Mahatma Gandhi said “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
2016 represents my 38th year of employment and this week is my first anniversary of working for Curium. Rather scarily, I have been working for longer than many of my dear colleagues have existed on this earth, however, I have never felt more professionally content or integral to the team with whom I work.
My working life has been spent as an employee at all levels, a self employed contractor, an interim manager and most recently as an employed consultant. I have spent time in a wide range of industries and organisations and the one consistent feature is that every where I have worked has had a published set of core values. Of course the degree to which these values are fully embraced and practiced by everyone in each business is variable within each company and across industries. Unsurprisingly those who do, are fully engaged with their organisations values and are immeasurably happier than those who do not feel the same connection.
Adhering to or focusing on core values should not be an arduous ordeal because if they matter to the brand, your customers and your people it ought to be the most normal thing in the world.
This was demonstrated to me quite vividly on a recent holiday I had with my wife and our youngest son in Krakow, Poland.
Whilst spending time in this beautiful city, and if you haven’t been it is worth a visit, we took the opportunity to visit Auschwitz and Birkenau. Like all visitors we found this visit a little disturbing because although we had a knowledge of the atrocities which took place from various sources and mediums, when you physically enter this environment and hear the stories retold the impact is genuinely harrowing.
We were in a group of around 15 visitors and our guide was a lady called Oleta. For the three hours we spent visiting the 2 sites we were all captivated and horrified as she told us stories of the evil events which took place, in the building or cell in which we were currently stood.
When the tour finished I thanked her for the passion and feeling with which she was able to deliver the stories to us, and asked how she was able to do this repeatedly without losing any of the essential resonance which we had experienced. Oleta explained to me that she had been a tour guide at Auschwitz and Birkenau for 12 years, leading groups around the sites every day and during the summer months, two groups a day. She said she felt accountable for educating every visitor about the history of these sites since this was the best contribution to humanity she could make to ensure these events should never happen again.
Her individual values were undoubtedly powerful and heartfelt. Oleta stressed to me that “I love my job; it is the best job in the world because every day I get the chance to positively impact peoples lives”. I can personally vouch for this being successfully delivered to my family and the tour group of which were part.