Listening & Your Intention.

One of the most underrated skills in the world is listening.  Great listeners are hard to find.  Many people don’t listen at all, let alone a little.

I recently discovered one of the secrets to truly great listening.

I am lucky to be involved with a company that is doing extensive amounts of recruiting and hiring and coming across many exceptional people with great ideas.  One of those recruits recently posed a great question when talking about listening and it really resonated with me.  He asked about another person saying “Are they just listening to respond, or are they listening to understand?”


That’s some deep stuff.   “Are they just listening to respond, or are they listening to understand?”  And now that you have read that quote (twice), how many people come to mind (in both categories)?  There’s more in the “listening to respond” category for sure, right?  Most everyone you know?  It’s so tempting to listen to respond but it’s not really where the deep stuff lies.  The high order bit is to listen to understand.  It became very clear to me that it is so common to just be listening to respond.

To be fair, it’s quite hard to listen to understand every single time, but I challenge you to try it, and encourage others to do the same. When I heard this question that was posed, I wondered how many times I’ve failed to be a great listener myself. I’m a busy guy, it happens…but we’re all busy (blog on this coming). I actually took pause to think about it. It’s an ugly trait to be a listener who fails to understand ever. So don’t be one.

Listen to understand.

What a difference.  And what a tip.

Incorporate it into your arsenal today.  Will make you better for sure.


I’m working on getting people to make the switch

Attention all people in their 20s…no forget that…attention everyone.  I have some really great info you will like.  So let’s set it up.

As I started the year, I spent a lot of time thinking about my own standard of excellence.  And my man Nick Saban had described in an interview that he thought one of the distinguishing factors of Alabama’s consistency in football…..was the very HIGH STANDARD of excellence that they hold themselves to.  Really got me thinking.   I needed to raise mine.  In everything I do.  Think about it.  It becomes a total COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE to raise your own STANDARD of good (if you are willing to be patient as you work your ass off to get there).  It separates you from the competition if you are really looking to succeed in whatever floats your boat.  It creates a gap for you vs. others trying to do same.  It becomes a bigger marker you are chasing.  Having a HIGH HIGH standard of excellence creates separation.  This is THE GAP.  It’s especially important if you want to do big things.

Blend with that a new concept I have been thinking a lot about.    You don’t do big things by falling in love with the RESULT of what success will get you.  Yea we all like to watch the Kardashian’s and look at this bullshit on Instagram of flashy cars, big money, people acting and seeming like they have more than they do etc etc…….but that’s a false reality and that focus creates a distortion of what’s critical to get wherever you want to go.  You wanna be rich?  You want to shoot lower golf scores?  You want to be a great parent?  Maybe you want to build a big ass business?   The real way to achieve big things………fall in love with THE PROCESS to get there.   The long, arduous painful process.   The battle-scars, the messy truth, the hours on the putting green……..think about it.  If you fall in love with buying discount clothes on the way to your dream, if you fall in love with piling 4 people into a one person office on your way to doing big things…….then you are on to something.  Put the mile markers way out in the future.  And fall in love with what no one wants to focus on ……….the very difficult and long process to get there.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Now for the purposes of this week’s blog we are going to define “being successful” as doing something extraordinary that most don’t or can’t do.  Yes there are lots of ways to “succeed” but for this week we are talking about people with big dreams that are extraordinary……ok let’s carry on.

Most people quit on their way to their dreams.  And they quit because they don’t fall in love with how tough it is.  Hitting dreams and goals is tough.  You can have people fool you and tell you it’s not, but it is.  Most people aren’t willing to put in what it takes because they don’t tell themselves the truth about what it really is.   And they chase results.   Don’t chase the results.  Fall in love with the set backs.  Fall in love with all the crap you gotta do to “get there”.  Make it fun.  Cause there is no bigger differentiator I have ever heard of than a person that “likes some aggravation”.  Don’t fall in love with the riches you want 24 months from now cause I’ve never known anyone that got anything worthwhile in that short of a period of time.   It doesn’t happen that way.

It’s very clear that what you focus on is critical to your overall success.  The guy who is constantly frustrated with what it takes to “get there”, is never gonna “get there”.  The gal who focuses on all the things her friends have that she doesn’t, doesn’t get it.

Spend all your waking hours falling in love with the process of being successful, and you will have successfully made “the switch”.

Most “successful people” I know, loved the grind of getting there.   They were workers with a future goal in mind but “what they were gonna get” wasn’t what they were focused on.  They were focused on “what they needed to do to get there”.

In my experience, those that don’t hit their full potential, don’t want it to be what it is.  The fact is that “being successful” in an unusual way is really hard.  And you have to have patience and work really hard to get there.    Have patience for the results and go hard after what you want.  And love the journey.

Make the switch.  You’ll be glad you did