Touching People In Life!
*** Touching People In Life!
I was watching this Management Programme in CNN, showing one very successful CEO Carlos Ghosn – the CEO of Renault cars and who had moved on to be the CEO of Nissan also in Japan (running two companies together – the other in France) – and how he was able to turn around Nissan to be a profit making venture with the latest models, technologies and innovation onboard.
Asked how he became so successful in life, he replied – the capability of being able to connect and touch peoples of all walks of life. He said – If you do not have this – however good you are in other areas, you will not be that successful in your focus and endeavours in life – especially as a CEO. The other element is ‘the ability to listen’.
Looking at my career life, I have had experiences where an Official Letter was in front of me for my second signature (final) to terminate the services of one graduate local Engineer in one of the Operation Departments in the Oil Company that I used to work before. All I had to do is to put my signature on it as representing agreement of The Human Resources Department – and the rest was a formality for the person to be kicked out from the establishment.
Always believing in the focus and concept of even giving the Devil himself a second chance, and to try to put myself in that person’s situation (shoes), I told him point blank and frankly, what was going to happen to him – showed him all my cards to him. He asked me rather scornfully and ruefully what I wanted from him? I repulsed the urge to sign and give him the letter.
I asked him one more time – please tell me what has gone wrong from you performing rather well before to this sad state of affairs now? He was still not forthcoming. Then I told him – think of your family, if not yourself. Think on your career, your future – if this thing will stick with you wherever you go in life, especially in our local environment?
Images Touch & Feel – For Demonstration Purposes Only!
Images Touch & Feel – For Demonstration Purposes Only!
In the end, he gave in – then he told me his personal story – of the problems in his marriage, and how he had lost his newly constructed villa to the court marriage decision favouring his wife and kid. He had no place to go, even to his parents who were not in favour in the first instance of him marrying from outside his community. They said to him – you deserved what you got, because you did not listen to us your parents. He was paying house and loan installments to the Banks – and alimony also to his estranged wife.
My Director (and others) were really pissed off when I asked them if the Company could instead offer the Staff temporary accommodation for a year or so, so he could take care of his personal situation and circumstances – as the person was kicked out from one ‘friend’s house to another because of his bad angry aggressive moods – they all got tired of him in the end – giving up on him!. I could understand and feel what they were feeling! The Director said to me point blank – if you cannot sign it, I will do instead for you. Then I stood up to him – if you do that then it will be crossing my borders and authority – and I am no longer responsible for your action and the repercussions that may follow suit.
He relented. I told him – we have so many Bachelor flats vacant, what is the harm in giving the guy a second chance and try to salvage (remedial save) our staff – after all we had sent him for further training abroad, because he had been a committed and input recognized staff before. My more Senior Director (a European Expatriate- the ironies and twists of life!) was more in favour. Twelve months later, the guy got Above Satisfactory Performer rating from the lowest ranks he was before. He even got back his Villa – after it was proved that it was the wife’s mistakes the marriage had broken down! He is still in remembrance of me as to this day. He says – you saved my life! I can never forget you! I said to him – it was God’s Will – I was just the Agent!
That is called touching and feeling for people!
Another case was one who was considered trouble because he would not allow anyone to harass or abuse him – or take blame and responsibility for things he was not responsible (or fully responsible for). He would make a stand and defend himself – and would not take any nonsense from whatever higher levels that it came from.
And that is the problem – once you have been given a colouring and shade, you cannot shake away from it. He told me – that is how he was brought up by his parents, to express himself and to make his points – and defend himself. He told me – unalike some of my friends and peers, my parents never touched or beat me.
They would always talk to me first – and ask me to explain and defend myself – for my actions or inactions. He grew up in that atmosphere, but for his colleagues and bosses especially he was trouble – because he would not agree to someone poking his finger into his eye – and he to keep quiet about it – or to swallow the bitter pill – and go along – grin and bear it – as the saying goes!
He is now working in a very big position, because the new CEO now understands him very well – finally to his advantage!
I could give you many more examples, but I do not want to bore you with such more tales – like that of a supposed to be friend giving bad references to me on his friend who was applying a job in the place I was working. I would not touch him with a long pole, let alone employ him if I were you. Yet both had come in together – as friends! That shows you the wickedness, evilness, weakness and fragileness of human nature, behaviour and character.
Touching and Feeling for peoples is a Strength – not a weakness. The sad thing is only a few individuals have this touch and feeling – they are the EXTRAaordinary from the ordinary.
This is Me at 35 years – around 1982 – going for a course in UK!
*** This article was published first in 2003!