Mentoring

Fighting Words (#124)

A few weeks back, I wrote a Friday Forward titled, “Moment or Movement” that, at its core, was about personal conviction. I get a lot of thoughtful feedback each week about FF posts, but this particular topic resulted in a few caustic responses from people attempting to use my message as a reflection on my viewpoint on guns, something I never even discussed.

One note specifically was filled with conspiracy theories and anger. My gut strongly told me to just ignore it, but my ego wanted to engage in a civil conversation, both to clarify my message and understand their perspective and interpretation.

Alas, this attempt was futile and draining. To no surprise, the person was just looking to pick a fight and I was his target of the day.

A few weeks later, a candidate applying for a senior role at our company abruptly withdrew. When they were asked why, they replied that some aspect of my LinkedIn profile had convinced them that I was a “junior marketer” and a “narcissist who knew nothing about leadership.” They also told the interviewer that they should run from me and our company.

So much for not burning bridges.

I was pretty taken aback by the candidate’s comments, so I decided to reach out and ask for feedback, thinking there must be something I had missed. Instead of a thoughtful, respectful discussion, I received more insults and character accusations (even a diatribe on Tony Robbins) – all from someone who had never met me.

Clearly, something deeper was at play with this person’s own insecurities.

But as they say, things happen in threes, and I still had one more strike to go.

Last week, in front of a prominent news building in New York City, I came across a gentleman holding a sign that read “Israel 300 Nuclear Bombs, Iran 0.” While the wording was not hateful, he clearly had an agenda and was looking to engage those around him. I saw several passersby take the bait which resulted in yelling and swearing from both sides and the man holding the sign shouting “holocaust” as they walked away.

I had twenty minutes before my next meeting so, guided once again by both my curiosity and inclination for understanding, I decided to walk over and ask him his viewpoint. He started out with some factual rationale and then quickly descended into a conspiracy, hate-filled, anti-sematic tirade.

All I could do was disengage and walk away.

Observing him from a distance, I noticed that when no one engaged him, he stood there innocuously and grew bored. He even got tired of holding the sign and would take a break. But, when people engaged, he seemed to feed off the energy and would begin his hateful speech and insults again.

While there are certainly injustices in the world that we need to stand up to, we often engage with toxic people or energy vampires when there is little, if anything, to gain. Instead of making things better, it riles us up, causes unnecessary stress and can make us feel worse about ourselves, which is the desired effect.

Each of these situations left me feeling terrible; the after effects even hung over me for hours, spilling into my interactions with others. I ignored my gut and, instead, allowed myself to be drawn into irrational negativity.

Engaging with toxic people is not a game that can be won. The only way to prevail is to avoid the bait. I hope you can learn from my repeated mistakes and save your energy for people and causes that really matter.

 

Quote of The Week

“Toxic people attach themselves like cinder blocks tied to your ankles, and then invite you for a swim in their poisoned waters.”

John Mark Green

The post Fighting Words (#124) appeared first on Friday Forward.

What’s the #1 Thing to Consider When Hiring for Your Company? | Sara Menke | Episode #536

Sara Menke founded Premier Staffing Inc. in 1998 and continues to oversee the company’s strategic growth initiatives and leadership development. As Chairman and CEO, Sara established all internal processes that are the core of Premier’s secrets to success. Sara’s passion for staffing influences all aspects of Premier. Sara is a born leader with high standards and determination. Sara’s core values of Excellence, Integrity, Care, Connection and Gratitude align seamlessly with the core values of Premier. Sara embodies the following phrases “thoughts are things”, “Make it Happen”, “focus on the solution”, “Give unconditionally”, “The greatest injustice is to not live up to your potential”, “Your life today is a result of YOUR choices, you can CHOOSE Change at any moment”.

With over 25 years of experience in Search and Staffing and 20 years running a growing business Sara possesses wisdom that transcends centuries. As a born leader and entrepreneur, building Premier’s highly accomplished team has been one of Sara’s greatest rewards. Her leadership has guided Premier to its recognition as one of the top staffing companies in the Bay Area, receiving many honors including Inc 5000 Best Companies, Bay Area’s Top 100 Women Owned Businesses, Bay Area’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies, Bay Area’s Top 100 Privately Held Companies, and Bay Area’s Top 100 Best Places to Work.

Sara is a mother of three, wife of one, sister of 10, Aunt of 45. She is a cereal philanthropist giving both to organizations and individuals.

 

Connect with Sara: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PremierTalentPartners/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/premiertp

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/27069/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/premiertalentpartners/

 

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/

 

SPONSORS & FREE OFFERS

Audible - Free Audio Book & 30 Day Trial 

Blue Apron -  $30 Off Your First Order

 

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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.

Gaining Perspective – Part Two (#123)

Last week, I wrote about my family’s recent service trip to Puerto Rico for April break and shared some key learnings from the experience, including the importance of community and getting out of our comfort zone.

I wanted to follow-up this week with a few more thoughts and takeaways.

Giving to Get

When giving, you often gain something unexpected. In my case, while cutting thousands of vegetables for World Central Kitchen, I saw one of the chef’s doing a rock and cut motion that has alluded me for over a decade. After a few lessons and hours of practice, I now have it down and acquired a new life skill. Similarly, my daughter never felt comfortable around knives in the kitchen. She too got some instruction and, by the end, was comfortable cutting anything. She took that confidence with her into our own kitchen at home.

Perspective & Adaptation  

Even before an all-day power outage, many of the traffic lights were not functioning, often at large three-lane intersections. While you would expect this to result in chaos, people cooperated and adapted to keep their driving situation safe. A few cars would go from one side and then let cars from the other side go; everyone was civil and respectful. This situation gave me a better perspective for how we can work together when faced with a challenge. I was also reminded that we tend to adapt to changes faster and better than we believe.

Bursting the Bubble

The best-selling book, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance depicts the deepening divide between different cultures and classes in the United States –  particularly from a “city versus country” perspective.

I saw this same dynamic in Puerto Rico. For example, at first glance, you would not know that there had been a devastating Hurricane in downtown San Juan less than a year prior. But travel 30 minutes outside the city and the havoc and destruction that Maria wreaked is pervasive.

When the power went out countrywide, almost every building we could see in San Juan had power thanks to generators. In the rural areas? It was dark.

We also saw the same discrepancy visiting the private children’s hospital downtown and the public hospital outside of the city. The former looked very similar to what I would except to see in Boston, with lots of glass, bright colors and modern infrastructure. The latter felt more third-world, with few windows, metal-barred cribs and heavy doors that kept patients isolated in their rooms.

Our worlds become very small when we stay within our own bubble. Sometimes, even a short drive minutes away can burst that bubble, significantly altering our perceptions and perspectives.

Asking Questions

While volunteering with Lola, I asked her what she needed most besides food and money. Her response was “beds.” She explained that several people in the community did not have a clean bed to sleep on since the storm, including one who recently had a stroke and heart attack.

Our company just so happens to work with a lot of mattress companies. So, upon returning home, we reached out to them. As of right now, we are in motion with a few partners on an initiative to get clean, comfortable beds to those who need them most – and it all started with a question.

The best advice I can give you is to experience something different this year. It could be a trip, a new way to get to work or just changing your routine. You will be surprised by the impact.

If you haven’t yet, I’d also encourage you to read the Esquire article that spotlights the work organizations like World Central Kitchen and people like Lola are doing to bring light and hope back into the lives of Puerto Ricans.

If you missed Part One,  you can read it here.

 

Quote of the Week

“Sometimes the only reason for us to be somewhere else is to see things from a different perspective.”

Leila Summers

The post Gaining Perspective – Part Two (#123) appeared first on Friday Forward.

How to Remove Yourself from the Middle of Your Company | Thor Conklin | Episode #535

Are you at a point where you’re trying to scale your business? Do you need to remove yourself from making every decision so you’re company can go to the next level? Then you need to remove yourself from the middle of your company and focus ONLY on the things that will help you and your business grow.

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/

 

SPONSORS & FREE OFFERS

Audible - Free Audio Book & 30 Day Trial 

Blue Apron -  $30 Off Your First Order

 

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.

The Canon Curve – Episode 19: Hugh Massie

Keeping us ahead of the Curve today is an individual who takes a unique approach to the financial services industry-understanding human behavior, not just numbers. By applying behavioral psychology to his company’s business principles, Hugh Massie provides practical solutions for clients to become financially self-empowered and for leaders to become relational and successful.

Mr. Massie, CEO of DNA Behavior International, walks us through his intriguing professional narrative, rich with international experience and entrepreneurial pursuits. Tune in to hear his story and insights on how you can learn more about yourself in order to become a more effective leader.

Gaining Perspective – Part One (#122)

Two weeks ago, I completed one of my five-year goals. It wasn’t a race, financial achievement or a book; it was a service trip with my family.

Inspired by a similar trip that The Points Guy and his team took, we headed Puerto Rico over the kids’ spring break and donated our time to help the community recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria.

We split our four days working at two food banks and two children’s hospitals. As part of his Mitzvah project, my son was also able to raise $2,000 to purchase gifts for each of the children we visited as well as diapers and water for the hospitals.

On this incredibly rewarding trip, we each gained far more than we gave, especially in terms of stepping outside of our comfort zones and appreciation for the roles community and relationships play in our lives.

Expanding Our Comfort Zones

On our second day in PR, we volunteered for World Central Kitchen (WCK) a wonderful organization started by chef José Andrés. Since the storm, WCK has served more meals than the U.S. government. We cut, prepped and cooked food for hours alongside volunteer and paid chefs, despite the entire island losing power a short time into our work. No one blinked an eye, we just kept going.

While there, we were offered the opportunity to join a dedicated community organizer named Lola to deliver the food we just cooked.  With the power still out and no GPS, we followed our liaison, Griselle (Ñaña), to Lola’s house. When we arrived, Ñaña explained we were heading into some “rough” neighborhoods and put a sticker on our rental car to identify us as part of WCF. She explained that Lola would take us to the places she knew the food was needed, we’d follow them in our car and serve it out of the back of her hatchback. When we asked if where we were going was “safe,” she replied that most people knew and respected Lola, but there were a few places we should not get out right away and to follow her lead.

At this moment, my wife and I looked at each other with a bit of fear in our eyes. We were going to be following Ñaña’s car in our bright blue Jeep rental car without any way to know where we were if we got lost. On top of that, we were already in areas that made us feel uncomfortable. Honestly, we thought about turning back. Then we realized that this is where the rubber met the road.

That next hour was by far the most impactful of our trip. We weaved through some of the poorest neighborhoods I’d ever seen, even before the devastating effects of the storm. Most of the houses still standing had blue tarps for roofs and were open to the elements; power lines were down everywhere.

At the first stop, we tentatively got out to help and I locked the car for the first and last time. After a few stops, my kids were leading the way. They connected with the men, women and children coming to the car for a hot meal served by Lola. On several occasions, we heard and saw people thank god after they received their food, which was heart-breaking and heart-warming at the same time.

Seeing everyone so thankful and respectful shifted our comfort zones and perspectives. Nowhere was this more evident than during our ride back to the hotel; we now felt comfortable in areas that just a few hours earlier had made us very nervous.

Community & Relationships Matter

Study after study has shown that money doesn’t make us happier or live longer. The one thing that has proven to do both is having quality relationships in our lives.

Community runs deep in Puerto Rico. As my kids delivered toys to the children in the hospital, we noticed how many of them were surrounded by multi-generational families. Most of the successful initiatives in Puerto Rico have been driven by the community or had significant community components, such as WCK.

Additionally, the majority of the community leaders and organizers we encountered were women, something that was not lost on my daughter. These women led not by positions of authority, but through earned respect and deference. Lola was an amazing example.

We did not take many pictures in the communities we visited as it did not feel right, but we were glad to learn that one of the volunteers working with us at WCK was also a reporter and documented our entire day with WCK for Esquire magazine.

There’s more to share from our trip, which I’ll continue next week. In the meantime, I encourage you to read the Esquire article. I think you’ll be as moved by the incredible work that these people, communities and organization are doing as my family and I were.

Quote of the Week

“The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Mahatma Gandhi

The post Gaining Perspective – Part One (#122) appeared first on Friday Forward.