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Understand is the third element to building a relationship of trust.  Why are you like you are?  Poor grammar but says it perfectly.  There are a number of things which define you.  Your bent, your story, your learning, your hope and your health.

Let’s begin with “bent”.  This is a term used to describe the way you were created and the way your DNA was arranged to make you uniquely you.  We have four children and their personalities were evident from birth.  All very different.  “Bent” was derived from the characteristics of wood seen in a tree limb of a piece of timber.  It is impossible to change the bent of a limb or straighten lumber without some restraint of some sort.  As soon as the pressure is taken away, the wood will return to its original bent.

Furniture craftsmen have tried for years to manipulate wood into different shapes for furniture.  The only way to keep it to the altered shape in place is with glue, nail or screws.  Without these restraints, the wood will resume its natural bent.  We are exactly the same in our bent.  In other words, you are who you are!  You are that way from birth.

As you become an adult, it is very important that you understand your bent as you make your way in the world.  I wish I had understood this when I was in high school.  I could have saved a lot of time and energy.  Not to mention my grades would have been much better.  I have been tested to the max over the past 25 years.  From what kind of animal I am like, the letter which describes me, the qualities of a great leader in history and finally the square I fit in best.  I kind of don’t like being told who I am but it is usually very accurate.  I just took the newest assessment StandOut by Marcus Buckingham.  I really like his approach and feel this is a very accurate assessment of how I lead.  Still learning who I am but if I get confused who I am I need only ask my wife who will remind me of who I am.  Just kidding sweetheart.  Can you tell. I do not like conflict.  As my assessment says, I’m to busy “being me” and looking for adventure.

You bring movement and momentum to any team.

That cartoon of the penguin in the Hawaiian shirt, standing among hundreds of penguins, singing out, “I gotta be me!”? You can relate. You are usually the first on the block to own the newest toy or gadget and you love to tell the stories of how you got it, how it works, how it’s going to revolutionize… everything. As soon as everyone starts buying what you’re selling, however, you’re on the waiting list for version 2.0. You revel in introducing ideas that create a furl in someone’s brow. If you see a skeptical, quizzical look in their eyes, you know you’ve hooked one. You don’t like to rally behind anything obvious or conventional. If everyone else is doing it, it pains you to toe that line. In fact, you will swim against the tide for the simple joy of seeing if you can get anyone to swim with you.

You create momentum. Put some structure around that energy.

Have a daily ritual of connecting with each department for a stand-up huddle before you get caught up in the day’s events. We love the opportunity to interact with you daily: the positivity you bring to these meetings, though they’re brief, sets us up for the day ahead.

You always have your head up, and this helps us focus. Why? Because we don’t fear being blindsided (by customers, competition, the economy). Keep us informed of what you see coming next and how you plan to capitalize on it or circumvent it.

You are an adventurer, you take risks. It’s exciting for all of us to be swept along on the discovery. Paint as vivid a picture as you can of the “land of milk of honey.” Help us smell the milk, and taste the honey. Tell us the stories. Show us the heroes of the New World. Use as much detail and dialogue as you can when telling your stories.

You are a charismatic leader. We love to listen to you, be charmed by you, be pulled into a better future with you. We know you have an agenda. Be clear with us what it is and we’ll keep letting you woo us.

You are a competitor. Set up friendly but meaningful intra-company competitions to push us to give our very best. Keep the field of competition small and local. We will not only improve our performance; we will learn from our counterparts’ successes too.

To say the least, I am twisted indeed.  So be careful if you think you can change me.