Take the ones who are ready, others will follow later

performanceIt has been said that most efforts to implement change do not succeed. The most common reason falls into a large category known as “resistance to change”. In my experience, it is probably more accurate to say that change seldom turns out the way we expect. After all, each of us has experienced countless changes that affect our lives, mostly by things outside our immediate control. Yet from infancy, we seem hardwired to say “no”.

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The knowledge worker phenomena

largeTeamMore people than ever before earn their living by thinking. It generally considered an endorsement when a person is described as “knowledgeable”. It tends to mean that the person is well-informed about a situation or subject and worthy of trust.

Is knowledge overrated?

Research shows that Continue reading

A quest for good

goodnessI begin this article with a prayer that has become my daily prayer:

“Lord, may everything we do begin with your inspiration, continue with your help, and reach perfection under your guidance”.

The Lenten season has arrived. This 40-day period is a time to reflect on the ways we have been and are being tested in our lives. A time to step outside the everyday hustle and bustle and examine things that really matter. A time to recognize ways we can and should be better human beings, not in temporal terms but those things that bring genuine joy.

There is certainly enough strife in the world that we can easily fall prey to judging the faults of other and prescribing how they should change. This approach however, is an exercise in suppressing your own joy. If, at the time you are having these judgmental feelings, you happened to look in a mirror, the reflection would be dour and unappealing.

In the words of Pope Francis, “The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience.”

I am struck by the fact that the term “hater” has become so prevalent in our society. It is derived from the spontaneous outpourings of derogatory comments and opinions aimed at the efforts of others. Hating serves no useful purpose but many are choosing this mode of expressing themselves in the social media and other traditional media. “Bullying” is another term that has gained prominence. This is actually an ancient practice that has escalated to such an extent that in schools, for example, specific ground rules are now in place to discourage this behaviour.

While these are worrisome trends and behaviours, the fact that many in society are working to change it, is sign of hope. The question is whether or not we are fanning or dousing these flames of hope.

While Lent is Christian in its origin, everyone I have ever met seems to have a built-in recognition that from time to time, it is important to take stock and renew ourselves. While we are often “incident” driven, our interpretations of these episodes can have far-reaching effects on ourselves and on those we meet.

How often do we consciously ask ourselves if these interpretations cause us to be force for good? What criteria do we use?  Here are some questions you may find useful:

  • Think of a time when you know you made a mistake.(the more recent the better)
  • Why do you consider it a mistake?
  • Who did affect and how?
  • What have you learned?
  • What changes did/will you make to obtain improvement?

I would like to end with some words from Pope Francis’ book: “The Joy of the Gospel”:

“Goodness always tends to spread. Every authentic experience of truth and goodness seeks by its very nature to grow within us, and any person who has experienced a profound liberation becomes more sensitive to the needs of others. As it expands, goodness takes root and develops. If we wish to live a dignified and fulfilling life, we have to reach out to others and seek their good.”

Let’s see what we can change to make ourselves and the world a better place.

God bless.

Some thoughts about performance

performanceFree association is a technique that I frequently use when teaching about communications. In an exercise, I ask members of a diverse group to write down, without censorship, everything that comes to mind when they see or hear a particular word. Today, that word is Continue reading

Nation-building

barbados map flagThe purpose of nation-building is to: “inculcate a feeling of belonging and with it, accountability and responsible behaviour.” (National Planning Commission, Republic of South Africa). At the time this statement was fashioned, Nelson Mandela held the reins of government. South Africa was returning from an abyss of deadly strife and everyone had apprehensions about the future.

While none would claim a perfect outcome, there is no denying that the declaration of intent made a positive impact on South Africa and the world. A key point of emphasis is Continue reading

The gift of gratitude

 gratitude 2As I write this article, Valentine’s Day is on the horizon. It signals a time to pause and reflect on the need to express love and think about those, who to us, deserve our love. It is an act of gratitude. Never mind the fact that it has become commercialized and there are some prescribed rituals, which if not displayed, can cause disappointment.

In Barbados, there is a pall cast upon this commemoration because of widespread concern about the effects of Continue reading

Authentic Leadership

dollar sign keyAt times when we are deciding about key investments, each of us instinctively wants to be assured that the object of our investment is the “real deal”. The bigger the investment the greater the concern about authenticity. Most definitions of “authentic” include: genuine, undisputed origin, worthy of trust, verified, accurate and reliable. As these elements are verifiably present, our conviction to act is Continue reading

We can do it!

we can make itUnited States President, Barack Obama is well-known as an inspirational speaker and leader. His State of the Union message, delivered on January 28th, received global media coverage. The consensus is that this was another inspirational tour de force, not just for Americans but many others who have been undergoing hard times.

It doesn’t matter that there are differences about the policies, programmes and political agenda; at one point or another, your heart was stirred Continue reading

Counting our assets

think outside the boxLast week, I was the guest speaker at a Power Breakfast event in Newark, New Jersey. This series attracts executives, business owners, legislators, educators and other professionals in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. areas. Continue reading