Today during a walk on the beach, I was contemplating our life in this amazing place. I was counting my blessings whilst quietly cursing the unconsciousness of mankind. At that time I was dragging behind me a semi-full plastic refuse bag, filled with a myriad of rubbish… thrown into our beautiful blue ocean by mindless people who don’t think further than their immediate need or comfort.  People who don’t consider for one second the multiplication effect and gradual devastation of their actions. Glass bottles, cans and empty plastic bags – left behind on river banks, or thrown off their vessels after emptying the contents into their faces for selfish pleasure… Not only causing the beach to look like a dumpsite but slowly killing the animals… slowly killing us all.

My mind wondered outwards to the people living and working here on this beautiful blue planet, thankful that more than a couple are consciously taking hands, not only to act as custodians of nature but also to build bridges between different people to make this place work. Authentic leaders, parents and staff members who care with their hearts, living the “change” they are looking for. A few of them, great friends of mine, friends I know will last me a life-time – closer than family.

 And then there are many on Facebook, in our community, office spaces and restaurants… people we pass in traffic – names and faces of strangers – who spend their days looking for something to complain about, studying the rules to keep everyone else on the straight and narrow – completely missing the principle of the written rules. Unhappy people finding joy in stealing it from those around them.   People who use the social media platform as a very safe soapbox from where they can drive their personal agendas and political battles… always minding other peoples’ business. People who – besides complaining or criticising – seldom lift a finger to help solve the challenges we face.

Therefore this short article to try and create a bit more awareness:

  1. We LOVE different things and expect others to respect them.
  2. We all are breaking a rule somewhere or falling short from time to time.
  3. We are all human:
    • We make mistakes
    • We have biases and blind spots
    • We have off days
  4. We cannot like everyone, and that’s okay

As leaders, let us start to remind ourselves of the above before we try to help our teams. Let us remind our people of the strength we have in diversity. Helping everyone in the team to feel included, valued and part of workable solutions. Let’s work together and find the things we have in common. Let’s leave space for each other’s mistakes and look for the win-wins where we differ in opinion. It is in our hands!

Love and Respect
Stefan Lessing