UpliftAnother1

Building Community Through Better Relationships

Who’s Driving This Car?

Concept 26

Organizations without real leaders are like a car with no one driving. Ordinary cars perform every function that they were built to do; yet they lack the ability to navigate challenges directly in front of them. Newer models are beginning to acquire that functionality. Likewise, successful leaders are developing the functionality to perform in more dynamic environments. And, with each success they develop people to accomplish more. These leaders intentionally develop others to help accomplish what is in everyone’s best interest. Better people contributing more effectively create more productive and satisfying environments. These leaders are who need to drive the car.

Lead As You Learn
Individuals who lead the same they were taught typically create more problems than they solve. Old paradigms helped organizations, but marginalized people. Eventually, that approach resulted in marginalized organizations. Realize that an organization is a group working toward a specific goal. Groups can be missionaries, sports teams, or corporate executives. To facilitate progress, leaders must get teams to move forward their joint interests. As team members grow and evolve, the leaders must meet their changing needs and priorities. Promising a gold watch after 40 years is no longer enough.

Leadership is dynamic. Old teachings no longer apply to modern workplaces. The solution is to lead as you learn. Conversely, success is realized when you learn as you lead. So, when the question arises whether learning or leading comes first, the answer is yes! By actively serving people under their watch, leaders can keep their needs as the focal point. Because everyone’s needs evolve quicker than ever before, effective leadership demands hitting multiple moving targets. Simultaneously, leading and learning offers the only fighting chance to compete and win.

Lead For Results
Because organizations’ objectives include winning, scoring systems must be established. Scoreboards make it easy for a sports team to identify winning. Publicly held corporations have stock markets as intrinsic metrics to identify winners. But what about individuals in the bowels of these organization? Or, what about professionals like educators or research teams? Scorecards are effective management tools to facilitate measurement over specific time horizons. SMART (Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Time-based) goals work well where quantifying outcomes gets tricky. Nevertheless, always measure results.

Leaders must tell their teams explicitly how they perform. These performance targets pave the road in front of the organization. They reveal where the organization is heading. Consequently, direction provides what followers require to determine their individual objectives. Then, the leader can channel their desire to deliver the team’s needs for mutual success. The team can now identify their desired results.

All of this sounds great, but it only works when the group knows who is driving. Where is the authority? That knowledge is necessary for the team to position itself to respond to ongoing directions. As teams gain alignment, productivity improves. Next, results improve. Then, all contributors benefit. Such awareness only occurs with clear direction and progressive leadership. “Because I said so”, may meet the quarterly numbers. But, it ultimately leads to short tenures for leaders. The leader who drives the car such that others understand how and why has a significant advantage. That leader and the team now both enjoy power. That power promotes encouragement, motivation, preparation and results which then leads teams to their rewards.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

August 16, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Permission to Fail

Enfante Terrible

Legendary college football coach, Bear Bryant, quipped, “The first time you quit, it’s hard. The second time, it gets easier. The third time, you don’t even have to think about it.” Why would a competitor give up when the thrill of victory is possible? Most likely, he did not quit because the desire to win was missing. That quitter accepted permission to fail! The offer may or may not have been extended. Regardless, quitting is the final step toward accepting responsibility for not contributing. But, why would anyone withhold their talents and gifts from a noble cause? Why give up on the team?

Authority
Typically, an authority figure is in position to grant permission. A parent permits a teenager to take the family car. However, a contributor, like the previously mentioned athlete who chooses to quit, has abandoned protocol. Their needs supersede the needs of the group. Essentially, a pompous act of selfishness leads to quitting. The act represents a total disregard for authority.

More importantly, the quitter is being selfish with their gifts. All teammates and participants have skills and talents to contribute. The individual that hijacks authority by withholding their gifts essentially limits the entire group. Authority weakens and all members are penalized. The selfish contributor has passively extended permission to fail for the rest of the team. Quitting becomes an option. The weakest element has now assumed authority. The group suffers because of one member’s selfishness.

Victory
Nevertheless, permission to fail is not a decision to fail! Strength in numbers still holds possibilities. Furthermore, superior leadership can reverse the trend toward defeat. Most importantly, cooperation by the group has the ability to rally success. Permission is not a proclamation. Failure is not final. No one needs to replace the quitter. Everyone else jointly contributing more to the cause will more than compensate. Simply rally the troops.

Besides, victory results from a process, not just an event. Because a selfish individual usurps authority to the detriment of the team, that does not guarantee sustained poor performance. Teamwork genuinely uplifts the group’s capability. Subtracting the selfish individual who undermined morale opens the opportunity for superior performance for the survivors. Better performance results from the group seizing the opportunity for excellence. The projected permission to fail has become stripped of its power.

Permission to fail is a singular decision in a long-suffering process. Successfully pursuing victory requires endurance. In fact, failure is part of the longer process. According to Winston Churchill, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” So, iterate and improve. Jettisoning dead weight is actually part of the bigger process. Persevering together is too. Let the loser claim permission to fail. His self-centeredness will comfort him in his loneliness. Conversely, champions are built on comrades uplifting each other toward a common goal. Dismiss the losers’ authority over very little. Kick him out quickly. Then, together accept authority over very much, resulting in permission for success.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

 

August 9, 2017 Posted by | Better Community | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Outwork The Next Guy

running uphill

Two hikers walking in the woods come across a large bear playing with her cubs. Mama bear roars at the hikers! While both hikers try to remain calm, one hiker reaches into his bag and slowly pulls out his sneakers. Mama bear roars again while deciding whether to maul the intruders or just scare the people. The second hiker whispers, “You will never outrun that bear.” As the first hiker finishes tying his second shoe he quietly responds, “I don’t have to outrun the bear; I only need to outrun you!” The first hiker clearly understood what many competitors miss. He does not have to defeat all competitors, he just needs to outwork the next guy.

Be Prepared
“Fortune favors the prepared mind”, according to Louis Pasteur. Preparation comes before success alphabetically and procedurally. Who really packs tennis shoes to go hiking? Preparation is not a singular event. It is a habit; a mindset! Obsessive preparation halts progress. Everything is planned and nothing happens. But, purposefully planning to win works.

Effective preparation begins with the end in mind. Defining goals is a great start. Defining success is another essential element. If the plan is weight loss, then identify a target amount. If the goal is to earn a million dollars annually, then personal results dictate earning $500 per hour for a plan to work 40 hours per week and enjoy two weeks vacation. Setting goals, creating a plan, and executing that plan is essential to success. Unfortunately, performance does not occur in a vacuum. Achieving lofty goals demands outworking others.

Get Started
“A journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step.”, according to Lao Tzu. So, what’s the first step? In academic settings, students receive a syllabus which outlines class expectations and guidance for how grades are calculated. Reading the syllabus is a great way to get started toward earning an A. Competitive athletes start preparing for the next season after a brief period of rest and healing, by targeting specific skills to improve. At that performance level, the competition is particularly fierce, leaving little room for backsliding.

But, preparation is just the start. Next, repetition becomes the focus. Identifying areas of improvement is useless without dedicated skill development working toward progress. High performance results from preparing, starting, and executing. Each step closes the gap toward the goal. Measure progress. Keep score. Tenaciously work toward specific metrics to stay ahead of the competition. And, if progress is unsatisfactory, then reevaluate preparation and the plan. Confirm that the stated target is the desired outcome. Changing routines for better results is allowed.

Back to the hikers, packing sneakers in the bag was a great idea. However, if the hiker was grossly out of shape, escaping the bear is futile. Good preparation without dedication toward improvement leads to being mauled by a bear. Prepare, start, execute! Regarding results, consistency applies equally to collegiate athletes and second grade students; the same for social workers and CEOs. Most importantly, collaborating with the other guy that you outrun, elevates both of your performance. Iron sharpens iron. And, if you are both prepared, then get started, and execute with excellence, you both may outrun the bear!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

July 26, 2017 Posted by | Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Run To The Battle

David_and_Goliath

“He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day.” This is undoubtedly the most idiotic advice ever offered!! Never, is the point to reward cowards. To the contrary, in combat or conflict, preparation and bravery are typically rewarded. In the epic battle of David and Goliath confidence and belief won the fight. Whether the battle is physical, emotional, or spiritual, strength begins within each individual fighter before engagement starts. What happens before the battle is equally important to the results, as what happens in it. So, what happens when someone runs away?

Feel the Fear
Upon entering a conflict, fear, apprehension, and anxiety are normal emotions. Once the clash starts, managing those emotions are very important for success. When the choice is fight or flight, flight does not end the skirmish. Once you begin running, there is a good chance you will never stop. Very little keeps the aggressor from chasing.

The alternative is to acknowledge the fear, embrace the fear, feel the fear. Labelling FEAR as False Expectation Appearing Real is comforting. In the heat of battle when the aggressor is displaying superior firepower, “True” takes over “False” in the acronym! Nevertheless, proper preparation and training before engaging in the battle offers certain advantages, particularly mental advantages. Feel the fear is accepting the reality. Preparing ahead to be aggressive and to plan contingencies creates a competitive edge. “Fortune favors the prepared mind!” is legitimate advice during conflicts!

Do It Anyway
Regardless of the fear, the time for battle arrives. Another comforting thought is that the other party may be fearful, as well. Nevertheless, a better tactic is to assume the role of aggressor. In boxing, this approach is known as “a puncher’s chance”. In academia, the term is “lucky guess”. In all cases taking action at the point of conflict provides an opportunity for victory. If nothing else, try!

Most importantly, prepare for the possibility of competition. Have a plan just in case. The element of surprise is a powerful ally. Take a chance. Above all, take action! When the threat becomes imminent, attack.” Do it anyway”, naturally follows “feel the fear”. Prior preparation facilitates the courage necessary for winning. Preparation also strengthens the element of surprise. Doing it anyway quickly seizes the advantage and takes the fight to the opponent!

Running to the battle means the threat is in front. It demonstrates assumed confidence. It leads others to feed off that confidence. It does not guarantee victory. Chances are the other guy can fight, too. But, when running to the battle, a sudden, surprising show of courage can be disorienting. Opportunity emerges to dictate terms of the conflict. As Edgar Albert Guest’s poem, “See It Through” says, “When you’re up against a trouble, Meet it squarely face to face; Lift your chin and set your shoulders, Plant your feet and take a brace.” Seize the moment. Take the fight to the competition. More than clichés, these tactics are engrained in winners. Claim the victory before the battle starts. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

July 18, 2017 Posted by | Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defeating the Enemy Within

OVER-COMING-OBSTACLES2

Why do heroes always win? Because winners write history! Upon emerging from the battlefield, heroes create the legend. However, conflict and competition does not produce winners without producing ancillary damage, or unintended consequences. Sometimes winners lose comrades, integrity, or dignity. Nevertheless, no one else cares much about the failures that heroes endure on their way to epic accomplishments. Heroes simply win! But inside, winners know the sacrifices, scars and compromises involved with victory. So, how do they manage that internal conflict?

Emotion
“If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm” is an old African proverb. The enemy within magnifies vulnerability. Fear, insecurity, emotional baggage can cripple any effort. The emerging victor must first overcome their internal conflicts. The successful combatant must be emotionally superior to their adversary. They require more resolve and focus. Unyielding belief in victory is an exceptional advantage. Feel the fear and do it anyway!

Realize that fear is a notable weapon. Winners first attack opponents with heavy doses of negativity. In the heat of battle, “it does not matter whether I win or lose. It matters that I win and you lose!” In individual or group competition, projecting a losing mentality on the opponent creates huge advantages. Before engaging the enemy expose weakness in their character, their cause, and their core beliefs. Strip away the adversary’s why! Create doubt. The winner’s story will read that he crushed his enemy. In reality, he defeated the loser in the mind before even attacking the body.

Logic
To secure their inner advantage, winners must eliminate their own disabling thoughts. Kick out the enemy within! Confidence is fickle. Bravado is relatively easy to conjure and project. Real courage is trickier. Logic is an empowering agent. Identify core advantages. Size, strength, intellect are tangible attributes. Find advantages and create a battleground based on those characteristics. Logic has to make sense. It does not have to be accurate. Create logical structures to trick opponents into seeing obstacles that you wish to impose as the winner. Convince enemies that giants are waiting to kill them. They never have to know the giants are only windmills.

Victory ultimately relies on tactics. Whether deception or brute force create advantages, winners still must execute their plan. A combatant can psyche himself up to start, but eventually in the heat of battle, he must believe in his advantages. The enemy within who is a secret coward, must build a belief structure that has confidence in their attributes. Superior execution, according to a plan, becomes the dominant weapon once fear has been placed in the opponent and the winner performs with precision.

Is it emotion or logic? Both provide advantages in overcoming adversity. Master deploying one or the other… or both. Use tools, like obedience and faith, to remove internal obstacles, then focus on explicit goals. Whether the combat is a physical conflict, or a personal best performance, bring both a logically structured plan and an inspired mindset to the battle. Create a plan and execute. Personal success depends on it. Individual victory requires it. Defeat the internal adversary. Then, march over external enemies’ decaying carcasses. Write the epic story of your resounding conquest. Then, dominate your next challenge with confidence, experience and success.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter and Beyond

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

They’re Following Me

Following Me

Consequences for children are the dreadful results they endure following bad decisions. The consequences may be spending time in their room without any electronic devices. Or, they may have to endure hard labor like loading the dish washer, or scrubbing the bathroom. However, what happens when a naughty parent exercises bad decisions? Worse yet, what happens to the adult when no evidence exists of their destructive decisions. The guilt from the crime exists and it has places to hide. Or, does it?

New Location
Poor behavior can be masked, covered, cleaned, even pardoned. But, it does not truly go away until it is released. While a child has authority figures that are positioned to dispense punishment, the authority figure can often conveniently pardon themselves without pain. Grown-up problems can be secretly masked with addictive substances, or intellectually justified with twisted logic. They can be compartmentalized by blaming extraordinary pressures, or unfair expectations. Unfortunately, the new psychological location for the problem does not really move the problem. The problem’s location is not the issue. It follows the perpetrator everywhere. Resolving guilt associated with the issue is the only available relief. Grown-up problems cannot be sent to their rooms. And, they definitely cannot be swept under the rug.

New Attitude
Promises to change behaviors regularly fall short. Internal promises to do better is merely a larger, well-organized trunk to hide the problem unsuccessfully. Relief only comes with a new attitude. Furthermore, the new attitude needs new behaviors to accompany it. Many grown-up missteps are addressed with therapy, or accountability. A new attitude targeting specific priorities and decisions are the only path to true relief. Whether the attitude now highlights forgiveness, regret, or rehabilitation, the change must occur at the point of individual decision. Grown-up problems are often hard to forgive; they are often harder to forget. But, new attitudes leading to better behaviors demonstrate pathways to problem ownership. Problems ranging from blatant lying to infidelity to substance abuse accompany incredibly deep wounds. But, an improved attitude coinciding with life-affirming behaviors uproot destructive problems from a bad location to an open environment. Then, they can be exposed, addressed and ultimately defeated.

Moving grown-up issues to a new location does not achieve resolution. They follow you. Only addressing the problem from an emotional level leads to resolution. Even without a conscience weighing down the individual following harmful decisions, the resultant cover-up comes with significant gravity. Nevertheless, a changed mind, or a new attitude, creates a mindset where genuine reform can happen. Then, healing has a chance. Better choices and behaviors reflect the next step. The process requires much more than surviving the night without video games or a smart phone. But, the longevity and productivity associated with emotional health lasts much longer. A new attitude resulting in better behavior clearly sets the example for genuine rehabilitation, particularly when a child chooses to break family rules. Furthermore, the corrected attitude happens earlier, as opposed to the problem growing into the next generation.

 
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

May 24, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better World | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Escape From Your Comfort Orbit

Spacecraft in Orbit

It is sickening how professional speakers pathetically encourage people that they can have success by “moving beyond your comfort zone.” These commentators are entitled to their limited world view. But extraordinary achievement requires an extraterrestrial grasp of reality. “Escape Your Comfort Orbit” suggests a greater effort and much greater results! But, what is a “Comfort Orbit” and how can someone escape it?

Create A Stronger Force
Any zone, including a comfort zone, is a place marked by boundaries. Rules forbid leaving the perimeter. An orbit literally has boundaries that are defined by gravitational force that restricts escaping. Still, a zone reflects limited territory in the sense that the area is clearly defined. Beyond the boundaries anyone who escapes can be relatively easily retrieved. But, upon escaping an orbit, the stars await. Success requires more than resisting this force. The ambitious adventurer must completely escape it.

Beyond the orbit’s restriction, freedom and adventure reign. Orbital forces are strong. But, resistance is not futile. Exerting exceptional energy leads to breaking free. The first scientists to launch a rocket to the moon had to learn to use Earth’s rotation and gravitational forces to help generate enough speed to escape the Earth’s orbital pull. Extraordinary achievement demands unique and creative solutions. Escaping social, personal, and professional boundaries require solutions with similar imagination. Seek additional solutions to launch your dream if the first one fails. Escaping the orbit is hard work. It is worth it!

Soar Beyond Constraints
Upon breaking the gravitational pull, progress benefits from suddenly lighter burdens. The force that allowed you to escape, is now unburdened, and effortlessly propels toward greater distances. It is simple physics. With the same mindset that escaped greatness-inhibiting burdens, identify and attain new heights. The weight that held you back is no longer a factor. All acquired knowledge and experiences are free to empower a new trajectory.

Embrace the new trajectory. Without the reality of gravity’s tug, prior constraints no longer apply. Continue to soar. Education, background, past mistakes have less authority in the new frontier than most people realize. Open your mind to dream bigger. Gather your tools. Learn the knowledge. Acquire the skills. Achieve your greatest ambitions. Mediocrity, like gravitational pull, only matters in close proximity to familiar terrain. In unchartered space, prior constraints no longer apply.

ULTIMATELY, the freedom to reach greater achievements does not mean they can be recklessly pursued. Specifically, be WISE to use the tools to launch a significant escape:
Work – Make the effort with an expectation of results.
Iterate – Try, fail and try again.
Service – Help someone; you may even create an ally.
Experiment – You were stuck in the orbit based on your prior habits; Get new habits.
Upon escaping your comfort orbit, success is available. But first, get started. Then, be WISE. From that point, create your own limits to pursue!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

April 27, 2017 Posted by | Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Accountability To What?

Buffalo Stampede

A herd of majestic buffalo rumble across the prairie creating a deafening roar. The ground literally shakes as they hurry in loosely orchestrated chaos. Upon reaching a cliff each one races beyond the edge and crashes into the rocks below. The insanity of the thundering group is catastrophic. At least, the group reached their tragic demise together. Buffalo herds, like traditional organizational structure, are built on blind loyalty to the larger group. Their success assumes higher collective intelligence. Sometimes, groups are wrong. People get hurt. Who was in charge?

Improving Performance
Leaders are established to help groups achieve specific results. Considering that such groups are collections of individuals seeking a common purpose or goal, leadership provides a structure facilitating that achievement. Particularly with time-sensitive goals, everyone running faster is a reasonable tactic. But, what about the individual? Is there contribution valued? Or, are they expected to be a component of some unknown, or loosely defined, plan?

Optimally, a group that unites for a specific goal features contributing members. By accessing more individual input, the group potentially benefits from increased output. A good plan is necessary. Additionally, it requires a leader taking responsibility for execution. By getting individuals to improve their input with better contributions, leaders coordinate and enhance results. In the absence of a leader, too often one emerges who will accept responsibility and the glory. But, does this truly meet the members’ of the body individual needs? Who is accountable?

Changing Behavior
Actually, leadership’s challenge is meeting the individual needs of the members of the body. The old saying, “If you want to be a leader, grab the baton and get in front of the parade.”, is both witty and frightening. Declaring a leader in the absence of one, does not mean the group’s needs are prioritized nor met. It definitely does not mean that individuals’ needs are prioritized and met. Yes, the leadership box is checked. Now, the herd is prepared to be led off the cliff, instead of randomly charging off it.

New and improved behavior requires individual accountability. To get behavior to change, every member must find individual benefit. When real leadership is applied effectively, processes and opportunities exist to develop individuals within the group’s framework. The body does not need four well developed arms to maximize performance. It needs two functional arms and two functional legs to perform in accordance with the established design. Sustainable results happen when individual components develop in alignment with the group’s success.

Essentially, the leader needs to equip group members to develop fully. The group members need to be equipped to fulfil their individual goals. Sounds like a lot of selfishness in the name of the team. However, individual self-interest is not selfishness. And anyone who claims that it is, secretly is unhappy that they do not have the group’s blind loyalty. Improving performance is easy. Changing behavior is hard. All members must contribute toward accountability to align behaviors. Otherwise, the result is ineffective leaders who essentially join the group in running off the nearest cliff.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

April 20, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better Community | , , , , , , , , , , , | 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