Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

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Strange, we are to “Think outside the box” and yet we go to work and school in one


Strange, we are to “Think outside the box” and yet we go to work and school in one Smaller FB

The term “thinking outside the box” stands for doing and thinking in unconventional ways. Step out of bounds and away from the beaten path. Away from routine and what is expected of you. Words like normally, usually, typically, or similar ones like it should not be used – “try something new and radical”.

And yet our routine looks so much different. Our schools and workplaces are placed in rectangular shoe boxes, with little to no natural lighting and even less high quality air. Slapped together to maximize the builder’s and architect’s profitability. Enabled by having harnessed energy to a point where we believe we control nature by being able to climate control our working and schooling habitats.

Rule of thumb here is a simple one: Nice 90 degree corners are good and so is routine and standardization. Where does that leave creativity and quality of life though? Over 70% of working folks would love nothing more than a new job or career because their working conditions and overall career management are below par.

At school this is even worse. Some school settings are outright industrial in where they are located and how the buildings are constructed. They seem to be designed to merely serve the purpose of providing future workers for companies that will then provide a very similar working environment as the newbies were used to from school: the box type building.

What is the antidote? Well, even though it may sound clichéd, but it sounds like our business and school leaderships need to be the first ones who need to think outside the box. Creating a lively and inspiring work and school environment does not take much as long as everyone involved starts from establishing a suitable vision and mission around this goal. Then the tough work starts. Thinking concepts like this through will take time. With great preparation the final product will take a lot less hard work.

One such building (watch the background story here is the one at Aerzen USA. The intense grass roots efforts of a few folks turned into a movement that keeps catching on.

Now think about our children and how they deserve a similar inspiring environment. If we want them to be able to think and act outside the box, let’s help getting them out of the truly boxy type schools of today. Here are two examples (Avon Grove and Kimberton) how some schools have already begun making changes for the better.

Ultimately the choice is always yours and this is neither my time nor place convincing you of anything. But think about if you and your contributions are only a mere SAT score, or some other number. If so, a shoebox building will do. If not, then please help for us all to start acting outside the box – and yes this pun is intended.

Ralf

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5 ways to recover from white collar crime at your organization


5 ways to recover from white collar crime at your organization Ralf a

Well over a decade ago we became victim of a white collar crime. Our then CFO was ultimately convicted of stealing money from our organization. If that was not bad enough, the individual had been a really good friend of mine. Well, at least I had thought so at the time.

The news of the apprehension and later the trial were actually really traumatizing. How could this have happened without me, or anyone else for that matter, noticing a thing? What a break in personal trust this had been! I was devastated. For a while it was really tough to trust anyone. Why would anyone do such a nasty thing in the first place? I had so many questions. Along the way regaining composure a few tips emerged that may be able helping you get over the distrust that ensues after such an event:

  • Try finding out what really happened. Dig deep. Dig really deep. Find out what exactly happened and especially how and under which circumstances your incident could have happened. Make sure to journal about this such that you can always refer back to your findings.
  • Park your bitterness. Tough to do and easy to talk about it when it does not affect you. When someone close to you does you wrong things can get personal really quick. As that happens emotions can spiral out of control easily. Make an active point of forgiving that person and make sure that you do not let you get bitter. Pick a better time to be angry, but keep it short, really short. Get on with your life.
  • Put in safeguards that will protect you in the future. Now that you know what and how it happened, put safeties in place such that something like it cannot happen again.
  • Start reaching out again. Go ahead, mingle with people. Perhaps there are other folks who were hurt just as badly as you did. Connect with them, but do not forget about any other close folks to you. Shared sorrow is half the sorrow.
  • Give it some time. Time does indeed heal almost any wounds you sustain. After a while you will start trusting people again. Trust is good. Trust is so important that you must make the effort to get back into a healthy zone of delegating, collaboration, etc.

There is probably no sure fire way protecting you from significant stress and heart ache when people whom you trust betray you. You cannot afford to avoid people in the long run. Limit your exposure and risk, but make sure that you go out amongst people and learn to trust again as quickly as possible.

Ralf

PS: Please let me know if you need a list with protection mechanisms that should be in place when hiring and managing your key C suite people, but especially your CFO.

2014 in review for anyone who wonders about blogging


Hi folks;

People keep asking me why in the worlds I started and keep blogging. Well, I can tell you that I am not doing it for this report’s sake. Any such report is exactly that – a report. No more and no less. It can never be a goal in itself having so and so many visitors and “likes”. That is better left to providing value to the readers.

I have attached the yearly report for you just to let you snoop around in it. I do not know about you, but I am truly fascinated how and where people get to read our social media work. Thank you for being interested enough to read my written brain droppings.

Thanks!

Ralf

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,700 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Becoming a Mercedes Benz enthusiast – the unconventional way


Becoming a Mercedes Benz enthusiast – the unconventional way Ralf with blue 230

Photo: Yes, that would be me with dad’s baby blue Benz

How does one turn into a Mercedes Benz enthusiast? Normally, one would think that the car’s design, endurance, race performance, beauty, features, heritage, etc would be enough to do that. If that was not enough, having been born and raised in Germany may make you think gave me a little predisposition toward Mercedes Benz. In fact, that was not quite how I became a lifelong fan of the brand at all – all I had to do was observing my dad putting his Benz’s to the test frequently. His outright abuse and neglect of these fine automobiles were legendary.

Growing up in Germany I watched my dad how he bought pre-owned Mercedes Benz cars and then using them in his line of work. He was a sales rep and the mileage he put on them was incredible. I am not sure if it was because he was cheap, or because he did not know any better, but he could have made a really great factory endurance tester.

The first two Benz automobiles he bought were W115 (aka “dash 8”) cars. Number 1 was a crème white 250 6 cylinder sedan. I only recall one major event with that one towards the end of us owning it. Dad blew the engine. I will never forget the puzzled – perhaps I should say disgusted – look the local car shop owner gave my dad when he told him “you have got to change the oil more than once during the time you own your car”. Thankfully, the man had been friends with my dad and after locating a suitable used engine my dad was back on the road. I learned right there that for one that the engine must have been really tough. Second, changing oil is cheaper than changing engines.

Undeterred from this experience my dad pushed on with his endurance testing of the next “object”. He bought a used W115 and this time a light baby blue 230.6 that was very popular in the 70’s. Oh my, did this car suffer. I remember one instance when dad topped off oil right before a longer trip. This car was an amazing driving machine, especially on the Autobahn. Cruising at 100mph was a piece of cake with it. We made a quick pit stop after 2 hours and when we return to the car from a restaurant we noticed engine oil dripping down out of underneath the engine compartment. We opened the hood and found the oil fill cap on top of the air cleaner – right where he had left it from topping off oil in the morning. There was black oil all over the place and amazingly the engine still was ok.

The next stunt involved 4 adults and 2 children going to the heart of the Austrian mountains leaving from Northern Germany in the middle of the night. You read this correctly – the 230.6 was only a five-seater and my sister had to sit in the lap the whole way. The trunk gulped down the copious amounts of luggage of both my aunts and our family. Loaded like a mule my dad pressed on with only two short breaks along the way and this was a 15 hour trip. The car performed flawlessly all the way to Austria and back. Shortly before getting home the car became just a little sluggish and dad got it checked out at the favorite local car shop again. Two cylinders had a lot less compression. With the head removed the reason for this turned out to be two severely burned exhaust valves: “Werner, you have got to get the valves adjusted at least once in a while”. Once the valves were replaced and the engine put back together the car performed flawlessly again.

Though there are many more endurance stories to share, I will only make mention of one more with the next car. That was with a W123 200 sedan. It was a brilliant white one with blue MB Tex interior. I had fallen in love with the previous cars, but this car I really liked. That is why it really broke my heart watching my dad once again abuse it badly.

One time he decided cleaning the engine compartment with a high pressure washer. While I am a fan of keeping my car look great inside and out, he took it one bridge too far. Sure enough he “cleaned” the radiator and blew out the cooling fins at a 2” height toward the bottom part of the cooler. The cooler did not leak, but its performance was reduced significantly. Amazingly, the car ran well even though this issue should have caused all sorts of issues.

Even though it took a while to finally own my own Benz, I never forgot how much abuse these cars can take and how they keep performing even with minimum (or no) maintenance. Not that I endorse or promote neglect, but that is how I became a lifelong fan of the brand and its cars. Getting really neat designs and a ton of top notch state of the art technology when you buy new and even pre-owned cars is the cream on top of it.

Ralf Weiser

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