Tag Archives: Quotations

9-11: Hope and Healing

Tribute lights representing the World Trade Center in New York City (photograph by DiGitAL Gold)

As I write this, ceremonies are underway marking the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Former New York Mayor, Rudy Guiliani, is reading from Ecclesiastes:

To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under heaven;
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time plant and a time to reap;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up …

It strikes me that after tragic events — whether in the life of an individual, or an organization, or of a society — there are moments that occur and images that are created which serve as symbols of hope and vehicles of healing.  So often, these images aren’t spurred by leaders, but by “ordinary” people.  Here are a few examples:

The Power of Images: Raising the Flag

For the Greatest Generation, after coming through the rigors of World War II, there was perhaps no greater symbol of resolve and triumph than the iconic photo showing the Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima.

For the 9-11 generation, there is perhaps no greater symbol of the hope of tomorrow and the resolve to rebuild than the photograph of firemen raising a flag amidst the ashes of a still-smoldering Ground Zero — eerily reminiscent, as it was, of both the Iwo Jima photo as well as Francis Scott Key‘s immortal words:

Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

(photograph by Thomas E. Franklin, The Bergen Record)

One of the beauties of baseball is that, like life, you get the chance to try again tomorrow.  In a very powerful way, baseball helped the people of New York find some measure of hope and healing in the days after 9-11.  On September 21, 2001, the New York Mets were scheduled to play the Atlanta Braves in the first Continue reading

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You Twitter? Really?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I have a confession to make.  I’ve recently become a twitterer.  It’s true.  I never thought it would happen to me — but it has … and I’m loving it! Even more amazingly, I’ve found that I’ve become somewhat of a Twitter “evangelist” — spreading the good word about Twitter to professional friends and colleagues far and wide. (Life has a way of surprising you sometimes, doesn’t it?!?).

Preconceived Notions

It turns out that preconceived notions are, well, preconceived notions.  When I first heard about this thing called “Twitter,” I thought it was just about the shallowest, most useless thing I could imagine.  I mean, really, who could possibly be interested in getting minute-by-minute updates on the doings of their favorite celebrities — where they had lunched, if they just took the dog for a walk, etc.?  It’s true: Twitter does have a huge number of fans who use it for this purpose (which I still think is one of the silliest things going).

Continue reading

My Boss Is A Mensch: A Rare Gift, Indeed

Bosses From Hell

I fully sympathize with those who are forced to work for”bosses from hell.”  In my HR role, I do my best to help organizations weed out these bad-actors as quickly as possible (for any number of legal reasons, to say nothing of the damage these folks wreck on the people who are subjected to them).  In fact, this was one of the primary reasons that I got into HR in the first place — seeing the impact that bosses with unrestrained egos and boorish temperments had on family members and friends subjected to their whims.

This Isn’t About That

This isn’t about any of that, though, as I’ve always been fortunate to work for good people   Continue reading

JFK Quote on “Happiness”: Does HR Strive to Create “Happiness”?

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy was quoted as saying, “Happiness is the full use of your talents along lines of excellence.” According to this definition, is it fair to suggest that HR’s purpose is to create “happiness” for employees?

Common View of HR in the Organization

Depending on the organization, HR is often considered as something just short of “evil” (think Catbert from the Dilbert cartoon).  For further evidence of this, think of Michael Scott’s relationship with Toby the HR guy in “The Office” (quotes such as “You suck the life out of everything you touch” come readily to mind).  In these offices, the notion of HR as having anything remotely to do with “happiness” (by any definition) would be laughable.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are those organizations where HR is thought of as the “party people”  Continue reading