the rest of the story…

WHY DAVE HILTON CREATED RESOLUTION STREAM (EXPANDED)

the long version…

You’re the reason I created Resolution Stream!

Hey there, I’m Dave Hilton.

I help small business owners, entrepreneurs and other ambitious professionals learn the essential Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, Communication & Leadership skills necessary to build successful careers and develop high-performance teams.

Resolution Stream merges my 20+ years of broadcasting & management experience with nearly a decade of Conflict Resolution consulting, coaching & training into what I like to call, “bite-size nuggets of knowledge for your noggin’ “- using live streams, video conferencing & webinars, video interviews, online courses & other video-on-demand (VOD) content.

Want to know more? Here’s the rest of my story…

One of the most difficult things for someone to do is admit they screwed up!

But, that’s exactly what I did during my first shot in a leadership role.

Just a couple years out of college, I was given the opportunity to serve in a high level Operations position for a group of 4 very successful & popular radio stations. It was something I’d worked long & hard to achieve. In fact, I was the youngest person in the company’s history to reach that level of management.

I had a lot to prove. Nothing was going to get in my way.

So, I went into this new job with the persistence and drive that got me to this level in the first place. Unfortunately, I learned pretty fast – leading a team of highly competitive creative people takes an entirely different set of skills than just being one of those highly competitive creative people.

I charged ahead, pushing my team to do better, be better every day. The radio stations continued to enjoy great success, in both revenue and ratings growth. We even managed to win several awards along the way. I thought my high-performance team was unstoppable.

But, I still failed my team. Why? Because I was really good at managing my team closely to ensure the day-to-day operations, strategies and plans were executed, but I was not good at leading my team and letting them learn, improve, grow and use their own expertise and skills to reach the next level. To develop & maintain a high-performance team, you have to build that into the processes & systems. It was an important piece that we were missing.

Maybe you’ve heard (or even said) statements like this before:

  • This is business, it’s not personal!
  • Feelings are irrelevant, leave them at the door!
  • Hitting our numbers is all that matters – increase our revenue, grow our audience, raise rates, etc. to exceed those goals we set at budget time!

Yep, I was that boss.

When there was a dispute or disagreement, I simply told them to get over it, grow up, be adults…instead of listening and coaching them to find creative ways to manage or resolve the conflict (a sign of a good leader).

When they came to me with problems, I just told them what to do to fix it…instead of collaborating with them, and the rest of the team, to find innovative solutions & learn (another sign of a good leader).

Even with all our success and accolades, my team was miserable. I was totally oblivious! I had NO idea there was communication lava flowing under my feet and the pressure was building fast. I had NO clue that an invisible interpersonal cancer was growing at an uncontrollable rate right in front of me.

I was a self-centered, selfish, competitive, aggressive, uncompromising, micro-managing…well, you can just imagine the other ‘colorful’ words my team probably used to describe me.

So, are you surprised to learn that, one by one, my team started to leave?

The desire to prove myself to my bosses & my motivation to succeed, at all costs, quickly propelled me higher & higher up the corporate ladder but, ultimately, also caused everyone around me to want as far away from me as possible.

I blamed them for systematically dismantling the team and ruining our future glory. I was angry at them for being weak, scared of hard work & long hours, and (now that I had a chance to say what I really thought) for being untalented losers who only succeeded because I was leading them.

A real winner, wasn’t I?

They say there’s no “I” in team? Well, in this case there was, because “I” was nearly a team of one.

It took me a long time to figure out and, even longer, to admit that it was really ALL my fault.

Thankfully, due to my never-ceasing ambition (and a few leadership & communication book recommendations from well-respected mentors) I found several references to concepts like Conflict Resolution, Dispute Resolution, Mediation, Negotiation and similar Communication & Leadership skills. Some I had heard of before, some were completely new to me.

And I decided, right then and there, if I truly wanted to be successful, I had to learn more!

Fast-forward several months – I left that Operations job to accept a new management role with a different group of radio stations. Stations that were closer to Dallas, TX, which allowed me to enroll in the Dispute Resolution Graduate Certificate program at Southern Methodist University.

Talk about some incredible eye-opening and “a-ha” moments!

I loved every second of those classes at SMU! So much so, that when I came to the end of the certificate program, I applied to continue my education and earn a Master’s degree in Dispute Resolution – with a focus on cross-cultural & generational conflict in the workplace. Go Mustangs!

After graduating from SMU, I started a couple of Dispute Resolution projects.

First, I founded a small community, non-profit Dispute Resolution Center to provide free or low-cost Mediation services and Conflict Resolution consulting, coaching & training to local residents and organizations. That’s where I figured out I really like helping people learn these skills.

Second, I created the “Conflict Specialists Show” – a video show where I interviewed Conflict Resolution professionals from around the world about their work – and the “Financial Conflict Coach Show” – another video show where I shared information about conflict coaching for one of the biggest causes of conflict in businesses & relationships…MONEY.

If you’re curious about these video shows (which were the initial inspiration for the Resolution Stream model) – you can watch all of the archived episodes by clicking the links above. I think there are only around 11 episodes of the “Financial Conflict Coach Show” as it didn’t last very long, but there are over 80 episodes of the “Conflict Specialists Show” in the archive.

I eventually learned that I am an academic at heart. Because, somehow, I also managed to find time to earn not ONE, but TWO more Master’s degrees – an MBA in Strategic Management and a Master’s in International Management Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas. Go Comets!

Well, that basically brings us to the present. Did you make it through all that? Great job, if you did! You definitely have some stamina.

So, as I mentioned earlier – I use my broadcasting & management experience and nearly a decade of Conflict Resolution consulting, coaching & training to help small business owners, entrepreneurs and other ambitious professionals learn the essential Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, Communication & Leadership skills necessary to build successful careers and develop high-performance teams.

You’re the reason I created Resolution Stream.

How about it? What essential skill do you want to learn first?

Schedule a FREE 30 Minute Strategy Call with me today!

 

Now, to be absolutely transparent and to set clear expectations:

I’m not trying to be one of those elusive online “gurus” or claim to have knowledge, education or experience that you can’t verify.

I encourage you to connect with me on LinkedIn or to view my listing on Mediate.com, to see that I am who I say I am, I’ve done what I say I’ve done and that my connections, endorsements & professional affiliations are accurate. I am an active member of both the International Association for Conflict Management and the Texas Association of Mediators.

(Disclaimer: my membership in the professional organizations listed above does NOT constitute a personal endorsement by those organizations.)

You’re also welcome to contact me directly if you have additional questions.