Do You Feel Empowered?

It’s been two weeks since I started at Huddle, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this family. There should have been some anxiety and uncertainty as I began my first few days, right? Wrong.

The people, the job, the environment; I am blown away by the positivity at Huddle.

The workplace is where we spend more than one-third of our lives, and the environment in which we work impacts we how think, act, and reflect. So, what does the environment at Huddle look like? I have always believed a work environment should be a place of positivity where you feel empowered and fulfilled.

Empowerment: the idea that giving employees skills, resources, authority, opportunity, motivation and holding them responsible and accountable for outcomes of their actions, will contribute to their competence and satisfaction.

Fulfillment: a feeling of happiness and satisfaction.

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I feel empowerment and fulfillment go hand-in-hand in the workplace. After two weeks at Huddle, I would say each person within the organization could be described using these two words. It’s quite admirable.

While making the transition to my new career at Huddle, I quickly began to realize I too would find myself empowered and fulfilled in my role because of my new environment.

 

Here are the reasons I know this to be true:

1. Vision

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When your CEO starts off a discussion to the sales teams with scripture from Romans, you know you are a part of something special. He referred to the passage to help highlight his vision for the future of the company and his message to all of us to “Believe in the process”. I looked around me during this time and couldn’t believe I get to be a part of this family. The team leaders continued the discussion with what the future of Huddle looks like and their expectations of each of us in the year ahead, three years from now, and five years from now. This right here is an example of how Huddle believes in the process by believing in its people. How empowering is it to know you play a pivotal role in the bigger picture?

2. Purpose

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For me, I feel empowered when I have purpose. My team leader has made it clear from my first day that he is confident in my ability to do great work, bring value to the team, and give new perspective to discussion. Feeling that sense of purpose has been the biggest void in my career before Huddle, but it’s empowering to know I now have an experienced leader who believes in my potential. Huddle is a place where each individual has significant purpose and values their work, while they are valued by others. I am empowered knowing my purpose on a team with an intentional leader who has given me the tools to succeed and will hold me accountable for my outcomes.

3. Great Relationships

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As part of the onboarding process at Huddle, I sat down with every person in the company over the course of the first week. I immediately realized each person within the Huddle family is unique, yet all of them are emotionally and intellectually committed to the organization. They are engaged, they add value, and profoundly impact Huddle. I couldn’t believe each person, no matter their role, took the time out of their busy schedules to get to know me on a personal level.

I think we can all find the value in our work and build great relationships, but the leaders in the workplace create a standard for the environment where we can thrive. This relationship standard among the leaders at Huddle is exemplified in everything they do. They support each other, they build each other up, and they challenge each individual on their team to perform at their greatest potential. I know I will look back on my first week and be thankful for the solid foundation that was built to start great relationships with my Huddle family.

My overall experience during my first two weeks has been overwhelming in the best way. I am so excited to work alongside people who keep the vision of the future in mind, who add value, and who encourage each other in all that they do. The family at Huddle has already made me feel empowered and fulfilled.  

So, what does your work environment look like?

Are you surrounded by people who empower you to be fulfilled?

What Do You Believe?

It's an interesting question, right?

I invested nearly 42 years of my life without really thinking through this profound, potentially life-changing topic. There were certainly things I believed, but I had never taken the time to capture any of it on paper. 

But then something changed. A good friend to Huddle, Jack Williams, delivered a presentation last year that addressed his “I Believe” list. He has worked through his list over the years and reviews it weekly, allowing him to see where he is winning and where he needs work.

Jack’s presentation motivated me to explore my own beliefs.

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What do I believe?

Why do I believe those things?

And how is my life any different because of the things I believe?

This journey of discovery lead me to create my first “I Believe” list in November 2016. I continued to work through and refine it, creating an updated version in January 2017.

So here’s how this works for me. I review the entire list once a week (okay, I forget some of the time), and I focus on one specific “I Believe” statement weekly. I just write the statement on an index card and place it in a spot where I can review it consistently. These simple practices allow me to consistently measure how I’m doing against the things I believe.

I want to share my “I Believe” list with you in this blog post. Buckle up, because I have 52 “I Believe” statements!

To be clear, I’m not asking you to believe what I believe. And it’s okay if we don’t believe the same things.

We can still be friendly, right?

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I’m simply sharing my list with a goal of encouraging you to create your own list, review it weekly, and more closely align your actions with your beliefs. This will put you on a path to living with meaningful purpose.

And who knows, creating your own “I Believe” list just may change your life too.


John Vaughn’s I Believe List

1.     I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and He is my Lord and Savior.

2.     I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and has complete authority.

3.     I believe in growing spiritually and investing meaningful time in God’s Word.

4.     I believe Jesus loves me, God is in control, and my value comes from Him alone.

5.     I believe I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

6.     I believe the quality of my personal relationship with Christ is my responsibility.

7.     I believe when I align my priorities with God, He will show up in dramatic ways.

8.     I believe God has called me to leadership and I should lead from the front.

9.     I believe in using my talents for God and the advancement of His kingdom, with a focus on my spiritual gift of encouraging others.

10.  I believe in the power of prayer.

11.  I believe in “God appointments.”

12.  I believe “Success” is daily living in God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will.

13.  I believe I am the Spiritual leader of my household.

14.  I believe in being faithful to Angie.

15.  I believe in showing Angie the attention I gave her when we were dating.

16.  I believe in speaking Angie’s love languages of quality time and gifts.

17.  I believe in praying for Angie and my marriage every day.

18.  I believe Angie wants a Godly husband.

19.  I believe Angie gets much of her self-worth from me.

20.  I believe that vulnerability leads to amazing relationships.

21.  I believe my “Why” is to point people to truth.

22.  I believe my character and integrity must never be compromised.

23.  I believe in forgiveness.

24.  I believe in living a life of service while listening to others and putting them first.

25.  I believe in simplicity and clarity.

26.  I believe in taking care of myself physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

27.  I believe in lifelong learning.

28.  I believe I am responsible for my actions.

29.  I believe in tithing, giving, and saving.

30.  I believe in living an intentional life of significance.

31.  I believe in being debt free.

32.  I believe in developing and practicing good habits.

33.  I believe in telling people I love them and saying thank you.  

34.  I believe in doing the “next right thing.”

35.  I believe in accountability.

36.  I believe in patience.

37.  I believe in adding value to other people.

38.  I believe people matter and investing in relationships is the right thing to do.

39.  I believe words matter.

40.  I believe I need to be flexible and willing to change as needed.

41.  I believe in the power of goal setting.

42.  I believe in the sanctity of life and that everyone has value.

43.  I believe in dealing with reality.

44.  I believe in doing what I say I’m going to do.

45.  I believe in maximizing my time while being fully present with others.

46.  I believe in having a mentor / coach to help me get better.

47.  I believe I have total control of my attitude.

48.  I believe I’m always just one bad decision away from doing irreparable damage to myself and others.

49.  I believe it’s my choice to be a “victim” or a “victor” when adversity strikes.

50.  I believe grace is easy to receive and difficult to deliver.

51.  I believe you can’t have love without truth

52.  I believe struggle provides opportunity for growth.

How Servant Leadership Can Change Your Company

Deadlines.  Goals.  Stress.

These words can commonly describe most contemporary workplaces, but rarely do you hear the word servant used. That’s because of how easy it is to think of ourselves.  However, this selfish mentality creates an unenjoyable workplace for everyone.

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At Huddle, our mission is to Serve Our Neighbors. We define our “neighbors” as not only our clients and affiliates, but we also make it a point to serve our co-workers.
 

That’s right, the people that we spend 40+ hours per week with – the people that are a second FAMILY.

We are not perfect at being servants. When I took over a team for the first time, I had never heard of ‘servant leadership.’ All I knew was we were responsible for hitting a number, and if we fell short, I would be the one answering for it. My first quarter as a leader was a crash course in how to lead incorrectly. I was not serving them the way I should have been. 

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Over that summer, I got my hands on a book called Dare to Serve by the former CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Cheryl Bachelder. Cheryl introduced me to the idea of what it means to be a “Dare to Serve” leader, which can be broken down into two initiatives:

“Decide to think positively about the people you lead.”

“Decide to be a leader who serves others over self-interest.”

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These two thoughts became the basis of our team over the past year. We were able to develop a team code based on Cheryl’s teachings, which led us to great success. I have also been able to identify my true leadership style, and will continue to practice this throughout my career.

Recently, we had a group of seven interns begin the fall semester with us, and I posed the question to them,

“Who in your life has acted as a servant?”

Almost immediately, each responded with someone who has impacted their life in an amazing way. So I will pose to you the same question – who in your life has acted as a servant? Would you consider doing the same for your team?

7 Daily Disciplines That Lead To Astonishing Results


FREE Giveaway at the End of this Blog!


In Laura Vanderkam’s book, What the Most Successful People Do at Work, she outlines seven terrific disciplines that can help you achieve extraordinary results. 

If you’re interested in maximum achievement, read and apply these seven disciplines.

These disciplines are easy to implement. These disciplines are also easy not to implement. It’s your choice. Choose wisely.

 

1. MIND YOUR HOURS

Track your time at work occasionally to better understand how you’re investing it.

Track your time at work occasionally to better understand how you’re investing it.

 

2. PLAN

Successful people build planning into their lives. This must include scheduling time to think! Planning how time is invested is essential to success.

3. MAKE SUCCESS POSSIBLE

 

Be choosy about each day’s priority list and develop an accountability system that works. Make your to-do list like a contract. Small things done repeatedly have great power. Maybe have three things that will get done each day and three things that will push you toward accomplishing other things. People have a tendency to overcommit. Don’t.

 

4. KNOW WHAT IS WORK

 

It isn’t work if it isn’t advancing you or your employer toward its goals. Focus on what is important. Also, all kinds of things that don’t look like work are in fact great uses of time. An example is taking a walk to think. Be sure to schedule breaks to get up from your desk.

 

5. PRACTICE

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Your career will improve if you spend time every day trying to improve the tasks associated with your job. Practice is working at something repeatedly to become proficient. Turn practice into a daily habit. 

 

6. PAY IN

It is no longer sufficient to be employed. You must remain employable and continually increase your career capital, which is the sum of your experience, knowledge, network, and personality characteristics. If your career capital is high, you can cash in at any time. Successful people develop the discipline of paying in to this account every day. The best way to pay in is to build up a network of people who are loyal to you.

 

7. PURSUE PLEASURE

Do what you love to do! Productivity is a function of joy. Joy comes from making progress toward goals that matter to you. Making progress on meaningful work boosts long-term performance. Successful people figure out how to invest hours pursuing pleasure and fewer hours doing what they don’t care about.

 

 


I know there’s a lot here to digest, but allow me to leave you with an important question for consideration:

What have you done today to increase your career capital and exposure?

If you’re having trouble answering this all-important question, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your career and implement specific disciplines to improve your future. 

 


FREE Giveaway: I’m giving away one FREE 30-minute success coaching session to the first person who sends me an email at jvaughn@huddleinc.com with the subject line “I want a free coaching session.” During the call, I’ll learn more about your discipline habits through a mini-discovery session, and then I’ll coach you on ways to build more success-generating discipline into your life. And I’ll include real-world examples (and results!) from my life too.

So what are you waiting for? Send me that email!

Top 5 Lessons from The Compound Effect

 

While interning at Huddle, I became part of a book club that our CEO, Joey Thacker, formed with some employees and interns. We read The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy and I can honestly say this book changed my perspective on five key areas of my life.

The Compound Effect

1. The Ripple Effect

Before I dive into my other key takeaways, it’s important to understand that one small change can have a significant impact that in turn causes an unexpected and unintended ripple effect. Your choices truly become behaviors and those behaviors turn into habits.

Like anything in life, the more you practice something, the better you become. If you practice positivity you will most likely have positive results. The positive results you want to experience in your life will be the result of repetitive smart choices. If you continue to make smart choices over time, you will be a better version of yourself.

The Compound Effect boils down to one simple formula:

Small, smart choices + consistency + time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE

2. Your Choices Matter

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Hardy mentions that it’s easy to say that we own 100% of our actions and choices, but it’s another thing to truly be accountable and responsible for those choices. An area I know I’ve struggled in this summer, especially being away from my family, is tracking my spending. Each month I dread getting my credit card statement – so much so that my jaw drops every time I receive it.

Over the course of the past month, I have tracked every purchase I made in a small notebook. Very quickly that notebook became my enemy, because each time I was at Starbucks or Target, I would pull my notebook out in the check-out line. But unlike my past budget decisions, I have held myself accountable this time. And you know what, it’s worked! I’ve saved $35 this month just by dragging my notebook around with me.

I encourage you to make the choice to be accountable and responsible for each decision in your life.

3. What’s your Mojo?

What motivates you and keeps you from giving up? People are motivated either by something they want or something they don’t want. Hardy emphasizes that it’s important to identify what your mojo is so that you can figure out where you lie on this scale.

Thinking about my journey to Huddle as an Inside Sales Intern, I’ve realized that I am usually motivated by something I want. Choosing to leave my family in Tampa and move to Atlanta for the summer was a big decision. In all honesty, it was a little difficult at times. However, I did this knowing I wanted to make the best out of every moment during my time at Huddle to boost my career opportunities after graduation.

4. Momentum is Key

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One of the most powerful and enigmatic forces of success is momentum. Unfortunately this means that negative habits can build up steam and send you into a tailspin of “unlucky” circumstances and consequences. However, when you gain momentum in positive ways and figure out a routine that works for you, you will steadily get closer to achieving your goals. Just make sure to keep the momentum going in a positive direction. 

5. Just Keep Swimming

 “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

Wishing away your life will get you nowhere; acting upon your wishes can lead you to the place you hope to be. Giving a little more time, energy, or thought to your efforts won’t just improve your results; it will multiply them. When I feel like I’ve maxed out all my energy and effort in everything, I try to push myself a tiny bit more to become the person I know I want to be.

 


The Compound Effect can help you break through to new and greater levels of success.


So remember – everything you do creates a ripple effect so every choice matters. Find your internal motivation and don’t stop pushing yourself to grow and become the person you know you can be. Your future self will thank you for taking the time to make repetitive, smart choices every day to get you where you want to be. 

When No One Notices, Is It Still Worth It?

Do you make your job all about you?

Or do you spend the 8 hours of your work day looking for ways to champion your clients?

I’m guilty of the first one.

It's really easy to spend your whole day trying to check off your to-do list and getting frustrated with clients who delay timelines and make your life “more difficult.”

Maybe we should flip that whole situation on its head.

Service with a smile doesn’t start with an external facade.

It starts with an internal motivation. You can’t serve with a genuine smile or genuine desire to see your client succeed if your motivation is to get ahead, work your way to the top, and simply check out at the end of the day after putting in 8 hours of work.

An attitude of service starts with the idea that your work matters.

Every interaction you have with a client is an opportunity – an opportunity to make their day and put your business in the forefront of their mind because you just blew them away with your gracious response.

When you go above and beyond in your client interactions, your client wins, and as a result, your company wins

If your client asks for a deadline extension because they just can’t meet that date, do you complain to your coworker and gripe about how inconsiderate they are because they’re putting your whole timeline off track? Or do you realize that they are busy too? Maybe they have something that was just put on their plate by a stressed out boss and it’s making them work overtime.

What would happen if you responded graciously with “No worries! Yes, we can extend your deadline. Does this date work better for you?”

Let's serve our clients with an attitude of gratitude.

Be grateful that your clients trust you with their business and their time. When you champion your clients, go above and beyond, and respond graciously, you just might get a “job well done” from your boss or even a promotion.

But what if no one but you knows that you treated that customer well -- will it still be worth the extra time?

If you can answer that question with a resounding yes...

You, my friend, have mastered the art of serving your client and not yourself.