I believe in The Power of Positive Thinking

I believe in The Power of positive thinking. I am going to explain first the logic behind the Power of positive thinking, it is simple, if you think positive good things happen to you. In other word, when you focus on the things that you want rather than the things you don’t like, you start attracting the good toward you.

I started attracting on this way of life after I read a book when I was in college entitled ‘The Secret’. This book is about the power of positive thinking and low of attraction. I get a lot of life lessen from this book. It was not easy to change many years of bad thinking behaviors, but I was sure that will help me to make big changes on my focus.

I am an Orthodox Cristian and some of the methods I read in this book are like and easily applicable to my religion and faith. The logic is like one of the quotes in the bible “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” the theory discussed in this book is already known, but are long lost and forgotten, but thanks to this book connected for me again.

I practice positive thinking in my day to day activities and through praying. I trust I will get what I wish and pray for. Sometimes when something doesn’t quite go to plan, I am trying deal with it and tell myself this happen for good reason and start refocus and look for another solution.

I believe having a negative mentality is a bad tendency and one can only change it by adding a new good habit to life, it’s like making a daily list of the positive things you have in your life and the good things that you do have.

I also know that positive thinking changes many lives and gives hope to those in need. What I know also the healthier feeling I get while exercising positive thinking in my life. According to an online journal I read once, “The health benefits of positive thinking”, Optimists are likely to be more resistant to physical and mental health problems as they grow older.

In a study, optimistic teens enjoyed more protection against depression and were less likely to indulge in antisocial behavior and substance abuse. The study reveals that optimistic kids are better able to avoid behavioral and emotional problems as they grow up. Pessimists are more prone to depression reports the journal Psychology Today

I believe if I am happy positive outcomes will happen for me. I believe in trying to think in the positive of everyone. I believe in optimism, the power of positive thinking.

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Positive Thinking For Success? No, Not Always!

If you track US Open, you may vividly recollect one special semifinal. The semifinal between number 1 ranked Serena Williams and Reberta Vinci. Vinci has had successes in doubles tennis over the years however she had never reached semis in singles. So the predictions of the match were excessively in favor of Serena Williams and for all the right reasons. Her proven track record, consistency, strength, focus, confidence etc. In fact, in the post-match interview, the interviewer revealed that Vici was underdog 300 to 1.

In spite of all this, Roberta Vinci won the match against Serena Williams. Here are some of her reactions given by her in her post-match interview.

“I tried to stay focused and didn’t think about the match, about Serena’s incredible play”

Interviewer: When you woke up this morning what gave you the belief that this moment was possible?

Her Answer: No (laughs), really it is true. When I woke up I said Okay, I have a semifinal today. Try to enjoy. Don’t think about Serena. Play, enjoy. But I didn’t expect I will win.

In my mind, I said, put the ball on the court. Don’t think. Try to put all the balls on the court. Don’t think Serena is on the other court and run. And then I won.

Most of us know the story of David and Goliath. Victory of a small and tiny over big and mighty. I am sure you have come across many such examples where the underdogs have won.

The key question is what gives them the strength to face someone who is strong, mighty and has a very successful winning track record?

Eustress :

My friend who works as an assistant professor of Psychology once told me about this concept. Usually we associate stress with something that is undesirable. However, she told me that we need some amount of stress to get into action.

Eustress means beneficial stress—either psychological, physical (e.g. exercise), or biochemical/radiological (hormesis). The term was coined by endocrinologist Hans Selye, consisting of the Greek prefix eu- meaning “good”, and stress, literally meaning “good stress”.

Staying the course :

I was speaking to my friend Shankaran who is a marathon runner for the last 5 years now. Shankaran is not a disciplined exercise person and yet he completed the half marathon 5 years back and is regularly completing it since then beating his own record year on year. His secret?An advice from his runner friend/mentor. The advice was it does not matter how fast you run, what matters is how long you stay on the road. This changed his entire perception and made him comfortable with self. So no grand vision, but a bit by bit practice, mental orientation to stay long on a road and finally making it to completing the half marathon and beating one’s own record year after year.

Focusing one shot at a time:

One finds the similar approach that Roberta Vicni spoke about while facing Serena Williams. “In my mind, I said, put the ball on the court. Don’t think. Try to put all the balls on the court. Don’t think Serena is on the other court and run. And then I won”.

Getting over obsessed with winning can burn you out. Focusing on one shot at a time can keep you in the game.

Does this approach apply to work?

“Whether we have a job, a start-up or a business we are required to do multiple simple or complex projects. Thinking about the magnitude of the project can saturate our thoughts and lead to confusion, energy drain, heart burn, project delays and lot of embarrassment” says my friend who works at a senior management position in a pharma company.

Eustress, Staying the course and Focusing one shot at a time does have its merit to take on the Goliath’s in our personal and professional life.

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Successful People

How to Become a Successful Person Knowing how to become a successful person is essential for every person. It gives him an easy way for a good living. The characteristics of a successful person is different for every person, it depends on how they view it. My view about a successful person is someone who has the right balance in happiness between family and career and is happy in who he/she is and what he/she does. The first thing to become a successful person is to have skills.

A successful person eeds to become the specialist in their Job area, no matter how difficult the situation is. Next is to have self-confident, never look down in yourself, because when you do it, that’s when you will fail. Passion is also an important need, because success can be obtained by many people, but maintaining the drive to reach the goals requires a passion to achieve it. Beside all of that, there is one thing that is hard to be earned. Why do so many of us fail to act? We know what we must do, yet we lack the will to do t.

In another word, we lack of the courage. Success cannot exist without courage, many people who cannot be success are those who have the highest training and ethics, but lack of the courage. So what we need to overcome failure is having the will to act. A successful person is not afraid to take risk and make difficult decisions, and the important thing is they are ready to accept the responsibility of it. The next step to be a successful person is focus, creative, and optimistic. Why do we need to be focus?

Because it is our drive that pushes us forward and keeps our momentum, but without focus we will Just move for the sake of motion. Why do we need to be creative? Because when we stuck with the old ideas, we can make the new ones. And why do we need to be optimistic? Because, an optimist can see the opportunity in every difficulty, optimism is in the heart of a successful human being! After having and being all of that, the next step is what needs to be done. Find the goal of your life can be a good start.

After that define the meaning of success as you ee it, you can’t be success if you dont know what it means to you, so set clear goals and be realistic. Trust other people to do their Job so you can focus on your own Job. Being surrounded by successful people is also a way to create a culture of success, they can make you become enthusiastic and even connect you to other people that can change your life. Stay away from distractions is also an important thing to become successful. There are always distractions and it is your choice to stay away from them or not.

The last is gather as much information as you can, make intellectual connections from it and use it to make your life better. So listen, study, learn, and understand everything that you think is important. The characteristics that you need to have, what you need to be, and thing that needs to be done are all important. Things that you need to have and you need to be are the basic that must be in you, and then use all of it to do the things that need to be done. Each part plays a role that is vital to turn someone into a successful person. Adrian Kohar Accounting 1

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The simplicity with which Brutus speaks is what makes his voice so powerful

Dennis Brutus is an internationally known poet whose poems centre on his sufferings and those of his fellow blacks in South Africa under apartheid. His outspoken protests against apartheid led to an 18-month prison term on Robben Island. He has written many poems regarding his imprisonment and the horrors of the regime in South Africa. Brutus exhibits a restrained artistic control when writing his poems, which record his experiences of misery and loneliness as a political prisoner. His language and versification are simple and direct. If anything, the hardship and suffering are understated with the result that the experiences described are conveyed with even greater force. The natural elements and symbolism used by Brutus assists him in writing his poems. Using such pleasant descriptive features to describe the violence, gives it even more impact.

“Cold” is a short and compact poem with the title itself referring to a form of discomfort felt by Brutus whilst being imprisoned. The opening lines of the poem convey more of the distress experienced by Brutus.

“The clammy cement

sucks our naked feet”

The sensory description of the cement sucking up the moisture from their ‘naked feet’ seems as if life itself is being extracted from the individuals. His choice of words is extremely effective as he uses ‘naked’ rather than bare. This implying that they were deprived of their human rights and dehumanised. With the additional description regarding the surroundings and actions of the prisoners, ‘the stubbled grass wet with three o’ clock dew,’ – ‘stuff with our fingers the sugarless pap into our mouths,’ the situation concerning the prisoners appears to become more dismal.

The fact that they ‘stuffed’ the food into their mouth conveys that they were given a limited amount of time to eat it; furthermore, they had been deprived of their food since then. Additionally, the ‘three o’ clock dew’ signifies the early hours in which they had to wake for their long journey allowing the reader to understand the harshness of their regime. Throughout the poem, an impression of the surroundings is gained to be nondescript due to the insipid colours used to describe the surroundings. The ‘rheumy yellow bulb’ that ‘lights a damp grey wall’ gives the notion of everything being weak and the prisoners being in impoverish conditions.

Brutus does not state any of his emotions, whether they are of anger, anguish or sorrow – it is left to the reader to interpret the graveness of the conditions. Brutus simply writes the state of affairs he is in, however, it is only until the closing stages of the poem does Brutus mention the fact that his ankles and wrists are chained. One wonders why such a significant factor is stated at the end of the poem rather than the beginning of it. It shows to a certain extent that Brutus does not want to gain sympathy from the reader seeing that otherwise he would have said this earlier, alongside elaborating on the other factors of discomfort and deprivation that he has previously cited. It is only after the reader realises that the prisoners are chained do they clearly perceive the full picture.

The fact that the prisoners are made to walk with ‘naked feet’, at three o’ clock in the morning, is barely comprehendible. However, when one realises that their ankles and wrists are chained, the sympathy for the prisoners intensifies. The poem finishes with words of understatement as Brutus states, ‘we begin to move awkwardly.’ He is understating the difficulty and pain felt by himself and the prisoners. It can be seen again that Brutus does not care to gain sympathy from the reader and so minimizes the actual torture and misery he and his inmates feel.

Brutus does not need to elaborate on the extent of his discomfort. He merely states the situation he is in, in the simplest of terms and seemingly disregards it and imparts to a different topic discarding all emotions. Felt o the previous topic. However academic speaking in language, every reader understands the content of the poem – It is concise and to the point. There are a number of essential opponents that make the poem so powerful. The overall depth of the poem is conceived by the simplicity.

Alongside the themes of discomfort and imprisonment that are conveyed from Brutus’ poems, the reader also gains the impression of how the poet accepts the situation in hand without giving in. Brutus acknowledges the circumstances he is in and does what he can to think of the experience in prison as beneficial as can be for him. He is aware of the fact that there is no point in resisting the regime and subsequently has to come to terms with the conditions.

In ’10’, an ever-present optimistic view is taken to the lifestyle owed to his imprisonment, unlike ‘Cold’ where the reader can deeply sense the deprivation. The structure of the two poems is similar as there is neither rhythm nor rhyme in the irregular numbered verses, each containing independent actions. In ’10,’ Brutus accentuates certain things, which he is grateful for. However, it has to be taken into account that the poem is a letter to a family member (Martha) therefore he may have been not telling the entire truth of the situation as wanting to assure the recipient that it was ‘not all terror and deprivation.’

The poet states how he comes to ‘welcome the closer contact and understanding one achieves with one’s fellow-men, fellows, compeers;’ One cannot help but observe the repetition of the word ‘fellow.’ It seems as if Brutus is trying to emphasise that the prisoners are all equals and share the same aims. They gain understanding and comfort from each other due to the fact that they are in the same situation.

Furthermore, Brutus states how the ‘discipline does much to force a shape and pattern on one’s daily life as well as on the days.’ The regime of the prison is his purpose to cling onto life, as he does not want the days to merge into night. Such things as the time of rising, lights out and meal times give the days ‘shape’ and regularity – a ritual of existence. By looking at things from a certain point of view, Brutus turns things to his own advantage. He refers to hard labour as ‘honest toil’ that ‘offers some redeeming hours for the wasted years,’ making life worthwhile. He does not regard the hard labour as torment or agony; instead, he refers to it as if it is something that he enjoys.

The way in which Brutus accepts the situation without giving in, allows him to cope with the humiliation and pressures of prison. The strength of mind and the importance of positive thinking is vital when living in such circumstances where he and the prisoners are referred to, by the wardens, with derogatory terms such as ‘rats.’ In ‘Cold’ Brutus states how he and the prisoners, ‘steel’ themselves ‘into fortitude’ signifying to a certain extent that they have the physical and mental capacity to survive whatever they are up against and tolerate everything forced onto them for good to prevail.

‘Savouring to the full its bitterness and seeking to escape nothing,’ the prisoners can only find it deep within themselves to find something that keeps intact their mental health and refreshes them of the enmity. Throughout the poems, Brutus refers to nature when, escaping from the ‘hostile’ sanctums of the prison. He compares his mind, when ‘bright and restful’ to the, ‘full calm morning sea.’ Even though the sea is something that he cannot observe, it does not prevent him from thinking about it – A good time for a fresh start.

Several references to the sky are also made – ‘the mind turns upwards when it can.’ Rather than looking down and being dispirited, Brutus looks up toward the sky and remains hopeful despite the situation he is in. This is oxymoronic due to the fact that the situation is hopeless yet Brutus still has hope in his mind and heart to overcome the hostility of the prison.

He values the simple things of life whilst looking out of the confines of the prison such as the stars. The stars are something beyond his worldly situation, which signify hopes and dreams. When Brutus refers to the ‘Southern Cross flowering low’ in ‘Cold’, he may have been implying that the two countering religions were in close proximity to fusion as the Southern Cross represents a unifying religious movement. Even though, ‘the arcs and fluorescents’ block the stars out, the Southern Cross is still visible to Brutus, due to its bright intensity.

The sky, stars and the birds aid Brutus add to the impact of the poetry. Their connection to his family, however slender, assists him in surviving. He contemplates whether the clouds that he is observing are being ‘seen by those at home.’ Such trivial matters of ones daily life seem so significant to the one of Brutus whose imprisonment makes him value and fantasise what one may take for granted, such as the ‘complex aeronautics of the birds.’ Brutus uses his mind to escape from the sanctums of the prison and interact with his family.

In the poem, ‘For a Dead African’ Dennis Brutus does not use his mind to escape and fantasise of the upcoming events, but states these things with such assurance that one gains the impression that there is nothing that can stop it from occurring and will so in the near future. The simplicity in the poem, ‘For A Dead African,’ is what makes it so powerful. The poem has a conventional rhythm and rhyme with the first and third lines of each verse rhyming with each other. The content of the poem is deeper than the others and the sombre title signifies this.

The first two verses illustrate the negative aspects of the continuous struggle against apartheid, which is unusual as Brutus generally holds an optimistic view toward his imprisonment. Nevertheless, here he talks of the ‘victims of a sickly state,’ signifying the fact that South Africa was not presided over by a government that was conclusive. Brutus also uses natural imagery to illustrate the beatings and punishments, which were experienced by the Africans.

‘succumbing to the variegated sores

that flower under lashing rains of hate.’

It is interesting the way in which Brutus uses such pleasant descriptive features to exemplify the hatred. ‘Lashing,’ signifying the heavy downpour of hatred upon the Africans, resulting in ‘variegated sores’ to appear.

The second verse of the poem does not state the true adversity, when it states the ‘accidental dyings in the dark.’ Of course, they did not occur on ‘eyeless nights’ nor were they ‘accidental’ but they were jus put down to it, as people did not want to protest. Again the reader sees the understatement presented by Brutus.

However, it is the last verse of ‘For A Dead African,’ that truly represents the talent of Brutus. The optimism from the last verse excels, alongside the ability Brutus possesses of conceiving the depth of the message. It can be seen that Brutus believes strongly in his theme of having to endure the pain for there to be anything commendable resulting from it. Brutus believes that they will be freed from the tyranny and that the ‘nameless unarmed ones will stand beside the warriors who secured the final prize.’ Everybody will have contributed to the freeing of their land.

The certainty Brutus holds of predicting this to occur is what makes his voice so powerful. Simply stating actions or descriptions with neither doubt nor contradiction is what makes his poems prevailing. Brutus has the talent of making the reader see and believe what he himself sees and believes doing this, just through the power of words. When Brutus refers to the ‘walls of bleak hostility,’ it is a curt comment describing the austere conditions of the prison. However, with these words and the force applied to them, the reader cannot refrain from sympathising with the prisoner due to the conditions he is in.

Even though one would think that the tone used in Brutus’ poems would be subjective, the majority of the time it is objective. He simply states the state of affairs and leaves the rest up to the reader to infer. Brutus does not emphasise certain things nor does he look for the reader’s sympathy and condolences. Conclusively I think it is Brutus’ ability to speak in such simplistic terms with such assurance and confirmation of the events taking place and subsequently to take place in the near future, is what makes his voice so powerful.

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It’s Your Ship

Book Information Title: It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy Author: Captain D. Michael Abrashoff Publisher’s Name: Warner Books, Inc.

Publisher’s Location, Year of Publication: New York, NY, 2002 Number of Pages: 210 pages Content The overall objective of the book is to teach new, and old, leaders to become better leaders. While anyone can benefit from reading this book, the intended audience is leaders in any organization. One statistic that should be alarming to all leaders of businesses was that 65 percent of people leave their companies because of the managers (Abrashoff, 2002). How do leaders change that statistic?

Abrashoff believes that running a ship is very similar to running any business; it takes motivating a crew to perform at the best of their abilities to achieve optimal efficiency and completion of tasks. He successfully takes his experiences from leading a Naval crew and teaches the audience how to apply it to their organizations. Along with highlighting every winning moment he and his crew experienced on the USS Benfold, Captain Abrashoff also shows failing moments the team had to endure. Those examples show the audience that in order to succeed, there has to be some trials along the way.

Abrashoff introduces readers to the 11 lessons he has learned that helped him become a better leader: take command; lead by example; listen aggressively; communicate purpose and meaning; create a climate of trust; look for results, not salutes; take calculated risks; go beyond standard procedure; build people up; generate unity; and improve the crew’s quality of life. He dedicated a chapter to each lesson and explains the importance of each and how to apply them to any business. Chapter one talks about how Abrashoff became the captain of USS Benfold and how he had to take command.

His first obstacle was wondering if everyone was going to like him. He quickly realized that “be likable is not high among a ship captain’s job requirements… to be respected, trusted, and effective” is (Abrashoff, 2002, p. 12). After that, he realized “a challenge for leaders… is attracting and retaining … the best employees and more important, how to motivate them so that they work with passion, energy, and enthusiasm” (Abrashoff, 2002, p. 12). Leaders need to listen to their employees so they can better understand what they are going through. Along with listening, employees need to be motivated.

Motivation helps employees want to do their work and do the best job. Another obstacle was learning the real reason why soldiers were not re-enlisting. Abrashoff (2002) stated the following: I read some exit surveys, interviews conducted by the military to find out why people are leaving. I assumed that low pay would be the first reason, but in fact it was fifth. The top reason was not being treated with respect or dignity; second was being prevented from making an impact on the organization; third, not being listened to; and fourth, not being rewarded with more responsibility. p. 13) All of those reasons are very similar to why people are leaving civilian jobs. Only one conclusion could come from it: all leaders are making the same mistakes. The best answer for those obstacles was summed up perfectly when he talked about his organizing principle. Abrashoff (2002) said “the key to being a successful skipper is to see the ship through the eyes of the crew” (p. 13). The leader does not always come up with the ideas; leaders would benefit greatly if they listened to their crew more. Empowering employees makes them realize their potential.

When “given the right environment, there are few limits to what people can achieve” (p. 31). After taking command, a great leader must lead by example. In chapter two, Abrashoff discovered “90 percent of the time, I was at least as much a part if the problem as my people were” (p. 33). When things go wrong and tasks are not completed, a manager usually blames the employees. Abrashoff used a different approach; he looked at himself and wondered what he may have done wrong in certain situations. By recognizing their own faults, a leader can learn from them and show their employees that they are learning from them.

There were four sections of the chapter that was very important. The first section was on remembering the effect one has on people. Leaders need to understand how they affect their people, “their optimism and pessimism are equally infectious” (p. 35). If the leader is in a bad mood, the employees will sense that and be in the same mood. Abrashoff talks about his “dark side” and how he purposely stays away from his crew when he is having a bad day. The second section talks about holding leaders accountable. Leaders need to make sure they recognized their part in a mishap and take some of the blame.

The Washington Post test was the next section. If there is any concern on whether something is the right thing to do, picture it being on the front page of a newspaper. Would it cause embarrassment or would it be something to celebrate? Abrashoff thinks that every decision a leader can make should be based on that test. The last section is about obeying a policy even when a leader disagrees. There are plenty of times a manager will disagree with a policy or procedure handed down by upper management; a great leader will support it anyway.

Undermining superiors will show employees that they can do the same. In chapter three, Abrashoff stresses the importance of listening. He talked about his experiences with watching William Perry have conversations with people and how Perry always gave his complete attention to each person. In result, Perry was respected and people felt good in his presence. Abrashoff started to focus on really listening to his crew and treating each conversation like it was the most important conversation he was having. While having these conversations, Abrashoff learned to “see the ship through the crew’s eyes” (p. 4). He discovered that his crew had many good ideas about how to make the environment more enjoyable; they were there every single day and knew a lot about the day-to-day operations on the ship. It would make sense to listen to their ideas. One of his first goals was to learn every soldier’s name, their spouse’s name, and all the names of their children. Then, he continued to learn different things about each of them. He talks about realizing his crew was just like him, “they had hopes, dreams, loved ones, and they wanted to believe that what they were doing was important” (p. 46).

In turn, his crew earned more of his respect and it became easier for them to talk to him and share their ideas. Finding round people for round holes was his next point in the chapter. Since he knew his people so well, he was able to match them with the perfect job. After having an assistant that was not good at handling paperwork, Abrashoff found a younger seaman named David Lauer, who was labeled as a “troublemaker” to take over the task. Lauer shined in that task and Abrashoff asked him why he had so much trouble in his last job. The seaman said that he felt like his suggestions were not being heard and he just gave up.

This example proved that listening aggressively can benefit leaders immensely. “Word magic” was the last lesson Perry taught Abrashoff. Abrashoff believed “if leaders back their words with action… practice what they preach, their words create a self-fulfilling prophecy” (p. 50). Every time someone talked about the USS Benfold, it was referred to as “the best damn ship in the Navy. ” He wanted his crew to say it so they believed it and in turn, everyone else believed it. The next lesson is about communicating the purpose and meaning of every task.

Abrashoff said it best in the first sentence of chapter four, “the whole secret of leading a ship or managing a company is to articulate a common goal that inspires a diverse group of people to work hard together” (p. 52). When employees understand why a task it needed and how they can benefit from it, they are more likely to give their all in completing it. It is a shame that someone spends so much time at work and does not believe in the work they are doing. He wanted his crew to really love what they were doing every time they boarded that ship.

If a leader makes their crew think they can do anything, they will believe it. Abrashoff thought that if he communicated with his crew about everything, they would understand and be more involved. He was against keeping his people in the dark, “secrecy spawns isolation, not success” (p. 55). It would be an advantage to the entire team when everyone knew the goals. That ties into opening up the clogged channels in an organization. By communicating the information effectively, the team produced better results. Abrashoff gave the example of the communication system in the Gulf War and how vital messages were never received.

With the idea from one of his crew members, John Rafalko, the airways were cleared and messages were received. Abrashoff gave complete credit to Rafalko, claiming he only listened to the idea and supported Rafalko. Chapter five addressed the importance of creating a trusting environment, “the best way to keep a ship—or any organization—on course for success is to give the troops all the responsibility they can handle and then stand back” (p. 63). When employees are trusted to do their jobs, it makes it easier for them to focus on the task, not the micromanaging.

Another way to encourage trust in the workplace was to not make employees compete against each other. Abrashoff wanted his candidates to work together instead of working against each other. He believed that that competition created distrust and division among the crew and in the long run, did not help the entire crew. Abrashoff said that anyone can bounce back from a bad decision. By helping someone recognize their screw up, it sends a message to the entire team that they will receive the same attention. By giving up on someone, “they understand instantly that there’s no room for redemption…” (p. 7). Also, never bring a problem to the boss if it can be fixed without him; Abrashoff did advise to only get the boss involved if it cannot. Finally, when dealing with a difficult boss, it is best to shield the crew from that person. The morale stays high and it is less likely for employees to be corrupted or turned off by that person. The chapter on looking for results, not salutes, talked about looking at every one as an equal. Abrashoff encouraged leaders to let their crews speak up with their ideas; they should be able to question the authority.

By knocking down barriers between the captains and the crew members, it encourages people to get to know one another and be more likely to speak up when something can be done better. Abrashoff gave many examples throughout the book about his team questioning some of the decisions and policies in place and in the end, the team improved some things. Here, again, he stresses the importance of involving the team in everything and letting them get involved in the decision-making process, “innovation knows no rank” (p. 96). With the achievements, he did tell leaders to accept failures.

Leaders should not reprimand employees when they make an attempt to solve a problem and it does not work; everyone should have the “freedom to fail” (p. 94). The next chapter talked about taking calculated risks. Employees worry about taking risks because the consequences can be devastating. Disciplinary action, even termination, can be the result of taking a risk and failing. Abrashoff believes in celebrating the risk-takers, even if it ends in failure. Everyone makes mistake; “show me someone who has never made a mistake, and I will show you someone who is not doing anything to improve your organization” (p. 04). The people that make their own decisions are the ones leaders should really be behind. Abrashoff said “if all you give are orders, then all you will get are order-takers” (p. 107). Leaders need to let their employees take responsibility; that is how self-starters are born. When that self-starter is unearthed, leaders need to take a chance on them. Abrashoff proved that even the delinquent crew member can turn out to be a hard working one. He used the example of the crew member who was left behind because he forgot to set his alarm.

The sailor was placed on restriction since it was a serious offense, but he continued to excel in his job. When he found out his mother was ill, he put in for leave and was turned down by every leader. Abrashoff decided to grant him the leave and it did wonders for the sailor. He was very motivated to do a great job and to not let down his team mates again. In the end, the sailor left the Navy and became a defense contractor. The last section of the chapter was about breaking rules. Abrashoff said to break the rules that did not make sense and break the ones that did make sense, just very carefully.

This part was pretty self-explanatory; it is okay to challenge the rules. As he was saying throughout the entire book, if something is wrong, find another way to do it. There are bad rules and it is the leader’s job to find a better way to do things, or encourage their employees to find a better way. Chapter eight was all about going above and beyond. Abrashoff thought to get outstanding results, leaders had to go beyond the standard procedures, “innovation and progress are achieved only by those who venture beyond standard operating procedures” (p. 119).

Like he has said many times in the book, Abrashoff wanted his crew to take those risks and really think of way to change the system. He wanted self-starters and people with great ideas because it was not just his ship, it was everybody’s ship. In chapter nine, Abrashoff goes back to his people and talked about building them up. This chapter had a lot of points in it and it is one of the important lessons in the book; confident employees help any organization. Building self-esteem in the individual benefits the entire team, “never tear them down; help them grow strong” (p. 41). The message ties in with the trust piece; showing an employee that they are trusted and cared for makes a big difference in the way they work. Praise every single success, no matter how big or small, was important to Abrashoff. He believed that this practice, not only, worked on crew members, but it could be used on the big bosses: If you want to achieve anything in a large bureaucracy, get inside the bosses’ head. Anticipate what they want before they know they want it. Take on their problems; make them look so good that you become indispensable.

When they can’t get along without you, they will support nearly anything you seek to accomplish. (p. 141) If leaders just trusted their people more, they would see that they usually get it right. People with talent, when motivated, can surprise people and move up in the ranks. Employees want to do a good job and prove they can do the job; leaders should trust that they can. And leaders must trust the new people and teach them well. New people are a great asset to any organization; they can be molded, with the proper training, into anything the leader wants.

It is important to keep them fired up; any old influences—older crew members—can ruin their attitudes with any negativity. A proper “welcome aboard” program is imperative; newbies can be discouraged very easily if their first day is a disaster. Most importantly, expect the best from every employee. Leaders need to invest fully into their people and they will get it back tenfold. Abrashoff stated that if we “stopped treating them as if they are stupid, they would perform better” (p. 158). When they are not performing at their best, leaders should give honest feedback constantly.

The employees cannot fix their problems if they do not know what they are doing wrong. This reduced the surprises during the review process; leaders would not have to talk about all the things that need improving during the review if they do it in the moment. Another best practice is to ask the bottom performers to rate their performances themselves. They are more honest to the fact that they are the bottom performers compared to their team mates. After that, come up with an action plan and set expectations on when to fix the problems.

Leaders, then, should continue to coach in the moment and be open and honest with their employees. A team cannot succeed if they is no unity. Chapter ten addressed the importance of unity in a team and how the leader must create that with his employees. He claimed that “one of the toughest things for organizations to accomplish is to get people to set aside personal differences and work for the good of everyone involved” (p. 168). One of his main focuses was to train for unity. He started off with finding common interests among everyone. Then, he wanted his crew to find “positive reasons to value others” (p. 173).

He, ultimately, experienced a decline in the reports on racial prejudice and sexual harassment because the ship’s morale was very positive. Punishment needs to be dealt out fairly in organizations. Leaders need to hold their team accountable for their actions, but also, learn to give them a second chance. Every employee needs to know they will be punished accordingly and after they have paid for their crime, the slate is wiped clean. Going back to the chapter about accepting the failures, it is important to learn from it and move on. Abrashoff believed everyone deserves a second chance, just like the sailor how overslept.

Now any man would say if his woman is not happy, he is not happy; Abrashoff agreed with that ideal. By making the women feel like part of the team, just as the men did, Abrashoff prevented gender issues. Sexual harassment was down and everyone respected one another. It, also, helped the men on the ship calm down and be more mature. They saw the women as their equals and pushed them to step it up a bit. This lesson is very important in civilian organizations; equality between the sexes still has not been achieved and many leaders should take notes on this chapter.

Abrashoff ended the chapter with examples of extraordinary female sailors he has worked with and how important they were to his team. The last lesson that Abrashoff talked about was improving the quality of the team’s life. He embraced the idea of having fun with the team and making the work environment fun. Many leaders frown upon fraternization and would probably look at Abrashoff’s practices as that. But his message was all about enjoying life and friends and he did it in very simple ways. He organized karaoke and alcohol-free happy hour on Fridays, movie nights on Saturdays, and playing music anytime work was involved.

It lifted the morale and everyone was laughing and having fun. Good food was another important part of improving the quality of life in the crew members. Abrashoff saw food as an important part of the ship. People could relax and socialize over a good meal and productivity could only increase. Even having a Thanksgiving meal when one is far away from home sends a caring message to the crew and makes people feel good. Reviewer’s Evaluation In my opinion, this book can be very helpful to anyone trying to be a better manager.

It really opens the reader’s eyes on the proper way to manage and how to let go of the “typical” manager style. I really like the part about looking through the employee’s eyes and getting the employees more motivated to do a better job. I believe Abrashoff really challenges the common ideal that managers should be unapproachable and listened to; authority and rules should never be questioned and always followed. He promotes risk-taking and challenging bad rules and really wants the leader to empower their team to make decisions and be innovative.

It’s Your Ship is an informative book that can help any leader become a better leader or learn new techniques to become the best leader. I am not sure how this book looks compared to other books like it, but I know the title alone is catchy and I would probably pick this one up first if I had to choose (I think it is because the word “damn” is on the cover! ). I think it was very appropriate for us BBA students in the business administration field because most of the jobs are supervisor positions. Not only can we students benefit from it, I think everyone can take some pointers from this book.

Some may not make it to a supervisor position in an office or retail setting, but there are leader positions everywhere: churches, volunteer work, etc. Each and every leader/manager can really profit from this book. The contribution of the book is huge; the message is so important to all managers. From my experience, I have been managed by many managers and became a manager myself. Many of these lessons would have been an advantage to my superiors and to me. Some of the chapters really spoke to me, such as learning to trust people to do their jobs.

I can admit that that was one area that I struggled in when I was a store manager. I really feel that Abrashoff did a great job explaining his practices and he made it very interesting to learn about them. I would definitely recommend this book not only to BBA students, but to many of my retail friends and some of my current supervisors. Reviewer’s Information Name: Shanita Kitts Affiliation: Averett University Address: 1300 Dover Place, Lynchburg, VA 24502 References Abrashoff, D. M. (2002). It’s your ship: Management techniques from the best damn ship in the navy. New York, NY: Warner Books, Inc.

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Journey Critique Essay

Each person’s life is a journey on a contorted road dotted with bumps and craters. At certain points, the bumps could seem as high as mountains and the pits as deep as hell, making this journey called life appear quite despondent. Although occasionally, your predicaments are entirely fate’s blunders, but perchance, they are your own. Your personal characteristics roughly resemble a steering wheel for your journey. They could be positive traits, which could steer you on a more decent path; or negative traits, which could steer you to a path that’s, well… not so decent.

Although you have no control over fate, you have power over your own “driving skills”, and could thus widen or narrow your chance for a smooth, prosperous journey. Also, it is beneficial to remember that you are not alone, for there are many other roads that coincide with yours, where others are conducting through their own journeys and floundering through their own bumps and craters as well. Drive together, and you could purvey support and encouragement for one another, and thus institute milder paths for all of you.

Most prominently, no matter how harsh the terrain of your road becomes, just remember that you will pull through and be transformed for the better because of it. This optimistic philosophy that I’ve adopted had been much solace to me in my own journey in becoming a successful high school student. It was not at all easy. Although fate has been overall lenient to me, it was my “driving skills” that tended to direct my course towards huge bumps. Despite my awareness of my own flaws and omissions, I still compulsorily reproached others and sought ways to exonerate myself.

This was one of the worst traits I retain. It precluded me from obtaining responsibility for my choices and learning from past oversights, thus impeded my maturing process. For example, my projects were oftentimes undone till the last minute (including this one). I would think to myself, “I don’t feel like doing it today, so I’ll work on it tomorrow”. Thus the project was delayed further and further until there was no “tomorrow” for it anymore, and then I would end up working well over midnight while secretly scowling at the teacher for giving out such a tedious and inane assignment.

Immaturity and refusal to admit my errors caused me to plunge into countless pits in my journey. The one positive trait that had proved to be highly efficient in boosting me out of these pits is ambition. I know that too much of it could corrupt a person, but so far it had only empowered my spirit with much-needed optimism. My greatest ambition is to become a renowned novelist; therefore every hardship and pain to me befits an inspiration for a potential novel. It is a most optimistic perception of things, and it had succoured me through many phases of emotional turmoil.

Although my own choices and personal characteristics had prompted many of my dilemmas, a certain number of large bumps on this road did bluntly materialise without my causing them. An example of that would be my kindergarten teacher. Back then, I was excessively shy and timid. (I still am, but not as much). I mainly kept to myself and was far too apprehensive to participate in class activities. Consequently, I might have appeared to be rather slow or mentally challenged. That was exactly what my teacher assumed.

She would openly denounce me as a retarded child in front of myself and all my peers, and I was at that stage in my life of accrediting whatever adults told me. Thus for a long time, I subconsciously retained the impression that I was somehow less than other kids. The lack of self-esteem had often induced me to fail before I even try. The other major obstacle that I’ve contended with was during my first years in the States. I had moved to Philadelphia, PA at the age of nine with primitive English comprehension.

In addition, we were coerced to dwell in one of the most delinquent and precarious districts in West Philadelphia due to our low budgets. The despicable socio-economic status of my neighbourhood could be seen from the school I attended, which had metal detectors installed at its doors. I underwent a great deal stress both academically and socially due to problems of communication. Plus there were a number of students that discriminated against me because I had the lightest skin colour in my school. As a result, I developed paranoia towards my peers, which ensues me even now.

Nevertheless, everybody undergoes their own adversities, shed their own tears, and abide their own pains. At these times of needs, friends, family, and other favourable resources are to be treasured more highly. I was never alone on this road, for many other roads that coincided with mine have brought much joie de vivre upon my journey. One of which who was always there behind me was my dad. I am not abashed to say that he is my best friend. There was a period in my childhood when he was not there for me. However, he made up for it by being the best father one could have.

Not only did he did take the time to assist me with my homework when needed and spent plenty of quality time with me, he was always there with wisdom, encouragement, and consolation. The other momentous source of benefit is Canada. Moving across the Atlantic Ocean was undoubtedly the best thing that ever happened to me. The reason is that the education system in China is not only relentlessly harsh; it is sadistically cruel. Society has deemed that if you failed to attain a university degree, you’d be a disgrace. Your career and marital opportunities would be despicably downtrodden.

In addition, China possesses an enormous population and too few universities to match, thus eliciting nervous breakdowns among many high school students, some were even impelled to commit suicide due to the immense pressure. I, on the other hand, am indescribably glad to be here in Canada, where I am much more likely to do well in high school and thus hold a promising future. Now here I am in grade 10 with a tolerable grade average and a healthy attitude towards school and life in general. Although this journey had been difficult and even toilsome at times, I pulled through.

One of the merits that I have acquired from my past experiences is strength. (I’m not referring to muscles, of which I have none). Strength in mind and spirit is like steel, and the most sublime of its quality can only be heated through suffering. I do not mean to pity myself, but I do believe that I’ve suffered more than many other teenagers have. There are certain things that I have not mentioned in this assignment, deeper pits in the hidden trails of my memory. Nonetheless, each time I fall, I was obliged to obtain strength in order to rise.

Thus each time I rose, I was a little stronger than before. My kindergarten teacher’s abuse, for example, had brought me much self-loathing, but not anymore. What’s left is a searing urge within me to spite her by proving her wrong. Another lesson that I’ve learned through my journey up to this point is to appreciate all that life has to offer. Life is short, and my road could abruptly come to a halt at anytime. Thus it is prominent to savour each and every moment of it by focusing on the positive things. My struggles and desolation have procured me to value what I have in order to overcome depression.

My family, friends, and other fortunate events in my life have been lights in times of darkness, reminding me that the world is not completely forlorn and bleak. Optimism, along with strength, is all that I need to carry on. And thus I go forth on this journey with the memories of all the people and places I’ve left behind. I know that as long as I possess a goal, I will never be lost. My goal as a successful high school student had been so far adequately accomplished, however, as always, there is much room for enhancement. It had been a most arduous but rewarding journey.

My friends and family, especially my father, had made this journey much easier. Also, I would not overlook Canada, which is such an enlightening and lenient learning environment. All of these allies and resources have presented me with guidance in the right course. However, some of my personal characteristics, like irresponsibility, were inclined to steer me astray. Then again, other traits that I possess, like ambition, succoured me in the continuance of my journey. The bumps and craters that I’ve met along my journey held a large role in constituting the person that I am now.

I have fallen so many times into the seemingly abyss of despair and struggled against the mirror for just a speck of self-esteem, but I have survived. I understand that there will be greater obstacles and barriers in the future, but I personally believe that pain is a thing to be prized. Someone who does not know pain would not appreciate joy, nor would he obtain the strength to make his journey worthwhile. You can also order a custom research paper, term paper, thesis, dissertation or essay on journey from our professional custom essay writing company which provides students with high-quality custom written papers at an affordable cost.

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Half-Full or Half-Empty?

Half-full or Half-empty? How many of us grew up believing in philosophies that thinking happy thoughts would make everything better? Or at “every clouds has a silver lining”, “the glass is always half-full? ” and that no matter how awful life is has been “there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. ” Otherwise, you were at varied enormous principle, raised on the belief that by thinking the worst of everything and everyone, you’d be better prepared for disappointment… Psychologists believe that an optimistic attitude is the stairway to success and contentment.

It has shown that a positive thinker is more resilient in the fare of difficulties, but they also have healthier lifestyle habits and can cope with stress more easily. And being an optimist has also some benefits, it can reduce tension and enhance emotional being. They’re noted for their ability to see the good of everything, viewing the world as a place of full adventure and opportunity. Pessimism brings loss. It ruins hope and possibilities. If a person is pessimistic, he/she doesn’t hope for a better future neither do something to achieve. He doubts his ability to overcome the obstacles along the way.

At the end, he/she will just stay where he/she is, without making progress. Because pessimism, people can waste years, even their whole lives. There are ways on how to overcome pessimism and be an optimistic. First, find a cause you believe in. A “cause” from the bottom of your heart has a blazing courage that can overcome any pessimism. For example, if you think that you can’t pass the test in , just bear in mind your true purpose of that test and make you inspiration as a tool for you to make it. Read inspiring stories and connect to your spiritual source. We all know that are strength is limited.

By praying, you connect a supernatural force that gives strength you need. For many people, this is the stronger power source. Focus on the possibilities, not in the impossibilities. Of course people become pessimistic when they focus their mind on the impossibilities. All they see is the darkness of the challenges ahead. In that way, all they think is overwhelmed by the difficulties. So remember to focus your mind on the possibilities. See how can you go through all these and be victorious. Pessimism is something we face . Let’s overcome it so that we qualify as leaders in life.

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