UpliftAnother1

Building Community Through Better Relationships

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.

Conclusion
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

 

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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?

Desire
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.

Determination
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.

Discipline
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

Train Up A Teen

SEL Child

Mark Twain said, “When a child turns 12, he should be kept in a barrel and fed through the knot hole, until he reaches 16…at which time you plug the hole.” The Old Testament raises the issue of disobedient children. And, today because we have the internet and artificial intelligence, children are supposed to know better and be more obedient. Regardless, where the blame lies across generations for children, teens and young adults are still reluctant to accept advice and wisdom from their elders. Instead of yelling louder, perhaps authority figures should listen more. Equally important, they should listen earlier. And, that listening from authority figures begins with parents, teachers, and youth leaders. By modeling listening behaviors, young people will be more likely to apply listening skills. Too often, youth cannot hear words from adults because their actions are too loud.

Engage
Dialogue by definition is bilateral. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a tactic that develops young people by cultivating specific communication tools. This tactic delivers tools to young people to articulate their pain. A straightforward example is the focus on bullying. SEL provides tools to help process the blizzard of emotions and destructive behaviors associated with youth aggression. Power, control, frustration are all elements of bullying. By engaging youngsters they have opportunities to begin processing root causes of these activities. Furthermore, they gain insight to their consequences.

To promote growth, authority figures must acknowledge and accept the privilege to teach, guide and mentor young people. Too often teachers assume they are right because they have spoken. Through emotionally connecting with young learners, teachers forge a path for truth to emerge. They earn the privilege to be right upon achieving awareness that students received the information. Fundamentally, engagement establishes an emotional connection that results in communicating information to a listener equipped to process it.

Respond
Assuming authority figures know best is a slippery slope, especially when interacting with young learners. Responding with right answers is too simplistic. Assuming away the learners’ emotional state because rational facts are presented is a disservice. Treating academic facts as irrefutable truths compounds the problem. Instructors ignore their learners’ emotional filters at their own peril. Students cannot accept facts if they do not trust their source. More importantly, they cannot respond properly to new information without an emotional connection to the facts. If the communication filter is clogged with learners’ confusion, pain, insecurity and hopelessness, then the facts never reach their understanding.

Pressures to understanding, embedded in young people, have changed dramatically in the last generation. Today’s adult parents of school age children are too old to have been cyber-bullied in elementary school. The argument that bullying is bullying is the equivalent of saying that a library’s card catalog has the same research capacity as Google. Sensitivity to the differences in acquiring and processing information is essential to communicating and educating. Teachers who exercise insight to students’ social-emotional needs have a tremendous advantage in conveying information. Developing and exercising abilities to identify and respond to felt needs is an advantage resulting in better learners.

Takeaway
Training young people to learn and apply their knowledge productively is an old priority. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”, is a lesson from Proverbs 22:6 (English Standard Version). Communicate, listen, respond, listen some more. Listening is not the pause while waiting for the next turn to talk. Empower students to process information that they receive, not just accept the authority’s experience as the only option. Even if the authority’s path is best, it does not necessarily reflect the individual youngster’s reality. Teaching is empowering learning to occur; it is not spewing knowledge. Learning socially, emotionally and intellectually requires delivering knowledge using proper tools so that intelligence transfers. The youngsters’ ability to progress and function depends on it.

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

October 20, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Urgency of the Tyrant

Child_boss Tyrant

The Tyranny of the Urgent is a common phrase referring to people held hostage by immediate problems that they face. People cannot perform important tasks because they are trapped by urgent ones. Long term benefits are at the mercy of short-term demands. However, an equally counterproductive and evil relative also lurks. The Urgency of the Tyrant is when someone else’s problem becomes your problem. And, that someone has authority! Where’s coaching when you need it?

Lack of Planning
“Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part!” This clever quip is empowering until the poor planner exercises their authority. For example, the boss arrives late at the office following an early morning “networking meeting” with his golfing buddies. The report he needed two days ago, that he neglected to tell anyone, is now the nearest subordinate’s problem. The Tyrant has struck!

The subordinate cannot plan for such contingencies. They make the hard decision and sacrifice another priority. Consequences emerge from missed deadlines. Other leaders and peers question the subordinate’s competence. However, the subordinate’s best defense is contingency planning that anticipates the reckless leader. Enlist colleagues to absorb the resultant overflow that the Tyrant created. Likewise, be prepared to reciprocate among those colleagues. Reckless Tyrants do not discriminate. They wreak havoc from their egomaniacal vacuum. Defeat the Tyrant’s lack of planning by overcompensating with superior proactivity among a community of teammates.

Manage Emergencies
What can victims do? Getting angry or vengeful certainly does not help. Negative emotions drain time and energy from fulfilling the impossible assignments. To survive, reprioritize assignments quickly. According to Gene Kleiner, “The more difficult the decision, the less it matters what you choose.” Choices fall in the “Damned if You do, Damned if you don’t” category. The choice is real; so are the consequences. Choose anyway.

However, long-term issues remain. Once a subordinate performs a miracle, the Tyrant returns with equally impossible tasks. It is his true nature. Like most tyrannical regimes, escape is an attractive option. The tyrant already has authority and no incentive to change. Subordinates have alternatives. Upon considering equally brutal choices, ongoing submission is a possibility. But, finding a new environment, galvanizing fellow oppressed colleagues, standing up for individual respect are also options. Explore possibilities that maximize personal attributes for individual gain. Consequences maybe difficult, but that cannot silence the right for dignity.

Takeaways
Tyrants emerge in many types of organization. Often, bullies are bullied themselves. However, loyalty to an oppressor is really enslavement! Explore options. Coaching helps. Prepare for promotions, develop new skills, explore different life choices, pursue personal happiness. Find new inspiration that empowers fulfillment beyond the Tyrant. Waiting for the oppressor to lose creates additional burdens. Having courage to escape oppressors because skills, talents, and value exceed current situations builds a path to liberation. A Tyrant has power through fear. Overcome the fear through individual efforts. Then, facilitate community. Ultimately, pursue conquering the abuse, then own your personal value.

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

October 13, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better Community | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ABO: Attitude Behaviors Outcomes

Bootcamp Obstacle Teamwork

Getting teenagers to achieve meaningful changes for their future benefit is an enormous task. Young people routinely alter their life trajectory every ten, social media – driven, seconds. Nevertheless, creating positive change happens. Goals and timelines are established. The journey begins. However, progress is impossible without a strong foundation. Regardless of age, obstacle, or circumstance, significant achievement only occurs with a strong foundation. Three cornerstones establish the structure to change teenagers, parents, professionals, or anyone else interested in progress.

Attitude
Considering young people, if “attitude” and “change” are seen together, the word, “bad”, is nearby. However, attitude is simply, “a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior.” Most importantly, attitudes can change. Individuals must want or be incented to change. Nevertheless, change is possible. To improve, it is necessary. By creating a positively accountable group, peer pressure can help facilitate growth-oriented change. Daily reinforcement of group benefits and goals gives the team permission to police itself. When “it’s all about us kids”, they own the improvement. They own the results. Their attitude ignites their winning drive! The leader merely points it in the desired direction.

Behavior
“If you can believe, you can achieve” is a clever quote. The achievement part requires work. Changing behavior requires work. Establishing structured activities is essential to creating a framework where that work happens. Different habits are introduced. The habits do not necessarily have to be new. But, they must be different than previously ineffective habits. Simple actions like choosing a different seat, selecting the first activity, picking their own nickname qualify. Individual ownership within the group framework instills ownership of progress. When every individual inside the group owns a decision that leads to group success, individual behavior matters. Furthermore, members become eager to exercise their new power so that their next behavior matters. Personally, each contributing individual can own the results.

Outcome
The foundation’s final piece features consistent focus on the ultimate result. Each individual must know their contribution matters. Everyone must share a stake with their teammates. This mindset only develops through consistent reinforcement that is established early and communicated often. Measurable goals work best. While individual goals create ownership, emphasizing cooperative benefits encourages teamwork. The rewards do not have to be equivalent. They must be individually meaningful. And, the rewards must be celebrated! Established outcomes are essential to successfully executing this process. Leaders who mutually serve the individual and the team reap the greatest benefits.

Takeaways
This process works for kids. It works for adults. Communal success and ownership of results is culturally hard-wired. Leaders do not need to dictate the result. Effective leaders are secure in knowing that they drove the result. They also know that their followers are ultimately responsible for executing the result. The purpose is success, not credit. Attitude, behaviors, outcomes represent the foundation. Reinforcing this foundation builds a stronger structure. If young people can be successful with this framework, imagine the success available to them when the stakes are higher!

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

October 5, 2017 Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Did Coach Really Play?

Coach Denzell

An old mentor often reminded, “Old age and treachery will always defeat youth and skill.” Players, clients, mentees are routinely curious about their coaches’ actual skill level. Young talent wants to know whether the person responsible for developing their talent actually has talent. Anyone can read a book, or watch a video, and claim knowledge. But, is their knowledge even relevant? Ultimately, rising superstars ask the wrong question. It is not, “Did Coach ever play?”. The question is does the coach have the skill and knowledge to maximize emerging talent.

Skill
Competitors who enjoy early success quickly recognize their own greatness. Unfortunately, they often blur the lines between their greatness and potential. They confuse a few accomplishments with enduring success. While their peers rave about their awesomeness and unlimited ceiling, these young superstars miss the point that ongoing skill development is necessary to maintain their status. Typically, outstanding performance for a season, a quarter, or a project quickly forecasts to legendary careers. What could go wrong?

The challenge is that over-hyped skill lacks perspective. Successful coaches, through wisdom, are exceptionally aware of perspective. Self-absorbed greatness never acknowledges the competitor obsessively training in the shadows. The district’s top performer often ignores the fact that several other districts exists that also have top performers. An effective coach acknowledges true competition and provides training in anticipation of unseen threats. Often, great coaches possess surprising skill level because that is the foundation for their superior insight.

Knowledge
Because effective coaches have earned the scar tissue to deliver essential knowledge and wisdom, they exercise the ability to enhance their protégé’s skills, discipline and perspective. Knowledge is not necessarily knowing more. It is not necessarily doing more. It is often knowing how to access it, then knowing how to deploy it. Effective coaching impacts performance through growing the mental aspects. Great coaches prepare competitors better against what they do not know, not through praise for what they have already done. The coach’s demonstrated skill is secondary.

For the protégé, improving their approach to their craft is more important than pure talent. Preparation and execution drive enduring results. Great coaches are experts at delivering knowledge so that it is received. Websites can provide instruction on sales professionals effectively overcoming objections. YouTube videos can demonstrate how a quarterback should read a defense. But, the right coach delivers clarity to anticipate sales objections and earn trust before problems emerge. Or, he explains what the defense leaves exposed upon committing to the first two offensive options.

Takeaway
Ultimately, effective coaching prepares the protégé for success in competition. The fundamental goal remains the same regardless of the playing field – outperform the opponent. Mistaking natural talent for ongoing excellence is a common flaw. Continuous preparation using all available resources is a recipe for success. Equating great coaching with great skill sets is fundamentally flawed logic. The value in coaching is insight, not past accolades. Nevertheless, fully expect that superior coaches have at some point, been high performers in their discipline. More importantly, be sure that they meet an individual, explicit developmental need. Whether athletic endeavors or business performance, coaches prepare protégés for battles that they may not know are coming, let alone prepared to win them. Coaches develop results. Find one that fulfills that function!

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

September 22, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’ll Make the Call

Business Storytelling

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know!” Pathetic talking heads spew this cliché to advocate the virtues of networking! Supporting this madness are countless “thinkers” increasing social media contacts to justify claims of being connectors. Professionals seeking help need more “doers” and fewer “thinkers”. Networking means serving, and consequently human contact. Serving another person’s needs demands contact with other people. It eventually requires people exchanging ideas. Fundamentally, doing a favor, performing a service, or connecting colleagues, depends on establishing communication. Simply, someone must make the call.

I Know A Guy
Continuing with mindless clichés, claims to know someone who can solve someone else ’s problem have become laughable. Nowadays, knowing a guy can mean having attended a prestigious kindergarten with Ms. CEO, or just started following this individual on Instagram upon seeing their “sick pics in Vegas” after they spoke at last week’s conference. Regardless, the implication screams “shallow relationship”. Knowledge is good, but genuine relationship is better.

Someone with a need, whether a referral or a recommendation, truly requires connectivity. The request implies personal closeness. “I know a guy” only suggests awareness. Awareness does not solve problems any more than driving past Krispy Kreme (and that cursed red light) delivers weight loss! To serve a colleague’s need, understand the specific request. Probe for the pain’s core and the desired remedy. Then, seek a solution through personal connectivity. Profiles, handles and email addresses are irrelevant. Leveraging an established relationship to propel another one initiates the process.

The Guy Knows Me
To maximize the ability to help another, the connection should be selfless. Bragging about the depth and breadth of a network typically minimizes the ability to serve and solve. Possessing a network that features influencers and problem solvers who want to help, maximizes value. “The Guy Knows Me” communcates that the network has willing individuals who accomplish goals. Such relationship’s foundation features a history of trustworthy performance that benefitted both parties. “The Guy” has tremendous incentive to cooperate. They already know the benefits resulting from helping. It has happened before.

At the core, networking represents accumulated social capital from investing in favors and generating strong returns based on execution. Generating such returns require active and personal effort. Connecting a colleague with a need to a professional with a personal incentive to help, leads to a genuine effort for success. Beyond having lots of followers, is having the right followers. Ask favors from someone who can deliver results, and who wants to deliver results for the person asking. Productive professional relationships commonly have this dynamic.

Takeaway
Actually, the initial, pathetic talking head is not absolutely wrong. The speaker simply finished their slightly disjointed thought too quickly. “It is not what you know; it is not who you know; it is who knows you!” When requesting a referral or favor, be sure to ask the professional who knows someone significant that wants to help. Such networking contacts are in demand because they deliver. These relationships drive results. Value these relationships and actively look to reciprocate. All contacts are not created equal. It truly matters “who knows you.”

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

August 30, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better Communication | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Overcoming Labels

Lady Label

Ice cream is smooth, creamy and delicious because of milk fat. The more the better; but only to a certain limit! To ice cream fanatics is 10% the right amount? Is 20% too much? Great ice cream is a taste of Heaven. However, clogging your arteries produces a different type of Heavenly experience. Labels tell you how much fat is in a particular ice cream serving. Yet, they tend to be confusing and do not necessarily contribute to better decisions. Labels allow people to be lazy and simplistic in interpreting the world around them. And, if simple product labels mislead people from positive outcomes, imagine how far off track labels lead when involving people and all their complexity.

Be Unique
According to highly-acclaimed motivational speaker, Les Brown, “If you hold on to your limitations, you get to keep them.” Once people allow themselves to accept labels that others impose on them, that person has embraced limits. In their efforts to fit in, they have allowed others to categorize them. Individual contributors reveal strength through their personal attributes. Succumbing to an imposed label results in forfeiting their individuality. They have accepted and owned others’ generic limitations.

However, by claiming their individuality anyone can declare their personhood. They can project uniqueness and complexity. The smart child aspires to become a doctor, because loving parents convince them that smart kids grow up to be doctors. But in the child’s uniqueness, she gravitates toward groundbreaking research in impoverished communities. Damn the comforts of a conventional practice. Furthermore, the doctor develops her personal passion as a jazz guitarist. She now gets to perform on weekends! No labels, no limits!

Be Remarkable
Legendary basketball coach, John Wooden proclaimed, “Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do!” His no-nonsense, folksy approach turned an intellectually interesting university on the edge of the country into an unprecedented powerhouse. By sticking to his obsessive principles and routines, this rural Indiana native became a Los Angeles luminary without changing his character one bit. Coach Wooden developed and inspired award-winning NBA all-stars, authors, actors, orthopedists, attorneys, and entrepreneurs… so much for dumb jocks!

Excellence is specifically a byproduct of results. Individuals who stand tall on their own convictions make the masses uncomfortable. However, the masses by definition disdain distinction. They exist inside of standard labels. Champions on the other hand are singular. A new champion is crowned after every season or event. They ascend above conformity. Being remarkable defies labels. Champions literally outperform the masses.

Takeaway
Labels are designed to categorize items. Labels are placed on products specifically to identify and group them distinctly from other products. A favorite consumer brand may transcend generations within a family because of comfort and familiarity. Conversely, new and exciting consumer experiences happen daily as people experiment with new ideas and products. Unique styles and remarkable appearances encourage trial and error; which in turn results in breakthroughs. Enjoy pursuing personal success by being true to an inner compass that avoids the tried and true. Experiment and innovate. Overcome imposed labels. Embrace personal greatness.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

August 23, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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