Name: Micah Hammond
Years in Business: About 9
Family Info: Large
Hobbies: Construction of amazing contraptions from duct tape, cardboard, and other household items
Activities of Interest: Legos, Video Games, Mine Craft, anything with Video
Burning desire: To become King/Ruler/Emperor
Something no one knows about me: Has an amazing tender heart
Keys to Success: Total, absolute creativity—-Is able to move on after blowing up
Your Narrative—In Business and Life
“Assumption the Mother of all Screw ups.”
– Line in the movie “Under Siege 2—Dark Territory”
Everyone has a narrative in their life. It’s how we explain life, people, business, relationships, and more. It’s the story we tell ourselves about others–their motivation and attitude–it’s our way of explaining how people, business, and life operate.
The problem with our negative narratives is that we’re often dead wrong in the way we perceive people, organizations, and circumstances. This could not be truer than in business and the marketplace. In business, it is imperative we be accurate in our assessment of reality.
Relate this to customers, stake holders, competition and the marketplace at large–with this wrong “reading” of we end up misjudging, miscalculating, and completely misunderstanding an entire situation– possibly even an entire relationship. The fundamental problem with our own “self-narration” is that it often leads to poor action, responses, and results. This can lead to loss, bankruptcy, broken relationships and companies—not to mention business competitiveness.
Negative business narration has two directions it can go.
Internal negative narrative—this type of negative business narrative tends toward our own self-justification and judgment of other’s internal drives. This is where we find it easy to presume we know the inner workings of other’s motivations, attitudes, and how they think. Here, we find it easy to vilify others and justify ourselves. This is a narrative in which we can never see ourselves as wrong. When we vilify others we excuse ourselves. The phrase that is used is “excuse and accuse”. When we excuse ourselves and accuse others, we have no grounds for personal responsibility. Poor decisions are made when our internal narration of others runs askew. We are on shaky ground when we presume to judge the motivation and intention of others.
External negative narrative is where we read just the external circumstances and draw our (often incorrect) conclusions. This is based on what we can perceive only externally. Here, mistakes in good judgment happen and the results are usually disastrous. We have poor information which leads to bad interpretation and then we make poor decisions. When we have bad data we make bad decisions leading to poor outcomes. Enough said: Garbage in=Garbage out.
Assumption is the fuel of the negative narrative paradigm. It is based primarily on guess work. We all know what assumption means! When we assume and presume that we know more about others and how their circumstances “seem”–we are on shaky ground.
This assumption and vilification based in narrative negativity will result often in a life cut off and sequestered from others. This bitter “Lone Ranger Mentality” rules the day in many leaders, cultures, and managers. This kind of leadership is, frankly, frightening. One thinks of Hitler and others in history and shudders at the thought of the negative narrative drawn out to its logical and frightening conclusion.
So, what are the solutions?
1. Have openness about life, people, and relationships –Know that we have little or no control over others. We have, at best, incomplete information about others and no real way to know it all. What we really need is a new narration–the ability to be open and not get into the temptation to tell a story about others when we really don’t know all the facts. How can we possibly know the whole story about someone or the situation or how they got “there”? Be all about getting good, solid facts first!
2. Be a Person of Possibility– this starts with believing the human condition can improve, learn and evolve. We can learn to grow and actualize and enlighten personally, spiritually, and mentally. This is not an easy task—but we actually can get better! We can learn, grow, and leverage our strengths and weaknesses! Give others the benefit of the doubt. Stop the temptation to be judge and jury—give others the benefit of the doubt. Trust some folks and their good intent. Take (wise) risks in believing in people. You’ll be surprised how trusting someone can really result in some positive outcome and benefits. People thrive in a culture and atmosphere of genuine trust. Trust me…!
3. Have Trusted Advisors—Stay close and value people in your life who are not afraid to push back when you begin negative narration. Have business friends who will challenge your dominant paradigm. Give them freedom to ask you hard questions and to question your judgment and ways of seeing things. This relationship takes time, trust, and relationship building.
4. Catch yourself. When you begin to mentally “go” negative—notice it and stop it. Get into the habit of stopping your own negativity and replace it with something more positive! Tell a new story or simply resist the tendency to tell any narrative at all. Be in the moment with people and be free to just experience them as they are. This truth can open the door to unknown and limitless possibility in life, business, and culture. Now go and re-tell your story today….
Open letter to God
Number one. Help me to stop my negative narrative both verbal and mental that makes me become a “Debbie Downer”. Please replace this negativity with a grateful heart. May I count my blessings-daily.
Number two. Help me to not always have to be right and correct and perfect. Please break me of the habit of thinking I need to be correct all the time. Help me to give others the benefit of the doubt. Help me to give others Grace– as I need it as well.
Number three. God, please help me to not rationalize my own narrative. Help not to always “buy” my own story, perspective, and narrative. Please help me realize that others have their own truth and are seeking their own answers in the way they know best. Teach me to see that my narrative is not always the correct for them. How can I know about their lives unless I walk in their shoes? Teach me empathy and compassion.
Number four. Help me to forgive. Help me to not to carry around meanness– but rather kindness and forgiveness. Help me to see unkindness and a critical spirit as the cancer of the spirit that they really are. Help me freely forgive those who have harmed me. Help me to be open to how a relationship can actually grow after there is forgiveness. Teach me to forgive as I have been forgiven.
Number five. Help me Lord to lose my universal expectation of you and others–how not to always expect perfection of myself or others. Help me to not always expect to be served. Help me to see that I cannot always expect that my way is the best way. Help me not to expect MY best outcome all the time.
Number six. Help me to not always rationalize my correctness. Grant me the ability to understand that I can’t possibly always be right, be correct, or know it all. Help me be an open and a lifelong learner. Help me see that I don’t have all the information. Help me to understand that you always add more information to the narratives that are true about life, people, and me. May I withhold judgment.
Help me for I am blind. I get blind to the way I relate to people and my own thinking and practices. Forgive and help me to not be mean, or shortsighted or belligerent with those around me. Help me to practice kindness and love for others as you do with me.
Father, take my heart and make it right. I can only throw myself on the throne of grace and there is nothing that merits me to you but your Son. Please make me in His image as you see fit. Help me to freely give myself to you moment by moment so that I can become loving man that you want. Teach me and help me to be thankful. Please write for me the narrative of my life according to the story that you want told. I love you. In Jesus name, let it be so amen.
7 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT BUSINESS FROM RON PILEGGI
I met Ron Pileggi in 1983 when he hired me as an ad sales rep for the Tri-City weekly paper in Eureka. He struck me as an entrepreneurial visionary with a plan and a mission to change the community in a positive way via business. As owner and the founding architect of the Tri-City weekly newspaper, Ron modeled good business acumen. He showed me and each of us how to conduct business in a process that really valued people first. Here are the seven lessons he taught me and still teaches me today.
- Rule number one– People come first. People, relationships, and friendships are everything in business and in life. As the owner/operator of the Tri City, he modeled real care for employees, clients, vendors, people in his industry and beyond. Client relationships and personal care of others was at the forefront of everything Ron practiced in his business.
- Rule number two –Client relationships are invaluable, as Ron demonstrated in his actions and policies. He said that good leadership is all about being a good servant. He taught that good service sets the stage for good customer loyalty and customer relations. If you serve your clients and take good care of them–they will take care of you as well. Customers vote in dollars and purchasing. People really do buy from people they know, like, and trust. One thing he told us is to go out and make friendships–then people will naturally buy from you.
- Rule number three– Turn off the lights. He often told me if you want to be a manager you must act like a manager and be a great steward of your business. He challenged me to personally take good care of the resources entrusted to me. Things such as time, energy, and other resources were looked at in a new light. This taught me that I need to take ownership of all I do at work.
- Rule number four—Speech is powerful. Ron often stated that the power of your words is everything. When words are spoken with clarity and sincerity, people are really affected by what we say. He stated this in the context of selling but also in real life. When we say what we mean, and mean what we say–we are often unstoppable in business and in life. He taught me about the power of words and I’ve never forgotten this lesson.
- Rule number five—Be involved in your community; participate readily and joyfully. Ron modeled good community involvement in CASA and in Rotary and more. He was always the guy to say “yes” to someone with a good cause. He may not have been involved directly, but he gave freely of his resources. His involvement with the community modeled what we all need to do—to be involved with causes that we resonate with and are most passionate about. Find your cause or your passion, and then plug in your gifts and experiences and resources. You will add to the greater good in your community and beyond.
- Rule number six–Think creatively and out-of-the-box at all times. This means not only with business and selling, but also in the ways that help real live people. Be willing to bend or even break the rules as necessary and as it makes sense to benefit the greater good. “Be entrepreneurial in your problem solving”, he would challenge. He taught how to think creatively with regard to business problem solving and helping customers meet their needs. He often showed us and told us that if we meet others’ needs, they will meet ours as well. If you help enough people get what they need, they will help you do the same.
- Rule number seven–Be generous and celebrate people. His (in) famous Christmas parties displayed a great generosity and were always “over the top” in showing his appreciation for his staff. Ron would gladly put on the most extravagant party–even for an outgoing employee. He didn’t know selfishness. My father, Bob Hammond, called him “a prince of a man” in that he was always very generous with his employees, clients, and his community. We all were the better for that–so was he.
In summary, Ron was human. He had his moments like each of us. The one thing he did was to model a whole business person. He cared for others and was profitable at the same time. He found that balance between profitability and success and taking care of other’s needs; Ron was able to do both in splendid fashion. He left an indelible mark and positive legacy on this community for over 30 years and still does to this day. It is a pleasure and a privilege to know a saint and a friend in the caliber of a Ron Pileggi. If you ever have the opportunity to work for an owner-operator-entrepreneur of this magnitude, you will agree that it is an awesome and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and experience. Thanks, Ronnie.
Life is a game with a glorious prize,
If we can only play it right.
It is give and take, build and break,And often it ends in a fight;
But he surely wins who honestly tries
(Regardless of wealth or fame),
He can never despair who plays it fair
How are you playing the game?
Do you wilt and whine, if you fail to win
In the manner you think your due?
Do you sneer at the man in case that he can
And does, do better than you?
Do you take your rebuffs with a knowing grin?
Do you laugh tho’ you pull up lame?
Does your faith hold true when the whole world’s blue?
How are you playing the game?
Get into the thick of it – wade in, boys!
Whatever your cherished goal;
Brace up your will till your pulses thrill,
And you dare to your very soul!
Do something more than make a noise;
Let your purpose leap into flame
As you plunge with a cry, “I shall do or die,”
Then you will be playing the game.
“80% of life is showing up.”
I was sitting with my friend at a recent networking meeting. As I was speaking to her, I realized how far she’s come in learning how to network, speak, and connect with people. She had developed her people skills and had really become rather professionally transformed. She had “bloomed” and come in to her own. She came from being a “wallflower” to become a gnarly networker–in a short period of time.
Let’s explore about how folks like you and I can become great networkers, speakers, marketers, and communicators. How do people go from good to great—often in short order? I have seen many people come into “bloom” and come to connect to their own experiences, gifts, and skills in their midlife. Many folks actually come into their “professional prime” rather late in midlife. Their talents were always there—just latent and waiting for the right conditions. It’s amazing to see others come into their own as they exercise their gifts, experiences, and talents to communicate freely with others. They basically find their “voice” and a new ability to joyfully participate in (professional and business) life. They bloom.
An example of this is my friend, referenced earlier, who was rather shy. Her background was not in business and she had very little business acumen. With application and time and work– she became a very proficient networker, speaker, and communicator. She had really “bloomed”. She applied herself and went out into the world and made herself learn to deal with, relate to, and even love people and become a proficient speaker, marketer, and “gnarly networker”. She is now rather fearless when it comes to groups, meetings, and even direct selling.
This “blooming” is much like akin to a flower; in their infancy they are small buds. Flowers, like folks, when they’re given their correct growing conditions, they bloom—often magnificently. When the rosebud is small and insignificant it has very little beauty and no scent. They’re actually thorny and not much fun to deal with. When it’s given the opportunity to develop, a rose in full bloom is the pinnacle of God’s creation. They’re lovely, smell great, and beautify any landscape or room. In like manner, when people encounter a midlife “bloom” –they often beautify the world with their gifts and “fragrance.” They may even smell and look better!
We actually have the ability to set the stage for our own professional and personal growth. We can set it up to bloom professionally and more brilliantly. With fertilization, light, correct nutrients and with the right location– a flower– or a person– can be magnificent in short order. Kind of like my friend–she put herself in a position to grow personally and saw the results rather quickly. In the same way, you and I can set the stage for growth. Know what you want. Show up. Be present. Help others. Serve. Be kind…
A lot of blooming is being exposed-being in the light. Being out there and exposed to the elements and to the nutrients needed to develop our “inner bloom.” We can actually grow quickly and more profoundly if we do it with intentionality. What is it take to be intentional? It takes a goal and focus and execution. It takes time management– it takes work and effort. Much of it is simply showing up and being relational. Zig Ziglar says it well—“You must circulate to percolate.”
Much of life is figuring out what it means to come into our own. How do you develop those in to your gifts and other skill sets that lie dormant in your life? Part of the answer lies in your DESIRE to grow and to expand and learn. Come out of your comfort zone. If you’re willing, then sometimes the execution of the necessary effort becomes rather easy. It’s often at that point that we can grow and come into our own and become of use to others.
This notion of being of use to others is the primary motivation. How can you and I be of use to our family, our community, and our world? The answer is coming to your own and finding the next level of “best”, going from good to great and then “blooming.” Be willing to pay the price and do what’s necessary and let nothing hold you back from becoming all you can be. Come into your own today. We have been waiting for you a long time. Be like that flower that comes out of the bud phase of their life into full fruition. This fruition gives life, color, smell, and sensory benefit all that experience it. Be that open flower today. Go out and set the stage then bloom in all your brilliance and glory!
For every man who has ever been scolded by his wife for encouraging a child to “run faster” or “swing higher” or “try harder,” or who has been admonished for teaching them to make mouth, hand or armpit fart noises, I salute you.
Mothers are excellent at nurturing children. Fathers are good at riling them up before bedtime and testing their physical limits. We show kids how to cannonball into swimming pools, skateboard down steep hills and jump BMX bikes over poorly constructed plywood platforms.
We also instruct them in the fine art of belching, breaking wind, turning random objects into guns and lightsabers, toilet “pee-sword fighting,” and other uncouth behavior. We have to do this. It’s our job.
Moms and dads have different parenting styles. Moms comfort kids when they’re feeling down. They encourage them to discuss their problems. Dads teach them to look for a solution and move on. We wrestle our kids to the floor and tickle them and until they forget what they were depressed about. Moms express their disapproval with a tsk-tsk sound and accuse us of acting like children.
We take that as a compliment.
For decades it was assumed that the mother-child relationship was the most important one in a kid’s life. Within the last several decades, however, psychologists have realized just how much fathers matter. Raising kids is about balance. Moms are great caretakers. Dads have a more relaxed attitude toward parenting. Together, they form the perfect unit. When a child comes home crying with a scraped elbow, mom will console them with tender words. Dad will distract them by saying “Just walk it off” or “That’ll feel better once it stops hurting.”
If someone gets stuck on a homework problem, it’s usually mom who offers assistance. Dad will glance around the edge of his newspaper and shout “For God’s sake, give it another try.” When there’s a tantrum, mothers do their best to reason with a child. Fathers correct the problem with a stern glare and a threat to “jerk a knot in somebody’s tail.”
Fathers serve another important purpose. They give kids a realistic look into the male world. Girls learn from their dads how men should act toward women. Boys learn how to control their anger and deal with their masculinity in positive ways.
Kids learn lots of other cool stuff from their fathers, like not to bully or be bullied, and how to maintain a healthy balance between timidity and aggression. Dads roughhouse with their children in order to show them that kicking, scratching and biting are wrong. Kids learn self-control when a father says “Now, enough is enough,” and “Take that noise down a notch.”
In other words, moms protect children and dads give them self-confidence. We throw our kids into the air amid shouts of “Not so high.” We bounce them on the bed and mothers cry “Someone’s going to get hurt doing that.” Men know that cuts and scrapes are part of life. Women know to stock up on the bandages and antibiotic cream. Either of these parenting styles by themselves might spell disaster. Together, they keep kids safe while increasing their self-reliance.
One of my favorite confidence building moments as a father took place when my three-year-old son, Tyler, was learning to ride his bike. The training wheels were off, his helmet was on and he was ready to face the big challenge … . Well, almost.
”Dad,” he called out nervously, “Do I have to do this?”
”Of course you do,” I replied. “This is the only day of the year zombies allow three-year-olds to ride their bikes without training wheels. I saw it on the news.”
”But I’m scared,” he said.
”Just keep your wits about you and stay balanced.”
Tyler tightened the chin strap on his helmet and sighed. “Okay, I guess I’m ready.”
I gave him a push and he was off. A few yards down the street his bike hit the curb. Tyler fell to the pavement and scraped his knee.
”Dad, I hurt myself,” he cried.
”Naw, you’re just shedding worn skin” I said, applying a Band-Aid to the wound. “Keep it up. You’re doing great.”
And so it continued. There were a few more crashes that afternoon, and several more Band-Aids, but Tyler hung in there. At one point his mother stepped outside and shouted, “Don’t you think he’s had enough for one day?”
”We can’t give up now,” I hollered back. “He’s almost got it.”
On the next try Tyler kept his balance for a second or two longer. Then he was on his way, wobbling down the street on two wheels. I can still call up that old memory as if it was yesterday. It was every father’s Hallmark moment.
”You did great, son,” I told him when he pulled to a stop. “Now, let’s head inside. Your mom needs a hug.”
Tim Martin resides in McKinleyville.
|Dale Carnegie who wrote the book, “How to win friends and influence people” shared how he won a major sale by making himself memorable in a positive way. While sitting at dinner he started talking with a gentleman at his table. The man at his table spoke for four hours while only allowing Dale Carnegie the opportunity to speak for only about two minutes. After four hours the man stated to everyone, “Dale Carnegie is the best conversationalist I’ve ever met”. By being an active listener Dale Carnegie was not only portrayed as a great conversationalist, but the man instantly took a liking to Dale Carnegie. Since Dale was interested in him he was interested in Dale and later he provided Dale Carnegie with a great sales opportunity.By following the guidelines below, you’ll stand out in the crowd and make yourself more memorable to everyone you meet.
See Article link on “How to Avoid Connection Crushers”
“If you’re in business for just the money—you’re about half paid.”
R.L. Hammond (1921-2004)
My dad was an insurance agent in San Diego County in the 1970-80’s. He lived a life of serving others and his country in WWII. He taught and tutored me in much of what I know and do in business today.
The following practices/ideas of his are sure to ratchet up your business acumen:
- BE KIND TO EVERYONE—“It doesn’t cost anything to show kindness to others, Scott,” he would say. Be nice. Play nice. A smile and a small kindness go a long way.
- HAVE A FIRM HANDSHAKE/SHAKE HANDS AND GREET PEOPLE- People love to feel important (because they are!). An appropriate handshake and a greeting really affirm others and establishes rapport-quickly. Give the gift of appropriate touch.
- TELL GREAT STORIES—People live in stories…We all relate to a good tale and learn more from a compelling story than a lecture. Stories bring relevance to our topic and to our relationships.
- BE A GOOD LISTENER—This tells people you affirm them and value them. Empathy is a powerful relationship builder and establishes credibility, reliability, and shows you really care.
- BE AN ABOVE AVERAGE SPEAKER—Learn the art of public speaking. Good speakers know how and what to communicate and when. You can learn to speak well if you apply yourself to the disciplines and use the tools available to you. “Go to a Toastmaster Meeting”, he would tell me.
- HAVE AN AWESOME SENSE OF HUMOR—Laugh sometimes. Have fun with people and stop the somberness that permeates some business cultures. Be appropriately playful with people who like to play and laugh, and cultivate the ability to really laugh at life.
- DEVELOP LIFELONG RELATIONSHIPS—Be the person who reaches out and calls and takes the initiative in your relationships. Be that person who spends the time and effort to get to know and serve others. Givers really do gain!
- GIVE ENCOURAGEMENT…FREELY—Be that person who can freely affirm, encourage, and genuinely build others up in a truly authentic fashion. Heck—tell those you love how you feel.
- BE A GIVER—Share your life, world, resources, experiences, gifts, and time as freely as you feel able and willing. Be that person who “walks the talk” in your actions and your words. Give to others expecting nothing in return—you will be blessed.
- BE SPECTACULAR ON THE PHONE—Learn to use the phone like no one else. Make purposeful and powerful calls that build rapport and relationship. Learn to network using the phone to make great calls and reach out to those you hope to build alliances with. Know how to relate to people via the phone on a regular basis.
10.5. BE YOU—Just be yourself not a second rate version of someone else. Trust yourself, be yourself and others will resonate with the “authentic you”. There is only one of YOU—be the best you possible and you will succeed in life, business, and awesome relationships!
Nice email from a new friend who liked the Every Day Dad book….
So glad to finally have your book in hand. I feel like I need to take a week and outline everything that is challenging me in the book and create a game plan to devourer the time-wasters and grow in vision for my life and my lil’ babes.
I seriously love the book…I felt like it would be something I would immediately do with a bunch of dudes from my Church, but for now I totally can tell the medicine is for me in a “now” sorta way. This is seriously an amazing 3-in-1. Your book is a true gift; thanks for paying the price to serve this!
So I hope to give you updates as I grow in this, but as of now I feel a bit plowed over with everything the Lord is putting on my plate…I need help! Would you be willing to send me the Personal Strategic Planner you mentioned in the book? I would so appreciate it. I would also love a chance to ring you and get some leverage on this planning puppy…I know we’re basically BBF’s so this wouldn’t be any trouble, and if it sucks for you I can surely figure this thang out.
Thanks for being such an awesome light and providing barring for me: You Rock!”