Archives For Shiftpoints


 

Conflicts are internal. They reside in what already is, not in what just happened. 

I would say nobody likes arguments, but there are some that do find it entertaining, and other’s that view it as sport and play to win regardless of who gets hurt. Let’s just call them the rare few whom we rarely invite to dinner. This ShiftPoint is for the rest of us common folk who view an argument like getting a traffic ticket… better to talk our way out of it – the faster the better. The truth is, arguments don’t exist outside of ourselves; meaning you could search the entire planet with a microscope and never find an argument. One could argue that, and I’d still be right, as arguments don’t exist on the earth… anywhere. They are however, alive and well in our hearts and minds, and are a great reveal of our insecurity, selfishness, unresolved anger, lingering bitterness or judgments. In short, most arguments are a symptom of our emotional dysfunctions where rather than choose to be rational and peaceful, we choose to be assaultive and destructive. But it should also be noted that arguments themselves aren’t bad and we should be grateful when they start, as they draw out hidden bitterness, resentments and other deficiencies we need to work on. Arguments are a clear revelation of what is really going on with us emotionally, and they draw out what is already there. The problem is that we don’t want to be wrong or wronged, so we go into defense mode and the argument begins, only to end when things change on the inside. A good goal for any person is to be free from an “internal argumentative spirit.” By staying in the mode of being a peace-maker instead of a peace-breaker, we push out harmful immaturities and usher in a calming presence and a caring heart; we become an instrument of healing in disagreement, not an instrument of destruction.

Get over winning arguments and you’ll win people over today. 


 

Every one of us has a unique ability to help others in ways that nobody else can

In today’s “play it safe, overly politically correct world,” it’s rare that someone will risk speaking boldly into someone else’s life. It’s as if protecting ones image is becoming more valuable than helping people, regardless of how deep in the thick of it they are. Not surprising, but perhaps this is one reason why the world is in the condition it’s in, you know, the “me” world. If we open our eyes a few times a day, we’ll see divorces coming, jobs in peril, people in addiction or stuck, businesses failing and troubles mounting with those in our sphere of influence. Odds are that no one conversation will change the course of someone’s life, but then again, any one conversation can and does. Sometimes an inquiry with a listening ear can offer real value, other times it may require you take some conversational risks to draw out what is real. Trivial conversations dance on the surface trying to eliminate the symptoms. Effective conversations get to the root cause and when the cause is identified, that’s beginning of growth. There’s comfort in knowing that with the right heart, there is little you can do wrong when engaging in people’s issues. The fact is, we ALL need others to speak into our lives with freight-train like conviction from time-to-time, and more often than not, the conversations that were painful and most challenging were the silver bullets. Some of my biggest growth moments came when a friend said enough is enough and spoke candidly with me. Those are my true friends; rare, bold and intentional about my health and well-being. These are the lasting friendships.


 

Ironically, having a vision can actually be a poison to the present.

Every powerful thing has two sides. One is the value it provides; the other is when it goes too far and becomes a weakness or an obstacle. For example, a vision for the future is a great thing until it blurs the value and possibility of what’s in the present. It can make all things in front of you seem meaningless or irrelevant. The result is people and things become nothing more than a way to get what you want, and you begin the process of using people rather than loving and caring for them in ways that matter. In almost every successful visionary’s life, you’ll find a common theme: “I was so wrapped up in my future, I missed the relationships that mattered most. That was my life’s biggest failure and all the money in the world can’t buy back what was lost.” Quotes like this are infused in just about every biography ever written. Unfortunately, it’s usually the family that pays the price. Somehow in the trance and execution of the vision, life balance gets shelved and having a life where all things are maturing and in good health seems impossible. The result is usually that one area is growing full-steam ahead, while the others become collateral damage. The idea that all things in your life can grow at the same time with no one thing spiking at the expense of the others is possible if you’re willing to view balanced growth as life’s biggest success, even more specifically, if you view it as your vision. 

Consider the concept of “all things growing’ in your life today.


 

Self-discovery is more legitimate by discovering how you impact others. 

People are a lot of things to us. They serve us in unlimited ways in various capacities and at different times of our life. One not so obvious way they serve us shows up in the effect we have on them, and the way their responses reveal who we are being for them in those moments. It is quite serving to our relational acumen if we are willing to pay attention to the manifestations of our behaviors and actions. Truth is, every person you come in contact with is an indication of your relational acumen. The impact you make or don’t make on spouse, family, friends, associates, even strangers is evident if you’ll look closely. You can do this by evaluating the state of others when they’re in your presence. Are they excited, secure, peaceful, free-spirited, or are they tentative, insecure, skeptical, uncomfortable, agitated, or reserved? Not that we are responsible for other people’s emotions… that’s their job. But noting your effect on people is a fast and effective way to improve your relational abilities with all people if you are willing to inquire with questions like – “How did what I say resonate with you? Were you offended by my actions? Am I caring for you in a way that works for you? What’s missing for you in our relationship?” Is the way I’m loving relevant to you, and am I meeting your needs?” Of course, accepting your role in the state of others isn’t something you have to do, nor inquire about, but if you desire to improve your value to others, paying close attention can course correct or improve the relationship in a matter of hours, if not minutes.

Take a close look at the effects of your words and behavior on others today.

To what level am I aware of the effects of my behavior on others? Do I care enough to ask others about my relational performance?


 

If how we grow belittles those around us then it is we who are getting smaller.

If you consider how things grow in nature you’ll see there are many things that have to become temporarily damaged or die off to make way for new growth. This is not the case with humans. Things don’t have to become a mess for a period of time, nor do things have to perish for us to grow and develop. Truth is, we were born to grow, multiply and to expand beyond the borders of what we think is possible. What we are not born to do is leave a trail of collateral damage and broken relationships behind as we grow; a common occurrence for serial entrepreneurs, those feverishly climbing the corporate ladder, or those who are bent on living their passions to the fullest. For us to grow, it requires people to be in the mix with us, and how we treat those people will impact our overall fulfillment, not just the accomplishment of what is at hand. If co- workers, partners, alliances and friends in your life are nothing more than a means to your end, it will divide and subtract in the long run. If your family gets sidelined because your commitment to grow supersedes your commitment to your family, it will divide and subtract. If your friends become a conduit to get what you want, whereby you find yourself tempted to leverage every friendship for your growth, it will divide and subtract. You may think keeping the needs of those around us in mind will slow growth, and it does… by a very small percentage, but not nearly as much as the repercussions of being fired, having a heart attack, getting divorced and contending with broken relationships.

Add to others as you multiply yourself today.


 

Video is the sales rep that never gets sick, can pitch a prospect anywhere in the world in 10 seconds flat, presents the perfect story every time, and can sell again and again with a simple click.

AT&T

 

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words. If that’s the case video is, well… let’s just say it’s worth… looking into. In a world where motion branding is without question the most effective to connect people emotionally to your product or service, and with the expanse of distribution channels online, video is a marketing asset that must be integrated into every marketing plan. Being a partner at one of the world’s leading video agencies, I’ve seen firsthand video’s ability to not just create awareness and tell story, I’ve seen the direct return on investment that goes straight to the bottom line. The good news about video as indicated in the headline is that video is pitch perfect every time and any investment one makes into video is an investment that has returns year after year, long after the initial expense is gone. The challenge is that most companies try to do video on the cheap and people will click off poorly done video faster than a politician tries to cover up a scandal. (Sorry, couldn’t help it) The return on investment with poorly done video is horrific. There’s an old saying that marketing is expensive if you don’t pay enough for it. Video falls directly into that category. It’s an investment in your brand and your selling process and can be one of the most influential marketing tools you can use to tell or sell your story. Here’s a few samples we did below. And if you’d like some great education on video and how to most effectively use it, you can go to http://www.veracitycolab.com click blog and start learning. Great tools there.

XPT

 

Avalara


 

Imagine having unlimited influence with others. What would it be like having 100% buy-in to everything you said? Kings, priests, politicians (ouch) and moguls all knocking on your door to follow your counsel, move the way you said to move, open their wallets to buy what you were selling and follow your lead. And then we woke up! Influence is the among the most powerful attributes that exist when it comes to getting things done. Actually, I haven’t met a person yet who would not like to have more influence with others. If I did, I’m not sure how exciting the experience would be. Sales professionals, parents, kids, pastors, athletes, leaders, business people – virtually everyone can benefit from having more influence with others. The bad news is you can’t buy positive influence, unless you’re a criminal with means. Regardless, there’s a more predictable way to gain influence with those around you and that is to make it a mission to be in the business of creating value for other people. By value, I mean discovering what will make people’s lives better, easier, more productive, more rewarding and deliver that which will improve these areas. This is the engine of influence, and the horsepower therein is unlimited. Do this one simple thing – add value, and not only will your influence with those around you become strong enough to achieve anything, even your absence whether during this life or when you leave it, will have a lasting impact with others. That is influence.


 

We are called human “beings” for a reason

You’ve heard the old phrase, “Agonize over decisions.” Well every day brings a series of “What do I do’s” to life. Some days it’s small decisions, other days, big issues arise that demand more attention, and sometimes either the quantity or intensity of decisions can bring a bit of agony. Any way you look at it, the number of circumstances we are faced with day-to-day make it advisable to have a consistent strategy for making great decisions. But unless we are clear of our stand in life and in our character, making choices that align with our true-self will be elusive at best. Not being sure about “what to do” over and over again is nothing more than a symptom of being uncertain about “who we are going to be” in circumstances. And because we’re unsure of the “being” traits such as being kind, gentle, committed, giving, considerate, transparent, straightforward, rational, etc. the “what to do” options are not only vast, but confusing and filled with wavering. When our character is unstable, every decision made will be based on how we feel in that moment rather than our predetermined character. Deciding on your way-of- being in life is foundational to all actions, and it clarifies what you will do and how you will go about life with great predictability and confidence. For example, when I am counseling and the person asks, “What should I do?” I respond with, “Well, let’s start with who are you going to be in the circumstance you are in.” Then I just listen to them outline their character, heart and way of being. E.g. “I will be caring, giving, humble, and coachable.” When they’re done identifying who they will be, I calmly ask, “So what would a person like that do?” Nearly every time, they know exactly what they’ll do, it’s surprisingly lucid, birthed in conviction and almost always an action that will generate the best results.

Get clear on who you will be today for a better today and tomorrow.

Is what I do based on my feelings or based on my predetermined character?
Am I even clear about my own core values such that my decisions are clear?


 

It’s when you relax that you’ll find you can be creative, still!

Ever try to force innovation, and strain though the creative process only to find yourself frustrated, unfulfilled and left with nothing but mediocre ideas and a tired brain? Aside from the rare times when pressure and need birth great ideas, most innovation comes from a place of rest; not physical rest, but mental rest where the mind is relaxed, uncluttered from the urgencies of life, left with nothing but the full capacity to think freely about what is possible. It’s like freeing up memory space on your computer. For the moment, it creates opportunity for more data, it works at a faster speed and it reduces the dreaded crash, which in the ideation world… is mental overload, ideation fatigue and quitting. But everyone rests differently. We all have a place where our innovation soars and the anxieties of life disappear, leaving only a creative platform from which to think. For some, it’s in an easy chair; others think freely at the beach; for some, a walk does the trick; for others, it’s being locked in a cabin for a few days. Regardless of geography, the process of rest eliminates the rust and is effective combat against stagnancy. As for the rewards for engaging in this space - they are nothing short of miraculous, if you take the time. But innovation time is different for everyone. Some people need a few quiet minutes; others require a 1⁄2 an hour to wind down; others need a planning day; others need several days to find that zone. The problem is always carving out the time to get there, and planning the ideation path once you arrive. Most of us have computers, others use a hard copy calendar, but the key here is to schedule “innovation time” and be blessed by what occurs there.

Plan a little innovation vacation today and find the rest of your ideas.

Is my innovation held hostage to a busy schedule and a cluttered mind?
When and where is my unique space to think freely, without stress or pressure?


 

Well, I know it’s been on the backburner for 40 years, but I’m still thinking about it. 

Thinking is a great strength, but like every strength, it can become a weakness if it goes too far. Often times the thinking that comes in advance of doing something is too impotent to be effective, as it is birthed in speculation, not experience and done in distracted spurts rather than disciplined meditative thought. In this way, thinking actually becomes a liability to progress rather than an asset. Although an esoteric example, if Nike’s slogan was “Just think about it” vs. “Just do it,” I’d be confident in saying that less people would likely be sporting Nike’s logo. Regardless, the whole success of Nike’s campaign was and still is based on the premise that the value in the doing will surpass the value of sitting on the sidelines, thinking, dreaming, or even planning. Nike was wise enough to know that people need to be pushed into action, and so the tagline creates the drive and accountability to make something tangible happen. In life, there is a healthy think-do ratio wherein the moment we start to under- think or over-think a goal, is about the moment we should get busy on it. For many, life is one big contemplation where “someday I’ll do…” starts off as an innocent plight only to end up as the opportunity that once was. Not to mention – the thinking that takes place while doing, has ten times the power of thinking while daydreaming. Think about it… no, don’t!

In the words of the #1 sports brand, “Just do it” today.

What do I keep thinking about over and over again that just needs to get done?
What would life be like if I moved from just thinking about it to just doing it?