication has to be prioritized at every level of interaction. Fundamentals, like listening, seeking clarification, and acknowledging common understanding, have to be practiced repeatedly and routinely. Communication starts with respect and accelerates with caring. So, when does overcommunicating intercede? It does not! Overcommunication is a compensating behavior. Get it right the first time. Listen and seek understanding! Then cooperate. That is how functional people operate.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

July 5, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Next Best Idea

Biz Team Ideas

Great leaders do not have exclusive rights to great ideas! Mediocre leaders definitely do not, regardless how much they believe they do. In making decisions, request ideas with the expectation of exploring them. The purpose is to create an environment of creative problem solving, not placating contributors. Every idea is not good, nor salvageable. But, the right process increases perspectives and ideas for circulation. Progress despises ninth place trophies. Monday’s idea may be dumb, but Wednesday’s idea may be game changing. But the group never gets Wednesday’s idea, if Monday’s ideas are choked. Avoid embracing the second best idea. But, the next idea may be the best for organizational growth.

Trust the Process
Encourage contributions. Leadership conveys authority, not ultimate intelligence. Evaluate and digest each suggestion. Celebrate creativity and input. Effective brainstorming accepts all ideas before a vetting process starts. In many circumstances, time does not permit the acceptance of all ideas. However, by creating the environment where encouraged ideas surface, more ideas emerge under any time constraint because of trust in the process. More ideas, more diverse opinions result in more opportunities for an optimal solution.

Leaders belittling inferior contributions effectively choke future contributions. Not discouraging the idea is vastly different from endorsing inferior input. Accepting and evaluating assorted contributions need to be part of the organizational culture. Contributors with seemingly dumb suggestions often facilitate discussions that challenge assumptions. The possibility clearly existed, but fear of challenging established protocols most likely stifled it. Open processes generate unconventional ideas that lead to innovation. Allow the group to benefit from new ideas.

Reward the Result
Leaders have authority which typically involves making decisions. Weak organizations fixate on making motions and casting votes. Sometimes protocol dictates that process to prevent abuses of power. Other times organizations default to that position to pretend to value all contributions. Still other times, organizations default to mediocrity by cowering behind fairness. But, effective leadership makes decisions! Part of the decision making process is rewarding contributions. Ideally, the expectation becomes that the best executed opportunities will deliver the best results. Give the organization the opportunities to execute the best ideas. Encourage ideas with clear and conspicuous rewards based on open input.

Requesting more input enables more innovation. Many problems result from old assumptions leading to poor performance. Poor performance can be avoided by growing a culture that actively welcomes and rewards the best ideas. Seek the best paths to the most favorable results. Assuming that the leader has all the answers is a recipe for disaster. Leaders make errors. They subscribe to poor theories. Sometimes they genuinely believe lies, then innocently spread them. Consequently, test seemingly bad ideas to unlock potentially valuable insight. Cultivate different perspectives. A different set of assumptions and experiences may result in unexpected value.

Ultimately, leaders who genuinely ask for contributions get them. Dealing with suggestions honestly, respectfully, and authentically creates an environment where suggestions have a chance to contribute to the greater good. All ideas are welcome. They may be discarded. They may be lousy. But, they are welcome. Seek the value in the bad ideas. Challenge assumptions. Leaders may have more authority. They do not have exclusivity to accuracy. Solicit ideas. Be open to new insights. The proposed solution may be lousy. But the next, best idea, that surfaces because the group believed in the process, may be the most valuable of all!

 
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

May 10, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better Communication | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prepare to Win, Perform to Win

allen-iverson practice

“We’re talking about practice. Not a game!… We’re talking about practice.” Hard core professional basketball fans still love quoting Allen Iverson’s practice rant from 2002. Iverson was making a point about the importance of performing even at the risk of minimizing preparation. Despite being an exceptionally unique and productive performer, history argues that he may have benefited from better practice habits. Unsurprisingly, in other competitive arenas, like business or entertainment, that truth regularly faces performers. Yes, we are talking about practice!

Preparation
Preparation for superior performance is not a singular act. Musicians practice regularly regardless of immediate performance obligations. Likewise, highly accomplished business professionals routinely identify opportunities for additional training in their areas of expertise. In fact, over-achieving professionals, will take time to train others in order to sharpen their own mastery. The preparation involved in their presentations promotes peak performance. The process clarifies their best thinking so that they can effectively provide maximum value to their audience and marketplace.

School children learn that practice makes perfect. Athletic coaches are fond of saying, “Perfect practice make perfect.” The truth about preparation regardless of the field, is that it is a necessary part of the process toward excellence. The more repetition endured in preparation, the better prepared the competitor will be to maximize their performance when the stakes are highest. Undoubtedly, talent provides several advantages. Yet, skill can be developed and improved. Preparing to perform is a skill that in turn enhances skill. This two-step tactic delivers superior results.

Performance
So, what happens when it is time to perform? And, how important is experience? Simply put, more experience produces better performance. When stakes are highest, no professional performer really wants to be searching for a solution. More practice, more preparation, and more learning activities eventually result in better equipped opportunities for superior performance. “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.”

Skills and knowledge necessary for peak performance have typically already been explored. Perhaps a coach is available to share their experience in managing potential situations. Perhaps the repetition of intentional and intense practice included multiple scenarios expected to occur in competition. Successful sales professionals consistently rehearse and refine their pitch so that they can effortlessly overcome objections and conquer competitors. “Fortune favors the prepared mind.”, according Louis Pasteur. Take the time to prepare in your area of expertise so that your knowledge and discipline are engaged to propel you to targeted success.

The benefit of practice is that the prepared mind secures the advantage. In any competitive endeavor, the competition most likely expects to win, also. The nature of competition demands outperforming an opponent. Practice provides the edge. Structured and disciplined practice provides a bigger edge. Regardless, of the field, winning through competition produces rewards. Generate more sales, score more points, raise more money, discover a cure faster, save more souls. Winning is not an event; it is a process. Target the results. Prepare to win. Perform to win. Embrace the rewards.

 
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

April 13, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All My Previous Addresses

mansionshack

“I think we are a product of all our experiences.”, according to legendary banker, Sanford Weill. That quote became crystal clear when a pastor friend became privately furious when someone tried to take advantage of him in a business deal. The adversary mistakenly took the pastor’s kindness for weakness. Consequently, the pastor planned to attack more than his character. Considering that the pastor grew up in violent communities, his plan involved more wrath than forgiveness. Nevertheless, the small group erupted with laughter when the pastor threateningly snarled about his adversary, “He doesn’t know all my previous addresses!”

Where You’re From
As a man of God, the pastor had attained a respectable position in his community and among his congregation. As a troubled youth he had learned how to extract revenge and never show weakness. Whether earning a PhD from Oxford or a GED from the School of Hard Knocks, people apply lessons from their individual history into their personal growth. Every individual’s past is a foundation for their future. The strength used to navigate through a ruthless past is the same strength used to develop unconquerable character. The caterpillar that enters the cocoon has the same character as the butterfly that releases from it. The transformation equips it with better tools, but the tenacity to escape and ability to fly was in there all along. Success requires acknowledging the past; all of it. Channeling experiences from early conquests to develop new and improved skills result in future victories.

Where You’re Going
Everyone is heading somewhere. Many sermons point out, “You’re either going into a storm, in the middle of a storm, or coming out of a storm.” Regardless, progress is about the journey, not just the destination. Be aware of both. The journey is not linear. Pick a direction anyway. Pursue the mountain top that everyone sees, yet fear prevents them from ascending. Those left behind will hurl discouragement from the valley. Others will present obstacles from above fearing progress will soon overtake them. Nevertheless, grasp all previous experiences to build momentum. Let the insults and obstacles serve as stepping stones toward progress. Feel free to lead others also willing to ascend toward higher destinations.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”, according to President Theodore Roosevelt. Ultimately, individual skills, experiences and values are the most prized possessions. Limits do exist. But, they usually exist well beyond where most people dare to climb. You did in fact live at your previous address. And, then you lived at another address. No one needs to know all your previous addresses. But as you climb, the new address is the one that matters. And, the next one does too. Furthermore, the same skills and characteristics that began the ascensions serve as the foundations for the next plateau. Progress prohibits remaining at previous addresses. But, it is essential to remember the lessons they provided, and the power that they birthed!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond.

February 8, 2017 Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Idolatry of People

You Are Enough

You. Are. Enough. Let me repeat that so it goes through. You. Are. Enough. ~Unknown.
Why do people look externally for internal validation? An individual falls short then, looks outwardly for someone else to elevate them. “If only I was more like my hero then, I would be more successful.”, runs through too many minds. Furthermore, individuals exalt others to a status that no human could reasonably expect to achieve. Heroes, idols, rock stars are titles that are commonly thrown at someone with extraordinary achievements. Left unchecked, these titles evolve into worship. However if worship is eternal, why do people continue to search for divinity among mortals?

Idolizing External Accolades
Heroes are loved. They defend our faith and honor. We admire the results of their actions and celebrate their accomplishments. For example, world champion athletes are exalted as heroes. They receive fame, fortune and public adoration. People idolize them. But these heroes demonstrating poor personal choices or criminal behavior is nearly a cliché. Their achievements are real. The resulting glory is real. Where their fame manifests in bad behavior and worse choices, their eventual fall from grace is real, also! Connecting achievement with character is a recipe for disaster. Tremendous success does result from tremendous sacrifice. Conversely, worshiping the accolades without acknowledging the choices exposes followers to disappointment; then searching for the next idol.

Valuing Self-Worth
Establish your individual values. Assuming someone else’s values means you have also accepted their flaws. Selecting an individual to worship at a conveniently self-serving moment where their greatness is displayed is foolish. Deliberately ignoring struggles and compromises that make up their character, yet contributed to their success, is similar to worshiping Lady Luck after receiving successful lottery numbers. One has nothing to do with the other. Instead, build better character as a result of conquering personal struggles. Was there a personal lapse in judgement resulting in a personal catastrophe? Get up! Leverage previous good decisions to erect another pedestal that is higher than the one from which you fell. You are worthy because you survived, then ascended! Value each win. You earned them. Now, focus on replicating them! These steps build unique greatness.

Too many individuals want to make idols of other people. But, these other people are flawed. And when they fall, the next human idol takes their place. Stop that. Instead, admire values. Emulate positive traits. But, never exalt people!

Own your individual destiny by developing personal skills emphasizing your own strengths. You have them! Next, identify your time frame. You control that! The idolatry of people demands bowing before a fallen god. Instead, develop individual talents to achieve desired outcomes in concert with personal values. Accept your individual blessing. Discovering and developing unique experiences grows your internal worth. Possess the courage to identify and display your inherent greatness. “You are enough.”

 
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Mo Patton Sports, LLC
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

Thanks DP!

April 20, 2016 Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be An Impact Player

In leading Mo Patton Sports, a progressive sports media company, I need to be visible and engaged at athletic and business events. Recently, at a state championship game, I saw a local sports superstar in the stadium stands. Or better yet, he saw me. While walking the sidelines, I routinely glance into the stands to observe the fans. I want to know how they are engaging the game. While glancing in the stands again, our eyes connected. More importantly, he waved and pointed at me to make sure that I saw him. I pointed back and we shared a smile. This young, talented and engaging athlete made an impact because he was aware and recognized the influence that I represented in his environment.

People have several opportunities to make an impact. In organizations, assistants can save the day by performing an administrative miracle for an overburdened manager. Teammates can come off the bench to make a game saving play. Clearly, impacts result from an individual using skills that they already have in an extraordinary and valuable way.

Extraordinary
Communities, organizations and teams benefit from people who go beyond typical expectations to achieve goals. Significant contributions result from seizing opportunities to be exceptional. Executives who remember the names of underlings, then additionally recall the names of their spouses and children, are extraordinary. All of sudden, employee number 2241 firmly believes that she is an important contributor and is willing to go the extra mile to demonstrate and justify her importance. Her performance trends toward Exceeding Expecations and the reason is that the executive prioritized remembering details about her from an earlier conversation. That leader is an impact player as a result of facilitating superior efforts leading toward executing meaningful results. Susan in accounting has transformed from employee 2241 to become an internal advocate for leadership’s caring for the hard working staff that contributes to the business. Susan is exponentially influencing the company’s success because the executive made an extraordinary and valuable gesture.

Valuable
Facilitating success in an organization ultimately needs to be reflected in tangible contributions. Feel good anecdotes are great for morale. But organizations thrive on measurable progress. An impact player must affect the final score, the bottom line. The enthusiasm that is created by positive recognition has to transform into quantifiable results. Successful leaders give their contributors the resources to produce the desired metrics. Consequently, impact players possess, develop and deploy a combination of effort, tools and performance. Value is typically focused on financial gains, but it can equally apply to cultural improvements. Reduced absenteeism, increased skill development, or demonstrated teamwork are also ways organization experience value. And, they directly result from people behaving constructively. Impact players who contribute their skills and esprit de corps eventually maximize productivity.

Be intentional. Be an impact player. Scrutinize your skill set. Develop your attributes to the point that your contribution is extraordinary and valuable. People will notice. You will notice. Seek the opportunity to repeat the process. Then, encourage others to follow your example. And, always be prepared to request and accept the additional rewards!

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Mo Patton Sports LLC

January 7, 2016 Posted by | Better Business, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being Loud Doesn’t Mean You’re Right

My Ethics class recently had a highly charged discussion whether sexual preference is genetic or learned. Considering my Ethics class fundamentally focuses on what is right or wrong, or good or bad, the actual examples aren’t really important. However, the thinking leading to their conclusions is crucial! The brutal honesty of this discussion probably shocked everyone. Considering the shared, individual life experiences on this topic, both sides were emotionally invested in being right. And, the volume kept rising!

In a world where opinions and decisions move faster than facts, making a point clearly and succinctly creates significant advantages. Consequently, people who expect to be persuasive and taken seriously must communicate so that their point prevails. Volume does not necessarily win. Facts don’t necessarily win. Communication to create relationship and commonality with the listener wins. Three tactics for effective persuasion are:

Be Passionate
People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. ~Theodore Roosevelt. Successfully making a winning point requires demonstrating that you believe your point. Beyond claiming that you are right, articulate your commitment to your position. Emphasize sincerity. Introduce reasoning that you have considered other points of view. But most importantly, talk to the hearts of your listeners. Sell your point by injecting good feelings into listeners and then, use those feelings as a bridge to your point of view.

Be Patient
Regardless of what mass media or Twitter imposes on us, convincing others of your point does not have to be limited by time and space. Successful persuasion requires patience. Patience is not making points slowly and deliberately. Patience is empathetically listening to the other argument. Whether selling a service or delivering a political point, listen and understand the other side’s objection. Present your response only after they have had their say. Almost as bad as proving you’re right by speaking louder is proving your point by speaking faster. Patience is a virtue that should be offered politely and then demanded in return!

Be Informed
Winning disagreements involve knowing other points of view. Being informed allows better understanding to result in better analysis of a situation. Dots on a page don’t provide the answer, but connecting the dots leads to clearer comprehension. Understand as many facts as available because successful persuasion results from interpreting and presenting facts so that your interpretation prevails. Whether selling, debating, or just plain arguing, effective communication is based on understanding both information and motivation concerning all parties. Then, let your analysis prevail.

Notice that Be Right is not one of the key tactics. Being right is no guarantee that your argument will carry the day. Knowledge is not an absolute. More information continuously becomes available and consequently, more interpretations of truth result. But, presenting beliefs with emotion, patience and understanding can be very convincing.

Regarding my Ethics’ class initial debate regarding sexual orientation being genetic or learned, the class reached no resolution. And frankly, I don’t know either. But, I do know that the louder argument did not prevail. I know that students held tightly to beliefs based solely on individual, anecdotal experiences. And by patiently listening, I know more about my students’ biases and motivations. In essence, I’ll now be able to communicate more persuasively with my students to educate them. I guess, I won!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

January 12, 2015 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Person | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s RARE: Why Change Has Value!

While mentoring a professional wanting to make a significant personal transition, we focused on the importance of change. The problem involved balancing the difficulty in holding established habits versus achieving improved results. This difficulty is the essence of self-improvement. Trying to remain the same defeats the purpose of change. So to emphasize the value of change, we explored a path. Like any treasure, change has value because it is RARE!

Routines
“And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.” ~Dr. Seuss. People develop routines to perform simple tasks easily. Problems start when routine tasks are no longer helpful. Then, problems get bigger as more complex tasks are required. Consequently to overcome these problems, routines must be abandoned. “Un-slumping yourself” or changing for the better is uncomfortable. But the sooner you become more flexible, the more easily you can get comfortable adopting different behaviors needed for improvement.

Alternatives
Whether focusing on personal habits, traditions, or choices, you have options. First, acknowledge them. Then, embrace your options and use them! Change your waking time to increase hours for more productivity. Then, progress to spending your leisure time doing higher performance activities. Walk during lunchtime to improve your health, or listen to motivational messages during your evening commute. Next, identify and implement more dramatic habits that you individually connect with success. When you stumble, start again. The point is to keep selecting alternatives until achieving the improved results that you want. The drive to push relentlessly toward ongoing improvement is uncommon. But, success through continuous growth regularly happens. Start the process.

Relationships
This step is hardest. Relationships are deeply embedded, tradition-bound and personal. The challenge with relationships is the comfort that it provides. Who among us has not remained in unhealthy relationships with friends, relatives, or significant others because they were comfortable or socially expected? It seems unfair, but distancing from comfortable and familiar environments are the root of change. Too often, the closest relationships represents the heaviest anchors to prevent your progress. For personal improvement, evaluate which relationships weigh down your journey and which ones ease the burden. Consciously choose which relationships you will keep and which ones you will jettison. Successful change efforts often sink because toxic relationships are valued more than the opportunity for self-improvement. Too often we let relationships define us, instead of letting our personal aspirations define us. Value empowering relationships.

Experiences
Winners perform differently than losers. Replicating winning behaviors and experiences clearly separates the two. After identifying the winning behaviors that you aspire to own, engage in experiences that align with your desired success. Visit different places that reflect your improved self. Eat at healthier restaurants. Shop in different stores. Vacation in inspiring locations. Intentionally create experiences that demonstrate the improved you. It may be easy to do the same old things, in the same old places. But, you will get the same old results. And, that defeats the purpose of change.

Consciously, implement your new reality. Most people want to bring their old baggage with them to their new address. But, a new mindset reflects new experiences. That successful transition means work. This is why improvement is RARE. And like most RARE items, they are valuable because few people have them. So, what will you change to become more valuable?

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter and Beyond

January 5, 2015 Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clarity: Near-Sighted Guides & Dark Paths

A highly competent professional wants to accelerate her career progress. She has earned accolades and bonuses. She has demonstrated leadership and proven to be a team player. And, she now wants to take a big leap forward. She wants to use her formidable skills and ambition to create exceptional value for herself and her organization. But first, something must change!

What must fundamentally change is her mindset. Fulfilling potential is important. Giving it all she has is routine. Maximizing created value is rewarding. But, to adjust her thinking for success, what she needs most of all is clarity! So, what exactly does clarity mean?

• What about my needs?
The first step to maximizing individual value is to value yourself individually. Identify your personal success characteristics. This approach does not emphasize being selfish. It requires placing your needs at the forefront of your development and objectives. Before you can give your all to an employer or organization, you must know that you have a lot to give. Specifically attend to your self-development needs and confidently developing your strengths. As a result of coaching, mentoring, visualizing or goal-setting, explicitly identify steps and then, progress toward your highest priority needs. Best of all, these improved strengths will stay with you wherever you go.

• Who speaks into your life?
The next step for clarity focuses on inputs that you accept. Clarity is attained by listening to people who have clear insight to what you seek to achieve. Pay close attention to who speaks into your life. Know clearly the character residing in whoever is delivering advice and direction. Before accepting guidance from teachers, bosses, clergy, parents, peers, and significant others, be certain that they thoroughly understand and respect your personal goals. Avoid individuals who want to limit your vision because of their own insecurities. Be intentional about who has the privilege to contributing to your success. Their intentions do not necessarily have to be pure, but both of your intentions must be aligned toward achieving results that you have explicitly identified for your singular benefit.

• Who does not speak into your life?
Equally important to determining who speaks into your life, is being intentional about who may not speak into your life. Clarity emerges by ignoring dissenting voices that contradict your fundamental character and personal ethics. Regardless of how highly you may regard a particular leader, or personality, their influence on your aspirations must serve your vision for success. Clarity requires firmly and singularly adhering to your personal values, risk tolerance and ambition. Voices that do not contribute to reinforcing those parameters are unhealthy at best, and dangerous at worst. Don’t let titles, achievements, family relationships, or reputations distract you. If any voice does not reinforce the core values that you require to achieve success, silence it.

Clarity requires knowing your destination. Road blocks will appear and need to be negotiated. Upon considering additional information and supportive input, you can always alter your direction. Nevertheless, clarity is essential to progressing toward and achieving goals, because the alternative is stumbling in the dark.

Anyone who desires to fulfill a greater destiny singularly knows their heart, ambition and tenacity. These traits are necessary to reach their ultimate potential. But, clarity will pave the way. Be clear about the goals that you desire. Then pursue them like your life depends on it. Because eventually your life does depend on achieving your goals.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” ~Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter & Beyond
Thanks ADW

November 24, 2014 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Person | , , , , , , | 1 Comment