How do Wisdom and Selling go together?

Welcome to Wisdom Selling. So if you are like me, you are always wanting to learn more. Well here is the deal about selling. It is the desire to exchange something you have, for something of more value to you. You may have an idea, a product, a service which people will want to pay for, allowing you to make a profit. You have to seek out people who might want it, and convince them it is worth the price you are charging. Or like me, you may just have a little wisdom, and are looking for someone who values it enough to want to use it. My value received in return is the joy of your feedback. So, I am selling wisdom. The cost to you, your interest. I want to help others as well. Visit the links page and shop for some good deals. Any profits on money you spend there will be used by Wisdom Selling to support non-profit businesses in developing their strategies.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Power of Helping versus being Helped

I have a new friend / client who has a neat story about how he came to be a Christian.  He was an atheist for 38 years, and quite content.  However, one day his neighbor's five year old child was diagnosed with Leukemia.  My friend began volunteering to raise funds for the child's treatment.  As he became more involved, he says he took his eyes off himself for a moment, and was able to see the hope all around him.  As a result of his efforts, and the relationships this developed, he became a Christian.  Where he lives, he could have gone his whole life without hearing a strong evangelistic message, yet he was able to see through service the reality of God.  How cool is that.

This story came back to me as I was teaching a lesson the other day about the four friends who had a crippled friend they wanted to get in front of Jesus.  They brought him to a house on a blanket with the expectation that they would get him in front of Jesus who was reported to be able to heal.  Unfortunately, the crowd was made up of people who were looking to critique Jesus rather than support him, so they had no desire to let the men through.  Instead of giving up, they climbed up on the roof, busted a hole in it and lowered their friend down on the blanket where Jesus was able to forgive and heal.

Often times, when we think about those of our friends in need, whether physical or spiritual, we put them in the blanket, and try to get them in front of Jesus somehow.  We see our role to bring this "crippled" person forward with the idea that he can be healed if we do so.  Many times this does take place, when we see the obvious "injury" and see the need to help this person overcome it.

Where we miss out, though, is when we see a person who doesn't look or sound crippled yet we know they do not experience the joy of a relationship with Jesus.  We cannot picture them in a blanket being lowered in front of Jesus, nor can we actually figuratively picture them in a blanket at all.

Consider another possibility.  What if the four friends that carried the injured man were not all believers.  What if only two or three were, but asked the non-believers to help, and they saw the importance of helping enough to agree to carry the blanket.  Think of the impact on them from the experience of Jesus' healing of the paralytic on the blanket.  Maybe you need to approach your friends differently. Get them to help you help someone else.  Create a project to feed the homeless and take your friend with you.  Help out a widow or orphan in your community and ask for help to do so.  Perhaps by their joining you in caring for someone else, the same change will take place that affected my friend.

Hey, you have nothing to lose, and someone will gain, regardless of the impact on your own friend.  Whoever is getting served will benefit. 

Try it and tell me how it goes.

What does Strategy have to do with Human Resources?

What does Strategy have to do with Human Resources?
Chris Byrd, Wisdom Selling Solutions

I was recently at the SCMA Human Resources meeting, introducing Wisdom Selling Solutions to the various attendees.  As I would describe us as a strategy consultant, it was obvious the confusion about exactly why I was there representing Wisdom Selling.  Quite frankly, I don’t blame them, given the usual connection of strategy to the business leadership, not Human Resources.

However, the truth is that strategy is intimately connected to manpower, and the ability of a Human Resources team to actively participate in the strategic planning and implementation of the organization can make a world of difference in the success or failure of that organization.

Consider the following.  Imagine for a moment the CEO of your company called you into his office and gave you an hour just to tell him your dreams for the future of the workforce.  What kind of things would you tell him?  Do you even have the time to consider all of the possibilities that talent management and development could bring to the company?  How do you get to the point where you can move beyond the constant tug of legal compliance, and move to a contributor of strategy to the organization?  

Think about the following business terms and how they translate into HR.  Each is key to business strategy, and can be key to HR strategy as well.

Sales – this is a transaction taking place.  It is the goal of the business, because if this does not take place, there is no revenue whether the company provides products or services.  The sale is a trading of value.  What one entity has provides so much potential value to another that they are willing to trade something that has more value to the initial company.  For example, I might have a candy bar that cost $0.25 to make, but its value to you is a dollar, so I can sell it on its value and receive the dollar, which I value higher than the candy bar, or I wouldn’t sell it.

Your transactions are many.  Ultimately, though, the main transactions are hiring, on-boarding and retaining.  Hiring is the sale in that you provide a position to someone who values it highly enough to trade you the value of their experiences capabilities and interests.  

Marketing – this is creating the environment for the sale to take place.  Simply put, this is finding the persons who might value what you have to offer, presenting the value in a compelling way, and promoting this value to access the people who would want it.  Often this is mixed up with advertising and promotions, which is a key element, but marketing is so much more.

You create job descriptions, company websites for hiring, and brochures that tell your story.  You place this information where those most likely to fit your needs are known to frequent, and promote the opportunities available within your organization.

Strategy- this is the understanding of who an organization is, and who they want to be.  Further, it is what they want to accomplish.  Once understood, the plans to reach the destination can be developed and implemented.  

As an analogy, consider driving around in your car.  At any point, if you don’t know where you are, you are considered lost.  Now, many of us drive around looking for landmarks to tell us where we are currently.  Others of us will stop and ask for directions.  Now, if we don’t know where we are going, any road will get us there.  However, if we plan to arrive somewhere, we can use our roadmap to show us the best routes to take.  We can use the information on the map to tell us how far away it is, how long it will take, and what milestones we will pass along the way.  Nowadays, with GPS, we can even have a voice tell us when to turn.

Strategy works the same way in Human Resources.  If you know the state of the workforce, the capabilities, the interests and the level of engagement, you are in a great position to match people up with current and future positions.  Information is always going to be king in your world.  The more you know about people, their interests and potential, the better you are going to be able to fit them to the appropriate positions and retain the best talent.  The better you are able to equip your managers to lead each individual that reports to them the better their leadership can be.  

If you are connected to the pulse of the business, you can see more clearly where the people plans need to go.  If there is going to be a succession of promotions, what is the plan to backfill, for example.  When you know the capabilities of the talent that exists, you can see the gaps that need to be filled over time.  You may suggest hiring strategies that don’t make traditional sense because you can see the big picture.  You may change the onboarding process because you are hiring more young leaders, and they need to be treated differently to stay.

Obviously, these are broad generalizations, but hopefully they provide you some insight into how valuable strategic thinking can be in your department.  I encourage you to find ways to be more efficient in your transactional responsibilities, so that you have time to contribute to the future workforce success in your company.

Wisdom Selling Solutions provides strategy consulting for Business Owners, Executives and key Human Resource Leadership in support of successful strategy implementation.  WSS provides information, analysis and tools to help make your job more productive and interesting.  Contact us today for a free demonstration of these tools.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Have You Ever Been Asked What You Believe In?

Recently I had the opportunity to quote for working with a new client.  He is starting a business, and plans to run it with Christian principles, making sure he focuses on customer satisfaction but at the same time presents the organization as focusing on doing things in a way that reflects his beliefs.

As part of the interviewing for working together, he asked me what my story was, how I was brought up in the church, my core beliefs, etc.  I was fascinated by the request but realized how important it was to accurately reflect these so our business arrangement could be long term and successful.

Have you ever been asked to share what you believe with someone as part of understanding who you are?  What would you say if they did ask you, or would you say it is private?  See, I am of the school of thought that we should always be willing to share our story, whether it be about our religion, our interests, family, etc.  People want to know who they are working with.  I encourage you to practice your story telling, in both written and verbal form.

Here is what I sent back, as a reference for you, and perhaps to help you understand me a bit more.

"I come from a strong Christian background with two good parents who invested in me.  I also experienced a consistent run of quality teachers and ministers at the Southern Baptist churches where I attended growing up.

I realized early on that I was a creation of God, who built us to have communion with him.  Through sin we became separated from him, and were no longer able to access the face to face walks that Adam experienced.

What I learned next is that God hates sin, and that each of us has this in us, breaking our connection to God, and putting us in jeopardy of eternal separation, since the only way to be in connection is to not have the sins on us.

While He created ways for early worshippers to reach out to him through sacrifices, He made the decision to allow us once and for all to receive a sacrifice.  He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth in the form of a man to fully experience the life of a human, with all its joys, sorrows and temptations.  He was born to a virgin and remained sinless while on earth.

He came with a purpose, and that was to die as a sacrifice, once and for all, to take our sins out of the way of our connection to God.  His death accomplished this once and for all, and His resurrection from the dead further demonstrated his overcoming the evil in the world.  God then told us through Christ, with further clarification from Paul in Romans that we can come to God through a belief in His son as our savior, and through the repentance of sins.  We turn to God and away from Sin.  I believe that I have asked Christ into my heart, and He has indwelt me with the Holy Spirit who guides me to the truth.  I believe my salvation is assured.  I also believe that my connection to God is always under attack and that I need to constantly gain wisdom, be vigilant, and repentant when I fall.

I love to learn, and spend a lot of time thinking about the mysteries of the Bible, from how we deal gracefully with sins among non-believers, to how we protect our families, to how we minister.  I write alot and blog a lot about these thoughts as I try to work out my salvation.  My wife and all four of my kids will be with me in heaven thanks to their decisions.  We are active at MountainView Baptist Church where I teach college students, play bass in the praise band, and have been interim minister of music.

I fall a lot.  Being a Christian is not easy and I find myself dealing with the challenges all the time.  Mainly these are in the areas of worry and criticism.  But I am working on it constantly, as I want my business to be one that is identified by its Christian Wisdom, and by the ethics and morals by which it is run."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A theological question for today - Is the Bible really about Right and Wrong?

So, before you jump on my case, please consider the ponderings I am having as I see more and more moral controversy in this country of ours.

In California recently, a school board determined that students need to be taught heroes of different causes that aren't currently in their history books, including handicapped persons who overcame, and homosexuals who led the civil rights cause or were heroes in the military, etc.  There is a big concern that this will promote to young children some inappropriate behaviors, as well as make more mainstream something that parents may not want taught to their children.  While the marriage amendment politics brought out the leadership of many different religions, this cause seems to be left to the evangelical Christian leadership to fight.  It does not actually look like they are prepared to do so.

My question that is arising from all this is noted in the title - is the Bible about right and wrong, or is it something even greater than this, above the petty arguments of us imperfect humans?  I covet your thoughts on this.  Here is my theory, for you to poke holes in.

I see six or seven key purposes for the Bible, as it is written.  I am sure there are many others, but for consideration, here is my list:

1. To further prove the fact that there is a creator God.  (I believe the creation proves it independently of the Bible, so the information in the Bible is for additional support to those of us who struggle to accept this fact)

2. To reveal what life is like in connection to God (we have joy, guidance, etc)

3. To explain to us what happens when we die, as we are connected to God.

4. To show us what God's expectations are for us in this connection  - (to be perfect, to help others see how great it is to be connected to God)

5. To show us what breaks this connection (Imperfection - we call this sin, and it encompasses a tremendous number of actions or thoughts that we choose of our free will to do, which break our fellowship with God, and leave us at risk to the world)

6. To show us how to restore this connection once and for all (as well as to deal with those times when we temporarily break the fellowship)

7. To show us the consequences of living outside of this connection, now and in the future.

There are lots of ways to think about this, but in summary a relationship with God is better than anything else we will ever experience, but we have difficulty making and keeping this relationship intact because of the sins that are common to us all.  The Bible explains and demonstrates these sins for us so we can understand what not to do, in order to keep our relationship pure.

In the old testament, without the Holy Spirit as a guide, He used Moses to deliver a series of rules to follow to keep the relationship intact, while also providing achievable actions for restoring broken fellowship, so the benefits of being in God's will could be experienced.

In the new testament, Jesus Christ comes into the world and demonstrates for us the very personal nature of our relationship with God.  He described behaviors that pleased God as well as those which broke fellowship.  He tells us that a Holy Spirit will come into us, and provide us personal guidance on how to maintain fellowship and grow in our relationship with God. 

Paul came along and helped these new Christians understand that there were still directions to follow to maintain this fellowship with God, even though Jesus became the new sacrifice, eliminating many of the old sacrifices and rules.

Now, governments have come and gone many times since the first Christians.  In some cases, a government would implement a rule of law that was very similar to Biblical rules.  This made the scriptures a legal definition of what is wrong to do in that culture.  However, this did not mean that there would never be a change.  As people began to explore the freedoms that come from the rule of the governed, the realization came about that laws could be changed at the will of the majority.

We experience this today, as polls and surveys are used to justify changes to laws, whether in agreement with scripture or not.  Christians in turn, fight back by positioning the Bible as an authority on right and wrong to a culture that does not even acknowledge that God exists in many cases. In other cases, they recognize His existence but do not let that fact influence their decisions.  These new decisions are made on the relative situations of the moment, political winds and popular views of the enlightened.

The bottom line of this long winded discussion is this.  The Bible is a book that deals with a relationship with our creator, God.  It is not a legal document in our current culture.  If we do not see the value of being in fellowship with God, and the joy of understanding wisdom, feeling fulfilled and happy in a very sad culture, we are certainly not going to be drawn to rules more restrictive than our government requires!

We must first demonstrate and teach the value of our relationship with God, before we can show how the Bible reveals those actions that disconnect this relationship.  Otherwise we will fight a fight for morality, family values and restraint that will fall on deaf ears.

Please help me work through these thoughts!!!!!!!!

Wisdom thoughts from an historical figure!

Charles Spurgeon: "Wisdom is man's true strength; and, under its guidance, he best accomplishes the ends of his being. Wisely handling the matter of life, gives to man the richest enjoyment, and presents the noblest occupation for his powers; hence by it he finds good in the fullest sense. Without wisdom, man is as the wild ass's colt, running hither and thither, wasting strength which might be profitably employed. Wisdom is the compass by which man is to steer across the trackless waste of life; without it he is a derelict vessel, the sport of winds and waves A man must be prudent in such a world as this, or he will find no good, but be betrayed into unnumbered ills."

A friend of mine sent me this and it struck a chord with me.  Not just that I could quote a guy saying wild ass's colt, but that this picture resonates so well with me.  Think about this for a minute.  It is not just the colt that is wild, his parents are as well.  So there is not just one level of wildness, but inherited, taught and modelled behavior.  Not only this, but the colt has no idea he is wild.  He is just following the wind, and wasting alot of energy on nothing productive.

So the questions naturally arise.  Do you know what you are doing, or are you just running around wasting energy? Are you so trained and taught to be a certain way that you don't even know what wisdom looks like?  Well, now is the time to break out of that rut and become something more.  Can you recognize wisdom when you see it?  Who is around you that you can ask for guidance?  Do you need to be broken in order to submit to learning's that will change you for the better?  Are you willing?

I really like this message about wisdom from Dr. Spurgeon.  He gets right to the point.  You need to seek wisdom, be prudent and be guided by it, then you will enjoy life to the fullest.  Wisdom is not as restricting as we all may think.  Yes, it may keep us from uttering the redneck's last words - "Hey, watch this!" but even more so, it can help us do the things that bring value to the world.

I learned recently that most cattle ranchers around here buy a donkey and put them out in the field with their other animals.  The donkey just minds his own business until a coyote comes into the field, at which point the donkey becomes a killing machine, using its powerful kick to destroy the predator.

When your coyotes come will you be an ass kicker, or just be a colt running around?  Sorry for the off color comment, but couldn't resist.  I still have some colt in me I am working out!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What do you do when everyone doesn’t like you?

Do you think you could stand it if everyone in the world liked you?  Imagine the pressure to remember names, spouses, interests and hobbies for all the people you come into contact with.

Life would be so simple if we could view the world that way.  In other words, that life is easier by having some people not be a match for us.  However, for most of us that is not the case.  We live our lives under the burden of those people who do not like us or who do not want to have a connection with us.   Why is it more important to us that we had a negative experience with someone that that we had so many positive ones.

I used to be so scared of people that I could hardly function.  I worried that each interaction was a place for someone to make me feel worse about myself by rejecting me in some way.  What a prison that can be.  Do you ever worry about this?  Have you experienced a situation where someone rejected you or did not want to interact with you?

This happens quite frequently in business.  We have prospects who don’t want to buy from us and we take it personally.  We have a boss who just doesn’t connect with us and promotes those with whom he does.  We have suppliers that walk all over us trying to use intimidation to tilt the negotiations.  We have peers that are competing with us for the next promotion.  It can be quite overwhelming if we let it.

The problem with this line of thinking is that it causes us to miss the positives that are going on around us, and which make up the majority of our interactions.  I decided a few years ago that there had to be something better for me.  Therefore, I began an informal, where I decided to take a positive approach with everyone I met, and see what kind of reactions I got. 

Turns out that only about 70% of those I talked to were interested in responding.  30% of those I talked to either cut me off, or demonstrated irritation or just tolerated me then moved on as soon as they could.  Now, you could say that I have some communications challenges or personality issues.  That is what I used to think. What I believe now is that there is a large group of people out there I can connect with if I go seek them out.

The last time you checked, was 70% more than 30%?  Of course it is.  Now for the hard question.  Is the value of the positive feedback from the 70% greater than the impact of the negative feedback of the 30%?  The answer to this is the 70% Solution.  If you can accept that this greater percentage of people is going to connect with you, you are freed up to remove the fear from your interactions.  You can pursue relationships and celebrate the ones you get, while understanding those you don’t.

Now, this does not mean the 30% are bad people. They just have a different 70%.  It also does not mean you will never connect with them, but you may have to use a different approach, and be very patient while understanding it may never happen.

I encourage you to consider the implications of this line of thinking.  If you are sincere and reach out to people you have a high likelihood of being rewarded.  If you are yourself on the sales call or in your company interactions, you will have some success you didn’t expect.  You will not have the burden of pretending to be something you aren’t to connect to those you can’t.

Go out there and begin to talk to people freely.  See for yourself what happens as a result.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

If you don't love your life you won't live your life!

Sometimes the simple hits me as so profound.  I was in a meeting recently where a leader was discussing how to teach adults.  He was discussing issues related to the Bible and he said this: "If you don't love the Christian life, you won't live the Christian life."

I was not able to get that statement out of my head.  Think about this comment and see if it applies to you in your life, regardless of whether you are a Christian or not. 

" I really wanted to do___, but I knew that I should do ____, and so I did it." 

Here is the feeling that invokes.  I am not doing what I want to do, I am doing what I am supposed to do, and it is a big sacrifice for me so be proud of me!  We help each other through the misery of doing what we think we are supposed to do each day, while inside we are fantasizing about how good life could be if we really did what we wanted to do.  I would wager you have friends that stay in a job they hate, so that they can "provide for their family".  Meanwhile their mind drifts to what they wish they could do, or even worse drifts to an unhealthy lust of something they think they cannot have.  How many affairs have started over a perception of sacrifice in real life, so the person thinks they deserve something for themselves.

We create this puritan view of life where we are miserable but proud.  The victory over rules that is supposed to make us free instead is missed by our need to be a rules follower.  I told my college Bible Study that if they are wanting to go to an R rated movie, really want to go badly, but instead take the martyr point of view of how much they are sacrificing not going, then go!  Sit there and see if you feel like it is the right place to be, then stay or leave as you feel is right.  But don't create a resentment of your Christian life by hating having to give up all the "good stuff".

In the movie "The Rookie", Dennis Quaid's character is torn between his feeling that he is supposed to be a baseball player, and the feelings of obligation to provide for his family as a teacher.  His father tells him, sometimes you have to give up what you want to do in order to do what you are supposed to do.  Quit being a dreamer!  Fortunately for the movie, he doesn't take that advice and is successful with his dream, and in the process provides for his family.  Is there sacrifice in the short term?  Certainly.  Is it worth it?  Well you never know if you don't try.

As my family makes the sacrifices to allow me to follow my dream to build a business of helping others, I see both the pain of the sacrifice, and the freedom from guilt that no longer manifests itself at the end of the day when I come home too downtrodden to be a contributing part of family life.  I would trade today's poor happiness for yesterday's comfortable misery any day!

This doesn't just apply to jobs, but to life in general.  If you don't love your life you won't live it. You will just exist beside it, watching it burn away day after day.  What is it you need to do to love your life?

As I conclude this, consider the following.  Are there healthy desires?  Can you actually feel drawn to something and that be a leading to something good and important that you should consider?  Can you be led?  Are you too burned out to feel anything hopeful?  I certainly hope not.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Quick Thought on Wisdom - The truth in your mind

Proverbs 27:19  As water reflects your face, so your mind shows what kind of person you are.

This is so cool because it lives behind the mask.  What are you thinking about right now?  What were you thinking about a while ago?  What are you likely to think about?

Your mind is the source of your character.  We have been given the will to determine how and what we think.  We are equipped for positive or negative thoughts, but the gravity of life pulls naturally toward thoughts that are self serving and self beneficial.  We must actively work on our mind to build strength of character.  This is not just beneficial in our conscious thinking day in and day out.  This work prepares us for our reactions to external stimuli.  The old adage garbage in garbage out is more true that we think.  If we surround ourselves with selfish people that will build that momentum in us.  If we watch violent or sexually explicit shows or movies, we build momentum toward that thinking.

Like a rock rolling down hill, these thoughts gather strength in affecting our character.  They are sitting there waiting for the scantily clad young woman to walk by, or for our child to make a serious mistake.  The thoughts that go through our mind will come out in our actions or words.  Hurtful to our families, friends and reputation.

Is it worth the risk to not discipline our minds toward good things?  Should we surround ourselves with positive people, and reduce our exposure to the negative and critical?  Should we manage what we watch?  Should we put in processes for reacting to our children or subordinates to give pause to our responses?

Perhaps.  Worth thinking about at least?

Quick Thought on Wisdom - The benefits of correction

Proverbs 28:24  Those who correct others will later be liked more than those who give false praise.

I really like this advice because it is realistic.  If you are giving people feedback that is truthful and will help them be better employees, spouses, parents, etc, do not expect to get immediate good response.  I had some great teachers in high school whom I despised at the time.  I thought they were evil and harsh.  However, I later realized the benefits of their shooting me straight.  I bowed up then, but am thankful now.  I have had some bosses and "friends" who have shot me a line about how well I am doing, or how good I am at something, only to find out later this was hollow praise.  They were just unwilling to give me the feedback I needed to improve.  I think they were worried about my response more than my feelings.

If you want your children to improve and be strong contributors to society, you need to be willing to take a hit in the short term.  The same applies to your students or direct reports.  Are you willing to correct wrong behavior at the risk of your own status or feelings?  If you are able to take a long term view of this it will work out for you.  Conversely, are you guilty of providing false praise to protect the feelings of others?  I don't believe you are doing them any favors and encourage you to reconsider your words.

In all this, respond in love, and remember the critiquing mantra - a positive comment, followed by the critique followed by a positive comment.  If you cannot think of two positive comments, you have some work to do on your leadership!

Quick Thought on Wisdom - The benefits of counsel

Proverbs 27:17  As Iron Sharpens Iron, so people can improve each other.

One of the most difficult things I have ever had to learn is that I don't know everything.  This may be hard for some of you to accept, but yes it is true.  This has not stopped me from trying to do everything on my own.  My wife and my parents have both pointed out to me that I am quick to make decisions and act, without even asking any advice from them or anyone else.  I am often wrong and spend a lot of time fixing problems caused by my rash actions.

In starting my own company, I have set a goal to always look for others who can give me advice to make better decisions.  This has led me to go slower, seek help from friends, seek referrals, and other actions that I would have passed right by before.  I have added to my consulting business a role as of mentoring to hopefully pay it forward for the benefits others have provided me.

The bottom line of this is very clear but hard to do.  Can you realize that you will be a better leader, parent, spouse, follower, etc. if you are willing to seek out and accept the input of others?  Are you willing to listen?  And... are you willing to be an influence to others?

People need you to help.  Don't waste your wisdom!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Thoughts on Wisdom - Part 4 - What do you fear the most?

Have you ever watched one of those TV detective shows where a woman has been subject to years of abuse by her husband and then is accused of murder as a result of finally having had enough?  Most often the question at hand is "why didn't she just leave?".  Other times, you see a story about the homeless in New York, and you wonder, "why don't they just move somewhere else where they can get a job?"

Human nature is a very complex thing.  We become attuned to our current situation, and often even if it is not the greatest in the world, we stay because it is safer that the outside world.  Having just experienced five months of unemployment, I can assure you it is scary out there.  I would much rather have stayed behind my desk, happy or sad.  Why is that?  Have you ever felt that way?

The question that starts this blog post asks what we fear the most.  I believe for most of us, it is change!  In fact, doctors tell us that the more change we experience, the more likely our health is to take a hit.  Our physical, emotional and social characteristics are so set in current behavior that the new is difficult to incorporate in.

Now, think for a moment about the implications of this for wisdom.  Wisdom is not just learning something new, but acting on it in some positive way.  Otherwise it is just knowledge.  The bible, for example is full of wisdom.  However, the instructions describe the spiritual experience as being born again.  Consider the implications of this impossible statement.  As a child, we have no set behaviors.  We are open to new learnings and adapt to teachings and experiences daily.  A child will trust those who are teaching them to provide the right information and will accept it on faith, forming their world view from these teachings and experiences.

Using the above example as a basis, let's consider the possibilities for overcoming this fear of change.  They are not very high.  It requires a daily willingness to consider the new.  It is an act of the will, which will then have to war against our human nature.  Imagine the wife who is willing to consider the new, and have faith that there is something positive out there for her to experience.  Perhaps she would be more willing to leave the bad situation.

Imagine you, willing to consider something new each day.  What is there out there today that could rock your world if you would let it?  Hey, talk to a democrat or republican, whichever you are not - and be open to their point of view!  Talk to a Christian or a non-believer, and really listen to their point of view.  Talk to a teenager or a senior citizen.  At the end of the day, ask yourself:  Were you open to anything at all that was shared with you... or are you afraid?

Try it and tell me how it goes!!!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thoughts on Wisdom - Part 3 - who do you fear?

This is an interesting point that Solomon and his wise co-authors make in Chapter 9 of Proverbs.  See if this resonates at all with you.  If you are not a believer in God, this won't make much sense, but read through it and see if it helps you understand better the viewpoint of a Christ Follower.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  
For through me (Wisdom) your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.  If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you, if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.

This has always been an encouragement to me.  See, I am a left hander.  For those of you who don't know, the life expectancy of lefties is less that that for right handers.  The world has been set up to cater to the needs of those less fortunate, who have to use their right hands for everything.  Americans switched to the right side of the road and put the gearshift for the right hand to help you out.  Rifles and Shotguns are right handed. Scissors are made for right handers.  Butter knives, chain saws, etc.  It is only a matter of time until I have an accident, trying to make my way through this ridiculous right handed world.  However, the fact that I know that the world has been designed for right handers creates in me an awareness that helps keep me safe, hopefully, as I may take a little extra time to make sure I don't hurt myself on these right handed things of life. I could complain and refuse to accept the fact that this stuff is right handed, but no one is going to change it, and if I ignore it, I will probably have a fatal accident before too long!

I hope this analogy brings into clarity the fear of the Lord point.  See, each of us has to choose a filter by which we view the world.   We are introduced to many ways of viewing the world as children, and by the time we are teenagers we often have these filters engraved in stone in our lives.  For example, many of us grew up during a time when skin color was a basis for judgement.  We learned this as children from our parents or grandparents, and by the time we reached high school, we had some ingrained thoughts.  If you are like me, it was a lot of work to change this filter and I had to really want to.  I have to filter as a lefty to make sure I compensate for backward scissors, for example.

A person will decide whether or not they believe in God based on faith and understanding.  This decision is important because it will dictate where their center of the universe is.  If there is no God in a person's life, they are by default the center of their life.  All decisions, and all values come from themselves, and they filter all of life by these internal perspectives, which can change over time due to outside influences.

When a person believes in God, they have a new center of their universe.  Now there is a new source for filters for life, and it is presented as unchanging.  There are filters that come from the bible and from a spiritual connection to God.  This connection is presented not as a connection made from fear but from love.  So why then does Solomon use the word fear?!?!   In this context, I believe the word fear is more like a respect to the point of unquestioned obedience.   What this means is that because a person believes in God, they are open to seeing the world in a new light.  They don't have to have the answer to every question all at once, because there is a trust in the unknown that it will someday be known, and that there is more time than just to earthly death to figure it out.  There is a book called the bible which is called God's Word.  The use of the term word has always been used to describe God's connection to mankind.  Jesus was referred to as the word as well.   The creation story tells of God speaking the world into existence.

So we have words from God, we have a spiritual connection, now what?  This is the cool part of what Solomon is saying.  People who have God as the center of their universe now have the keys to wisdom and understanding.  They learn through the filters that are now in place, which may be entirely different than those they had as a child or teen.  For some people this is very difficult, as the filters of their early worldview are still around to compete.  This is why it is a journey to wisdom not a snap change.  We have to unlearn and learn constantly to keep up with the journey.

Have a great day.  I hope this makes sense to those of you who don't normally read God stuff.

Thoughts on Wisdom - Part 2 - who do you share your wisdom with?

King Solomon was not the kind of person to really hold back his feelings on a subject.  You ever know a person like that?  They just lay it all out there and expect you to receive it without caring one bit whether or not you are helped or insulted.  Apparently, I am like that a bit, and have spent some time trying to repair relationships where my intentions were good, but my methods were suspect.  Like the time I told the neighbor's kids in front of their mom that someone was going to call the cops on them someday if they didn't stop pestering the little kids?  Not the best move I have ever made.  The intent was to help them put a price on negative behavior but the mom was ticked off at me for about two months.  Yikes.  In the end, they realized my intentions, but I tiptoed around for a while in the side yard.

Here is some straightforward wise advice from the 9th chapter of the Proverbs of Solomon and others.  The chapter is often subtitled, invitations of wisdom or folly.

Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.
Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse.
Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.
Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.

This is an interesting point of view for me, as I have always been one who goes after those who are mockers or doubters, or even wicked, with the ideas that I can somehow change them.  I believe that Solomon is speaking not about the gift of compassion which means you care about someone who does not believe what you believe.  He is, instead, speaking about how wise people invest their time.

Each of us has those people we care about, and we want them to have a good life and be successful.  Especially in our families, our churches, our neighborhoods, we have people that we just want to encourage or support even though we don't agree with their lifestyle or their points of view.  I don't think this is the situation Solomon is addressing at all.  We all need to care about others and try and support them as they seek the truth in life.

Solomon is really talking more about how we prioritize our lives.  Think for a minute about how you spend your time with others.  If you are a business leader, how much time do you spend trying to bring up the performance of the weak employees, or those that don't fit, at the expense of those who could benefit from your guidance and really change the company?  Who have you withheld your wisdom from that could have grown and become even wiser, as they would take everything you give them and grow with it?

As a teacher, do you find yourself always trying to convince the skeptic, rather than develop the willing learner?  As a parent, do you recognize the difference in your child's friends, the ones who can receive wisdom and the ones that mock it?  Can you help your child see the difference?

I believe Solomon is giving us a great model for investment in others.  Whether through mentoring, teaching or leading, it is as important to select those with whom you share your wisdom as it is the content.  There will be those who cannot or will not receive what you have to say or demonstrate with a willing spirit, and it falls off them like rain off a roof, spilling down and running off, wasted.  Solomon says even more than wasted, it can actually evoke feelings of hatred toward you from those who are not inclined to hear it.  Imagine, being so full of wisdom, wanting to share it, yet being hated for doing so?  Sounds irrational, but if we examine our circumstances, we can all think of times when we were resented for saying something.  I have seen my kids, when they were at the less wise points in their lives, really hate the times when I sit them down to share what I think is good wisdom and learning for them.  In one ear and out the other, it appears.  I have seen leaders, who did not want to think me wiser than them, turn full away from my message to prevent it from influencing their decisions.

The point is this.  Love unconditionally, look for opportunities to help a "mocker" want to be wise, but invest your wisdom in those who will appreciate it and learn from it.  The world needs a new generation of wisdom quickly, and we don't have the luxury of choosing who is willing to receive it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thoughts on Wisdom - Part 1

So, with a blog called Wisdom Selling, I ought to at least talk about wisdom once in a while.  I believe wisdom is the use of knowledge for the betterment of something, whether it is your life, your job or your relationships.  My favorite wise guy, King Solomon, had some excellent thoughts on wisdom, which can relate directly to business, family and life.  He spoke in proverbs, which are kind of an if, then format.  He spoke very logical and really did not leave a way out on the path to wisdom.

I thought I would take a few posts and dedicate them to reviewing some of these proverbs that can help.  There are 31 groups of proverbs which is real convenient to read one group a day.

This one is from the 24th group.

It takes wisdom to have a good family, and it takes understanding to make it strong.  It takes knowledge to fill a home with rare and beautiful treasures.  Wise people have great power and those with knowledge have great strength.   So you need advice when you go to war.  If you have lots of good advice, you will win.

This bit of advice really resonates with me because I have always been the kind of person who made decisions on my own.  I decided about college on my own, made my decisions about what to study and how hard to work without any advice or mentoring, and chose my first career without getting any opinions that mattered.  I suffered through a difficult and costly personal relationship because I was afraid to leave it, and did not have anyone who I trusted to give me advice to stop the relationship, much less to keep from letting it escalate to the costly end it had.

I went through periods of darkness related to being alone, with the difficulties related to the stubbornness of making all my own decisions.  It wasn't until later in life, where I realized I was not happy in my job that I finally asked my parents for their opinions on a new career.  They helped me see the wisdom of a particular choice.  My wife has always been available, but until recently I was unable to express myself in a way that allowed her to have an opinion she felt mattered.

To win requires knowledge, so that you know what to do when the time comes to do it.  Wisdom is knowing when to do what you need to do, where, and how much.  In building a business plan it take alot of knowledge about markets, products and customers, but success comes from the wisdom to act, stay, change, remain solidly planted, increase, decrease.  These are choices that are the implementation of knowledge.  We aren't naturally able to make these decisions without instruction, mentoring and input from others. 

Without these inputs from others, we never become bigger than our current capabilities.  The entire consulting industry has value because of this reality.  There really is synergy in the collective wisdom of a group of two or more!  That is why  I went into consulting myself.  I found in my previous employment that there were all sorts of unsolved business challenges.  You probably have experienced the same in your business, ministry or personal life.  People would come to my office with a problem to be overcome in our operations.  We would turn to the white board, and over the course of the next 30-60 minutes  a solution would begin to take shape.

The cool thing was that it often felt like I already knew the answer, but then as I stared at the solution on the board, humility would sink in.  The idea on the board was better than anything I had in my head, and demonstrated what Solomon was saying in the proverb.  So you need advice before you go to war (business operations, family development, relationship development, etc).  If you have lots of good advice you will win.

Chris Byrd is a business strategy and workforce development consultant with Wisdom Selling Solutions.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why should people care what I think?

Sat around yesterday for a while with the poo bird on my bottom lip.  For those of you who don't know what that is, it is one of those annoying behaviors people have.  A person is pouting, and the antagonist says, "The poo bird is going to land on that lip", and tries to put two fingers down on the lip like a bird landing.  Ridiculous except for the fact that I have done it to others many times.

I was pouting because I had done some clever posting (I thought) and no one had responded.  I had even set up a contest to allow someone to get a free book of wisdom from Barney Fife.  Who wouldn't want that?  Well, as the day went on and no one had any comments or found the book on my store site for free, I began to wonder about all the things I say to people.  Does anyone really care about what I think?

Hey, this is a question we all could ask ourselves at one time or another.  We feel like there is knowledge or wisdom in our heart just bursting to get out, and there is no one there to receive it.  After a while, if we are not careful we just get to the point where we don't even want to communicate anything.  You know, however, if I were to succumb to the issues of what of what other people think about me, I would be going against the dictates of my first book, The 70 Percent Solution (of which I was giving away two yesterday!).

I have observed recently that there is an imbalance in the force, so to speak.  People who I have come in contact with (the other people, not you who are reading this) seem so interested in getting their stuff out, that there is very little capacity for taking info in.  This has created in me two different feelings, which are colliding with each other regularly.  The first feeling is the one I felt above - "when is someone going to listen to me?" but the second is "This person really needs someone to listen to them." 

It is sobering to realize how rampant that need is.  People want to be listened to.  They are so full of knowledge, thoughts and feelings that no one seems to have time to hear, that they almost bust trying to get it all out when the opportunity arises.  They will talk about themselves, their families and their problems to almost anyone who stops and takes the time to focus on them.

Think about the implications of this in your different roles.  For example, in your family relationships.  Are you listening with focus?  Are you seeing who in your family is hungry to be heard?  What about at your work?  Do you really take time to listen to the person, or are you evaluating content constantly for value?  And what about those you serve, such as your customers?  Are you constantly steering conversations to the things you want to talk about? Are you willing to invest in the person or just the sale?

The downside of this line of questioning is it requires us to deal with the fact that if we invest in listening, the return might not be in being heard.  It might just be the knowledge that the other person received the gift of being listened to.

 I hate that.  I want my listeners and I want them now!!!!!!!!! 

Well now that my little tantrum is over, I am refreshed and ready to listen to whatever you have to say.  Oh, and if you want to have people read your posts, don't put them up at 10:45 AM.  Who looks at Facebook then?  And - the book is still out there.  Click up top on thebyrdstore link and find it first.

Listen for the benefit of others today.  You might just get enough joy to overcome not being listened to.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Are you making memories or meaning in your life?

I am reading a great book - "Mentor like Jesus" by Regi Campbell.  In it, he talks about how memories fade away, but meaning stays forever.  You can take a child on a vacation to DisneyWorld and they will forget much of what they do that day, but the message you are sending as a parent is priceless.  It makes a meaningful impact.  Mentoring is a way to make a meaningful impact by pouring your life into others. 

Memories are nice for a season.  For example, I have a picture of a golf green in Scotland with a ball sitting four feet from the hole.  It has significant memory for me, but when I die picture will likely be thrown away.  However, I have taught my sons to play golf, and that will have meaning forever.

I don't want to steal too much of Regi's thunder, but I do have a copy of his book available for purchase at thebyrdstore.

Oh... the memory of that photo?  Here it is:

There I was.  On the tee box of the most beautiful and interesting course I had ever played.  Old Prestwick, in Scotland.  It was the home of the first British Open.  Old Tom Morris was the greens keeper, and the trophy for “The Open” as it is now called was named after him.

On one side is the Irish Sea.  Along the golf course western edge is a walkway used by the residents of Prestwick as they go from the train station to the town’s edge, or as they plan to visit the beach for a day in the sun.  It meanders in and out of the dunes, right up onto the edge of the course.  If a golfer is particularly bad, they can take out a slower pedestrian. 

The golf course is right on the edge of the town, and when you park there, you are able to walk anywhere in the town you would like to go.  Pubs as far as the eye can see, full of delightful foods and even a bit of Guinness draught poured the correct way (don’t be in a hurry)!  The numerous selections certainly make choosing the 19th hole a challenge for the golfers each day. 

From the parking lot you pass by the caddies, waiting for the Americans to arrive, wanting the walking experience, but too lazy to carry their own bags.  I of course, was forced to carry my bag, since I was playing with my boss who always carries his.  They were nice enough, but you could see in their eyes that questioning look of what kind of skill level these guys from America might have that they don’t need their help.

When you tee off on the first hole, the right side of the fairway bumps up against the railway tracks.  Oh yes, over there the trains run all the time, and they are fair game for the errant drive.  Fortunately, we were able to get off the first tee without any permanent damage to the community.

The course is not very long.  As you might imagine, with the boundaries defined forever, there was little chance of making the course challenging to the professional golfers of today.  The old wooden play club, spoons, niblicks and scrapers would have been fun to play and experience the real test of the course, but with our modern technology we were driving over and around much of the historic trouble spots.

My score was pretty good for the front nine – the out.  You know, in the old days, the first nine holes went away from the clubhouse and the back nine in, that is why you see out and in on the scorecard.  Coming in, I lost my hearing in one ear for a while, carelessly standing right next to it while ringing the bell for the par 3 that indicates all clear. 

The match is back and forth through the last few holes until we arrived at the 18th tee box, which is where this story began.   The hole is about three hundred and fifty yards, with a slight bend to the right.  On the right side of the fairway is the long gorse grass that is the bain of any golfer’s existence.  My boss hits a nice drive out to the middle, and is in good position to win the hole and the match.  I decide right then and there that I am going for it.  The hole was a little shorter if you hit right over the gorse.  Anything goes wrong, however, and the match is likely over.  I wind up with my youthful limber back and give it the swing of a lifetime.  The ball lifts off like a model rocket aimed at the clubhouse (did I mention the green was right by the clubhouse and right in front of the caddie shack?).  It is a long moment before the evidence is clear.  This shot has a good chance of getting to the green.  At last the ball lands and begins to roll.  Across the fairway it scoots.  Arriving at the green it continues its journey, tracking toward the hole.  For one unbelievable moment it appears like the ball might go into the hole.  Going just a bit too fast, it hits the flagstick and bounces away about four feet.

Yes, I did do it.  I danced on the tee box in front of my boss.

Now we had to walk to the fairway, wait on him to hit and then proceed toward the inevitable praise from the small group of wise, knowledgeable caddies standing by the green.  When I arrived, there was silence.  Nothing.  I guess they needed more proof that I was the world’s greatest golfer at that moment.  Only four feet to go for this miraculous eagle and victory.

So, do you think I made the putt?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Where the heck are you going?

If you are a guy like me, you have inevitably heard those words as you take the exit beyond the one you intended to take, and rather than re-enter the interstate and go back one exit, you turn on your internal GPS and start your cross country small road attempt to end up where you intended to go.  In your mind you know exactly where you expect to end up, and it is not your fault if if those with you can't see it.  In fact, they may know exactly where you are trying to go as well, but just can't see it from the route you are taking.

Our natural response?  "Just be quiet, I know what I am doing."  Ha!  I have had to stop more than once and ask as a result of having set off in a direction that seemed right at the time but put me in a place where no road seemed to get nearer to my goal.

Oul lives our companies and our ministries can experience the same situations, and we as leaders cannot afford the luxury of just turning and trying any old road with the expectation it will take us where we want to go, without the support of those along for the ride with us.  Sometimes the wise move is to turn around and go back to the interstate, but sometimes that way is not open to us and we have to keep going in a direction we think will take us toward the goal.

I have two pieces of advice for you this morning.  First, you need to communicate clearly to those riding with you why you are going the direction you are headed, and make sure they understand as well your level of certainty.  It is ok for those with you to leave breadcrumbs for the possibility of backtracking, but they need to be on board with the direction and the risk.  After all, you are the leader.  Take the time to talk about things in a positive but realistic manner.  You never expect to lose, do you?  However, you may have to change the gameplan a little to ensure success.

My second piece of advice is be willing to stop and ask for direction.  A small bit of tweaking to a plan can in some cases redirect you back toward the goal, rather than allowing you to move further away, and eventually forcing a backtrack.  Consider having a mentor who will give you feedback from his or her experiences.  Also, consider having someone audit your plans and from the outside critique the direction based on your goals. 

Visit for more thoughts on this idea.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Help out my friend Ailton. Shop at and all sales this week will go to his ministry in Brazil

Here is his story.
Hello friends,

I'm living some special experiences here in Sao Jose as urban missionary and I'd like to share to you. 

In this week I took my ball and went to a basketball court in a poor area to practicing some plays.  That is a dangerous area such as gangs area, and was interesting the reaction of kids to seeing me lonly play basketball. They closed to me and asked me to play together, was awesome teach them some skills and drills, the most of them never had held a basketball before. Nobody play basketball on that court so they was happy in play with me. 
After some time I got away and went walking around of neighborhood with my ball. I walked for about one hour I could see some points of traffic of drugs, gang places, people buying and selling drugs and many kids on the streets. But what called my attention was the reaction of the kids on the streets, several of them said: "Look at that guy, he plays basketball, wow!". I felt like a celebrity! This was amazing because some of them asked about where I played, and if I could do some play like spin the ball on the fingers and things like that. I came back home with a sensation of the fields are ready to harvest here. 

Another day I was training in a basketball court in my neighborhood at 8 pm and a boy asked to training with me. He said that nobody use that court to play basketball and kids use drugs there, some minutes later we could feel the smell of marihuana in the air.

I need confess that as pastor I never had walked for location like that and pay attention to the great opportunity to reach the kids in this places. I've felt a special calling of God to preaching the gospel on the courts. In this city many kids that not go to the churches are in this places ready to being reach for men that carry a ball in the hands and a message in their heart.

I wanna be that man, with a ball and a message. And you?

In Christ,

Ailton Tertuliano

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Would you lie to make a six-figure Deal?

My wife and I were watching a new and interesting show on TV about a group of guys who sell million dollar real estate.  It seems like their total focus was on making the deal, and their commissions were upwards of six figures on some deals.  These guys let the cameras follow them around during their listing processes, their sales methods and their social lives.  They gave of a strong sense of being willing to do about anything to make a sale.  Just no real set of distinct guidelines for character except as needed to get the deal done.

So this one guy has a listing that he plans to put a special push on and he begins making calls to his major clients.  To each one he uses the same lines, like:  I am calling you first, you are my most important customer, of course I called you first, etc.  Each time he was filmed on the phone he was spinning some message to please the customer, each an obvious exaggeration or outright lie.

Now, this may seem like a personal preference of the agent that I should just accept, but my son was also in the room, watching the show off and on as we admired the different huge houses.  I had to stop and tell him that these lies the guy was telling were not acceptable, and that we should never behave like that.  Well, that is the right thing to say, isn't it? 

However, I immediately had a gut check time.  Would I ever use any sort of falsehood to make a deal?  While now I can safely say I would not, I cannot say my entire sales career was lie free.  I live with the regret of some of what I recall, but I am sure there are lots of times I made a small point that was untrue that I don't even remember.  Ouch - seeing it from the outside in was so distasteful!

I watched this guy with amazement as he had no concerns at all about the viewing public see him do this.  I also had to wonder if he thought these people he was talking to would never watch the show.  What would he say if they called to challenge him on this?  Would he even care?  In today's culture this behavior is being glorified, filmed and shown as entertainment.  Good Grief.

So as you are reading this, is there anything coming to mind that you might need to deal with from the past or for the future.  I encourage you to at least privately consider it and make a decision on your deals in the future.  Win with honesty or not at all?  Easily said, but challenging to implement.  Good luck!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Leadership 101- the lesson of the 72

Wise Leadership - Could you send your employees out as confidently as these men went out?

  1 The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit.
2 These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest ask him to send more workers into his fields.
3 Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves.
4 Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road. 
5 “Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’
6 If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand if they are not, the blessing will return to you.
7 Don’t move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay. 
8 If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you.
9 Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’
10 But if a town refuses to welcome you, go out into its streets and say,
11 ‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdom of God is near!’
12 I assure you, even wicked Sodom will be better off than such a town on judgment day
13 “What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse.
14 Yes, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you.
15 And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead.
16 Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.”
17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name
18 “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning!
19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.
20 But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”
Pay attention to what Christ said to the disciples he sent out. He told them basically that there were going to be those who accepted them and those who did not.
Perhaps a reference to the 70%?
In any case, you see that He told them not to lose hope due to the ones who rejected him. He also told them to focus on those that accepted them, and to build relationships with them and explain how the Kingdom is at hand. For the ones who did not accept them it was going to be brief.  He told them not to waste time on them, but to quickly move on.
I think sometimes we get caught up in the long term stress of trying to change the thoughts of those who reject us, and it becomes a stumbling block to us, as we keep a won/lost record. We won’t give up. Jesus told these guys to give up fast and move on.  He would deal with the consequences. We have to let go sometimes, so that we do not miss the opportunities that await us among the willing. Does this mean we give up on witnessing to those who mean a lot to us? Of course not, but we cannot let the challenges there discourage us with those out there we can influence. We stay the course because we love them, not because we feel like a failure if we don't persuade them.
Sounds easy, doesn't it? But when we fail with those we love, it can be devastating, can't it? Feel bad if you must, but don't quit!  The seventy-two experienced such a joy in their successes that they came back worshiping and praising God!

Story Telling Value - the Good Samaritan example

My pastor gave a sermon yesterday, and he was talking about the story of the Good Samaritan.  I got to thinking about the example Jesus showed of how to do explaining in a compelling manner.  Yes, you can talk with facts and data, but sometimes the stories can be more effective.  You use your relating skills to tell a story that makes a more compelling argument than a fact based explanation.  The problem sometimes is that the 30 Percenters can tie you up in a fact based argument that will take you to a point that you no longer have the facts to convince.  Then you can get on the defensive and make things worse.         

Take a look at this series of verses from Luke 10.           

25 One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”             
26 Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”                      
27 The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”             
28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”                      
29 The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”             
Parable of the Good Samaritan             
30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.                      
31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by.
32 A Temple assistant[d] walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.                      
33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him.
34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.
35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins,[e] telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’                      
36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.              
37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”           
The guy could not even say the word Samaritan, but he knew he was busted!  Think about your story telling ability.  Have you ever said, I can't tell stories?  Well you can tell stories about yourself all day long if you just practice, and commit to try.  And here is the cool part.  No one can argue your personal story, no matter how many facts they have.  Jesus knew what he was doing when he used this story! 

Perspective - how it is our friend and enemy in relationships

So I taught college Sunday school this week. The topic was moral relativism. I passed out different kinds of nails to each group of two or three and asked them not to show each other. I told them, “This is your truth.”  After that, I went to the whiteboard and asked each of them to help me draw the nail. The discussion was interesting as each had different size heads, lengths, scoring, etc. Finally, one of the exasperated students said, “Depending on our truth, the nail will look very different.” AH HA! She got it!

So the first part of the message was that if everyone has a different truth, there is no one real truth, as everyone has their own, and they can be entirely different.  Then I took one nail, and had three different people draw it on the board.  Each time I told them it was wrong, since they drew a side view. I then showed them the right way to draw it was looking straight at the nail point, basically two concentric circles and a dot for the point. What I was trying to get across is that even when we have the same truth, it is viewed from our own perspective, which is based on lots of factors from our childhood and adult experiences and learning. 

So, when we are explaining to others about stuff, whether they are knowledgeable or not, they are going to have a perspective. If it is business, they will have paradigms from their past, if it is scripture, it will be affected by past learning’s as well as their opinions in general.  Perspective can hurt our attempts to explain as we find out they are seeing a completely different truth, or if they view truth from a much different point of view than we do.

That is why relating is so very important as a partner to explaining. Relating helps us to discover the perspective of others. This knowledge can impart wisdom as to whether you are even on the same page as the other person, much less the same sentence.   Relating can prevent serious interpersonal barriers from forming as others get defensive as to their position. Relating can show us when explaining is not a good idea at the time. It all works together!