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The Real Cost of Dependency

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Self-Reliance – The Heart of a Strong Society and Every Successful Organization

In war, when outnumbered, aggressors seek to injure more than to kill. That is because every injured fighter requires an able bodied soldier to help them. Hit one and you take two or more out of the fight. The same principle applies day to day.

When first-timer Javier couldn’t keep up with the 18 other fitness hikers we encouraged him to return to the trailhead. He said, “No, I’ll be along in a while. I just need to slow down.” Twenty minutes later nobody had seen him on the trail and all of us abandoned our hike to become a search party for Javi. A half hour later we found him happily sitting by a stream drinking a Red Bull.

Jocelyn hates Social Media. Not sure why, she just refuses to examine it occasionally or at all. She says proudly, “I don’t DO Social Media.” Two of our top clients and most of our prospects regularly reveal their interests and needs through their Social Media posts. At least five times a week, Jocelyn asks other workers what they know about our clients or prospects. She realizes that they’re more up to date than she is. Five times a week x fifty weeks = a great deal of lost productivity while our team compensates for Jocelyn’s prejudice against Social Media.

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Dependency is Cancerous to Productivity 

Jean wouldn’t learn the new software, so we had to print out her reports instead of just posting them as usual. Rick doesn’t take care of his car or try to learn how, so he drops by on weekends to get me to show him what to do. There goes my weekend.

When my Army Sergeant caught me slacking off one day during infantry combat training exercises, he called me aside. He said, “You’re going to get other people killed! When you don’t develop the skills and confidence to do your job, others have to compensate for your weakness, and worse yet, you won’t have the strength to be there for them when they need you!” I grew up a bit that day and have remembered that lesson over all these years.

If the receptionist or operator doesn’t really know the company, then they have to take someone else away from their duties in order to guide a caller or guest. If you don’t mow your lawn and keep your home looking nice, then the whole neighborhood is less appealing, not just your place. When a child doesn’t learn to become a productive wage earner, they remain dependent on others even into adulthood.

Dependency is robbery.

You take someone else away from what they would otherwise do in order to take care of you. This is why Self-Reliance is the Holy Grail for an organization’s success. If you don’t take care of YOU, then you can’t take care of me if I need you, and I have to stop what I’m doing to take care of you! Needy people take away two or more producers from other endeavors.

In society, the more people who are on government assistance programs, the higher taxes must be on the self-reliant producers. They are getting less of a reward for their hard work and willingness to do their part and deal with risks and difficulties. Meanwhile, the dependents are getting by without difficulty or hard work. They avoid pain by forcing someone else to fill their void. This can only persist for a limited time. As they say, “Sooner or later you will run out of other people’s money.”

On the job you need to bring strength 

For sales people what this means is: you must learn to generate your own prospects, find your own leads, learn from others so you can devise your own creative ways of appealing to people who are otherwise, “not interested.” It also means that you must learn to become your own sales manager and not wait for someone to train you, motivate you or remind you to keep accurate and current records. Your sales reports aren’t just yours. They are also the vital pieces of information that others could use for planning, budgeting, resource allocation and policymaking.

When someone asks what a salesperson’s job is, tell them, “First it is to follow directions eagerly, then it is to develop work habits and knowledge that will allow them to be good decision makers and effective workers. All of this is for the purpose of serving people well while earning a profit for our company.” They aren’t just paid to “make sales”. They’re paid to help build the business by creating and nurturing profitable new business friendships. Business is built upon relationships that are productive and a primary operating assumption is that each person will bring value to the operation.

In my own business, our mission statement is this: “We exist to make life better for people, profitably.” No profit means the business can’t endure. Profit is honorable and vital for the survival of the organization. We must become self-reliant financially in order to stay in business and to serve our customers and coworkers.

When you come to a meeting, bring value.

Be an eager participant, make efforts to learn, bring ideas or information, and prepare so others don’t have to compensate for your lack. Arrive on time, greet others and distribute materials. Turn off your cell phone.

When you participate in a training class don’t just attend, Learn! Guide with questions, help create examples that make sense of the ideas, be a contributor. Become a self-reliant producer who can help others when needed.

Reaching out for help is a very good thing as you are growing in your role. Reaching out after you could have become self reliant is selfish and destructive. Bring strength and value, be the source of happiness and productive behavior wherever you go. Make life better for people.

Take good care of YOU because I may need you someday and you may need me. And I pledge to do the same for you.

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Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE is an Executive MBA Professor, Author of 21 books, Hall of Fame Professional Speaker, Top 1% TEDx video (2.4 million views), US Army veteran, Singer/Songwriter, and Lifelong Motorcyclist. He is known as "Your Virtual VP" for his Advisory/Mentor work with organizations worldwide. Based in Texas...and proud of it!



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Guns

The Age of Rage

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Many Republicans are seething in response to Biden’s destructive agenda that has contributed to high inflation, ad exploding deficit, urban lawlessness, and an out-of-control Southern border. More and more Americans are eager to turn their anger into a November landslide against Democrats. They’re tired of the rampant lawlessness, the irresponsible DAs unwilling to prosecute criminals, and the deficit spending that has unleashed inflation impacting the lives of every American.

The recent leak about the reversal of Roe v. Wade has given woke extremists all they need to justify angry, even violent, demonstrations. The decision is not even final, but liberals are marching on the homes of conservative Supreme Court Justices. Some justices have moved from their homes to ensure the safety of their families.

The lockdowns and restrictions tied to the COVID pandemic have certainly added to the anger of many citizens. People watch shows that reinforce their own views. Such one-sided journalism helps justify violent actions. But let’s be clear. Viewers respond with high ratings from the steady stream of extremists. Rage is the “eye candy” that now attracts viewers. Yes, there are extreme views expressed on either side of our political divide, but the vast majority of rage and violence is coming from the left.

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Press Secretary Jen Psaki has complained about threats and personal attacks, but Republicans point out that the party has not publicly shared the addresses of any Biden administration official’s home address.

After the leak of a potential Supreme Court reversal on Roe v. Wade, a pro-abortion protest in downtown Los Angeles turned into a violent clash with law enforcement after officers were called to disperse the increasingly disruptive crowds, resulting in the injury of at least one officer. What started as a small protest outside the city’s federal courthouse building, grew increasingly rowdy and disruptive. The protest grew despite promises from state officials and liberal lawmakers to codify the ability to access abortion in California.

A group called “Jane’s Revenge” claimed to be behind the attack on the offices of Wisconsin Family Action. The “warning” demanded that pro-life organizations disband in 30 days. They claimed, “We have run thin on patience for those who seek to strip us of what little autonomy we have left.” The group claimed that it had groups “all over the U.S.”

Columnist and pundit Victor Davis Hanson wrote, “Politics are resembling the violent last days of the Roman Republic. An illegal leak of a possible impending Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade that would allow state voters to set their own abortion laws has created a national hysteria. Never has a White House tacitly approved mobs of protesters showing up at Supreme Court justices’ homes to rant and bully them into altering their votes.”

Commenting on the angry demonstrations, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel said it well, “It is an attempt to replace the rule of law with the rule of mobs.” It’s the mobs that get the coverage, and that coverage encourages more attacks.

The rage hasn’t been limited to the abortion issue. In January, the leftist ShutDownDC group picketed outside Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) home in Virginia. Hawley said at the time, “Tonight while I was in Missouri, Antifa scumbags came to our place in DC and threatened my wife and newborn daughter, who can’t travel. They screamed threats, vandalized, and tried to pound open our door. Let me be clear: My family, and I will not be intimidated by leftwing violence.”

Since that threat, there have been seemingly a stream of violent attacks and murders. From the mowing down of innocent black citizens in Buffalo New York, to the ongoing carnage in inner-city Chicago, and to the attack on worshipers at the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, the violence is just expanding.

We may have ushered in the age of rage, but the vast majority of Americans do not want it to continue. It’s time we all demand an end to violence and stop legitimizing destructive demonstrations. The answer to hate speech is not violence or forced silence. The answer is more speech, more respectful, thoughtful, even passionate dialogue across our divide. Freedom and rights are only real when you extend and ensure those rights to those who openly disagree with you. Let freedom ring. Let’s return to disagreeing without being quite so disagreeable. Rage may get you on the news, but it doesn’t ensure the future of our republic. Demand more. Start being part of the answer by being responsible for your own actions.

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Life

Ignore Much of What Pundits Have to Say

Can we be confident in advice we receive from people who have not mastered what they teach?

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When the opportunity arose, I attended a lecture by one of the most well-known authors and speakers in America. I had previewed his CD and read two of his books prior to his lecture; in person, he lived up to my expectations. So, I was intrigued when a friend, involved with bringing this speaker to our area relayed a personal incident to me. 

Directly following the speaker’s presentation, my friend was responsible for driving him to the airport, and accompanying him until his flight departed. That summer afternoon, it was rainy and the skies were dark.

As it turned out, the author was a nervous flyer and took several drinks in the airport lounge prior to boarding the plane.  I found this incident to be amazing because I had so often heard him say things such as, “Everything in this universe is perfect.” It struck me that, in many ways, the speaker wasn’t practicing his philosophy. Nevertheless, all human beings have their faults and foibles and, as time passed, I forgot about the incident.

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High-Priced Gurus

One morning, I had the occasion to pick up USA Today. In the lifestyle section, there was a feature on a relationship guru and author of international best-sellers on relationships. She had won the “Oscar” of infomercials, earning $24 million in a single year.  

In this published interview, the reporter asked her why we should listen to a relationship guru who had been married five times. Five times? I couldn’t believe it! She had wedded her fifth husband, some 11 years her junior, only a short time before producing her award-winning infomercial on having a successful relationship. 

In the infomercial, she is featured as having a loving relationship with her husband. Okay, but in no way does the infomercial tell us that he is her fifth husband and that she had married him three weeks ago.

Not Walking their Talk

I had a flash from the past: I recalled the story about the nervous flyer author. Yet, nothing prepared me for the revelations about the relationship guru, a self-proclaimed expert, using the slickest 21st-century marketing available to sell her information and products.  

She was well-versed in her subject matter. Upon hearing her advice, I recognized that it did seem sound. However, the larger issue is, “Can we be confident in the advice we receive from those who have not mastered what they teach, or who do not even remotely walk their talk?”

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