Meet an amazing quilter who sews entirely by touch. Her blindness is “not an obstacle; it’s an inconvenience.”
Elizabeth Lesser explores the two sides of human nature within us (call them “the mystic” and “the warrior”) that can be harnessed to elevate the way we treat each other.
“Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there”
There is an old canard that goes like this:
When you point your finger at someone else,
you have three fingers pointing back at you.
In our Industry the blame game is often lurking under the surface. So-and-so or such-and-such has failed us. Why hasn’t so-and-so made this or that happen? Why doesn’t somebody do something?
“I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that.
Then I realized I was somebody.”
– Lily Tomlin
This year, let this be our challenge! When we are tempted to point fingers, or blame or tear down someone’s efforts, stop. First, ask yourself – and that person – why are you doing or saying that? It is common sense and civility to say you should not blame or criticize, certainly not until you are sure you understand them and their action. Give the other person the same benefit of the doubt you want them to give you.
“Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.”
– Stephen Covey
2011 should be a year for dialogue on ways to advance the Industry’s cause. We don’t have to share the same politics, have the same beliefs or even be in the same segment of the Industry to work with each other.
Share your ideas and perspective. You can do that here through:
- Posted comments to Feature Articles and/or Blog Posts. Via our Disqus system
- Industry Voices Guest Blog – see the About Us page for submission details
- Feature Articles – see the About Us page for submission details
- Most immediately through the Trends 2011 Survey – take 10, fill it out and turn yours in
- Private/confidential feedback is always welcome as well.
Your being published here at MHMSM.com in one or more of the above ways gives you access to potentially tens of thousands of your industry peers. Let YOUR ideas be heard.
Friends and colleagues can and should be able to disagree using reason and good manners. If I am going bald (not yet anyways) or have gained weight (guilty, as charged), that is what it is. Saying something that is true is not an offense, when done with tact and respect.
Let’s engage on issues! Agree or disagree and say WHY. Don’t be shy. The ideal behind the First Amendment was for ideas to be freely discussed in the marketplace of public conversation. Let the best ideas show themselves. Let them be tested. Then, let us advance those ideas that make the most sense.
If after careful thought, you decry what someone else in the Industry is saying or doing to advance our businesses, then give your alternative plans! Anyone can tear down; it takes very little skill to demolish something. By contrast, it takes wisdom and skill to build something good.
Many no longer have the luxury of merely griping or crying into their beer. The time for thoughtful action is upon us. Let’s close by repeating this quote:
“I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that.
Then I realized I was somebody.”
– Lily Tomlin
Reason suggests that all great things start out small. Warren Buffett’s mighty Berkshire-Hathaway, Bill Gates’ Microsoft or Sam Walton’s huge Wal-Mart all had very modest beginnings. Christianity began with a handful of committed souls; today 1/3 of the world says they are Christian. The mighty oak starts out as an acorn, and so on.
That said, we all too often judge a venture or opportunity based on the size of the thing. Based on the examples we saw above, one might ask, isn’t that a bit backward? Great nations, great companies and great causes all start out small!
What does it take to start your own or grow with another person’s budding opportunity?
- Forward-looking vision, seeing what is possible (visualizing the oak in the acorn)
- Sound plan of action and ability to adjust
- Deep commitment to the cause
- A willingness to risk in exchange for the rewards
- Leaving the comfort of the known for what is hoped-for possible
- Doing whatever it takes to make the vision come to life!
When a seed is planted, at first blush, it looks a little like a burial ceremony. For days or weeks, nothing may be visible. Yet all during that time, care must be given to that buried seed: the warmth of the sun (or artificial heat source), rain or watering (irrigation), proper nutrients in the soil and so on. It takes time to see the first green sprout, then the shoot and later still, the mature plant or tree that may then later feed its planter, caregivers and others.
In like manner, a new or budding opportunity requires similar factors:
- The warmth of faith and positive action
- The nutrition and moisture needed for the cause from the work of those involved
- Adjustments as needed to respond to conditions that arise (just as weather affects plant life, so too, conditions affect the new cause; both require adjusting to meet those conditions).
There is security sitting under the shade of a cause, company or organization that is already well established. Joining McDonald’s today is different than being a worker or manager of one of their first locations! Joining today isn’t a bad thing, but joining the budding enterprise takes courage, commitment and a spirit of adventure – and the rewards for those willing to take that early leap of faith and who stick with it tend to be greater.
Starting or growing a modest venture can be transformative. Taking what is to the next level can put a spring in your step, if…
…you believe and are willing to do what it takes to make the vision become a reality.
Earl Nightingale’s classic, The Strangest Secret, earned the first Gold Record for the spoken word, with sales exceeding 1 million copies. Nightingale, known as the “dean of personal development,” reveals how he discovered and lived the secret to success. For the first time, Earl Nightingale’s famous words written in 1957 are presented in a beautifully designed gift book with a CD of his original recording. This inspirational message is as timely today as it was when first written. The book and CD set is a great gift to inspire anyone in your organization to truly understand how to get from where you are to where you want to be.
“For all of us, there are turning points in our lives. One of mine was the first time I heard The Strangest Secret in 1964. It was then, and still is, the most powerful and thought-provoking message I’ve ever heard.”
— Mac Anderson, founder, Simple Truths and Successories
Two maxims set the stage for this topic of change:
- “If it is not broken, don’t fix it.”
- “To keep doing the same thing in the same way and expect a different result is the very definition of insanity.”
We read and hear about change all the time. In the manufactured housing industry we are told or personally express the need to change and adapt. But what does it mean to change, and what does it take to change and effect change personally, organizationally or in an industry?
First of all, change is constant. We measure time by measuring change:
- the change of the position of the earth in relation to the sun for the seasons,
- the earth’s rotation in 24 hours to measure hours and minutes,
- we grow older minute by minute, day by day…
- so change is something that simply is constant. Only those in denial, the irrational or the simpleton don’t accept or understand change.
But effecting change, adapting to change, that is a different question! What is that process for change? When should we make changes?
The two quotes at the top point the answer in very clear and direct terms. If what you are doing works, don’t change it. But make sure that it truly is working, you have to be objective. You can’t make excuses. So are you doing better than 1 year, 2 years, 3 years ago? If not, then you need to consider and implement some positive change! If all is well and growing already, then perhaps you should stay your course or consider only those changes that would further enhance your performance.
Let’s presume that all is NOT well. If you business is suffering from ups and downs, and more downs lately than ups, there is a need to change. Period.
The process for change is as simple as acceptance. Be open to the change, and then take the first step…
The moment we accept and are open to a change, we can begin the process of adapting and growing with it.
- The change may be as simple as how we comb or brush our hair (if we have any…),
- to how we see our role in our household, work place, industry and society.
- change may be how we deal with Industry image issues,
- how we face financing challenges,
- how we work with public officials or
- how we relate our co-workers, customers, suppliers or to others.
For some, change comes when a two by four strikes us on the side of the head. Meaning, change comes during a crisis. In fact; for people and organizations, this is often how change occurs, when it is forced upon us.
What causes you pain? What makes you irritable during the day or sleepless at night?
For those who are wise, change comes as a result of analysis, planning and implementation. Change should ideally be a thoughtful process.
- Amy Bliss wrote a great article some months back on Fight, Flight or Freeze. Check it out.
- Greg McClanahan wrote another fine article on Be the Change (Podcast).
- Tim Connor wrote an article on Reinvention and its importance.
Check these articles out. Be open to change, think them through, be ready to do something new when new is needed.
Hire a pro if you need to, read a book or article to ‘do it yourself’ if you can. But do what it takes, don’t become a statistic that wouldn’t change and failed as a result.
Don’t say ‘no’ to some change because it is different, or because ‘you have always done it this other way.’ As an industry and for many companies in it, it is OBVIOUS that change is needed.
If that ‘tried and true’ way is producing a great result for you and your company fine. But the truth is we fall into patterns and habits. We get stuck in our ruts, which Zig Ziglar defined a rut years ago as an ‘open ended grave.’
If what you once did no longer serves the purpose – it no longer moves you ahead – then think: what change do we need to make?
Then reach out to the resources that will help you make that change effectively. You can start with the resources found by the hundreds right here at MHMSM.com, you can turn to your state or national association, turn to a colleague or to a trusted friend.
Be open to change. The future, your future, starts one moment from now. When it is time to change? The sooner you begin, the faster you will get to where you need and want to go. # #
L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
Publisher, MH Marketing, author and the Masthead blogger at
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management online industry trade journal at:
MHMarketingSalesManagement.com or MHMSM.com
We all need moments of inspiration. We all have some creative element deep within. Seeing the creativity of others can inspire us, regardless of our profession or theirs.
Kseniya Simonova is an artist who tells a story using sand and music. It is a tale from her native Ukraine, starting before WWII and then it progresses into the war itself. If you wish a copy of the narrative, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with Ukranian Sand Artist in the subject line, and request the narrative in the body of your message.
Kseniya Simonova is a Ukrainian artist who just won Ukraine’s version of “America’s Got Talent.” She uses a giant light box, dramatic music, imagination and “sand painting” skills to interpret Germany’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII.