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To Jack Schnee…

Our best friend’s Dad passed away last year.  After 89 years, his passing came suddenly and unexpectedly.  He was preparing to go in for knee replacement surgery; his knee was bothering him when he went dancing.  He was felled by a stroke.

Although I didn’t know him very well, the way his eldest daughter and son-in-law (aka our best friends) spoke of him it was obvious he loved life.  He reminded me of my Dad’s love of life.  They called him every Sunday for a weekly update along with the enjoyment of a gin martini toast albeit separated by 900 miles.  We should all be so loved and fulfilled.

Life has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  I’m way past my beginning.  It’s the delineation between the middle and the end that isn’t quite as clear.  But as friends and family around me reach their end, I always pause to reflect.  How about you?

Here’s how Michael E. Gerber sets up one such reflection:

I’d like you to imagine that you are about to attend one of the most important occasions of your life.  It will be held in a room sufficiently large to seat all of your friends, your family, your business associates – anyone and everyone to whom you are important and who is important to you.  Can you see it? 

The walls are draped with deep golden tapestries.  The lighting is subdued, soft, casting a warm glow on the faces of your expectant guests.  Their chairs are handsomely upholstered in a golden fabric that matches the tapestries.  The golden carpeting is deeply piled.  At the front of the room is a Dias, and on the Dias a large, beautifully decorated table, with candles burning at either end.  On the table, in the center, is the object of everyone’s attention.  A large, shining, ornate box.  And in the box is … you!  Stiff as the proverbial board. 

What do you think?  If you were able to reflect while in that box surrounded by everyone you have interacted with throughout your life. What would go through your mind?

Rather not think about it?  Your prerogative, but its inevitable for us all.  And at my age, I think about being old, over the hill, past the middle:

Baker’s Byroad  

When you are over the hill, you pick up speed.  

So far, I’ve resisted gravity pretty well.  I continue to live each day with my best effort.  Of course, some days I (like you) have “one of those days”, but that’s part of living, too.  Dealing with adversities enables us to richly enjoy life’s accomplishments, true?

Besides, I follow Baruch when thinking about how old I am:

Baruch’s Rule for Determining Old Age  

Old age is always fifteen years older than I am.  

Of course, those millennials in my work place that I write of often have a different opinion.  Every time we hire a new group of college grads I imagine hearing one of them say, “Is it bring your grandfather to work day?”  I suppose they would chuckle thinking I can’t hear very well anymore.

It’s all good for me though – I love being around youth:

It’s easier to have the vigor of youth when you’re old than the wisdom of age when you’re young. 

Richard J. Needham  

So, here’s to you Jack Schnee.  Here’s to your life; your style; your zest; your family; and your legacy.  Here’s to dancing with the Lord now; never to worry about knee pain again.

GAP

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Happy Columbus Day!

It’s been 8 years since I ventured out into the social media world for the very first time.  I know I wasn’t the original “explorer”, but it was still a big move for me.  Permit me to share an updated, slightly wordsmithed version of my very first post from back in the day – beginning with:

People told Columbus the world was flat.  He didn’t insist it was round.  He got in a boat. 

3Com Advertisement

How cool was that!  No debate; no argument; no headlines; no hype.  They said, “Impossible!” he said, “Get me to a boat!”  Then Columbus got in that boat (funded by the original venture capitalist); and proved his point.

What a stellar example of commitment to success!  “Hey Chris, the world is flat you know.  If you go out there, you’ll sail right off the table into oblivion.”  “That’s OK”, he might have said, “I think we’ll be all right.”

What about you?  What are “they” saying you cannot do?  Do you agree with them?  Are you looking back at the land for your security?  Or are you looking out across the vast ocean and on to your future?  Are you debating – or are you doing?  Where are you turning for the fuel to maintain your positive, can-do attitude?

It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. 

Babe Ruth

If you’re reading this, then you’re in my boat.  Welcome to The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©.  The next time you’re having one of “those days”, filled with too much negativity from “them”, come back aboard for a little positive reinforcement.

I’m using a social media platform as my vessel – it is the 21st century after all.  Some people today might say, “Gary; Linked In, Face Book, Twitter are fun and all; but a vehicle for ongoing business-to-business, business?  Impossible!”  Well, what do I know?

I’ve spent the last four decades of my career perfecting professional selling skills.  You know – permission-based prospecting; discovering the customer’s goals; presenting solutions; closing the deal?  Remember?  Are any of those skills relevant today?

Or have we in business actually shifted to Likes, Groups, Tweets, and other, electronically-impersonal means of getting ink and contract to meet and money to change hands?  Were professional selling skills important only when the world was flat?  Well, what do I know?

Best-selling business author Jim Collins wrote this:

The Tyranny of the OR vs the Genius of the AND.

To me, it’s not social media – or – the old way.  I think social media is important.

But, I also believe that building business relationships still plays a key role in the customers’ success; and in turn, our success.  I would like to believe that knowing what you’re doing is still critical to a sales person’s achievement.  Being a product expert + a technology expert + a competitive expert + a business person are the key characteristics our customers value.  Again, what do I know?

Similar to Christopher Columbus, no one can predict ahead of time what changes the online world will bring to the future of my profession.  I’m certainly not going to argue about it.  I’m just getting in my social media boat and setting sail – I believe I won’t fall off the face of the earth.

I hope you join me for the voyage and visit www.TheQuoteGuys.com often.  Bring a friend!  After all:

No sense in being pessimistic.  It wouldn’t work anyway. 

Unknown Sage

Here’s to the New World.  Thanks again Chris!

GAP

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High School Sweethearts…

Fall; October; football; high school; Homecoming – do you remember your first high school sweetheart?  High school is a very special and memorable time for teenagers; it certainly was for me.  And I always enjoyed the autumn season when I was in high school – Homecoming; Halloween; dating; parties (most chaperoned, some not).

Forty-eight years ago, this very time of the year, I asked the prettiest girl in my high school out on a first date.  I guess it went well enough because here we are forty-eight years later, and I’m still awe-struck by the glow of her beauty.

I hope you enjoy this opening to Chapter XII True North, of my book, The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective © as much I enjoyed writing it:

Dedicated to… a crisp night in October; with a slight breeze blowing through bare trees – waiting for the coming winter.   Close your eyes.  Can you smell remnants of autumn leaves burning? 

To winning the homecoming football game.  To being carefree. To a Saturday night party at the teenager’s house whose parents are away.  Can you hear the kids having fun in the kitchen; the basement; and the backyard, all to the beat of the Rolling Stones? 

To couches, blue jeans and sweaters.  To the floor lamp reflecting on her blond hair making it shimmer with silvery streaks of light.  To the nervous small talk of a teenage boy in the presence of a varsity cheerleader.  To the patience of the teenage girl sitting on the couch with the captain of the varsity basketball team.  Can you remember when you could actually hear your heart throbbing?

To throw pillows, which come in handy when the small talk runs out – what else can a young boy do?  And to playful pillow fights; which lead to gentle wrestling and ultimately to that first kiss. Remember how delicate she felt in your arms – the hint of her perfume – the taste of her lips?

To first dates – dinner and a movie.  To the movie Catch 22 and the Oriental Theatre in downtown Chicago.  To dating the prettiest girl in your high school; to falling in love; to asking her father’s permission for her hand in marriage.  Were you ever so nervous?

To the tears welling up in my eyes even as I write this short memoire.  To all those emotions; all the happiness; all those hopes and all those dreams; some fulfilled, some yet to be; and all that I can remember today as if it just happened yesterday – that I will remember everyday, as long as I live.  How can someone be so lucky?

To 1970 – and that Saturday night in October in Elmhurst where I kissed Debbie for the very first time.  And to the friend’s house whose parents were out – to their couch, their floor lamp, to their throw pillows; and to the Rolling Stones music.  Can you imagine being so young, so infatuated, and so in love? 

I still am. 

Gary A. Pokorn

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How was your day?

One year ago last week, I was in an earthquake in Mexico City; a 7.1.  How do you work that into casual conversation?

September 19, 2017 at 1:15 pm local time, a powerful earthquake shook the bejeezus out of my training class; our lunch break; my colleagues and me!  Thankfully, no one in our group got hurt.

Unfortunately, there were many in Mexico City and surrounding states that did get hurt; over 200 people killed; hundreds perhaps thousands injured.  According to The Guardian ©;

It was the second major earthquake to hit Mexico in two weeks and came on the anniversary of the 1985 quake that devastated Mexico City, killing 5,000 people and destroying 10,000 homes.

In fact, because of that 32nd anniversary; commemorating that devastation; we actually had an emergency evacuation drill at 11am in 2017.  Just about 2 hours before the real thing hit again!

During the episode, I wasn’t afraid; but I was not brave either.  I was conscious of the fact we were experiencing an earthquake – on the 19th floor of a hotel no less.  What started out feeling like a freight train passing by, causing the table to vibrate quickly erupted into what seemed like a prolonged period of ferocious shaking; I could not keep my feet.

Those much braver than I were calling out; directing us towards the archway leading into the room.  Firmly they instructed us to move away from the windows; calmly, they reassured us that we will be alright.

I remember looking out the window and seeing the glass buildings across the plaza actually swaying.  It was surreal; it reminded me of that scene in movie The Matrix when the helicopter crash caused a ripple through the facade of a glass office tower.

My overriding feeling today is one of disappointment.  So many had invested so much before the earthquake hit – and after.  Gustavo Moussalli, out Latin American Division Director and the executive sponsor for the class had made a huge commitment to his local partners; coordinating a 3-day enablement class to support their success.

Gerardo Diez Martinez, our local Channel Manager made all the arrangements.  The meeting rooms and set-up; AV equipment; food and beverage; Gerardo spared no expense to insure we would have everything we needed for his partners.

My colleague Susanna Lagtapon sacrificed time away from her daughter’s 13th birthday; traveling instead to join us for the class.  Our colleague, Tony Caporal, with cooler head and bravery, prevailed following the earthquake.  He helped us retrieve our laptops and luggage.  (Even stopping at the lobby bar to grab a free beer on his way out of the hotel.)

Our VP, Brian Enright, was our “home base”; coordinating flights out of town; hotel reservations; and anything else he could do to support us from afar.

And especially Hector Garcia from our long-time partner NetSoft.  Hector insisted on personally driving us to the airport; would not hear of us taking a taxi or a bus.  He would navigate us through the city streets; on constant vigil for our safety.  Three hours to drive us 12 kilometers.  Three hours in the opposite direction from his own home and family – taking us in his care.

As with all disasters, there were many heroes – named and unnamed.  But that was 2017; Mexico City; and an earthquake.  Today, it’s another crisis; another natural disaster; another conflict.

We are all thankful for so many first responders and other heroes – named and unnamed.  May God bless them all.

GAP

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I don’t know…

We’re in the midst of revising and retooling our sales training program; a periodic ritual all companies go through, you know?  The process we’re following might sound familiar.  Leadership has announced the strategic changes.  Now followership is being asked if the new direction will “fit” our sales constituents.

Naturally, we need to make the new direction “fit”, even if it doesn’t actually “fit”; the change has already been announced.  Though our change management process might sound backward, I’m optimistic the outcome will be favorable.

“Fit” is an often-debated concept in the sales (and sales training) profession.  Ask for input and there seems no end to opinions.  But “fit” is important:

Not a good fit’ is a great conclusion, if arrived at early.  It is a horrible miscalculation if arrived at late. 

Mahan Khalsa

We are late in our process, but it should be OK.  After all, our constituents won’t know the difference.  They only go through our sales training activities once, so they won’t be making comparisons.  Even if we suck going forward no one will know; keeping in mind we may not suck – we may have something better.  I am comfortable saying I don’t know.

He who knows most, knows how little he knows.

Thomas Jefferson

Although I’m change-adverse (like many in my profession), I’m keeping an open mind on the new program.  Philosophically, I’m in alignment with the strategic intent of consistency across all sales channels.  Others smarter and more successful than I have led their companies to greatness based on the principle of consistency:

I wanted to get the ‘creativity’ out of the sales process.  If you want to be creative, go write a novel. 

Larry Ellison

But to be fair, I believe there is a big difference between pronouncing a strategic change vs. developing and delivering the multitude of tactical details that go into the execution of such strategy.  I don’t know… but I’m think the key word here is execution.

We followers are supposed to be domain experts; we’re expected to execute on the plan.  What’s the military saying about battle plans – “No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.”  (Here’s background on that quote.)

Helmuth von Moltke the Elder knew last century that the complexity of war prevented any one leader from grasping the entirety of details necessary to win battles.  The writer (Sean Newman Maroni) offers cross-over connections to the business world.  His cross-over has agreement from at least one famous business leader I know:

‘What do we need a sales guy for?’  I smugly replied, ‘To sell more of our software, perhaps.’  That’s an inside glimpse of our top management team at work discussing the expansion of our distribution capacity.  I knew we needed to build a sales organization, although I certainly had no idea how one worked. 

Larry Ellison

Even though Larry Ellison said he didn’t know (as published in the book Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle©), that didn’t prevent Oracle from achieving tremendous business (and sales) success.

When we launch our revised sales training program I’ll be a bit nervous about “surviving first contact”.  But I “know” we will improvise if necessary in the short term and adapt in the long term to insure success.

However, if in reality I don’t know, I’m comforted by titans of military history and the technology industry – if they don’t know; then it’s probably OK that I don’t know.  On the other hand, if you know – please let me know, OK?

GAP

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Dates never forgotten…

The anniversary of “the” September 11th was remembered this week.  A date we will never forget.  What dates are never forgotten for you?

In the beginning of the novel, A Tale of Two Cities© is the contrast, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” within the context of both occurring at the same time.  For Americans, 9/11/2001 seems like a demarcation point between the best of times before that morning and the worst of times after, true?  That’s when terrorism figuratively and literally collided into freedom.

Do you remember where you were when news of the planes crashing into the World Trade Centers in New York was broadcast?  I always will.  It’s amazing what we can accomplish during the best of times; and what we can endure during the worst of times, don’t you think?  The 9/11 attacks were the worst of times for many Americans.

April 20, 1999 was the worst of times for my home town.  (Although truly, we are all Columbine.)

At a personal level, how many bests have you enjoyed and worsts endured?  The bad times help us appreciate the good times even more, yes?  Here’s what Ernest Hemingway said:

Life breaks us.  And when we heal, we’re stronger on the broken parts.

Our ability to gain strength from adversity should come as no surprise, though.  Our ancestry is made of up generations who had to overcome adversity.  Much of today’s adversity pales in comparison to theirs, doesn’t it?

For many of us who did not suffer a direct loss of loved ones from these tragic events, our hardships now come in the form of inconvenience and economics.  We work harder today to keep up than we did before; travel has become more difficult; guns are all too prevalent in our society; in our schools (and at our concerts!).

Things we once dreamed of seem further from our reach.  We have extended our resources close to the breaking point in defense of our country and our way of life.   But for America, that’s nothing new.  Our country has been on the brink; had parts broken; and healed back stronger for as long as we have been a country.  Were the hardships of the Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression, the Viet Nam War, the Civil Rights Movement, or any other national, local, personal, or family crisis less hard?

We are up to facing today’s challenges.  We are strong because we come from generations of strength – families who struggled to make for this country, for their families, and for themselves the best of times.  Like past generations, Americans today have the opportunity to earn and enjoy the better things in life.  And we know why they are the better things:

To really enjoy the better things in life, one must first have experienced the things they are better than. 

Oscar Holmolka

So this week we reflect on that never forgotten, life-changing event now known as 9/11.  Like the day an American walked on the moon, or the night the USA Olympic hockey team won the gold medal to Al Michael’s famous words broadcast around the world, “Do you believe in miracles?”,  let’s turn to our favorite, Unknown Sage once again for this reminder:

The First Rule of Life: The best things in life aren’t things.

My local community is stronger following the 4/20 Columbine killings; and I believe America is stronger following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Both dates will never be forgotten.

GAP

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If you think about it …

I use that phrase often when I’m coaching sales professionals.  Has “thinking” is becoming a lost art?  I mean in the 21st century, if a prospect or an existing client needs to interact with a sales professional it’s only because Google’s answer wasn’t sufficient, don’t you think?

If we’re meeting with a client or a prospect, something’s up.  Business people are so busy today they don’t take a meeting with a sales rep just to take a meeting.  Instead I think they are thinking about a purchase and would like to get additional thinking from the sales rep to either address unconsidered needs or mitigate the risk of overlooking something in their own thinking.

Let’s think about how you buy something.  Have you recently made a purchase decision online?  Or if you were at a store, did you know what you were looking for?  When was the last time you actually interacted with a sales rep?  And when that interaction occurred, why did it occur?

Today, I think business buyers prefer Do-It-Yourself buying and only choose to work with a sales rep if they can’t “DIY”.  The modern sales rep brings good thinking to the transaction – that’s what the buyer is buying, yes?  “Will it work?”  “Will it work for me?”  “Is this what other companies like mine use?”  “What gotchas haven’t I thought about?”  These are examples of what’s likely on the buyer’s mind when they take a meeting with a sales rep.

But are today’s sales reps ready?  Are we good thinkers?  Thankfully, we can continuously train our thinking skills.  Here’s a quick test from Edward de Bono in his book Lateral Thinking ©:

In a tennis tournament there are one hundred and eleven entrants.  It is a singles knockout tournament and you as secretary have to arrange the matches.  What is the minimum number of matches that would have to be arranged with this number of entrants?

Ok – Go!  How many tennis matches would you have to arrange?  What is the formula you would use to answer this question?  What is your thought process?

Well, de Bono offers us a little thought leadership about thinking “laterally”.  In fact, he describes our thinking options this way:

Vertical thinking is used to dig the same hole deeper.  Lateral thinking is used to dig a hole in a different place.

If we think about it, calculating the number of tennis matches can be done simply and quickly – if we think about the problem differently:

… to work it out one must shift attention from the winners of each match to the losers (in whom no one is usually very interested).  Since there can only be one winner there must be one hundred and ten losers.  Each loser can only lose once so there must be one hundred and ten matches.

Is that how you approached answering the question?  Or was your approach similar to mine?  I started drawing out brackets and then counting matches by bracket – before I gave up that is and just read his answer.

Edward de Bono seems to be a good thinker. And if I was buying something that required a sales rep interaction (vs. a DIY approach), if he was one of the sales reps I met with, I would very likely value his thinking.

In today’s marketplace, I think buyers think all products are alike.  It’s the sales rep that is the best thinker that makes the difference.  What do you think?

GAP

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Crusader …

It’s amazing that the longer I have been in the sales profession, the more, new revelations I discover – about myself!  And just when you’d think I would have everything figured out.  Four decades of experience and I’m still a newbie LoL!

Just this month I came across this quote in LinkedIn:

Don’t ever take a job — join a crusade! Find a cause that you can believe in and give yourself to it completely.

Colleen Barrett, president emerita of Southwest Airlines

Crusader – that hits home!  Now I really feel bad for all the managers in my career I have reported to.  They probably thought they just had another employee on their team.  I bet you managers who are reading this little ditty today have crusaders on your team and you don’t even know it.  It might be easier to manage them if you recognize what you’re dealing with.

Wikipedia offers us this about the Crusades:

The Crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period… Modern historians hold widely varying opinions of the Crusaders. To some, their conduct was incongruous with the stated aims and implied moral authority of the papacy… However, the Crusades had a profound impact on Western civilization… they constituted a wellspring for accounts of heroism, chivalry, and piety that galvanized medieval romance, philosophy, and literature.

“… heroism, chivalry, and piety … romance, philosophy, and literature.”  WOW – Way to go crusaders!

On the other hand, “incongruous conduct” explains a lot.  Conduct at a company as an employee is one thing.  Conduct at that company as a crusader can be something altogether different; something powerful.

Being a crusader is risky.  It can be abused for selfish interests.  It can be manipulative.  It can leave breakage behind.

On the other hand, it can be hard to maintain high energy over the long haul; crusaders must believe in what they’re doing and the company they’re doing it for; their managers and leaders must be worthy of the passion crusaders have for their job.

As for people that reported to me over the years – it seemed for the most part they welcomed my crusade-oriented style.  I’m not saying I expected them to become crusaders.  I’m saying they had a crusader leading their team.  And my poor wife – she is still dealing with it!

Never the less, I believe it’s how you do what you do that matters.  I believe Tom Connellan agrees:

One with passion is better than forty who are merely interested.

When we have passion for what we do, we stand out.  Standing out can be good; it can also be not so good depending on the culture within our company and relationships among our colleagues.  One with passion can sometimes be misunderstood; appear egotistical; self-promoting; disingenuous, true?

Risks aside, if we are going to work for a living I believe we should “play to win”.  I believe Jim Collins found other business leaders who believe this too:

“Look”, she said, “this program will be built on the idea that running is fun, racing is fun, improving is fun, and winning is fun.  If you’re not passionate about what we do here, then go find something else to do.”

It’s all a matter of choice.  We can take a job; be an employee; and go through the motions of doing our jobs.  Or, we can leverage our passion; run, race, improve, and win; and be a crusader at work.  Leaving incongruous conduct behind, of course.

GAP

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Motivation 1, 2, 3 …

I was cataloging quotes recently when I came across notes I made after reading Daniel H. Pink’s book Drive ©.  It has been almost 4 years since I read his book – I guess the reading is the easy part; cataloging quotes for the writing part takes a bit more motivation!

The timing of this activity could not have been better.  Almost 4 years ago, I was in the best frame of mind in memory from a career standpoint.  Energetic, enthusiastic, dare I say “motivated”?  I used to say it took me over 30 years to find the perfect job.

As you know, every company with employees in jobs – directed by managers – defined by leaders – makes changes.  I have written about change-making many times, including this from Ellen Glasgow:

All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.

Now, my company is making changes.  I’m keeping an open mind.  Change can be challenging for leaders; for followers, too.  We have all faced change in our careers, true?  If you’re like me, you know that it’s really not the change that’s the challenge.  It’s envisioning ourselves succeeding in our new role that can test our level of drive.

As I was going through my notebook to update my catalog of quotes I came across Daniel H. Pink’s thoughts about “drive” (ergo the book title).  A few years ago, I would have simply typed my updates and moved on.  Today, I stopped cataloging to reflect; to write.

I particularly enjoyed his breakdown of “motivation” in the business world, which I would paraphrase this way:

Motivation 1.0 was simple – it was based on survival from our primitive ancestors.  No motivation?  No survival.  Simple.

Motivation 2.0 evolved past simple as managers seek to control workers – it was and still is – based on a carrot and stick reward system with carrots or sticks being controlled by the managers to control the workers.

Motivation 3.0 – Solving today’s complex problems requires workers with an inquiring mind and the willingness to experiment one’s way to a fresh solution.

Motivation 1.0 sought survival.  Motivation 2.0 sought compliance.  Motivation 3.0 seeks engagement.

Daniel H. Pink

Maybe Motivation 3.0 is on the horizon; maybe it is being adopted in today’s workplace – Lord knows the term “employee engagement” gets lots of play.  But is it truly replacing the carrot and stick system that ultimately maintains compliance?  I’m not sure.

Daniel H. Pink illustrates Motivation 3.0 this way:

 

Imagine a manager or a leader managing or leading workers who seek “Autonomy”.  Imagine workers pursuing “Mastery” autonomously.  Imagine leaders, managers and workers collectively aligned with a common “Purpose”.  That would make one powerful company!

Yet companies are not static entities.  Times change and during periods of change I believe Motivation 3.0 intentions can be weakened from the gravitational pull towards enforcing compliance.  Control over workers using those darn carrots and sticks keeps reappearing.  And when control becomes the preferred management method, Motivation 1.0 rears its head, too.  That’s when employees say “yes” not because they are motivated in a positive sense.  Those “yeses” are pure survival oriented.

Motivation 3.0 is hard to attain and maintain.  But the combination of Autonomy + Mastery + Purpose is powerful.

During times of change we can sometimes lose our focus; lose our drive.  However, Motivation 3.0 is the place to be for the modern workforce.  And I believe we can all get there despite the occasional sighting of those old carrots and sticks.

GAP

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Obliviousness …

I suffer from this affliction; drives my wife crazy!  It generally happens when I’m watching TV, or as she describes it, I become the TV.  Now that football season is here, I probably won’t be “fully present” until March of 2019.

When you Google obliviousness, the worldwide interweb says it means:

unmindful; unconscious; unaware

Easy for the machines to say – they might just be the root cause of this common condition among us humans, true?  I mean, putting in ear buds and relaxing with our favorite internet music to decompress from the day’s trials and tribulations is one thing.  Texting on our smart phones while weaving through congested traffic on our way to work is something totally different.  The former is a conscious act of seeking unconsciousness to relieve stress.  The latter is an unmindful act of seeking death and destruction.

OK, OK, I suppose those texters are not truly seeking death and destruction – that’s just the potential result of their machine-induced, obliviousness, don’t you think?  I mean study after study is showing we are becoming addicted to our cellular devices – my wife would say we are becoming our cellular devices!

Let’s face it – obliviousness is growing like a weed.  But to be fair, it is not reflective of our true nature.  It simply shows how unaware we can (and are) becoming.  Take for instance my friend who is a flight attendant.  She told me about this incident that another flight attendant colleague of hers witnessed:

A flight attendant was responding to a medical emergency in flight.  A passenger was found not breathing and had no pulse. As her crewmates were preparing the AED (automated external defibrillator) and on the public address system, asking if there were any doctors on-board; a first class passenger pulled off her head phones for a moment not observing the commotion going on behind her to ask, “What about my hot tea”?  Without missing a beat the flight attendant replied, “Just let me get everyone breathing first”.

Monica

I’d say that first class passenger was suffering from an acute case of obliviousness, wouldn’t you?

With today’s modern technology accouterments, it is almost like we are becoming hermits.  Almost.  BTW, if you check a thesaurus on the word accouterments, you’ll find “trappings”. I digress – but the machines made me do it!

According to the Merriam-Webster.com dictionary (See, I’m also online while I’m writing this little ditty.  At least I’m not behind the wheel weaving in and out of traffic on the highway!) the word hermit means:

one that retires from society and lives in solitude especially for religious reasons: recluse

The online dictionary even goes on to offer “Recent examples of hermit from the Web” and this link: Why Digital Detox Won’t Solve All Your Problems.  I guess even Bloomberg is acknowledging the state of our obliviousness and offering suggestions favoring moderation.

I don’t think our technology-driven, hermit-like behavior is based on religious reasons, do you?  Although I suppose some might believe God is found on the internet.  I certainly hope we’re not all becoming digital hermits; recluses; uncaring toward our family, friends and neighbors.  I think we’re just suffering from a case of obliviousness.  We’re not using our devices these days; we’re becoming our devices!

I don’t know of a good remedy mind you.  You could consult the Google machine but I doubt we can count on those darn machines to help us stay away from those darn machines.  They probably believe they’re on a mission from God.

GAP

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