Make a Difference

Dec 13, 2021



Caring has been the subject of my thinking and writing for quite a while now. It goes back to understanding what truly motivates people and what motivates me. Somewhere along the line of working with thousands of “sales” people across every continent (well, not counting our penguin colleagues in Antarctica!), the singular point of CARING became clear as the genesis of all great outcomes especially in the art of serving others.

It became crystal clear for me and I memorialized that perspective with a tattoo on my calf nearly 20 years ago. Since then I have gone on to add more to that art gallery, but the first one set the standard. Born in the year of the dragon in 1952 I have always been enthralled by that “mythical” being. Representing the spiritual part of the balance of being, yin-yang, the dragon became my symbolic commitment to caring. Above the large, colorful dragon that is tattooed on my right calf are the three words that guide me daily…MAKE A DIFFERENCE. My objective there is each and every day I will make a difference for someone! Stranger, family, teammate…every day, somehow, some way. WHY, because I CARE to make a difference.

My singular focus of caring is simple sounding and extremely difficult to DO! Stepping back from concept to look at HOW we demonstrate that we care is where the work begins.

I have said it before and I will say it again… other people do NOT care how much you know until they KNOW how much you care, and it must be extremely obvious that you care from the heart and soul and it is not a “tactic” that you are executing.

How do you demonstrate truthful caring? It’s actually pretty easy. You show you care by seeking deeply to understand others. Understand because you choose to co-create greatness when you get the understanding going. You seek out knowledge about others, their challenges, their desires, their goals, the outcomes that they are driving for. It’s not simply information that you seek, it’s back to the big “U” word…UNDERSTANDING. You look for as much clarity and completeness of the search that you can possibly create. It’s not just asking questions. That can be too mechanical. It’s looking at the “why” of what is desired. The “why” is the motivating drive behind the “what” that is being looked for. It’s a dialog, not a series of Q&A. It’s actually a very contextually specific dialog based on the nature of the conversation itself. You don’t go talking about plumbing with an electrical contractor. Well, of course, you can, but you won’t likely be creating any substantial value for either of you.

This all takes preparation, study, self-reflection, and time. To open up the door for an insightful discussion you must start the ball rolling with delivering insights that create curiosity, that opens up the mini invite to further the conversation and your understanding.

You all have examples of what this conversation can look like. In my technology space here is one…

…talking with Bonnie, an engineering manager of a network equipment manufacturer…

Bonnie, our global client base of over 125,000 tells us that one of the biggest challenges that they face today in the area of new product development is that a majority of their R&D engineers have been shifted over to re-engineering older products for manufacturability. Many of them have told us that as much as 75% of those critical new product resources have been redirected. That must put a BIG dent in the introduction of new products for them. Are you experiencing something like that in your world? (assuming a yes answer)…wow, tell me how that is impacting you and your team.

Insight, curiosity, inquiry… open the conversation door. Continue with digging deeper into the PERSONAL impact that it is having on her and her team. How about the impact on the corporation. Keep digging… because you care to understand and then serve.

Take time to create your own caring understanding thinking, then put it to work…because you care.

Why do I care how much you care? More on that next week.

OK, LET’s ROLL! Digging deeper into it all!


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