Mentoring

Wanting Better (#168)

As a Junior and Senior in college, I really wanted a job in management consulting. Many of my friends who were also seeking employment in this field benefited from plump internships, courtesy of their parents’ connections. As neither of my parents had contacts in that industry, I did not have that same luxury.

At the time, it was frustrating. To get my foot in the door, I had to research companies, make my own connections and learn to advocate for myself.  In our Senior year, my roommates and I applied for several hundred jobs; we also received a corresponding amount of rejection letters. However, we took it in stride and even covered our living room walls with every rejection letter we received and took a graduation picture in front of it.

Not having what I wanted handed to me is something I’m grateful for today. I learned the value of patience, persistence, resilience, perseverance and accountability. These lessons are what helped me find my first job on my own and have served me well in my career and as a CEO.

Struggling and learning to figure things out on your own is a critical ingredient in the formula for success and sustained happiness. Most highly successful people that I have met and admire found their passion through failure, pain and overcoming obstacles.

Removing obstacles – for your kids or for those you lead – is a colossal mistake.

Over the past decade, rates of anxiety, depression and psychological distress have risen significantly among people 26 and younger, especially in children from wealthier families. A primary cause? Insecurity and a resulting inability to cope with challenges and adversity.

It saddens me that many kids today are being robbed of this experience – especially children of the upper-classes. In wanting things to be “better” and “easier” for their kids, these parents are actually corrupting this concept and doing far more harm than good.

Nowhere is this phenomenon more apparent than in the recent college admissions cheating scandal here in the United States.

Wealthy parents, a few of whom are well-known celebrities, were caught paying hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars to get their children into elite universities they did not qualify for.

The mastermind behind the scandal paid people to take college entrance exams for these kids; got doctors and medical professionals to lie about diagnoses, such as ADD/ADHD; and bribed coaches to have applicants fraudulently designate the student as an “athletic recruit” – even when they had never played the sport.

The ultimate lesson and values these parents imparted was not, “we want better for you.” Instead it’s, “when you want something that you have not earned, you should cheat to get it.”

This was particularly true for actress Lori Loughlin (who never attended college) and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli. They allegedly paid $500,000 to have their two daughters falsely designated as rowers so they could get into the University of Southern California (USC) on an athletic scholarship.

One of their daughters, Olivia Jade, was busy focusing on her passion of being a social media influencer, not an engaged student at a top-tier university. As such, her pay-to-play college enrollment process also apparently included having her college application completed for her.

In a video posted on her YouTube channel nearly a year before her parents were charged, Olivia Jade had this to say about getting into the USC:

I don’t know how much of school I’m gonna attend but I’m gonna go in and talk to my deans and everyone, and hope that I can try and balance it all. But I do want the experience of like game days, partying…I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.”

I have to wonder what her parent’s reaction was when they learned she’d publicly made these statements … perhaps some alarm that they might not realize the return on investment that they had hoped for?

As with many things in life, it often takes a tipping point to realize we’ve gone too far in a given direction. I am hoping “collegegate” is that moment for any parent who may be telling themselves the same lies about “wanting better” for their children and thinking that handing everything to them on a silver platter is the best option.

To live a meaningful, purposeful life, struggle is necessary. Learning to be grateful and content with what we have and who we are is really the ultimate gift that a parent or mentor can give.

 

Quote of The Week

“Don’t raise your kids to have more than you had, raise them to be more than you were.”

 

Author Unknown

 

The post Wanting Better (#168) appeared first on Friday Forward.

Go All-In | Thor Conklin | Episode #615

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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.

Asking Why (#167)

I’ve come across different versions of this famous “pot roast” parable but regardless of the rendition, each one demonstrates the difference between people and organizations experiencing mediocrity and those achieving greatness.

A mother was preparing a pot roast for her family’s Easter meal while her young daughter helped. Knowing her daughter was very curious, the mother clarified each step. As she was preparing to put the pot roast in the oven, the mother explained, “Now we cut the ends off of each side of the meat.”

As young children often do, the daughter asked, “Why?” The mother thought for a moment and replied, “Because that’s the way it’s done. That’s how your grandma did it and that’s how I do it.”

Not satisfied with this answer, the young girl asked if she could call her grandma. The young girl called and asked, “Grandma, why do you cut the ends off the pot roast?” Her grandma thought for a moment and said, “Because that’s the way it’s done. That’s how my mom did it and that’s how I do it.”

Still not satisfied, the young girl called her great-grandma, who was now living in a nursing home. “Great-grandma,” she said, “Why do you cut the ends off the pot roast?” Her great- grandma said, “When I was a young mother, we had a very small oven. The pot roast wouldn’t fit in the oven if I didn’t cut the ends off.”

What this parable teaches – to children and business leaders alike – is that asking “why” can help you get to something deeper and more meaningful.

That said, I think the worst answer you can get back is some version of “because we’ve always done it this way.” That’s not an explanation, it’s a cop-out.

It’s also the answer that leads organizations to their inevitable decline. While it’s important to respect tradition, it’s critical to never assume that the way something has been done is the way it should be done. That logic disregards changing dynamics, be it related to the market, company culture, technology or other factors.

Any leader who answers a question in the vein of “because it’s always been done this way” is following, not leading.

Why can’t we put a PC on every desk? Why wouldn’t people prefer their music in a digital format?  Why aren’t more people driving electric cars? Why isn’t travel more fun?

Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Richard Branson made their marks by asking “why” and then thinking about the answer in new and different ways.

Questions, especially those challenging the status quo, should always be welcome within an organization. They are also something that should be asked to clients and partners. Understanding the “why” behind a request or motivation will often shed light on what someone is really needing or looking to accomplish.

I can think of several situations where our account teams were asked to run a series of last-minute “urgent” tasks for a client. Wanting to provide great service, some managers just jumped into the task, spending an entire day on the request and pushing their other work aside.

Other managers took a different approach and asked about the “why” behind the request. More often than not, these managers would learn that their client was wanting to justify something to their boss. By taking the time to dig a bit deeper, they were better able to provide the supporting evidence their client wanted and do so in a way that took far less time and effort.

To align excellence and innovation, try thinking about your organization as an open source operating system. Ideally, you want everyone to work from the same foundational “code” to help ensure consistency and high performance. Yet, it’s also important to recognize that “bugs” can and will exist or be discovered over time. The only way to readily identify and fix them is to encourage every team member within the company to point them out – and back them when they do.

Especially as your company grows, it’s also necessary to upgrade your operating system with new features and functions; understanding what those need to be usually starts with someone asking “why.”

The why question you want to avoid is, “why didn’t we do that sooner?”

 

Quote of The Week

“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why.”

 

Bernard Baruch

 

The post Asking Why (#167) appeared first on Friday Forward.

The Action & Results Cycle | Thor Conklin | Episode #614

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.

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SPONSORS & FREE OFFERS

Audible - Free Audio Book & 30 Day Trial 

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Acuity Scheduling - Stop Wasting Time Setting Up Meetings

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Thank you once again for listening

Please follow us on:

Facebook: Thor Conklin   

Twitter: @ThorConklin

Website: http://www.thorconklin.com

 

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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.

Going Dark (#166)

As a professional services firm, prospective clients often ask members of our team to provide detailed proposals, estimates and supporting materials as part of their evaluation process. While there’s no guarantee we will get the work, fulfilling these requests takes time, energy and resources, something that most prospects value and appreciate. However, over the past few years, I’ve noticed a rise in professional “ghosting.”

Ghosting has become part of the dating nomenclature. Apparently, it’s the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by abruptly – and without explanation—withdrawing from all communication with them. People with avoidant personality types seem to think this approach is faultless. But in reality, it’s just rude and disrespectful.

The fact that ghosting seems to be on the rise within professional interactions is disappointing. As mentioned above, we have seen our fair share of prospective clients suddenly stop all communication after we submit proposal information to them. Ironically, but maybe not coincidently, it is often been the ones who asked us to do the most work on the shortest notice who don’t have the decency to follow-up or reply.

I have also read a number of articles about the growing practice of ghosting in recruiting, whereby candidates who take the time to come in for an in-person interview never hear from the company again. Not only is this tremendously unprofessional, it may be psychologically damaging as it leaves the candidate to wonder if they did something wrong or offensive rather than it being because the hiring team just decided to go in a different direction.

If you have been practicing ghosting in any part of your life, it’s time to stop. Here’s why:

  • Ghosting is disrespectful; disrespect creates ill will and distrust that is often irreparable. It also provides fodder for others to say negative things about you or your company via a public forum.
  • It’s a small world out there. You never know when your ghosting may come back to haunt you. We’ve even had people apply for a job at our company and forget that they ghosted us in some way years before.  Similarly, candidates who have been ghosted are highly unlikely to say good things about you or your organization out in the marketplace or on review sites. And they will never be a customer.
  • Being avoidant and indifferent in your communication is a bad look. It conveys cowardice and disregard.

Adam Grant recently wrote a great article on why he believes ignoring someone’s email is an act of incivility and how none of us are really “too busy” to respond.

If you care about someone or have used their time, have the courtesy to get back to them, even if it’s uncomfortable because the response isn’t positive. I’ve always found that people can handle the truth when it’s given respectfully.

The point is, be excellent in everything you do, even in how you learn to turn people down or say no. Taking this a step further, I’d suggest you actually go out of your way to respond to anyone who reaches out to you.

Years ago, I made the decision to try and respond to anyone who writes a personal note to me, even though my response is often a polite “no” to most requests for my time. Simply taking the time to reply and show respect for their time reflects my personal brand and our company’s values. Often, the person is both thankful and surprised to hear from me, meaning that I have exceeded their expectations.

If you ask for or use someone’s time or energy, respond back to them. Don’t burn your bridges by ghosting.

 

Quote of The Week

“How we do everything is how we anything.”

 

Attributed to Martha Beck

 

The post Going Dark (#166) appeared first on Friday Forward.

Go Further, Faster with Virtual Assistants l Brad Stevens l Episode #613

Brad Stevens is a lifetime entrepreneur having built multiple businesses in domestic and international markets. His current company is Brad Stevens Training an advisory and education firm offering entrepreneurs and small business unique approaches agility with tech tools and outsourcing to the low-cost, on-demand virtual workforce.

He has been featured in Inc Magazine 3 times, the EO Global Innovation Forum, the Wall Street Business Network and was featured on the cover of Small Business Magazine. His is also a recipient of the Top 40 Most Innovative Businesses Award in GA.

Brad is also a top advisor and keynote speaker on outsourcing and virtual teams for global firms, CEO peer groups, universities, and business organizations including EO, YPO, SCORE, Vistage, TAB, and the CEO Brain Trust.

Brad serves on the Atlanta Chapter of the Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO) and the EO United Nations Eastern Region Committee. He is also a board member of Startup Atlanta. He lives in Atlanta, GA with his daughter and wife Cindy, an inspirational third grade teacher.

 

Connect with Brad:

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

Twitter: @teambradstevens

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bradstevens44

 

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.