Steve's blog

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

In the previous article we discussed the “it” factor, and a major difference being gut feeling reaction vs. gut feeling response.  How reaction can wave through a person and create self-limiting apprehension vs. sparking one’s ability to confidently take charge of any given situation.  One major component within the “it” factor that becomes inspired to take charge is one’s innate sense of fearlessness.  But fearlessness not as survival defense, or aggressive over-confidence, but rather from a point within that ‘knows’ there is a greater choice to be made.  And when that choice is made, to go for the choice that begets empowerment, the “it” factor becomes fueled for greater success in [it’s] endeavors.  Taking the higher road, so to speak, is a powerful choice to make.  Some refer to this choice as a “rising to the occasion”.  In many ways it is a rising, because this very action of our “it” factor can take us out of the rut, and put us in the groove of things.  A simple truth in life is; there’s a fine line between living in the rut and living in the groove.  There’s no denying it.  So let’s discuss fearlessness.                     

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going”.  Some people, in reaction to this situation will pack up and leave the problems to everyone else to deal with.  Other people will stay and struggle with the aftermath, and try to hold the old together at every cost (even if the getting tough part means change is on the horizon)…resisting change rather than running from it, and the responsibility it brings.  Responsibility and accountability are both avoided by these polar reactions to inevitable change from old to new.  But where is the third power approach to handle the situation?  When will people begin to solve the issues facing them with a new way of thinking?  A way of thinking out the problem so as to create solutions that do not create a stepping stone effect that will later, in the wake of progression, bring full circle the same problem, but with a twist.  What do we mean by “stepping stone effect”?  The stepping stone effect is the perpetuation of an idea/solution put forth into the world…or in this case, set forth to solve the troubling issues at hand.  

The opportunist, in this situation, will begin to solve the problem by taking advantage of it for profit only, and not really solve the problem at all.  The lower mind will be in total control of every thought to solve the problem being faced, because awareness of the real issue, with it’s looming sense of fear, would bring rise to different thoughts entirely.  This is thinking in primal terms—survival only of the ego self.  It is instinctive in nature, but it does not solve situations as the future unfolds to us.  With the lower mind being full of ego, the ego looks to ‘cash in’ no matter the cost (from other people), but at little cost to the ego.  This is the very thinking that fuels the chaos that creates fear.  But fear of what?  Fear from the chaos.  Fear from the ego sensing the problems not being solved, so the problem will rise again—the ego looks for an exit strategy at every turn, meeting, and project review.  The ego strategy is to survive, which is the self-limiting apprehension in action.   

Then what’s next?  Solving the same problem over and over again, with no new thinking.  Man has done just this for so long the neuropathway is almost impossible to escape.  So what has been viewed by man as “change”, has only been a redistribution of effort to survive.  “How was it stated…  The world that we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far, creates problems that we cannot solve at the level we created them”, Albert Einstein.  So how do we take this wisdom and put it to use in our time in order to move beyond the temptations and fears from the stagnant neuropathway the ego senses as a safety zone by having control, or cashing in?   We need to think in the new ways… ways that challenge us to transcend the old ways of thinking and acting, and mostly of reacting.  We do this by dealing with the fears of tough times, and discovering the value they bring to us to move to a new way, in order to solve the issues, rather than just adjust to survive.  Or only think about cashing in on them and then skipping out to leave the crash for someone else to deal with.  How many times throughout history have we seen these two reactions playing out in world events?  What do we do now in the new world—the new world of global/yet keeping local, our work, our businesses, our networks, our relationships, our success.  How do we learn to think in this new way?

The new way of thinking is a formula approach.  In simple terms, it’s like a recipe: one part knowledge, two parts experience, three parts willingness to be accountable, and a genuine investment into the learning curve that will take place once the cake goes into the oven to bake.  While baking, we deal with the fears.  We have stepped forward and now must deal with the fears—by baking them out of the end result.  The fearful will rise from the heat of the oven. These are the people that have not yet understood themselves to be the change they want to have happen in the world around them—-but are resistant to open to it.  These people can be detrimental to the success rate of the project at hand.    

Like Chicken Little, they can’t seem to grasp onto the force of success and breathe it in to help them step up and take position within the process.  In quality leadership terms (which have been around since the early 1980’s), these people lack self-motivation, and have difficulty being a self-managing contributor to the whole.  In old quality leadership terms, the new way of thinking is out of reach for these people without failure to learn from.  The problem they bring is a degree of failure into the success rate of the project at hand.  But again, going back to the beginning of this discussion, perpetuation of failure in order to learn over and over again—that failure is a lesson in and of itself—due to the fear of success.  But lessons that are necessary in order to learn come to us individually, by group, by corporation, by state, country, creating the very chaos we live in and the world turns each day.  So—–do we learn?  Do we progress?  Do we spin our wheels in fear?  Or do we perpetuate success?  Do we stay in the rut or move to the groove?


So becoming fear-less is to accept one’s lessons to step up and be counted as the successful solutions to the situations at hand.  To become fear-less by way of accepting the challenge to learn new ways of thinking solutions.  To become fear-less in our level of responsibility, by way of realizing it is our ability-to-respond to changing times that set us apart as successes, rather than keeping us captive in the limiting lessons of fear as failure, once again.  Understanding the entire time, we come to our professions to do good work, not just to play it safe and ride along at the efforts of others, unchanged and unexperienced in a relationship with perpetuated success.  Which is why these types of tough individuals are the most successful and sought after in every industry on the planet today.

So the only purpose we have in our life and in every corporation we will work for is to achieve our highest level of success in everything we think, do, and become involved in.   Actualizing your success by working through the fears, perpetuates into fear becoming less and less capable of feeding on one’s sense of worth, value, ability to step up and take position within the process of success itself.  To realize higher levels of consciousness through our everyday work (i.e., being open to learn and change), is the greatest part of the recipe   For in doing so, it perpetuates a desire for continued success—and sharing in that success with others that also work toward the same goal.  This is where some partnerships thrive and continue, and become a perpetual force regardless of the lessons of the times.  For they have knowledge, history of experience, and a combined willingness to be accountable and possess a high level of response-ability.  These partnerships work to move through the fears to come to the new way of thinking.  Once the fears are taken out of the formula, the success rate has the ability to rise.

It is hoped that this discussion has given you much to ponder in your workday.  I also hope this leads to expanding awareness for your greater success.  For everyone I have had the opportunity to be in partnership with, and continue today, I look forward to continued success in our efforts.  To everyone that has yet to come into partnering with me [Redmond Research], I look forward to the opportunity to do so.  The creative process in our partnerships has great perpetuating results of expanding the creative potential for success for everyone.  So as Penn State Football Coach, Joe Paterno says—-“Believe deep down in your heart that you’re destined to do great things”.  So let’s get going.  Talk to you soon.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I’m sure at one time or another you’ve been in the self-questioning thought of “I should have my head examined doing this type of work as a profession”. But then you realize you have a ‘knack” for this sort of challenge. You actually…dare I say it here, “enjoy” it to some extent. That very self-question highlights the topic I wish to discuss, as “that” is, the “It” factor in our work. More importantly, the “It” factor in the candidates we ultimately want to hire.

But how do we capture that information in the search/review process? How do we know we actually possess this attribute in order to do our part in our profession, and recognize the It factor in the candidates within the search/review process? Here we sit at the center of the problem…do we need to have the It factor ourselves before we can identify it in anyone else? The answer is Yes. So let’s move farther into this interesting and challenging truth within the core of the hiring process.

I have years of experience in spotting a trend as to the “how” of this very element of the search formula, and the trend is intangible in its very nature. “It” is a refined, innate, intuitive, intellectual level of the “gut feeling”. Gut feeling response rather than reaction. By human nature, gut feeling reaction is part of the fight/flight instinct that triggers survival actions for protection. But to only rely on this lower level of gut feeling as a reaction, people never move beyond the primal/baseline react/thinking level. We see an example of this playing out in the workplace as people restricting choices so as to stay in a “safe zone”. Basically not standing out one way or the other.

This unfortunately does not make for great career satisfaction, nor does it help anyone during performance reviews. People can learn to stay in this zone of self-limiting apprehension in an attempt to reduce stress in the workplace. Yet, inevitably, doing so creates stress, because people seek self-validation that comes directly from career satisfaction and performance reviews that recognize one’s efforts and abilities. Lower level gut feeling reaction can’t ultimately help us feel accomplished, because self-limiting apprehension has not been conquered.

Gut feeling reaction/response is also tied to our level of competency. It indicates to us our connection to our common sense (or lack of common sense), and also our ability to confidently take charge of situations we know we can handle, but we get stuck in apprehension so can not make the choice, and raise the value of our position within the process of our career. By raising our level of gut feeling from reaction to one of response and innate intellectual connection, we raise our level of common sense-ability, and conquer self-limiting apprehension. We also raise our level of response-ability, because we are working from a higher level of responsive information rather than reactive information.

Here is the magic of empowerment. This refined, heightened level of innate gut feeling response is the “It” factor. This “It” factor is not related to any vocation, but is an innate ability that is acquired and applied to any vocation. In general, this is perceived as a greater level of common sense, or strategic ability. Yet the ability is not because of any academic education, or training. Which is why it is an innate ability that is learned, not taught. This goes to the core of our ability to succeed or fail, or remain apprehensive.

With these varying levels of ability to communicate with/understand our gut feeling reaction/response on any subject, we begin to understand our ability to listen/gather insight/respond to the information shared from our gut feeling. We then have the opportunity to raise to a higher level of innate/intuitive response/action, in a practical application within our chosen vocation. This is the power behind any and every business leader that has gone the extra mile and taken steps to greater success with no reservations—for that heightened level of gut feeling has been so refined, it has ingrained itself into a way of thinking that surpasses linear evaluation processes.

This is where the ability to gain access to wavelength thinking begins, which is where true leaders in any given vocation tap into (knowingly or unknowingly). We can begin to understand where the “it” factor originates. For without raising to the gut feeling of “response”, we would not have a connection to our innate intellectual sense. We would not have a greater degree of ability to respond. In raising the gut feeling we can take that instinctive sense and give it a practical connection and a practical application. Which then shifts gut feeling to become a more intuitive form of thinking which is between instinctive and intellectual in our very mind-set of creative thinkers. That practical connection of intuiting is to begin to apply it to our everyday work environment.

In doing this one simple shift in how we perceive our projects, and our own awareness to how we actually perceive information, we can begin to learn how to use the value of the raised gut feeling in regards to our innate intellectual level of thinking. We begin to experience a greater sense of confirmation in our process of choice—which is to say, our final selection of not just the “right” candidate for the position, but the “best” candidate for the position. The raised gut feeling brings information to us that is more subliminal than tangible forms of evaluation, yet this subliminal information can be applied within the tangible process.

This raised gut feeling tells us more than the categorization of skill sets. It tells us the unmeasureable attributes of the candidate. It also tells us about our own unmeasureable attributes each time we go into this heightened level of communication. It’s how we get a “feeling” about something and just ‘know” it’s not just right (vs. wrong), but actually correct. We could say even perfect. Which then empowers us to make more valuable choices. Knowing we are making the final best choice—knowing “it” when we see “it”. Increasing our value of choice.

Take your time and ponder on this article.This insight goes deeper than ‘how to’. Let this information seep into your own thought process regarding your own position in your career, and your own formula for candidate search/review/hire. This approach is a better way to raise into the knowing level of wavelength thinking, and the practical application of one’s own “it” factor. Trust your process—you’ll know you’ve got it when you see it. You will sense your own increased value of choice.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

To focus on a frustrating common denominator in the business of search, let’s use the job description as the item of discussion.  We could ask a simple question such as: “What role should a job description play in perfecting a search?”  but that would not help anyone really understand the confusion that is involved in this one simple collection of information.  So it would be better for us to ask, “What are the challenges in conceptualizing a job description that includes the function objectives, as well as subjective and subtle attributes necessary that can be difficult to define, and lead us to the best talent?”  Adding the frustration factor to the equation, we then also need to focus on the hiring manager’s contribution, and the internal recruiting staffing professional’s input.  These individuals are responsible for generating this information, and many times are restricted by internal protocols, and/or time restraints that can cause the project to become a stressful situation.  Here is where the triad of power comes into play to help remove the baseline thinking process and can enable the project to complete itself with a better success rate by having an external recruiting/search professional have input into the job description by being an external review of an internal process. 

The external search professional can, and should have, as part of their expertise, a view of the marketplace that is not only objective in nature, but also subjective because they are not bound by a corporate internal protocol, nor are they loaded with other non-related job responsibilities that can hinder timeframes and turnaround of the very documentation that is necessary to launch a hiring project in the first place.


So, how can I be of assistance to the hiring managers and the internal staffing professionals to help bring a new perspective to this continuous challenge?  From the perspective of the true search professional, the question is, “Does the job description data drive the recruitment process, or does the market data reconceptualize the job description that then drives the recruitment process?  This reconceptualization of the job description in relation to the market data brings in a shift into what I have identified as the integrative search.  Here lies the exponential power of the ultimate search—search taken to the next level of understanding.   Ultimately, it’s the market place that defines the role as it should be, and the hiring manager and internal recruiting professional alike should find this to be the best way to achieve [their] ultimate aim—the best hire for the position.  Recruiting is by nature a constantly evolving process of reconceptualization through the large amount of data information and in-depth research that is applied to each project.  This newly developing information will shift and bring about new understanding that will help the hiring manager increase [their] success rate in finding a candidate that will bring added value to [their] corporate division.   

I have found in my years in this business that search provides one of the greatest outlets for creative expression. In many ways search is a true art form, much like the artist who begins with a blank canvas and evolves their original ideas to their highest form of expression. Often through the elimination of those ideas and first impressions that do not best align with their idealized goal, they create a fabulous piece of art. Like the blank canvas, our initial job description may look totally different because of the process it takes to create a dynamic piece of work that sells. When that “click” happens, like the artists click, when we get that click the information just seems to stream in, connecting all of the unknown dots that formulate the information in it’s most complete form for the job description.  It’s our job to be open to what that information is telling us.   Ultimately, the “formulating” of this new data becomes an almost adventurous undertaking, thereby injecting a new heightened interest into what is usually seen as the dreaded task of a job description.  We learn to enjoy this because we accomplish the challenge. It’s within this challenge that people stay interested in their work, and apply themselves to something that becomes more and more effortless. Even though it is frustrating and confusing and always a time consuming challenge – we like it!