“Potential Releasing”

Sep 7, 2013 (Dammam

            For the next 3 weeks I get to work with managers who want to be more  effective with their employees. For managers this means among other activities: improving their communications effectiveness. Most of them have the effectiveness out of the boxalready in themselves. My job is to either give them the skills to release the potential or give them the assurance that certain conversations will be effective at certain times while other conversations will be less effective.

Perhaps at some point in their life “the dark side of release (blog Sep1, 2013) “bit” them and they have resolved to be overly cautious. What we do is carefully help the managers examine the caution or lack of skills to consider other behaviors that willOrange Man Detective with Magnifying Glass help them with their employees. Over the years I have seen managers experience the blessing of communications effectiveness with staff development, literal joy has happened (blog Aug 23, 2013) from that connection. Carney and Getz (blog Aug 15, 2013) take the blessing one step further and demonstrate the very positive business impact of positive engagements between co-workers. When I have worked over a prolonged period of time with clients I also have seen the positive impact on organization result of the released and aimed communications potential of a manager.

My blog of 8 August reminds me that communications effectiveness is not about “control” but “influence.” If a manager wants to improve their communications effectiveness in order to have more control over the employees their motive will under mind the otherwise excellent communication possibility. People do not want to be controlled, but they are open to influence.

“The Dark side of release”

Sep 1, 2013 (San Diego)             darth_vader_


In my 23 August blog (below) I wrote about the huge amounts of potential in other people just waiting to be energized. How things are energized are every bit as important as being energized in the first place.

In a recent email to a colleague I realized that sometimes people not only need the opportunity to be energized they need to know how to be energized. Here is the public “to all” email:

                                     While I am disappointed in his decision, I have decided                 

                                     I cannot in good conscience continue to work with ……  

                                     I have made efforts to resolve matters with …. only to find

                                     out he is not a man of his word. As …. continues to feed our

                                     members misinformation and lies about events (which I have

                                     documented in detail) that have taken place and the things he

                                     has promised, it hurts our members and undermines what ..is

                                                                      all about.  

Being energized and then using that energy for a public attack via email is probably an example that encourages managers to practice suppression of energy. As we leaders  empower the “voice” of others, we must keep a clear vision in place so that redirection is possible when energy expressed goes “high order.”  People may get hurt or angry as in the excerpt, but a vision will help to quell the storm.

A note to us all: keep the face to face conversation alive so that when people totally disagree with an action there is a workable path for information flow.

“Potential Released”

Aug 23, 2013 (Manama)

            Just had the honor of conducting a 5 day effective presentation program to 24 brand new young executives. The program went as planned with skill building to a crescendo of excellence on the 5th day. I was re-inspired to overcome the strongholds of mediocrity and transform others to their own excellence. Their closing comments were inspiring and concerning.

Many of the participants in one manner or another said, “I have found my voice.” The clear meaning being, I had learned to be reserved and timid now I have the “voice” to speak my mind. Helping others find their strength is inspiring. Wow, so much bottled up potential needed to be expressed for the good of all. I can only imagine how much potential sits on the “side lines” of organizations ready to be called upon, but never are.

The concerning part of the participant comments is how much society and others had taught them to withhold their voice. The 24 are a 5 month cohort learning group who had been together for 1.5 months before this 5 day class. They told me that until this class they did not really know each other and had barely exchanged words other than morning greetings. In this class they learned to know each other; to help each other; to care about each other. They cried together, cheered together, had lunch together, even had 3 celebrations over the week together. They even discovered their voices with each other.

What are we missing out on with so many people having learned to say nothing and in “the conversation” be nothing.

I am honored to be part of reinventing a few people as I go through life.

Help others be all they can be and you will become all you can be.man up

we need you         Reach out a helping hand to someone today. There is no shortage of need.

“You are not in control”

Aug 8, 2013 (San Diego)

A spin off from my Aug 1st blog, below was brought to my attention this morning. I may have a great plan with the leadership forum and I may have done all the correct activities to promote it, but I am not in control of the other 9. That is a good reality for me to keep in the front of my mind. For me it is easy to wonder why people do not respond as any logical person would and then to make them wrong for not responding. After all I am a logical person and the idea is logical to me so those who do not respond must be “illogical”. Of course if they are illogical they are wrong way thinking. They really need more help and pressure to “get it.”

You know how that goes: amp up the pressure and one is most apt to get resistance or low level compliance. That does not move towards the outcome very successfully.

I have two other projects that I am working to move forward. They are inching along at best. I get to work on encouraging and listening rather than pressuring. I need to work on those skills.      Learning



Aug 1, 2013 (San Diego

            When I write on a topic the next thing the Lord often does is to “test” my theory. Last week, 25 July, I wrote on connecting with others. This week was practice.

I get to guide a leadership forum to help members be with integrity. The focus seems important to me, particularly when living in “Enron by the Sea.” Last night only 3 of 10 showed up. A first response by me could be written as “where is this going?” “What is the point of investing time and energy if others do not really want to play?”

I had to go back and remind myself of points 1 and 2 below. My mission is to present topics using my energy and creativity to overpower strongholds of mediocrity. Of course if we are only so, so with regard to integrity then the importance of a meeting on integrity will wax and wane with regard to importance. Secondly I am having the forum as a “gift” of creating strength in integrity. Some days people are just not ready for the gift.

Maybe I need to do some clarity checks on the relevance to the members and then trust the Lord for the outcomes.

For myself and maybe if you have experienced similar desires to stop giving is to stop an activity: reevaluate, talk it over those present, review your purpose, breathe, then make a decision. This helps me finish stronger. F1 checkered flag

“How to connect with others?”

July 25, 2013 (San Diego

            From my vantage point there is no particular formula for connecting with others, other than to connect with self first: Who am I being? What am I up to? When I am obsessed by these two questions or other related questions I am more worried about how I appear when around others. The focal point of my thinking is “me”. As such I am minimizing my ability to connect with others.

How can I become more comfortable with “me”? Be totally OK with “me” so I can aim my mental energy towards engaging with others. I will propose two things that have made a difference for me.

guy one

  1. Have a mission statement. See my April 1, 2010 and November 8, 2009 blogs. A mission statement helps me be clear about who I am and what I am doing. Helps me be a person of integrity by making my “yes” mean “yes”. A “yes” that is not at risk of negation by a subsequent more appealing opportunity. My mission statement also helps me sort out “good”, “better”, and “best” for me. This helps me say “no” with greater clarity and less worry: “will I miss out on something?”
  2. When connecting I am in a gift giving mentality rather than a “what is in it for me” mentality. I become a giver rather than a taker. A guru of time gone by said, “Help enough people get what they want and you will get what you want.”

In summary I am now clearer about who I am. I am giving a lot more than I am taking.  This allows me to get out of my head and my worries so I can connect with other people who are stuck in their head with their worries.

Getting Along

July 12, 2013 (Moscow

            This week is my 3rd project in Moscow. Two were in the winter and now this one in the summer. Go to Moscow in the summer. The winters can be brutal. Working with 17 managers become proficient in their presentation skills was great. As I was working with them I reminded myself of how far I have come. When I was in the Navy in the 70’s and 80’s Russia was the scary enemy. Now we are working together in many ways. I wonder what it would take to get the leadership of countries to collaborate the way it is being done at the grassroots? Not all is sugar and spice at the grassroots, but it seems the relationships are much more functional than at the “state” level. I suppose common interest at the frontline level can be easier to come by as there is not a huge need to “jester” and impress people with bravado and hyperbole. Suppose I decided I Diverse Team 2would be influenced more by principles and less by bluster? Then more and more people started making the same decisions. I wonder what trajectory that would global politics on? Well, changing the global arena may not be on my
“to do” list for tomorrow, but making myself a more principled driven person is. Let’s all do it for the good of all.

Helping others to maximize

June 21, 2013 (Doha, Qatar)

I am here in the mid-East on a two week work trip in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE.

Through one means or another I get to help people move their personal potential into beneficial action. Last week I was able to do this with a group of 15 men in Saudi Arabia. What a blessing to see all these men make substantial growth in their presentation skills. They moved from just being up front delivering data, to being upfront enrolling their audience in the topic at hand. They came alive and out of their protective shells and into well crafted presenters. Yes, seeing them take on the skills I was presenting was nice, but watching those skills do an even deeper work in their lives was most satisfying.

May I suggest to any who peruse this blog to look at what you do from theStronger vantage point of how it would be helping maximize the recipient. More that data transfer, what you do may be life transforming. Your calling may be higher than you think.

If you take on this opportunity, examine how transformation might start to show up while you are doing what you do. Look for those flashes of wonder to highlight it for those you get to work with and to highlight it for yourself, to encourage you to do what you do with even more vigor.


Being Intentional when making presentation can be scary.

June 6, 2013 (San Jose, Costa Rica)

                As noted in my May 31st entry being intentional in general has risks, but being intentional when you are making a presentation can be more frightening.

  1. You are up front of the audience and everyone heard what you said
  2. People can take your words out of context and say all sorts of things about “what you said” and spread it around the world before you have even completed your presentation.

From my perspective the risks and benefits are the same as I noted below but they can happen very quickly and in real time. The benefits are enormous as you can present clearly and persuasively. You are open and transparent in front of the group. You do not need to hedge your words or way “what to say” since you are not being obscure or devious. As I guide people in how to present this way I find that they are very open and relaxed in front of the audience. They can pay attention to enrolling the audience in the conversation rather than being worried about what they are thinking about the presentation.  There is wonderful peace for the presenter.

Being Intentional has risks

May 31, 2013 (San Diego)

            Being Intentional has risks: see my March 28th entry

Being intention about activities in your life: saying “yes” to some and “no” to most and sticking with your announced decision has risks. You may need to go to a “yes” event when subsequently to saying “yes”, another nice options shows up. There is a risk in taking a risk and saying “yes” and there is a risk in not saying “yes.”

From my viewpoint the risk in saying yes and sticking with the decision is risking being decisive and being with integrity, being a person others can count on. The risk in not saying yes or saying yes with no sense of obligation to keep your word is that you risk being perceived as unreliable with low integrity. You also risk people being hurt knowing they were “bested” by another.

There were many years in my life when I was not good for my word. Maybe I would do something and maybe I would not. As I became more aware of the dark side of such behavior I slowly became willing to keep my word and do what I said I would do, even if that meant missing out on something else that was more appealing to me.

This has done two things in my life:

  1. People know they can count on me
  2. I have been slower to say “yes”