[Opinion] The Center is Holding

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Old Posts

The signs of the post-American (some would say post-empire American) world, are all around us, from Trayvon Martin to the latest corporate hacking issues at Sony.

The center is holding culturally and economically, in “flyover country,” where—outside of a very few areas in the economy—failure is still not tolerated, taking risk is still frowned upon, and steady, 40 hour a week values, are still being inculcated into the young.

At the edges though, things are fraying and the Sony hack is the latest example of the fraying edges. Data illegally obtained and then released to the tabloid journalistic community.

And Sony isn’t the only one. JP Morgan Chase, Home Depot, Kmart, and now Staples have all experienced this phenomenon.

For the people at the cultural, political and even economic center, this represents a watershed shift from the America that they knew—and that they still want to believe in—to an America that they do not understand.

We have said before that the large looming 21st century conflicts will be between those who have access to technology and software and those who do not, or even between those people who seek to define the future through search (Google) instead of connection (Facebook).

At a global level this will be true, but in the US, the battles coming are between those who believe and seek to shape the culture in post-empire ways, and those out in “flyover country” who are still raising children and inculcating them to believe in the values of empire based thinking: God, family, country.

The role of the peacemaker at the policy table, the entertainment industry, and even in the digital space, is now more important than ever.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Advice] Priorities and Struggles

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Leadership Theology, Old Posts

The struggle of consulting goes beyond setting up a timetable for success and knowing when to pull the plug if it’s failing.

Priorities_and_Struggles

The struggle of consulting is in making generosity a priority when every fiber in the consultant’s body and experiences screams for selfishness, pulling in, pulling back and cutting off.

The priority has to be making generosity a habit, rather than focusing on the struggle to be generous in the first place.

Be warned though: Once the professional consultant shifts from struggling in selfishness to struggling to be generous, that becomes the true work.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/
HSCT’s website: http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com

[Advice] In The End is Not Soon Enough

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Leadership Philosophy, Leadership Theology, Old Posts

Mapmaker William Smith and Mennonite Wilma Derksen were recognized for the impact they created with their projects, their perspectives and their approach to life.

They “got their due in the end.”

Depending upon your frame of reference, their due came either too late or way too late.

It used to be that elites ridiculed innovation because the pedigree from where innovation came wasn’t “right.” Once mass media and mass culture really took off in the middle of the last century, the middle masses began to exhibit the same ritualistic cultural shorthand of dismissing self-belief. The masses also rejected the counterintuitive nature of becoming uncomfortable in order to do the right thing.

Now however, in the midst of the ongoing fracturing of mass media and mass culture, ridicule of innovation has splintered, emanating from multiple areas simultaneously.

People in the field of software applications like to talk a lot lately about “unbundling” and about how “software is eating the world.”

We believe that this is happening, but the real revolution will come when fractured audiences start giving all innovators their due—attention, respect, relationship, revenues—before they are ready to shuffle off this mortal coil instead of after they are gone.

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-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/
HSCT’s website: http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com

 

Negotiating With Outrageous Confidence: The Diplomacy Issue

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Leadership Philosophy, Leadership Theology, Old Posts

Recently, we keynoted the Ithaca College 2014 BOLD Conference.

Employees

We had a great time talking with the student attendees at the conference about negotiation and performing that act of active asking, well and with confidence.

And not just confidence, but outrageous confidence.

We have found in our entrepreneurial journey, that too many people—the majority of whom are women and/or members of minority groups—don’t ask for what they want even meekly, much less outrageously.

But, after the keynote, a point was raised to us, around the issue of using the tactics of outrageousness to boost one’s self-confidence, in order to gain only win-win outcomes.

The person wanted to know about how to maintain diplomacy when going into a negotiation while also maintaining equanimity with self—and others—while also maintaining self-assurance.

This is a great question and, in the context of the wider world, the answer is that, the spate of recent college graduates “asking for too much” or “being unwilling to work hard for advancement” does not spring from a great well of self-assurance.

Instead, both of these meta-employment-phenomena are occurring in response to the messages that older, job holding generations, have provided an entire current generation. These messages have been absorbed and we are beginning to see the results of that absorption.

In the context of the smaller world of the keynote, however, we would respond by noting that, of course there are times in a negotiation, any negotiation, that the cost of disrupting a potential future relationship, must be weighed against the benefit of moving toward a win-lose outcome.

But, until many more people (including women and minorities) begin acting with a little more self-confidence, self-awareness and even outrageousness, we believe that encouraging others to ask period, rather than to not ask for too much too soon, is the better route.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

Motivation and the Seven Second Attention Span

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Old Posts

The well documented decline in the ability to focus has everybody who can focus for more than 7 seconds talking about it for at least the length of a book manuscript—or the length of a blog post.

Motivation_attention_and_focus

But, the real estate worth fighting over, for our money, is not focus, but attention.

Focus happens after attention has been attracted. And, with so many forms of noise distracting the masses from messages that may or may not be beneficial for them, attention is at a premium.

But not focus.

Yes, we realize that the immediacy of social media responses and the immediacy of Internet based information has created concern that the human brain is changing—and it is—but the real battle is still not focus.

The reason we believe that the decline in focus is a symptom of the current Social Age, and not the disease, is because the core of attention, intrinsic motivation, has always been—and will always be—a limited resource.

And while we don’t personally believe that resources are limited, we know that society has been arranged to bring into reality the belief that while attention is limited, internal motivation should be limitless.

And yes, we have seen the neuroscience research around attention and focus, as well as the research around Pavlovian operant conditioning, punishment and reward studies and other behavioral studies since the 1950’s.

But, we still hold that as our technology has increased, from the oral tradition to Twitter, there has always been misplaced concern over focus rather than attention.

We really should have a few more books and blog posts about motivation…

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Strategy] Active Listening as Post Modern Art

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Leadership Philosophy, Leadership Theology, Old Posts

Paintings, music, stories, and speeches used to be considered artistic pursuits; but, in a world consumed with art as entertainment and media, listening carefully becomes an artistic effort on its own.

In a networking situation, the artistic dance to truly beginning to connect with another person, involves actively listening.

Words are like brushes and the canvas is the networking event. But the person at the event is the artist.

And in a world of shortened attention spans, artistic practice has to filter into everybody’s life, not just the vaunted few who have a TED Talk, or make a movie, or cut a “hit” record, or paint an image in a museum.

Our advice to you: Listen carefully.

Honesty in Human Memory

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Leadership Philosophy, Leadership Theology, Marketing for Peace Builders, Old Posts

As they fade into the rearview mirror of memory, events of the past tend to be mythologized, canonized or misremembered entirely.

Honesty_III

On a global scale, the one class of people who used to rely on this fact of human memory—politicians—are finding it difficult to deal with the current state of constant remembering that’s going on with the Internet and social media.

On an individual scale, we still have the expectation that other people will forgive us our trespasses, even as we can forever hold their trespasses against them, with the help of our new tools.

However, all of this electronic remembering hasn’t led to more honesty. In fact, as the tendency toward tribal social sanctioning has grown exponentially to a global scale, there are more and more media driven conflicts over who owns the narrative, rather than whether or not the narrative was honest and truthful in the first place.

This is part of the core reason why the masses no longer really pay attention when it’s revealed that someone—most importantly politicians—lied about something consequential, because honesty is no longer the coin of the realm.

Instead, who owns the narrative, for the next 24-48 hours, is what’s important. After that, well, the masses can repost in their Facebook feeds all they want, because it won’t matter whether truth (capital “T” or small “t”) was served or not.

At an individual scale, cries of hypocrisy still ring out, but the sound grows hollower with each passing year, as individuals learn from the masses, that ownership of the story is more valuable than the veracity of the content.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/