First of all let me say that as good as the following are, these things are not what Christmas is about.
4. Santa Claus
8. Food and Drink
9. Snow, sleighs, bells, tinsel or even trees
10. World peace…..
All these are great, and fun, and good for the world but there is one thing missing, the reason for the day in the first place.
The day recognizes the birth of Jesus, son of Mary and step son of Joseph. I do believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Although December 25 is not the actual day of the birth of Jesus, it is as good a day as any to celebrate that about 2010 years ago, Jesus was born on earth and the world will never be the same again.
His birth is just a small part of the story, he went on to comfort the hurting and the broken, heal the sick and even raise the dead. He forgave “sinners” the people who broke the rules of the day. Outcasts of society, prostitutes and thieves where his friends. Ultimately He even took our faults and failures upon Himself and became a sacrifice once and for all that we no longer need to face an eternity with our problems.
His resurrection gave us hope that one day we too will be whole, clean and well, just as we all were supposed to be.
Even today Jesus is with you, whether you “feel it” or not, whether you accept Him or not is up to you, I will not, and cannot, force you to believe because that decision is yours alone to make. All I can ask is that you look into this season, Christmas, and take time to find out what it is about, ask yourself “what is my response to it”?.
Read the parts of the bible called the gospels especially Luke and John, to find out more. Choose a version that is easily understood by you. Be open, take some time this Christmas to find out more.
(this is an updated re-post of a previous article of mine on 24 Dec 2009
This presentation was given as part of the BNZ Business Seminar Series organised by the School of Business , University of Otago 10 August 2010.
The background was set by an explanation that all international commerce could be traced back to King Henry VIII. He then traced the history of economic development from then to the present (as a brief overview). White suggests that we should take a macro look at the history of economics and economic development and not just take an arbitrary date that will support the current thinking.
White went on to discuss the Trade Aid charter explaining the three areas of partnership, change and sustainability.
“Globalization is very poor at growing wealth” and “free trade has not delivered growth, stability and equality”.
“I don’t want nice words, I want an order” White quotes a Bangladeshi women after he gave a presentation on trade in a town in Bangladesh.
“The status quo is not good enough for 80 percent of the world”
“The future of the fair trade movement is in the domestic market”. This is in the producing countries overseas and in New Zealand. With the decline of globalization, small and medium enterprises are ideally suited to service the domestic market that they are based in, e.g. local seasonal food produced for a local market.
To measure the impact of fair trade we need to make sure that success is measured in the eyes of the community that is being assessed and not imposing a “western” standard that would be unobtainable. “An iron shed is luxury compared to a mud hut” yet to a first world economy observer it would be still an iron shed. Mediocrity to one person is excellence to another. It is not for us to judge the other, especially if we do not know all of the circumstances of the other.
Are free trade agreements always good? Often the free trade agreements can include “hooks” that could affect, not just business but may impose a colonial style approach to education, health, and welfare. Each agreement needs to be looked at not just from an economic perspective but from a holistic societal and sovereign view. Is short-term gain ever worth long-term loss? Some doubt and suspicion is required to ensure that own interests are protected, this includes the sale of land to overseas interests.
A further question to be asked is: Sustainable for who? Are all parties to any trade being treated in a way that is beneficial for all?
Overall this was an excellent presentation and the fact that the audience was left with questions will help in applying due diligence to all trade practices.
To me, this video sums up the essence of what it means to be a great coach or role model, it is a “must see” for any aspiring leaders.
Only recently have I discovered John Wooden and all to late as he passed away 4 June 2010 at the great age of 99. (May he rest in peace).
Let me encourage you to study his Pyramid of Success.
To hold leaders and leadership in too high regard will lead to disappointment.
What happens when egocentric leaders meet needy people? Potentially a train wreck of use and abuse on all levels. When a self serving person is in a leadership position they are in a dangerous place and the emotional, spiritual and physical well-being of the followers are at risk. The leader will do all within them to protect their position because their ego and self-esteem have been tied together with the position.
The danger that is faced is not just for the follower, the leader is building a folly for themselves that will (not could) fall down at any stage.
The follower with low self-esteem or is wanting constant approval will be encouraged by the egocentric leader to do more, give more, give up more, not for the purpose of the organisation but because it gives a sense of having people serve them, it is all about power and control. Then needy follower will feel that they are being “useful” or “important” without being encourage to improve their own lives or situations.
This is all done in very subtle ways where even the leader may not be aware of what is going on.
So what can be done to protect the follower and inform the leader that they need help too?
- Remember that the cause, purpose or vision is bigger than you (well at least it should be).
- It is not about power and glory: You are in the position because there is a need in the community that requires attention or fixing.
- Get help, to change an egocentric lifestyle or leadership style will require the assistance of others, may be even professional help.
- Swallow your pride
- If you need to resign, or step down while you get it sorted, do it
- Become accountable to someone outside of your organisation
- You need assistance too, again this may need to be professional assistance
- Talk to friends and family not attached to the organisation, ask for their honest opinions and LISTEN to them
- Take a big step and say “no”.
- Learn where your boundaries are and where they should be
- Take time out for yourself, and don’t feel guilty about it
- Know this: YOU are important, YOU matter, and YOUR opinions count
Getting your priorities in order is individual and although people may suggest what they should be, only the individual should organise their own.
Good leadership will always respect the individual, embrace the different opinions of others, it will respect boundaries while challenging the status quo.