Resourcefulness – Obstacles Are an Opportunity for Innovation

One of our company’s power tools is to “use short-term challenges to make long-term impacts.”

The entire Share On Purpose portfolio was born out of innovating our way through challenges. Seriously. All of it.

The vision for the company has never changed, but what we built and how we built it has morphed repeatedly, through mistakes and missteps.

In the early days, it felt like failure; like maybe the dream was too big and we couldn’t do it.

Keep in mind, the goal isn’t just to build ONE company, but to create a portfolio of game-changing companies and to do so with a talented group of emerging leaders.

We want to do this WITH our team – to work with them side-by-side, learning and growing together. It’s the collaboration with other smart leaders that inspires us.

And for me personally, I want to use my innate gift for launching businesses to help these leaders get what they want, including the opportunities to grow and learn. That’s the motivation behind our business model.

So, why has the journey been so difficult?

Two reasons: First, it’s a big vision. We don’t want to just create a company within an industry. In each case, we want to build a company that innovates its industry. Big? Yep.

Like it or not, something that big requires stops and starts, adjustments and frequent pivots. A pivot is a change in strategy or execution – without a change in vision.

Second, it requires resiliency and resourcefulness. There is great power in those attributes, but they take a level of commitment and focus to persevere. All great executives know that.

So as we celebrate our 9 year anniversary, I realize that it’s all been worth it. Every struggle, every mistake, every change, every pivot. All worth it.

Our culture molded itself and created one of our most revered core values – resourcefulness.

Today we know that each challenge reveals a course correction to a more effective way of building this big dream.

If you want to build something great, are committed to growth, and want to create a place of possibilities, join our team.

 

Hopefulness – Your Hidden Super Power

It was the Summer of 2013 and Share On Purpose was failing, even after I’d invested over $1 million dollars and four years of effort.

We were out of cash, had lost our biggest client and did not know if we could make payroll.

It was the most challenging time in our company’s history. Here I was chasing the biggest dream I’d ever had, and still couldn’t make it work.

Even though my business mind said to quit, my heart and soul encouraged me to keep going. Although I felt afraid, my soul was hopeful.

We pulled our six staff members together, two who are still here, and started weekly briefings on our financial status, and more specifically, whether or not they would have a job.

In the midst of this, we were defining our culture and asking them to describe who we were. The words were consistent: Optimistic, Hopeful.

They used these words in the midst of failure, and it was true. We were filled with hope, regardless of the external results.

This is important, not only because it’s part of our cultural fabric, but rather because it’s the key to achieving a dream.

Most of us were taught to use what happens externally as a determination of success.

Messages like: “Did you win?” “Did you get an A in your test?” are pounded into our childhood psyche from early on.

Conversely, because I had grown up in extreme poverty and abuse, I had to learn how to look past the immediate external world to simply find the will to survive.

Rather than look to what was happening around me for hope, I shifted my perspective to the dream of something different. I saw things the way I wanted them to be, rather than what they were. And that filled me with hope.

Today, that hopefulness is now pervasive in our culture. No matter what happens, our core leaders are able to shift their perspective to the good that can come from the challenge, rather than dwell on the challenge itself.

It may sound utopian to some, but it’s who we are at our core. As we near Thanksgiving, I’m most grateful for hope.

– Hope that things will improve in our nation

– Hope that there are better times ahead

– Hope that we are a beacon of “possibilities”

– Hope that we attract the best talent

– Hope for profitable growth

– Hope for powerful new concepts to launch

What are you hopeful about? What do you want to create with this life you’ve been given?

If you want to build something great, bring a spirit of hopefulness to your professional endeavors. Anyone can be critical and judgemental, but those who do great things know that hopefulness is THE attribute that produces victory.

Here’s a quote from the fairy tale “The Ugly Ducking,” that sums it up:

“He now felt glad at having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around him.”

Happy Thanksgiving. Be a beacon of hope.

 

Developing a Culture of Lifelong Learning

When evaluating a potential employer, the guiding principles, as well as how they are used in business decisions, speak volumes about the company culture and values. Said another way, for you to know whether you will “fit” a company’s culture, you would do well to know these values and understand their importance to the culture. The reason for this is that for a culture to be real, every team member must be aligned with the culture and guiding principles.

The brands within the Share On Purpose portfolio are constantly innovating. For this reason, a principle specific to knowledge acquisition needed to be included and defined. The founding leaders of Share On Purpose asked a few bold questions: How do we build a “learning organization” in an uncertain, rapidly changing world? And, how can the management team be mentored so they lead with these values consistently? Ultimately the goal was to strengthen the culture and service offerings while evolving, expanding and innovating our way to success.

To help answer these questions, a look at the Millennial generation and their “just-in-time learning” philosophy provided valuable insight. Millennials are incredibly resourceful knowledge seekers and quick to learn. They don’t learn because they are told to, or simply to accumulate knowledge. They learn what they need, when they need it, and then apply that knowledge to enhance their lives or grow their careers.

With the help of Share On Purpose’s initial culture team members, the principle adopted regarding training and mentoring was “New Knowledge – Learn it as you need it.” Knowledge is (and always has been) power, which is why a college degree became a necessary management criterion in the baby boomer era. The problem with the accumulation of knowledge today is that our world is changing so fast that most skills are outdated less than a year after they are learned.

For our guiding principles to resonate with the way generations now learn, we had to rethink traditional training models and embrace the “just-in-time learning” modality. That meant defining the value, New Knowledge, and rethinking the Career Matrix to introduce certain management skills as leaders’ careers were evolving. It also meant creating the Share School Online Leadership Training Portal, so that training would be available when emerging leaders needed it, rather than wait for when it would be taught.

There are many things that contribute to building a performance culture, but one of the most important is to use a defined set of values so that leadership and business decisions align with the culture; and then to embed the values into all facets of the organization, especially training.

For Share On Purpose, the guiding principles provide the anchor to the culture from which all decisions, actions, and services are measured against.

If this sounds like an organization you’d like to be a part of, view our available positions and apply now.

Going Above and Beyond

When was the last time a business went above and beyond for you as a customer?  Have you ever had a team member at your own job that went out of their way to ensure success was achieved? That kind of attitude and those kinds of actions, no matter how small, make a huge impact. Having a culture where each member of the team strives to go above and beyond is something a company can foster.

Personal Character is part of your Personal Brand

Getting results is achieved first and foremost through personal character. There is a huge difference between just showing up for the job and exceeding expectations. It’s up to each individual to set their own standard. All of us have a personal brand standard – a definition of how we show up. Much like a vehicle or technology brand.

Each person at a company can impact the business, from the CEO to the receptionist. Being willing to take that extra step is an aspect of one’s personal standard. It has NOTHING to do with your team, manager, or the company you work for.

Shocked? Think about it. You can go above and beyond in just about any environment and for just about any manager. All the environment does is expand the impact and ensure long-term fit.

Companies Set the Standard

Great companies don’t try to force this. Instead, they hire, train, and promote natural performers. There is a big difference.

The truth is, we can’t “make” an employee go the extra mile. True leaders know that and focus on setting the example for their team.

At Share On Purpose, we encourage excellence and autonomy. This combination gives employees the freedom to take those extra steps to strengthen relationships with their team and clients. Going above and beyond is one of our defining principles and something we look for in each individual we bring onboard.

Are You Going Above and Beyond?  

To personally assess if you’re going above and beyond, ask these questions:

  • Do I always give my best effort? Once you’re done, do you check to see if there’s more you could have done? (Passion to Win)
  • Do I practice and prepare? Do I do my best regardless of the circumstances? (Preparation)
  • Do you keep your team and customers top of mind? Are you always looking to enhance relationships? (Customer-centric)

So, is your PERSONAL brand standard an “Above and Beyond” brand? Test yourself and decide.

Share On Purpose is a place of possibilities looking to go the extra mile. If you’re an A player looking for your next opportunity, view our available positions here.

Navigating Career Change with Wisdom

Every professional will experience a transition at some point in their career.  Whether it’s moving up the ladder or changing industries entirely, one thing is certain; you will need to acquire new knowledge, learn different skills and take on unique challenges. So, what is the best way to succeed in a career transition? The answer is a powerful but underestimated principle: Wisdom Simplifies.

According to Terri Maxwell, CEO of Share On Purpose, Wisdom Simplifies means looking to mentors and resources without hesitation, rather than believing you have to know everything and do it all yourself.

This is precisely what Gerardo Osorio, Senior Engagement Manager at Promote On Purpose, did to make sense of his career transition.

Taking On New Challenges

For Gerardo, making the shift from 10+ years in Healthcare Operations to a marketing role in the Healthcare Division at Promote On Purpose would require a welcome challenge. Gerardo knew he brought a lot to the table, but to truly succeed in his new position it would require discipline and focus, so he relied on a proven system that has helped him learn and grow in the past. “The first thing I do is deconstruct my new challenge into its basic elements,” he said. “This is important to avoid overwhelm. I ask myself, what small things can I do that will create the most impact? For me, reading is at the top of this list. I spend about an hour every morning reading. And since I already have that habit established, all I do is pick a book that applies to the field or topic I am working on and try to get up to speed. This is a great way for me to use available resources and other people’s experiences in the form of books to learn what I need to know.”

Next, Gerardo finds someone else who is skilled and prepared to provide help and support. “I have learned that you definitely do not need to know all the answers, you just need to know whom to go to for help. And finding that person is as simple as looking around my network and approaching the person who is the most experienced and knowledgeable about the skill I’m trying to acquire. And I leverage that to the best of my ability.” He has taken these principles to heart, and they have helped him tremendously in his new capacity as a marketing executive. He’s currently reading books on business operations, marketing, and advertising to help strengthen his knowledge in those areas.

“I also make it a point to ask questions about the things I do not fully understand because the more I ask clarifying questions, the faster I can grasp the concepts I need to learn to be productive.”

According to Gerardo, there is an even better, unintended consequence of asking questions and leaning on the experience of others. You not only have answers to your questions, you also learn how the other person thinks and understand how they developed their solution. “Many times, people reach conclusions and find answers to their biggest questions without really documenting and mapping out their thought process. By asking them for help, you’re giving them an opportunity to reverse engineer the solution they came up with and possibly document it for future reference.”

Gerardo believes that this back and forth also helps in building workplace relationships because it fosters a deep understanding of your team member’s point of view and how they approach issues. “The more understanding there is between team members, the more success the team experiences.”

Lastly, he explains that asking questions and leaning on others’ experiences is crucial for gathering information, having knowledge and thinking deeply about why things are the way they are. “When starting out in their careers, many people have a deep desire to have all the answers, so they pursue that knowledge just for the sake of it. I believe it is more important to know why things work the way they do. This way you grow intellectually, strengthen your skill set and develop a way to tackle problems in the future.”

A Winner’s Mindset

According to Gerardo, patience is absolutely crucial for tackling new learning challenges. “You need to be patient with yourself because you can’t expect to know or learn everything you need all at once.” He advises anyone in such situations to take a look at the scope of the challenge they’re being presented and ask “How long will the average person take to finish this? And how much time should I take to finish this?” In other words, set realistic expectations.

He also explains that discipline and creativity are vital traits that make one a more effective professional and individual. “Without discipline, you lack the mental energy and drive to prioritize and go the extra mile to face a learning challenge head-on. And creativity ensures you’ll be flexible and can come up with clever ways of managing and tackling your learning challenges in efficient ways.”

These are all values and principles that Gerardo leans on as he continues to challenge himself intellectually and grow his career as an executive within the Share On Purpose portfolio.

Find the Right Team

At Share On Purpose, we support new hires in career changes and strive to put existing team members in roles that align with their passions and purpose. We provide resources, including mentoring, coaching and extensive training through Share School, focusing on job skills, as well as personal and professional development.

Are you looking to work with a company that gives you the support and opportunities you need to advance your career? Check out our available positions.

Wisdom Simplifies

Most know me as CEO of Succeed On Purpose and the Share On Purpose Portfolio of Companies, but did you know I started my career as a middle school teacher?

How does someone go from middle school teacher, to business executive, to serial entrepreneur? My secret (and one of our guiding principles) is: Wisdom Simplifies.

Wisdom Simplifies means rather than believing you have to know everything and do it all yourself, you instead look for mentors and resources quickly.

For example, when I wanted to transition out of teaching and into my first entry-level consulting role in educational software, I had NO computer experience and no experience teaching adults. So, I immediately took classes and looked for a mentor to show me the way.

When I was promoted from consultant to Director of Training, I sought courses and mentors who could show me how to design a training curriculum for our company.

When our Vice President said I had a natural gift for marketing (who knew?!) and wanted to promote me to Director of Training & Marketing, I not only sought mentorship but also joined the Business Marketing Association to sharpen my skills and learn the ropes.

The truth is my professional success can in large part be attributed to my willingness to search for training, resources, and mentorship frequently and often.

In every step of my career, I did not know how to do what was expected of me, but I built a reputation for “finding a way” and being willing to “do whatever it takes” which almost always included being mentored and seeking training.

When we founded what is now Share On Purpose, Inc., I was passionate about leveraging my wealth of entrepreneurial experience and my purpose (to inspire potential). As we shaped our strategy and refined our business model, our Guiding Principles began to take shape.

I knew that Wisdom Simplifies would be a practical and powerful principle for our team to embrace. Since we create companies that are unique, different and game-changing, it’s not like we can hire someone off the street who already knows what to do because it’s never been done before.

Not only are we okay with that, but we frequently hire staff members who are willing to try new things, and willing to do the work to learn what they do not know. Our CFO had a 25-year career in Commercial Property Management. Our Talent Director began her career in marketing. Most of the associates who work for us are doing things they’ve never done before.

As associates learn more about their passions, we work with them to find roles they can grow into that more closely align with those passions. At the same time, the expectation is they will “master their craft” by seeking mentors, training, and resources to help them learn what they need to know.

Career transitions do not need to be hard, but you will have to muster the courage to face the fear of not knowing what you need to know, and gain the confidence that you can figure it out over time.

We pride ourselves on being that kind of company. At Share On Purpose, we offer a significant amount of training, but we believe Wisdom Simplifies is more than that. It’s the wisdom that employees gain after the training – how it is assimilated and how it is applied.

The definition of wisdom is: “the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.”

We prefer wisdom for this principle because we consider wisdom to be “knowledge in action” and a state of becoming smarter, wiser and more prepared on the journey.

So, if you’re looking for a place that not only values training and development, but invests in team members’ wisdom, consider Share On Purpose, Inc. If you’re looking for a place where you can try new things and follow your passion. Check out our open positions.

More

Do you feel like you are destined for more? More success, more money, and more opportunity?

Do you feel as if there are gifts inside of you, but none of the executives you work for can see it, or worse yet, even care?

Do you just want your “shot”? Your shot at an opportunity, your shot at becoming an executive, your shot at seeing how far you can go?

I felt the same way. When I first left the classroom (yes, I started my career as a middle school teacher) and joined an educational software company at 25 years old, that feeling of wanting and being MORE came alive. I could feel potential radiating from my pores and I thrived in taking additional responsibilities to learn and grow.

I was lucky. A few of our executives (Burl, Alison, Gregg, and Sybil) saw my potential too, and purposefully mentored me through my career. I started as an educational consultant, then became a manager, then a director of training, then head of marketing, and eventually moved into sales.

Every step of the way I was coached, encouraged and challenged. Since that time, and for almost 30 years, I’ve studied human potential, and consumed nearly every book available on success, performance and achievement. I’ve also researched leadership and hired dozens of coaches, all with one intent: to become the best executive I can possibly be.

Not everyone is lucky enough to receive personal mentoring from phenomenal executives early in their career. And that’s something I’d like to challenge. I believe every company should provide their ambitious and high-achieving employees access to executive mentors.

When we built what is now Share On Purpose it wasn’t so I could run companies. I’ve already done that, many times over.

We started it to TEACH, COACH and MENTOR smart, driven leaders who want to become executives, and learn how to run a company for us. And we do this while we are creating brands that make the world better.

We match emerging leaders in our company with our game-changing ideas. Taking into account their passion and purpose, we move them through an executive development program so they can learn how to accelerate their performance and maximize their potential.

If you’re like me, you’d think everyone would want an opportunity like this. But, what I’ve learned is this:

– Many people have potential but never maximize it.

– Many aren’t clear on what they want, so they settle for what they have.

– Some don’t take responsibility for their own success and instead choose to blame rather than co-create.

– Some simply don’t listen to the intuitive part of themselves that craves more and wants to break through fear.

My advice:

  1. Decide what you want.
  2. Plan what you’ll do to create it.
  3. Act on your desire and don’t give up until you’ve maximized your potential and created your own opportunity for success.

If you know you’re destined for more and think Share On Purpose might be for you, check out our available positions.

Performance and Personal Brand: Making the Connection

Everyone has a set of philosophies that determine how they view life, relate to others and show up to pursue success and personal fulfillment. Share On Purpose CEO, Terri Maxwell, defines this as a personal brand standard. Many people may not be aware of this on a conscious level but for Pam Abrahamsson, PR Executive at Promote On Purpose, it’s as clear as day.

“For me, it’s service first. I’m fortunate to do the work I do and help other people succeed. A key part of my brand is using the knowledge I’ve gained along the way to ensure success for other people’s dreams and ideas. That’s my mantra; service first.”

A true professional, Pam sees the needs of her clients as a driving force to enable her to tap into her passion to win. It also helps her prepare adequately for success and persevere through whatever obstacles may stand in the way of getting results. She recalls a pivotal moment in her career when she learned this vital lesson that still influences her work today.

Developing the Passion to Win

“I had an early aha moment that helped me crystallize these ideas,” said Pam. “It was my first agency job, and I had a client who had a problem. I had no idea what to do, so I threw my hands up in the air, ran to my manager and said: “What do we do?”  She turned to me and simply asked, “What would you do?”

According to Pam, this simple exchange was crucial in developing her problem-solving skills that ultimately drives her performance at work to this day. With a strong passion for winning, she now sees problems—no matter how thorny—as an opportunity for big wins and improved team performance. “It made me realize that I’m responsible for the solution, for handling what comes across my desk and also for my team’s wellbeing. It’s what I love about being at Share On Purpose today because everyone is committed to performance. I love that this company is built on the fact that everyone has a role to play and performance can’t happen unless everyone shows up and handles their role with excellence.”

She believes that having what she calls a 360-degree mindset is crucial for ensuring performance across the board. “Everyone has a specific role that’s part of a larger effort and knowing how you fit into the bigger picture will help you determine how to perform your role better to elevate the team’s results.”

Ethics and Integrity

Stories are at the heart of Pam’s field of Public Relations and knowing the power of perspective to shift mindsets and influence decisions, she is committed to upholding the ethics of both her profession and her personal standard of excellence. This goes straight to the heart of character as a driving force for performance.

“I need to be ethical in how I tell stories and ensure that my clients and team members are part of that journey. And that’s a part of my personal brand promise—to work with integrity and deliver results in a way that honors my character as a person. I always believe you should look in the mirror. If at the end of the day I can look in the mirror and say that I have given my team, my clients, and my personal ethics my best effort, then I’m going to be just fine.”

Share On Purpose IS a place of possibilities, where GREAT people do great things. Our portfolio of companies thrives due to each employee’s personal commitment to performance.

Do you want to work with a company that values your contributions and encourages you to give your best at work? Check out our available positions.

Performance Matters

Performance. It’s something every business needs, yet few attain it to the level they desire. It’s a word that leaders like to preach, but don’t always teach.

Webster’s Dictionary defines “performance” as:

  • The execution of an action;
  • The fulfillment of a claim, promise, or request;

As a CEO of multiple companies, I can tell you that performance is achieved first and foremost through personal character. The results a team or business obtain through performance is directly tied to character elements, rather than strategy or tactics.

From the CEO to the receptionist, it is the individual’s character that determines their willingness to perform. Performance is an aspect of one’s personal brand. It has NOTHING to do with your team, manager, or the company you work for.

Shocked? Think about it. A true performer (some call them A Players) can perform in just about any environment, for just about any manager. All the environment does is expand their impact, and ensure they stay.

Great companies don’t try to force performance. Instead they hire, train, and promote natural performers. There is a big difference.

As a leader, I know that the truth is, we can’t “make” an employee perform. Any attempt to do so will only result in modest improvement that won’t be sustained. True leaders know that and focus on managing results, rather than people, time, or activities.

And there is a HUGE difference between activity and impact. Your people can be busy, and not make an impact. Impact comes from incorporating three elements: Passion, Preparation and Perseverance.

To personally assess your performance, ask these questions:

  • Do I set myself up to win, or do I blame others? Do I always give my best effort? (Passion to Win)
  • Do I practice and prepare? Do I do my best regardless of the circumstances? (Preparation)
  • Do I bring a “whatever it takes” spirit to my work? (Perseverance)

Each ONE of us has a personal brand standard – a definition of how we show up. Kind of like a vehicle brand, or a technology brand.

I drive a car brand known for performance, not because of its status, but because when I press on the gas I get consistent (fast) performance. My vehicle rarely breaks down – it consistently performs. The brand expectation and the brand experience are congruent.

So, is your PERSONAL brand experience a performance brand? Test yourself and decide.

Share On Purpose is a place of possibilities for performers. If you’re an A player looking for your next opportunity, view our available positions here.

Why Perseverance Matters to Success

Knowing how not to quit — that’s the one thing Share On Purpose CEO Terri Maxwell says all successful people have in common. From Olympic gold winners and Billboard-topping singers to Fortune 500 founders and billionaire entrepreneurs, perseverance separates the triumphant from the aspiring. It’s what breeds success, a truth R’ymonda Davis, Managing Director of Promote On Purpose, learned early in life.

“I’ve been fighting against odds since I was born,” said R’ymonda. “I was born two months premature, and I wasn’t supposed to live. I didn’t even have a name for three days. But I was strong, I kept fighting, and here I am.”

Naturally persistent, R’ymonda used that fighting spirit to propel her forward in life. As a child and teen, she excelled at both sports and academics and continually pushed herself to achieve more. Still, she said it wasn’t until she came to work at Share On Purpose that she truly learned the power of perseverance.

“I was hired a little over three years ago as an entry-level engagement coordinator,” said R’ymonda, “and it was that EC role that changed how I think about perseverance.”

The Perseverance Mindset

“Perseverance is a spiritual force,” explained R’ymonda. “To win, you can’t just decide to focus harder. You have to access that force. It’s within all of us, but you have to know how to access it. Working at Share taught me how to do that.

“Even though I could identify times I’d persevered from a young age, it wasn’t until I dove into the Success ExceleratorTM training and learned from Terri that perseverance became more tangible — something I could tap into. The Success ExceleratorTM training makes that explicit, and it helped me develop a game plan that’s repeatable for approaching and overcoming challenges.”

Harnessing the Power of Perseverance

That game plan is crucial for success, said R’ymonda. Everyone accesses perseverance differently. Knowing how to tap into it purposefully increases its power.

One tool used at Share On Purpose is getting into a mindset where you can harness the power of perseverance. It’s known as getting into “state”.

“I used to get into state before track meets in school, but I didn’t know that was what I was doing,” said R’ymonda. “Share gave me a process. I spend a lot of time in prayer because I really draw from my spirit to drive my why and my purpose and to understand that every circumstance is larger than me. Once I’ve centered myself, then I access perseverance space [or “state”] by listening to music and dancing or getting active. I have a ‘game face’ playlist that pumps me up and gets me in the right mindset. I also have affirmations. Thanks to Share’s training, I now have a toolkit I can draw from to access my inner perseverance and move forward.”

“I believe in the power of perseverance,” she added. “By tapping into it when needed, you frame the circumstance and challenge in a different light — in the light of a solution instead of a problem. That leads to breakthroughs. Sometimes the breakthrough is very obvious and external, but sometimes it’s simply the growth that comes through the process. And that’s what I’m truly grateful for, because the growth transforms your life. Growing through perseverance isn’t just something you can use at work. It’s your entire lifestyle.”

Does the idea of unlimited potential excite you? Check out our available positions to join a team that recognizes and rewards perseverance.