My Own Horrifying Jerry Maguire Moment

“He that speaks the truth must have one foot in the stirrup.”– Turkish proverb

par·al·lax–, noun, the effect whereby the position or direction of an object appears to differ when viewed from different positions (note: parallax is also the term used in tank gunnery to describe the lining up of the gunner’s or tank commander’s sight with the tank main gun gun tube)

Bottom Line Up Front: Recently I posted a blog post critical of Human Resources departments dominated by women. I was trying to advocate for greater cooperation between men and women and make a point about a situation faced by men. I fear I offended hard working women. As men, getting it right—keeping our integrity while fulfilling our responsibilities– is the toughest thing we’ll ever do. We will fall many times. It’s terrifying and necessary in this crazy world for all of us—men as well as women—to keep trying to get it right.

It’s completely worth it, but let’s be careful of each other.

The Jerry Maguire Moment? Realizing to your horror your conscience may have over-ridden your good judgment.

In a crisis of conscience in the middle of the night during a corporate off-site, sports agent Jerry Maguire writes a mission statement criticizing the company he works for and the industry it serves.

Before he can stop himself, he distributes it to the entire company.

He wakes the next morning horrified to realize what he’s done.

He is fired two weeks later and must re-build his life.

A compelling story to watch, a tough road to travel.

“Let’s face it. Men are insensitive. They don’t listen.”

Let’s go back a few years.

After I retired from the Army in 2002 I went to work for a defense contractor. I was a Program Manager and Section Manager. I attended an HR training event run by two former corporate Vice Presidents. At the event they self-described as a Jewish lawyer and a WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) manager. I remember thinking, “OK, now our cards are on the table.”

I think the event was aimed at making everyone more sensitive to the needs of a diverse work force.

The word diverse had already lost its meaning, even then.

I had watched the company’s HR department try diligently for two years to manage a rapidly changing work force in our crazy litigious society.

Well into the event one of the presenters said, “Let’s face it. Men are insensitive. They don’t listen.”

I shot my hand up. It seemed this was a typical moment of self-serving corporate hypocrisy.

I worked hard and was proud of the professionalism I tried to show every day to all people.

He called on me.

I said, “I gotta throw the flag on you for that one. You sound pretty sexist, there.”

That was me, a man, calling him, a man, sexist.

Crazy or what?

Further down in the auditorium a young lady shot her hand up.

Can I say young lady? In my culture it is how I show respect.

She was black.

Can I say black? I have lost track of what other people tell me I am allowed to say.

When she put her hand up I remember thinking, “OK, here we go. Now I’m going to get it.”

The presenter called on the young lady.

She said, “I gotta tell you, he (meaning me) is right. I have worked here for some years. I love my job. I love working here. White, middle aged men have tried harder than anyone else to get this stuff right and have been the most helpful of anyone here. They listen. They have helped me. They have taught me. I am very grateful for that.”

Maybe she wasn’t quite that complimentary, but it’s been some years. I remember feeling that complimented.

That honored.

That appreciated.

She was absolutely great.

That is the story—it must happen elsewhere– that doesn’t get told enough.

“Men just don’t take me seriously.”

About two years later at the same company I attended another HR sponsored training event.

The presenter was a very attractive young lady.

Attractiveness matters. It’s relevant. Don’t kid yourself.

She had started her own training company.

She was a subcontractor.

Very professional.

Very competent.

Very confident.

Her task? To teach a room full of men—former soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen– to manage their security clearances properly.

It was a good class.

So good that I, even then wanting to launch my own business, asked her to coffee to learn from her.

She taught many different kinds of courses and said she was considering cancelling this particular gig.

She said men were under-represented in her field because HR was dominated by women and HR made the training decisions.

I asked her to connect the dots.

She said, “I know my job. My business is profitable. I’m good and get invited back. I hope it’s because I am effective. However, it’s also because I’m a woman. There are advantages to a woman-owned business and being hired by other women. But there’s a down side. I know when I am not getting through to men. They look at me. They see an attractive woman and they check out. They are not thinking about what I’m saying. They look at me and think of… let’s just say… other things.”

She said a man could make a lot of money in her field because his training would be more effective if the target audience is men. Men listen to men.

She encouraged me to start a business like hers specifically training men in the cleared community because that market is under-served.

The result? Men aren’t getting trained effectively. The client was not getting as good a product.

Like it or not, human nature plays a role in communication.

Sex is part of human nature.

Sometimes you have to test a limb to see how strong it is. Sometimes that limb is yourself.

My Jerry Maguire moment was the decision to publish a blog post. Scared me to death.

Two weeks ago I published a blog post titled The Invisible Engine. In it I describe a situation I have discovered through talking with men. They have confirmed my own experience in corporate America and to a degree my experience working in the Federal Government.

You can read it here.

When I was frightened I had done the wrong thing by posting it I wanted to re-write and soften it.

I have not re-written it.

But I have re-thought it.

It is a pretty fair assessment of the situation as I have experienced it and as I have learned of it through speaking with other men.

Many men I have spoken with do feel marginalized and patronized if not outright persecuted just for being men.

Many men are sort of punch drunk from the PC wars.

They have checked out.

They are throughout the work force and want to engage and work hard, but are hesitant to do so because they believe they will be penalized.

Some of them are using their employers’ resources to cheat the system.

That is not getting it right. You can’t cheat.

Here’s why I was horrified. I work with very professional women. I thought my blogpost would offend them and women and men have to solve the problems we face together.

My manager is a woman.

She is one of the hardest working, most detail oriented, professional managers I have ever encountered.

Like all of us, she has her faults.

Like most of us, she is probably painfully more aware of her faults than anyone else is.

She works hard to get it—managing– as close to right as she can every single day.

She pours herself into the job with all she has. She busts her back.

She works long hours and puts all she has into every task.

I assume she reads my blog posts because writing blog posts is a public act.

However, I don’t know for certain.

She is so attentive to being professional that she would not mention my blogposts because doing so may cross a line she wants us to keep in place.

The HR Reps who help me are women.

I am trying to learn to be more effective at my job.

I reached out to my HR reps.

They have agreed to meet with me.

They are women. Hard-working, professional, detail oriented and crazy professional.

They want to succeed and they want me to succeed.

Our senior-most manager is a woman.

Finally, not too long ago a very senior official in our organization came down to talk with us.

Professional, knowledgeable, experienced and very generous with her most precious asset: her time.

Again, too, she is a woman. Like me, like you, she is trying to get it right.

The Masculine Genius. The Feminine Genius.

We all know who Warren Buffett is. His business partner at Berkshire Hathaway is a man named Charlie Munger. Buffett said something very wise that I have applied to my marriage. He said, “Charlie and I disagree on many things, but we never argue.”

That’s gold, there, gentlemen. Gold. Men and women may disagree but we both lose when we argue.

When I first started doing research on how to launch Authentic Masculinity I read two books simultaneously. One was Choose Yourself by James Altucher. The other was Free Range Human by Maryann Cantwell.

A man’s perspective.

A woman’s perspective.

Parallax (if you missed it, see the definition of parallax at the start of this post).

I benefit.

Call To Action: Write a Personal Mission Statement.

Jerry Maguire moments can be devastating, but life is a force of crushing compromise and those compromises can crush our value to our employers. Most of us start a career with high ideals and then slowly allow our ideals and standards to drop in response to day to day realities. Fight that trend by doing the following:

First, today, right now, write down as quickly as you can why you are in the line of work you are in.

Second, answer these questions and remember the answers are strictly for you, nobody else, so feel free to let yourself go with the answers.

Why are you doing the work you do now and why did you start some years ago?

How are the reasons different?

How have your reasons changed over the years?

What are your current motivations and what are your current ideals for your own profession?

Finally, after considering the answers to these questions, how has experience and the lessons of your career made you better and how can you bring that sense of being better to the work place to add value? Use that answer to write for yourself a personal mission statement that is your call to action on a daily basis. Use it to serve your management with passion. All of this can help you to re-energize yourself and help you to boost the contributions you bring, as a man, to the work place in which you serve.

Post Source Here: My Own Horrifying Jerry Maguire Moment

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How to Anticipate a Threat: Situational Awareness

Dear Brendan,

To quickly recap– we have established a baseline and developed a strong foundation to build upon. This is key.

Now, let’s continue to move forward together on this journey to secure the high ground of protection; self-protection and the protection of those we are responsible for.

My last notes to you covered down on the differences between working out and training and the importance of strength. Remember there is no one size fits all solution. I’m not giving you or anyone else a cookie cutter approach to anything. You need to continue to refine and customize all that we do here. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. Nobody knows you or your capabilities, etc. better than you do. I challenge you to think for yourself and never relent. Trust me and the information I provide you, but verify everything I say and tailor it all to your own needs. I’m providing you tools, resources, skill sets, tradecraft, and more. Now, you must develop them to best fit you, your life and family.

I’ll do everything I can to keep these letters to a manageable length and workable framework. The only downside to that is that all of these tools, skill sets, tradecraft and training I cover will require quite a bit more time, discussion, and training to gain a full understanding and acquire the skill. In order to take everything to the next level will require that we use other platforms and have more one-on-one periods of time together to reinforce all to a higher level of proficiency.

The following two sayings will help drive home the point I’m trying to make.

“Amateurs train until they get it right. Professionals train until they can’t get it wrong.”

“We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore, excellence is not an act. It is a habit.”

Let’s keep moving forward. Today I’m introducing a new concept. It’s called Situational Awareness, or SA.

Before I start, I’ll say again to please take this upon yourself to research and study.

Developing your SA is not only about preventing or surviving an attack. Although having good SA will help make you a hard target in a potential confrontation, it’s also about honing your skills of observation in all areas of your life. SA is something you cultivate over time. It should become part of your everyday life. SA should become second nature so when it’s deployed it is done naturally without having to think about it, like blinking and breathing. You do these things without conscious thought.

There are a lot of resources out there about SA and how to improve your attentiveness to your surroundings or operational environment. A lot of SA is simply watching your six, or your back.

You may hear people say it’s like keeping your head on a swivel, which means you are always scanning, scanning, scanning, looking carefully around you. There are many benefits to this, but one of them is that somebody observing you will realize very quickly that you are alert and paying attention, which makes you a less attractive target to someone. Doing this is part of developing eyes in the back of your head, so to speak. It can be as simple as where you sit inside a restaurant. You may want to position yourself with your back against the wall. And remember not to draw attention to yourself.

There is a system called Observe-Orient-Decide-Act (OODA) loop. I could write an entire piece just on the OODA loop. Observe and Orient is basically SA. Put yourself in a position to observe all. You want to have a clear field of vision. Establish a baseline of behavior for where you are. What is normal or not normal for your environment? I’ll discuss body language and other non-verbal behavior in a separate note to you.

Do you have an action plan if things go sideways?

Example: Man walks into a café with a gun. What would you do?

I’d suggest you take the time to look closer at the OODA loop and everything discussed in more detail on your own. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or thoughts on this.

I’ll close by telling you about an SA game I play with my daughters. It’s called Keep In Mind Skills or KIMS game. This helps my daughters and me hone our SA skills. This is how it works.

Anytime we go to Starbucks for a daddy-daughter date we automatically start making mental notes about the environment. This includes the number of employees behind the counter, the number of customers, what people are wearing, how many men, how many women are there, how many exits/entrances, and so on. After we leave and are back in the car, I’ll ask them questions such as how many people were working behind the counter? How many customers were there? How many were men and how many were women? What was the color of the shirt the guy had on next to us? How many exits/entrances did you count? It can be fun to play and the great thing is you are training your kids and yourself to have better SA.

Like anything else here it comes back to training. Perfect practice makes perfect.

“We do not rise to the occasion. We fall to our level of training.”

Train, Train, Train

Be Aware & Be Safe,

-Travis

PS: USAF COL John Boyd developed the OODA loop. You can perform a simple online Google search that will pull up numerous materials about the OODA loop. I recommend you do so.

Post Source Here: How to Anticipate a Threat: Situational Awareness

Podcast Episode 19: Technical Mastery. Tactical Mastery

Have you ever wondered what the Army teaches its young leaders? Listen in as Jonathan interviews Shannon McGurk, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (retired). Shannon shares the lessons he learned from his 20 year career as a Ground Cavalry Officer and China Foreign Area Officer in the U.S. Army.

In Principle 2, “Be Technically and Tactically Proficient” learn the importance of focusing on the basics. How well do you do your job and how well do you know where and when to do your job? Learn the important link between your own proficiency and that of those you lead.

Post Source Here: Podcast Episode 19: Technical Mastery. Tactical Mastery

How to bring value today to a job you hate

Maximus: You don’t find it hard to do your duty?

Cicero: Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to.

“Gladiator” 2000

Bottom Line Up Front: You can increase your value to your employer and enjoy your job more by doing these 3 things and it will position you to make a more graceful transition if you want to. What are they? Be grateful, be cheerful and get better.

Do you hate your job? Good.

Good because it’s healthy to be clear about what we like and what we don’t like, but also good because it is healthy for us to go through a miserable situation, keep a smile on our face and turn it around…

…before we leave.

When I was a commander in the Army soldiers used to say, “Sir, we don’t have to train to be miserable.” While it’s true you don’t have to invite misery, you do have to toughen yourself to be able to undergo misery and not get discouraged.

First, be grateful.

Right now, write down three things you like about this job you hate. The easiest things can be the paycheck, the heating in the winter and the air conditioning in the summer, and any time off you are granted. If you work in a garage or if you work outside you can be grateful for the people you interact with, the coffee in the break room, or the warming tent you get to use in cold weather. You can be thankful for a thermos of coffee or a jug of ice water. You can be thankful for a lunch break.

We find what we look for.

As you are thinking of things to be grateful for remember we always find what we look for. If we look for the bad in people or in situations we will always find it. If we look for the good we will always find it.

What about your paycheck?

No matter how much or how little you are paid, be grateful for that. By saying thank you, even silently to yourself, you turn the entire situation around. Try it. To turbocharge this process, even if your paycheck is modest and money is tight, promise yourself today that you will over-tip someone… today. In a restaurant, your barber, or anyone who helps you.

Second, be cheerful.

If you are reading this at work then you can do this now. If you are reading this at home, do it in the morning when you go to work. The next time someone asks you how you are, say,

“On top of the world.” This usually makes people smile or laugh.

Or…

“Best day of my life.” Then, if you’re feeling very confident, say, “Well, there was a summer night in 1978… (or whatever year you graduated from high school)” and smile. That sort of softens the impact in a good way.

Or…

“Very. Very. Well.” This is quiet and understated and has a big punch.

You can also say, “Living the dream,” which can be cynical and sarcastic or not. If someone laughs and you want to be real and connect with them because they know the situation you are both in is unpleasant, say, hopefully, “Nightmares are dreams, too, right?” That usually makes people smile.

Third, get better.

We can all afford to bring up our game. Decide—decide—to be better at everything you do, no matter how modest the task. Answering the phone, writing an email, holding a meeting. Ask yourself if you are doing the absolute best you can do. If not, try to be better.

The best way to leave a task you don’t like is to grow out of it. Master it. Make it your own.

If you really want to turbo-charge this tell someone in your office, “I pledge to you you are going to get a better version of me today. That’s my promise to you. It’s me, 3.0 (say it like “Three dot oh.” They’ll get a kick out of that.).”

Maybe you’re not there for you.

When I had a job I hated I complained to my wife. She said something very wise. She said, “Maybe you’re not there for you. Maybe you’re there for somebody else.”

That made it worth it.

If you hate your job, you can turn it around by being grateful, being cheerful and then getting better. Once better you can plot your escape.

You will feel better about the job you hate. You will do better at the job you hate. You will succeed more quickly at the job you hate.

Call to Action: First, write down three things you are thankful for at your job. Second, promise yourself right this minute and commit to yourself that you will no longer complain and when asked how you are you will say, “Great. Best day of my life.” Third, write down three areas of your job you will begin to improve in (we all know where we are weak, right?) and take action today to get better in those areas.

Post Source Here: How to bring value today to a job you hate

Podcast Episode 18 – Manhood and 50 Shades of Grey with Dave DiNuzzo

What does it take to be a true man?

What does it take in the modern world to be a True Man? Get an up-close look at an every day hero in this interview of a husband, father of 4 and blogger Dave DiNuzzo, the founder of TrueManhood.com. Dave points out in solid, clear and logical language the key to making women feel special, how men can keep some of their own most vicious demons at bay and why it is that what we do on an every day basis matters so very much.

What’s a healthy masculine response to 50 Shades of Grey?

Dave also knows how to cut to the heart of the matter at hand. Listen in as Dave puts many pieces together– the parasitic drag of 50 Shades of Grey and how that one movie can exercise a very subtle destructive influence on our abilities to live a fully masculine life as husbands, fathers, sons, friends.

Post Source Here: Podcast Episode 18 – Manhood and 50 Shades of Grey with Dave DiNuzzo

The Stronger Man Always Wins

Dear Brendan,

Let’s roll up our sleeves and cover down on being as strong as you can be all the time for yourself, your family, your team.

I’m talking as both a warfighter and as a dad and family man.

When I would go back home on leave after a deployment or after training, people would ask me all kinds of questions.

What is it like?

How was it over there?

How tough was the training?

What did you do to prepare? And the list of questions goes on and on.

I would often give a sarcastic answer and draw some laughs. Then lay it down in the simplest of terms. The big secret or mystery is to be functionally strong in all areas. After true strength, it’s basically about cardio and being mobile and agile.

My experience and that of many others who are warfighters or SOF operators will echo much the same as I’m telling you. Stronger people do not exhaust themselves or break down like weaker people doing the exact same thing. The brutal truth is that the stronger man almost always wins. So forget about all the fairytales you heard growing up. Remember being stronger means physically, mentally and emotionally.

I’m sure we have all seen big strong guys break mentally or emotionally. They simply lack the will to win and give up. The flip side is that skinny young guy who is maybe 170 pounds soaking wet who will dig deep and carry that so-called 250 pound beast of a football player up the mountain while Mr. Football is crying and whining the entire time like a little school girl who lost her favorite doll.

So a common trait for those that are successful warfighters or operators is that they are simply stronger across the board than your average person. Please don’t confuse bigger with stronger. No, bigger is not the issue or the game changer. It is strength that trumps all in the end. It’s about being stronger in everything across the board. I’m talking about globally stronger.

Can you throw on 30% of your body weight in the form of your kit (body armor and gear) and pick up your buddy and run in a sprint 500 yards to cover?

Yes or No?

I don’t care what your marathon time is or how fast you run the 40-yard dash.

So what standard do I hold myself to as well as my teammates? And this is a standard you should strive for as well. I’m about 180lbs and I’m looking for about the same in my teammates. A 170-220 pound man with the same level of commitment and heart. We should always maintain our level of functional fitness as men, protectors, warfighters. This means we can at a moment’s notice stand and fight the good fight for ourselves, our family, our teammates.

Training should consist of exercises designed around mission requirements and tasks. Your cardio should focus on sprints. Every training session should focus on strength, mobility, flexibility, injury prevention, power and explosiveness. If any training does not benefit you in these areas you should not waste your time and energy on it. Everything else is really just Hollywood fads and other BS that you should simply ignore or throw out.

There’s no need to be cute because you are not training to be an underwear model. So do not be misled by some knucklehead trainer at the local gym. Do not fall for the BS pitch about some fancy gym trick or how much a guy can max bench-press. Nor should you be impressed because some gym rat has crazy cardio or runs super-fast. Who cares? Let’s get back on point, on target. You want to be globally stronger, stronger as a man, stronger as a leader, stronger as a whole person– physically, mentally, emotionally– which translates to functional real-world capabilities.

I don’t give a damn if a teammate of mine, or the dude at the gym, can do some stupid weight lifting trick or a handstand push-up. Why would I care and why should you care? I’d say give me a real life example where it matters. And don’t say because it impresses a girl at the local bar. To that I say, tell me another story.

The bottom-line is can you pick me up or your wife and child and run to safety? If no, then you have some serious training to do and you don’t get a spot on the team till you can. This is the real world and not everyone gets a trophy. This is also why I don’t care if you or someone else can bench press 400lbs or run really fast.

The real question remains: how fast can you pick me up and run 200 yards to cover?

If the person can’t do this then tell them to stop with all the BS talk unless they have vetted studies to back up their ridiculous point about gym tricks. This all comes down to stronger people are harder to kill, period. So take the time and focus a lot of your energy on becoming as strong as you can be as a person. You will be far more useful to yourself, your family, your team and be more successful in life and in the fight that matters most.

Let’s think about fighting and combat for a minute. The best fighters in the world want to be stronger not just in the beginning of a fight but at the end of the fight. Hence the saying, finish strong, or it’s not how you start that matters but how you finish. Here is another way to think about this. I’m sure you have wrestled with your older brother or father. How did it feel to wrestle a much stronger person?

In the end you can always dig deep to find one more step or breath. In the heat of battle a true warrior can find a few more steps or the ability to make one last sprint. That is going to be there deep inside you like a burning flame. But strength is not something you can simply dig deep for when you need it most.

If you can’t lift 225lbs now, what makes you think you can lift 300lbs or more when seconds can mean life or death?

No gym trick is going to help you. And for all those marathon runners and cardio freaks out there– If you train to be able to run for your own survival instead of being strong enough to hold the line and finish the fight, well then running away is the only thing you have. However that is not what we do or who we are as men and leaders for our families and team.

Another measure of functional strength is not how much weight you can lift, but how many pull-ups, push-ups, dips, and squats you can do. Keep this in mind that it is not enough to have the supplies you need in case of an emergency or natural disaster, but to also be prepared physically. Ask yourself, can you truly save or protect yourself and your loved ones in any situation?

I’m hitting you hard but I know you can take it, Brendan, so I’ll let you think about these questions and concepts until my next letter, which will be on a very important topic—Situational Awareness, which means being tuned in to your surroundings as much as possible when it matters the most.

Until then, Brother to Brother, Shield to Shield, Soul to Soul, Iron to Iron.

I’ll be to your left or to your right and we will hold the line.

One Family, One Team, One Fight

Your Friend,

-Travis

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”

Post Source Here: The Stronger Man Always Wins

The Invisible Engine: Engaging and Leading Men In Any Organization

Bottom Line Up Front: If you are a business owner, C-level executive, manager or Human Resources professional, this article is aimed at you. Masculinity worthy of the name is ambitious, resourceful, driven and leads to profit. You have within your organization an invisible engine made of these things—ambition, resourcefulness, drive. The engine generates growth, creativity, motivation, leadership. The engine is men. Sadly, years of criticism, accusation, neglect and nitpicking by Human Resources have created a culture that denigrates and ridicules masculinity and it has alienated many men. The result? Many of the best men have checked out and are using company resources to build their own businesses. The worst men have checked out, are squandering company resources and just picking up a paycheck or, more dangerous to their management, are actively living the new ethic of victimhood and dependency in the workplace.

This is not a sex thing.

This discussion is not about putting women down. It’s about finding what is good in men. It’s not about bashing anyone. It’s about restoring balance between the sexes in the workplace.

Right now things are out of balance in the workplace. This disequilibrium is hurting everything: efficiency, productivity, returns, stock valuations, balance sheets.

The whole shooting match.

In the current environment many men have checked out and look weak.

And nobody likes weak men.

Not other men.

Not women.

We all benefit when men are strong, but right now it’s all up for grabs. The whole shooting match.

Men are out there and they’re talking to us.

We at Authentic Masculinity know some of the best of these men—men who want your business or organization to succeed– are out there.

We know them because they are talking to us.

There are a lot of them.

They’re tired of being taken for granted and they’re fed up with poor leadership.

So it’s your choice.

You talk to them or they’ll talk to us.

The up side is that they want you to engage with them and lead them.

The down side is that if you screw this up you’ll continue to lose them to the opportunities of this competitive economy.

They’ll create wealth for themselves and others on your time.

Hidden value. Is it beyond your reach?

Whether it’s a stock, a property, or a person, we all know that one of the most powerful keys to create wealth efficiently is to uncover hidden value. First you must find it.

You have hidden value—think of it as deep veins of gold– concealed throughout your organization, whether your organization is a company, a department, a section, or a sales team.

Do you want an edge in this competitive economy? Tap into men. Talk to them in language that motivates them and then…

…lead them.

But my hunch is that you don’t know they’re there.

Or you don’t know where to find them.

Or you don’t know how to tap into them.

Or you have been part of the problem and they have tuned you out.

An economic and cultural Class V Rapids Confluence of Three Feeds

Three things are making now the right time for this discussion: Opportunity, Technology, Disaffection.

We are all familiar with Robert Kiyosaki’s excellent book, The Cashflow Quadrant. We know what characterizes an employee, what employees’ values are and we know as business leaders that our relationship to employees is changing due to countless factors. But many employees have also read The Cashflow Quadrant. They know what your values are. They are thinking differently about compensation, money, time, value. They see opportunity, they know technology and they are not satisfied with what they’re getting—especially if they’re men. The kinds of employees companies need in order to succeed are the kinds of employees who are capable of going elsewhere.

Opportunity.

Organizations like yours want good employees, but good employees want opportunity and independence. The economy, the blogosphere, podcasting, social media and YouTube are giving men amazing opportunities. No more gatekeepers and access to a global market.

Technology.

The technology and creativity our companies need to be competitive are the same technologies and creativity our employees have in spades. Modern technology makes our employees aware of both the pull of the global economy as well as the opportunities it presents. Men are also rediscovering the courage to dream because technology gives everyone access to the internet 24/7 and the internet is a great place to dream.

Disaffection.

So.

Whether we like it or not, we have within our organizations a large group of people who have been undervalued, poorly led, targeted and in some cases ridiculed for being what we need and having what we want. These people are men.

Ironically, it’s not in a man’s nature to argue or get emotional in the face of poor decisions or emotional imbalance. It’s the nature of most good men to check out. Checking out is a symptom of disaffection.

The kinds of male employees—the ones we want for our organizations– are resourceful, ambitious, creative.

And inquisitive.

And disciplined.

And driven.

And competitive.

And they’re disaffected.

Some critical questions.

If we are smart we are asking questions.

Here are some we should be asking:

What is the health of my organization’s relationship with men?

Do I have a problem with weak or even strong men in my organization who want to work harder and be more successful but don’t feel valued? Do men feel unwelcome in my organization?

If so, how do I turn the situation around?

Do I even know how to diagnose whether or not my organization has a problem?

Here’s how to find out at the simplest, most basic level.

What does your Human Resources Department look like?

If it’s like most, it’s dominated by women. Is that the true diversity we all say we want?

Where are the men in your company? Are they in HR? Not likely. Do you know why?

What kind of men do you have in your organization? Do you even know?

What kind of language do men in your organization use on a day to day basis? By this we mean do they use aggressive language? Military language? Sports language?

The language your masculine culture uses can tell you a lot about your corporate culture. It determines how you gain the trust of men in that culture. Among men a certain kind of trust is vital.

Does your company have a healthy, balanced, complementary relationship between men and women?

Here’s why we are asking.

Before we look into those questions, a little about why we are asking.

In March of 2014 my partner and I started an outreach effort for men which later came to be called The Ten Best Men Project. If you are interested you can read about it here, but what’s important is what we learned.

We learned by listening carefully to many, many men what many of us have suspected and others have known with certainty for some time: Men have been showing up at work but checking out for a long time and they’re checking out because of well-intentioned but dangerously misguided management efforts motivated by silly—yes, silly—and slavish devotion to political correctitude.

If you want to tap into this vital force for profit and movement within your company, you have to know what the dominant masculine culture in your organization is, who the leaders and influencers in that group are and how to talk to them. Make a mistake and it’s tough to recover, especially in this emotionally charged environment of political correctness and hypersensitivity to atmospherics.

What can you do?

First, look hard at your HR department. If it’s dominated by women—no matter how competent, capable, strong and professional– you have a problem in your company.

Second, look hard at your managers. Of the men, what kind of men are they? What sorts of backgrounds do they have? Sports? Armed Forces? Are they strong men? If they are weak men, in what ways are they weak? How does that weakness manifest itself? How does the strength of your men manifest itself?

Third, ask yourself this very difficult leadership and business question: Do I want to tap into a powerful—but long neglected– engine of growth? If so, the time is right. If not, be aware that your competition’s leadership is not hesitant or afraid to ask these questions and look hard at the answers. Others are keen to undo the damage done to the status of men in business because—done smartly—it can lead to greater profit and efficiency because men want to work. Men want to be efficient. Men want to improve themselves and their organizations and they want to solve problems they find.

What this is not.

This is not a situation for bashing anyone. In well-run companies men and women work well together. Where strong, confident men meet strong, confident women there is a complementarity and balance of strong personalities that is nothing short of magic.

Yes, when male-female complementarity in the work place clicks, it’s magic, but it’s very. Very. Rare.

The rarity of that magic is because most companies have forgotten how to manage and lead men.

Call to action: First, look hard at your HR department and don’t shy away from harsh reality. Second, speak to your trusted management team. Start the discussion. Get a feel for your corporate climate with regard to men and determine if you want to tap into the force of men in your company. Third, give serious thought to what language you can use to motivate and unify men without alienating and irritating the women in your work force. There’s a way to do it but it requires confidence, humility, aggression and precision. And, most of all: communication skills. Ask the right questions, use the right language, you’ll get the right answers and those answers will astonish you.

To listen in on a conversation about the invisible engine, click here.

Post Source Here: The Invisible Engine: Engaging and Leading Men In Any Organization