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HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR ALICE Herz-Sommer: “I LOOK WHERE IT’S GOOD”

A FEW PRECIOUS MINUTES WITH HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR ALICE: “I LOOK WHERE IT’S GOOD”

 

More WONDERFULNESS with Alice Herz-Sommer, the 109-year old HOLOCAUST survivor, who shares her OPTIMISTIC philosophy of life.

Here’s an interview with Anthony Robbins — and it’s a little treasure: we can hear Alice talk about her ideas, and philosophy of life; there are archival photos of the Holocaust years, and Alice as a younger woman. We can also see Alice playing piano.

Alice survived the concentration camps through her music, her optimism and her gratitude for the small things that came her way – a smile, a kind word, the sun. When asked about the secret of her longevity, Alice says: “I look where it is good.”

This film is life-affirming in its deepest meaning.

Life is short. It’s a gift. Remember what’s of value.

To cherish life, to be loved. And mostly: To have love in your heart. 

Teaching moments from the Winter Olympics by Hank Berkowitz

Teaching moments from the Winter Olympics by Hank Berkowitz 

2014 team canada hockey captain

Like many of us, you probably can’t tell the difference between a Double Lutz and a Triple Toe Loop. But, I’m sure you can tell the difference between a great team effort and a great team meltdown as the American men’s and women’s Olympic hockey teams demonstrated so painfully this weekend in Sochi, Russia. 
Granted, both teams lost to superior opponents. But, the way they went down in defeat was UNACCEPTABLE. As men’s team captain Zach Parise admitted: “We got outplayed. We didn’t deserve to win. I’m kind of embarrassed where we’re at now.” Zach, so are we.

If you have young people working for you, or if you’re the parent (or grandparent) of young athletes, please make sure they understand that “USA” stands for the United States of America—not “Uninspired Sports Association.” 

Lesson No. 1

Let’s start with the women. With four minutes left in the gold medal game against Canada, they had a comfortable 2-0 lead which they worked very hard to earn. But, instead of staying focused till the final buzzer and running down the clock, they started thinking about how they’d look on the podium with gold medals around their necks and a worldwide audience watching them sing the Star Spangled Banner with tears in their eyes. A dumb penalty here, a bad bounce there. Next thing you know, the indefatigable Canadians tied up the game in regulation and scored again eight minutes into the overtime period to claim the top spot on the tear-filled medal podium. 

Lesson: No matter how strong, skilled and experienced your competitors, when you have them on the ropes, you don’t ever let up. Don’t let them into your market when you’ve worked so hard to carve out your niche. Don’t ever let them steal your best clients or employees, and don’t ever think you’ve got the Big Market, Big Contract or Big Client locked up until the ink has truly dried on the contract. 

 

Lesson No. 2

Now, on to the men. Unlike the women, the men’s team is composed of highly paid NHL professionals. They lost a tense 1-0 semifinal game on Friday to the eventual champions, Canada. But, instead of showing some pride in the bronze medal game against Finland, they’d played like an amateur team that had already packed its gear and checked out of Sochi. Their uninspired 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the highly motivated Finns sent the U.S. hockey program home medal-less and back to the proverbial drawing board. 

Lesson: You’re never as good or as talented as you think you are and you never underestimate or disrespect your competition. You’re not always going to land the Big Contract, Big Client or Big Speaking Gig that you worked so hard to get. But, when the next opportunity comes around, you can’t waste time lamenting “the one that got away;“ you have to be ready to land the next one.



Conclusion



Congrats to Finland and Canada (twice) for winning with class and for putting their big contracts and Stanley Cup aspirations on hold to represent their countries with pride. That’s what the Olympics is all about.

Needs: What’s Real & What’s Aspirational by Dr. Bill DeMarco

Dr. Bill DeMarco

Values, History and Folklore, are the core elements of culture at a point in time.  They are our link to our personal past…handed down to us by all those who came before us. This is true of our ethnic culture, our tribal culture, our national culture, our religious culture, and our personal culture, to name just a few.   Since we are the link to our past, we are caretakers of something precious as we hand it down to future generations.  Since culture is a living thing, it does change over time, but ever so slowly.  Just think about it; there is some behavioral mannerism, belief, perception that you got from an ancestor who lived a hundred or many hundreds of years ago.  To use a modern expression, “You are Connected”.  There really is nothing new under the sun, other than our choice of what we will do with our cultural inheritance.  Since culture is a living phenomenon, we will make our choices and then pass the culture on to future generations, along with our contributions.  That is the way it is and that is the way it will continue to be.

Image 1: DeMarco Culture Model

© 2003 Dr. Bill DeMarco

All of this gets us back to our discussion of Values.   I described Values as “the unique blend of perceived NeedsBeliefs, and Attitudes that live in the behaviour of most members of a society”.   Needs are one of three segments of the Values element of my Culture Model (Image 1).  Needs, along with Beliefs and Attitudes, taken separately and in their interaction, make up our unique Values proposition.

Within a cultural context, Needs are similar to what Abraham Maslow (Image 2) describes as the fundamental requirements for survival, safety and belonging. They have everything to do with the necessities of the human condition, and nothing to do with a luxury car in the garage, a kitchen with granite counter tops, and two weeks in Saint Kitts! The latter, at the extreme end, has more to do with our image of “Esteem”.

 

 

Image 2: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

 

 

Maslow’s work linked Needs to motivation.  While his groundbreaking work is still challenged by some, I find his conclusions compelling.  Satisfying individual and group needs at the three basic levels in the above image greatly facilitates our ability to incorporate our Beliefs into our Values system. Remember I wrote earlier that if we want to know what our real values are, look at our behaviour and not our words.  There is a strong link between our ability to survive and our ability to put our Beliefs into action.

 

Here is a simple exercise that can help identify our real personal needs. It involves reading and reflecting on the bottom three categories of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Image 2).  Then make a list of what those Needs look like in your life.  Put that under a category labeled “Needs”.  Everything else that comes to mind, put under a category labeled “Wants”.  There is nothing wrong with “Wants”…Just don’t confuse the two!

 

Meaningful reflections!

 

Dr. Bill DeMarco

 

Be your own story – Lugen Family Office

Your only job in life is to be the best that you can be

Have the Vision to Imagine it

There’s a difference between interest and commitment

 

There’s a difference between interest and commitment

Margaret Heffernan: The dangers of “willful blindness”

Margaret Heffernan: The dangers of “willful blindness”

 

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Gayla Benefield was just doing her job — until she uncovered an awful secret about her hometown that meant its mortality rate was 80 times higher than anywhere else in the U.S. But when she tried to tell people about it, she learned an even more shocking truth: People didn’t want to know. In a talk that’s part history lesson, part call-to-action, Margaret Heffernan demonstrates the danger of “willful blindness” and praises ordinary people like Benefield who are willing to speak up. (Filmed at TEDxDanubia.)

The former CEO of five businesses, Margaret Heffernan explores the all-too-human thought patterns — like conflict avoidance and selective blindness — that lead managers and organizations astray.

WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HER?

How do organizations think? In her book, Willful Blindness, Margaret Heffernan examines why businesses and the people who run them often ignore the obvious — with consequences as dire as the global financial crisis and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Heffernan’s third book, Willful Blindness was shortlisted for the Financial Times/GoldmanSachs Best Business Book award in 2011.

Margaret Heffernan began her career in television production, building a track record at the BBC before going on to run the film and television producer trade association, IPPA. In the United States, Heffernan became a serial entrepreneur and CEO in the wild early days of web business and was named one of the Internet’s Top 100 by Silicon Alley Reporter in 1999.

In addition to writing books, Heffernan blogs for the Huffington Post and BNET.com and is a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Simmons College in Boston and the Executive in Residence at Babson College.

 

Be different to be irreplacable: Martin Boehm

Be different to be irreplacable: Martin Boehm

 

 

Martin shows us how to

“Be different to be irreplaceable.”

Eventually No One Will Feel Ostracized – Embracing Differences: Erika Gruidl

Eventually No One Will Feel Ostracized – Embracing Differences: Erika Gruidl

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See how one high school student created a team to overcome bureaucracy and life-long lessons in ignoring those with differences, causing a local school to step away from the exclusive mentality of high school and embrace the differences of six remarkable students. Special needs students that had been isolated in the school system became super stars at Livermore High. The change initiated in 2011 persisted with incoming Freshman, as the student body demonstrated to the younger students, who had not yet seen the Shooting Stars, ‘how to act with those with differences.’

Erika Gruidl, Founder of Shooting Stars, a cheer squad comprised of Special Needs students, speaks about the journey in creating a world where everyone feels welcomed. Erika loved performing as a varsity cheerleader for her school and believed Special Needs students deserved the chance to experience the same sort of joy. After initial resistance, the Shooting Stars were ultimately acknowledged, recognized and welcomed by the entire student body.