Rajesh Setty shared some wisdom with me last year. One thing out of many that I remember was this idea: the most valuable compliment you can hear from another person.
I had the privilege of reading a draft of Rajesh’s newest book over the last month and I have written a recommendation that hopefully will appear when the book comes out later this year. Here’s some of his books and manifestos available as pdfs https://rajeshsetty.com/resources/books/
What is the best compliment you can hear?
How to Become worthy of this Compliment?
Be interested in them – help them get clarity on who they are and what they want, their strengths and passions
Connect people – put people in contact with others that share common passions, experiences
Let them help you – let them see that I have changed myself because of their impact on me
“The most valuable compliment is: I wish I had met you 10 years earlier”
This is a guest post from Joyce Wilson. Joyce is a retired teacher with decades of experience. I asked her to share her experiences about how parents can contribute to their kids thriving at school. Joyce has created TeacherSpark.org to share creative ideas and practical resources for the classroom.
Over to Joyce...
Top Tips to Help you Child Thrive in School (from a retired Teacher)
As a parent, one of your priorities is to support your child in ways that encourage academic success. That success involves more than good grades and scholastic achievements. It also includes a healthy social life, consisting of positive relationships with peers, teachers, parents, and others. With some thoughtful considerations you can help your youngster to flourish in these important aspects.
Structure Daily Life
Designate a Study area
Eat Meals together
Help your youngster thrive
Structure daily life
Providing structure to your child’s days is a key element to success in school. As The Telegraph notes, a structured upbringing encourages success for children during their childhood as well as future adulthood. Providing structure and routine encourages confidence and inspires better discipline as adults. When they reach adulthood, children raised in a structured lifestyle are more apt to be able to find employment, find direction in life, and remain hopeful about their futures.
Designate a study area
Establishing a place and time for homework is a great way to encourage structure and success in your child’s school life. Allow your child to help decide where she or he will work, which will give your youngster ownership in the decision. Create a designated workspace based on your kid’s input. Chicago Parent recommends organizing the area with an assortment of school supplies so everything your child needs is at hand. If space is at a premium, consider purchasing a corner desk. Corner desks don’t take up much room, yet still provide your youngster with an appropriate place to study.
Eat meals together
While it may seem unrelated, one of the most important activities you can do to support your child is eating together as a family. According to some researchers, families that spend time together preparing and eating meals encourages children to do well in school in many ways. Kids who experience family mealtime develop better vocabularies, higher self-esteem, and have healthier eating habits. They are also less inclined to abuse substances such as drugs or alcohol.
It’s vital to talk with your children in order to hone in on any issues with their social life or school work. Ask your child open-ended questions, like, “What happened today that made you happy?” And ask, “What homework assignments do you have?” Staying on top of things through these simple queries tells your child you are interested and supportive. If you feel there is a problem, don’t overreact. Get all the facts first. When warranted, reach out to teachers for assistance with school assignments, low grades or other issues.
A healthy social life, along with good communication and coping skills begins very early in life. In fact, some studies show that preschool friendships help kids to start developing emotional and social skills while increasing their sense of belonging and reducing their stress levels. By interacting with their peers and with other adults, kids gain a foundation they will use for the rest of their lives. It’s through those childhood relationships children begin to understand the importance of seeing other people’s viewpoints, learning the unwritten rules of conversation, and age-appropriate social behaviors. Friendships also have tremendous influence over a child’s school performance and encourage or discourage socially unacceptable behavior. The evidence is so strong that friendships can help children flourish, some school systems are going out of their way to place children in classes with friends.
Your child looks to you for how to act, so being a good role model is extremely important. Nurturing your own friendships will send a positive message to your children, and modeling good relationship skills provides examples for your child. Look for teachable moments. You can share how you feel about a situation, or help your youngster label feelings by asking questions like, “When the butterfly died, that make you feel sad?”
Help your youngster thrive
There are things you can do as a parent to encourage your child’s success, both academically and socially. Provide structure, stay involved, and demonstrate healthy behaviors. Your child can flourish with thoughtfully chosen parenting strategies.
About Joyce Wilson
Joyce Wilson is a retired teacher with decades of experience. Today, she is a proud grandmom and mentor to teachers in her local public school system. She and a fellow retired teacher created TeacherSpark.org to share creative ideas and practical resources for the classroom.
This is a guest post from Ecatherine Matnadze, who serves as the Vistage Spain In-house Leadership Coach - working with me and the leadership team in clarifying goals and staying disciplined in our actions.
When a change plan fails, it is more often than not due to the human dynamics inside the organisation. It doesn’t matter whether your plan is “good” or “bad”, it matters that you work to build a coalition of support amongst those that will be affected by your plan.
Most leaders can come up with a goal and with a plan. It’s the relationships that make things happen or not.
The 5 Types of People in Any Change Initiative
1. Committed Supporters
Committed supporters are people who will go out of their way to help an idea happen. A committed supporter is someone who will take personal risk to make this happen. There is an old story about a pig and a chicken going to a picnic. The chicken brings eggs; the pig brings bacon. The chicken is compliant; the pig is committed.
We want to know who the committed supporters are. Why do they support this idea? How can we leverage them? How can we get them to influence others?
There aren’t going to be a lot of committed supporters in most organisations. But if you can find them, they can be enormously helpful.
2. Compliant Supporters
These are the chickens who come to the picnic with eggs. They’re helpful. They’re supportive. Who are they? Why do they support this? How can we use their support to get things done?
Maybe we can turn them into committed supporters. Maybe we can build the relationship a little bit more so they’ll go from bringing the eggs to bringing the bacon.
3. Neutral Parties
There’s a lot of people who just sit back and watch and wait. They don’t take any risks, they’re not sure, or they’re just neutral. And again, we want to identify them – if we can get more of them on our side, we can get a lot more momentum for our idea.
Who are they? Why are they neutral? And what reasons can we use to influence them to turn them into a supporter?
Now we’re moving to the people who are negative. Antagonists are not willing to take personal risk to stop the idea, but they might feel moderately threatened by it; they might not understand it; they might not like it. Sometimes they’re very vocal against it, but they’re still not willing to do anything.
The best you can do with the antagonists is to get them to be neutral. At least get them not to speak out against the idea in meetings. Would you go and talk to them? Maybe you redeploy them somewhere where they don’t have an impact on this idea.
5. Active Resisters
These are the nemeses, the saboteurs. Active resisters feel personally threatened by the idea and will do anything to resist.
It’s very rare that they’re irrational, unless you have done something that’s caused a personal enmity. Usually they have other incentives and it’s a matter of will, of really working hard to get them on your side. Sometimes it’s a matter of changing the way they’re rewarded. Maybe someone with power can talk to them and say, listen, this is moving forward, I need you out of the way.
Sometimes the best you can do with active resisters is to isolate them – maybe they have to move to a different department, or leave the organisation.
You don’t need Everyone to Support you…
It’s said that in any major initiative at most you’re going to get about one-third on your side as committed and/or compliant supporters. Few want to change, and most people are in a state of inertia. It’s okay for people to be negative, you just don’t want so many of them that it’s going to make it impossible the initiative to succeed. You don’t need everybody to support you. The key is finding the right number of people.
Ecatherine Matnadze is Certified Executive and Team coach, focusing on coaching top leaders and their executive teams. Having worked as a CEO herself, she understands the demands placed on high-achieving leaders, and helps them balance business results with personal well-being.
Ecatherine is based in Barcelona, Spain. She works with Spanish- and English- speaking clients, both locally and internationally. You should connect and follow her posts on LinkedIn.
This is a guest post by Inna Alexeeva, CEO of PR Partner, an IESE Global Executive MBA graduate and an expert in helping leaders work effectively with the press. Here she shares some tips for leaders in preparing for media interviews.
How to speak with the Media
Giving an interview to media is stressful for most people. The speaker’s knees shake, he keeps adjusting his tie or watch-band, he stutters, coughs or repeatedly touches his ears – nervousness shows itself in many ways. Even those who deliver lots of interviews and prepare them thoroughly still feel nervous. In this column, I will tell you about some steps to overcome the fear.
Know How to Introduce Yourself
“conversation starts with an introduction where “I” cannot be omitted”
Where I live, in Russia, it is not customary to speak too much about oneself. Many people are used to hiding behind the collective “we” and never speak for or about themselves. However, a successful interview in the modern world is an open conversation filled with references to first-hand experiences. And any business conversation starts with an introduction where “I” cannot be omitted.
You must learn how to introduce yourself in front of a camera (even if you never give TV interviews). Record yourself and watch the video critically, assess your appearance, speech, gestures, tone and tempo of your voice. I would recommend preparing and memorising a 30-second self-presentation that consists of the following:
Speaking for 10 seconds about your past, with a brief an account of your work experience
10 seconds about your present, what are you doing now
10 seconds about the future, your plans
Such a self-presentation is easy to use in interviews, at press conferences or during a broadcast (if appropriate). Make it a rule to start any public communication (a press briefing or an address to employees) by introducing yourself and your company. Don’t be too modest.
Prepare three stories
“It would be great for each of the company’s speakers to have 3-5 simple, clear stories about life in the company”
There is no need to tell jokes. Think of the simplest, commonplace stories related to yourself and your company. For example, how you came to work for the company, how a leader hired an employee for the first time. It may be a story about mergers or takeovers or about the last company’s acquisition that will be easily remembered by the audience. Remember the story, write it down, put aside your piece of paper, tell the story in front of the camera, and then watch yourself. What would you like to change? Tell it again. And again. You don’t have to make anything up, just give an account of what has really happened.
I would like to share a little trick with you. If you often have to give interviews in an office, put up an art print or photo on the wall that will suggest the desired topic to the audience. For instance, while looking at Picasso’s Dove, we can talk about peace, environmental protection, the importance of negotiation, etc. It will be a trick up your sleeve. You can buy a set of 100 art posters from the MIF Printing House. They will certainly trigger interesting associations.
It would be great for each of the company’s speakers to have 3-5 simple, clear stories about life in the company. Each story should take no more than three minutes.
Employees, colleagues, partners, journalists and other target audiences will know your stories, remember them, and contact you for further details if the need arises. This doesn’t mean in any way that you will be using only these stories for 20 years of participating in public debates. Your story portfolio will expand as you become aware of the stories happening around you.
Put Clear Structure in your Interview Content
Do not write down the complete text answering all questions beforehand. In Soviet times, students at schools and universities were asked to prepare abstracts that were subsequently presented in front of the class. Secretaries typed speeches for leaders verbatim, exactly as dictated. Nowadays, less than 10% of speakers use prompters and most leaders rehearse and deliver speeches spontaneously.
Of course, having a sheet of paper with a prepared speech for an interview within reach gives us more confidence, but if we want to have a greater emotional impact and create an atmosphere of trust, we’d be better off forgetting about it. We do not confess love with a piece of paper. We do not apologize with a piece of paper. And a piece of paper will not help us become a good speaker.
Three to five key points are enough for the entire speech. I suggest creating associograms (also known as mind maps) to remember everything. An associogram is a schematic drawing that consists of the main topic of your interview in the middle and 10-12 arrows with tips (sub-topics) that come out of it in different directions.
Let’s say you would like to talk about charity at your company. The following arrows will come out of the word charity: funds, money, employees, plans, achievements, etc. When a speaker looks at such an associogram, it is easier for him or her to remember which sub-topics they have missed and which are yet to be mentioned.
This will make your speech natural and spontaneous and you won’t have to frantically recall what you wrote yesterday.
Use Numbers and Facts
If stories are a way to listeners’ hearts, numbers are a way to their minds. Infographics for interviews could contain numbers, percentages, basically anything with digits. If you’ve got no ideas whatsoever, you can always compare your national indicators with the foreign ones or track interim changes, or make a forecast. Look for consistent patterns and share them with the journalist.
Rehearse your answers to likely questions
A good 15-minute TV interview will take between 3 to 30 hours to prepare. You have to rehearse your answers at least three times.
Ask for feedback from a friendly PR person. If you need, reach out to me!
Encourage your PRs to be honest. I think it is obvious why getting feedback may be helpful. It helps you to correct your mistakes faster and grow as a speaker.
Keep giving interviews and talks!
Maybe today your interviews are not so great, but the more you practice, the more thoughtful and effective the speeches you make in front of the camera, to the company’s employees or in the studio will become.
A parents’ meeting at a primary school,
a speech at a sports club,
congratulations to school teachers,
toasts at weddings and birthdays — you should use any chance to speak in public, not only media interviews!
Schedule 52 speeches for any reason a year (one a week), and I can promise you that, in just 12 months, you will become a very good speaker!
Inna is CEO of PR Partner, a leading Russian PR agency. She is a graduate of the IESE Global Executive MBA. She is the winner of the Russian Ernst and Young Business Women 2015 Competition in the Brand Management, Advertising and PR category.
Winner of the 12th RuPoR PR Person of the Year Award for public relations development. The author of more than 200 media publications. Co-author of the book High Сaliber PR: How to Make a Top Manager a Star (Mann, Ivanov & Ferber, 2008). Author of Training Top Officials to Work with the Media, Secrets of Effective PR, 100% PR: Reboot, and other training programs. Her clients include Shell, Audi, Coca-Cola, UniCredit Bank, Autodesk, Sberbank, Russian Railways, Sistema Joint-Stock Financial Corporation, Rostelecom, RussNeft, Beeline, AES, Kazakhmys, Konica Minolta, Vozrozhdenie Bank, AVON and SAP.
April Abboud is a successful American entrepreneur who has moved to the Middle East. She gave up the business she grew, the culture she knew and having family close by to start a family in a land thousands of miles away. She has chosen to challenge herself all through her life.
April was recently asked to be the Moderator and Welcoming Speaker for the regional Global Student Entrepreneur Awards. She shared a powerful story about the need for each of us to face difficulties in our lives:
The Man who Helped the Butterfly
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.
It stopped moving. It seemed to have stopped making progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.
The man decided to help. He took a pair of scissors and cut off the remaining cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily.
The butterfly had a sluggish, swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly. He waited for the wings to grow and expand to be able to support the body. He waited for the body to shrink to the beautiful proportions of a butterfly.
He waited. Neither happened!
The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
The butterfly never was able to fly.
The Universe is Wise
The man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand nature. The restricting cocoon and the struggle is necessary. As the butterfly squeezes through the tiny opening, fluid from the body is forced into its wings. This long, tiring, intense struggle for escape is necessary for the butterfly to fly once it fights its way to freedom from the closed cocoon.
This is not only the nature of butterflies. It is the nature of life. It is our nature. If we do not have adversity and strife on our journey we cannot carry the weight that our dreams require of us. Everyone has gone through something that has changed them in a way that they could never go back to the person they once were. Some understand this difficulty for what it really is: Growth.
As an entrepreneur, I have often made the choice to travel the road less taken, one filled with uncertainty and fear. I dare to make the world a better place and somehow along the way find the courage to believe in my wings and let myself fly.
We must give ourselves permission to accept the struggles, for in them we find our true original, authentic self.
To those who crawl around swollen with desire we become leaders. Fierce are those with restrictions, strengthened by their journey, that not only find their wings but take to flight.
Oscar Contreras is a former Division Manager for EA Games. He worked on big hits like “The Sims”. Brand Ambassador, Personal Branding and B2U Evangelist. Currently in Santiago de Chile, he is a consultant to high level executives and to celebrities. He has recently published his second book: “B2U Marketing Personal” (in spanish).
His background is hybrid. Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Arts and a Major in Strategic Communications, from San Francisco State University, and MBA with Specializations in E-Commerce from the same alma mater.
Interview with Oscar
Oscar kindly agreed to answer a few questions from me…
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started out?
In 1999, I wish I knew I should never follow other people’s patterns: the ones that are imposed by society, education or profession. Patterns are the result of failure, and they never define nor predict who you really are. I followed that pattern to fail in my career as a lawyer (after spending 4 years in Law School 😉 I thought I knew what I wanted, but instead, I did what I thought or was told that I wanted.
It took me 15 years to finally find out what drives my life: interacting with people. That makes me a very unusual kind of animal.
Who are 5 people who inspire you to be the best version of yourself?
My father Oscar, who is the most correct person I’ve ever met in the whole world. Thanks to him, I still keep ingenuity and ethics as some of my personal tools.
My grandfather Santiago (unfortunately died this year), because he was relentless and brave. Didn’t have formal education, but acted as a master of sobriety and negotiation. He became successful and influent by his own hand.
Elon Musk, he told me about being servile as a manager. One of the biggest lessons of my life.
Pope Francis. Yes, I was raised catholic, but I’m not a religious fanatic, nor I want to evangelize anyone ;). He has an edge that makes him different, he has character and guts. His actions do move people more than his prey.
Steve Jobs. Yeah… typical right? But I knew the guy and have had it on my table while negotiating. He is both passion and a despot. He has no fear as long as he pursues what he wants. He reminds me to always speak up what I want, if I want to be a game changer.
Where did the idea for setting up your Company come from?
After skyrocketing a career of ten years at Electronic Arts, I went back to Chile in 2010, thinking I was going to have the same success as an Entrepreneur.
I was wrong.
After 3 years of struggle to maintain a videogame start-up called Syrenaica (raising various rounds of capital), the time came to pivot the business model to training instead of development. I started working with Colleges and Universities in the country. I did well enough, by creating a certificate program that sold well in four consecutive years. In the process I found out that the core of our success was the training methodology. I faced some resistance from academics. Thus, Universities are really not the best partners for this kind of business.
In 2013, the company finally failed. I tried miserably to find employment. The working culture was too different. My mind was already forged in the American Way. With my bank account numbers in red and with a big knot in my stomach, I quickly had to find my first 6 company clients to work as a marketing consultant. In the meantime, I started to write my first book “Restart”. It was a memoir, but at the same time a chance to tell my career story to many people and find some kind of catharsis. It’s was a dark period, losing a dream was like losing a son.
In that time, I had the chance to sit down with a variety of people, ranging from big CEO’s to disoriented students. I started a deep research about the definition of what makes marketing successful, but in personal terms, and how that affects all traditional marketing as a whole inside an organisation. The whole thing started as workshops, then experiential formation, and finally as a book called “B2U” (Business To You and Be To You), a brand new theory that supports and converges everything I currently do. That is currently the core business of my company Empodera Consulting Group. We place extreme focus on specific KPI’s. Since we started in 2015, we have grown 400%.
The recipe is simple: I only make money If my client makes more money and is successful.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I run 5 miles in the morning. It really helps me prepare my willpower for what’s coming next. I visit or I’m visited by some clients (corporate) that I’m counselling and advising.
Mid-day, I’m visiting some prospects. I write my thoughts; sometimes I teach a class at a University.
I’m always available for my family; I make them part of my schedule. Vacation for me is a real vacation, not an escape from pressure or stress.
At the end of my day, I have another long session with clients. But these are private, certain “influential” people that wish to remain incognito. I usually end my day at 10:00 PM. Have dinner, put my kids to sleep, kiss my wife.
What single achievement are you proudest about?
I have a beautiful family. My objective in life has changed dramatically. Now, I don’t want to be rich. I only want to have a comfortable life and see that I am changing the world one client at a time; I can sleep like a baby when I put my head on the pillow, knowing that I’m doing something good and have never damaged another person’s dreams.
However, you might think that this is a happy story. It is not. It took me decades and stomach to stand the risk of never working for another boss. You start being a coach of coaches, but who coaches you? When you live your life driven by your own expectations, you can feel very lonely sometimes. I love it, but it’s not perfect.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
As a sales associate in Sears, Oakland, in 2002 when I was restarting my life after leaving Chile. Terrible pay and horrible hours. I was studying in College with an F-1 Visa, but working illegally to survive.
I saw one of my colleagues being arrested by immigration. I never felt secure. I realised that nobody is better and nobody is worse than me. I’ve learnt that I can handle being poor, and since I had nothing more to lose, reinventing myself was a much easier process.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I organise my schedule a week in advance. It gives me the chance to create the reality I’m going to live.
What change would you make in the world?
In the information era, the one with the best story wins. Thus, you should stop fooling yourself with so much “yadayada” that others say, instead of making your own genuine decisions. Or try to have mentors that have really changed the world by your side.
So many people postpone important decisions, because they tend to find as much information as they can. Too much information usually contradicts, and that can be confusing. Learn by failing and don’t be afraid. Afterwards, you are constructing your own story and that can make you a winner everywhere. Make failure your best success and success your best failure. You cannot judge anyone but yourself.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and would recommend everyone else to do?
I dedicate 1/3 of my week to meet new people.
These 2 weekly cups of coffee are my best investment. Coffee is cheap, and it has allowed me to get to know people I had never never imagined.
What burning Question do you want the readers’ help to answer for you?
What is success? Is what you were told or promised, or what you biggest dream commanded? Or maybe you were always successful and you haven’t realised it yet?
What is one failure you had, and how did you overcome it?
Choosing the wrong person in my first start-up. I used guts instead of head to put one of my co-founders on board. I was betrayed. It meant debt, headaches and deep personal disappointment.
My current company is successful because it doesn’t have employees: It has associates. I recruit talent on a project by project basis. I look for a “business owner” mentality. I don’t want to deal with complainers. I proactively choose to surround myself with energised people.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I love to sing, and I sing very well (enough to impress the girls in the front row). Mostly ballads from the 80’s.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Art of War, by Sun Tzu. Short enough to read it quickly. Effective enough to change the world one step at a time, and make a real difference in terms of personal strategy and tactics. A must read for an entrepreneur with guts. We are saturated with info. If you read the ancients from centuries ago, you’ll find out they recommend exactly the same many current gurus have said.
This is a guest post from Riya Sander. Riya is an overseas teacher. She has spent her past 5 years teaching in Thailand, Malaysia and Philippines.
All too often, I hear adults tell children to simply “do the right thing”.
This is not enough. We need to help children figure out:
what is the right thing or
how to decide what is right.
Teaching in various schools, in various countries, I’ve seen a wide range of responses: from completely ignoring ethics to teaching ethical decision making at all levels of the school curriculum.
Some parents ask if ethics and education belong together. Ethics are the shared values of a given group or culture. There are some ethical values that are widely shared, and others that vary widely depending on the local culture. This is one of the conflicts that children must be taught about.
Not just “It is Wrong”, but Why is it Wrong?
One ethics teacher, Alyssa Kelly, described teaching ethics this way: “The emphasis is not on moral instruction but on finding reasons why something might be right or wrong.” Instead of teaching students what is right or wrong, ethics courses for primary school students focus on teaching them how to decide for themselves what is right or wrong.
Students are faced with challenging social situations on a regular basis. Not every moral instruction can be blindly applied to every situation. When I ask my students if it’s okay to lie, they respond “no” in unison every time, in every class, regardless of what country I was teaching in. The nuances of “right” and “wrong” are more subtle when students have to choose between the lesser of two evils.
Ethical Decisions are Never Black and White
I once had a female student whose friend was contemplating suicide. The suicidal girl told her friend what she was thinking of doing to herself, but asked her not to tell anyone. She asked her friend to keep her plans a secret. The friend, my student, was distraught. Someone was in danger, but she was asked to keep that danger a secret. Thanks to her ethics classes, she was able to reason her way through the situation. She later told me that, although she felt bad about breaking her promise to keep her friend’s secret, the resulting intervention and the fact that the broken promise helped to save her friend’s life was worth it. The suicidal girl was angry at the time, but became very thankful to her friend after therapy.
Ethical choices apply to what students say as well. With the growth of social media and its use earlier and earlier by students, we do them a great service by teaching them how to make ethical decisions about what to do and what to say before they reach the quagmire of social media. An acronym I frequently use with my students, which fits well in the ESL curriculum, is before you post/write/speak, THINK. Consider these factors: is what you’re about to say True, Helpful, Informative, Necessary, and Kind. We then discuss what these words mean to each of us. Students always enjoy the play on words: they learn about thinking, and each of those factors requires serious personal thought.
Did you T.H.I.N.K.?
“Sitting in a circle listening to other people is a skill set that many adults could benefit from.” Alyssa Kelly
Once we’ve learned this acronym, students often help each other remember what to do: “May, did you THINK before you said that to Kai?” This is one of the great benefits of having these kids talk through questions that make them think. As teacher Alyssa Kelly said, “Sitting in a circle listening to other people is a skill set that many adults could benefit from.”
One of the keys to this type of program is starting early. The earlier primary school students start to learn about how to think through ethical questions, the easier it will be for them. Skills learned early in life are foundational. This type of problem solving will lead to greater skill in more and more complicated problems that students will encounter later in life.
The Benefits of Early Ethical Education
Ethics and education go hand in hand. In addition to teaching children facts and figures, teaching ethics begins to lay the groundwork of metacognition: thinking about how we think. If we can help them develop an awareness of how they think about things and how they make value decisions early in life, we set them up to make better choices throughout their lives as well as preparing them for higher level thinking that will be of great use later in their education.
About the Author: Riya Sander is an overseas teacher. She holds a master’s degree from Australia Institute of Business & Technology. She has spent her past 5 years teaching in ESL countries i.e. Thailand, Malaysia and Philippines. She currently works for Point to Point Education, a dynamic education recruitment company.
This is a guest post by Marc Siles, He is an Executive MBA from IESE Business School who leads the INNEOX team from his base in Finland! Over to Marc...
The 7 Golden Behaviors – The secret to create a true “Dream Team”
Here is what I would like you to do. Think about a moment in your life when you have been told what to do. It could be by your parents, friends, boss, or by anybody who was trying to impose their will…or at least it felt like that. Can you recall that little voice inside your head, after you were told what to do, asking to yourself “Why should I?”
This is a situation I have observed in many occasions when seeing companies, sports teams and other institutions trying to build the ever-wanted “Dream Team.” We are told on many occasions we must work as team. However, it seems that we keep forgetting about integrating this information in our habits in order to become a team, isn’t that interesting? They keep telling us what we must do, but not why we should do it…more importantly, for what purpose?
A high paying salary might help you get best talents you can find in the market, however, do you want people to work for you, or with you? Would you prefer people who share your passion, or those whom are just after fame and economical rewards? When you are recruiting people for your “Dream Team,” is it not the past history that matters, or is it their individual achievements? What matters the most is their attitude, their habits, their ability to let go and to adapt to the uncertain future, and that they continuously evolve. Should it be you as a leader who owns the task of creating this desired team spirit, or should it be the team itself who creates and owns its development? I believe that as a leader, you should drive the future vision and create a common ambition. It’s then that people will join you, not because they have to, but because the want to. They will then share the same views and values which you preach and practice. It’s then when they will own their evolution.
I’ve noticed a certain pattern, which keeps repeating in all long term successful “Dream Teams” I have been observing during the last years. I call it “The 7 Golden Behaviors.” I am not going to ask you to reflect while you are reading the rest of this article about how you could identify those in your team, but I would like you to keep an open mind next time you are developing or recruiting a new person for your team. Is it the past, or the future attitude that really matters?
The 7 Golden Behaviors
#1 – Sense of Curiosity: The need for continuous proactive interest of the unknown will keep those interesting questions flowing. It is from here, where all the true insights come from. Those who dare to open new doors and explore what new paths might bring to them, will not only add improvements to their daily business, but will also contribute to seeing clarity to the future ahead. Would you like to be part of this selective club?
#2 – Genuine Interest: Truly caring for somebody without expecting anything in return. Being owed favors is just another way to put heavy weights on those around us. Active listening is a key skill your team members must have in order to develop the common spirit. Would you like to improve your active listening skills? You can find some very good tips in this post by “Mind Tools.”
#3 – Behavioral Flexibility: Even if we have a very detailed plan, we have to be able to adapt to the situations the future scenarios might bring. The ability to adapt on the go and readjust will become extremely relevant after the team is finished with the deploying phase. This is why you want to identify this behavioral trait correctly in the beginning, as this will forecast the probability the team will have to hold together as the journey moves ahead. People who look behind in search of new learning, but concentrate on the opportunities the future will bring…people who can let things go and evolve with the needs of the new times. This is what you are looking for to create your “Dream Team.”
#4 – Self-Awareness. In a Dalai Lama speech I assisted some years ago, he compared this to the situation in a plane. If suddenly the masks drop and you try to help others before you have your own mask on, you won’t be able to help many before you pass out. However, if you have your oxygen supply in place, there’s no limit on your capabilities of helping others. There are many ways to get a deep level of knowledge on ones self, however, I would recommend the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. From all the methods I have tested, this test provided the best results. There is a wealth of free information on the internet, so I encourage you to take some of these free tests online, and do some research on your MBTI profile.
#5- Empathy: Have you ever been in a conversation with a friend where you noticed that the she or he didn’t really care about what you were explaining? A “Dream Team” must have the ability to engage in an emotional level with each other, share their joys and pick each other up when times are not so good. Everybody is responsible for his or her own challenges, however a good “hug for support” now and then gives the extra bit of energy we all need.
#6- Awareness, Adoption & Evolution: I’m sure that some of you are aware of a habit you have, which might not be beneficial to your health. However, being aware doesn’t add much value if this piece of information doesn’t evolve into wisdom, integrated in our future behavior in order to generate change. The capabilities to create evolving wisdom will unleash the growth potential of each of the team individuals, creating a sense of self-steam and self-confidence, unbeatable by any situation or challenge. If you would like to do some work on the integration of unconscious wisdom and evolution, you can read this post published on Linkedin.
#7- Mindfulness: The last and most important golden behavior is the art of creating interdependencies, as well as being aware of how your actions impact others around you. First, understand yourself, then, understand others before you are understood. This habit will create the needed flow of respect and communication within the team to be able to take the results to the next level via ambitious goals. These ambitious goals are unreachable without the collaboration with each other and always being aligned towards a common vision.
You have 100Km run ahead of you. However, instead of running 100Km once, focus on running 1Km 100 times, and enjoy every single step. Success is a journey to enjoy, not a destination.
New Possibilities Ahead
A team, which displays these 7 Golden Behaviors, will be ready to achieve anything they set for themselves. As a fellow Toastmaster once told me, “The sky is not the limit, there are men stepping on the moon.”
I will leave it up to you to decide if you want to start integrating this knowledge and let it roll into wisdom the right way, or, if you would prefer to let the unconscious do its work and work it out later on. I just find it amazing to have people working around you because they feel energized with you. Fighting hard for the common vision and goal, not because they have to, but because they want to. Isn’t that amazing?
Have you observed any of those Golden Behaviors around you lately? If so, it would be great to hear about those and read your comments. When was the last time you observed some of the Golden Behaviors? Which one was it and how did it relate to the future success?
This is a guest post by Marc Siles.
Marc Siles Aligué is a self declared “Innovation Liberator”. He is Managing Director Finland at INNEOX and a regular speaker at conferences on the topic of Customer Experience Management. You should follow him on twitter: Marc Siles
This is a guest post by Luca Rossini. Luca ran home. This is a big deal when you live in Paris and your family home is near Milan. This post shares how he kept the journey going day after day after day...
Over to Luca…
How I found the Strength to Run 900 kilometers through the Winter roads of France and Italy
I would like to share something I learnt in the winter of 2012 on the French roads of Bourgogne, on my 900 km run home to Italy.
It was the year when I lost my father, and my brother had been diagnosed with leukaemia. I had always loved running as an amateur, and so, despite hesitations and perplexities, I decided to take a month off from work and find the energy that I wanted for myself and my family, by running all the way from Paris, France (where I live) to Pavia, Italy (my hometown, close to Milan).
Starting my Days Slowly
On an evening two years ago, I listened to Conor’s speech (http://youtu.be/XUsvWP6seQE) in my apartment in Paris. He talks about the advice coming directly from Kenneth Blanchard, author of ‘The One Minute Manager’.
Conor had asked him if Blanchard had ever had that black day, the last after a month of efforts, that 30th when one feels that one’s leadership, the energy hoisting one’s organisation or project, isn’t there anymore; and if he did, what does or would he do on such a day.
In practice, it implies that when you wake up in the mornings, take a moment to reflect on the reality of life. Take the time to feel your presence, consider where you are and why, and the reasons that will enable you to execute the endeavour that lies ahead, before you dive in and invest the energy in the whirlpool of life.
Learn to Spend Time with Yourself
As I closed my laptop after watching the video, I was reminded of something my father told me on a winter night when we were staying at a monastery, which also serves as a mountain hut, in the snow-capped Swiss Alps. After dinner, the monks requested ten minutes of silence, for them and us, bunch of ski-mountaineers in colourful fleeces and boots.
Ten minutes is a long time. I remember my father telling me that a few minutes into the silent reflection, he started asking himself, “Why am I here? What brought me to this point? What is the deeper meaning, the underlying reason that has brought us up here, now?”
Start your day slow. Ask yourself why.
I was quite surprised to arrive at the same answer, or more precisely, the same question, during my long run through France and Italy. It was my beacon through the cloudy, freezing December mornings that led me home.
In fact, as I progressed through the run, I began suffering from tendonitis and inflammation due to lack of training to cope with the intense pace of about 40 kms a day. Some days, I would wake up from the bunk beds of the hostel where I spent the night, feeling cramps as soon as I put my feet to the ground. It would make me wonder if that would be my 30th day, the day when I stop.
But then, I clearly remember, and remind myself ever since, something happened, every morning.
I would start walking early in the wintry morning lights, one stiff leg after another, feet cold in my running shows, and looking probably odd. After a few hundred meters, rain or shine, the walk softened, my dear Achilles tendon warmed up, realising this was anyway a great ride to do.
A kilometer or so later, I could risk running a few steps, often realising with pain that it was too early to do so.
The important thing was that, sooner or later in the morning, and every morning, I found myself, legs warm, feet in the air, round movement in the knees, running as I love to, headed to my destination behind the Alps.
Finding the Source of Inner Strength
I am not a professional, neither do I run regularly. My only preparation for the run consisted of my rucksack, spare t-shirts and socks, a smartphone for maps and a duvet. I reached my hometown with no fanfare, finishing alone on my usual training loop leading to the door of my childhood’s house, for a warm shower, just before Christmas.
One might wonder what such a lonely wolf experience would give you. I didn’t articulate it in words until now – what I can say is that it made me conscious of the fact that the reservoir of energy we can tap on is virtually infinite, because is constantly refuelled by the meaning we assign to it.
This is the well of inner strength, and it is something I will always bring with me. I hope it also inspires some amongst you.
This is a guest post by my good friend Bill Treasurer, who's latest book Leaders Open Doors makes its big time release this week! Over to Bill...
If you’re a leader, there’s an important question on the minds of the people you lead. They may not say it directly, but it is the core question that defines the relationship between you and the people you lead. When people believe the answer is “yes,” they will be more committed to their work … and to you. But when they think the answer is “no,” their commitment to their jobs and their loyalty to you will suffer. The question is: Do you care about me?
Do you care about me?
The answer shows up in your treatment of people. You may say that you care about people, but if you never smile, constantly move up deadlines, rarely ask for their opinions or use their input, take credit for their good work, set unrealistic goals, and don’t say “thank you” for their hard work, then you don’t really care about them. And they know it.
To be a leader means to get results. But when the drive for results monopolizes a leader’s attention, people become a lesser priority. When a leader cares more about the “ends” (results) and less about the “means” (people), the leader becomes susceptible to treating people like objects. A single-minded focus on results often leads directly to treating people poorly. The drive to achieve results becomes the leader’s excuse for toughness, saying things like, “Sure, I’m tough. We’re under relentless pressure from our competitors, and margins are tight. Being tough creates urgency and motivates people to work hard. My boss is tough on me, so why shouldn’t I be tough on the people who work for me?”
To be sure, results matter. But people achieve those results, and when you treat people poorly you’ll get poor results. Answering “yes” to the core do-you-care-about-me question means taking a deep and genuine interest in those you are leading. Caring, in this sense, is obliging. For when you care about people, you give them more of your time, attention, and active support. A wise leader treats people as more important than results, because strong people produce those results. Period.
So what does caring look like? When you care about people, you:
take an interest in their career aspirations
seek, value, and apply their ideas
acknowledge people’s contributions and say “thank you” generously.
As a practical matter, it’s a good idea to care about your people. Here’s why: when they know you care about them, they will care about you … and your success.
In fact, you’ll know that you are truly a leader who cares when the people you lead start seeking and valuing your input, when they take an interest in your career aspirations, and when they are actively supportive of you. And when your people care about you, they’ll help you get better results.
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