HIT Piece 3.31.2015

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Old Posts

What do you do when you’ve been asking the right questions in the wrong way?

And you’ve been doing it for two years.

I’ve been thinking about this project, Human Services Consulting and Training that I’m building. I have been thinking deeply about marketing, branding, connecting, publishing and—ultimately—scaling.

Continuing to do what got me here, isn’t going to get me any further than I already am. And when the right questions have been asked in the wrong way, two years is long enough for that kind of self-involved navel gazing.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve laid the foundations for the beginning of something else. Something great. Something enterprise-level, C-suite level and above. But to get there, it’s time to pivot.

  • Away from end-users and toward buyers
  • Away from social engagement and toward deeper relationships
  • Away from frivolity and toward more focus

And, if you’ve been paying attention, day-in and day-out, for the last couple of years, you will note that my approach has become sharper and narrower, even as my options have increased to do work that really matters in the space that I am building.

Conflict resolution doesn’t scale, but engagement, relationships and products do.

It’s time to start asking the right questions in the right way….

-Peace Be With You All-

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

[Advice] Business Mentors I

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Old Posts

Business mentors for the savvy peace builder are just as important for the development of long-term success as are other elements of building a project.

More_Guts_Than_Money

No peace builder can truly “go it alone” but too many get trapped in silos, or behind clients, believing that they will just “learn the building of a business on the fly.”

This never works.

Our recommendation: Design a personal Board of Directors. This should consist primarily of professionals with industry experience who have no emotional investment in the success or failure of your venture.

Then, meet with them once a month (at minimum) and treat them to coffee. Listen to their ideas and expertise, but also keep your own council.

A great resource to begin this process (that’s free) is your local chapter of SCORE (link here).

-Peace Be With You All-

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

[Advice] Who’s Afraid of Blogging?

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Old Posts

We are “out here” all the time.

In our professional capacity, we have served (and do serve) as consultants and “advice providers” in multiple areas: marketing, conflict entrepreneurship, Big Ideas and some other areas.

However, whenever there is a discussion about social media/online marketing, and we mention that the core of marketing should be a blog presence, our clients (or trainees) get very, very nervous.

Who’s afraid of blogging?

So, we called up a good friend of ours and he provided some insight that we hadn’t previously considered. In a nutshell, it came down to three things:

  • Blogging is hard because the voice that a person (or organization) writes in, may not be the voice that shows up to do the presentation, make the pitch, address the customer or close the sale.
  • Blogging is hard because there is the possibility that, while “no one reads long form content anymore” someone actually might. And if they do, how does an organization (or individual) “walk back” something that they wrote and distributed.
  • Blogging is hard because it’s a constant challenge to keep up with distribution platforms that “change the rules” every day, the ever shifting eyeballs (we’re looking at you Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!), and the attention and nature of audience interaction.

Who’s afraid of blogging?

We’ve also been thinking about the idea of content creation vs. consumption, active and passive audiences and how there is “so much noise out there,” which is a constant lament for some of our clients in this area.

The answer to the question is that only a few organizations, people and entities are not afraid of blogging. Everyone else either blogs, tweets, facebooks, or distributes to their own level of comfort and desire to be either an active participant in the social space—or not.

Are you afraid of blogging?

-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/

[Advice] Goodbyes and Butterflies

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

Everywhere there are voices.

We wonder what the Five Man Electrical Band would have to say about Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, and on and on and on…

With so many voices, how does a person hear the still, small voice of the inner being?

When we were little children, our Grandmother used to tell us that “God doesn’t box with the world.”

Innate wisdom like that is lacking in the world today. All of the recent talk and interest about mindfulness, meditation and the like is indicative of a deep human desire to shut out the endless external noise and hear a deeper voice.

Historical perspective is something that’s good to note here: our Grandmother must have been in her 60’s when she told us that bit of folk wisdom and the Five Man Electrical Band serenaded us on Goodbyes and Butterflies about signs in the 1970’s, so this isn’t something that just started with social media.

The professional peace builder longs to go to the balcony, and take a break from the noise and shouting, to find the part of themselves that seeks to bring others to peace.

Perhaps this is the deeper reason why some peace building professionals struggle with creating content, marketing and some of the other core practices of entrepreneurship; and, why so many of them shy away from the crowed noisy social spaces, where voices are endless, loud and berating.

-Peace Be With You All-

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

[Advice] Who Matters When Building Your Platform

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

For the peace building consultant, getting myopia in the pursuit of success, becomes a natural outgrowth of the work.

Pay Attention

But there are people who matter, inside and outside, of all of this:

  • Family Members
  • Team Members
  • Business Mentors
  • Partners
  • The Customers/Clients/Buyers
  • The Audience

We listed those in our order, but other orders will differ, and certain pre-conditions may apply.

The savvy peace builder digs deep when building her project and makes the list. Without the list, there is no forward movement, and then myopia descends into noodling over email for half of the day.

We put the audience at the end of the list for good reason. The savvy peace builder knows that the people who applaud (or don’t applaud, or jeer, or deride, or ignore the project altogether), are not necessarily the most important people in the life of the business.

The savvy peace builder also knows not to confuse the noise of the applause (or the jeers, derision or silence of ignorance) with the importance of the project.

-Peace Be With You All-

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

[Opinion] 10 Year Overnight Success – Vol. 3

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Old Posts

“Well that was a waste of time.”

Overnight_Success

How often have we either said those words, thought them or wrote a variation of them down?

In the pursuit of mastery, there are no such things as “wasted” hours, days, minutes, or even moments. There are only the things that did work and the things that didn’t work.

The painter, sculpture and architect, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , saved very few of his drawings. When he stared at a block of marble, he saw the material that he would have to strip away in order to release the object trapped inside.

The inventor Thomas Edison said “I haven’t failed. I’ve just discovered 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Or, at least the Internet claims that he said that.

The casual consumer of life, though, often associates failure with waste, and addition with success. We associate subtraction with loss, and “no” with rejection.

But subtraction AND addition both must happen for success to occur. And energy, no matter how we look at through our temporal, corporeal frames of reference, can neither be created nor destroyed.

If Michelangelo, Edison and the Universe can get on board with both addition and subtraction, maybe then we should stop focusing our casual conversations just around waste alone.

-Peace Be With You All-

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

[Strategy] Platform Assumptions

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Old Posts

Distribution platforms are for more than just flooding an audience these days. They are now said to be forums for two-way communication and engagement, rather than one way alleys.

Admit One

However, this assumes a couple of things about the nature of both distribution and engagement:

The first thing it assumes is that every person to whom an article will be distributed will have an interest in being engaged with.

The second thing is that it assumes that all forums are inherently social and designed for the back and forth that engagement implies.

Both of these assumptions are false on their face and limiting, both to the content being distributed as well as the level of engagement from the audience in question.

Just as every conflict does not need to be mediated, every distribution platform does not need to be a platform for the back and forth of engagement, commentary and opinion.

-Peace Be With You All-

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

[Strategy] Leading Through Obligation

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

If you are a manager in an organization of any size, with any mission or scope of responsibility, it is your obligation to lead.

#FakingIt

Now, obligation is a loaded word, filled with the stresses of accountability, responsibility, and eating last in a world where everyone wants to eat first.

Obligation comes along with the word “honor,” which, as a verb, means to “fulfill (an obligation) or keep (an agreement).

There is a tacit agreement between leaders and followers: Leaders set a tone, provide a secure space for initiatives to be implemented and then codify action through words and deeds. Followers implement the initiatives as they are proposed, rally behind the leader in times of stress or conflict and promote the tone of the actions.

At least, in a perfect world.

Unfortunately, we live in a world of imperfection, mixed motives, lies and deception and selfish pursuits.

In this world, leadership is even more critical and, at the core, requires human leaders to sacrifice resources (material, emotional and even spiritual) in order to accomplish a greater good for their followers—even when they believe that the greater good is wrong.

  • This ability to sacrifice marks the difference between politicians and statesmen.
  • This ability to sacrifice marks the difference between role models and celebrities.
  • This ability to sacrifice marks the difference between leaders and followers.

A leader’s responsibility is not to chart a course for the followers and then blindly lead them there, in spite of everything.

A leader’s responsibility is to chart a course for their followers (after actively listening to their followers) and then convince, persuade, cajole and move the followers toward accomplishing those goals.

This process requires an understanding, and an acceptance of, the definitions of obligation, honor, responsibility, accountability, character and honor.

-Peace Be With You All-

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

[Opinion] Who Will Hire the Bigots: Sigma Alpha Epsilon Edition

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

In a world where proper outward social conformity is often conflated with the presence of internal, moral character, what’s a young man in a fraternity to do?

Lead Poster

Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members, who are students at the University of Oklahoma have been either suspended or removed from school, for creating a chant with racist lyrics, and then having it filmed and plopped on the Internet and TV.

These students are about to have their future employment fortunes changed, because, the Internet neither forgets—nor forgives.

Should we be surprised that students in this fraternity seemingly happily chanted along with lyrics that might not have been above board?

No.

Social pressure to conform to group norming is still more powerful at the human, physical, person-to-person, individual level, than Internet shaming ever will be at a larger societal level. And ignorance of history and facts is not merely the provenance of the young and impressionable.

But, here’s the thing: These students have now been impacted far beyond the actual impact of their words and enthusiastic chanting in the video. Yes, it went viral. Yes, many people have played it, talked about it, linked to it, and written about it (heck, even we are). But has anyone asked the larger culture what the societal impact of such an outburst actually was?

No.

No, we haven’t.

Opinion polls are gradually being replaced by instant reactions through immediate outlets (like Twitter, YouTube comments, etc.) to stimulus events. This rarely commented upon cultural shift has created a “firebombing” mentality that has scorched the personal, business, emotional and financial earths of many people, both public personalities and private individuals. All the way from former Mozilla Firefox CEO Brendan Eich and former LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, to the two police officers who were shot in response to the death of Eric Gardner and shooting of Michael Brown.

Forgiveness and grace are gifts to be given out of a sense of compassion and empathy (are the fraternity members at OSU not human? Do they not bleed?). But the larger social desire for lockstep conformity prohibits this. And when proper outward social conformity is linked exclusively to the assumption of character, forgiveness and grace are hard to come by.

We are sure that the OSU students who have been suspended (or removed from school) as a result of this incident, will attain employment in the future and will move on to living as full lives as they possibly can, but what deeper lessons have they learned from this incident, from culture, society and from institutions of higher learning, about race, character, conscience and forgiveness?

-Peace Be With You All-

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

[Advice] The Project Work Trap

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

The savvy peace building consultant looks at project work as another version of the golden handcuffs scenario, they started their project to avoid in the first place.

LISTEN_CAREFULLY

Work for time is the consultant’s version of not scaling. And, in order to effectively scale such transitive and necessary products as peace, honesty, good faith and courage, project work has to be the minimally viable product.

Developing books, developing processes, developing software applications, developing “train the trainer” processes and more are ways around, through and over the project work trap.

And the savvy peace builder knows this…

-Peace Be With You All-

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