I am grateful I can quietly sit next to my mother’s hospital bed today and spend some tender moments with her. No doubt her time is fleeting, yet she continues to smile, compliment others and make sure everyone else is doing well.
It seems like 2013 just got started and we are already at the end of January. Beginning a new year is always exciting, as we typically resolve to make improvements. While not a resolution, I made a personal commitment to strive to listen better. Listening is vital - hearing what others are saying is what makes listening valuable and it ultimately has it own rewards.
As we close out January I am seriously awestruck by what I have heard from business prospects and clients throughout this month. Listening is just a start - how we react, respond and produce results is what truly matters.
As I’ve listened this month, here’s what I’ve heard:
“We want you to raise our retainer fee.” Now that’s a first. Our client asked us to raise our fee by a set percentage as they wanted our firm to share in their success. To me this may be the ultimate recognition of a true partnership between firm and client, and a wonderful compliment to our work. The resulting reward is that we raised the bar for what we will deliver every day in this client relationship to yet a whole new level.
“Listening to your passion makes me want to go to work for you.” When the prospect says that after hearing your firm’s pitch for their business, you know they have already experienced the passion your team brings in their work. The resulting reward is a foundation of trust to build the working relationship with passion to help them achieve their goals.
“Best pitch ever. You blew the others away with your creativity.” Those are strong sentiments to hear after your team pitches a highly competitive national prospect. Yes, we won the business as the result of tenacious teamwork and creativity that positively differentiates our work. The resulting reward is that we continue to improve and innovate internally so we can share those great ideas with clients to grow their business.
The rewards of listening are not in hearing your own voice or thoughts but rather in experiencing the end result of what dedication, passion and creativity articulate in their own ways. You bet I will be listening even more.
Next to beaches and tourism, Florida is known for its agriculture. What most people don’t realize is that Florida’s new bumper crop is Innovation Excellence and it is being harvested through what is known as economic gardening.
Economic gardening is cultivation of entrepreneurial skills and support that is taking place in Florida through organizations such as: GrowFL and the Edward Lowe Foundation. Last night these two entities celebrated and recognized 50 Florida Companies to Watch at the 2012 Gala at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando.
I was not only honored to represent the firm I work for, Moore Communications Group as one of honorees, I was enthused and inspired by the people I met and the stories I heard about growing innovation in Florida. We are surrounded by the support of organizations like the Tallahassee/Leon County Economic Development Council and the Florida Economic Development Council.
Success sounds good, but to appreciate what these 50 companies have accomplished, you have to hear the compelling stories that many of them have to tell about their journey to achieve Innovation Excellence. These entrepreneurs made the most of their respective fields in which they were planted, weather conditions and got their harvest to market.
Today beyond the beautiful award and recognition, I am elevated and inspired to know there are organizations far beyond the walls I work within that look to see every Florida entrepreneur is given the opportunity to cultivate excellence through economic gardening. The harvest is just a part of the process.
Great New Year 2012! Purposely avoiding the usual list of resolutions, in its stead there is a strong mental and physical commitment to forge forward throughout this new year. Allow me to share the three countdown words that constitute resolute action to take us to higher heights:
Proactive: Wisdom purports that “timing is everything” and indeed that may be true. Sometimes we must act as the timekeeper ourselves, initiating the action – sending out that first smile, calling a friend instead of returning the call and offer the kind unexpected word and action daily.
Clarity: Transparency is trendy, but beyond the trendiness daily progress requires continual focus and pellucid living. This is yes or no, do or do not, black or white, no gray area and nothing stored to clutter or accumulate.
Conficernment: Now there’s a new word for you (my gift.) Start the new year with a dynamic combination of confidence and discernment and you get conficernment. Surely great strides will accompany certitude, assurance and an acuteness of understanding to only do what is the right thing to do.
These three words create action, focus and insight, which will ignite your launch sequence for 2012! Headed toward the stratosphere of success. Climb aboard.
When you have to compete with all the noise bombarding us each day, how in the world can anyone hear what you have to say?
Stop for a moment and think about all noise we have heard over the last few months. We have been subjected to all kinds of sounds coming from a variety of venues and directions: political campaigns, countless media reports of pre and post-election coverage, football fans screaming, holiday celebrations and yes, even the barrage of electronic and social networking spheres seem to raise the noise level all around us.
We have become so accustomed to the continuous noise levels that millions of Americans cannot sleep without some form of white noise.
Trying to be heard above the crowd noise used to mean that you had to raise your voice to be recognized…now you just have to use your voice. The constant increase in noise and the onslaught of non-verbal communication through numerous social media networks has given new value to individual human voices. Talking one-on-one used to be the most common way of communicating, today it may not be the most common, but it certainly remains the most valuable.
If you want to deliver your message with maximum impact, nothing comes close to that of a single voice taking time to share an important message. It is no longer about raising your voice to be heard, effective personal communication now comes from just using your one voice.
Want to be heard above the noise? Just talk to me.
Sitting alone in the dark quiet of Christmas Eve morning among the twinkling of the Christmas tree and flickers from the fireplace beholds a special silent anticipation.
Before others awake adding excitement to the environment, I am enveloped in this serene moment of stillness. While mezmorized by the lights, my thoughts are filled with a steady stream of faces coming to mind…family, friends, colleagues and pets. These thoughts are joined by the first hint of dawn’s light in the morning sky.
This is the joy of Christmas, being grateful for all we are given and knowing there is even greater joy in celebrating the birth of our savior. Silent anticipation of eternal joy. Gratitude for the blessings of the day.
Recent airline travel for a vacation trip to Chicago offered an excellent opportunity for me to observe some important life lessons that are often overlooked during hectic business trips. Leisure travel with my wife made me aware of some simple travel truths experienced that are easily translated to our daily life flight.
There has always been a cost for excess baggage. When the airlines started charging for extra baggage, folks were in an uproar. Truth is we pay daily for all the excess baggage we personally haul around. It definitely affects our balance, power consumption and altitude.
Pressurized cabins require lots of oxygen. Whenever we are feeling pressure all around us, it is the time to breathe deeply. So many times we get caught up in trying to multitask and take everything in that we forget about the basic need to supply our brain with oxygen to stay focused. Slow down and breathe deep.
A one-way ticket is going to cost more. Typically airline travel is more economical when booking a round-trip. Life is the same; you always gain more when your relationships involve give and take.
You can still land safely even when you have flown through turbulence. Every flight is not going to be smooth. Sometimes you have to fly through, over, under or around the storms. The key to arriving at your destination is to have a safe landing.
Check your bags, buckle up and enjoy your journey from a higher altitude.