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Richard V. Battle: “Be there as needed and follow-up with them”

Recognition — Usually we face challenges individually or in small groups. It is easy to suffer and those around us are unaware of our situation. In 2020, all of us are facing the same threat simultaneously. Some will retreat to the television, food, and drink; and when it is over, wonder what happened. Successful people have pivoted, […]

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Recognition — Usually we face challenges individually or in small groups. It is easy to suffer and those around us are unaware of our situation. In 2020, all of us are facing the same threat simultaneously. Some will retreat to the television, food, and drink; and when it is over, wonder what happened. Successful people have pivoted, are adapting their efforts to the current environment, discovering new opportunities; and will leap frog the first group to new levels of success.


As a part of my series about the things we can do to develop serenity and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Richard V. Battle

Richard V. Battle has authored six books and has been a public speaker and trainer for over 30 years on topics including leadership, motivation, faith, sales, and volunteerism. He is a veteran of life’s battles, including his experiencing surviving an apartment fire, financial destruction, divorce, two heart procedures, cancer, and the loss of his only son.

Navigating Life’s Journey: Common Sense in Uncommon Times is his seventh book, which will be published appropriately in the Fall of 2020.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

I never dreamed of being in the position I am in today, and believe it is Spirit driven. While enjoying a long and successful corporate career, I always enjoyed “returning the favor” I have been given by so many in my life to those in the next generations. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue that full time presently, and it is very fulfilling.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

There are so many to choose from! Recently, I was approached by a lady who I had seen at church, but didn’t know. She said, “I really appreciate your book.” I thanked her, but didn’t know which book she was mentioning. Before I could ask, she said, “Surviving Grief by God’s Grace was very beneficial to me.” I was stunned, humbled and appreciative. That volume was about the passing of my only son, and was published in 2002. It was encouraging to me to persist in sharing my experiences because we never know when our efforts might benefit someone. It also added impact to my late son’s life long after he left this earth. If you can define “priceless”, that is it.

What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?

My experience with burnout is anecdotal as I haven’t personally experienced it. Those I have worked with who fell to it generally over-committed themselves, focused on a finite objective, and did not look beyond those commitments and objectives to future opportunities.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

The leader must first envision the mission, then communicate the vision to the team. The best leadership is by example and from the front. The team won’t care what you know until they know how much you care about them. Honesty, integrity and servant leadership demonstrate to the team your focus is on the mission and the team’s welfare, and not your own glory or success.

If the team achieves the mission, there will be plenty of accolades for everyone. If the team senses the leader is out for him or herself, they will not exert the effort necessary to over-perform.

It is crucial every team member buys-in to the mission, understands their responsibility, what happens to them if the team fails, and what happens to them if the team succeeds.

It is one of the best feelings I have ever experienced leading teams in achieving far more than anyone dreamed the team could achieve. That is the feeling that expands each team member’s confidence for future efforts.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Again, three are so many choices! Up the Organization by Robert Townsend moved me years ago, and has substantially influenced my writing style.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have coronavirus pandemic have only heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to develop serenity during such uncertain times? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Recognition — Usually we face challenges individually or in small groups. It is easy to suffer and those around us are unaware of our situation. In 2020, all of us are facing the same threat simultaneously. Some will retreat to the television, food, and drink; and when it is over, wonder what happened. Successful people have pivoted, are adapting their efforts to the current environment, discovering new opportunities; and will leap frog the first group to new levels of success.

I pivoted from public speaking and advising opportunities completing a new book more rapidly and appearing on more radio and television interviews.

Direction — When we face a setback, the common question is, “why me?” I believe that is the wrong question to ask. It looks into the past, and if we’re not careful will trap us there for the remainder of our lives.

The question I prefer is, “What now?” It looks into the future to learn the designed lesson from the test. I hope to learn the lesson from each trial without suffering more than once for one instruction.

I discovered this lesson after losing my son, and it has helped me in every tribulation since then.

Perspective — Our culture incents us to focus on NOW. This leads us to short-term decision making, living from crisis to crisis, and failing to understand the connectivity of life events.

I believe we should live daily with a lifetime perspective. This promotes better decision making as we think about the lifetime and eternal consequences of our decisions. We benefit professionally and personally doing so.

Of several experiences, I was grateful to work in one organization where the chairman’s only question about our decisions was, “Is it best for the organization long-term?”

Focus — Do we focus on ourselves or others? Referring back to the leadership question, when we focus on ourself, everyone can see it, and we lose effectiveness. When we focus on others, we will always get their best in helping our team.

When people come up to me and thank me for saying something, I don’t remember from years ago that changed their life, I am humbled and serving others is affirmed.

Purpose — Our culture drives us to material goals and acquisition. While it may satisfy today, it leads to unfulfillment, loss of hope, and purpose. Suicides often come from the sense of failing in this purpose.

I believe our greatest and long-lasting impacts are touching other people’s lives in ways to benefit them, and everyone they touch in the future.

My corporate career was filled with measurable and material success, but my greatest impact has come from my endeavors to share my experiences to encourage others.

From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

  1. Demonstrate calm in the crisis.
  2. Show you care about their well-being, are willing to help, and there is nothing in it for you.
  3. Share a personal experience
  4. Share a historical-experiences such as the 1918 Spanish flue pandemic or the Siege at Leningrad to put things in perspective.
  5. Be there as needed and follow-up with them.

What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?

  1. Talk to their pastor asap!
  2. Talk to their mentor.
  3. Talk to the appropriate family members.
  4. Seek professional help.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“What you do in the present, will create a past, that will greatly influence your opportunities and dreams in the future.” This is my lesson I wrote about in The Four-Letter Word that Builds Character in 2006.

It came as I realized fourteen lessons I learned as an eleven-year-old paperboy that had life-long impact on me. Seemingly meaningless decisions do have life-long impact on us so we should make every small decision as deliberately as possible.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would re-invigorate the Jaycees movement, which served more people, and developed more young leaders than any organization in American history.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

www.richardbattle.com

@richardvbattle on Twitter

Richard V. Battle Published Works on Facebook

https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-v-battle-a10a5a/ — Linked In

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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