GIVE PERCEPTION THE STINK EYE

Patrick Slevin

Which came first reality or perception?

If you answered perception came first, because “perception is reality”, then give yourself a cigar for being duped by a superficial world.

The superficial world wants us to fail. It’s persistently trying to influence how we perceive it with a “what you see, is what you get” construct.  It wants to distract us, with illusions to lull enterprising individuals, organizations and societies into self-induced silos of “ignorance is bliss” apathy and “mind’s eye” atrophy.

The world doesn’t want us to change, but instead to embrace the “devil we know” illusions known as the status quo mindset.

When it comes to changing the world for the better, it’s a matter of you choosing whether to let the world define you or you defining yourself in the world. This is the key.

This explains why over the ages every great idea, cause and invention, was initially rejected and scorned.  How many times have we heard from successful entrepreneurs not to give up? To ignore rejection and to persevere over the naysayers.

We need to give perception the stink eye to develop a new perspective that shifts to a clearer vision of reality that goes beyond face value.  When we achieve a deeper sense of self, we have the power to become agents of change.

But how do we reboot our perspectives that are plugged into a hostile world that wants to keep us down?

Plato gives the ultimate reality check by taking us into a deep, dark cave.

The Greek Philosopher Plato knew how the shadows of the false world were perceived as reality.  These shadows were powerful, imprisoning not only people, but organizations and societies.  Plato wrote in his Allegory of the Cave, humanity was imprisoned in a dark cave, chained in such a way that they could only face forward.  Behind the prisoners, and outside their field of vision, was a blazing fire that would cast the shadows of the sensible world on the cave walls before them.

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These shadows represented perceptions manufactured by the materialistic world, and humanity accepted them as reality. The story goes on to tell a prisoner freeing himself, climbing to the mouth of the cave, to be blinded by the light.

When the enlightened person went back into the cave to share his epiphany, the person was nearly killed for trying to change the perceptions that society believed as reality.

There are countless examples of false shadows misleading humankind such as the world was flat or the world was at the center of the universe.

Science has confirmed Plato’s take on reality that the world isn’t what we have been led to perceive and believe.

Quantum physicists have determined that over 96 percent of matter in the universe is missing. We only experience four percent of the known universe with our senses.

Physicists have also discovered that particles of matter change behavior when someone observes them.  Therefore, mind over matter has merit.

Positive thinking guru Napoleon Hill knew how to change the world nearly 100 years ago with his construct, “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Reality is what you make of it: It’s relative, it’s intrinsic and it originates at a conscious level.

When it comes to changing the world for the better, it’s a matter of you choosing whether to let the world define you or you defining yourself in the world. This is the key.

The reality that we hold within our minds, not only determines how we perceive the world, but also how we construct the world “out there”.

So adjust your eyes from being receivers of false realities to projectors manifesting and changing a world according to your desired reality of success.

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Patrick Slevin is a nationally recognized persuasion consultant, retained to accomplish one goal – Communicating the Truth. He has changed the minds of millions of people on behalf of corporations, special interests and campaigns.  

Find out how he’s Changing Minds at the Speed of Perception!™  by connecting with him on LinkedIn or go to www.PatrickSlevin.com.

 

ARE SILOS HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT? (by Patrick Slevin)

Bull Silo

Are You a Silo Psycho? is part of SL7 Communications New Series, Revealing the Secrets Behind Silos. Be sure to sign up on www.patrickslevinblog.com to get the series and other thought-provoking insights from Patrick Slevin.

THE CRAZY THING ABOUT SILOS is they are viewed as allusive shadows hiding within the corridors of today’s organizations. Silos are responsible for keeping good companies from becoming great and great companies from becoming greater.

silo 1

First tip in breaking down silos is knowing that silos are not shadows, but real obstacles casting shadows on employee satisfaction, employee productivity and employee achievement.

Silos are the unseen force that explains why organizations fail good employees and why bad employees fail good organizations.

Yet, silos don’t get enough credit or attention in response to its destructive nature. Silos are studied, discussed and written about, but surprisingly, very few professionals know where to look for them. Or what to do when they stumble upon them.

So what is an organizational silo?

An organizational silo exists much like electricity. It’s out there, but hidden. You don’t see it or feel it until it shocks you. Conductors of silos are barriers, boundaries, borders, systems, processes, policies, language, and infrastructure that ineffectively communicate the vision, mission and values of the organization. The result is noncompliant perspectives, behaviors and attitudes. For a good formal insight, click here on silo.

 

 

The latest attempts to identify silos is called “Silo Mentality”, which is defined as “lack of sharing of information” between employees, divisions, and departments. It’s argued that Silo Mentality will lead to the crashing of the corporate culture, if not the corporation itself.

No doubt, when employees don’t share information it undermines the integrity of the mission and operations of the organization. However, this term and focus is a silent silo itself, focused on fixing just one of a multitude of silos. The Silo Mentality’s lens is too narrow and creates a false sense of solution. In reality, Silo Mentality and other would-be employee engagement models are only treating the symptoms with a false sense of success in curing the disease.

Team Silo

We experience the clues left behind by silos every day. So much so, that we accept it as part of the norm. Here’s a sample of comments and attitudes that’s serve as evidence of a silo problem in an organization:

  • “That’s not how we do things here.”
  • “Corporate has their institutional ways and we have ours!”
  • “Those folks at corporate get the better raises and promotions, while we work in the field doing more for less.”
  • “That’s not in my job description.”
  • “That’s not my problem.”
  • “My employer thanks me with a paycheck every two weeks.”
  • “We’ve always done it that way before, so why change?”
  • “Those guys in the ______ department have their own language.”
  • “We don’t need any help.”
  • “Be sure to send an email to cover your ass.”
  • “I do nine things right, but get reprimanded for the 10th thing I didn’t do right.”
  • “If you don’t like it here, then why are you staying?”
  • “I don’t like my boss.”
  • “I don’t like my report.”
  • “The new girl will not last long.”

Who hasn’t heard one, if not all of these comments made around the watercooler? You’ve probably said a few yourself over the course of your career. These sentiments create fractals of negatively charged perceptions that multiple, like a virus, spreading across and weakening the organization. Not to mention, distract you from you objectives at work.

The first secret to tearing down Silos is knowing that they exist in plain sight.

We live in a world where instead of being thankful for what we have and finding satisfaction, we are focused on what we don’t have and become (fill in the ______) envious, jealous, isolated, resentful, unmotivated, depressed, stressed, disengaged, indifferent etc. I’m sure you know co-workers, acquaintances and even family members who fit this description. If may even describe you! If so, that’s ok, because there’s a pathway, if you choose it.

This cynical perspective is unfortunate, but it helps explain why we don’t see silos in plain sight, which empowers its destructive force. This leads to the second secret to reveal.

The second secret to tearing down silos is knowing we are the silos and we are the solutions.

Silos dwell, fester and thrive in nearly every one of us. They not only exist in the workplace, but in our families and in society (that’s another article). Organizations are not made up of brick & mortar, command & control and policy & procedures, but made up of people who affirm and define the corporate culture that often includes silos.

I know what you’re thinking and no, I’m not going to give corporate leaders and executives a pass for the silos within their organizations and your organization. They are responsible for providing a work environment that gives meaning, purpose and empowerment in the work you do. In fact, in my next article in this series, I will provide secrets on how corporate leaders can overcome silos from “C-Suite to Cubicle”.  A clue on how to do it will involve an unusual fish in the ocean, but let’s get back to you.

There are three main employees in the workforce: 1). Employees who overcome silos and become rock stars; 2). Employees who shadow box with silos and still maintain a level of productivity; 3). Employees who use silos as excuses for their poor performance.

Sinking the Ship

It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO or the intern. Silos are an obstacle for you to overcome to be successful. The key is understanding what you will do once you identify it.

As a CEO, it’s a matter of motivating employees to assign meaning and purpose to the mission – this often ranks higher than compensation in employee surveys. Moreover, it’s about communicating a vision and values that empower employees. We will look at the corporate “structure” and how to optimize your employee and stakeholder communications platforms that break down silos in my next article coming out soon.

If you’re a professional or an employee, it’s a matter of controlling how you respond in your workplace to silos. If you don’t find meaning in what you do, then take charge of your career and life.

In the context of where you work and what you do, become the solution by exorcising whatever silo constructs have fused themselves to you. At the end of the day, you’re in charge of you, so don’t become “Silo Psycho”.

This means, don’t affirm or validate the silo in your response. If you do, then you’re helping cast shadows and spreading the disease within your team, department, division, region and organization.

We don’t have control over many things in life, but we have 100 percent control over our attitudes and how we respond to adversity.

Share your observations, insights and expertise to make your professional experience more meaningful. If you do that, then you will overcome silos and become a rock star in your company. Once you achieve that, then you can help your fellow associates and company rise above the silos keeping others from experiencing their full potential.

If you choose not to, then the shadows of the silos will darken the corridors of your mind.

Spooky Silo

Are You a Silo Psycho? is part of SL7 Communications Series, Revealing the Secrets Behind Silos. Be sure to sign up on www.patrickslevinblog.com to get the series and other thought-provoking insights from Patrick Slevin.

About Patrick Slevin

Patrick Slevin is a motivational and communications professional leading his firm, SL7 Communications. Patrick is a former mayor, Fortune 500 manager, national trade association director and international agency executive. As a “special projects consultant”, Patrick identifies, designs, and implements innovative solutions for his clients.

If silos are keeping your team, division, department, region or corporation from going from great to greater, then contact Patrick to discuss how he may serve and help resolve your silo challenges.

For more information go to www.PatrickSlevin.com.

Or contact Patrick directly to schedule an exploratory, confidential call at 850.597.0423 or pslevin68@gmail.com.

Remembering 9/11: Lest We Forget About Leadership

Bush-withFiremenAfter9-11

Twelve years ago today our nation was attacked by terrorists with the singular mission to destroy the United States.  They failed in their attempt to weaken our nation.  In actuality, Al-Qaeda awakened a sleeping dragon on 9/11, uniting Americans around the nation.  President Bush’s impromptu speech atop a buried fire truck at Ground Zero telling the terrorists that they will “hear from all of us soon!” rallied America. That was leadership at the right place, with the right message, at the right time.

Fast forward to today, the 12 year anniversary of 9/11 and we are left wondering and wanting on America’s leadership.  President Obama addressed the nation last night on the non-American crisis in Syria. The speech was not about rallying a nation or explaining why we should attack Syria, but rather, a speech to cover up bumbling foreign policy that was saved by all people, Russian President Vladimir Putin.   

Putin capitalized on Sec. State John Kerry’s “rhetorical” comment that a “small” attack by the US can be averted, if Syria just surrendered its chemical weapons.  Kerry would try to downplay the comment, but it was too late.  Putin, an ally to Syria’s regime, swooped in to say Russia will remove the chemical weapons.  This action exposed how ineffective and inept the Administration is on foreign policy, which has embarrassed itself and our nation before the entire international community.

What’s so curious about this debacle, is for the last 2 years, Syria’s President Assad has killed over 100,000 of his people and even gassed them in March with no US response. But in August, chemical weapons killed 1,500, which is horrible, but why now?  Why us, US? 

It’s not like the rebels are pro-America!! In fact, the rebels are in bed with Iran, Al-Qaeda et.al.  So why risk our troops, our national interests and political capital for a lose-lose cause?

The one answer is a lack of leadership by our president.  His incompetence and ego has embarrassed our nation and he had to go on national TV to cover his ass.  You know it’s bad when our greatest ally, Great Britain, voted NO flipping way.

Twelve years ago, the free world joined us in solidarity.  Today, the free world is scrambling away from us. 

We will always remember 9/11. Let that memory help us choose our future leaders.  Today, America is weaker, but not by Al-Qaeda, but from within our borders.  Our lack of leadership in the White House and Congress has undermined the confidence of our allies. The recent scandal of the NSA spying on our allies hasn’t helped. 

America is the greatest nation in the history of the humankind. We lead the free world, but we must have competent leadership (from both parties!!) here at home.

The 2014 and 2016 elections are vital and voting Americans need to remember that proven leadership is a key element for any/all candidates.