Tag Archives: Self Development

Follow your Niche

If you are in a position where you feel like you are stuck and you do not see any progression, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate and think again. The problem for many of us is that we tend to get complacent in our current role yet we expect upward movement within our companies. Fact, if you believe that you have given 100%, yet feel as if you are being overlooked, look at the person beside you, they are probably feeling the same way. The question is, not if you are putting in 100%, but rather if you are putting this effort in effectively. It is often that your company have hired on a new employees only to see the new employee get promoted before you. This is not that they are smarter or more qualified, this just means that he/she know how to effectively communicate their niche and maximize their potential.

Law of the Niche. In John C. Maxwell’s book, 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, John broke down different laws that separates a great team from the rest. One of the law is called the Law of the Niche. The Law of the Niche states that everyone has a niche. This niche is where we as individuals put the most value into a team. This is also where we will get maximal exposure in the eye of our company. Remember, it is not that you can do 100 different things, its the fact that you perfect that one gift that you already have. For example, if we look at any champion teams, we will notice that every team member has a place. In order for a team to be successful, everyone in their specific position must be able to execute in order for the team to win. We’ve also witness teams who has great players, yet fail to win any championship titles. This is due to the fact that individual team members are not fitting in their natural role, therefore making it hard for them to maximize their potential. This is why we see championship teams often time move around their key players.

So, have you found your niche? Do you know what your niche is? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it is probably a good place to start. In order for you to stand out from a room full of employees you must be able to make a bold statement. You must be able to communicate thoroughly what your niche is and show your company why you believe that you deserve a promotion. Once you have found your niche and found how your niche can be impactful to your company, that is where you take the next step in putting together a plan of execution. Remember, like you, there are other employees who believes that they are also working hard, so does this mean they too should be promoted?

The steps in taking yourself to the next level:

1) Stop thinking like an employee and start thinking like an employer. What would you want from an employee if you were looking to promote someone?

2) Re-evaluate: yourself and define your NICHE. Find out what you are good at naturally. Understand that your niche is your gift.

3) Self development: once you have figured your niche, make sure to research and absorb as much as you can to help you strengthen your niche. Make sure you passionately pursue knowledge. Resources are plentiful. Even if you need to take courses to help you strengthen your niche, DO IT!

4) Plan Of Execution (P.O.E.): once you feel ready and confident, make sure to talk to your team leader and or management to show them that you are extremely interested in playing a larger role in the company. Put together a plan to show them how you are a valuable asset to the company’s success. Remember to include goals that will make you extend yourself. Something that you know will be a challenge yet you are willing to take the challenge and overcome. This shows that you are serious and you are ready.

5) Take ownership and execute. This is the true test.

Start taking ownership of your life and your career now. Companies will not turn down great talent. They will turn down something good for something great. Get out of the “Entitlement” mentality. Rather, empower yourself to step up to the next level. Find your niche because it will always be in your favor. Focus on this niche and maximize your potential. Remember, through the process it is important to know that everything that you are doing result in a stronger character. Many of us forget how important it is to be discipline and the importance of character. If you build character through this process, who’s to say you can’t go out and find a company who will truly value who you are? Pursue your niche passionately and you will find yourself in a place where you have always wanted to be.

~B.H.

The D.I.S.C. Assessment

Many large businesses and organizations require their employees to take the DISC Assessment. The Disc Assessment has also been called DISC Personality Test. This test is usually required to be taken by the management team. The DISC assessment was based on the studies of Dr. WIlliam Moulton Marston PhD. Dr. Marston conducted the assessment to examine individual behaviors in their environment. The DISC assessment is a four quadrant behavioral model and is used in many different areas; Human Resource, Organizations, Coaches, Consultants, etc. The behavioral model is also known as the universal language of behavior. It states that we possess certain characteristics of behavior which can be grouped into four major personality styles.

DISC is an acronym for:
Dominance/Direct
Influence
Steadiness
Conscientiousness

Here is the breakdown of what each personality means (credits goes to www.lifeskillsinternational.com):

D – Direct people are fast paced. They like to keep busy. They aren’t team players, preferring to do things by themselves or delegating work they don’t find interesting. They can become annoyed when having to work with others and do things differently from their chosen way. They are persistent, viewed as stubborn, overcome obstacles and win at any cost. They’re great people to have on your side. They will fight for you and protect you. They are fearless. They have high expectations of others. They are interested in meeting their own goals. Direct people are so goal oriented, they are not aware of other people’s feelings and frequently override them. They appear uncaring, however their main concern isn’t another person’s feelings but getting the job done, meeting the goal. They tend to tell people, instead of ask. They are forceful, bottom-line people who hate to waste time. They want straight talk and direct answers. They want answers to their “WHAT” questions

I-Influential people are fast paced with a lot of energy and usually very busy. They have a network of contacts. They like people and like to talk. They are good at promoting ideas and seek to persuade others to agree with them. Time gets away from them and everything takes a lower propriety when they’re discussing ideas. They would never intentionally antagonize anyone. It’s important to them that others have a favorable impression of them. Never embarrass an I – Influential person in public. It will devastate them. They’re more interested in people than in accomplishing tasks. They thrive in the social scene. They can be a poor judge of people because they are so optimistic. They believe everything will be all right and everyone is “such a nice person”. They tell people, they don’t ask. They communicate well and need freedom of expression. They may overuse praise. Some people may see it as flattery and feel manipulated. They have trouble staying focused. They can become easily distracted. They are imaginative. They like what is new and innovative. They tend to think in the future. They want answers to their “WHO” questions.

S-Steady people desire to keep their environment from changing. They have a consistent work performance. They accommodate others. They get along well with others because they are flexible in their attitude. They may not say anything if they disagree just to keep peace, however they seem to find a way to get what they want. They are moderate and controlled. They are modest. They like to help others, make good counselors and are great listeners. They can speak on an intellectual level and prefer quiet discussions with one or two people. They build close relationships with a small group of friends. They like to maintain familiar and predictable patterns. They are consistent in accomplishing work. If they receive appreciation, they maintain a high level of performance. They may need help when starting a new project. They like to feel comfortable with anything new before actually starting it. They enjoy something in writing so they can refer to it. They ask, they don’t tell. They want answers to their “HOW” and “WHEN” questions.

C-Cautious people are critical thinkers. They draw conclusions and base action on facts, correctness, the rules and accuracy. They are slow paced and task oriented. They are trivia experts, someone who might appear on Jeopardy. They are very effective in their work. They combine intuition with facts to reach a conclusion. They like to work with people who think the way they do. They like to keep peace. They may not be shy but people find it difficult to read them. They don’t show their feelings. They tend to protect their privacy. Aggressive people upset them. They control their environment by understanding the rules and following them. These may be existing rules or their own rules but they will follow them. They study privately to learn about a subject before discussing it in public. They only start a project when they’re sure of perfection. Perfection is very important to them. They tend to be critical of themselves. They defend their position and support it rather than show flexibility. They think in outline form, frequently saying, “number 1 and b”, thinking things in sequence. They make to-do lists. They ask, they don’t tell. They want answers to their “WHY” and “HOW” questions.

The purpose of the DISC test is to raise self-awareness. It goes back to my Identity blog post that I had posted a few days back. If you are looking to take on a leadership role or a management role, or even if you are looking to be a stronger individual looking for self development, I highly encourage you to take the DISC Personality Test. This test will allow you to summarize your personality and gives you insight on how you operate in your environment. The biggest advantage of knowing yourself is to be able to strengthen your communication with others. Stronger communication will result in stronger relationships. One of the draw backs that I have noticed with some individuals is that they use the test as a crutch. For example, some individuals believes that a “Direct” or “Dominance” characteristic trait is a good thing. Once the assessment shows that this is true about them, they take advantage and no matter what they do they will refer to their “dominant” personality. The key to understanding our personalities is so that we can learn to control our personalities to fit any situation.

If we can learn to understand ourselves, others then will be able to perceive us with a clearer perspective. Just because we perceive ourselves a certain way, doesn’t necessarily mean that others perceive us the same. This will allow us to relate to others and be flexible when tense moments occur due to a “clash” of personalities. This is true if you are in a leadership role or a management role. You must be able to understand your own personality so that you can communicate precisely with others to get a specific job done. Everyone is motivated differently, if someone has a high “I” (Influence), I don’t think it would be a good idea to be “direct” or “dominant” to motivate that specific person to tackle a task.

There are many different online sites that you can take the DISC Assessment test. If you are a manager or currently a leader, I highly recommend you have your team take the DISC assessment so that you can learn how to best communicate with your team. Even if you are in a personal relationship, have your partner take the assessment to learn more about their personality.

To take the DISC Assessment click here.

-B.H.

The Importance of Our Identity

How many of us take a moment out daily to ask ourselves who we really are or why we do what we do? The problem with many of us is that we keep ourselves so occupied that we tend to “not” have time to reflect on our own personal growth. How important do you think your identity is? Here’s another question, how important is it for us to know our own identities? If one were to ask you who you are, how would you answer?

Before we can even define our identity, we must understand what an identity is. Once we answer this question, we will start to mold our lives in this image. This quick and simple observation may change our lives forever, it did mine. It can open doors that you never thought would ever open for you. It could also have a negative effect; it can restrict you and build walls to set up boundaries and limitations. Our very own perception of ourselves is vital to the existence of who we are. Again, our own definition of who we are will set our boundaries and limitations.

So, back to the question; what is an Identity? An Identity is the definition of our very own CONVICTIONS to who we are. It is the unconscious idea in which we define ourselves. “The BIGGEST challenge with identity is most of us are not conscience about what our beliefs are, about who we are.” Tony Robbins.

When we are asked, “Who are you?” there are many ways we could answer the question. For example, some would answer the question based on their current Job Title (Lawyer, Doctor, Manager), Emotions (Loving, Happy, Funny), Roles (Mom, Dad, Wife, Husband), Religion (Christian, Catholic, Buddhist), Feedbacks (Special, Worthless, Cocky). These are just a few ways of how many of us would “identify” ourselves. Some of us may define ourselves based on our past and others, based on our future. The usual reaction would be A) Blank Stare B) Trance C) Auto Response. Many of us, if asked this question, would think briefly, but truly wouldn’t have the answer right away. This is because we never actually took the time out in our days to think about our what makes us who we are and why we do what we do. If we don’t know our true identity how easy would it be for others to imprint or create our identity for us? Why do you think we have mid-life identity crisis?

Our beliefs are what determines our behaviors. For example, our beliefs about a specific person will shape how we interact with that person. The same goes for food, people, and relationships in general. So, how important is it for us to have strong beliefs about who we are? This is how we will treat ourselves and how others will treat us. Many of us will base our own identity on what we are “capable” of. What we are truly capable of is different than what we believe we are capable of. For example, when I coach an individual one on one, I usually get a lot of questions. Some questions may be broader than others but it all boils down to “How can I…” We usually reach out to others to ask questions about our own capabilities as if that person may have the key. In reality, all we need is reassurance and positive affirmations. My fellow associates would ask me how they could maximize their sales beyond their limitations. Notice, “beyond THEIR limitations.” They never truly challenged themselves to even surpass this mark that they so desire. What I tell them they could do may far exceed their own expectations. With enough conviction in my advice and evidence based on their own abilities, they then have built a belief that their goal is now achievable. Many of us go through life with an identity based on our capabilities. Another example, if you’ve danced all of your life, when people ask you who you are, your first response would be that you are a dancer. Let’s say you’ve hurt your knee in a freak accident, which causes permanent damage which disables you from dancing. What happens then? Will you be lost in figuring out who you really are? Will your identity still be a dancer?

Take a moment out in your day today and write down your description of who you are. Remember to put down both good and bad. It’s important to be honest, because doing so will make you see your strengths and weaknesses. It is extremely important to understand that having a “weakness” does not define who you are. For example, if someone thinks you “procrastinate”, does this make you a procrastinator? Absolutely not, but if you believe and allow someone to instill the idea that you are a procrastinator, then a procrastinator you will become. Set your standards higher, and your rewards will be much greater. Stay congruent with who you are and build strong characters. The minute you allow others to define who you are, the harder it will be to re-define your identity. Take time out daily to reflect and observe ourselves. Pray and meditate for they help keep us focused and centered. As the great saying goes, “When we pray, we talk to God. When we meditate we listen to God.”

~B.H.

The Value of Family and Team Work

Growing up, my father has always emphasized the importance of family. I never asked why, I just knew that it was important for family to stick together. It simply just made sense to me. My brothers were my best friends and we did everything together. Even through our adolescence stage, with the rough housing that all boys do, we still learned to love and care for one another. I started my first job when I was around 11 years old. It was at my house, where my parents brought home products from the manufacturing company in which they worked for to bring more income to the family. Their hopes and dreams were to buy a house so that my brothers and I can have room to grow. They also did it so that we wouldn’t feel under privileged amongst our peers. At such a young age, I loathed working on the weekends. I despised the idea of them bringing home garments to sew over the weekends in general. My parents worked for a company that manufactured fire fighting safety garments. The company then was called Morning Pride, Mfg. The company was ran by a very passionate and successful family. A family well respected for their respect for people and passion in helping others. Since then Morning Pride, Mfg. has been bought out by a Fortune 100 company, Honeywell. Their legacy still continues even with a corporate change in operations. My mother and father saw it as an opportunity to bring home extra income to accomplish their goal. They rounded us all up and told us what their plans were. As much as we disliked the idea, the plan was still in motion.

At that time, we lived in a three bedroom home and there were five of us. My brothers and I had to share one bedroom so that we can allow for one of the rooms to be available to put industrial sewing machines in place of a bed and bedroom furniture. You can start to see why my brothers and I were not into the whole idea. That wasn’t all, we had to sacrifice our weekends to work. My father built a “mini” shop in that particular room. He added two industrial sewing machines and a cutting table to trim loose threads. He built a folding table so that we can fold the garments when we were finished. My parents had the operations to the “T”. It was piece work so every piece that were placed together were paid for. There were times where they brought 75+ garments to be sewn in a weekend. There were definitely no play time for our family. While other kids were out playing on the weekends, my brothers and I were inside working together as a team to accomplished a goal that my parents had set out. The sound of sewing machines were always echoing in our household. There were no room for errors. Whenever there were an error, we can count on a sleepless evening until the errors were fixed. So as time progressed, we learned to keep errors very minimum. Our family did this for three to four years. After all, they achieved their goal; to buy a house big enough so that we can have room to grow and room to study. My brothers and I didn’t like it then, but when they bought the house, we all reap the fruits of our labors. My father always told me working together as family will help is in the long run. He explained that it built character. Being at such a young age, none of that really made sense but it has always resonated in my mind.

When I stepped into the work force and took my first “serious” job at a former corporation, I finally caught a glimpse of why working together was so important. I came in as a sales associate and within two months, the manager left his position to pursue in a different position in the company. We were left with four associates and me being the newest member of the team with no manager. I never really took my job “seriously”, I was in school and I wanted to make extra money. I enjoyed working for commission because I like to be paid for what I did. I was only working part time and wanted to maximize as much as possible. I figured since I wasn’t able to work many hours due to school, I would just work very hard when I was on the clock to earn the commission. Every now and then my Regional Manager would stop by to check on the kiosk and would be amazed at how well things were still in order, even without the presence of a manager. I took every opportunity to learn from him. I was a sponge. Three and a half months into my time with the company, I was promoted to manager. I took ownership of the position although I didn’t have a title. It came naturally. I then moved quickly up the corporate ladder simply because I was working “while others were sleeping”.

Many asked me how I did what I did and I didn’t have an answer. What I did to get promoted so quickly was purely intuitive. I never took the time to evaluate my progress. When I did take a moment to review my progress, I realized that all I did was understood the value of a team. I noticed that when our team suffered the most from sales, it was because our team efforts were off balanced. When we were the most successful in sales, team comradery and synergy was in sync. I took this and delegated tasks to team members where they best fit. It goes back to John C. Maxwell’s philosophy of team fit. Everyone has a place in a team, it was a matter of knowing each team members’ potential. A couple years in I was the interim Retail Sales Manager. I was going through a personal battle. I found myself chasing the wrong things in life, I felt the need to stop. Although I was finding great success in the company, I was under developed as an individual. I was doing things out of my character and didn’t realize it until I was losing some of the most important things in my life; the time spent with family and those I cared for most.

Looking back, I do not regret my experience. It actually allowed me to find my passion in life and that is to help people find their own passion. It was a great learning experience and it helped me grow. It also allowed me to build character at a young age. I made some mistakes along the way but I am a quick learner so I was able to bounce back pretty quickly. All those evening working with my family to accomplish a goal at a time, resulted in a bigger picture for my family. It is a life lesson, something that will be embedded in my philosophy. Something I will carry on with me throughout my journey. I used to wonder if I had ever missed anything then by working at home with my family over the weekends and some weekday evenings. It doesn’t bother me much now than it did at that moment in time. I am actually thankful for it all for I have learned the value of family and teamwork, something that is crucial to any relationship, whether it personal or professional. It was such an integral part of my personal development.

-B.H.

Why Work Hard?

I’ve always been a firm believer of working hard. I don’t think everyone truly understands what this means. For most, working hard is putting out labor hours and hard effort to accomplish a given task. What many don’t understand is that when we work hard blindly, without a strategic plan, we could potentially be expending valuable energy in the wrong places. If we feel like we are working hard everyday but we are not making any progress in our lives, maybe its time to take a step back and put things in perspective. I admire hard working people, I believe that working hard is the root of success. I’ve seen my own parents work hard all of there lives, its a great principle to have. Many of us then tend to ask ourselves questions such as, “How come “x” person is getting promoted and I work 10 times harder then them?” The science is not in simply working hard with no end in mind. It’s about working strategically so that we can accomplish the end result, whether it be for a raise or a promotion.

Make sure we create a system of leverage. Too often, we do what we are told but we don’t put a value on ourselves, therefore we keep hitting “goals” but we fall in a realm of mediocrity. Make sure there is a balance in our values, integrity, efforts and results. When we work with a purpose it increases our level of urgency thus creating a surge of energy that allows us to be stimulated. We are often overlooked because we overlook ourselves. There is ALWAYS a reason to why we may be overlooked and it doesn’t necessarily mean its because “x” person above us doesn’t like us. It’s most likely because we are not exercising our natural talent, over performing but under developed. It is important to truly see our own progression.

If we are noticing that our tasks are not getting bigger and our jobs are getting repetitive, it’s probably due to the fact that we aren’t reaching out for more responsibilities to grow. If the sun never reaches for the sun, it will never grow. It will end up wilting in total darkness. If we work our muscles with the same motion and the same weight we stop growing because we are not adding resistance to help our muscles grow. The key is to re-evaluate ourselves and see what it is that may be causing ourselves to be over looked, and we must be honest. Refine those weak areas and make sure to make note of our efforts daily. This is when we start to work strategically and working smart.

Working hard daily doesn’t mean we are working hard for any particular person but ourselves. This is where the disconnection begins which causes us to cheat ourselves. I hear people say, “Why work hard if no one notices?” this is a common mistake that many of us don’t realize. When we don’t work hard, we lack integrity and character to none other but ourselves. Remember, when we work, we are working for ourselves. We work so that we can make a living to be able to sustain life. Building character is absolutely necessary. We must start by making a commitment to excellence. Once we have made this commitment to ourselves we will see the impact. It will be an impact that is effected on a global scale. We may not see it but many others will. Remember, the quality of our lives is in direct proportion to the quality of questions that we ask ourselves and others. Instead of asking why “he, she, they” got promoted, ask ourselves what is it that we are lacking to make the progression. We will then realize that the person who is going to make the difference depends on none other but ourselves.

-B.H.

Opportunities Await


I had an opportunity to sit down with a few of my associates to discuss a new business venture. The meeting was held at Ms. Debra White’s humble home. I am extremely excited to be a part of this operation. I believe it will help people in any aspect of their lives. The conversation and the communication in the meeting was extremely open and there was definitely synergy in the works. When I was asked to come to the meeting, I accepted the offer because I truly wanted to help. All of my associates in this venture all had the passion to help people. They all also believe in my “branded” philosophy of being “SuperNatural”. It’s extremely amazing how if you created an image or thought in your head about anything and you believe and think about it enough, it starts to manifest in time. I’m a firm believer of the idea that if you are just now preparing for the opportunity that just opened up…it’s already too late. I believe in preparation far beyond the now. Every day is a day that we should practice and prepare for that specific opportunity to arise and be prepared to own it.

This venture will allow me to reach out and help people by giving them an opportunity to build a brand that will commit to excellence. Branding with a commitment to be excellent will only result in strong brand loyalty. I’ve always stated that I am a student of life and this venture will allow me to do just that, learn and experience different avenues of opportunities. Taking the next step to actually being given the opportunity to brand a specific individual who already has such a strong brand, will only allow me to exercise my passion. By exercising my passion, this will in turn allow them to exercise their passion.

I have been looking for an office to move into so that I can have a more professional atmosphere to meet clients and hold meetings. Debra was generous enough to offer some of her space to us. I am extremely humble for the offer. Things are becoming more concrete towards the direction in which I have envisioned in my mind. Things are slowly starting to manifest in real time.

Key Point: Believe in your vision, think about it deeply, take a few steps and start prepping TODAY. Do NOT let anyone tell you it’s impossible.

Thank you for reading and as always remind yourself to be SuperNatural,

-B.H.

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