Our experiences, whether you know it or not, provide great value not only to ourselves but to other people as well. In this final episode about the five phases, Ken Courtright extends the knowledge he has been sharing. He talks about using the five phases as a basis of understanding how to help other people. The experiences we have from going through one phase to the next enable us to open the curtains for other people who are struggling in the position they are in.
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This is episode 97. I’m calling it The Final Five Phases. I’m going to speak from my experience. I could be and I am a father, a boss, a friend, a husband, a manager, a mentor, a mentee. I play a lot of different roles. A lot of people following this podcast also wear many hats. I have found that having a deep understanding that all people go through all five phases in every position, every spot and every career. If you haven’t read episode 95 or episode 96, you’re probably wondering what the five phases are? To give a quick definition, every position in life whether you’re a new dad, a new teacher, a new student, a new quarterback, a new musician, you’re taking on a new position. Everybody that goes into a new position, which is everybody at some point, goes through five phases in that position.
The first phase is excitement. You’re excited to be there. Many times this is called the honeymoon phase. You then quickly slip into the education phase. That’s where a coach, a mentor, another leader, books, seminars, conferences, but in some way, shape or form, you get educated further. That education also keeps you in phase one on a little bit of excitement. At some point, you slipped into phase three, which is the reality phase. That’s when you come face-to-face with the reality that, “This is a full-time job. This is a lot more work than I bargained for. I didn’t realize that I’d wake up at 4:30 in the morning to work out to be a great quarterback or what have you.” The reality phase is that you’ve come face-to-face with the reality of the position.
Phase four is the doubt phase. I saved a little nugget here for the third of this three-part series. The doubt phase is almost 100% triggered by a seed planted by someone close to you. Somebody says something that germinates a seed of, “You’ve been in that position four years. When are you going to get a promotion?” or “You’ve been dating that guy for six years. When is he going to ask you to marry him?” or “You’ve been working with your son for three and a half years. He’s not going to become a black belt.” Somebody plants a seed and you get SNIOP. You become susceptible to the negative influences of other people. Because of that seed that’s planted, you stay in the doubt phase, which is phase four. It’s sometimes for a second, sometimes for years before eventually slipping into the clarity phase where you’re clear of who you are, the position you’re in, where you’re going in life and your surroundings.You speak things into existence and you definitely control things with your thoughts, your actions, and your mantras and affirmations. Click To Tweet
As a definition, we go through five phases, the excitement phase, the education phase, the reality phase, the doubt phase, and then the clarity phase. What I want to speak to is, I’m going to use me as a reference because it’s easy. At some points in my day, I’m a father, I’m a husband. I’m the boss. I’m a manager. I’m a friend. I’m a mentor and mentee. The question is, how can we use the five phases as a basis of understanding to help other people? The first way I want to help people by understanding the five phases is to use them to empathize with other people. If you understand them, then you can embrace what Christopher Columbus said and that is almost everybody he knew went in three phases in life. They learned. They earned. At some point, they had this yearning to ambassador. Ambassador is a fancy word for help.
They wanted to take their life’s wisdom and reach back and help other people that are in the learning or the earning phase. You don’t have to be an adult or to be a high achiever or have gray hair to want to ambassador to other people. There’s a young man named Daniel that follows this podcast. He and I were doing an email exchange. He’s going to interview me for his podcast and he was talking about, “I wish people would reach out to me. I’m a young person but in certain areas of my life, I have a tremendous amount of wisdom if they just knew the questions to ask.” Daniel is a young man. He doesn’t have a gray hair on his body. He already understands that he has a longing to ambassador. In the brief conversation we had, I could tell that Daniel had a yearning to ambassador.
In your life, I don’t care who you are. You are going to spot a child, a coworker, a spouse, a partner, somebody you’re about to date or marry, a boss, a stranger, an acquaintance, a coach or a teammate. The bottom line is you’re going to spot someone that is either in a moment of true glory and triumph or true passion or in tremendous pain. Once you understand the five phases, you’re going to be standing next to them and in your mind you’re going, “They’re high level in the education phase. They’re big-time in the excitement honeymoon phase of this new position,” or “They are in the doubt phase of their position.”
I’m in a men’s group with twelve other high achievers, people that have global businesses. They’re cooking in life. They’re all in an ambassador phase in some capacity. I have often sat back as we go around the table and in my mind, I’m going, “That person is in the clarity phase.” or “That person is stuck in the doubt phase.” I don’t say anything. It’s not my position in these circles when we’re doing venting phase or when people are doing an open share. It’s not time you communicate and try to help. My point is when you understand the five phases, you can listen and empathize with people at a deep level. What I want to share is in my 24 years of understanding the five phases, what are some of the things that I’ve done that have helped people? A lot of it is timing. Sometimes you got to let people go through the five phases on their own. I love to say, “You want to make God laugh. Tell him your plans.” People have somewhat of a destiny. There is a little bit of fate in the world. I do believe you speak things into existence. You control things with your thoughts, your actions, your mantras and affirmations. I proved that in my lifetime. I can physically prove I prayed my life into existence to a degree.
Sometimes you’ve got this ache to help someone and most of the time, where I get pulled into stuff is when I can feel them in such tremendous pain. They’re stuck in the doubt phase and they’re in turmoil. One thing that I have found has helped me help people to breakthrough at a high level is when I can look someone in the eyes, explain what the five phases are, and then slowly open the curtain and explain that they’re in the doubt phase and I get them to acknowledge it. A great manager, a tremendous mentor understands that almost 100% of the time, the doubt phase is a seed planted by someone else. A great manager is good at helping that person find the seed of what was planted to trigger that doubt. It could be their grades are terrible. Maybe a teacher at the school said, “Maybe college isn’t for you.” Usually, when you’re in the doubt phase, you know the person of influence that is churning in your mind. They said something that they’re struggling with.
Here’s the key. This is often what it boils down to. Doubt is incredibly healthy. I’m going to say it this way, 95% of life is temporary, meaning the current position you’re in, the current company you run, the current team you run with is temporary. You’re probably not going to be hanging with the same people in 5 to 15 years. You’re probably not going to be at the same school on the same baseball team. The 95% of everything is temporary. It’s possible that the doubt phase that you feel someone complaining about is healthy and on-purpose. It’s probably the right time for that person to doubt because doubt is like the flushing mechanism on a toilet. Doubt begins pressure and pressure in the plunger of the toilet flushes it and gets rid of the junk. Sometimes, it is important to go excitement, education, reality, doubt and flush. It’s time for a new job or a new position. It’s time to get off that team or stop playing baseball.95% of life is temporary. The current position you are in, the current company you run, is temporary. Click To Tweet
In my world, I love telling people, especially if they ask for my mentorship, sometimes I’m going to say, “It’s time to flush the sacred cow.” People come to me, “How come I can’t breakthrough? How come I can’t get my business to the next level?” I start saying things like, “Are you on Facebook?” “Of course.” “Do you watch TV?” “Of course.” “Do you have Netflix account?” “Of course.” I say, “I don’t, I haven’t opened Facebook in three years. I don’t watch much TV. If any, 1 or 2 prerecorded shows.” I’m not bragging, but a sacred cow is something that sucks your time alive. It drains you and it’s crippling. I remind people, in the late 1990s, early 2000s, I didn’t have a television in my home for seven years. People thought I was a freak. Now I’ve hit the Inc. 5000 list 3 or 4 years in a row. They don’t call me a freak anymore. I had a sacred cow back then and it was TV. I would convince myself that I’ve worked hard, that by 6:00 or 7:00 it was time to kick back and watch TV and turn my brain off. I changed that and got back into reading books, focusing, going to conferences, being a mentor and being mentored by other people.
My point is this, when you study episodes 95 and 96 about the five phases and then you understand how powerful it is to know what phase you’re currently in and your current position. Remember, you’re in the five phases in various positions. You might be a father. What phase of the five phases are you in as a dad? How about as a husband? How about as a boss? How about as an employee? How about as a friend? You’re in the five phases in many different areas. Maybe it’s time to get introspective and say, “Wait a minute, I can counsel myself. I need to be in the clarity phase as fast as possible in every area of my life.”
The clarity phase by definition, if you heard the previous podcast, says, “Once you’re in the clarity phase, you acknowledge that you know who you are. You know the game you’re playing. You know the role you play and you know to stay the best at your role.” You better stay in phase two, which is the education phase and make sure you’re filling up that room for improvement in every phase of your life. In my world, I’d better be reading some books on being a better dad. I’d better be reading the book by Laura Stack called Execution IS the Strategy. I’d better be reading that as a boss. I got to sharpen my tools as a manager. I’ve got to read books as a friend.
I’m not sitting here, pontificating that everybody’s got to read books. You can do podcasts. You could do Google Alerts. You don’t have to take hours a day, but 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes a day. What is your life worth to you? Are you in the pursuit of excellence? Once you embrace the five phases for you, then you can be Christopher Columbus and not be a hypocrite and go counseling other people on the five phases if you’re not embracing the five phases yourself. Why do I bring this up? I’m going to finish with this. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a public setting with strangers and acquaintances that I barely know. I can have a conversation with them.
I can sense some pain and I say, “It sounds like you’re in phase four of your position.” “What do you mean?” “That’s the doubt phase,” and then I cover the five phases quickly and they go, “You’re right. Somebody did plant a seed.” All of a sudden, there’s an immediate relationship. This person knows I’m not trying to get anything from them. I’m not selling them anything. I’m trying to help and then a relationship blooms. A couple of years later, we’re doing business together because they never forgot I reached out and tried to help them. This is huge with children, coworkers and spouses. The five phases are critical to understand. They’re great conversation starters. They’re great rapport builders. They’re great because they allow you to bridge yourself in other people into excellence. I’m going to end right there.
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