Dysfunctional Breeds Dysfunction

A colleague was telling me a while back about a dysfunctional organization they were in and how it made them feel…well, dysfunctional. 


I told them:

Never let the organization define you!  You are who you are. 


Honestly, I could see how this situation wore on them.


Then we met up again, and it was like they were a new person. 


I asked them what happened and they said how they made a change in their life and sure enough in a healthy setting and culture, they felt great again!


It’s incredible the negative impact that a bad organizational culture can have on its people. 


But it’s up to you to find the right place for you, so you can be who you are!  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Wash Hands, Don’t Touch Face

Everyone seems to be talking and concerned about the coronavirus.


Today, one of the people that clean the office told me to be careful and said:

Wash hands.  Don’t touch face!


Someone also questioned where fundamentally did this new killer virus come from:

Is this new virus really from eating exotic animals like they say or is it really something that escaped from a Chinese biological laboratory?

Since we are dealing with an origin of the virus that is from a Communist county that represses freedom of information, the Wall Street Journal raised doubts about the information we are getting:

As the outbreak was already under way, the local government did what Communist governments always do: cover up…[and even] China’s president cannot trust the information he is getting. The lack of trust mean he must make decisions in the dark. No institution can function effectively this way.


With coronavirus more contagious than even SARS or MERS, perhaps the most important immediate questions is how far and deep will it spread?


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Pyramid of Emotional Intelligence

I really like this Pyramid of Emotional Intelligence (EI). 


It starts at the bottom with your own personal self-awareness–knowing who you are, including your beliefs, values, priorities, needs, and dreams, and being able to express this. 


Next level is your personal self-control–being able to manage your feelings, control your actions, and cope with challenges and adversity. 


Moving to the social level is then social awareness–having a consciousness and respect of others, their feelings, thoughts, motivations, needs, desires, and rights.


Finally, at the top is relationship management–the ability to actively listen and empathize, assert and influence, be patience and unconditionally accept differences, develop trust, give and take, collaborate, and manage conflict.


Most people work on developing these areas of the EI their whole life, and it is definitely a pyramid worthy of the climb. 😉


(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

What’s Your Relationship?

This week I learned about the Three Levels of Relationships.


Level 3: Family/Friends

The highest form of a relationship where you are being authentic (i.e. yourself), you share deeply about yourself (thoughts, feelings, desires, mistakes, etc,) and you are vulnerable. 


Level 2: Professionals

The middle level of relationships in which you are seeking to build trust and respect, you share some information (i.e. appropriate), and you expose yourself a little to the other person. 


Level 1: Acquaintances

The most elementary of relationships that is superficial in nature, there is little personal sharing of information (i.e. mostly when you are asked a question and you feel comfortable answering it), and you remain guarded. 


This is a good way to assess your relationships–is it a level 1, 2, or 3 and are you behaving appropriately within that, so that you trust, communicate, and collaborate effectively.  😉


(Graphic Credit: Andy Blumenthal)

OMG, What A Beautiful Song

And Even In Hiding

By Yaakov Shwekey & Kobi Peretz

Even though I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death
I fear no evil
Because you are with me
Even behind the difficult things you are going through
I stand…I stand…I stand
Even in the place which is hidden, within that which is hidden
Surely, the blessed Hashem is found there too  

My heart and soul are uplifted by this beautiful song. 😉

UNDERpromise + OVERdeliver

Every manager is rightly taught to underpromise and overdeliver. 


It’s sound planning and good risk management to plan for contingencies–and certainly these do happen. 


Build in some buffer time and resources into your estimates, because reality bites and you need to have the ammunition to respond. 


My father used to tell me:

“A word is a word!”


When you say something, promise something, commit to something then that is it!”


To do otherwise is to have no honor, no character, and no fear of G-d. 


Similarly, when you overpromise and underdeliver, you fail yourself and your customers.


People commit time, resources, and faith in you, so you owe it to them to set realistic goals and plans to accomplish them.


To do otherwise, you risk damage to the longterm relationship, you hurt your credibility, and maybe most importantly, you hurt the chances of genuine progress. 


The philosophy that I believe works best is:  Be thoughtful. Be strategic. Be direct. Be honest.  


That’s what I would want from others and that’s also what I strive to be. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Beautiful Flowers

I just wanted to share these beautiful flowers. 


The colors and shapes are so amazing. 


It’s like you can see G-d’s amazing hand in creating these so intricately, delicately and with so much brilliance. 


There is comfort in His work and the life He has given.


I am grateful for each day to serve His purpose. 


Hope you enjoy the gorgeous flowers. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)