Mentoring

Second Chances (#176)

“What would it be like if you were known only for the worst thing you had ever done?”

This question was how Cat Hoke, founder of multiple prison reform programs, started a resignation e-mail that she knew would destroy her career but save the Prison Entrepreneur Program (“PEP”) she had helped start in Texas and cared deeply about.

For over a decade, Hoke has been dedicated to helping incarcerated inmates have a second chance at life.  In fact, she’s the founder of Hustle 2.0, the program I took part in and dedicated two Friday Forwards posts to my perspectives a few weeks back.

Hoke’s also been the beneficiary of several important second chances of her own.

A surprise divorce led to a dark period in her life. During that time, she crossed personal boundaries with formerly incarcerated inmates who had been part of her program. The “sex scandal” that ensued led to her ouster from PEP in 2009 and the resignation e-mailed noted above. What followed this experience were days of self-loathing, loneliness and severe depression.

Shortly after sending the email, people who’d known and cared about Hoke reached out, offered support and helped her get back on her feet.

Although it took time, Hoke was eventually able to rebuild herself, her career and her purpose, launching two new organizations (Defy and Hustle 2.0) that are now helping to improve the lives of tens of thousands of prisoners and their families. She’s also written a book titled, A Second Chance, that features a forward written by Sheryl Sandberg.

The interesting thing about purpose is that it tends to stem from a painful or formative life experience.

On the surface, Hoke’s choice to work with inmates was highly unlikely.  When she was 12 years told, her good friend was brutally murdered by two 16-year-old boys. One boy was sentenced to five years in prison and the other was sentenced to ten, both of which she felt were gross injustices compared to what they had done. Understandably, she was a hard-liner when it came to crime.

Years later, at 26-years-old and a rising executive at JP Morgan, Hoke began looking for more to life than “dying with a big pile of money.” When a colleague suggested she join her at a prison in Texas where she was doing volunteer work, she initially resisted. Her judgement of the prisoners, clouded by her own experience, was that they all deserved what they got and didn’t deserve help from volunteers.

Her friend, however, was ultimately able to persuade her into going. When Hoke recollects this experience, she shares how her very first conversation with a prisoner “changed everything,” including her viewpoint on incarceration and second chances. She even cried for days when she reflected on how ruthless she’d been in writing people off as being less than human.

In today’s “always on” news cycle, we are quick to judge mistakes in real-time and castigate those who we don’t know. It’s a “shoot first and ask questions later” philosophy. Too many take a position of superiority, pointing the finger at someone else for being different and “less than” based on a single poor decision they made.

Yet, we really aren’t all that different.

Show me someone who has never made a major mistake and I will show you someone who never put themselves out there. We all make mistakes to varying degrees of severity and, at some point, we are going to need a second chance. But first, we need to believe that we are worthy of one. As Hoke learned from her experience, sometimes the person we need to forgive most is ourselves.

If you can forgive yourself, you may find it easier to forgive others. You may even go on to help them as Hoke has done.

Perhaps the most powerful question you could ask yourself is the very question that Hoke included in the beginning of her resignation e-mail: “What would it be like if you were known only for the worst thing you had ever done?”

I had the privilege of sitting down with Cat Hoke in person on the Elevate podcast to talk about her own second chance and the thousands of second chances she’s gone on to create for others. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

 

Quote of The Week

“Sometimes life gives you a second chance, or even two! Not always, but sometimes. It’s what you do with those second chances that counts.”

 

-Dave Wilson

 

The post Second Chances (#176) appeared first on Friday Forward.

What Do You Control? | Thor Conklin | Episode #625

PEAK PERFORMANCE NATION

A community dedicated to raising your game to the next level by learning how to Execute at the highest level and eliminating the obstacles that keep you from being the leader you were born to be.

Join group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/PeakPerformanceNation/

 

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Thank you once again for listening

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Peak Performers Podcast

Peak Performance Nation

  

#1 Podcast on how to get things done.  Learn from Peak Performers in all areas of life and Business.  Do you know what to do but can’t figure out why you are not executing what you already know?   If so, this Podcast will give you the tools, strategies, and psychology to not only break through the choke point but to truly become a Peak Performer.  

Thor will be sharing his tools and strategies as well as interviewing inspiring Peak Performers that are Entrepreneur’s, Professional Athletes, Business leaders, Military, Technology guru’s, Health and Fitness masters, Relationships Experts as well as Music & Entertainment superstars.  

Mission and Purpose – To engage, educate, entertain and inspire listeners to excel in any area of life by mastering the science of execution and Peak Performance.  You will learn the necessary roadmap, strategies, tools, and psychology to win this game.

Best Intentions (#175)

A few weeks back, I wrote about the “Varsity Blues” scandal in which some very misguided parents were charged with “helping” their children get into elite universities through fraud and bribes.

Around that same time, I listened to an almost two-hour long podcast between Tim Ferriss and Lebron James. When Ferriss asked James about his parenting philosophy and his kids, one of whom is an aspiring basketball player, James said something that really stuck with me:

“I don’t want the best for my kids. I want the best out of them.

What a great piece of leadership advice – not only for parents, but for anyone who leads. When you want something for someone, it really has more to do with you than them.

I’ve seen this more times than I can count on the sidelines of youth sports games. Parents, who seem riddled with regret about not being a better athlete when they were younger, attempt to transfer their own lamentations to their child through overzealous “encouragement.”

Wanting the best out of someone is more about helping them tap into their innate desires and ambitions and encouraging them. It’s not about passing yours on to them.

Shortly after hearing Ferriss and James’ podcast episode, someone shared an article with me written by Kobe Bryant (another Hall of Fame basketball player) titled, “A Letter to My Younger Self.” In his article, he distinguishes between investing and giving and explains why he’s such a strong advocate for the former:

“You will come to understand that you were taking care of them because it made YOU feel good, it made YOU happy to see them smiling and without a care in the world — and that was extremely selfish of you. While you were feeling satisfied with yourself, you were slowly eating away at their own dreams and ambitions. You were adding material things to their lives, but subtracting the most precious gifts of all: independence and growth.”

During my discussion with renowned wealth expert, Garrett Gunderson on the Elevate podcast, he detailed this exact scenario between two of the richest families in American history: the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers.

The Vanderbilt’s approach was to shower their children with money. In turn, they and their children spent it as fast as they received it on houses, cars and failed investments. As such, the family’s wealth was almost wiped out within a generation.

The Rockefellers, on the other hand, chose to teach their kids values and used their wealth to invest in their children rather than on material things. To this day, the Rockefeller fortune remains intact. Many of the Rockefeller heirs have gone on to hold very successful leadership roles and the family remains committed to allocating their vast resources to charitable causes, donating over $50M each year.

Leadership is not about what’s important to you or about making you feel better. It’s about the other person; their desires and dreams. And, perhaps most importantly, real leadership is about providing the support so that others can develop skills that will allow them to be independent, not dependent.

Think about your approach to leadership, be it as a parent or as a boss. Are you a Vanderbilt or a Rockefeller? A Giver or an Investor? Do you want the best for others or do you want the best out of others?

 

Quote of The Week

“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.”

 

-Tom Peters

 

The post Best Intentions (#175) appeared first on Friday Forward.

Can You Save Your Own Life? l Tiffany Armstrong l Episode #624

Tiffany is on a mission to educate and empower women to have peace of mind in avoiding and handling a physical attack. At 20 years old, she fought off an attacker using the only 3 basic techniques she knew. Her attack lit a fire in her, and she did not stop until she earned her 2 different 2nd-degree black belts in street-smart self-defense. Tiffany has been speaking and educating on both the techniques and the mindset of self-defense for over 20 years. She is also determined to keep the community safe in another way. After realizing her attacker was able to enter the home because it was not secured effectively, she became the Vice President of her family’s locksmith and security company, Pop-A-Lock Locksmiths, as uses that platform to educate the community the best ways to keep burglars and attackers out, and keep themselves, their families, and their possessions safe and sound. Tiffany ultimately seeks to give women the tools they need to help protect themselves in the world we live in today.

 

Connect with Tiffany:

Facebook: @ArmstrongSelfDefense

 

Instagram: Tiffany_d_Armstrong

 

 

PEAK PERFORMANCE NATION

A community dedicated to raising your game to the next level by learning how to Execute at the highest level and eliminating the obstacles that keep you from being the leader you were born to be.

Join group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/PeakPerformanceNation/

 

Acuity Scheduling – Stop Wasting Time Setting Up Meetings

Peak Accountability – http://www.thorconklin.com/accountability/

Thank you once again for listening

Please follow us on:

Facebook: Thor Conklin   

Twitter: @ThorConklin

Website: http://www.thorconklin.com

 

ThorConklin.com

Thor Conklin Media

Peak Performers Podcast

Peak Performance Nation

 

#1 Podcast on how to get things done.  Learn from Peak Performers in all areas of life and Business.  Do you know what to do but can’t figure out why you are not executing what you already know?   If so, this Podcast will give you the tools, strategies and psychology to not only break through the choke point but to truly become a Peak Performer.  

 

Thor will be sharing his tools and strategies as well as interviewing inspiring Peak Performers that are Entrepreneur’s, Professional Athletes, Business leaders, Military, Technology guru’s, Health and Fitness masters, Relationships Experts as well as Music & Entertainment superstars.  

 

Mission and Purpose – To engage, educate, entertain and inspire listeners to excel in any area of life through mastering the science of execution and Peak Performance.  You will learn the necessary road map, strategies, tools and psychology to win this game.

Winning Position (#174)

A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to hear Boston Celtics’ President, Rick Gotham, give a presentation about the organization’s strategy and philosophy on winning.

Every professional sports team wants to win, ideally every year, even though they know that’s not realistic or possible.

One of the most interesting insights Gotham shared was that the Celtics realize that there is a certain amount of luck and timing involved with winning. To align with this, their stated goal is to “put themselves in a position to win each year.” This includes, among other factors, recruiting well, building the right team and managing salary caps (finances).

His perspectives got me thinking about how this principle of putting yourself in a position to win each year might look for an individual or an organization. Here are five fairly universal ones that I came up with.

1. Build the Right Team: Success for any organization or individual starts with surrounding yourself with the right people – people who share your values and/or vision and whom you trust. Conversely, people who bring you or your company down are energy vampires and have to go.

2. Practice More: Professional athletes practice at least 10X more than they actually play. This same approach applies to many aspects of business, such as giving a speech. I know from first-hand experience (and a lot of professional training) how much better a speech is when it’s practiced multiple times prior to it being delivered. For example, I practiced my recent TEDX talk over 100 times and even practiced on stage.

3. Maintain Flexibility & Discipline: In sports, there are situations where it’s easy to get impatient and just “go for it,” such as trading for or signing expensive players with long-term contracts. Such decisions can saddle the team with long-term obligations and cost them valuable future draft picks. Similarly, in business and in life, shiny new opportunities will come your way regularly. While exciting, the most disciplined decision might be to stay the course and not mortgage the future for the present so that you have the flexibility to act opportunistically. For example, if you constantly rack up credit card debt and spend more than you earn, you may not be able to buy your dream house when it becomes available at a great price. The key to lucky breaks is often more about being prepared and positioned well than kismet.

4. Stay Healthy: Imagine a basketball team made up of low energy, overweight, exhausted players. How exciting would that be to watch? The same goes for our life and business. To be an A-player, you must first take care of the vehicle that gets you through life: your body. Too many of us are eating poorly, not getting enough exercise, are short on sleep and far too stressed. The data clearly shows that we don’t make great decisions when we are tired and stressed. It’s hard to rise to the occasion in any personal or business situation when you are not feeling 100%.

5. Focus: A team needs to decide which direction it wants to go in their season. Is it rebuilding to win in the future or trying to win now? Similarly, people who spread their energy across a dozen different directions rarely find themselves winning in any one of them. Success or winning is not about being busy. It’s about defining what is most important and pointing 80% of your individual or company’s energy toward that direction. Big winners aren’t usually hedgers; they tend to be laser-focused on a given strategy or direction.

Like professional sports teams, we don’t always win in life or business, despite our best efforts. However, I would venture to guess that the people and companies you know who have the right teams, practice often, are financially responsible, focus on health and have a laser-like focus tend to win more than others.

 

Quote of The Week

“The key is not the will to win…everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.”

 

-Bobby Knight

 

 

The post Winning Position (#174) appeared first on Friday Forward.

Winning Position (#174)

A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to hear Boston Celtics’ President, Rick Gotham, give a presentation about the organization’s strategy and philosophy on winning.

Every professional sports team wants to win, ideally every year, even though they know that’s not realistic or possible.

One of the most interesting insights Gotham shared was that the Celtics realize that there is a certain amount of luck and timing involved with winning. To align with this, their stated goal is to “put themselves in a position to win each year.” This includes, among other factors, recruiting well, building the right team and managing salary caps (finances).

His perspectives got me thinking about how this principle of putting yourself in a position to win each year might look for an individual or an organization. Here are five fairly universal ones that I came up with.

1. Build the Right Team: Success for any organization or individual starts with surrounding yourself with the right people – people who share your values and/or vision and whom you trust. Conversely, people who bring you or your company down are energy vampires and have to go.

2. Practice More: Professional athletes practice at least 10X more than they actually play. This same approach applies to many aspects of business, such as giving a speech. I know from first-hand experience (and a lot of professional training) how much better a speech is when it’s practiced multiple times prior to it being delivered. For example, I practiced my recent TEDX talk over 100 times and even practiced on stage.

3. Maintain Flexibility & Discipline: In sports, there are situations where it’s easy to get impatient and just “go for it,” such as trading for or signing expensive players with long-term contracts. Such decisions can saddle the team with long-term obligations and cost them valuable future draft picks. Similarly, in business and in life, shiny new opportunities will come your way regularly. While exciting, the most disciplined decision might be to stay the course and not mortgage the future for the present so that you have the flexibility to act opportunistically. For example, if you constantly rack up credit card debt and spend more than you earn, you may not be able to buy your dream house when it becomes available at a great price. The key to lucky breaks is often more about being prepared and positioned well than kismet.

4. Stay Healthy: Imagine a basketball team made up of low energy, overweight, exhausted players. How exciting would that be to watch? The same goes for our life and business. To be an A-player, you must first take care of the vehicle that gets you through life: your body. Too many of us are eating poorly, not getting enough exercise, are short on sleep and far too stressed. The data clearly shows that we don’t make great decisions when we are tired and stressed. It’s hard to rise to the occasion in any personal or business situation when you are not feeling 100%.

5. Focus: A team needs to decide which direction it wants to go in their season. Is it rebuilding to win in the future or trying to win now? Similarly, people who spread their energy across a dozen different directions rarely find themselves winning in any one of them. Success or winning is not about being busy. It’s about defining what is most important and pointing 80% of your individual or company’s energy toward that direction. Big winners aren’t usually hedgers; they tend to be laser-focused on a given strategy or direction.

Like professional sports teams, we don’t always win in life or business, despite our best efforts. However, I would venture to guess that the people and companies you know who have the right teams, practice often, are financially responsible, focus on health and have a laser-like focus tend to win more than others.

 

Quote of The Week

“The key is not the will to win…everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.”

 

-Bobby Knight

 

 

The post Winning Position (#174) appeared first on Friday Forward.