by KJ McNamara
Thanksgiving is coming right up which will quickly be followed by the warmth and excitement of Christmas and Hanukah. The New Year is around the corner with promise of new beginnings and fun to come. The excitement of the presidential elections is still fresh and exciting in everyone’s mind. There is no wonder that this is truly many American’s favorite time of year.
Here at Phired Up, we love this season because it is the season of giving. It is the time of year where we put our selves, our agenda and our needs second to give back and thank all of the wonderful people in our lives. This is the time where we dedicate ourselves to a greater purpose and a greater cause. This is the time where we dedicate ourselves to the purest form of Generosity.
Generosity is one of the 4 pillars of Social Excellence , (as many of you know). But very rarely do we examine this pillar alone and how much the pure idea of being generous can change the world and start a movement.
We love seeing all of your facebook posts about what you are truly thankful for, what a generous way to thank the people around you. This form of generosity is a movement all on its own.
There are a lot of other ways people change the world during this time of year with their generosity. They buy gifts for complete strangers and needy families. They write a check to their favorite charity. They volunteer at their local food bank. All of these are powerful gestures, but keep in mind that the spirit of generosity can be simple and not cost much time or money too… Social Excellence teaches generosity as a way to BUILD CONNECTIONS WITH PEOPLE. Give first — make someone’s day — and trust that there is no more powerful lubricant for relationships than pure generosity. Simple acts — small momentary choices — can be powerful this time of year. Check out these ideas:
Another pillar of Social Excellence is AUTHENTICITY. This pillar, among other things, reminds us that within each person lies an authentic self that is made from the good stuff of life, as well as the tough stuff of life. We never know what another person is going through — especially this time of year. We never know how giving of ourselves, of our precious time and energy can literally make their day, their week, or their life better.
Mother Teresa once said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.”
We hear so many people want to matter to this world. We hear professionals, students and mentors say over and over again that they deeply desire to make this world a better place. If you want to change to world… be kind, be nice, make people’s day better just because you were in it. Be generous. There is another quote by William J.H. Boetcker that says, “Your greatness is measured by your kindness.”
So we have a challenge for all of our best friends reading this. A dare. We dare you to be do three things each day that are purely GENEROUS. Make three people’s day. Whatever you choose, to do to accomplish that dare, WE WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT! Actually we want to see it! Send us a picture on Twitter (#BeThePerson #SocialExcellence). Upload a video toFacebook . We love seeing these videos they inspire us every day and we would be more then thrilled to see all of your faces doing the things that make us feel so warm and fuzzy!
It only takes one person to change the world… Are you going to be that one person who starts a movement of generosity? We will follow you, and so will so many others!
by Matt Mattson
This post was on my Facebook Newsfeed yesterday, and it made me smile. Social Excellence DARES us to engage with not only the people around us, but also the society around us. A line in the definition of Social Excellence reads, "The deepest level of societal participation and contribution."
So, at this vital juncture in our time as Americans, will you choose to engage? Will you choose to talk to your neighbors, representatives, family members, classmates, co-workers, and friends about the future of our society?
If you’re new to engaging with people about the important topics of our time, try some of these questions (you’ll note that none of them are, "So, who are you voting for?")
This election feels important, what issues are most important to you?
If you were in charge of the country for a day, what impression would you want to leave?
Who are the political leaders that you really admire?
How can we get more people in our [neighborhood, school, workplace, club, etc.] to vote?
We know it can be a bit scary to talk to people during election season — with all the sharp tones, accusatory mailers, incessant political phone calls, and attack ads, the tone of public discourse is not exactly pleasant — but that’s why Social Excellence matters right now. Will you talk to the people in your life about THE FUTURE OF OUR NATION? Our nation requests your service in this regard. It is what we’re founded upon. Just do it in a Socially Excellent manner.
Go talk to people. It is your civic duty.
by Matt Mattson
I am an introvert . I don’t thrive off of large groups. Spending time alone gives me fuel. Quiet solitude is where I find some of life’s greatest joys. My natural tendency is to separate from the crowd… or at least seek a very small group of people to spend time with. I am an introvert.
Also, I am a professional speaker, trainer and coach. I work with large groups of people nearly every day for a living. I teach people social skills, I urge social engagement, and I co-authored a book on SOCIAL EXCELLENCE . My work requires extraordinary amounts of social interaction, and I love my work.
It seems like those two preceding paragraphs couldn’t both be true about the same person. I promise they are though. 100%. That’s me.
I’m reading a book about introverts title, "Quiet " by Susan Cain (see her TED Talk here, and read a recent NY Times editorial that she wrote here). I’ll reserve my review of this book for another time, but I will share that it really got me thinking that there are probably a lot of "introverts" who hear our message of Social Excellence and assume it’s not for them. "I’m just not a people person," they might think. "I do my best work alone," they might even say.
I would offer, however, that the way we interact socially with the people around us is a) a choice, and b) the determining factor in our level of influence on the world around us. While I might do my best work when I’m alone, I can’t share that work, those thoughts, those insights, with the outside world while I’m in my introverted bubble. No matter the life path, I must eventually engage socially for my work to mean anything. Are there exceptions to this? Probably. But most of us, if we want to change people’s minds, sell our wares, recruit new donors or members, influence others, or BE A LEADER, we must do so through other human beings . We are social animals living in a SOCIETY. Our interactions with each other are the conduit through which that society flows.
I might be an introvert, but I make a choice to be Socially Excellent. Do I take breaks, go quiet, disappear into the safety and warmth of alone time occasionally? Yep. And I’m proud of it. In fact, I would recommend that to everyone who values a little quiet space. But I also deeply understand that the more hands I choose to shake, conversations I choose to have, and relationships I choose to build, the greater my potential to learn from others, be exposed to new ideas and experiences, have more people to support me when I need them, and influence others.
I might be an introvert, but I also want to matter to the world when it’s all said and done. I know that the best way for me to do that, the best way for me to make a big impact, the best way for me to create the change I wish to see in the world is through my relationships with others.
Plus, once I started to choose Social Excellence as a lifestyle, I had better stories, more fun, and more success.
Yes, introverts can be Socially Excellent.
by Matt Mattson
Want to multiply your influence x 150 today?
Want to give yourself a 150% better chance to change minds?
Want to learn 150 x more about the world immediately?
Want to have a chance to fund raise from, sell to, learn about, or recruit 150% more people into your group right now?!
Well, here’s the secret. Here’s how it is done. Here’s how you, yes YOU, can multiply your influence x 150 (or more) right now!
Shake one hand. Have a conversation. Build a relationship. With one person… Just one will do it.
See, for every hand you shake that turns into a relationship, your level of influence is multiplied by around 150!
Dr. Robin Dunbar has done research for at least 20 years on the size of social networks. His research has suggested that the upper limit of close relationships someone can have is around 150 . This is called "Dunbar’s Number." While that mostly refers to the maximum number of close friends one can likely have, our suggestion is that a person’s circle of influence goes beyond their closest friends. In fact, in today’s digitally connected world, we have much wider circles of influence than ever before since so many of us broadcast to an audience of followers (Twitter) and friends (Facebook) amongst others.
In fact, your average friend on Facebook probably has around 359 "friends" according to this article from BBC News (that article also contains this fascinating little tidbit that encourages Social Excellence , "A study of 10,000 US students over a period of 35 years suggests the wealthiest people are those that had the most friends at school. Each extra school friend added 2% to the salar y").
For our college student readers, because of your proximity to one another, and the likelihood that if you’re reading our blog you’re connected to organized student groups who all congregate and interact with one another, it is likely that your social multiplier is even higher.
Here’s the point: Every time you choose to shake a hand, have a conversation, build a relationship (be Socially Excellent), you are expanding your potential circle of influence by a factor of nearly 150! That stranger walking by isn’t just one stranger — that’s 150 people that you could be connected with, that you could influence, that you could recruit, that you could learn from, that you could gather together around your cause.
So, choose to shake some hands today…
by Matt Mattson
I have an idea that could change the world. Now I need people to help me make it real. How do I grow my group?
I have this small group of thoughtful committed citizens who really care about something. But we need more of us. How do I grow my group?
I meet regularly with some people who have similar experiences to mine — and it helps us all heal. We know there are more people like us. How do I grow my group?
I have found some people on Twitter and Facebook who agree with me about an issue. I think we could really make a difference if we had more support. How do I grow my group?
I’ve found a few people who are willing to donate to our cause. We need more though. How do I grow my group?
I’m a part of this really cool club of really cool people. We only want the best. How do I grow my group?
OMG, I’m a huge fan of this super special superstar. I’m sure others will be too. How do I grow my group?
An injustice is being done. I know I’m not the only one who thinks so. If I gather others together we can stop it. How do I grow my group?
This is why we exist. This is why we created Social Excellence and Dynamic Recruitment . We grow groups. Our PURPOSE is to help PEOPLE achieve their PURPOSE by gathering more PURPOSE-driven PEOPLE around them. People + Purpose = Organization. Organizations change the world.
by Matt Geik
Recently Phired Up partnered with the Response Ability Project to put on an educational experience like none other. BE THE PERSON . It wasn’t a conference, but rather a true immersion experience that made the streets of Chicago the classroom. You can read more about it here .
During the event participants worked through curriculum that was geared towards helping them identify the thing(s) in life that they had a passion for. You could say that the experience and curriculum even helped them identify their purpose. With that, we worked to help participants understand how to activate on that purpose/passion once they knew what it was. This is where the participants learned to put the steps of handshakes leading to conversations, conversations leading to relationships, relationships leading to collaboration, collaboration leading to organizations and organizations changiing the world into effect — Social Excellence.
It was incredible to see what transpired in individuals during this event. To see so many people leave ready to make a difference. To change, maybe not THE world, but at least go and change their world. The world that mattered to them. That was something incredibly special to be a part of. After all of the participants had left, I went and ate lunch with Vince Fabra before leaving town. As Vince and I walked to and from lunch (yes, for those of you who know me, it was at Chipotle) past this building site that was being torn down I remembered when we first arrived in Chicago seeing the building WHOLE. It was complete. It had been someone’s business. In a matter of 4 days, what was once someone’s passion, purpose, love, life had been relegated to dust. An empty lot ready for someone else’s dreams to become a reality.
All of us, as individuals and as our organizations have a purpose. A reason for being. Too often, many of us have great ideas, passions, and purposes that we choose to pursue and further, but sadly, oftentimes, over a course of a few days, weeks, months, years, we lose that idea, passion or purpose. We get sidetrack by all of the other “stuff” that goes on from day to day in our worlds. We lose our focus due to tasks that we think matter and must be completed instead of completing the bold actions that will continue to breathe life into our true passions. THE world, gets in our way.
Maybe it was the emotional high of coming off such a great experience, or maybe it was just having the “fat happys” after scarfing down that carnitas burrito, but I had to pause as we walked past the building the second time. It made me think of all of the participants who were headed back home to change their world. I thought about how one’s passion can fade away from focus and how quickly change can be made, often by one person choosing to shake someone else’s hand. Mostly though, I hoped that the participants would be the ones making change and not allowing change to happen to them.
I hope for them that they have continued to pursue what matters to them. I hope that they are shaking hands and creating relationships to further their cause. I hope that they aren’t waiting to activate. I hope that they haven’t been sidetracked by THE world. I hope their daily to-do list hasn’t gotten in the way of their life’s to-do list. I hope for them — and for you — that you see NOW as the time to be making the change you wish to see in your world and your organization.
Are they, are you, bringing people together now around your passion, your cause, your organization? Because if there’s anything I know about our fans, friends, and followers it is that they are high quality people doing high quality things. I know that what you have to offer other through your passion, purpose, cause or organization is something that would be appealing to others and that others would want to join you. I hope that your building isn’t currently being torn down due to inactivity, but instead you are working to construct your own building, the place that will house your passion and purpose. The place that will be the headquarters for changing your world and maybe even changing THE world.
New FREE article released from Phired Up Productions. Click here to download the new article titled, "The 8 Steps to Attracting PEOPLE to Your PURPOSE." This free article about organizational growth is written especially for organizations that need volunteers, members, donors, or raving fans. Recommended readers include: business leaders, young professionals groups, community and civic organizations, non-profit leaders and volunteers, religious congregations, social entrepreneurs, political activists, and other change agents interested in positively impacting the world.
About the article: Organizations change the world. It is groups that are made up of People + Purpose that have shaped society, sparked rebellions, led revolutions, and made the world better for all of us. Many organizations, however, are well-intentioned but lack the people necessary to deeply impact their cause. This article provides a glance at the 8 steps organizations can follow to ensure long-term success at attracting a high quantity of high quality people to support their purpose.
*Please feel free to re-print (with appropriate credit given to Phired Up Productions) in organizational publications, blogs, magazines, etc. We exist to help groups grow . If sharing this through your channels does that, then please share away! Let us know by E-mailing Info@PhiredUp.com.
by Matt Mattson
Do you try to impress people or serve people?
Does your organization attract members, volunteers, donors and fans by… trying to impress people or trying to serve people?
There are two ways to promote yourself, recruit people to your organizations, or position yourself socially. 1) You can try to impress people. 2) You can try to serve people.
Let’s break this down. Imagine two organizations that both need more members.
The ABC Club just launched a major re-branding initiative complete with a snazzy new online presence, cool new signs, a whole poster and T-shirt campaign around it’s new theme, "ABC Club: Unbeatable, Unsinkable, Unmatched." They have a booth set up on a street near you and they’re handing out pretty cool water bottles with their logos emblazoned brightly across the front. They’re all wearing brightly colored polo shirts with their new catchphrase printed on it. They hired 6 professional promoters (models) to work the booth, shake hands, and to repeat their catchphrase as often as possible. The passersby are stopping, taking a water water bottle (in exchange for their contact information), hearing the catchphrase, and smiling politely. ABC Club is impressive. Very impressive.
The LMNOP Group just started a major initiative of their own. They have a booth set up down the street near you too, but their booth is not nearly as impressive or shiny. They have 6 regular looking people dressed neatly but not exceptionally. Everytime someone walks past their booth volunteers are doing two things – 1) finding some way to make the passerby’s day (high fives, jokes, smiles, a welcoming handshake, an interesting question), and 2) asking the passerby about their needs related to their group’s cause. The passersby are generally stopping, talking for a while, exchanging contact information, and leaving with a smile. The LMNOP Group doesn’t have any giveaways, they aren’t wearing matching bright colored clothes, they don’t have a catchphrase (they have a list of powerful questions), and their signage is professional, clean, and simple, but not really exceptional. The reason people are engaging with them is because of LMNOP’s focus on the passersby’s needs. They’re listening and caring. They’re serving. They want to help.
There are two ways to do business. Two ways to do sales. Two ways to recruit members. Two ways to make friends. You can impress or you can serve. Both have advantages.
I choose to serve as often as I can. Maybe that’s just because I’m not that impressive I tend to think it is a better way to approach the world. But some mix of the two is probably the right answer. Which would you rather do?
Do you try to impress people or serve people?
by Matt Mattson
I sometimes find myself stuck. Do you ever feel that way? You look at your organization, you look at your role in the organization, and just feel stuck. What do you do next? How do you push forward? How do you improve? How do you lead?
Then I remember, "Oh yeah, dummy, the SYSTEM holds the answer." It’s weird, but true. Every time I wonder what I should do next to push the organization/group/company forward, I remember that between Social Excellence and Dynamic Recruitment , the answer is there. The system works if I choose to work the system.
See, we’re all a part of membership organizations, and membership organizations are made of… (wait for it)… MEMBERS. Therefore the quality of your organization (and everything it does) is determined by the quality of its members. Want to get better? Want to advance your cause? Want to make a difference? Want to truly lead? – Start with the core ingredients of your group — people and purpose. Bring in more of the right people, who will focus on the group’s purpose, to make a larger higher quality impact.
For me, when I get stuck, I go back to doing the Dynamic Recruitment system while living Social Excellence — it lays out my answer for me. If I do the Dynamic Recruitment system while living Social Excellence, I’m doing my job, I’m leading, I’m doing results-producing work, I’m making a difference.
For example… something I’m really proud of is that we have built our company to be very successful by doing the Dynamic Recruitment system and trying our best to live a Socially Excellent life — that’s been our whole business plan. Cool, right?
Here is a snapshot at some of the core principles of Dynamic Recruitment, if you’re not familiar…
People Join People. All organizational members can point to the one person who is responsible for bringing them into the organization. Relationships, interpersonal comfort, and shared personal connections are the determining factors that can influence a person to invest their time, resources, energy, reputation, and money into the organization. Slogans, T-shirts, banners, advertising, and events have very little impact when it comes to convincing the best of the best people to join an organization. People join people. Organizational recruitment is about relationships.
Quantity Drives Quality. This simple statement reflects the core of Phired Up’s recruitment philosophy. In other words, because you can’t recruit who you don’t know, the larger an organization’s social network, the larger its potential. The larger an organization’s network, the more people it has a chance to recruit. The larger an organization’s network, the more people it also has a chance to select from – thus increasing the probability for higher quality members. Everything starts with an organization having specific, practical, detailed guidance on how to grow its network of “friends of the group.” Phired Up teaches specific, practical, proven (in some instances scripted) techniques to grow an organization’s network through authentic relationship building.
Interpersonal Skills Development. Handshakes, powerful conversations, listening skills, remembering names, first impressions, body language, approaching new people and groups, eye contact, getting contact information, powerful questions, authenticity, vulnerability, and confidence. Phired Up’s recruitment system is about personal connections and today’s young adults (especially) need practical, experiential, detailed guidance on all of these “skills.” Dynamic Recruitment depends on members’ abilities to adopt a sense of interpersonal excellence within their social interactions. To learn more about Phired Up’s Social Excellence message, click here .
Product Knowledge. When a prospective member wants to learn more about the organization, every member should be prepared with not only the features and benefits of membership, but also powerful personal stories and insightful questions to help potential members emotionally connect to the organization. In Dynamic Recruitment, “knowing your product” is about having the ability to help others realize how the group could dramatically change their life for the better.
Behaviors of the Best. Phired Up teaches specific behaviors of high performing networkers, salespeople, statesmen, and recruiters. These are every day patterns of behavior that provide access to a larger pool of people to interact with than most organizational members have. Some of the core messages of the “Behaviors of the Best” include: You have to give to get (how to get contact information and how to get access to others by providing something of value to them). Ask the rest to find the best (how to engage everyone around you to identify high caliber prospective members). Follow-up or fail and Eat a bunch of lunch (how to build relationships through small activities not big events). Make ‘em prove it (using a Values-Based Selection Process). Give the gift (re-framing recruitment to be about sharing the gift of membership with deserving others instead of trying to “get people to join”).
Audience Understanding. Often members struggle with a lack of perspective. No matter the organization, often members only think of a small pool of people as potential members, when the actual pool is always many times larger. Many fraternity/sorority members in particular believe their recruitment potential is limited to the people who participate in “rush” or "formal recruitment." Phired Up’s curriculum helps expand the context of organizational leaders to understand the actual recruitment potential for their organization. Having a greater understanding of how big the organization’s prospective audience is, where they are, and what they’re looking for results in “ah-ha” moments for most participants.
Names List. With a new understanding of their true audience, and with a firm grounding in the principles of: You can’t recruit who you don’t know. People don’t join organizations, people join people. And Quantity Drives Quality. It then becomes obvious that for an organization to reach its full potential, it cannot depend only on the people that its members currently have a relationship with – it must build a larger network. To manage that network and to keep track of its members’ progress as they bring their acquaintances through the recruitment process, an organization that practices Dynamic Recruitment uses a Names List. A Names List is a dynamic, living, continually updated database that measures the amount of and the quality of relationships with potential members that are being built by the chapter. This is not just a list of people the group is wishing would join the chapter – this is a list of the chapter’s entire network because Quantity Drives Quality.
Values-Based Selection. As an organization increases its network through positive, proactive, social interactions, it has the opportunity to be more selective. Once the opportunity for increased selectivity is achieved, the organization must then select members not based on whether they’re a “good guy,” or "a sweet girl," but on measurable, objective standards that match up to the core values of the organization. Each organization that practices Dynamic Recruitment builds a written set of membership selection criteria to ensure only the highest quality people are invited to join. This is a key to true values-based recruitment.
Horses vs. Mules. The old 80/20 principle holds true in nearly every organization we’ve ever worked with. For most groups, about 80% of the results are produced by about 20% of the members. That small handful of “workhorses” can choose to try to motivate their unmotivated members (a.k.a. “mules”) to participate in recruitment, or they could just gather the horses and get to work. After all, horses recruit horses, and mules recruit mules. When faced with a lack of motivation or apathetic members with regard to recruitment, don’t ask “How do I motivate my members to recruit?” Instead ask, “How do I recruit with my motivated members?”
by Matt Mattson
I’m heading to Iowa tomorrow to deliver a keynote address about Social Excellence to a local young professionals networking group in the Quad Cities. I thought this would be a great opportunity to share a story with our blog readers that we also included in our book, Social Excellence: We Dare You .
STORIES OF SOCIAL EXCELLENCE: “CHANGWE KUMALINGA”
EXCERPT FROM SOCIAL EXCELLENCE: WE DARE YOU
BY MATTHEW MATTSON, JESSICA GENDRON WILLIAMS AND JOSH ORENDI
Changwe Kumalinga is a college student at Creighton University in Nebraska, originally from Zambia. A conversation with Changwe reminded us that American society has a lot to learn from the rest of the world when it comes to being social, building social connections, and understanding how valuable being social is to community and society.
Recently, Changwe saw us present an educational workshop on Social Excellence for young professionals in Omaha, Nebraska. Changwe was attending as a future young professional and immediately sought us out after the program to talk about his experience.
He introduced himself and quickly proceeded to admit that he was confused throughout the first half of the program. Why were we talking about Social Excellence? He explained that he couldn’t understand why a room full of hundreds of professionals were so intensely listening to and taking notes about something that seemed so obvious to him. It seemed so natural to him to engage in deep, meaningful, powerful conversations with others—to listen intently to stories being told and to naturally want to connect with the people around him. Then it dawned on him.
The reason these concepts seemed so natural to him, but were somehow brand new to all of these American professionals, was because of the communal, tribal nature of his ancestry. He explained that being “social” was how he lived in Zambia. The community thrived not through connections of 140 characters or less, but through real, human-to-human interaction—a true village.
Changwe went on to explain another realization he’d had halfway through the program—he’d only been in the U.S. studying for a short time, but he felt like he was starting to adopt an American social persona. He was starting to isolate himself, wear his iPod around campus, only talk to his inner-circle of friends, communicate more online than through real-life interactions—he was becoming, in a word, antisocial.
In Changwe’s words, “In my conversation with the presenters from Phired Up Productions, I found myself unknowingly drifting away from my communal principles. Somehow, I forgot the power of a handshake and neglected the significance of an intentional conversation. Even with the networking emphasis at the Omaha Young Professionals Conference, I wasn’t focused on the people I was networking with beyond trading job titles and the usual surface small talk. I wasn’t focused until I participated in the Phired Up workshop and realized most of us at the conference had no real intentions to remember people’s names and know any of their interests beyond careers.
“I mentioned to the Phired Up team that I was extremely grateful for such a timely reminder to exude Social Excellence and be the best version of me with a communal spirit. I cannot imagine any place in the world where such a lesson or reminder would not be valuable.”
Changwe shared all of this not in a disparaging way toward American culture, but with a genuine realization of the cultural differences he was experiencing. He proclaimed that Social Excellence was a vital lesson to remind him of what made him who he is—the true connections to real people in his life.
Changwe has done a fantastic job of staying connected to us since that program and we expect that relationship to deepen. We know he is bringing a philosophy and lifestyle of Social Excellence that is deeply rooted in the communal culture of his tribe in Zambia to his everyday life at Creighton.