The Magic of Love …


On my way to pick up my mail, I noticed a school bus driving down my street, two young children stepped off the bus and were greeted by their mom. She picked them up and gave them an unbelievable hug that only a mom can give. A hug saturated with pure raw love for her children. She then took her son and started playing with him, rolling around on the grass, while on her back, she lifting him on her feet as though he were an airplane or Superman and then proceeded to do the same with her other child. She continued to play with both, chatting and laughing with them, both children talked to her at the same time and somehow magically she managed to talk to both of them patiently without shushing either one – it was a scene from Mom’s heaven!! She then stood up, adjusted their clothes from all the playing and took each one by the hand and headed home. Once out of sight, the scene stayed vividly in my mind.

You may ask what is so special about this, most, if not all moms do the same thing. For some reason this scene hit me deeply. The following day, it happened all over again, with my direct line of vision to the bus – the mom, the school bus, the two children, the hugs, the rolling in the grass, more play time, the chatting patiently, and the final walk home. She does this every day!

I could not help but think I should walk over and tell her how much I admire what she does with her children but then I realized I might only spoil the purity of their moment. 

When I was working full time, I did not spend much time observing a mom’s love in action. Too “busy” to enjoy these precious moments – work should never be in the way of these experiences. Now with the luxury of owning my time, I am able to observe and live these special moments of a real mom with her two children, giving them what not only children, but all of us need – unconditional love.  For some reason, some  people cringe when the subject of love comes up, they may think it is too personal or too committing, but it’s not, love is all about unconditional giving, something that seem to come natural to moms.

It made me realize and become more aware of the unconditional love my mom gave me. As a child, she lovingly spread Vapor Vicks on my chest at the slightest sign of a cough, and comforted me with loving words. She always gave my siblings and me her undivided attention, she patiently listened to our silly stories, and there were real doozies!

All the moms I know do some form of this in one way or another; they unlock the gates of their hearts for their children and become capable of doing the impossible! 

I really believe if ‘we’, the people of the world unleash the power of our hearts on today’s challenges, we will have a world we all want!  Such is the magic of love!     We really ought to try it, let our guards down, unleash the power of love, and that will fuel any great thoughts that we may have for making our world a better place for all!

So rather than talk to my neighbour, I decided to share these beautiful moments, moments that add love, hope and optimism to my life and I hope it does the same for you.   When you look at the world with your heart, life can take on an entire new path of comfort, calm and gentleness.  I dare say that a future in the hands of children grown up with so much love is indeed a bright future. Our world needs more loving moms so I dedicate these words to all the moms of the world!   I salute you with love❤️

To Mom With Love …


Nothing in life prepares you for the loss of your mom… My beautiful mom passed away peacefully, in Gaza, but she will live on in my heart till we meet again… she was a woman of style, beauty, warmth, spirituality and unconditional love.   she was a woman of the world, generous, loved music, song and flowers … she was my backbone & of our family, independent & strong for others…
She made me feel very young with her love, humorous wit and youthful spirit …

She was an incredible mum – my refuge when my aching heart needed healing … she’ll certainly be missed but she now lives in my heart for good…

I will miss you, mom, enormously… rest in peace sweet mom 🙏… These were the first words I wrote after getting the news of the passing away of my mom, few days ago …

As the loss of my mom sinks in, I am realizing that everything I own means very little or nothing … I realized I just lost the most precious thing in my life … and although life will go on, as it should, a new perspective begins to shape the rest of my life … mom till the end was always optimistic, she saw love in everything & everyone – one sure thing she gave me is unconditional love and tons of it & that will shape whatever days left for me on this planet … People around me are often surprised if not suspicious of my optimism but it’s real, a gene I inherited from my mom to which I’m eternally grateful…

I’m lucky to have had the chance to cross a war zone and see her recently and we spent a fabulous month together going to Gaza beach, eating Shawarma & Falafel sandwiches, ice cream and watching Gaza colourful city lights … my father left us, a wealth to eat the most expensive meal in the world but my mom & I enjoyed the least expensive sandwiches, Falafel, the main staple sandwich of the poor. … but watching my fashionable mom eat Falafel, transforms it to Falafel chic … but as all good things must end, leaving her behind as we said our goodbyes for the last time, was then the most painful act of my life 😢… I had enough life in me to tell her, this deep pain we both feel is equal the depth of our love but with time, the pain will lift but the love will remain…

She loved fashion, design and perfumes, I used to get a kick out of her gentle remarks re my challenged choices of shirts and matching pants & shoes, always softly & with love… She’s as comfortable with royals as with servants, but always grounded in reality and helping others…

I will end this blog with a song, my mom loved to sing, and she could hold a tune beautifully, a gene I did not inherit, a woman of so much talent, I’m lucky to inherent some of them but the greatest gift she gave me and taught me is to forgive more, take less, give more and above all love more every day…

So, till we meet again, but not yet mom, I will honour your wishes of being a better man, every day, with love ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

Song by Marcel Khalifa: Titled Ommi (my Mom) .. you don’t need to understand Arabic to enjoy this delicate melody … (Mother I long for your bread and coffee …)

The Elegance of Decency …

mz-photoIn a world where the popularity of politicians, media and even religious institutions, are at an all time low, the need for basic human decency is at an all time high. Just when you’re ready to throw your arms up in frustration, sadness and helplessness, a gentle act of decency comes rushing to give you hope in your fellow human being.

Here is an example of decency in the most unlikely place. In the middle of madness, an Israeli solider shot a Palestinian child. The child was rushed to a Jewish hospital but could not be saved and died on the operating table.The Jewish doctor who tried to save the child approached the Palestinian parents and told them that a Jewish child in the hospital was fighting for his life and needed a heart and their son had the perfect match. The parents agreed to give their son’s heart to the little Jewish child who needed help. Here lives a Palestinian heart in a Jewish child. Decency won over vengeance and suddenly the world is bright again, positive again and hope lives on.

Last week, the reaction to the Quebec City Attack, by the people, the city, the province of Quebec, the Prime Minister, the people of Canada, and by the Islamic and greater Canadian community, is no less than a shining example to the world of humanity, solidarity, and grace 🙏. Thousands came out, no words of anger, vengeance but solidarity, togetherness and decency. This is the Canada I know and love ❤️.

Few miles to the south, we are watching the recent American politics with uneasiness and even helplessness, we are doubting ourselves as we can’t believe what we are hearing from the leaders of the world, the deteriorating language, which is moving to yet an all time low. Just as we are frustrated by the policies which seem to be driven by fear, divisiveness and some argue racism, hope, once again, comes to the rescue by no less than a Washington State Judge who blocked an executive order that is not consistent with the American constitution and values. It emphasized that no one, not even the President of the United States is above the law. That America is a country of laws, not of men. History is filled with destruction, injustice and madness caused by men who saw themselves above it all, above the law, and above basic human decency. Bravo to the millions of Americans who peacefully went out to the streets rejecting intolerance, prejudice and defending their Constitution and values. I’m reminded by my visit to the Statue Of Liberty and its inspiring massage ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” Emma Lazarus. Once again decency elegantly shows up.

Working together, violence and criminals must be dealt with by unleashing the full power of the law within the criminal justice system and not in the misguided politics of fear, racism and prejudice.

Decency brings opposite people together, it allows them to listen and learn and possibly bridges the divide, It makes it clear that there is no “them and us”, there is only us, and the sooner we all understand this, the better our world will be. Such is the heart and elegance of decency.

I have always believed that No one is as bad as their worst words, and no one is as good as their best words, we are all a work in progress and that gives me hope.
Namaste 🙏

To Grow, to Love and to Serve …

mz-photo The moment was electric, hair raising and emotional as three children 5, 7 and 9 followed by their parents were descending down the airport escalator, a culmination of almost a year of efforts to sponsor this Syrian “refugee” family. Two of the children had red hair, and the third had brown, they looked like any kid from Canada. They looked familiar, belonging and comfortable which made me question what I was expecting. Their arrival signified, at least for them, an end to the madness of war they left behind and a trigger to a new life. You could not help but feel the electric significance of the moment. You couldn’t help sense the joy, wonder and satisfaction by all the sponsors who showed up at the airport. They are finally here. We did it! We felt we saved a future, if not a life. The children and their parents looked happy, excited and puzzled, a new cocktail of emotions only they could experience.       Young Catherine, a 10 year old Italian Canadian was so visibly touched by the moment, holding my hand, she told me it’s so good to share part of your wealth. Bigger words than her age.

At any age, this was a transformative experience. I’m full of hope, wonder, and possibilities and thrilled that I can still be shocked, happy and excited all at the same time. I felt my life had a new meaning with unlimited potential and possibilities, like when you learn how to drive a car, a first date, or acing an exam. Once again life surprised me but this time it was less about me and more about being part of something bigger, I’m reborn, all the noise in my head is disappearing, the doubt diminishing and I’m comfy in my skin.   My skin, no doubt aging but its wrinkles no longer define me. I am free and I feel so good!  All because I gave a tiny fraction of my time to those who need it.  I was no longer at the centre of my own thoughts, others were and in return I got peace, hope and above all love.

I’m inspired again, not because I gained more wealth, not even because I got what I thought I wanted.   I realized every time I’m at the centre of my own thoughts I become less happy, more anxious and my mind is less settled.   I often wonder why are we born, maybe we are born to grow, to love and to serve…

The sponsors, who are old and new friends, are amazing people, they are contributing enormously to this experience, each in their own way, some are even learning Arabic, making sure this family not only survives, but succeeds and feel at home by exposing them to all things Canadian – Tim Horton’s, Senators hockey caps, apple picking, English lessons & soon skating:).  They are loving it, and more, these sponsors are doing all this with grace and elegance.   Being part of this group added so much meaning to my life and I am grateful to them all.

Well life is good! And once again my mind is calm, my heart is grateful and my spirit is high, at least for a while longer … Salaam 🙏

The Power of your Idea versus the Idea of your Power …

mz-photoOne of the few advantages of getting older is that you acquire a greater capacity to reflect, to look back and wonder how life is sculpting and shaping your thoughts and values. It seemed as we get older the years are not wasted as we continue to learn along the way and acquire insight, awareness and even wisdom.

In my personal and professional life, I found the journey of ‘power’ fascinating. What’s more fascinating is the conflict inherit in the power of your idea versus the idea of your power. As most people, I admit that I struggled with this concept and practice of power. Ultimately, power means having a perceived advantage over others, whether it’s economic, health, title, beauty, etc, and how it shapes one’s behaviour. On the surface, it seems like a ‘no brainer’ that the power of one’s idea should dominate one’s behaviour as opposed to the idea of power, or worse use other people’s power, like that of a boss or our moms & dads when were youngsters.

The reality of life’s demands, competing pressures and the ever-increasing pace of decision-making has tilted the playing field in favour of using one’s power in favour of taking the time to think through and explain the power of one’s idea. This comes at a huge cost to morale and engagement.

Of course, we are easily able to see the application of power especially when we are the object of its misuse. However, it is less clear when we are the one holding the gavel. When you are in a position of power the challenge is how do you use it? And, how do you know how not to abuse this advantage? These may seem like easy questions but, when the chips are down and timelines are tight, the temptation, conscious or not, to use power over the power of one’s idea is very real and often appears effective. Especially in the short term and therein lies the challenge.

Over the years, I learned that any time I used power (the power of my position or any advantage I may have had economic or otherwise) to get something done, although seemed effective in the short term, I almost always regretted it, in the long term. I paid for it by losing valuable professional support, loyalty and at times losing a valuable friendship. A huge price to pay for anything.

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of using the idea of your power rather than using the power of your ideas. The difference is that when you use the idea of your power, fear is what drives the movement, whereas when the power of the idea is used, hope is what drives the movement – leading in hope versus leading by fear. In business and organizational language, this translates to managing through values versus managing through a “title”. Using the big boss’s name to get things done is, more than anything, is to discount one’s ability to advance one’s ideas with a loss of credibility – “just do it, the boss wants it”. It’s a trap that often generates discontent. Ultimately, disengagement is a sure outcome.

Unfortunately, this happens at all levels. I have seen very senior and seasoned people use the power of the Minister, President or Deputy Minister to get something done, rather than simply explain their idea, why it’s required, what’s behind the request, explain its value and how it supports the mission. I was never amused!

When you use power or worse, use the “big Boss” to get something done-get it done, the boss wants it!-rather than respect your colleague’s intelligence & explain it, you may inadvertently signal that the idea has little content, lacks clarity and may result in a lack of sensitivity, respect and yes a lack of leadership.  Of course, there is a limit and a need for the positive application of organizational hierarchy (proper authorities, legal & otherwise) which maintains focus on the mission and, avoid distractions & optimize efforts to achieve goals. This requires strong leadership, demands experience & excellence from all.

Organizations and even families and friends need to be compliant with common shared values and ethics to maintain sustainable engagement, balance and harmony while moving forward – this is what I call the positive application of power.

The one meaningful piece of advice that has helped me when I’m in doubt, is to go back to these universal values – honesty, integrity, quality, humanity and respect. These values will shed light on how to navigate life’s journey and will help with the incredible amount of decisions that need to be made on a daily basis. These values will center and steady your feet in a world full of turbulence and surprises. You’ll be the rock that people seek, you’ll be original and above all you’ll be You and that’s all you need to be 🙏🏼

Positivity is Cool …

mz-photo I was asked to speak to a group of professionals on how positivity can be a driver for high performance – a subject I love, wrote about and most importantly lived. When I was young, I smiled often, a habit originating from my grandmother who always rewarded me for giving her a flower. This was a daily affair and a very happy business for young me to smile about. When my grandmother suddenly died, I lost my smile and told my mom that I would give back all the money she gave me if she woke up. My mom explained that my grandmother got much more happiness from my smile than from the flower. I wondered how a smile – something that cost nothing, was little effort and of which I had infinite supply could give my grandma and mom so much happiness. I gradually understood and ever since, my smile came back and has never left.

As I grew up, I realized that a smile has powerful impact on people and I now believe it is the inherent power of positive energy. It got me through my grandma’s death and many difficult moments throughout my life. Life has a tendency to take us back and forth from magnificent heights to inglorious lows. So having the power to navigate life’s ups and downs is critical to surviving the journey. But we need more than surviving; and a positive attitude is one of the ways we can all practice to not only help us through the difficult moments, but generate the positive energy that fills us up with strength, hope and generosity. Energy that will lift us up above our small selves and make us soar, and be part of life’s best.

In a world of negative news, personal confusion and imperfection, developing a positive attitude is a serious challenge. However, the choice before us is clear: Do we simply live a mere reflection of the life that is all around us or do we do more and try to shape it? No matter how tough, how unfair or unlucky life is, the choice must be to try to shape it. I believe we must try hard and sincerely be positive all the time, in all cases and without exception. I have no idea why people don’t even try to be positive! I grew up in a part of the world where there are overwhelming circumstances to be negative, depressed and hopeless, but I always felt that I had a choice to be positive and that is where I went because it made me feel better and stronger.

Every time I let negativity inside, especially when things don’t go my way, I feel unhappy, stressed and weaker. And worse, I become a downer for the people around me. Thank God it does not happen often and when it happens I turn it into a learning moment on positivity. I stay positive by lowering the heat around me, reducing the drama, stop making myself the centre of the issue and ensuring I’m part of a cause bigger than myself by lending a hand and giving back. This is not always easy and readily present in our consciousness but perseverance and practice makes perfect. Keep in mind what someone wise once said – all the water of the ocean can’t sink the smallest of boats until the water gets inside it. Likewise, all the negativity of the world can’t bring you down unless you allow it to get inside you.

There is considerably much research that highlights the health benefits of being positive. Benefits such as being happier, more content, and smarter. Yes positive people are relatively smarter with higher performance than negative ones, the research suggests. So, venture into the “all-knowing” Google and explore the cool world of positive energy.

In my experience when you focus on and enable the positivity in others you’ll discover the positivity inside yourself. Actually it’s one of the best ways to grow your positive energy and the corresponding quality of your life. That’s an awesome deal, don’t you think?!

If you find it difficult to kick start your positive journey, try meditation or yoga. Yoga works for me, it keeps me calm, centered and positive. Generally, I’m optimistic and some of my optimism comes from my environment, my family & friends who seem to be energized, refreshed and engaged when I share a warm smile, a positive thought, a happy song, or a simple act of kindness. If you have not done so, try it today and your life personally and professionally will change forever!

With love.

And Though The News Was Rather Sad …

mz-photoAfter my yoga practice, feeling zen, I warmed my leftover soup and sat in front of my TV to watch the 6pm news, a dated habit from days no longer with us replaced by a 24 hours news cycle. The news was rather sad – more violence, killings, conflicts, and questions with no answers! Being allergic to negativity, I wanted to switch the channel but decided to keep watching.

Pundits talk, give circular and at times contradictory analysis with little context.Pundits born in the US answering questions about China… Pundits who have never set foot in Egypt telling stories about Egypt. People who have never visited my hometown where I was born tell my story. I’m eager to hear locals tell their own stories about what is happening in their neighbourhoods, but there is less of that and more punditry.

My soup gets cold as my helplessness intensifies. My brain wonders what is happening to my world. Where are all the decent people? The response is more silence. Then I ask myself, what are you doing about it? My response is unsatisfactory more questions – am I so self-absorbed, am I no longer able to see and act beyond myself? I feel better as I give myself a pat on the back for having voted last year guided by my values. It’s a start! I am not fully pleased with this self-assessment, and happily allow myself to get more distracted by the TV.

TV commercials are on, winning my attention, pushing more stuff I don’t need. I, like many of you, have way more stuff than I need. The commercial ends, and more news emerges, political leaders speak, calling each other names, which I have not seen since high school. They are louder and more dogmatic than usual, they describe the world in black and white – bad (them) and good (us). Dogmas are defended in a mindless way, without any respect or serious consideration for the other side. Values such as justice, respect, even basic common decency are not only absent but considered boring and negative! A F-U language seems to draw more appeal, more hip, more excitement than gentle respectful words.

I wonder more and think to myself, “it seems that irrespective of the justice of your cause, if you are weak and helpless, you are F-ed, discounted, ignored, maybe allowed to scream and then renamed an agitator, and maybe even punished more for your agitation. Your cause is no longer the issue, your agitation becomes the issue.” No one seems to care about root causes anymore. The TV spits more sad news and describes a world overflowing with wealth yet the shadow of poverty is spreading faster than ever. Missing is an honest attempt at suggesting solutions, that recognize that we are all in this together, there is no ‘them’ and ‘us’. There is only us!

I finish my soup and now channel surf for something less dramatic, less depressing, and I find a light game show that reduces the heat of the news. I get a txt from a lovely friend asking how my day was and I quickly realize that it is not all bleak. I smile as I recall that my friends are wonderful, they are fair and just, they are generous and caring. None of them would hurt a fly and if I needed them, I know at least a few would be there for me as I would be there for them. In fact, I think I should tell them how great they are right now!

I lean back in my chair as the channel changes from game show to movie. I am now calm and relaxed, secure in the knowledge that the sun will rise again. My brain slows down, my eyelids get heavy and finally, comforted by the image of my beautiful friends, I surrender to a deep sleep dreaming of a better tomorrow, in a better world that is more hopeful for all of us.

The Power of a Smile …

mz-photoI belong to the early risers clan. A clan where it’s members have a certain unmistakable look. It’s that look that says “I could have slept a little more, but for reasons I don’t feel like talking about, I could not”. It’s a look that speaks loud and often amplifies or exaggerates a certain personality type. As human beings & social animals, we all try to hide the morning look by faking it a little with a smile. I believe even among the “nastiest” of us, there is a quota of “niceness” that we all have and often cash in some of it with that first morning smile.

Some of us are better than others in hiding that morning look with a smile, but the smile however powerful is all too often inadequate to mask the real character and feeling we have first thing in the morning.

Here is what I mean:

For people with a tendency to be less friendly, they have this “don’t even think about it look” with a grudging smile. They look like they are forcing their face to smile, it looks rather painful☹!” On the other end, for those who are hyper friendly, they have that happy almost goofy, boarder line annoying look; “ I am happy no matter what and will make sure you know it. Their smile although real seems too much for most morning people, but I will take it over the grudging smile:)

And then for those who are thinkers, they have this “I am friendly but please don’t bother me as I am trying to solve world problems” look. Their smile looks more like a mechanical facial technique that is well thought out to use minimum energy and to ward off friendly people without offending them. Sort of a technical smile. It falls somewhere between the grudging and the goofy smiles.

Then of course the “important” people look, I am not referring to a level here; otherwise this could be a career opportunities limiting blog, I am referring to people , irrespective of their level, who feel important for whatever reason, real or imagined, they have this important smile, not too strong , not too soft, borderline Royal!

Then there is the rushed smile that comes with that rushed look, it says: I am good, I am friendly but I am rushed and I have my smile on the move for you. Often it demands a continuous look with a turn of the head to perfect the rushed look! It’s quite something and require a certain talent to perfect. But, it has to be in the DNA of people to get it just perfect.

Of course, one can’t ignore the lazy smile that comes with a slow low energy level look, it’s friendly but it’s painful as it demands your full attention. There is no chance for this smile to ever reach the rushed person as it comes at you in a slow motion.

There are so many other smiles. Some smiles light up the room, some motivate, some are simply sweet and others sympathize, and one can’t forget those smiles that throw hearts all over the place – love smiles, and how can you not be totally disarmed by the smile of a child or even a baby, but without a question, smiles make you and those around you feel happier, healthier and definitely adds value to the faces that wear them. There is much scientific research on the value of smiling, here is a link to one:

My hope today is that this blog puts a smile on your face and adds value to it:)

Leadership – Grandma’s Way …


As the fifth child in a family of seven children, I can tell you that my grandmother played an essential role in my life. When I was five years old, on a day full of excitement, my grandmother took me to a local shoemaker to make me a brand new pair of shoes before the school season started. In those days, everything had to be custom made – not much was made in China except expensive silk and porcelain. After few minutes of haggling, a price was settled on and the shoemaker took measurements of my feet. When he was done, no money was exchanged and off we went.

On the way home, I asked why we did not pay for the shoes. She looked at me with her warm smile and said: “Don’t worry! He knows us and he knows that we’ll pay him when we get the shoes” There was no deposit, no contract, no business case, no independent review, no complicated bureaucracy…nothing. Just basic human trust … what a concept! My grandmother was so good , she always get the best price with a smile, a skill I am afraid I did not learn well from her, but apparently I did inherent her warm smile, a much more valuable gift. 🙂

Many years and many wars later, on a trip back to the old country to visit my grandmother, family and friends who lived in Gaza City, I ran into my childhood friend Khalil, who is now a well-established doctor. Khalil asked me to go with him across the occupied territories to a nearby town where we had to cross Israeli Army check points, soldiers with guns… We finally arrived at Ashddod, where the purpose of our trip had us standing before a Jewish tailor who clearly knew Khalil. After the usual Middle Eastern pleasantries which included checks kissing and hugging (stuff you don’t see on the news), the tailor offered us Arabic coffee (expresso-like), took Khalil’s measurements for two suits, and told my friend to come back in two weeks. There was no payment, no contract, nothing.

With a level of amazement, and with a touch of tongue in cheek, I asked the Jewish tailor, “do you trust this Khalil fellow who is a Palestinian, a Moslem Arab from Gaza?” I hardly finished my sentence before his big smile filled the shop and lectured me “We lived together in peace for thousands of years and we will live together again in peace for thousands more – I trust Khalil with my life.” Wow! It’s that word again TRUST.

I walked out of the shop full of hope, optimism, and energy. Not only feeling hope about the Middle East, but hope for the greater world. Such is the Power of Trust! A power we all seem to get instinctively but reluctant to embrace. The reluctance may come from the fact that life throws at us many challenges causing our guards to rise, our trust to drop and our resolve to harden. And with that comes distrust and the associated high cost – emotional, professional and otherwise.

These days, the need to be efficient is at an all time high and much has been written about “performance at speed of trust”. It highlights that on the bridge of trust travels high speed solutions, agility, efficiency and effectiveness. Conversely, distrust is painful, costly and seems to be at the root of poor performance.

I do agree that if you totally distrust someone, no amount of logic, business case, or documentation will do. I also believe that no amount of process or control can ever replace trust. Simply put, distrust is a high cost, period!

In my view, it’s naive to think that you can hammer trust into people. Winning hearts and minds, is unquestionably hard work, but your secret weapon is your authenticity, care for others and softening of your heart. As the saying goes: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. More than ever, individuals, organizations and modern societies, cannot afford the high cost of distrust.

Although poor behaviour and low quality work is a major feeder to distrust, nothing feeds distrust as much as distrust itself. The Bottom line is Distrust creates distrust the great news is trust creates trust!

My grandma was guided by raw human instinct stripped from all the layers that today’s complex world seem to demand. I say take a moment and look back at your grandmother and recall how these basic human values that grandmothers seem to share. See how these values of trust, decency, honesty, generosity, and above all unconditional love served you. Living these values can guide you to build your trust and the power that trust unleashes…

Leadership – Mom’s Way …


When President Truman was about to hand over the presidency to Ike Eisenhower, he said: “Poor Ike, he has no idea what he is about to get into! As a General, to get something done he simply ordered it and it was done. As a President he will order it and nothing will happen.” Welcome to the world of leadership! ☺

In these days of challenging economic, social and political conditions, leadership is needed more urgently than ever!!! What triggered the writing of this blog was an e-mail from an IT Magazine recommending seven new books on leadership… Seven!!!??? I couldn’t believe it, especially the sales pitch which said: “worth your time”. In today’s twitter world, thousands of pages on any subject seems inefficient!

This blog is but a drop of insight that may be summarized in a few tweets, but for a deeper dive into leadership, I suggest you google your way into all aspects of leadership readily available in abundance in cyber space.

Leaders are people who seem to know where we need to go next, they are clear about the way forward and how to get there. They know how to shift gears from words to actions to accomplishments. Good leaders also know when to lead and when to be led. That means leadership is situational sensitive: today the situation may demand that you lead and tomorrow it may demand that you follow. Unlike management, leadership is not a position: it’s a state of being, an option and a choice!

Leaders create leaders – The best indicator of leadership is that leaders know how to create other leaders who may surpass them. They never confuse accomplishments at any cost with leadership. Like great wine, great leadership delivers for the longer term…

When I think about leadership, I often think of my mom. Like most moms, she knows how to lead the family. Relentlessly, optimistically and unconditionally, she builds her children and loves seeing them grow to be even greater than she is.

When I was a child and all through my youth, it was my mom who was always clear about what to do next. She always used words that my sisters, brothers and I understood. She knew when we were off track and gently moved in to nudge us back on track. When she gave feedback, it was always in the moment with just-in-time actionable advice. Her rewards were immediate and often a hug, a kiss or an unmistakable ‘I am not amused’ but still loving look. We never doubted her motivation or commitment for our well-being or the well-being of the whole family. She was always willing to listen to our incoherent rants, wants and demands and gently gave her loving advice. For some reason, she was rarely wrong…
As we grew older, my mom never used fancy words or complicated concepts. She was a natural. She spoke softly and never raised her voice. She stressed sharing and encouraged the older kids to look after the younger ones and the stronger ones to look after the weaker. She always emphasized the need to help each other. My theory is that, when you have seven children to raise, leadership becomes a necessity not an option. And therefore leadership is a learned concept that springs out of the need to address the challenges that life throws at us. Leadership is something we can all learn, nurture and practice! With seven active and rowdy children, I suppose my mom had lots of practice and that is why she became such a great leader! My dad, who also cared enormously was too busy bringing home the dough and the fuel that kept the family going, for which we were all grateful, especially my mom!
Given all the hype, talk and thousands of documents on leadership – not to mention the seven new additional books on leadership that are “worth your time to read” – I am puzzled by the state of the world today: wars, social upheavals, growing disparity between the rich and the poor, organizational disharmony and much small “p” politics played at the office. With media that’s focused on sensational negative news, It often feels as if we [the human race] are heading in the wrong direction. 
Why? Maybe not enough of us listened to our mothers who all along instilled values, gave advice and shared lessons-learned with us. Instead we searched far and wide, and at times got lost looking for answers when the answers were right there, coming from mom, around the kitchen table.

Maybe we should try “Mom’s Way” in regards to leadership: simplicity, focus, care, trust and helping one another, looking forward instead of looking back, encouraging instead of criticizing. And above all, loving unconditionally which is at the heart of human values that are the hallmark of all moms. Moms are natural teachers who nurture and help us grow to reach our full potential and no matter how tough their day is, they are always there with get of your butt and get things done attitude, ready to help with a loving smile to boot☺!

Love you Mom!