Communicating to Win: I Noticed You Weren’t Wearing Any Underwear

CWR Sage Sporty King, ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

Communicating to Win:  I Noticed You Weren’t Wearing Any Underwear

Sporty King,  ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

Sporty King, ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

Oh, there were plenty of other people in the room to talk to

And plenty of things to look at,

But your eyes held my attention.

Well, not the whole time. . .

 

There were times where you looked away

And I thought about nibbling your toes

Or fingertips or neck to get your attention. . .

 

Sure, I considered picking you up,

But I noticed you weren’t wearing any underwear.

And I knew you were oblivious to the breeze that kept blowing,

So I thought it best to join everybody else in the waiting game

Of when someone would come over, and change your diaper

 

Copyright 1995 Sporty King

 

 

Yes, it’s a baby on a table. And isn’t that a wonderfully innocent poem. I use this poem to show how often it is our perception of things that degrade or promote the way we look at life. The principle behind this poem is called Sportyism #2 (one I always told my sales staff), “Listen to the paragraph, not the sentence. When we open our minds to absorb ideas in their entirety we put ourselves in a better position to communicate and be communicated to. And isn’t that all we want sometimes — is to be understood? Let’s allow people to finish what they’re saying before we judge the content of what they’re saying.”

 

How often have you jumped to conclusions about what you thought someone was saying? So often we don’t realize that the #1 communication skill is listening… not speaking. In fact many people live by the credo: He who speaks the most, loses. Yes, you can talk yourself right out of a blessing. Whereas, when you listen, you can find ways to forge partnerships that may value you as a resource. In these days and times, ‘getting your foot in the door’ does not mean ‘wandering around and hoping things fall into place for you.’ Instead, it means bringing knowledge that fulfilled an immediate need, with the expectation that there would be more forthcoming.

 

Meanwhile, the communication process has three stumbling blocks:

 

Semantics – the specific words people use get them in trouble

Inference – when a person makes a wrong assumption about what is being communicated

Perception – what is conveyed and what a person’s view of reality is, are sometimes different

 

In retrospect, if you evaluate any argument you’ve had, you should be able to find that one of the above communication breakdowns fueled the fire. What we must do to rid our lives of these breakdowns is become better listeners. Here’s the formula… and you’ll find it easiest to remember by thinking of how you sometimes scream to get someone’s attention: “Hey you! Hey… Hey!” (only spelled A.U.A.A.).

 

Attention – the individual must stop what he or she is doing and direct attention to the speaker. The other things the listener has on his/her mind constitute what is called “message competition.” In order to get the person’s attention, this competition must be overcome.

 

Understanding – even when the individual pays attention there is the likelihood that he/she will not know what is being communicated. So often we will ask someone “Do you understand what I have just said?” Instead, we should ask “What have I just told you?” Sometimes, when we’re asked to do something, it pays to ask “Am I clear in understanding that you want…?”

 

Acceptance & Action – some people understand the message but are not willing to go along with it. Meanwhile, the communication process does not end until the message is carried out as expected.

 

We live in a world in which we are not always going to be heard. That’s why it’s increasingly important for us to hear ourselves, know who we are, and remind others to treat us accordingly. As we take turns listening, we strengthen relationships, because what we say should move our conversations to the next step… rather than around in a circle.

 

Listen to the paragraph,

Not the sentence.

Enjoy,

Sporty

 

About Sporty King, ACS/CL:  Sporty King was crowned one of the Top Nine Speakers in the World in 1996 at the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking.  Sporty is a conference speaker, author, and poet with a message for adults that resonates with young people.  He is a former Wall Street Journal executive with an inspirational message that inspires people to understand success while enhancing their interpersonal and communication skills. He interactively uses his creativity, positive words and thoughts to help people feel good.

 

 

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Interviewing On Offense

CWR Sage Sporty King, ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

Interviewing On Offense 

 

Sporty King,  ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

Sporty King, ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

So often the mindset is that you are “looking” for a job… and therefore “seeking” to be accepted. You’re wondering if your outfit is right… how you look with your new hair style… are you sitting up right… should you talk with your hands… will your eye contact be good enough… are your answers too long or short… is your resume okay… is your deodorant working… did you brush your teeth… are you over qualified… under qualified… don’t have a degree… an advanced degree….

 

Yes, it can get down to seeming like you’re doing nothing but worrying, instead of feeding your spirit the confidence you need to stand out among the many other applicants vying for a position in the same company. Notice, I didn’t say the same position “as you.” I’ll come back to that.

 

The bottom line is that you are interviewing on defense, at a time where you need to be on offense. Your mindset must be at a confidence level that sees you as interviewing the company to see if there’s fit for you in a place that has nobody like you. Having an identical sibling is as close as it comes to there being “another you.” Even then there are distinguishing marks or signs that help people tell you apart. Here are some other mindsets to help you step up your interviewing game:

 

1) Don’t give your power to the interviewer. They are just as nervous as you, in fact possibly more nervous. It may be their first day on the job. You may be the first female, male, younger, older, Asian, black, Hispanic, white, gay, straight, urban, suburban, northern, southern, east coast, west coast, Midwesterner, tall, short, skinny, fat, glasses wearing, special needs, over qualified, parent, graduate they’ve ever interviewed.

 

Interviewing may not even be their job. The person, who was supposed to interview you, didn’t show up today, and there are 10 candidates for the position. The boss tells me that I’ll have to interview all of you. I’ve never interviewed anyone. She says that’s ok… and gives me a list of questions to ask, instructing me to just go down the list and calmly fill in the blanks.

 

Am I going to come out and “ask” you to bear with me because I’m filling in and haven’t done this before? Or do you think I’d thank you for coming… invite you to have a seat… then let you know that I will ask you a series of questions from a sheet of paper and take notes?

 

2) Don’t spend time in the waiting room measuring up others… whom you don’t know why they’re there. I alluded earlier to the fact that not everyone within eyesight is interviewing for the same position. Meanwhile, in the process you start to subtract points from yourself for the suitcase you don’t have… the keener outfit someone else has… their posture, shoes, pen, and air of confidence.

 

By the time you enter the interview you have ‘subtracted’ so many points from yourself that you haven’t left anything positive to deliver to the interviewer who now looks like they heard every one of your self deprecating thoughts.

 

 

3) Want the position… don’t need it. Remember a J.O.B. is Just Over Broke. None of us is in this world to live with that mindset. See yourself as being sent here to flourish, not just survive. Know that your spirit is more worthy, you have something to contribute and you want to use it.

 

4) Work with people… at a company… for yourself…. For there’s always something you won’t do for the company. There should be nothing you wouldn’t do for yourself. Though you would not verbalize this mindset your company benefits when you work for you.

 

Remember, you’re not in college to learn to work for someone else. You’re there to learn to make it work for everyone else.

 

Here’s something you can begin using in writing your papers that will help you with Interviewing on Offense. I offer the following, presupposing that you will go on the offense when asked the question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Instead of the ‘cue card related to a pipe dream’ response about how you’re going to progress in the company… my recommendation is, “5 years is a long time. However, over the next 5 months I will have ______, putting me in position to ______….”

 

Sentence Connectors

 

 

In fact…

Now that you mention it…

Actually…

I believe…

Of course, another way of looking at it is…

Well, that could be a stretch for me…

If I had to identify…

In my opinion…

 

I believe these ‘connectors’ go well in the middle of sentences as well as at the beginning. In fact, they actually restart a thought for you, helping your listener switch lanes with you. Of course, another way of looking at it is in how important it can be to control the tone in your voice, especially when expressing an emotion (allowing it to be congruent with your facial expression).

 

Five years may be a stretch for you, yet when we establish short term goals it makes us more credible as we express long term goals. In my opinion you’ll be respected for having thought out your answer. So, be sure not to say these just to say them… pick the connectors that most naturally blend with your personality, and be sure to use them in every conversation… treating others as valuable customers.

 

How we say what we say can change our world.

Enjoy,

Sporty

 

About Sporty King, ACS/CL:  Sporty King was crowned one of the Top Nine Speakers in the World in 1996 at the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking. Sporty is a conference speaker, author, and poet with a message for adults that resonates with young people. He is a former Wall Street Journal executive with an inspirational message that inspires people to understand success while enhancing their interpersonal and communication skills. He interactively uses his creativity, positive words and thoughts to help people feel good.

 

 

 

The Decision to Win!

CWR Sage Sporty King, ACS/CL, Master of Listening

The Decision to Win! 

 

W.I.N. – What I Need

Winning is personal… while being a great addition to any team.

Think about it, when the Chicago Bulls had their dynasty, a win for Rodman wasn’t how many points he scored, but how many rebounds he got.

For Michael, it was not how many rebounds, but how many points he scored, and he raised it to another self-challenge: how many he denied his opponent….

As each member of the Bulls understood their personal win they created a dynasty.

Realize that the proper focus on your personal WIN, helps the team.

~ Sporty King

Sporty King,  ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

Sporty King, ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

We are all winners. The challenge is that sometimes we don’t know “why” we win. We spend a lot of time in our lives trying to figure out what we’re doing wrong… and once we find out, we merely give ourselves credit for correcting the error. Why not focus on what you do right, and when you find out, give yourself credit and the boost to repeat the victory.

 

First – Realize that we decide to win everyday in our personal and professional lives by achieving our first goal of the day – waking up. It doesn’t matter what you have planned… if you don’t wake up. In fact, there’s a saying I’ve heard that when we make plans, God laughs. And a saying that I’ve made that reminds us that we are on the Implementation Crew… only God is on the Planning Committee.

 

Second – We tend to take our loved ones for granted, because we know they’ll be there… but guess what happens if they don’t make their first goal of the day??? Once my nephew was in an audience of 500 while I was speaking. There were times where I was so conscious of his heartbeat, that I almost forgot there were other people in the room. Have you ever felt that way about anyone? These people are your anchors of support. And their names change according to where you are in your life. Recognize and acknowledge your anchors of support.

 

Third – We all have a message to share, and a unique gift that makes us an important piece in everyone else’s puzzle. When we open ourselves to communicate properly (and consistently) we put ourselves in the best position to deliver the message when, and as it’s needed. That delivery allows us to build upon every relationship in our lives — business and personal. And that brings us to my premise that to win, you have to be W.H.O.L.E….

 

Willing to make the sacrifice.

To win you have to give something up… habits, friends, preconceived notions…. We can’t always get ahead “using the things that have gotten us here so far.” It becomes necessary to shed some of the skin from our comfort zone and actually grow. I believe that there is also a great challenge for many to overcome the fear of success. Yes, people are afraid to succeed. Success requires repetition. And some shy away from the stress of having to constantly raise the level of their game.

 

In 1997, I began speaking at Sr. Citizen Centers around Chicago to encourage seniors to stretch. We once took the word Fear and turned it into Feeling Energetic, Alive and Rich. Thus turning a potential negative into a positive. In her book, Phobophobia: The Fear of Fear, O’Merrial Butchee says “Conquering fear is simple when armed with knowledge. Acting on the challenge is possible when faith, the best gift of all, is your master.”

 

Ask yourself what you’re afraid of, and what you’re willing to sacrifice to overcome it?

 

Here: in the moment.

This one is pretty simple and straight forward. Get some rest, and clear your mind of distractions, bills, kids, neighbors, classes, grades, cars… and the main things to clear out? Yesterday and Tomorrow.

 

I change my voicemail frequently (and you’re welcome to call and get the uplifting message of the moment). Here’s one of my favorites: Hi, this is Sporty on the best day of the year: To-Day… yes, today gives you the chance to erase or celebrate yesterday, while enjoying the promise of tomorrow. Of course, a guarantee is better than a promise, but when you get to tomorrow you’ll have a chance to erase or celebrate today. It’s a vicious cycle of love and wonderment. Enjoy it.

 

I was going to let O stand for Omnipresent, but I liked “here” better… so…On. Be at the top of your game. If you’re

Willing and Here, you’re half way there. You don’t want to win by hoping someone else doesn’t have their best day. It’s On you. I coached community league basketball, and I told my kids that all the time.

 

When we focus on the basics and fine tune the fundamentals, we’re at the top of our game. And at that point we gain comfort in knowing that we truly only compete against ourselves. Because when we work at getting better, we always win.

 

Love yourself.

If you don’t love yourself, you won’t push yourself hard enough, because you won’t feel you deserve to go any further. And you’ll be right. Self love is such a key in your everyday life. Each of us is a beautiful person by other people’s standards. But so often not by our own. Often, our journey of self love starts with our needing acknowledgement from someone else to build toward our inner beauty. Our road widens as we mature and come to understand how brushing our teeth… even putting on deodorant is a form of self love. Yes, these are things that you don’t have to do.

 

Liking yourself is only a step in the right direction. You have to love yourself. If you don’t, why should someone else? In fact, when you do, you create a byproduct of winning: Self Esteem… and the byproduct defines the process: S.E.L.F.: Self Esteem, Love’s Foundation.

 

Empathetic

We all live one another’s lives. When we take the time to communicate, we find out just how much we have in common. And we have to feel our message to be felt. So I thought Enthusiasm would fit nicely here too, because your passion has to be at its peak. Either way, you have to reach in and touch somebody’s heart. Are you really in tune with your significant other … or your children? How about your parents?

 

To win, you have to be WHOLE.

 

You and I make the decision to win every day by trying to understand who we are and what’s important to us and the many people in each of our families. We spend a lot of time networking and bonding with classmates, teammates, professors…. We would be remiss to not use our heightened communication skills to cement every important relationship in our lives, and keep ourselves whole.

 

Choose to acknowledge your gift, your blessing, your fortune, your spirituality, your self that knows what you’re capable of. And when you come to that wall that challenges you, saying “Halt, who goes there?” Step forward with your head up high and say “Would you just like my name, or can I interest you in the long version? You see, I’ve made the decision to win.”

 

 

About Sporty King, ACS/CL:  Sporty King was crowned one of the Top Nine Speakers in the World in 1996 at the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking. Sporty is a conference speaker, author, and poet with a message for adults that resonates with young people. He is a former Wall Street Journal executive with an inspirational message that inspires people to understand success while enhancing their interpersonal and communication skills. He interactively uses his creativity, positive words and thoughts to help people feel good.

 

 

 

A Dream Deferred

CWR Sage Sporty King, ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

A Dream Deferred

 

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it wither…?”

 

Sporty King,  ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

Sporty King, ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

No, no, wait, that’s not the dream I’m talking about. I’m talking about a dream we cannot defer: DREAM (Daring to Recognize Everyone As our Messenger)…. You see, we hear the same messages over and again. It’s not until our messenger delivers it that we get it. Haven’t you ever been caught up in the shock of saying or being asked, “That’s what I’ve been telling you all along… he says it once, and now you get it?”

 

 

YES… and for a couple of reasons.

 

 

1) You may not be my messenger for that lesson.

2) We learn through repetition, and as children. How

many times are we required and willing to say to

a baby, “Hot…hot…hot…” in hopes of getting

them to NOT touch the stove? Only to later come

to the rescue when they have to find out for

themselves that you were not trying to teach them

the lyrics to some Calypso song (Feeling Hot, Hot,

Hot)… and they finally touch that stove…turn

to look at you and scream, “Oh, you mean I could

burn myself by touching the stove… why didn’t

you just say so?”

 

 

Let me remind you that we are all still very much babies, or at least willing to admit having a child within. And as we choose to embrace (or escape from) that child, we have to be willing to heed to warnings and meanings from those among us who apparently have our well being at heart. We have to be willing to play this game called LIFE – Lessons Intended For Everyone, and GET our lesson from every situation. Oh, yes, there is a lesson in everything we experience. And it’s not always a positive lesson. Sometimes the lesson will burn or sting. When that happens it becomes incumbent upon us to log the consequence and reshape our actions to avoid allowing it to be fatal. Because there is a bottom line component that rejoices in the fact that we’re still alive.

 

We learn through repetition. We cannot get so caught up in moving forward that we don’t take the time to go within and check with that child who began learning that lesson years ago, and applying our heightened sense of reality. Rather than beating ourselves up and wondering how many times it’ll take… know that it will take as many times as needed until you get it. And know that that’s okay. Someone will come to your rescue.

 

Yet, just as we can learn from that child within, we can learn from the many children surrounding our lives. Try not to get caught up in echoing the neighbors in stating that, “these kids of today aren’t going to make.” As far as I’m concerned that statement denies our seeds, for “these kids of today” are related to “us kids of yesterday” who weren’t supposed to make it. Look at the children in your life and figure out which of your traits they’re actually mirroring. If you can’t find any… the problem lies with you.

 

In 1996, when I was competing for the Regional Championship in Green Bay, my 16 year old nephew from New York, spent the 2 weeks leading up to the contest with me. Months later he got in trouble in school because the teacher said he didn’t speak loud enough. When my sister asked him about his behavior, he told her, “Uncle Sporty said that when you use vocal variety and speak in a soft tone people have to pay closer attention to what you have to say….”

 

I have 6 nieces ranging from 23-13. Two years ago I started a tradition of taking each of them on a lunch or dinner date according to their age. When I took my 14 year old niece to lunch I sat across from her, yet explained that once she began dating to give a guy more ‘points’ for sitting next to her at the table, where they could take in the same scenery and share the commonalities in the experience. Last year, on our second date, I graciously pulled out her chair to seat her… then proceeded to sit across from her again. She immediately said, “Uncle Sporty I thought you said the best guys sit next to their date?”

 

Hot… hot… hot… we learn through repetition… we learn a lot from, and as children. Thus we must now trust ourselves to be wise enough to choose the right messengers to keep in our lives. Please don’t confuse having your message, with keeping your messenger. In fact, in ‘The Celestine Prophesy’ it states that everyone we meet has a message for us. It’s not necessarily a positive message, it could be, ‘Hi, you don’t need to be bothered with me, move on,’ but thereis a message… and you have to get it. Still, that doesn’t make every messenger one that we want to keep. The messengers we need to keep are the ones who remind and allow us to be ourselves.

 

Thus it is a communications principle that helps us select our messengers: listening. Listening is the #1 communication skill. Listen to what people around you say and, more importantly to what your spirit is saying. Please consider yourself so precious that you won’t surrender being who you are just to keep someone in your life. In fact there’s a saying by one of my favorite authors, (“Unknown”), which reminds us “… not to make anyone a priority in your life, who makes you an option in theirs.”

 

Dare to recognize everyone as your messenger… choose the messages and messengers to keep.

 

One messenger you do not want to lose is you. There’s a poem I can attribute to the author, which talks about how important it is ignore the grass’ possibly being greener on the other side of the fence. It speaks against wanting to be in someone else’s shoes, when the only shoes you’ll really be good at filling are your own. It reminds us to laugh when someone says, “If I were you, I would do this or that….” They have no idea what they would do if there were you… because they have no idea what they would do if they were themselves.

 

I am the author of this poem, and it’s entitled “I Miss Me.”

 

 

I thought about switching lives with you.

But I miss me already.

See, I don’t know if you enjoy waking up every morning

And that happens to be one of my favorite moments

Because it starts me off having reached my primary goal of the day

For my goal everyday is to wake up tomorrow…

And I don’t know if you really appreciate how your fingers and toes move.

While I know I really get a kick out of feeling

solid, soft or sandy soil supporting my successful stride.

I happen to enjoy touching, squeezing, holding

and pointing myself in the right direction

That direction is up, (by the way) are you headed that way?

I know I am,

And I’d sure like to be in my shoes when I get there…

Because I pretty much know how I’d deal with the crowds.

Got my acceptance speech ready, and been practicing my smile

Come to think of it,

I’ve been working on it since I was a child.

My favorite outfit will be pressed brand new

Family, friends, teachers, heroes, TV shows, clients, habits and hobbies

They’ll all be there too.

Can’t say I’d know how to handle them all,

if I woke up and found out I was you.

My mentors would take credit, while giving me praise

They’d help me relive memories and cherish new days

Oh, how I would laugh at the tough times

and the material things that were lost

And rejoice in the character they helped build

See, my life and spirit are beyond monetary cost.

Every enemy would stand in their place

and receive equal time to express the beauty they inspired through their negativity.

Let’s face it,

so many of the lessons we actually learn come from disharmony.

A selfish person made me want to share…

A jealous person helped me recognize insecurity…

A lie reminded me to tell the truth…

I remember joy & pain… I like sunshine & rain…

And it was a man who taught me how to be a man.

I’ve been vigilant, patient, spontaneous, loving, mean, mischievous.

Ignorant, irresponsible, (irresistible), innocent, intelligent, intuitive, intimate, inconsistent, informed/interesting, introspective/indecisive, insightful/insatiable, insensitive/incredible, indispensable, independent, incoherent/incognito, indescribable, inexperienced, infallible, indestructible, inspirational, inquisitive, instinctive, instrumental, insecure, inventive, inundated, indisposed, incredible, incomplete, in tune, in touch, IN…

and OUT…

Outstanding/outrageous, outside/outsmarted, outspoken/outdone, outmaneuvered/outthought, outlandish/outclassed, outwitted/outcast, outnumbered, outraged, outright, out foxed, outfitted, outrun, outreached, outranked, outvoted, outgoing, out of sight, out of this world…

oh, yes, even out of breath… (and almost) out of my mind…

Because, I thought about switching lives with you.

But I miss me already.

 See, I don’t know if you enjoy waking up every morning,

And that happens to be one of my favorite moments.

 

© 2001 Sporty King

 

Ladies and Gentlemen: I believe that the dream will not be deferred. It will pave the way for excellence.

About Sporty King, ACS/CL: Sporty King was crowned one of the Top Nine Speakers in the World in 1996 at the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking. Sporty is a conference speaker, author, and poet with a message for adults that resonates with young people. He is a former Wall Street Journal executive with an inspirational message that inspires people to understand success while enhancing their interpersonal and communication skills. He interactively uses his creativity, positive words and thoughts to help people feel good.

 

 

It’s A Jungle In There

CWR Sage Sporty King, ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

It’s A Jungle In There

 

Sporty King,  ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

Sporty King, ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

Okay, so you’ve done your time at an institute of higher learning… buoyed by The College of Hard Knocks. Now what? Well, you take one giant step out into a world of supportive adults who’ve been anxiously awaiting the youthful adrenalin you’ll pump, not only into the economy, but, into the organization they love and know. You’re that #1 draft pick who they can hoist atop their shoulders and bask in the shade of your glorious leadership. You’re the true link between them and an upper management that has lost its ability to touch the hearts that call for its guidance. NOT! You forgot to say “Mother, may I?”

 

Let’s replay the tape… for that world of “supportive” adults have been awaiting your arrival with closed (not open) arms. See, they’ve been ‘supporting’ themselves just fine for years with possibly the same initials behind their names, or on their walls, before you unseeded them as the Rising Star…. Are you starting to see the hunched shoulders who have no clue as to why they should lift a finger to support “Theory U,” and enjoy that flashback of the shadow cast on their opening day where they had to be reminded to take that baby step (still only after asking “Mother, may I?”)?

 

But enough of the good scenario. I want you to know about the challenge you’ll face upon your graduation into Economic America. You see, most of the people you’ll reacquaint yourself with will have a different strain of initials behind their names: Jr., Sr. or even III. Welcome to the Finals… of My Company.

 

Had I stayed at The Wall Street Journal I’d be in my 35th year, and finally older than most of my staff. I’m not a Jr. or an Esquire, but I’m a person who worked my way up from being a Messenger to a Regional Advertising Manager before retiring – the perfect typecast for someone who could be jealous of your “peership.”

 

[picture me sitting back with my corn cob pipe]

When I started at the Journal I committed my spirit to 10 years. I can remember telling a maid (who was so proud of me, and happy to share her wisdom during my visit to Richmond, Va.) that when her grandson got out of school he could call any Wall Street Journal office and find me. He should mention how she and I met, and I’d do all I could to help him with a job. I assured her I’d be there forever. And I meant it….

 

At the beginning of my final six years, I was promoted to supervise a staff of 17 people who knew me as ‘Sporty.’ They knew I was a hot shot salesperson from the East Coast who set and broke records, and was now coming to the Midwest to show them how to do the same. I knew it too. And I couldn’t wait to get to Chicago and tell Detroit or Cleveland how to handle sales calls… edit and enhance St. Louis and Minneapolis’ style in writing… groom, update, create, lead.

 

What I didn’t know was that these were people. People who, many, had been with the company longer than I. Certainly in their territories longer than I. Obviously, wiser in regard to their clients’ temperament. And people who had every right to be skeptical of change.

 

After 3 months of my telling, editing, enhancing, grooming, updating, creating and leading… I sent out a How Am I Doing? survey to see how I could next bring joy into their lives. The return had 15 hating me, one dealing with me, my Secretary liking me. The short version? I retrenched and started asking questions instead of giving orders.

 

Have I painted a long gloom and doom picture and now want to close with a pat on the back and say “You’ll be fine”? No, the picture IS real. What it’s missing is the gift of your sense of reality. You know how it can feel to have someone come in and “require” your respect. Just as you garner advice and support from your professors and classmates, bring your fresh approach to the table as a student of life. You can’t follow one person’s orders for actions that will affect the lives of many. You can’t APPLY all you’ve learned in class to people’s lives. Don’t wear your education or leave it behind. Come out and share it.

 

Meanwhile, don’t worry – you’ve got next! You will be fine. And you can still call any Wall Street Journal office and someone will be able to put a trace on me. I’ll talk more about that in another article when we discuss the steps you take toward NETworking… NOTworking… or NEEDworking. And, oh, yes you may.

© Sporty King

 

About Sporty King, ACS/CL: Sporty King was crowned one of the Top Nine Speakers in the World in 1996 at the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking. Sporty is a conference speaker, author, and poet with a message for adults that resonates with young people. He is a former Wall Street Journal executive with an inspirational message that inspires people to understand success while enhancing their interpersonal and communication skills. He interactively uses his creativity, positive words and thoughts to help people feel good.

 

 

 

Managing Your Boss

CWR Sage Sporty King, ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

Managing Your Boss

 

Sporty King,  ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

Sporty King, ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

As you prepare to enter the “real world,” one of the big questions/decisions facing you is who you will work for.  Let me suggest to you now that part of that answer should always be “I work for me!”  And, no, this is not about being an entrepreneur.  It is about getting more than four years out of your college education.

Realize that an important part of your college education is the space and time you’re given to get a keen understanding of who you are.   Because the other part of your answer should be “I work with people… at XYZ company….”

During my 18 years at The Wall Street Journal, understanding the role I played in my life far exceeded all I’d learned through books in my years in school.  Because without knowing who I was, and how I would react to given situations, would surely have made me a failure.

As it was, I left college after 3 semesters at Ithaca College, NY in December 1974.  In January 1975, I started at the Journal in New York City as a Messenger.  Because my parents always told me to be the best at whatever I decided to be, I proceeded to be the best Messenger… and as I walked through 7 promotions, 8 job titles and 2 relocations, I maintained my ‘best’ attitude… retiring after 6 years in Chicago as Midwest Regional Classified Advertising Manager.

Your college experience gives you the chance to live among people from different regional cultures… many of you get your first taste of responsibility and independence.  Finding out just how much you shine as an individual is one of the most satisfying feelings you can carry into your career.  You may find out through fraternities, sororities, sports or academic clubs.  But don’t discount that precious time you have to be alone.

Take a moment’s mental inventory to examine your growth:

How have you reacted to having no curfew (or next day

          questions)?
          How are your relationships at home different?
What types of relationships have you cultivated?

Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War, wrote:

Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s

          resistance without fighting….If you know the enemy
          and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a
          hundred battles.  If you know yourself, but not the
          enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a
          defeat.  If you know neither yourself nor your enemy,
          you will succumb in every battle….

Focusing on understanding ourselves equips us to manage others (up or down).   As we study common leadership and value styles, we can identify the style of our managers and peers, and find ways to effectively manage those relationships.

Here’s a poem I wrote at 16… that still expresses our need for introspection today.

DON’T YOU REALIZE
THAT YOU DON’T KNOW ME?

How many times have I heard
“I knew you’d do that,”
“It figures you’d say that.” ?
Please don’t tell me you know me
Because you only insult my intelligence
Don’t you realize you don’t know me?

Have I so shallow a mind
That you can pick me apart at will
Are my actions really predictable
While looking through your drinking glass crystal ball
Is my conversation really always monotone
Don’t you realize you don’t know ME?

Don’t you realize that you only know what I let you know
And don’t you realize that I could never let you know me
Even if I wanted to,  because I don’t really know myself
Don’t you realize you don’t KNOW ME?

Don’t you know
that what you knew I’d do
I didn’t know I’d do
even after I did what I did
Like you knew I’d do it?

And don’t you know
that what you figured I’d say
I didn’t figure I’d say
even after I said what I said
Like you figured I’d say it?

DON’T YOU REALIZE YOU DON’T KNOW ME?

DON’T YOU REALIZE THAT YOU DON’T KNOW ME?

© 1994 R. King & Associates

How will you manage your boss?  By being your boss!  When you know who you are, you become a valued member of any team.  Approach your next class, test or interview prepared to be the best “me” you can.

Meanwhile… me? I had been in and out of college 4 more times, due to career and relocation concerns. I finished my college degree online 30 years after my first day at Ithaca. I absolutely recommend doing college live. However, I was pleasantly surprised to experience the time management and focus it took to get it done. I didn’t know I had that type of discipline….

 
AboutSporty King, ACS/CL:  Sporty King was crowned one of the Top Nine Speakers in the World in 1996 at the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking.  Sporty is a conference speaker, author, and poet with a message for adults that resonates with young people.  He is a former Wall Street Journal executive with an inspirational message that inspires people to understand success while enhancing their interpersonal and communication skills. He interactively uses his creativity, positive words and thoughts to help people feel good.

 

From My Limited Scope

Sporty King,  ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

Sporty King, ACS/CL, The Master of Listening

 

One of my prayers is to be less

judgmental.. . knowing I cannot make

it to being non-judgmental.

Thus the poem below from my book,

“Your Name Came to Mind.”

 

 

 

FROM MY LIMITED SCOPE

Shall I call the Psychic NOT-Line?
Or have my palm blue?
Or would it be better if I do all I can
To find out about myself, based on what I hear from you?

You’re the man who understands menstrual cramps…
The winner who says you’ve never lost…
The woman who forgot to wear an athletic support cup…
The fresh-out-of- college boss….

The black who’s never been white,
The left that’s never been right.
You’ve always lived in the same place
Never traveled or visited afar
Never flown or taken the train
And you never have driven a car.

Didn’t marry, no kids, not a drink or drug have you taken.
The son who’s never been a daughter,
Yet you freely give your opinion with authority
And act as if it’s you who walked on water.

Now, from where I sit I cannot answer every question,
In fact, there are times where I’ll add to what is asked.
For as similar as my experiences are, they’re different
So understanding, rather than answering, becomes my task.

© 1994