Today marks the 10th anniversary of my brothers death and as you can imagine I have been giving this a great deal of thought over the last week. In thinking about him and reminding myself of the pleasure he brought to my families life I reflected on this loss and what it has done for me in my personal life and also in my career.
The one thing that rings true for me is the common phrase "PERSPECTIVE". Any of you who have been through a tragedy will be able to understand the impact it has on you. You start to see things differently, you ignore distractions that in the past tended to worry you. You focus on the things that you feel are more important.....like family, like friends, like living!
After my brothers death my whole outlook changed. I decided to not be constrained by the way others thought, nor be tied down to normal social conventions, like having to do your time in the workforce before you could climb the corporate ladder.....that to me was so far from reality!
Three years ago I had another life changing experience and the honour of being able to walk the ground of Banda Aceh after the Asian tsunami where numerous thousands were killed and 600,000 locals were displaced.
Why it was an honour was what I took out of my time there. For instance I visited a school on the eastern side of the province and walked into a local school. Through the thick Indonesian accent of the school principal I was able to interpret that 65% of these children, ages 6 to 12, had lost parents to the tsunami. Whilst it was sad to hear this, these children lifted my spirits with their compassion,generosity and sense of fun. This is REAL perspective!
The Challenge for Business today.
The challenge businesses have when building their corporate culture is to generate a real experience of perspective. Giving employees an opportunity to share something out of the ordinary, something that galvanises them together, so when their corporate world becomes tough (or seems to be tough) they can learn from their perspective experience to get through it and be successful.
In the corporate world I have seen cultures out of control who have lost all perspective. Things that shouldn't worry them do. They are tied up in detail that at the end of the day, when they stand back and assess it, has very little if anything to do with them achieving their goals. Some companies don't value perspective as much as they should!
A corporate culture full of perspective will provide a level of return that no "love in" at a cruisy resort will be able to do. The challenge is finding the challenge! Perhaps its handing food out on a cold winters night to disadvantaged people on the streets of your city. Perhaps it's visiting an orphanage. Perhaps its spending time at a hospital with cancer patients. What ever it is, part of your corporate strategy should focus on generating experiences of perspective!
Finally, to my brother Andrew. Although gone never forgotten. Thank you for the positive impact you have had on my life, both in the past and now in the present. You are always in my thoughts...and will continue to be.
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