June 5, 2012
Members of the Human Race do not typically favor admitting weakness; on the contrary, people tend to be defensive, frequently are in denial—unaware of what remains dormant in the heart.
Peter, right before the crucifixion of Christ, was told by the Master that he soon would deny his Lord. Did Peter stop to consider what Jesus was communicating? Did the apostle say to himself, Jesus knows me better than I know myself—I’d better reflect upon His comments and take them seriously?
No! Instead he protested:
“Although all shall be offended, yet I will not.” Mark 14:29
In the book, The Desire of Ages, we read:
In the upper chamber (Peter) had declared, “I will lay down my life for Thy sake.” Jesus had warned him that he would, that very night, deny his Savior. Now Christ repeats the warning: “Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny Me thrice.” But Peter only “spake the more vehemently, If I should die with Thee, I will not deny Thee in anywise. Likewise also said they all.” Mark 14:29, 30, 31.
In their self-confidence they denied the repeated statement of Him who knew. They were unprepared for the test; when temptation should overtake them, they would understand their own weakness.
When Peter said he would follow his Lord to prison and to death, he meant it, every word of it; but he did not know himself. Hidden in his heart were elements of evil that circumstances would fan into life. Unless he was made conscious of his danger, these would prove his eternal ruin.
The Savior saw in him a self-love and assurance that would overbear even his love for Christ. Much of infirmity, of unmortified sin, carelessness of spirit, unsanctified temper, heedlessness in entering into temptation, had been revealed in his experience.
Christ’s solemn warning was a call to heart searching. Peter needed to distrust himself, and to have a deeper faith in Christ. Had he in humility received the warning, he would have appealed to the Shepherd of the flock to keep His sheep.
When on the Sea of Galilee he was about to sink, he cried, “Lord, save me.” Matt. 14:30. Then the hand of Christ was outstretched to grasp his hand. So now if he had cried to Jesus, Save me from myself, he would have been kept.
But Peter felt that he was distrusted, and he thought it cruel. He was already offended, and he became more persistent in his self-confidence. E. G. White: The Desire of Ages.
How often do we quickly dismiss the wise counsel of those who have insights beyond our current comprehension—even taking offense when they warn us of possible dangers that could befall us if we should continue on a particular course of action?
Do we accept constructive criticism with grace, or does pride drive us to foolishly double down on our flawed reasoning?
Bear in mind I’m not referencing situations where some individuals may try, in knee-jerk fashion, to discourage us from pursuing a dream or goal.
Rather, when someone of insight shares their wise counsel, we should simply search our hearts–reflect…and be mindful of our potential shortcomings, weaknesses, prejudices and proclivities that, left unchecked, may carelessly lead us down a precarious path. When uncertain, ask God for wisdom:
Particularly in times of stress and trial, denial and defensiveness–resulting from pride and blindness relative to our own imperfect hearts, may have disastrous consequences. The worst case scenario–eternal ruin–at best…our denial will result in less fulfilling lives, as we refuse to grow and change for the better.
July 17, 2011
“Regardless of the changes in technology, the market for well-crafted messages will always have an audience.”— Steve Burnett, The Burnett Group
While technology continues to advance at a rapid rate, we must never forget the human factors that drive the many advances we continually witness in today’s changing landscape.
Technology is a tool for solving problems; people actually solve problems.
Within organizations, many challenges are rooted in a failure to communicate appropriately.
IT professionals and other technically savvy associates tend to default on using technology as the primary dynamic for driving solutions.
Developing effective communication skills, conflict resolution, negotiation skills, strategic thinking, creative problem solving and other leadership competencies enhances alignment between IT and the other business units.
Building better relationships between IT and its business partners facilitates the achievement of organizational objectives. There is a correlation between building the soft skills of Information Technology Professionals and greater value being derived by the enterprise.
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June 21, 2011
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” — John Quincy Adams
How might a sales person be persistent enough—-but not importunate nor bothersome at the same time?
The Right Follow-up Strategy:
There sometimes is a fine line between persistence and stalking. My rule of thumb is to err on the side of patient determination–by being creative, professional—-while always reminding myself regarding how I feel when pursued by someone following up, “touching base” or “checking in.”
When I’m a Prospective Buyer:
Striking the Proper Balance: There are times I express interest in a particular product or service, but for a number of reasons I may not be ready to buy when the sales person initially calls or emails me; however, a few weeks or months down the road when I AM ready–only the persistent sales professional will get my business—not the one that gives up after calling or emailing me once or twice.
At the same time, the overly-pushy, aggressive hunter who shows no genuine interest in understanding my needs, or cannot fathom how my schedule or other factors might require me to wait, or whose clamorous, one-note pitch is excessive and burdensome, will not earn my business either. (If I start thinking that I’d prefer a root canal without any local anesthetic than hearing from you again–it’s over)!
Sending reminder emails coupled with interesting content–and a once every 2-3 week brief “checking in” phone message is OK.
Patient determination enables the sales professional to demonstrate he/she is neither a quitter, nor a predator. Try it–in my experience your career will have staying power–and over time you will close more sales than ever before.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, call me at 203-274-6098 or click CONTACT US for more information.
December 14, 2010
One of the members of the group, who had initiated the discussion, said:
I’m working on a model of leadership which includes ‘believability’. What does this mean to you if a person is believable. What do they say and do to make them believable?
Below* is my response:
Believability in Leadership:
Believability is aligned with credibility. Leaders possess credibility or ‘believability’ not so much because of what they say–rather it is more about:
1), What they DO.
2). What they have DONE.
3). How they COMMUNICATE.
Armchair theorists do not necessarily possess, or project believability. Someone in the trenches–who gets RESULTS, is one who is believable. An individual who has an actual, consistent track record of accomplishments has credibility.
What is said is less important relative to being perceived as being “believable” than what is–or has been done/accomplished.
However, if what is said or communicated by the leader closely resonates with the experiences and aspirations of his/her listeners or followers, the worthiness of having belief in the leader is often reinforced .
If one “talks the talk” without “walking the walk,” believability–or actual credence, is much less likely, though not impossible.
A notable exception would be an astute orator, actor, dynamic speaker or “con man” who says all the right things, simultaneously exhibiting supportive body language, that reverberates within the hearts and minds of an audience or group of followers.
Charlatans and hypocrites have masqueraded as “believable” luminaries of one sort or another for centuries, often without any positive, tangible track record in alignment with their message–or authentic concern for the interests of their audience/followers.
In summary, the genuine Leader possessing credibility or believability is one who “has been there, done that.” An individual who happens to be an excellent communicator, who additionally possesses verifiable experience and accomplishments, is the most likely to be perceived as believable.
*Edited a few minutes after posting on LinkedIn with minor changes.
Some Additional Thoughts We must be vigilant regarding whom we trust as our leaders, particularly in the political area. I do believe that Inspirational Leadership can be a very positive force for good in the business world, yielding many positive, tangible results.
However, in the political spectrum, we must be especially careful when “leaders” tell us they want to initiate “fundamental transformations” in our society.
History reveals a plethora of tyrants and demagogues who, when they appeared on the scene, claimed they wanted to help the masses; many were effective in inspiring throngs and great multitudes, but their “transformational leadership” in reality solidified their own power, ultimately leading to the bondage and slaughter of millions.
The same “credibility principles” apply when assessing a political leader: Take a look at What do they DO; what have they DONE; how they communicate.
Similarly, the fact that charlatans and hypocrites have masqueraded as “believable” luminaries of one sort or another for centuries should encourage us all to adequately scrutinize the backgrounds of those whom we elect or appoint in leadership roles, especially in the realm of government and politics.
There is no need for paranoia–nor bias, as we examine what our potential political leaders have said or done.
Due diligence minimizes risk and uncovers weaknesses that may not be apparent when staring at the outer veneer. When we consider hiring someone for a job in sales, marketing or other business role, we check out their track record.
Especially during times of economic uncertainty, we should be most careful about whom we entrust with navigating the many challenges facing our country and the planet. One way or the other, our selections will surely impact our lives–and the lives of our children and grandchildren.
John A. Fallone is a Biz Dev Consultant, marketing strategist, sales executive, turnaround specialist, training guru, motivational speaker, legendary sales manager, copywriter and Founder, President, & CEO of TRAININGURU. http://www.traininguru.com/
John A. Fallone
President, Biz Dev Consultant & CEO