When All Is Said And Done

One rarely reaches the point of complete silence. Yet, there are times when all is said and done.

So, I have said – written – enough in this blog that kept my mind and spirit alive for several years.

I am at a stage where I’d rather listen than talk. So, reach out and talk to me… If my background fits your needs, let’s talk about it.  

Everybody Lies

You know… Everybody lies. Confess! You lie, too.

No? Really? Watch this:

Everybody lies – and you pretend it’s those white lies that you say so you don’t shock people, make them sad, angry, hurt or whatever. The excuse is always “the other people.” And occasionally, when you do speak the truth, you are accused of selfishness and self-absorption.

We are raised in what the authenticity guru Brené Brown calls a “scarcity culture,” where we are viewed as never enough. We are always afraid that others will see us as we see ourselves: not good enough. So, we think we have to play “nice.”  Adrienne Rich adds: “In lying to others we end up lying to ourselves. We deny the importance of an event, or a person, and thus deprive ourselves of a part of our lives. Or we use one piece of the past or present to screen out another. Thus we lose faith even within our own lives.”

And then there is integrity, morality, ethics, honesty and all that “good stuff.” And is there a “should?”

“The word ‘should’ in our internal narratives is very toxic – elegantly articulates Maria Popova.  This notion of, “what should I be doing?” is always pegged to some sort of expectation, whether it’s self-imposed or external or a combination of the two. It’s hard to balance those expectations of what you should be doing with what you want to be doing.”

So, in the end ask yourself what do you really want to be doing? Your truth, your lie…

Moral dilemma

Would you kill an innocent man to save 5 lives? Is it ever moral to kill someone?

What would YOU do if…

You are standing on a bridge next to a large man.

You look down and see an out of control bus speeding towards a group of five people.

If you push the guy next to you off the bridge onto the road below, his fall will stop the bus.

He will die, but the five others will be saved.

Would you do it?

Logic or emotion? Ethical or the perception of ethics and morality?

Research shows that choosing not to push the man off the bridge created the most trusting impression on others. Those who did choose to push the man off the bridge, but only after finding the decision difficult, were trusted more than those who found the decision easy. In a sense it’s all about our fear to be disliked – a popularity contest.

Just like lying… Yes, I know. YOU never lie…right? (yeah, right:-) As I have written in an older post: “…the exercise was not a morality test but an experiment in getting out of your comfort zone, listening, being bold…”

In the end, are we all terrible people?!…Take this poll to see how your answers to these classic moral dilemmas compare to everyone else’s.

And do have the guts, to share your results and comment.

International Women’s Day 2018

Woke up to International Women’s Day today with loud messages about strong call-to-action to #PressforProgress and gender parity.

But know what? It pisses me off we are still discussing parity and equality, gender gap progress, quotas, etc.

I fight for my own rights and I need no defender, protector, husband or boss to help me get to my rightful place. No government, legal framework or covenant will alter my position unless I (with a capital and bold I) choose to speak up, move, mark my ground.

I know I am biased and a Westerner. I am lucky to have been born a European and my childhood was not plagued by famine, war, genocide, religious prosecution or violence. My opportunities were “kinda” equal in the environment I grew up in. I took lots of chances and risks and made my choices within the latitude of a society that is more paternalistic than what my liberal nature would like. But life’s a bitch always. We all strive to make the best out of what we are given – and we fight, and move along chasing our dreams, listening to the silent drum beat that we hear on our life journey.

Yet it’s complicated. Decades after the feminist rallies of Gloria Steinem and Simone de Beauvoir and women are still confused about their roles, parental obligations, ” wifely stuff” and their careers. And perhaps it does have something to do with what the feminist journalist Anne Taylor Fleming called “the two out of three rule”—where “a woman can have only two out of three big pieces of life: love, work, children” (from her book Motherhood Deferred, p. 84).

And the data is staggering. Some national studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.

The Global Gender Gap Report shows that the gap is widening, so there desperately needs to be new ways of thinking if the world is to close the gender gap. “Progress is regressing and moving backwards. Instead of taking 170 years to close the gap at the current rate of progress, it is estimated that gender parity across the world will take over two centuries, 217 years to be exact.”

Ernst & Young back in 2015 created EY Women to explore women in business. In their recent report they identified 5 “gap” areas where corporations and business leadership need to work on:

1. The reality disconnect: Business leaders assume the issue is nearly solved despite little progress within their own companies.
2. The data disconnect: Companies don’t effectively measure how well women
are progressing through the workforce and into senior leadership.
3. The pipeline disconnect: Organizations aren’t creating pipelines for future
female leaders.
4. The perception and perspective disconnect: Men and women don’t see
the issue the same way.
5. The progress disconnect: Different sectors agree on the value of diversity
but are making uneven progress toward gender parity.

I agree and… I disagree. I have (white) men clients who face similar challenges with their development and career advancement. The problem is not a woman’s but a people issue. People – men and women – get marginalized, stuck, labeled, stereotyped and anything in between you can imagine.

Our humanity and sense of justice and parity does not equally apply to blacks, Muslims, gays, transgenders, refugees and anyone who is different from us. It’s only human nature. Not an excuse; just an observation. 

So, we fight. We do not hesitate. We move on all of us, women, men… Earthlings…and we all account to our own personal deity for the kind of decent or indecent human we choose to be.

When To Divorce Your Client (or Your Boss)

I tried. And tried again. – And then, I finally divorced (yes, I fired) my client.

Like any other personal relationship, a good client relationship is built on mutual respect, and trust — and it has to work both ways. If your clients don’t respect you as an expert or as a person, they may undermine first your work but eventually they will hurt their own prospects.

Yes, it’s subjective. While everyone has his or her own definition for reasonable and unreasonable behavior, we all run across clients (or bosses) who simply think they know better even though they hired you for your expertise in the first place. Perhaps they question, second guess and revise your work beyond all recognition. Or, while they don’t listen to your input and advice in the first place, they then expect you to fix everything after things go wrong.

There’s no amount of money that makes a toxic relationship worth pursuing. Mutual respect is the cornerstone and foundation of any connection. So what if your client/boss has loose morality or treats people poorly? You coach, mentor, advise and yet you hit the wall of denial.

Men with Pens’ James Chartrand, in 11 Tips on How to End a Client Relationship, advises, “Be calm. Never be hostile, attack a client, or write a flaming goodbye. Be understanding. You’re splitting up for you, so be sympathetic that ending a relationship is no easier for the client.”

Ultimately, the decision to break a relationship with a client is not an easy one to make. It shouldn’t be a quick decision nor should it be based on isolated incidents. But, if the above problems are recurring and you can handle the temporary loss in revenue, you shouldn’t be afraid to let go of these toxic relationships to make room for clients that will help your company grow in the long run.

Like Anna Holmes said when she was asked about what made her successful: “Speak your mind. Be a pain in the ass when necessary. Believe that your voice has value. Indulge yours and others’ curiosity.”

So… Get up…Go away…Leave the stage… After all, to make room for more impactful, productive and satisfying engagements, you have to be willing to let go of the ones that are holding you back.

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