Respectfully and Safely Yours

Kindness Organizational culture Respect

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Key Point: Personal safety and the feeling that accompanies it is a freedom that we need to fiercely protect whether at work or anywhere.

I remember the first time I was in Tokyo in 1989. I was returning to the hotel after being out for the evening and it was well past midnight. What struck me (there were a string of news stories of women being assaulted in large North American cities at the time) was seeing Japanese women walking home alone, very late at night, and obviously feeling very comfortable. My understanding is that it’s still that way in Japan.

In 2001, I had an opportunity to travel to Israel and it surprised me how much Israelis had become accustomed to massive increased security; no bulky outerwear allowed in the nightclubs, razor wire around the beaches of the resort we stayed at, bomb checking under every car with long mirrors, etc.

The other day I was at a downtown theater in Seattle seeing a family movie. The pre-movie announcement encouraged attendees to: (I’m paraphrasing) silence your phones, refrain from texting, do not disrupt other movie goers with loud talking, and look for the emergency exit to escape… Hmm. And of course, there is the horrendous airport security we have unfortunately come to accept.

I went to a conference last year with about 1,000 people in attendance, and one keynote speaker used the F-word 27 times in his speech (my seatmate counted). Interestingly, he was from the media firm, VICE (now being criticized for its alleged toxic, harassment oriented culture). When I go to my fitness club, the locker room is filled with men mostly in their 30s/40s, using the F-word as a hyphen. It sounds ridiculous. Why talk like that? Hey, I may sound prudish, and people who know me know I use the F-word from time to time. That doesn’t mean it’s right.

I don’t want to come across as self-righteous or preachy. However, I wonder how might we live in a society where:

  1. Anyone can walk anywhere alone and feel totally safe.
  2. We can attend any event and enjoy the experience without looking over our shoulders.
  3. We think before we say and do, first about the well-being of others we impact instead of it being about “me first.”
  4. We invest in treating mental illness with the same vigor as we do physical ailments.

By now you may be scoffing at my naivety. Ok, I accept that, but I still ask “why not?” Why not make this way of thinking and living as something we aspire to, versus the self defeating acceptance that we need to invest in more personal security?  Buy more cameras, more guns, more physical and psychological armor? Why not start a personal safety movement? One of us at a time.

Personal Character Moves:

  1. For those of us fortunate enough to be in formal leadership positions, we can create totally safe and very results-oriented environments. Let’s commit to this.
  2. For all of us, how about being more respectfully present to those around us and take care of the little things? Hold the doors open for those behind us, choose our words wisely, see and really notice others, and listen with inclusive care.
  3. Attack problems, issues, process and behaviours; never each other.
  4. Apologize when we hurt others, which we know in our imperfect way, that we will surely do.

Respectfully committed to a safer New Year,

Lorne

One Millennial View: Couth and courtesy should absolutely be on the forefront of our minds in professional and personal life, and I imagine for our readers, it mostly is. Otherwise you probably wouldn’t care about the values of the “Character Triangle.” I don’t think this is preaching to you. But as Millennials, we can only control our own behavior, and we cannot expect a “perfect” world where locker rooms don’t have F-bombs, and airports don’t sometimes have real bombs. That ain’t gonna happen. As a staunch supporter of the first amendment, I don’t want a world where loudmouths can’t say whatever they please (of course, there could be social consequences). Still, we can do our personal best to practice better values, and hopefully the freedom to do so will be more influential and attractive to others than the equal freedom to act like a jerk.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Culture Cast: 8 Ingredients to Build a Great Culture at Work Through Personal Leadership (Part 1)

Organizational culture Personal leadership Podcast

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Hey Culture Cast fans! In Season 2, Episode 3, Lorne and Lynette unpack and discuss 4 of the 8 ingredients to help build a great culture in an organization through personal leadership values at the workplace. 1. Look at your organization from the “People First” lens. 2. Do people connect with your purpose on a personal level? 3. Build standardization and commitment on values. 4. Be clear about what your expectations as a leader are.

Please listen on Soundcloud and iTunes, and don’t forget to rate and review.

If listeners have any questions or thoughts, feel free to email the podcast at CultureCastPodcast@gmail.com.

Also, please follow the podcast @CultureCastPod1 on Twitter, and advance the conversation.

The Perfect Gift For All… No Returns Required

Abundance Kindness Well-being

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Key Point: Our Character Triangle fans know that ABUNDANCE is one of the big three values we emphasize. When I wrote the book (almost 7 years ago now), it was the least understood and appreciated of the three (Self-Accountability and Respect being the other two). Now thanks to people like Peter Diamandis, and other high profile thinkers well beyond my capability, ABUNDANCE has risen to the top of the value “hit parade”  This noun comes to us from the mid-14th century French, via the Latin abundantia, meaning “fullness, plenty.” Rather than a noun, I think it is most powerful as a verb. To make it more accessible in daily life and especially when many of us are in a somewhat reflective mood this time of the year, I’ve presented a few underlying ways of thinking/acting that support a mindset of abundance. And I think these precepts are more than that mind-numbing, self-help pablum.

  1. Begin from a place of generosity/giving/love rather than a place of lack. If you’re inviting abundance in order to feel more worthy of love, attention, or approval, and the energy behind the intention is LACK or scarcity, it will likely and somewhat counterintuitively attract more of the same.
  2. Consider and even practice non-attachment. Recognize and know that you have what you mostly need, no matter what you receive. Understand that attachment repels abundance while reasoned detachment seems to attract. This does not mean acting with detachment as much as not feeling possessive. Everything material ends one day. By the way, this thinking is contributing to the shared economy. Eg Uber, Airbnb, etc.
  3. Know how to accept. People who consciously create their lives understand that there are no extra or missing pieces in the moment. Accept that everything that is happening contributes to your continued growth and evolution. This does not mean it’s easy or that we have to like our current circumstances. What we chose to do about it is what counts most.
  4. Put yourself in surroundings that are positive. People who manifest abundance make conscious decisions to surround themselves with others who see the world as abundant rather than people who see the world through the lens of lacking. Get out of toxic places and do not waste your precious time hanging out with negative people. They have to fix themselves. You cannot fix others and yet you can still love them. However, the self-guilt to keep poisoning yourself is not right.
  5. Know the difference between inspired and fear-based action. We tend to run away from things that scare us. Inspiration attracts, so if you want to attract abundance, allow your actions to be driven by inspiration and purpose rather than fear. Understand that fear-based action repels while inspired, purposeful action attract abundance. Have the courage to take reasoned risks. Do and try things. Fail, get up and do more stuff. Experiment and keep moving forward.
  6. Interrupt old money patterns and recognize money is the means, not the end. Did you learn any stories about money growing up? “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” “The love of money is the root of all evil.” “Money changes people.” “You have to work hard to make money.” Etc. There may be some truth in all those crazy sayings. But having an abundance mindset is NOT about money being our purpose. Ironically, when we chose and live with clarity of purpose, inspiration and generosity, enough money seems to find its way to us. I’ve found that people who talk about money all the time never have enough. They mostly live in lack, scarcity and fear (and complain a lot).
  7. Learn how to give more without expecting reciprocity. Just give because YOU want to, NOT because you are expecting some response or thing in return.  If you do, you will likely be disappointed. People most appreciate our genuine presence, care, compassion and listening. And we can never run out of these. Just give more of yourself. You’re worth it. So are the ones you love.

I’m obviously not naive to the extra challenges related to “Black Swan” events like war or natural disasters. When we are in pure survival mode, our abundance mindset gets assaulted. However, incredible people like Victor Frankl taught us so much from horrifying experiences like Auschwitz (read Man’s Search for Meaning). So there is a compelling argument for abundance in any environment.

Personal Leadership Moves:

  1. On Christmas Day, regardless of one’s beliefs, it just seems right to me that we all get to unwrap, gift and re-gift ABUNDANCE. It sweetly keeps giving everyday, and never needs to be returned. No receipt or tracking number required.

Abundance in the Triangle,

– Lorne

One Millennial View: I too was fairly new to the concept of Abundance when the Character Triangle was first written, but now it’s the trait I too find most valuable and “telling” regarding character. From a Millennial perspective, Abundance can even be found in text messaging culture. Send people in your life texts because you want to, not because you need or expect a the perfect response.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Patient Impatience Before the New Year

Abundance Productivity Purpose

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Key Point: I am going to share some thoughts that hopefully help us count our blessings while we think about the new year with a sense of focus. The paradox may be patient impatience? Please reflect on the following: (Paraphrased from Tim Ferriss’ Tribe of Mentors).

  1. “Most people live for about 30,000 days. How many have you lived so far? How many days left with the people you love most? Make each one count.
  2. In consort with the above, many of us have lifetimes ahead of us. Let’s not worry about our friends ‘beating’ us or ‘getting somewhere’ ahead. Get out into the real dirt world and start failing. Just do stuff and avoid repeating doing the same thing year after year! How are you doing with this? Go do a bunch of things and you will become a unique story.
  3. Do something everyday that fires you up. It’ll keep our soul hungry to create more and to be abundant! How hungry and abundant are you really?
  4. Everything is a process. Love the journey and the process. Look for something where you love the process, and the results will follow! What’s your journey? What are the key processes you’re engaging?
  5. Love to and be in a hurry to advance your learning, not in a hurry to get validation or a promotion. Results come from translating learning into action. How are you at this?
  6. Be present. Use technology as a tool that you and I control versus allowing the technology to control us. Do you utilize the technology around you? Or are you a slave to it? Being present is the gateway to a gratifying future.
  7. Zoom out and in. As productivity guru Gary Vaynerchuk stresses: ‘Have macro patience, and micro speed… Care about the next eight years, but really stress the next eight days. Just friggin execute.’
  8. Some say we’re the average of our five closest friends. We want to put ourselves in an environment that pulls the best out of us. Where are you and I on this? Who inspires us? Who are our loving critics? Embrace them!”

Personal Leadership Moves:

  1. Honestly reflect on the above challenges/reflections. What might you do about just one of them? Maybe two of them?
  2. Don’t try for perfection. On the other hand, be relentless about advancing yourself. You and I are worth it!
  3. Happy holidays and Merry Christmas!

Patient impatience in Personal Leadership!

Lorne

One Millennial View: No one really asks Santa for homework over the holidays, but I think really reflecting on this list would be a great holiday gift for ourselves. Even if you make a slight dent on this list while traveling, it could kickstart a great game plan for 2018. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

The ‘Other’ Angle in Our Daily Life?

Collaboration Empathy Respect

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Key Point: The other day, a thought leader I respect suggested that the first order of enlightened leaders is to continuously help others progress/succeed. It got me thinking about how much organizations and the work lives of people would change for the better if we ALL came to work focused on how we might help “others” succeed everyday. This does not mean that we would avoid our own objectives, accountability or obligations. However, what if the lens we looked through was primarily aimed at helping others succeed while we advanced our own causes?

Let’s walk through the mundaneness of a “normal” day to consider how many of us might work through the premise of doing everything we could to achieve this.

  1. Inbound emails/texts: With every email/text we received, what if we asked ourselves what we thought the other person really was asking for and did everything we could to advance their cause by our response? Even if the email was the dreaded sales “spam,” we would understand that there was a real live salesperson with targets at the other end and would respond with the thought process of “how might I help this person,” including perhaps directly saying “no” so they might not waste their time with you in the future. A delete or non-response would be unacceptable.
  2. Outbound emails/texts: What if when crafting an email we questioned “how might this advance and help the receiver to be more successful?” Even if we had to say “no” or disagree with someone, we asked how might we help them find a way towards future success.
  3. Meetings: What if at every meeting our ambition was to help make sure every person in the meeting was listened to and understood. And we did everything we could to make others feel that they successfully contributed to the meeting.
  4. Interactions: On every personal interaction through the day we sincerely challenged ourselves to help the other person succeed in some way or another. (This doesn’t mean we have to pander, be a pushover, or be naive).

I am a deep believer in the following formula to move relationships forward: Personally Connect, Really Understand what the other wants, THEN determine the Right Action to Take. The “AND” to this equation is to ALWAYS find a way to help the person succeed and move forward. Of course, this does not apply when the other person’s intent is harmful. Thank goodness that perspective is rare.

Personal Leadership Moves:

  1. Challenge yourself to help every OTHER person be successful or move forward through every action, every day. Even if we do not feel like donating to the homeless person with the cardboard sign on the corner, we can smile and “see them.”
  2. If you think this is mush headed goofiness, challenge yourself between now and the end of December to better work and live this way. Will you notice any difference in others? In yourself?

Applying the “other” angle in Personal Leadership,

– Lorne

One Millennial View: There’s no denying the month of December has many people inherently thinking in more of a “giving” way. Whether it’s due to the holiday season,  colder climates, or food-oriented occasions, everyone’s just tuned into the idea of helping others “succeed.” Of course, this fades out as quickly as most New Year’s resolutions, but considering our co-workers are a constant that don’t fade away after Jan. 1, this is an attainable goal with reminders at every cubicle.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis