Monday, January 25, 2021

Are You On Lock Down?

You can tell from my profile I work in the world of talent management. You know, the talent management that helps companies find, cultivate and keep their best.

At least that that’s what most companies say they want. There is a lot of lip service in the world of talent management. I have lots to say about that — but that’s for another day.

Today I want to focus on your talent as the reader. Do you think you have any? What are you doing with what you have? Are you acting as your own talent manager?

In answer to the last question, here’s what I’ve discovered about most people — they aren’t. In fact most people I know are on lock down.

I discovered this when I started conducting creative and innovative thinking workshops through-out North America. For some 15 years, workshop after workshop, I discovered how most people are not only on lock down, many are shut down — emotionally, mentally, spiritually and even physically.

My findings: The most unique and interesting parts of ourselves, where the essence of talent resides, is on lock down.

My workshops seek to “loosen” people up, to unlock what’s been locked up — for years, probably since childhood. That’s when the jail cell door had not yet been closed, but started to. And for many, the key was thrown away.

I help people find the key, unlock the cell and gently, safely coax them out — freeing the essence of their uniqueness to blossom into full uninhibited expression like a flower softly unfolding as it’s enveloped in soothing, nurturing rays of sunlight.

I help people free themselves from lock down. It’s a pervasive syndrome in our society.

In my work, I’ve discovered the primary reason for lock down is fear of disapproval; because for many the core of who they are is so dissimilar to their surroundings and therefore not good, useful or needed. At least, that’s what they’ve been conditioned to believe.

You see, it all began when you where young…when you started to become aware of yourself in relation to the people around you — and they became aware of you.

In the beginning, you were….well …you.

But people began reacting and responding to you — giving you information about yourself in relation to them. Whatever information you received — you received and with nothing to compare it to, you took it as only you could — truth… and not knowing any better… it became your truth.

Life continued to happen and all experiences were filtered through that truth…and you adjusted accordingly. Those adjustments continued to lock you into place and that became the you — the you presented to the world.

Not necessarily the “inside you” mind you, but the approved, adjusted you. The you that conformed to those early accepted truths, whether they were true or not. The lock down had begun…and it continued.

Until one day you sat in a class or a meeting and you were asked to express yourself — to have a voice, to share your perspective, to make an authentic and original statement. “Come on,” someone encouragingly prodded, “we need some creative ideas — we need your creative ideas.”

If you were in my workshop, that would be me advocating for your release, hoping to free you from years of confinement knowing that I don’t have the key, but helping you find your key. You see, you’ve had it all along.

Here would be my message — unlock yourself. “With what key?”, you ask. The key of self acceptance — all of yourself, exactly yourself. We all are on a journey of self acceptance and self discovery — whether we’re aware of it or not. Life presents us this free opportunity. Are we using it?

Here’s the dilemma. That journey intersections with the compelling need for creative thinking and innovation and our personal and societal struggle with differences and diversity.

On one hand we say, “Be different, we need different, we celebrate different, we’re desperate for different. Different will make us more money, will solve our problems, cure our human ills.”

On the other hand, we think and feel, “Wait a minute, your different is making me feel uncomfortable. Your different is strange to me. I’m not sure we want your different. I prefer comfort over different. Can you be sorta different, but still mostly be like us?”

In essence what they really want…is for you to stay on lock down. But you say, “Oh no I won’t!”

I say give them what they need — they need the fully free, real you —though they may not know it and for many they don’t.

Don’t let them stop you! You grab that key, unlock your cell, discover and dust off the barely recognizable parts of you and begin to tune in, so you can turn on and tune up all that talent, so that ultimately you can turn out all of you and the best of you!

“Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, you’re free at last.” Now that is true talent management!


Founder, JCS Business Advisors | helping leaders develop their human quotient (HQ) so they can build businesses that thrive | Top 100 HR & Mgt, experts

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

My Advice During Covid - Hang On To What's Certain

There is nothing new under the sun...ever heard that phrase. It from a biblical passage, Ecc. 1:9.

Well, in the time of Covid, you might be that true now? These are unpresedented times. We're entering into a new normal (not a fan of that phrase)...but ok, yes things are definitely unsettling and uncertain. And, some elements of life may permanently change...or not. We'll see.

However, there are some very human, historical and universal truths that are settled, certain and will remain unchanged.

While we get tossed about by how we and others are describing this current experience, as someone who lives in the realm of human behavior in life and business, I can say - and I hope this is encouraging- there some things...and I dare say the most important things... that have not changed and will not change.

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Friday, March 27, 2020

2 NonNegotiable Fundamentals of Business Building You Absolutely Can't Avoid

There is so much noise in the world of leadership and management today. Go on LinkedIn and just see the breath of information in your feed - kinda makes my head hurt. There's so much discussion about what leaders should be doing, what makes a great leader, etc. Do a search on Amazon or Google about leadership and management and millions of results are revealed.

One thing for sure, if you are a senior leader or one that owns a business, there are certain fundamentals you must have in place - above all others. And yet, so many other things are discussed - I call them shiny objects - don't actively advocate and address these fundamentals.

Two in particular are these:

1. If you want to grow a business, you must have a reliable, effective management team.
2. You are the cornerstone of your business, business unit or department.

What's A Cornerstone

My husband is in construction. He has built many a building in his career from a small home to a skyscraper. One building essential every one of them needed was a cornerstone. What is it?

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