Oh great, another politically charged blog post. Just what you were looking for! I promise to make this worth your while with a fresh perspective on voting. As with most people, I have a love/hate relationship with politics. I’m not going to ask you to vote for who I did, or even share who I voted for, because it is not important. But, I will tell you the process for how I determined who I was going to vote for. This will be important because even though Super Tuesday is behind we have only begun to start enduring the clamor of political campaigns.

Step one, you must clear your mind of clutter and learn about the candidates from an open but cautious place. As I started reading about the candidates, I found myself analyzing whether or not the author had an agenda and was writing from a place of fear or love. All people speak from either a place of fear or a place of love. Anytime someone is speaking from fear, there is bias, meanness, and falsehood to it. Marianne Williamson states it beautifully when she says, “There are only two emotions: love and fear. All what you and I would think of as negative emotion derives from fear. But as I said, love is to fear as light is to darkness. How do you get rid of darkness? You turn on the light. How do you get rid of fear? You turn on the love.”

In an effort to monitor the validity of what I read and believe, as soon as I recognize that an author is writing from a place of fear, I stop reading. I attempt this with everything I surround myself with, but I believe it is especially important (and difficult) during election time.

At first this was hard for me as I have a journalism degree and gained a lot of significance from being “in the know” about all aspects of election time. Today, I have weaned myself off of garbage knowledge and work on getting the minimum effective dose of information to make an informed decision I can live with.

Step two, I take the candidate through the most important part of the FPG hiring process; consciousness evaluation. When hiring a new employee, we have one main question we are trying to answer: what is their consciousness level?

We’ve created a Mastery Pyramid that begins at the lowest level with a person who is playing to not lose. This is someone who just doesn’t want to get fired and doesn’t even care if they are in trouble as long as they are not terminated.

The next level is playing to cruise. This is a person who wants to do the bare minimum and just gets by being unnoticed. They want to do their job without getting on the naughty list, but also don’t want to get on the good list because people might start expecting more from them.

Level three is playing to compete. People in this stage want to get accolades, but they do it by being manipulative. They want praise and recognition, but do it by making others look bad, rather than working to improve themselves. (Think of candidates who spend more time talking about other candidates’ shortfalls or mistakes during debates, rather than what they themselves actually plan on doing.)

To rise above playing to compete, a powerful shift occurs when someone goes “above the line” and begins playing for improvement, playing for the challenge or playing for mastery. These people adopt a growth mindset and stop trying to tear others down. They are driven by a purpose of improvement, learning, and growing. I am always assessing where a person is on the pyramid, and whether they are above or below the line. When someone is above the line and has a growth mindset, they can accomplish anything and become limitless. These “above the line” thinkers are truly powerful because they are now able to set their ego aside for the good of the whole. Just like when assessing an employment candidate, as I looked at our presidential candidates I asked myself where they stood on the Mastery Pyramid. The one that is at the highest level and closest to playing for mastery is the best option. Happy voting my friends!

Here’s to earning what you’re worth!



MARY ELLIOTT is a National Sales Trainer for Forrest Performance Group. Her background includes sales, fundraising, and corporate event planning. This role brings Mary back to her roots as she comes from a family of sales professionals. Mary loves being surrounded by sales coaches at Forrest PG, who can lead her to the next level and she is especially proud to share the “horned-frog” status with the company’s fearless leader (go TCU!).


FORREST PERFORMANCE GROUP is a global leader and designer of corporate training programs, leadership training programs, and sales training programs. Forrest PG’s unique distinction and edge is its belief that true, permanent change begins from the top, transforms from the inside-out, and requires long-term coaching and accountability, rather than short-term training. Too many organizations are short-sighted regarding training and only provide one-day motivational events to entertain sales pros, giving them only short-term boosts in energy and temporary performance lifts. One-day events can be valuable for rejuvenating or jump-starting performance, but a complete training program with coaching along the way makes all of the difference. Increased sales, measurable ROI, accountability, tangible and relevant sales tools are just a few of the results of an FPG training program.

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