Showing posts with label Golden Rule. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Golden Rule. Show all posts

July 30, 2018

That's The Power Of Love

Please see my new article in Times of Israel called, "Shabbat Nachamu: That's The Power of Love."

We don't have to fight, but even when we fight, we can overcome through compassion, love, and constructive reconciliation.  

Love and friendship can win over anger and fighting, and help to usher in the ultimate redemption. 

Hope you enjoy the article. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

June 22, 2018

Everyone Deserves A Day of Rest and Happiness

So someone I know came over to this country and literally has to work 7 days a week for months at a time!

They don't want or need to work that much, but their employer insists that's the way it is. 

On top of it, they don't even get overtime for all the unbelievable hours they have to put in. 

One day, this person actually just broke down in incredible tears, just asking to get a single day off. 

Finally, finally, finally--the employer gave in--for just a single day!

The person was so happy--one day of freedom; one day to enjoy; one day to regain their inner beauty and humanity. 

I was so happy for them!

Every person deserves at least one day off per week. 

Every single one of the major religions in the world that is anchored in the Bible--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--have a holy Sabbath as a day of rest.

There is a divine and ancient wisdom to this. 

People need a day to rejuvenate.

Everything is nature does.

Even the fields have to lay fallow every 7th year so the earth can revitalize and replenish itself. 

There is a natural cycle to things--peaks and valleys--and we need to have some rest and relaxation--to work for something and not for nothing. 

The joy on this person to just have a day off--it was so incredible and touching. 

It spoke light years to me about treating people right--just--humanly--with compassion--and doing good over evil in this world.

What does the employer need to wring an extra days work out of their employees for the rotten greed of money and profits?  

Better to care for your people, and they will be better off for it and thus to the needs of the business and its customers. 

Care for people--they are people. 

Love people--they are G-d's beautiful children. 

Treat others as you would like to be treated. 

Let everyone have a day of rest and something to look forward to--to enjoy, to have some happiness, to get time with their family and friends, to get back to themselves, to attain a deserved and proper peace of mind, body, and soul. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)  
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 3, 2017

Crumbs Are For The Birds, Not The Workers

Since the days of slavery, workers have had very little in terms of rights or protections. 

The rich and powerful capitalist employers hold all the cards.

Like this poster says:
"Which Shall It Be?
Duke: 'If you demand your rights, no more crumbs from my table.'
Working Man: 'Give me my rights and keep your crumbs.'"
The capitalist owners enjoy being able to give "trickle-down economics" to the average working man. 

Basically, it's just crumbs from the rich man's table. 

And if you don't like it, and you want rights, protections, and more...tough luck, and no more crumbs for you!

But the little guy who breaks his back to earn his daily bread, wants his dignity and respect more than the crumbs from the "capitalist pig" taking advantage of him.

Trickle-down is bullshit!

Crumbs aren't going to raise the standard of living for the working class. 

We need living wages, social and income equality, and workers rights and protections to keep the little guy from being bulldozed by the rich and powerful. 

Certainly, there are many rich and powerful people that are good and generous, but not everyone is that that way. 

And we can't have mistreatment of people by those wielding a whip over them.

Yes, workers need to perform and conduct themselves professionally--that is their job.

But workers shouldn't be taken advantage of with poor wages, little to no benefits, and miserable working conditions (including bullying, harassment, and hostile work environments). 

Remember that in life tables can get turned and the rich and powerful can become the poor and the weak.  

Therefore, pay and treat your workers as you would want to be paid and treated. 

No one is so big as to be untouchable by G-d. 

Money and power will not save anyone from illness, accidents, disasters, and misfortune.

The only thing that does save people is good deeds, kind words, compassion, faith, and prayer. 

Crumbs are for the birds, dignity and respect are for the people!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

November 19, 2017

White Lie, Black Truth

No this is not another civil or human rights post, although I like writing those as well. 

Rather, this is about how we use our words to help and not hurt others. 
"White Lie, 
Black Truth"

Yes, we all know that it's wrong to lie (it's even in the 10 Commandments). 

Except, of course, when we need to tell a "white lie" in order to keep someone's feelings from getting hurt.

For example, I may not like your new haircut, but when you ask me glowingly what I think, instead of telling you how it's too short or whatever, I tell you, "Yeah, it looks great!"

Then, there is the "black truth."

That's when we swallow hard and tell the  truth to someone, even though it may hurt their feelings, it's ultimately for their good. 

For example, your child may be going of course with their lives, and while you don't want to hurt their feelings, you know you need to tell them the truth in order to help them course-correct.

Telling lies or truth can be hurtful to people, but a white lie isn't really bad, because it's used to protect someone's feeling, the black truth, is also not so dark and foreboding, because there are times when you need to get past the superficial, be real with someone, and tell them the hard truth in order to help them in a very practical sense. 

That's one of life's most difficult lessons, that not everything is black or white. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

November 16, 2017

The Folly of Bullies

So there is an issue with people not treating other people with respect and dignity in life and at work.

Today again, the Wall Street Journal reported that "Companies Wake Up To The Problem of Bullies at Work."

This is leading some organizations to issue "Codes of Civility" for people to act like mensches and treat each other nicely. 

Adults are just so like children--with work bullies not all that different from schoolyard bullies.

Why do people need to elevate themselves on the backs of others? 

Isn't it better to join hands and work together as brothers for the betterment of all.

Bullying anyone at work or at home doesn't benefit anyone, including the bully!

I read today in Psalms 37: 35-36:
"I have seen the wicked in great power and spreading himself like a green tree. Yet he passed away, and behold, he was not; I sought him, but he could not be found 
[But] Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright for the end of that man is peace."
How can people forget that the true "big boss" is G-d Almighty in Heaven.

And He judges us for a good or not so good end. 

We are all just flesh and blood and we all answer to the One That Was, Is, and Will Always Be!

Isn't it obvious that we're here to learn to act with lovingkindness to one another.

All are imperfect, but treating each other well is how we get closer to G-dly perfection. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

September 12, 2017

Feeling Good Vibes

So what a nice compliment...

I'm talking with someone this week.

They're new, and so I tried to be generally nice and ask about them, show interest, and just be overall friendly and welcoming.  

It was amazing--these little things, and they made someone else feel comfortable and happy. 

They are smiling and go to me:
"I get good vibes from you!"

Wow, good vibes--awesome!  

And now I was happy too. 

I thought to myself, how often we goof and give off the wrong vibes and how easy it really is to just treat most people decently and sincerely, and get a good reaction. 

Yes, not everyone is easy to get along with and not everyone is nice.

But generally, I think it's good to try to be the type of person that others feel good vibes from. 

I'll take that and continue to try and spread the wealth. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

September 7, 2017

The CEO and The Janitor

Wow, I heard a powerful story from a colleague that I wanted to share.

The colleague's father was a industrial psychologist and he would go into some relatively big organizations to improve the functioning and culture. 

One of the things that he would do is get the CEO and the janitor in the same room together. 

And he would say:
"Both of you have vital jobs in the organization and you need to appreciate each other!"

At this point, the CEO and the janitor would be looking around the room super quizzically.

And the psychologist would to the janitor and say:
"The CEO's job is critical, because without the CEO, we wouldn't have the leadership and vision for the organization to be successful, and you wouldn't have a job and salary.

Then he'd turn to the CEO and  explain:
The Janitor's job is critical, because without the janitor, we wouldn't have a clean and functioning building and facilities for everyone to do their jobs and be successful, and you wouldn't be able to come to work ever day."

It's really amazing that despite all the fancy titles, corners offices, and rich compensation packages for some, really everyone in the organization is vital in their own way!

We need to remember that when we deal with others that they are human beings--in the image of G-d--and we need to treat all with the utmost dignity and respect for both who they are and what they contribute. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

February 28, 2016

Back On The Hiking Trail

Such beautiful weather today--still February, but Spring has sprung!

We went hiking and I am so grateful to G-d after the surgeries of the last couple of years that I can once again start to enjoy Sugarloaf Mountain together with "my sugar."

Thank you so much Hashem!

On the hike, one brief thing we talked about was how to email (and speak) nicely to other people.

My wife told me something really smart she heard from a colleague at work:

"WHEN you are having strong feelings and want to communicate them to someone...

Sit down at the table.

Pull your chair in.

Write down what you want to say.

THEN...

Imagine the other person is sitting right across from you.

Turn the paper towards them.

Pretend that they are reading from it in front of you.

NOW...

Decide whether you still want to send it that way."

So much stupid stuff we say and email could be avoided if we just did this little mental exercise in our heads and in our hearts. ;-)

(Source Selfie: Us)
Share/Save/Bookmark

July 13, 2015

Customers Gone Stinkin' Wild

I took this photo yesterday in a Home Goods store. 

This is the aisle for rugs and mats. 

And it is a disaster zone!

I asked the clerk (with the orange apron on) knelling on the floor at the end of the aisle if the customers did this.

And he said, "Oh yes!" and he had to clean it all up. 

My G-d, what gets into people? 

It's one thing to shop--pick things up and put them down--but throwing everything all over and trashing the place--stuff on the floors and literally left dangling off the shelves. 

And forgetting for a moment what this does to other people's shopping experience and the potential loss of sales for the store...

How about we think for a moment about the poor guy working in the store to earn a few bucks for his family who now has to go on and his knees to clean up this pigfest? 

Is this really shopping or for some people perhaps it's is a way of venting their anger by choosing to sh*t on the innocent next guy.

Gee whiz folks--can you have a heart? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

March 28, 2014

So It Really Is A Popularity Contest

Good, Sue Shellenbarger in the Wall Street Journal finally said it..."likability matters more than ever at work."

Yes, you also need to know your subject matter and be able to perform like a pro, but just that alone is not enough.


If your a card or a jerk, no one wants to know you.


The old Jewish thinking about being a mensch, first and foremost, still holds true.  


"Likable people are more apt to be hired, get help at work, get useful information from others, and have mistakes forgiven."


Employees also track employees likability on social networks and recruit those who can well represent them and make transformative changes. 


What contributes to likability:


1. Be Authentic - an ounce of sincerity is worth more than a boatload of of b.s. -- people see right through it.


2. Use Positive Cues - eye contact, smiling naturally, and a warm, varying, and enthusiastic tone make you approachable and believable.


3. Show interest in others - selfishness, narcissism, and I, I, I will get you no friends; show genuine interest in the other person--be cognizant of what's in it for them--give a damn!


4. Listen - 2 ears, 1 mouth; close the mouth and listen to the other person--don't just hear them, understand them, empathize, feel something!


5. Find common ground - look for shared interests or commonalities; we can all relate to others with whom we can identify.


Short and sweet, treat others as you would want to be treated (Golden Rule) and it doesn't pay to be a ass! ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

December 29, 2013

Andy Blumenthal With Harry Basil From The Laugh Factory

So Harry Basil was great at The Laugh Factory.

His costumes, impersonations, and audience involvement in his act was well done. 

In the course of about half an hour, Harry spanned the gamut from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Leonardo DiCaprio, Eminem to Michael Jackson, and from Batman to Superman.  

He was very animated and played with the people in the audience--so quick, spontaneous, and always in control. 

This morning, I took this photo with Harry Basil at Starbucks. 

As we started to walk away down the hall, my wife (who is wont not to take the greatest photos) says "Oh, I don't think the picture came out, it was too close."

And as we were going to start bickering, it was so funny...Harry pops up right behind us, and goes "Was it too close--let's take it again."

Another thing that happened that was interesting at The Laugh Factory, was when we were about to be seated, I said sincerely to the host "How are you doing this evening? Happy holidays!"  

He goes to me, "No one ever asks me that. You know what? I'm going to give you seats right up by the front," and he did. 

It was a lesson for all of us about talking and treating people nicely--what goes around, comes around. ;-)
Share/Save/Bookmark

August 15, 2011

Helping Employees Find The Right Job Fit


I have a new article in Public CIO Magazine (August 2011) on the topic of how to handle poorly performing employees.

"Finding the right candidate for a job is much like finding a spouse -- it requires the right chemistry. There's a critical difference between having great qualifications and being the right person for a particular job, which is a concept that organizational behavior specialist refer to as 'person-job fit.'"

"When you see employees struggling, try to bring them up to speed in every possible way. If that doesn't work, help them find a better position to continue their path of professional and personal development."

Read the rest of the article at Government Technology.


(Source Photo: here)

Share/Save/Bookmark

August 28, 2010

The Search For Servant Leadership in A Chilean Mine

The Search For Servant Leadership in A Chilean Mine

I’ve been following the story this week about the 33 miners trapped half a mile below the surface in the collapsed mine in Chile.

The story of the miners survival is incredible, but so too are the implications of corporate greed and the neglect of the workers safety and how we treat people as objects rather than human beings.

33 people are stuck in a space approximately 500 square feet for 18 days until a 2.3 inch drill hole was used to discover their whereabouts this week.

The miners had lost on average 22 pounds each and were on rationed peaches, milk, tuna, and crackers every other day.

The pictures of the miners and the notes of love and hope that emerged from below the earth’s crust were truly inspiring, despite the way that they got trapped to begin with.

Yet, the miners now have to wait approximately 4 months for a rescue tunnel 26 inches wide to be completed to pull them to safety.

The fear, panic and duress of being trapped 2300 feet down in 95-degree heat in close quarters for so long is something government officials, psychologists, and family members are very concerned about. They have even reached out to NASA to help them deal with the effects of the prolonged isolation.

Amazingly, when we think about how technology could help in this situation, it is not necessarily a “super-duper” drill able to dig them out in hours or minutes that is the focus here or a transporter able to beam the miners up the surface in seconds, but rather a simple tool like a ladder placed near the ventilation shaft (as was supposed to have been for safety purposes) would have enabled the miners to escape to the surface.

Now instead of the mining company having done the right thing for its workers to begin with, they are now facing a lawsuit from the families of the trapped miners and potentially bankruptcy.

This situation is reminiscent of other companies that put their profits before their workers, like we saw recently with BP that didn’t have a simple safety shut-off valve on the leaking oil well, and now they are funding a $20 billion escrow account to settle claims from the Gulf Coast oil disaster.

Plain and simple, it does not pay to skimp on worker safety.

More than that, people are not only our most important asset—as has become cliché to say, but the whole point of our interactions at work is to treat each other right.

Of course, we need and want to be productive, to improve things, to reengineer business processes, enable them with new technologies, and leave the world better from our work, but to me the true test for us as human beings is to make these contributions to our organizations and missions and at the same time not lose our basic humanity.

If the cost of an improvement or promotion is some very real bodies that we must climb over to get there, then I say we are failing the true test before us.

We can make the same gains and more by treating people with kindness and compassion—the way we would want to be treated.

Let’s not deny anyone a ladder or safety valve or even in the smallest ways mistreat our employees.

The test of leadership is how we treat people in accomplishing our goals, and the long-term effects to us from our behavior in this regard are greater than any short-term technology or process improvements we can make by dehumanizing ourselves and hurting others.


Share/Save/Bookmark

May 27, 2010

Five Ways To Motivate Employees With Meaning

By Andy Blumenthal
(Published in Information Management)


Employees need to be motivated to perform. No, not just with money, and not even with a pat of the back (although both can go a long way to demonstrate appreciation for a job well done).

People need to know that their efforts have meaning and effect—i.e. that they are not in vain. This can have some of the biggest impact of all on motivating behavior, because people inherently want to be productive human beings and for their life to have some ultimate significance. This concept was best portrayed by Victor Frankl, the Holocaust survivor who wrote In Search of Meaning, and it is the basis of logotherapy, which has been shown to help sufferers of terminal illnesses better cope with the remainder of their lives.

When people at work feel that they have no chance to succeed, they may cease to find meaning in their efforts. This can lead them to decrease their engagement at work instead of going all out to prove themselves. As the Wall Street Journal noted in a recent article, this is what happens when golfers compete with extremely superior rivals like Tiger Woods, and they just “cave.”

Why this de-motivational reaction from people who care about doing their best?

From an IT perspective, this is like an Integrated Definition Function Model (IDEF 0) that examines input, process, output, and outcome: When loss is viewed as a predestined outcome, the process is seen as meaningless, and the input therefore as wasted. In the face of meaninglessness, people recoil to save their energy for something they feel that they can really have a shot at, rather than invest in something that they see as going nowhere.

If the above is true, then, why do some people “fight to the death” when their “backs are against the wall”?

My grandfather used to say, “Where there is life, there is hope.” Some people are able to confront what seem like insurmountable obstacles, and fight their way forward anyway.

This is the core theme of the “Rocky” character and the incredible success of the movie series. In every movie, Rocky represents the determination to succeed against all odds.

I believe that the essence of life is the search for an opportunity to make a meaningful difference, and when one is able to make a difference, that is inherently motivating. (And so of course, the opposite is true.)

So if you are a leader, and your employees are demoralized, how can you engage them so that they feel like their work makes a real and significant difference? Here are ways that work:

  • Visualize the end-state: Articulate for people a compelling vision and a clear set of goals as well as why they are important.
  • Take an incremental approach: Show people an incremental path forward; small wins can add up to big success.
  • Focus on the customer: Look together at positive downstream effects of their work on their customers (and other stakeholders).
  • Make use of their work products: No one wants to build “shelfware.” Demonstrate that you really do appreciate their efforts by actually using the work they generate.
  • Be a mensch: Treat people according to the Golden Rule; for example, it’s really a small thing to say “please,” “thank you,” ad even an occasional “how are you today?” By treating people with respect, you show that they are valued personally and professionally.

As a leader, what better way to motivate and drive personal and organizational success then to provide genuine opportunity to contribute of ourselves in a meaningful way, in a way where our efforts have an impact, are valued and valuable, and where everyone can succeed.


Share/Save/Bookmark