Aligning Intentions with Perceptions

Even after doing all the things we’ve looked at through the last several posts to ensure we’re on the right track to being able to exceed expectations with each person we interact with, there can be a huge gap between what we intend and what they perceive! Nearly all of us have grown up hearing just how important it is to follow The Golden Rule by doing unto others as we’d have them do unto us. But there are times with even the purest of purpose, things can go awry…

Have you ever met someone who seems to view the world through a pair of rose colored glasses? You know, one of those folks who can find the best in any situation… Hope about someone who can brighten just about any room simply by walking out of it? I’m not sure what color their glasses are, but they probably don’t have that same rosy tint!

Cindy and I were in a training session a few years ago where the instructor divided us into small groups and challenged each group to review...

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Not On or To Them, but FOR Them!

I got my first taste of behavior-based safety in late spring or early summer of 1998. Cindy and I had only been dating a few months at that point so I was still teetering on the edge to say the least… By the time I went through the two day training process required to conduct behavioral observations in January ‘99, we were nearly a year into a pretty solid relationship so some of my extremely rough edges were beginning to get at least a little bit smoother. Looking back, I can see so many places where God’s hand was moving in my life at that time but I’ll save those stories for another time.

For now, I’d like to share a subtle but crucial lesson that I probably should have pulled away from those two days of training. Truth be told, it took a few years for me to really get it!

You may have heard me reference this before but I’ll hash it out here again. One of the core tenets of behavior-based safety is that employees are trained to watch their...

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Becoming Aware of Your Identity

In the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John Maxwell presents Laws of Growth with the Live It, Learn It, Lead It mindset challenging us to Live It but genuinely living out the law we are growing in.  This challenges us to be the change.  Learn It is simply taking in the right information. However, many people learn but never improve themselves or find a fulfilling path in life which leads to their purpose because they learn but do not grow.  In other words, they do not apply, stretch, and put in the work to grow themselves which is the answer to all other fulfillment. 

For example, we can read about the Law of Intentionality but if we do not apply it we don’t grow!

In one of our (Cindy) study groups, we are currently learning more about the Law of Awareness which says, to know yourself you must grow yourself.  We started with questions like the ones below to help us know ourselves better and these will work for you too.  As you think about who you...

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Do Not Cheat Yourself By Doing This!

When we strive to become more aware of us we give ourselves a chance to grow in the areas we need to. 

A friend called me (Cindy) recently with a revelation about some of the individuals she was choosing to spend time with. I passed on an intentional action a mentor shared with me when I found myself in a similar place. He says anytime we step out to grow and change it serves us well to keep this in mind.  I’ll always be growing and changing so that tells me I always need to keep this in mind.  And I want to share it with you!

"It's time to focus on your actions and spend time with confident people who in turn make you better. Don't cheat yourself by being around insecure people who want to keep you off-balance and take advantage, instead, immerse yourself in confidence-drenched environments."

Maybe this will help you or maybe it will help you to help someone you care about. Either way, it's a good self-check from time to time!  

The Law of Awareness...

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What Do You Expect from ME?

Once we’ve worked to ensure we’re very clear about exactly what it is that we provide for our customers, our clients, the team members we lead, or even our family, we’d each do well to invest some additional time into making sure we understand just what it is they’re really hoping to receive through their interaction with us. 

Gosh Wes, why would I need to do that if I’ve already put so much into clarifying what I can offer in each of those situations? Shouldn’t that be enough?

I remember hearing a story about a couple who were going through marriage counseling. The wife was upset because her husband wasn’t communicating with her. The husband was upset because he just couldn’t figure out how to please his wife. As the counselor asked the wife a series of probing questions to really dig into what her husband wasn’t communicating with her about, she finally said “he hasn’t even told me that he loves me since the...

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What Do YOU Expect?

So before we really dig into the specifics of those questions I outlined in the last post that we all need answered in order to EXCEED EXPECTATIONS on a regular basis, let’s take a look at one critical thing we each need to consider in this process.

Having hit on this idea of EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS from quite a few angles over the last several weeks, there’s been one common theme: nearly everything I’ve shared on the topic has been from a perspective of how this impacts so many levels of the teams we lead and the community we serve. While building this approach into our entire organizational culture, ensuring the company is known for exceeding expectations, can make a tremendous impact at so many levels, there’s one thing we need to really take ownership of to have any real hope of it ever becoming part of our team’s culture.

We need to take personal responsibility for exceeding the expectations of each individual we serve on a daily basis; not...

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Clarifying Expectations

Over the last several weeks in this series, as well as through a few separate lessons in our Leading At The Next Level program, I’ve heavily stressed the importance of EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS and how doing that consistently puts us in a very small percentage of society. In the LinkedIn article I published recently, I shared something that Cindy and I discussed with a great group of leaders during our quarterly Executive Leadership Elite Think Tank session as we worked through ways business owners and executives could earn genuine buy-in to their organization’s mission and vision. I won’t hash all of that out here, but you’re welcome to check it out for yourself if you like…

Here’s the thing, taking the necessary steps to truly exceed expectations, whether that’s with the customers & clients we serve, the team we’re a part of or the organization that pays us, or the team and family members we’ve committed to lead...

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The First Thing Required to Grow You...

When I (Cindy) first studied the Law of Awareness in the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell, I realized the more quality questions we ask ourselves - about us- the deeper an awareness we can obtain of who we are, where we are, and where we want to go.

Not everyone likes questions and has a natural curiosity like I do. But since the Law of Awareness says, You Must Know Yourself to Grow Yourself, we have to start with us.  And no one knows us better than we know ourselves! If introspective questions are not your thing that's okay. We don’t have to like the steps and stretches it takes to grow but we do have to take intentional action in the right areas to grow. And I promise the growth you obtain along the way will be worth your effort!

A good first question to ask yourself is, who are you? Since we must know ourselves in order to grow, asking who you really are will help you identify things about yourself you may otherwise overlook or take for granted.

Think...

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Lean & Mean!

For almost all of the nearly 20 years I worked in manufacturing, I had at least some level of involvement with implementing the tools most commonly referred to as LEAN. Truth be told, at least ten of those years consisted of a high level of hands-on involvement where I worked directly with teams throughout the facility to build the various tools within that methodology into the workflow for improved productivity. I even have a fancy framed certificate (that’s buried amongst a bunch of other fancy certificates) showing where I completed a customized Lean Manufacturing course at the University of Michigan… Impressive, huh…

In addition to all that, I even got to learn to concepts of Lean from a true master consultant who had read about it in a book but never seemed to be able to offer tangible examples of how any of his other clients implemented what he was regurgitating to achieve a tangible return on investment - but I’ll save that story for another day...

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LA via Omaha...

If you were a fan of the late Charlie Daniels, the subject line of this message may ring a bell. While I often reference my taste for guitar solo-laden tunes by 80’s hair bands, I always enjoyed CDB (the Charlie Daniels Band), not to be confused with all the hype today around CBD - although I’d expect many of the musicians I was fond of engaged in their fair share of CBD-like substances… (A line in Long Haired Country Boy comes to mind immediately as I share this…)

I remember the first time I introduced Cindy to the song Uneasy Rider. We were parked on I-81, just north of the JMU exit in Harrisonburg and headed somewhere south. I pulled that amazingly fun ballad up on my phone, hopped off the exit as soon as I had the opportunity, and took every back road possible to keep moving in the general direction of our destination. Shockingly, Cindy didn’t like the song even a little bit - to which I still question her sanity. She was also less than pleased...

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