Friday, January 31, 2014

The Rich Dead Uncle Reality


There once was a great and powerful man.  He had earned more riches than most from buying and selling the things that people wanted and needed to seem fulfilled in life.  On the day of his death, gasping for the last ounces of life, he learned that his only brother, who had died years before, bore a son in his younger years.  Since the rich man was married to his job, he had no time to meet a wife or have children of his own. Ultimately, he would have no one to leave his massive fortune to.  On that somber Sunday, just before his life was to be no more, he ordered the executor of his will to leave it all, every single penny, to his nephew; a man whom he had never met.

The unsuspecting nephew was well-respected and, over the years, had earned his job as an operator in the shipyard.  The news of his impending inheritance came to him on the following Monday afternoon.  Being a man of modest means and high integrity he woke up on Tuesday and worked through the day with a heavy mind.  He loved his job but the reality was that he was only a few years away from retiring anyway.  On Wednesday morning he finally made up his mind to use his long lost uncle’s money to launch him into retirement.  That morning he went to his supervisor and made his intentions known.  Refusing to leave without honorably working out a 2-Week notice, the next 14 days set the stage for everyone on the shipyard to solicit for his soon to be vacated position.

The shipyard supervisor was an experienced manager.  He had hired and fired hundreds of employees throughout his career.  However, he had never filled the position of a retired millionaire operator!  Unexpected circumstances, whether due to tragedy or opportunity, had prompted him into filling quickly vacated position before.  This one still seemed different.  No one could have imagined that the millionaire nephew would be so fortunate.  No one had their eyes set on his job just yet because he should have worked for another five years. No one thought that being impressive mattered right now.  The shipyard supervisor was sad to be losing a valued and hardworking employee, but he was even more saddened at the fact that none of his remaining employees had cared to perform as though someone’s rich dead uncle would be able to give them a shot at a better tomorrow.

I made up this fable like story to prove a point---

Work hard each and every day, leaving nothing about your work ethic unanswered to those you answer to because you never know when someone’s rich uncle is going to die!

Organizations of all sizes pit us against each other when it comes to promotion and opportunity.  The dangers of competing for positions in any organizations are that they typically only occur with conventional attrition in mind.  For example, if you know that someone is retiring in two years you may subconsciously think to yourself that the time to shine for your supervisors is next year.  Or if you know that a co-worker in a higher ranking position than yourself is on a slippery slope and is at a high risk to lose their job you may step up a little to show off for you superiors.  But what if the person decides to retire early or the slippery slope takes the poorly performing employees sooner than anticipated? Where do you stand then?

Bear Bryant, the beloved and famed college football coach, taught his players a similar lesson after a loss in the 1965 Orange Bowl.  A call from one of the officials was overturned by the head referee on a quarterback sneak into the end zone.  As time expired, Alabama star Joe Namath was pulled from the bottom of the pile only to see the head official signaling for a Texas first down.  The team was devastated.  Walking off the field somebody from the crowd yelled to Bryant, “Coach, we scored!”  Bryant was not much for splitting hairs on matters like this and sternly responded, “If Joe walks in, there would have been no question about it.”  The wisdom in Coach Bryant’s response can teach us all something about making ourselves the clear choice for those around us during situations of self-promotion.

Sitting back, idly by, convincing yourself that now isn’t the time to put forth the effort that “might” get you recognized or “could” get you promoted are signs that any supervisor will be wary of. When transporting extremely wanted criminals from place to place a device called a Sally Port is used.  The operation of a Sally Port is simple, two synchronized gates trap the prisoner transport vehicle in a corral to hinder any type of break out or escape.  Sitting in the Sally Port can take seconds or hours depending on the extent of the vehicle inspection.  As the rear gate closes the car is trapped, but it is only when this gate is closed that the other gate can open for the vehicle to proceed out of the secure facility.  We aren’t prisoners, and my intent is to build a connection with the Sally Port’s operation and not its intended use.  However, being the best employee everyday while leaving no room for anyone to question your ability and commitment is like sitting in the Sally Port waiting on the exit gate to slide open. To the contrary, some employees will miss out on opportunities because they think opportunity is just one open door away, when in reality the first door opens the moment you decide to make yourself the best employee you can be. 

Working hard is hard work.  Years can go by sitting in the confines of the Sally Port.  But remember, the best opportunities often present themselves to those who prepare.  Don’t leave any score to be contested and try your best to walk into the end zone with everything you do because you never know when someone’s rich uncle is gonna die!

Poor Dead Uncle,

Clint Hamner

 

 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Character Crisis


For me the day was like any other.  It was a Friday. School was boring and lasted longer than I felt necessary to have such a beautiful spring sky.  The final bell rang and a wave of hormone imbalanced teens made their way through the halls of Riverside Junior High School.  In those days, much like today, you were one of three classifications of students; a walker, a bus rider, or a car rider.  That particular day I was a car rider. I very rarely rode the bus home and fourteen miles would have been a tremendously long walk.
I waited unenthusiastically for my mom’s grey Aerostar MiniVan to creep up the car line.  It was understood that I rode in the front seat after school; I was the oldest, of course.  My little brother who was in elementary school knew the rules and the punishment for breaking them.  My little sister was still in a booster seat and usually exhausted from her long day of being a busy toddler.  But as my mom inched closer and closer to the covered walkway on the west side of the school I started to notice that someone was in my seat; my coveted front seat. I began to stew and rehearse the verbal lashing that my little brother would absorb. Something wasn’t right though.  The person in the front seat wasn’t my brother; it was my dad. 
I slid the back door open and sat down quietly in the middle row of seats next to my baby sister.  Why was daddy here anyway? Mama looked at daddy with a sullen face as he turned around in his seat.  He let us know that he didn’t have a job anymore and that the company that he was working for was closing down.  It took a lot of courage to look his family square in the eyes and tell them he was unemployed.  Daddy was in his mid-30s with a wife, three kids, a mortgage, and, at this moment, a heavy burden of how to lead his family through this seemingly unimaginable crisis.
The word crisis can mean different things at different times to different people.  For a young man providing for his family it could be losing his job. For a Fortune 500 CEO it could be the loss of a major contract.  When experiencing a crisis the relativity of the situation doesn’t matter and to overcome the impending consequences of inaction takes several universally accepted traits.
Dignity is a respect for one’s self. A good leader will maintain an elegance and dignity through any crisis.  Disrespecting yourself or someone else doesn’t make the situation go away or lead to any constructive outcome.
Valor is courage at all costs.  Remember courage is not action without fear, it is action even after realizing the fear.  I will gladly follow any leader who sees the adversity in a situation and still continues confidently.
Ambition serves as the catalyst to continue.  Without ambition the pursuit of resolution in our times of crisis dwindles.  Most leaders, even in times of crisis, resort to summoning an inherent gut response. Other leaders never realize that they have ambition until the cost of losing something they love is worth more than the displeasure of fighting it. Motivation is when ambition and love drive someone to bring direction, intensity, and persistence to asituation, unwilling to accept anything but the best result.
Dignity, Valor, Ambition, and Motivation are all key elements of a true leader’s character.  The true character of a leader will only reveal itself in times of crisis.  Coming into a crisis unprepared is not failure or inadequacy on behalf of your character. Rather it is the way in which you respond and the lessons you take with you for the next crisis.
Daddy let us know that he lost his job on that Friday.  That next Monday he had a job.  He came home a lot more tired and dirty, but never complained.  We never missed a mortgage, a meal, or a vacation.  Daddy led us through that time in his life with dignity and valor. No matter how much it might have hurt his pride it couldn’t touch his character. 
 
Amor Vincit Omnia,
Clint Hamner
 
Post Script- This entry about leadership reminded me of a brown zip up KMART fleece jacket I got when I was fourteen and wore throughout college.  Over the years I received compliments from time to time on my coat when I would wear it.  I remember giving thanks to someone for their niceties concerning my jacket one evening by responding, “It keeps me warm as long as it’s not cold outside!”  Essentially I was saying that it was a crummy jacket even though it looked good and I wore it as if it met all my bodily needs.  Some bosses and company leaders are like my Kmart jacket.  They look great and appear to serve a purpose, when it reality when the cold winds of crisis blow they are really just as useless as cheap fleece and polyester.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Consumer Responsibility and Integrity


Businesses do it all the time; discounting the impact of loyalty and longevity for the thrill of the sale today. As a society we have almost come to terms with it; business has become about profit at all costs no matter what.  Selling a product should be a source of pride because of the satisfaction that is brought to the customer. Under these circumstances how do you expect the average consumer to respond to companies these days?  The average company doesn’t show even the least bit of concern for their customers. Profits and volumes are driving the world in an unhealthy way.  Operating in bad faith and without all shareholders in mind will always be unhealthy no matter what the quarterly reports say.

This unhealthy mentality has now crept in and cemented itself in the minds of our consumers.  Sadly, for the minority of business operators who are earnestly trying to maintain integrity and quality in their products and services, it is the consumer who can now share in the blame for creating an unhealthy set of behaviors and habits in the marketplace.

So what can we do as corporate citizens to protect our reputations and profit margins against self-proclaimed faultless consumers who feel like the victims of American greed and corruption?  Rebuild the trust that has been lost!

Consumers often operate in bad faith and dishonesty in order to feel compensated for their own purchasing errors.  These errors include Under-Buying, Over-Buying, and Mis-Buying. Any three of these errors can cause a consumer to feel slighted and in need of justification.

Under-Buying leaves consumers feeling that the product they bought was not sufficient.  Consumer retribution for this purchasing mistake includes bad product reviews due to misapplication.  Under-Buying is so prevalent in our economy because many consumers need to do more with less.  The problem is most products are not “one size fits all”!  While this tactic sometimes works, the consumer will always want to return the product when possible if it doesn’t fit the bill.  As a company, if you are passionate about and value your products, seeing them in a resale store or being trashed in online reviews is painful. 

Over-Buying is ego driven impulse spending.  After the euphoria condensates, consumers are left with a product they don’t really need or want.  The anger with the product is a derivative of the impulse.  These products usually have limited or exclusive return policies that result in even more anger with the manufacturer.  Some products are about exclusivity and dropping the price and quality to let them into everyone’s home is damning to your name and reputation as a premier manufacturer.

Mis-Buying is also a function of economics, but instead of Under-Buying the consumer errantly tries to substitute the product they purchase for something other than its intended use.  The dissatisfaction creates a negative opinion of a perfectly good product on the basis of its perceived ineffectiveness.  

Guiding consumers to avoid any of these purchasing traps can be as simple as proper product placement and respectful price points.  Even with all the marketing information and education available to the consumer the reality is that we are serving a cynical and jaded customer base.  The best resolution is building the trust in the market place that we all once had for our favorite products.

Preserving our corporate reputation has become more about reducing liability than making good quality long-lasting products.  Our reputations should always be representative of our body of work and how we delivery it.  Too many corporations focus on profit margin and volume; hazardously forgetting about the consumer.  This type of consumer neglect will lead to a loss in loyalty, which will subsequently lead to a disloyal customer base.  Having a customer base that is indifferent to your success will be more damaging to your precious profit margin than any value driven design or production decision could ever salvage.

Get the Word Out,

Clint Hamner

Post Script--

Our society needs to be realigned with respect to taking responsibility for poor decisions.  Under-Buying, Over-Buying, and Mis-Buying are all the result of poor decisions.  This premise of owning our problems is so much bigger than consumer responsibility; it is possibly our greatest fault as 21st Century Americans.

Monday, August 26, 2013

When Talent Isn’t Enough- The Miley Cyrus Approach


 
Last night on the MTV Video Music Awards Miley Cyrus did every conceivable thing imaginable to distract us from the obvious of what we already knew; She can’t SING or DANCE!  Sure, it made for great radio this morning and Miley does have a body that most women, and some men, would love to have, but the fact remains; SHE CANT SING OR DANCE.  Hannah Montana and the Disney Ghosts of Seasons past hoped that the day would never come when defending Princess Twerksalot was on the presser.  But cute and qwerky can’t disguise inability when you choose to lick Robin Thicke’s neck and sniff an Amazon womans ass!  I hope you enjoyed the taste of sweat and farts because you didn’t fool me; YOU STILL CANT SING OR DANCE YOU NO TALENT PIXIE!
Now do I really feel that way towards Miley? No way! She’s Billy Ray’s kid so it will take a lot more than that for me to write her of, but when you use circus antics and distractions to hide the reality of any situations you immediately lose credibility.
Who has that Boss that basically twerks their way out of situations to detract from the fact that they don’t know what the hell is going on?  Who has the Boss who puts others down when times get tough?  Who has the Boss who would literally sniff the Amazon woman’s ass to avoid making a decision.  Well you my friend get to experience Miley Cyrus everyday!
So why do our Bosses, just like Miley Cyrus, never hesitate to hump the air with a big white pointer finger glove on to disguise what we all know they can’t do?  I think just like Miley they would rather deal with the criticism of their inability rather than actually try and be criticized on their less than desirable ability.
 Don’t fall victim to being ok with your inability.  Learn, Practice, Invest in yourself.  Don’t lose credibility by doing a hoochie dance every time a tough situation comes your way.  It may be easy the first time, but I promise it is even easier in the times that follow;  And that should scare you to death!
Say no to Work Place Air Humping,
Clint Hamner

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Natural Regression in the Workplace and How to Fight Against It

Our careers, and even more specifically, our tenures in each position we hold are just like the seasons of the year.  Vigor, energy, and excitement accompany our beginnings just like the rebirth of your flower garden each Spring.  We are excited because we have an opportunity to show off and prove ourselves as worthy and beneficial to our organization.  Fortunately, we are rewarded for our hard work. Unfortunately, it is usually with more hard work!  And however counterintuitive it seems, the Summer season  sustains our motivation with its long days of hard work that are sometimes completely washed away by afternoon thunderstorms of failed efforts and learning. The problem in our motivation, focus, and usefulness lies in the dying of Late Fall.  With Winter sneaking up on us fueled by the winds of the Weak Human Spirit, Late Fall is our “point of no return” moment that can lead us down the cliché “road less traveled” or send us speeding down the shiny pavement of the path of Natural Regression.  Just like Eden’s apple, the latter path will be so inviting, will seem to give us everything we want, and make more sense, but the apparent easy decision to continue on the path of natural progression somehow eludes us and take us down a path of regression.

It doesn’t mean that we are awful employees or broken in any way if we take a stroll down the path of regression, it just means that we are mortal and affected by the Weak Human Spirit.  We have ambitions of greatness in the beginning of our careers that fade away with each frustration and perceived limitation that we encounter.  Sometimes it’s just easier to do nothing. Regression is a function of burnout and burnout can be avoided by weathering the seasonal doldrums and being continually aware of our Weak Human Spirit.

A few ways to stay on the course of progression are to Stay Young in Your Job, Avoid the Cable Guy Culture, Give up Your Security Blanket, and Take a Break.  By doing these things you challenge yourself and remain motivated.

I’ve talked to people over the years who have spent their entire careers working in colleges and universities and the consensus thought about their jobs revolved around the bustling population of students that were in a continual season of Spring in their lives.  We all emulate and envy young people when we are around them, living vicariously through their stories of recklessness and ignorance.  Everybody has a story of days gone by that creates a spark of excitement in our psyche.  Understanding that finding ways to keep a young disposition will keep us from becoming crabby curmudgeons and bring us back to those seasons of excitement in our jobs.

 Sometimes when I visit a new business or speak to a receptionist I can immediately tell the season that the leaders of the organization are in.  Promptness is a surefire sign of how motivated a workplace is.  The longer it takes to get service or action from simple requests will quickly let you know if the Weak Human Spirit has found yet another victim.  By avoiding the Cable Guy Culture you can resonate a desire to maintain high levels of service and pride.  By sending the signal that you will help someone between the hours of 2-6PM will lead to sometime between July and October.  Before you know it you have a Cable Guy Culture that prevents growth and advancement. 

Occupational Security  Blankets come in many shapes and sizes and are directly responsible for regression in the workplace.  You can’t move forward with a man-sized blankie in one arm!  Whether it is staying in a job out of a lack of confidence or fear, refusing to adapt new technology, never thinking outside the proverbial box, or simple being fat and happy, all of these things serve as security blankets to keep us away from growing.  Breaking through change is essential to maturing, but more important than that is being able to identify the things that we cling to out of readymade satisfaction and insecurity.

Now to the item everybody is interested in, Taking a Break!  I’m not advocating literally laying down and having nap time with your blankie, I’m just encouraging anyone in a slump or detecting the signs of regression to perhaps take a long weekend to recharge.  Maybe you are in a position where you can cross train for a few days or shadow an executive or administrator.  The reality of the situation is that no matter what kind of break you take the problems and frustrations are still going to be there, but the break can allow you to refocus.  Growing up my dad would cut the grass a lot!  It never ended; whether the heat of summer or dead of winter he hopped on the 42” red Murray lawn mower and mulched up leaves, grass, and sometimes bare ground.  Why did he like to cut the grass so much?  To an outsider he may have looked like someone that just hated being with his family. To me as a kid I just thought that the more dust you made the better the yard looked.  To him though it was just a way to take a quick break from reality and come back to his family, job, and responsibilities with a clear mind an renewed focus.  Knowing when we need a break will prevent us from getting lost on the path of regression.

Natural Regression is not the way it has to be. The Weak Human Spirit can’t grab a foothold if you stay fresh and focused in your workplace.  As middle managers we control the way people act both above and below us in the organizational chart. Being in a state of continual improvement and reinventing our approach can be hard and sometimes uncomfortable, so in the meantime, just grab your backpack, put on a smile, and take off down the road less traveled, never doubting that the high road kept you and your workplace from a spiraling descent of regression.

Stats and English,

Clint Hamner

Monday, April 15, 2013

Planning a Plan into the Ground


A favorite military expression among commanding officers during training exercises is “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance”.  Although it is an alliterative mouth full, the message clearly resonates to from the sender every time.  Today’s hard work will be tomorrow’s fuel for execution; but what if I told you that we can over plan. What if I told you that plan Bs, Cs, and Zs are often clutter in an already complicated life of managing and implementing your organization’s mission focused objectives.  That’s exactly what I am telling you!  I am not discounting that planning and training is less essential to any organization, I am simply emphasizing a need to remain focused on what we are trying to accomplish with each challenge that we take on.  The game plan should always be carefully thought out and crafted, inevitably, sometimes it has to change, but don’t forget what you are trying to accomplish.

There are certain things that we should never waste our time with during planning work and activities. Very often we plan around weather forecasts, personnel availability, and contingency plans. Certainly these are critical aspects of the planning process, but they are never why we develop plans.  Having a “the show must go on” attitude towards planning will help to see objectives delivered in a more simplistic and accurate way.

Weather should always be considered in planning, but if you are working outside the answer is simple. Abandon efforts and do something else if the weather prohibits you from producing. Never include canceling work because of the forecast. Weathermen are, at best, right half the time.  Don’t throw away the possibility of a good days work because of the weather report. Also, since the widespread media attention and frequency of natural disasters, coupled with a highly litigious population, more and more employers are suspending their normal operations during weather events.  Don’t decide to delay starting or finishing a project or assignment on the probability of not being at work for any part of a day.  Remember, the show must go on!

Our key and essential personnel are exactly that.  We all have employees that are our go to guys and girls.  If you catch yourself planning work around one or two employees it is imperative that you increase your talent base and resources. You can’t limit your outputs because of a lack of talent. This can be done through better recruitment, cross training, or maybe just giving other employees a chance to prove they are capable.  Plans often stall and even dissolve over this totally avoidable obstacle.  We never want to catch ourselves planning around good or, more times than not, bad employees.  Everyone is guilty of this so cultivate and trust your staff and let the show go on!

Burdening yourself with the details of contingency plans is a sure fire way to fail. Even when a situation that has unknown variables involved presents itself, the reality of executing plan B with the exacting skill as the original game plan is more like a fairy tale than anything.  If you haven’t been to the pharmacy lately, there is pill called Plan B and its ingestion is the result of completely avoidable actions more times than not.  I could make a case against most Plan Bs just by having better Plan As. However, when the prospect of the original plan becoming complicated or obsolete is likely, make broad plans as contingencies.  The fewer details the better with contingencies.  Focus on the goal and make discerning concessions to achieve the desired outcome. Let’s face it, very few of us will ever be faced with planning something as tactile as a Seal Team Six  raid, or anything of life and death for that matter.  Plan B, if you still feel confident calling it that, should always be a fluid decision making process that relies on known facts and your organization’s collective expertise. During church in Uganda last Fall, the power grid, as it does often, dropped the electricity to an entire city block.  Did the congregation get up and leave? Was there a detailed backup plan? Nope, the preacher preached a little louder and the show went on!

An elderly gentleman dropped his wife off at the mall one day and I grabbed the seat next to him on the sturdy wooden bench near a empty fountain.  He looked as if he had been sitting there for a while, but was rather content and unusually patient for an old man.  From a distance he saw his wife coming down the concourse and stole a quick glance at his watch in mid-conversation with me.  After I completed my thought, he interjected “11:15, she’s right on time. Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together!”  His bride helped him up and he couldn’t help but notice the Sears bag in her other hand.  “Sears wasn’t part of the plan”, he jeered.  She replied, “No it wasn’t part of the plan, but neither was me changing the time back an hour on your wristwatch! 

Sometimes we have to remember that a plan is nothing but wasted brain power without confident and intelligent execution.

If Middle Management had a list of crimes that we commit and associated punishments, Killing a Plan or Unnecessary Interment of a Plan by Over Planning would be capital offences.  Don’t contribute to the death of a good plan by forgetting what you are actually trying to accomplish. 

It’s SHOWTIME,

Clint Hamner

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Other End of the Tunnel


Leading up to our bachelor’s degree graduation, my fiancé, now wife, thought that it would be a great idea to go in a cruise as a reward to ourselves for all the hard work of the last 4 years.  We ended up going on a trip with a friend’s family and a few others that my wife knew.  At one of the ports of call we decided that we would take an excursion to an Archaeological Adventure Park.  This can loosely be described and a place of pure and utter danger!  The main attractions were a beach with big waves and lots of big rocks, a rope line bridge with barracudas swimming below, zero supervision or lifeguards, and a lazy river of death!

 

For now let’s focus on the lazy river of death. 

 

My fiancé and one our friends, Jon, arrived at the park and grabbed a life vest and got into the lazy river.  It was 9am and the water was freezing.  Being the only people in the river and feeling eerie due to the lack of workers, we haphazardly pushed forward towards the end of the frigid river that was supposed to finish up on a beautiful Caribbean beach.  At the first checkpoint, or place to get out, I had to convince everyone, including myself, to keep going. Before the next checkpoint we looked up the hill over our right shoulders only to see some type of puma wondering around without a fence of any kind.  Holy Hell! We are going to die!  At the second checkpoint we had decided to get out and find people.  There is always safety in numbers! The only problem was that the second checkpoint was being guarded by a 4 foot long Iguana.

 

“Hell No”, said Jon. 

 

I concurred and we floating on.  As we continued on around the bend of the river of death we were met a pitch black tunnel and yet another decision; to enter or not to enter, that is the question.  Well I sure wasn’t real excited about going back against the current to see if the Iguana was still there, and he was, and I really didn’t care about seeing if the puma was still on the prowl so after we gathered our wits and convinced ourselves that nothing of more danger than a vicious Iguana was in the tunnel, we hesitantly entered the black hole.  Once in the tunnel you could see the light from each end.  It was like being in a dimly lit room. 

 

“What’s that”, Jon said scared to death.  

 

I told him nothing, probably just a leaf.  Jon insisted that it was a bird. I told him that I wasn’t bird expert, but didn’t think that too many species of birds swam like fish.  I was wrong! Just to our right was a rock ledge with a little wet bird sitting intently watching us. I guess the little feathered friend sensed our fear and decided he should dive back in the water.

 

Jon is a big guy. He is about 6’2 and weighs well over 200 pounds. However, as I soon discovered, he is terrified of swimming birds.  Before the panic was over, Jon was literally sitting on my shoulders and I was holding my wife’s entire body out of the water.  Feeling like a pack mule, I walked as fast as I could to towards the light at the end of the tunnel. 

 

“I don’t care if there is a 10 foot long Iguana at the next checkpoint, I’m getting out”, said my wife with more confidence and assurance than I have ever heard come out of her mouth. 

 

Luckily, the next checkpoint was free of any reptiles and we hastily exited and made our way to the beach.

 

Have you ever felt like you are in an underground river tunnel with flesh eating swimming birds? And that no matter what decision that you make you will have to face fears and challenges?  If you turn back you have to fight against the current and face equally difficult obstacles, but if you use the momentum of the stream and optimistically anticipate what is at the other end of the tunnel you might be okay.  The scariest part is the unknown; the middle of the tunnel when you can’t go back and you have to face whatever is presented. We can rationalize the fact that the wild cat and the crazy lizard are worth facing because we feel like we can make preparations for them. The reality is that moving forward is always easier than going back.

 

The idea of facing our fears for the sake of growth is not natural when we are completely satisfied in our current state, but sometimes the fears of the present can be just as scary as what the future might hold. That’s why I believe that a certain amount of risk taking is essential for all managers that want to grow an organization no matter what size or industry.

 

Do you prefer to go back and face known challenges or venture into future prepared to succeed?  This decision is one that every manager has to make and establish into their own philosophy and style. 

 

I can tell you that a certain amount of anxiety and fear will help you when dealing with issues and challenges that you have never faced.  I can also tell you that I had never crossed a rope line bridge until that day in at the Archaeological Adventure Park, but the fear of swimming with barracudas was enough to get me to the other side.  Being fueled by the fear associated with risk taking can help keep you focused.  Knowing that the other end of the tunnel will be better than floating uselessly like a sitting duck in the middle of pond, struggling to stay afloat will always get your through any situation.

 

Do go towards the light,

 

Clint Hamner