CSR Middle East, CSR dedicated platform with 3.555 corporate members in the Middle East.
Great leaders have vision and you do not have vision if you do not have an impactful corporate social responsiblity program in your company.
We are doing our part in growing future leaders who will spearhead CSR in the future through our weekly column with Gulf News. Here's the first column: http://gulfnews.com/life-style/education/great-leaders-must-fail-fo...
Also this week we are not only training Dubai American Academy youths in leadership but we are having them stay overnight at Media One as part of their Media One Cares CSR program. Then we are also taking them on a fieldtrip the next day to a local UAE company not only to learn about differents jobs etc. but also to specifically question the company on their CSR objectives and how they are impacting the future and them as future leaders. Very clever of us;-)
Here is a reprint of the Gulf News article:
GREAT LEADERS MUST FAIL … FORWARD !
What qualifies me to talk to you about leadership in this new column? I am, after all, the poster child for failure…
You don’t believe me? Well, let me put it this way – once the editor of the Guardian newspaper in my home country, Trinidad and Tobago, wanted me on the cover of their Woman Wise Magazine. I told them I was interested only if the cover title read “The New Face of Failure”. I wanted to make a much needed point so we can start having some uncomfortable crucial conversations, that’s all. However, as you can imagine, they never published the story. Cowards!
So here goes…..in order for me to start discussing anything about leadership that can be of any help to you and your children, we need to address the ‘elephant in the room’ which is Failure. What does Failure have to do with Leadership? Well, here goes: All great leaders fail ten times as much as the average person.
Why does the word Failure carry so much weight? It has the power to stop us dead in our tracks because we have been conditioned to believe in the dictionary definition of the word – ‘missing something or failing to achieve’. So it makes us cry, rant and rave, feel ashamed and miserable; we become bitter towards ourselves and the world, and sadly, even towards our children.
Well , from my own experience - and I am not alone on this - here’s what I’ve learned: Failure often is a much needed detour or a delay to warn us that we were probably going down the wrong road in the first place; it gives us the opportunity to begin again - just more intelligently this time. Failure seems to be the best way to find our courage and bring forth the greatness within us. And Failure, if we look closely, is an Event, never a Person. No human being can ever be a failure!
So what I’m trying to say here is, the dictionary, and the population that refers to it diligently, has been duped by whoever came up with the definition of the word. Now, who am I to question the dictionary? Well then, how about this? The dictionary’s definition of an Adult is ‘a person who has attained full size’ -whereas both you and I know that an Adult is in truth ‘a person who has stopped growing on both ends and now grows only in the middle.’ How about that?
So here’s what I need you to do. (It is a bit radical, I know. But we’ve just met, so indulge me, please.) Go put on something black when you have some quiet time. Then visualize yourself as a monument in a park. That monument represents the greatness of your life while you were here. What I want you to do is write down the words that will be etched at the bottom of the monument. BUT they can only consist of the failures and mistakes in your life.
No, I am not kidding - I do not want to see any accomplishments. Alright then, I’ll do mine first: “Here is Sallyann Della Casa. If only she had found the courage to leave her law practice and find/follow her passion sooner, recognised earlier in her life her creative gift and the grandeur of her dreams, had children when she first got married 14 years ago, and trusted her gut more...” And so it goes on.
Now you know the story of my life! Well then, take a clean sheet of paper and do yours.
After you are done - and go crazy with this exercise, please - I want you to have a Failure Funeral. Take your lot of Failure and bury or burn it ceremoniously. Once buried or cremated, it is gone. And like at any funeral, I will allow you a few days of mourning. When we forget to mourn, we are often stuck at the same place. So take a few days, mourn the person you were - with all those mistakes and failures weighing you down - because that person no longer exists. When you have finally bid goodbye, you can stop wearing black. It can happen in a day or over a few days. Do not rush time.
Why am I asking you to do this? Well, you will never be a brilliant leader or parent while you’re carrying all of that baggage. And for you to grow into a great leader and also develop your children into Rockstar leaders of tomorrow - which is the purpose of this column - you need to be mentally ready.
I will leave you now, but until I get back to you in the next issue of this column, here’s something for you.
PHOTO OF MEDIA ONE HOTEL TEAM AS PART OF MEDIA ONE CARES PROJECT WITH GROWING LEADERS FOUNDATION SHALL BE HOSTING 20 DUBAI AMAERICAN ACADEMY YOUTHS ON SEPT 23RD, 2012 AT THE HOTEL FOR ONE DAY OF LEADERSHIP TRAINING, LEADERSHIP CHEF LESSONS AND AN OVERNIGHT STAY AS KIDS LEARN ABOUT HOSPITALITY SECTOR!