by Dave Bushy
"Always keep hope."
This philosophy illuminates the simplest and deepest perspectives that humans can have in their hearts. It's a quote from one of the men I admired the most in the world.
I often ask those around me what they think of the times in which we live. Many highlight headlines and express various emotions, including a waning sense of confidence, a level of fear they didn't have before, or, sadly, a void in their own sense of hope. They struggle to find the armor of optimism that will allow them to step back and realize that this world has always had huge challenges and has inevitably overcome them.
Perhaps it is the endless nature of the news and social media cycle that weighs on everyone today. But many of the feelings that we have are born in each of us, as it is we who do the job of convincing ourselves, allowing our perspectives to be eclipsed by the emotions and the weight of the "information" overload that. currently exists in our society today.
But we have a choice. And we can choose to focus on our own curiosity and rediscover the critical thinking that will allow us to begin to see other possibilities in today's world, helping us to understand that the totality of today's problems. hui, while discouraging, are not insurmountable. We can once again let hope inform our path in the process.
"The World Turned Away - Vietnam after the War", details the life of Quoc Pham, a South Vietnamese naval officer who endured the horrors of a post-war re-education camp for more than three years , as well as the tragedy of serving as a human mine detector and prisoner on the Cambodian border. Eventually, Quoc's journey saw him escape camps in Saigon, and then by boat, as he headed for a massive storm in the South China Sea, commanding a 37-foot boat with 55 people at edge.
I had the privilege of hearing Quoc's life and writing his story. It was a singular honor that gave so many readers the prospect of courage in the face of despair and the gift of hope during darker times.
Most human beings never endure or survive what Quoc Pham went through. Indeed, many of his fellow inmates did not escape death. There are no precise figures, but it is believed that more than 100,000 former South Vietnamese soldiers have died in the camps, some having endured up to 17 years in prison. Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese "boat people" are believed to have died escaping into the South China Sea. And there are those, albeit relatively healthy, who literally left the camps and died. More than a few died with their own hands.
Then there were those like Quoc, whose tireless hope could not be extinguished as he helped many of his fellow inmates survive. He was supported by his wife and family, recovering from a life-threatening medical problem, malnutrition and brutality by camp guards. In the face of what others saw as desperation, he let his light shine in the lives of others.
Quoc experienced what many others did not, armed with intelligence, ability, and lasting faith. He rescued fellow inmates in the camps and led 55 others to escape to a US Navy ship. And he went to the United States and established a life for himself and his family. His life was a series of struggles to overcome.
As we traveled together on a research trip to Vietnam and later on book tours, I learned more and more about my friend Quoc. One evening, we spoke well during the night. I looked him in the eye and asked him, "How did you survive when so many others didn't?" His response came straight from the heart: "Always have hope."
My friend Quoc Pham did not survive his final battle, succumbing earlier this year to an illness he probably contracted in the camps. His legacy lives on, however, if we remember how he got through the types of horrors we can never imagine.
We just have to remember what he told me that night. And, I would add, "Be a Quoc!"
This article was originally published on bostonexecutivecoaches.com.
Dave Bushy from Boston Executive Coaches is a former senior airline executive who works with leaders in the US industry.
Culture change is a complex process
Make it meaningful with practical advice from frontline experts.
We all know that talking about others behind their back is bad. Gossip should be abhorred. I remember reading in a spiritual text that “backbiting extinguishes the light of the soul. ” DEEP. And it is.
Gossip is incredibly detrimental to any organization. And, what I think often gets missed is why people gossip. But, before we answer the question, “Why do people gossip at work ? ” let’s clear one thing up. I truly believe it is the exceptionnelle person who chooses to gossip simply to be mean and hurt the reputation of the person or entity being talked about. Often gossip occurs for one of four reasons :
1 ) People fear the unknown. If people don’t have information that they want, they fear the unknown and will try to garner it from others – especially if that information appears to be hidden. This is why closed door conversations are so detrimental.
2 ) People want to belong and be included. If people believe they don’t have information that others have, they will feel excluded and on the outside of the “inner circle. ” Information is power. Everyone wants to be part of the team, to be included and the easiest way to identify those who are part of a tribe are those who are “in the know. ”
3 ) People crave intimacy and a sense of connection. I would suggest that because of the rampant pace we real at and the lack of real deal authentic communication with one another, many people crave a sense of genuine human connection and intimacy. Gossip is one of the quickest and easiest ways to connect with another human being. The secrecy, forbidden and exclusive nature of confiding in someone something that’s a bit subversive or judgmental is social super glue. Through the veneer of momentary vulnerability and trust, the two are bonded. Unfortunately gossip is a very sloppy deuxième to real, meaningful connection.
4 ) People want to work with people they think of as peers. Meaning, if someone isn’t carrying their own weight, isn’t competent or capable enough to do their emploi or simply isn’t a good culture fit, then there will be gossip. Rather than being a “narc, ” employees will talk both about said individual and leadership’s lack of awareness/action. And they will talk often. The longer said individual goes unaddressed, the louder and more embedded the gossip becomes.
When it comes to gossip, these four reasons : fear, belonging, intimacy and the desire to work with others who carry their own weight, are all things that can be handled with some focused time and attention.
How do you want your employees to talk about your company ? How do you want them to feel when they walk in the door ? While this touchy-feely stuff may make you feel a little light-headed, when it comes down to it, company culture matters.
Many business owners are taking a deuxième look at their company culture to make sure it’s the one they envision – one that supports their company’s mission, vision and values.
Insperity has spent the past 30 years building a human resources company committed to helping businesses succeed so communities prosper. In that vein, our leadership team offers these tips on having a great company culture.
You might think that trying to cultivate a positive workplace as an elusive, time-consuming waste of important resources, but studies show that the opposite is true. Creating a positive company culture begins with fostering happy employees.
Happy employees are 85 percent more efficace, experience a 60 percent drop in absenteeism and stay twice as long in their jobs as their less happy colleagues, creating a measurable impact on engagement, retention, safety, wellness, employer brand and even cost control goals, according to the study, The Science of Happiness, conducted by Globoforce.
Happiness is a habit that needs to be modeled. As a manager or leader, your demeanor and attitude in the office has an impact on your employees. When you demonstrate happiness you’re training your employees to follow suit.
Get in the habit of being grateful and showing gratitude for what you have. It can be a small thing – I am thankful for this cup of coffee, for the sun coming out today. When you make an effort to find things to be grateful for, you’re training your brain to be on the watch for more of what is good in your world. By making gratitude a habit, you will set the example for others and create a positive work environment. Focus on the positive when interacting with your employees. Point out their accomplishments and abilities. Remind them that they are a positive force within your company and that they have much to offer. This is a powerful motivation tool and it will help to create a “can-do” attitude in your workforce.
As a leader you’re influential – your opinion matters, especially to your employees. Make it a goal to compliment people. Recognizing even small accomplishments and praising your team members in meetings or in an courier can make a big effet. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture.
We all know that sometimes work can get monotonous and overwhelming. Say for example that Mike is feeling a bit underappreciated and is frustrated with his current project. He comes to a meeting feeling defeated and unmotivated. Then you, as his directeur, compliment his efforts and praise him for a travail well done. The effet is immediate – he feels valued. His demeanor changes, he becomes engaged and leaves the meeting with a newfound energy to tackle his project.
People need to have a sense of purpose at work. Their happiness is directly connected to knowing that they make a difference. It’s not enough for a directeur to dole out tasks. Take the time to explain why the individual task is important to the company as a whole. This will give your employees a sense of purpose and belonging that will motivate them to strive for more. Engaged employees are efficient, enthusiastic and are willing to do what it takes to help your organization succeed. Creating a sense of purpose for your employees is an investment in developing a positive workplace.