Posts tagged ‘respect’
The final four gave their presentations this week, talking about what they did, what they learned, how they changed.
Learning is changing. I think they expected to learn but I a not so sure they expected to change. The biggest change, for all of them, is how much more they now want to change. To grow, to experience, to learn – all is to change.
I learned and changed too.
I had to laugh when one of the interns remarked that she learned she liked working with older people. The funny thing is, I learned to like working with younger people – those who are coherent, strong in their Role, and like working on teams.
I learned, most of all, that the basic principles of building and supporting a Coherent Human Infrastructure are not dependent on age, experience, or ‘rank’. Value is value, quality is quality, synergy is synergy. And trust, respect, and faith in the Vision are still the alpha and the omega.
Around the fourth day after Mr. Sperm meets Miss Egg, differentiation begins. (If you slept through high school biology, differentiation is when cells start to get specialized.)
Ok, biology lesson is over. I was just mulling over how week four of the Interns could be subtitled, The Week of Differentiation. It isn’t that they weren’t fully formed individuals when they arrived. It’s how we see them and assign work to them that’s undergone some subtle changes.
Lindsay is continuing to work on social marketing optimization because she’s a star Communicator. Not surprising. This line from her Role-Based Assessment pretty well covers why I wanted her for this project:
She will quickly make contacts throughout the organization and get to know almost everyone. She is especially cooperative and will also try to do almost anything she is asked to do. Her focus is on interpersonal interaction and trying to get everyone to work together harmoniously. She won’t do this by direct means but by attempting to broker the arrangements that bring people together in a positive manner. As a result, she is likely to be respected by those she has contact with.
But we needed to get the database cleaned up so despite the fact that she also had this in her report: “She will not want to do organizational tasks…”, there she was in the conference room with some others, working on exactly that task, with music emanating from someone’s laptop, a pile of snacks, and the sunniest of good natures.
Meanwhile, Kartik, the Action Former, whose report included the following, managed to reorganize, clean up, and optimize my consultant certification files. Here’s Kartik in a nutshell:
This candidate is the type of employee who can be found in the front of the group with marker in hand, developing a list of things that need to be done or important points or assignments. He is the consummate organizer. The key is that he does not organize for the present but as a way of getting things ready for the future. His style is one of handling many things simultaneously. He believes that multi-tasking in a rapidly evolving environment is essential to keep on top of everything.
The others too have their unique qualities and it’s amazing how much more productive they are when we recognize them, give them work they enjoy, and celebrate the results.
It just makes good business sense.
Happy ending: Lindsay has a project beginning Monday that is totally about communicating with people, while Kartik will get a great new organization project!
My uncle Phil passed away late Monday night and today was his funeral. He was around 93 or 4 as far as I can calculate. As we gathered at the cemetery, it was eerily reminiscent of a virtual team team coming together for some face time. Some people see a lot of each other, some are only seen at the obligatory times of life transitions. And some stay in the shadows and are never seen. One is the subject of brief discussion. No one’s heard from him in years and no one seems to miss his presence. No, I think, it’s exactly like a team. You don’t get to choose your relatives and, most of the time, you don’t get to choose your team. You work with what you have, respect each for who they are, and try your best to do what needs to be done.
Phil went to work every day, selling fur coats in New York City, well past his 90th birthday. After Jeanette, my aunt and his life partner of over 50 years, died, age caught up with him. A leg infection finally stopped him from taking the subway from Forest Hills every day. It was at that point that I realized we had more in common than family. We were hidebound entrepreneurs that had no intention of ever hanging up our boots. But now he was resigned to moving in with his daughter and her husband. They took him to work with them – they run a small clothing shop – but there isn’t room on a team for two who want to do the same thing. Especially when one has no industry experience and flagging energy.
So I’d call him when I was on the street in Philadelphia, walking from home to office to appointments, whenever I had a few minutes. We talked about business – mostly his – since in both our minds he would soon return to it and market intelligence would be vital to his commercial success. My inputs were limited, but appreciated – the first day it was cold enough for people to wear fur, what the Walnut Street furrier was showing in his window, what the fur protesters were saying. It was a way of staying in the game – being on the team.
Today we celebrated his place on our family team, we of rapidly declining numbers. Among the mourners was a young man I didn’t remember. But I recognized his name: Phil’s employer of many years, Neustadter Furs.
A work team becomes family. It can be difficult to tell where one starts and one leaves off.
Kevin, our SVP Sales, and Loida, our bilingual trainer, are on their way back from Sao Paolo, Brazil having worked very hard with our friends at Kienbaum, our reseller there. At the same time, Madhu, our technology guru, is on the way to New Delhi and Noida, India, hopefully to return with new business relationships. As I send up prayers for their safe travel, I recall Thomas Friedman’s assertion that The World is Flat and think, no, it’s textured.
The nuances of our relationships across cultures give our lives texture. Nothing is taken for granted, no two places are exactly the same, and yet all are part of the same network. That is what gives it texture.
I hope that is what our new logo says to you: Our arms reach out to each other, texturing our lives with trust, respect and faith.
Of the year, that is, not the world.
I usually don’t think about my New Year’s resolutions until at least the 29th of December, but I was interviewed by ExecuNet on “A New Career for the New Year?” for their CareerSmart Advisor and the article came out a week or so ago, so I’ve started early. It’s easier to give advice than take it, of course, but I’m going to try to give myself some advice on my big resolution for 2008. I’m finally going to write the magnum opus on the theory that underlies all the products and services of The Gabriel Institute. So, here forth, my advice to myself, which I hope you might find applicable to whatever it is that you are going to resolve to do this year.
- It doesn’t have to all be done at once. There is a writing standard I followed a long time ago (when I wrote my other books) of doing five new pages a day. What I learned was that doesn’t add up to 35 pages a week or even 25 so you may as well be realistic and double your overly optimistic time schedule. This particularly applies to losing weight.
- It will be better if you don’t try to control it. A book, like many other projects, needs to develop a personality of its own. It has your voice, but it’s an individual. Actually, this need it will have to “breathe” is going to be responsible for some of that time you’ll need in the last point. If your resolutions involve other people, like a child, a spouse, a friend, this definitely applies to you.
- The more people involved, as long as they are truly invested in the outcome, the better the results. This will, of course, be a team effort. My earlier books were too, but the team was formed to get the book out, not before. Investment takes time – and trust, respect and faith. If you have that, whatever your resolution, it will be more likely to succeed.
Okay, I’m ready for the end – and the beginning!