In her song ‘Wind beneath my Wings’ internationally acclaimed songstress and actress Bette Midler ended by singing: –
‘Did you ever know that you’re my hero?
Ever popular, for many this song has become even more relevant today because there is a growing reluctance to give praise to others. Social media and the ever-growing stresses of modern life have instilled in many a desire to be noticed both in our workplace, society in general and even in our homes. It is true that many of us feel adequate and get satisfaction just going about our usual daily lives enjoying the occasional acknowledgment and smile. However, a growing number now feel a need to be recognised as individuals who are demonstrably unique from others. Unfortunately, in some this has become a passion to compensate for their lack of perceived skills. Their need to be recognised makes them succumb to the temptation of being a ‘trasher’. Finding that their talents and position doesn’t provide a sufficient platform for their aspirations, they take an easy option of trashing others. The idea to them, of praising anyone, undermines their own sense of importance. In their minds, making others feel insecure, heightens their own self-righteousness. Often, they become so skilful at doing this; it is not easy to recognise their almost stealth like activities. They rely on the fact that no matter who you are or even how nice you are, some people will not like you! So, when we hear that someone has ‘trashed’ us we just generally shrug it off and live with it. Unfortunately doing this often encourages those doing the ‘bad-mouthing’ to escalate their attacks. This increased activity may even make people we thought were friends turn against us. Unhappy people, who gain their kicks by trashing others, may join together so as they enjoy talking rudely about everyone else. By this stage malicious gossiping takes on an impetus all of its own.

So, what do we do about it?
Importantly you first need to recognise that you are being ‘trashed’. This is not always easy because trashers are often subtle in the way they build their sphere of influence. They usually act furtively in growing their empire as it gives credibility to their self-perceived uniqueness. This acts as compensation for their inadequacies. If they are found out their treasured trashing realm collapses.

You are being trashed if you are able to identify that someone is making harmful statements about you and that these may result in damaging your reputation and friendships. Workplace criticism, inappropriately conveyed to others, especially as ‘tittle tattle’, is a particularly hurtful form of trashing. It also breaks down team relationships and undermines group confidence. The truth of any statements is not theissue because the trasher, from their perspective, believes them to be true. Of course, an issue arises as to when such activities become slander, but that’s another matter. Frequently a trasher is a rather sad person, underneath their bluster, as it implies, they have nothing better to do. Deriving pleasure from trashing someone is believed to generate negative gratification which subconsciously saps creativity and vitality. It’s a way of getting sympathy and attention. If trash talk persuades some friends to desert you then you’re better off, as they were only tenuously your friend in the first place. They are in negative territory by allowing their lives to be influenced by rubbishing chatter.

But being trashed really does hurt, especially when it’s a good friend who has to clue you in that it is happening. However, one thing you must not do is to give in to a desire to defend yourself, especially when angry about it. Such a response plays into the hands of the trasher, who wants to feel more powerful than you. Over the years, experience has shown that the better way is to treat the trasher with light-hearted contempt by being friendly but, at the same time, nonchalantly smiling in their faces.

It turns out that those who recognise a need to cope with trashing activities often keep a ‘private’ list, about their workplace and social media – ‘a people who annoy them’ list. We all know such people, don’t we? Well checking it and amending it, every so often, makes us assess if we are also guilty of subtle trashing without realising it. Office and social media gossip is so much fun, isn’t it? Invariably we like to be first with the news.

We all have different talents and skills that are unique. Those who value a team spirit know that by pulling together, more may be achieved. Often, we fail to acknowledge this around us, thus providing fertile ground for trashers. Just like Bette Midler sings, by letting others know that they help you soar to greater heights, because ‘They are the wind beneath your wings’, quickly puts paid to trashers. We may all benefit by finding the time to ask our friends and colleagues, ‘Did you ever know that you’re my hero?’


Recently we heard about someone, we’ll call Alex for the purposes of this article, who was told by a successful chief executive, that they had been held back in the promotion stakes because they were seen as being ‘too professional’. This tale prompted the Kaleidoscope team to consider what ‘being professional’ and ‘too professional’ was all about. Eventually we came to a conclusion, you might regard, as being one which is not generally considered.

We agreed that being professional at work is essential if you wish to be a success. Consequently, we first considered, from an employee’s viewpoint, what ‘being professional’ might mean. Simply put the definition of ‘professional’ is actually a person who is engaged in a specific activity as a main paid occupation. However, being professional frequently means different things to each of us. For some it means having advanced qualifications, degrees or industry certification. For others it might mean doing a good job or being smartly dressed at work. Consequently, what is actually required to be professional can be difficult to pin down. On the flip side the requirements of a successful company, to portray themselves as being corporately professional, is well known. Such a company generates a perception of dependability, respectability, reliability, dedication and most importantly trust.

We soon realised that professionalism has two facets in the business world. There’s one for the individual worker and another demanded by a company to achieve an overall corporate image. Both these distinct entities are clearly and closely inter-related. Without achieving a high standard in the former it becomes, more or less, impossible to attain the latter. Accordingly, we focused firstly on what a worker needs to do to be classed as professional.

‘Professionalism’ isn’t about what you are wearing or the fact your hair is perfectly coiffed. Indeed, one leading UK executive, of a stock exchanged listed company, was known to chair meetings wearing a cowboy hat with boots to match! Using big or posh words, when you talk, also has nothing to do with being professional. Indeed, an individual focusing on these issues may mean that they come across as too professional. Interestingly we didn’t believe this was the implication of the ‘too professional’ accusation levelled at Alex. Image, personality and a team spirit are important, particularly when working as a dedicated group. Nevertheless, an individual’s professionalism will depend on how others assess them and not on their own judgement. Those believing they need to be somehow super professional could alienate them, as colleagues may feel that they cannot easily interact with them.

So, our bottom line is: –
Dress well so as to be comfortable.
Be yourself.
Make sure you enjoy your work.
Keep your qualifications to yourself because no one needs certificates waved in their faces.

But what drives an employee’s environment? It’s the need of a company to achieve a professional accolade in order to be successful. This is where, we believe Alex fell down. He failed to realise that, in focusing 100% on the needs of the company, he overlooked the different perceptions of professionalism amongst staff. Invariably a company sets out their objectives and targets on the basis that management are convinced they are credible and achievable. In doing so, they believe success will be assured as customers will appreciate dealing with a business that delivers.

But what happens when things don’t progress as visualised? This is when the ‘trouble-shooter’ is often brought in to identify the problems. Over his career this is the position for which Alex was noted. He was so professional, to a point, that all that mattered was focusing on what the company needed to achieve success. There’s nothing wrong in this you might say, but do you recall the saying,

‘No matter how qualified, a poor workman always blames their tools’?

Without occasional self-checking we may all fall into such a trap. When things go wrong, we mitigate our insufficiency by passing the blame to someone or something else. Alex’s role as a trouble shooter was to get to the heart of a problem, identify where such instances were happening and determine a solution. In this context Alex was ‘too professional’ because it meant challenging others on their professionalism. This required a tricky balancing skill to keep everyone happy.

Alex’s situation underscored the meaning of professionalism and its interplay between employee and company. This led us to conclude, rather uniquely it seems, that being professional means owning what you have done, by accepting full responsibility for your actions.

True professionals will never pass the buck!

In a similar way The Kaleidoscope team stand by our conclusion. So please feel free to offer your opinions if you wish. They will be welcome.


Some years ago, Kaleidoscope featured an article about ‘Techno-leapfrogging’. It’s a notion that persons, technology and economies can move themselves forward rapidly by adopting modern systems without going through the intermediary steps. Younger people do this easily because they take what is available now, as their starting point. Ask them what is a ‘brick’ mobile phone and they will have generally no idea. They take the internet, cloud storage and the fact that ‘World Wide Web’ was 30 years old last March for granted. Today the greater majority would be lost without their ‘www’ connection. So, when someone asked the Kaleidoscope team, if we enjoyed being connected, it was a challenge to compare what our social life situation was in 1989 with where we are now.

It will be difficult for some to realise that writing letters or sending a fax, way back then, was the only way to confirm a telephone discussion. However, unlike emails neither could be hacked and compromised. Equally can you imagine standing at a bus stop with nothing to do, where you take advantage of this opportunity to chat with other regular travellers to work? Nowadays many are lost in their isolated world of checking their mobiles. Yes, it is definitely true that we did use our time to interact with what was around us and consider things. Even with this approach some questioned if we were living life too fast. The 19th century acclaimed poet William Henry Davies, in his poem ‘Leisure’, wondered: –

‘What is this life if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

Currently it’s the norm to walk about, ignoring others, with eyes staring down at our mobiles. Many are totally disconnected with their local and social environment, only just about trying to avoid bumping into others. There is certainly no consideration given to ‘standing and staring’, looking at what is going on around them. But what about the person who is not on a mobile? Someone who is looking around? Someone who is checking you out? In such circumstances the whole idea of social interaction is turned on its head. Distraction from our actual environment may mean we miss obvious opportunities whilst, at the same time, we have made ourselves ‘porous’ both visually and electronically.

Those who techno-leapfrog into such a situation have automatically accepted it as being normal. They feel comfortable, even though they are missing out on person to person contact and direct emotional interaction. Being primarily use to social media, staying in touch via mobiles, means they have no basis for comparison with anything else. Mobile communication demands instant responses. Such thoughts are almost ‘peer to peer’ which is why posts are put into the ‘Twittersphere’, ‘Snapchat’ or ‘Instagram’ which are later regretted, when it is too late.

New technology really should come with a warning that we need to reassess and refocus on how we communicate and understand others. In doing so we have to set aside a basic human characteristic of using body language and facial expressions as a way of interpreting what is really meant. Even Facebook or Skype video are restrictive in emotional terms. It is true that you can actually sense and smell fear and you can’t do this by video!
For those who believe that new technology is the next best thing since sliced bread, then perhaps it would help to consider how things have advanced since 1989. Apply the same rate of change and reasoning to where we are now and try asking yourself: –

“If Google, Apple and Amazon have us talking to them now, who will be listening and reacting to what we say in 30 years’ time?”

‘Hi Alexa set the alarm for 6am’ – ‘Hi Alexa play some Bollywood music’, sound innocent enough but it’s been reported that these messages are being stored and examined. Children love playing with dolls and ‘Barbie’ now interacts and build-ups responses with their very young owners. This is where human bonding starts to be replaced with technology and our lives become porous. We have started to leak out information, to others, without realising it. You may be reassured to know that tech companies apparently only listen selectively to your voice, on the basis that they can use information to improve their product. However recent reports, that some share voice clips without your knowledge, must be cause for future concern. Giving out personal information, without your realisation, means your home is no longer your castle because your walls have become porous. Technology is listening in; on the basis it is there to be your assistant.

Maybe as we reach for the future, we should keep a firm eye on how porous are our lives becoming. After all if things progress too far, we may reach a stage where is it too late to hanker for ‘Leisure’ where: –

‘We have no time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
A poor life this, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare’.

Married or Single ?

One of the main things which spring to mind for most of our readers, during the recent festive New Year season, is family and friends. But for a growing number, the traditional setting of parents and family exchanging good wishes, eating and celebrating together has changed. There is a growing trend, across a majority of cultures, for people to either get married later or remain single.

This has caused questions to be asked as to why this is happening. Not least because it is easy for many of us to focus on the now and forget how we are arrived here. The belief that marriage was originally based on love is way off the mark. The traditions, responsibilities and implications of marriage have varied considerable across the centuries and in different parts of the world.

If we go back over ten thousand years the idea of a mother and father staying together for longer than a few years, after a baby was born, was rare. It was only later, with the advent of settling down and farming land, that staying together as a family unit evolved. This was because it was seen as a way of passing the fruits of labour onto others – your family. A sense of wanting children, and society needing the security of future generations also emphasised the desire for family. It will be the exception that proves the rule, to find parents that do not wish to pass on their property to their family, in order to hopefully make their children’s life better.

Contrastingly current statistics show a marked trend to stay single rather than getting married. If you Google ‘Single vs Married’ you’ll find many videos and information that reflect this. However what is obvious; most of these Google results have been created by ‘Millennials’, people born between 1982 and 2004. They have grown up within the social media experience. Consequently it’s probably true to say that they view marriage as falling somewhere between to these two quotes:-

‘A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person’ – Mignon McLaughlin, international journalist and author.

‘Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?’ – Groucho Marx, regarded as one of America’s greatest comedians.

Millennials generally value independence, coupled with a desire to explore and achieve self-awareness. This means that pressures to ‘settle-down’ and start a family are not at the forefront of their thinking. Of course some of us will recall grandma’s thoughts on this. ‘If you are not married by the time you are thirty, then the chances are you’ll never get married’. This concept was based on a belief that the single person will have become too set in their ways to want to change.

Because the single trend is recent and news always tends to reflect majority views, there has been a considerable amount of ‘bad’ stories about being single. Single people: –

Don’t live as long as those who are married.

Birthdays and festivals are lonely.

They can go weeks without any social plan. They are constantly depressed.

It turns out that most of the research for these statements was conducted before Millennials were born. More recent research does not sustain these facts as being correct. Indeed singles have a greater ability to expand their horizons. They don’t have a responsibility to stay in one place, in order to look after their family. Couples though have joys denied to singles as they:-

Are able to share loving experiences.

Are rewarded with their family growing-up.

Know troubles shared are troubles halved.

Can build-up memories and experiences together.

So when it comes to deciding which is better, the choice is really down to individual preference. It will depend on one’s own personality and the influence of cultural background and upbringing. Across the years and all countries types of marriage, number of wives and partners, has always varied considerably. History demonstrates that, over many generations, one style gradually gains greater recognition. Then, almost imperceptibly, it recedes amongst other choices.

What is clear is that being politically correct, in today’s climate, is essential. Just try finding a joke about either being single or married. You’ll soon run into difficulties about what you may say without causing offence. So as Kaleidoscope endeavours to be light-hearted, we’ll conclude with an anonymous poem, about a party. The choice of being married or single we’ll leave to you!

‘I gave a little tea party this afternoon at three.
It was quite small, three guests in all,
I, myself and me.
Myself ate all the sandwiches and I drank all the tea.
It was also I, who ate the pie and past the cakes to me.’

For better or worse, married or single, may you enjoy all your parties throughout New Year 2019.


It is usually the case, when starting to write an article for Lighthouse ‘Kaleidoscope’; a telling question is prompted, “What happens if the editor doesn’t like it?” This is invariable one of those uncertainties that arise whenever we start something new.

For someone, who is lacking in confidence, the fear of being rejected and failing stops them from moving forward. Whereas those who have learnt to embrace failure are happy to forge ahead.

The majority of successful people will be able to relate how they failed, yet went on to achieve greatness. They will also be able to explain that there is a mind-set to the art of admitting failure and learning from it. Whatever our situation in life our approach, and reaction, to failure can determine our overall happiness.

Interestingly motor manufacturer entrepreneurs, from different generations, have approaches which inspire a positive aspect to failure.

Henry Ford – Ford Motors said, “Failure provides the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.”

Ratan Tata Chairman emeritus of Tata Group, when making a surprise appearance earlier this year at Tata Motors said, “We should all plan for being leaders and not followers.” He was remembering, no doubt, that successful leaders know how to rebound from failure. Both Henry and Ratan see failure as an opportunity, something to envelop.

But one of the hardest things to say is, “I’ve failed.” However by admitting it, we are releasing ourselves from being weighed down by it. Of course this isn’t easy as we have been taught, from an early age, that failure is bad so why should we welcome it?

Well consider the experience of acclaimed inventor Thomas Edison. His school teachers said that he was, “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being, “non-productive.” To top this Edison made some 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When he finally succeeded a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail a 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps!” This example highlights a unique characteristic of successful people – their ability to carry on with optimism, building on what they have learnt from failing.

There are those amongst us who will say I cannot afford to fail. This attitude is usually brought about because we don’t take time to count our blessings. When faced with a rather gruesome university exam paper which he feared failing; a student recalled that he was so wound-up that he decided, instead of cramming up to the last minute, to do something different. He got on his cycle and went out into the countryside. It was a bright sunny warm day and sitting down on a grassy verge, the thought suddenly came, “If I fail I will still be able to cycle here and enjoy what I am doing now – lazing in the sunshine.” Guess what? This student passed the examination with better than anticipated results. So by counting your blessings, it is often possible to spur yourself to success because failure has been put into its proper perspective.

Considering these ways failure can help focus our minds for better outcomes.

1) Failure makes success taste even better; because once we come to terms with failure we reassess our ability
to take greater risks.

2) Embracing failure inspires us; because we can identify our best skills through failure.

3) Failure grounds us. We realise that we are human and not always right.

4) Recognising that it’s only natural to fail and that everyone fails, even if they hide the fact. Like learning
to walk we may fall down but we keep on trying until eventually we can run.

But what happens if we suddenly realise something has gone really horribly wrong and it’s entirely our fault? Whatever happened, we were trusted to do a job, we failed and now we need to tell others. An initial reaction is to ‘duck and cover’ because, depending on how bad we screwed-up, it could mean the end of our career, job, status or reputation. Whilst many will try to weasel out of it, the fall-out will still be flying and probably hitting others, causing them to lose trust in us. Admitting our failure puts us on the road to dealing with it and may often be the first step towards making a successful turn-around.

Of course the universal champions at weaselling out of things are often the bureaucrats. They use the fall-back defence to avoid admitting failure with a non-admission of guilt exemplified in the phrase, “Mistakes were made – but there are lessons to be learnt and we will learn them.” If we hear anyone in our company saying this, look out for the red flags of failure!

However in summary, by applying these guidelines and taking on board these examples we will hopefully find ourselves in the same winning mind-set as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Amazon entrepreneur Jeff Bezos. Bill Gates said, “Once you embrace unpleasant news and see it not as a negative but as evidence of a need for change, then you aren’t defeated by it.”

Whilst for many Jeff Bezos gave a most telling quote. When considering failure he said, “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.”

So what to do if the Lighthouse Editor doesn’t like this article? Mark it up, not down, to experience and write something else – the next ‘Kaleidoscope’ will definitely be brilliant.


Global enterprises interact across many cultures and social environments. The diversity of these, where communities are either reasonably rich, impoverished, exploited or inadequately recompensed for their services; has led to calls for businesses to conduct themselves with humanity in mind.
For such businesses ‘humanity in mind’ is not a mantra but a core value. It means thinking about the bigger picture within a company and how the decisions it makes may affect their employees and the communities in which they operate. It is a desire to do something for humanity which has led to persons like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi and Sheryl Sandberg becoming internationally known philanthropists. They use a significant total of their income to help others less fortunate. They also recognise that it is their staff that deserves special consideration for their contribution to a company’s success. Of course, there will be those who ask; “Why should we bother about humanity, I am happy just making money for myself?” However, research confirms that when staff is valued from the top down and when a company actively engages within the communities where it operates, then the bounce-back goodwill is worth its weight in gold.
Many services and products have become ever more comparable and interchangeable. Clients now have more choice because the internet means they are better informed and consequently are no longer necessarily loyal to companies, brands or services. They may be satisfied with a product but nowadays it requires more than just satisfaction – it requires meaningful interaction and a ‘we like your company’s attitude and approach better than others’, to maximise customer retention.
Doug Conant, an internationally renowned business leader with over 40 years leadership experience with companies including Nabisco, Campbell Soups and Avon Products, highlighted how business with humanity in mind starts: – ‘To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace’. When leaders go with what they feel is right, being true to themselves and only treating others as they would like to be treated; then humanity starts cascading down. However, wherever we find ourselves in this chain there is one thing that frequently halts the process. It’s our own egos! Once we start to think it is important that others recognise that we are important then our ability to build positive relationships is soon frustrated. Putting aside our egos, and focusing on how we may help others develop, means that all of us may grow together. It’s currently known as ‘giving back’. Often, it’s the little spark, a magic moment that starts someone on the path to success. Be it within a company, or an interaction between a company and a community; a catalyst for good carries its own inherent rewards. Where a company, a leader, a team or even a single salesperson are known to encourage others and think about how they can help; the ‘we like your company’ attribute soars.
Equally the same applies when ‘giving back’ includes interacting with communities. Starbucks, the American coffeehouse chain, was founded in Washington in 1971. It now operates in 28,218 locations worldwide. Their ‘Meet Me at Starbucks’ campaign was an exceptional method to involve communities enjoying the experience of getting together in a Starbucks café all around the world. It showed how it could adapt to regional cultures, whilst offering the guarantee of a recognised quality brand served by staff focused on their regional environment. So, everyone is happy because they are being recognised for who they are, where they are and in a way that connects the company with their individual experience.
No matter what the size of an organisation the bottom line, when it comes to ‘business with humanity in mind’, is that everyone within a company equally from the leaders downwards, provides opportunities for others to flourish as individuals. At the same time humanity requires we seek out those, within a community, who may benefit from a little help. Random acts of kindness go a long way especially if given from the heart. Receiving smiles from others, as you conduct your business, is great recognition that you are succeeding in putting humanity into your business. It also means that your brand is honestly endeavouring to give something back – this really is operating your business with humanity in mind

Managing Your Empire

If you look at the history of great empires including Roman, Tibetan, Spanish, Russian and British, you see that they all grow to a certain size and then start to fall apart. The simplest and easiest reason for this is because the ethos, that originally bound them together, becomes lost across the ever increasing expanse. Those at the edges start to question why they should conform and the rational for doing so becomes weakened, eventually leading to the collapse of an empire.
The same effect may be seen in any business, company or organisation. If the centre loses connection with the lowest or farthest component then things can rapidly change adversely. Consequently if things change at the centre it’s important to let those furthermost away know what is happening, so that they remain inclusively involved and aware. Even in smaller workplace and social environments if the message and focus, which unites purpose, becomes cloudy then a breeding ground for misunderstandings may quickly start to permeate. In such a situation even an award winning team may, slowly and almost inconspicuously, start to fall apart simply because of the insecurity that is generated.
One report, from the Rotman School of Management in Toronto, recently published that some 41% of employees from all types of business noted high levels of stress. Whilst this increase is often blamed on our modern lifestyle, it’s insecurity which usually plays the trigger role. Generally we all prefer to know and understand what is expected of us, as this helps us achieve the goals that have been set. Probably like the writer of this article, we all gain satisfaction from knowing that we have done a job well and that the boss appreciates us. But until you get to the top, where the buck stops, even the bosses have a boss. Consequently any changes in management structure at whatever level may effects in areas where no one anticipated them.
Owing to modern demands, emails, texts, tweets news soon travels. Gossip quickly becomes the truth and fake news proliferates. Social media quickly spreads fear of failure and creates a ‘company sickness’ even though there is no real foundation for it! This is why it has become so important to ensure that everyone is, ‘in the loop’ when it comes to spreading good news.
So how may you test to see if you are getting good vibes in the workplace?
Well there is one simple way. Ask yourself this question. When emails arrive or your office telephone rings do you think they are bringing you problems or solutions, good news or bad news? If you appreciate your Company’s mission, and you enjoy being part of the team, then you will regard them as opportunities regardless of their nature. If not, you need to find time to chat with your colleagues to see what may be done to reverse any adverse trends. This is important because expectations about ones professional life have changed over recent years. Work, a pursuit others previously did for money and status, is now assumed to provide us with personal fulfilment. The logic goes that, without fulfilment, we will not realise our potential and will therefore feel unsatisfied at work and less productive. Obviously this is a situation that not only ourselves, but also management, wish to avoid.
So the bottom line is that when management changes are not communicated fully or understood properly it may lead to uncertainty. Uncertainty can then give rise to insecurity, which may cause anxiety, which in its turn brings on stress. As a consequence the motivation to provide our best and achieve our full potential is lost. This is a situation which benefits none of us.
Because of the greater focus on social media and its impact on spreading information, there has been a focus on how beneficial interactions and discussions are encouraged. Many companies now have role-play, get-away-days and other types of ‘out of the box’ ideas, so that staff feel more able to socialise on a friendly basis. Outside the restraints of being in the workplace, a more relaxed atmosphere often produces worthwhile outcomes. However here is an old chestnut story which, in this context, is worth repeating.
A sales representative, a project assistant and their manager went off to lunch together when they found an antique magic lamp. They decided to rub it and the Genie of the lamp appeared. The Genie said that each of them could have one wish.
Me first!” says the sales representative. “I want to be on my own magnificent house boat being waited on hand and foot, in my own estate, in the Kerala Backwaters without a care in the world.” Whoosh – their dream wish comes true.
Me next!” says the project assistant. I want to as rich as Elon Musk and have my own paradise island, relaxing on the beach, with an endless supply of everything I desire.” Whoosh! Their dream wish comes instantly true.
OK, it’s your turn,” says the Genie to the manager. The manager says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch.
Now if you understand the logic behind this story, and it makes you chuckle, then you’re already well on the way to dealing with any opportunities changes may bring within your workplace. Keep an open mind, build on your experiences, listen to others and have a friendly collective approach and you’ll never find yourself stuck on the edges of an empire. You’ll be part of the driving force for the better.


If you are being completely honest, how many of you will confess that you have frequently failed to keep a New Year’s resolution? The fact is more than 80% of them are never kept. It’s therefore no wonder that the value of making resolutions is easily brought into question. However as each New Year comes round it’s an interesting and easy topic to keep our attention, asking friends what their New Year’s resolutions will be. Whilst it’s said that, ‘Procrastination is the thief of time’; we still keep promising ourselves that we will do better next time. But by making New Year’s resolutions, the greater majority of us are just setting ourselves up for disappointment. So why bother?
There is no doubt that resolutions only succeed when we are resolute. Research shows that we are simply not wired to be suddenly resolute. Becoming so is a brought about by a process, through which we need to go. It needs to take place for any resolution to have any real chance of succeeding. Basically there are four stages to reaching a point where it is reasonable to make a new resolution. So if you are mindful to bother about resolving to do something, here are some markers to help you. Importantly you need to determine what stage you are in.
Stage One is where you are thinking about making a change but, in your heart of hearts, you know you really don’t want to do it. Perhaps, for example, you are being pressured into making a commitment by a well-meaning friend. This approach will not be enough to ensure you succeed.
Stage Two is where you are not only thinking about making a change but you are also considering the practicalities of doing it. You wonder how you will find time to go to the gym. How much is it going to cost? Will it make me too tired to do other things? How will I benefit? At this stage you are actively considering the situation. This is important because without having weighed-up the ‘pros and cons’ of a resolution you will be unprepared. As a consequence the first unexpected hurdle you face may well cause you to quit.
Stage Three is where you are out of denial about the benefits of any decision. You really do appreciate the benefits and you now recognise the need for change. At this stage, which is realistically a contemplation period, you have to be prepared for even your friends being for or against you. Some will egg you on and others will tell you that you are about to waste your time. You must be confident that your list of benefits outstrips any list of drawbacks. With this knowledge, a belief in yourself and your ability to succeed should assuage fear of failure.
Stage Four is the place you need to be at when New Year’s Eve arrives. Many of us feel pressured to commit to changes when we are not really ready. Being at Stage Four, when your friends want to know what your resolution is going to be, will enable you to make a really meaningful and achievable resolution pledge. Stage Four is the visualisation period where you are able to see and appreciate where you will be when you have successfully carried out your resolution. Having your end goal in focus, on your horizon, will provide a worthwhile incentive.
Following these four stages will underscore why you should bother – you know you can and will succeed. Once you have started along your new resolution pathway it is also a good ideal to have a plan to assess progress. This should include knowing your specific goals and having a way to appraise results. A fundamental principal of psychology is, ‘If you can measure it, you can change it’. By examining on a regular basis, where you are now, you can judge if you have hit a plateau, are slipping back or moving forward and adjust your efforts accordingly. It is also important to be patient because progress is seldom linear. Some see rapid gains only to slip back later whereas others improve gradually. Remember making sustainable changes really does take time. Even successful people have set-backs. Their difference, which sets them apart from those who fail, is they see everything as a step along the path to success.
So if you really do want to bother making a New Year’s resolution, make sure you are at Stage Four and remember:- It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you are determined enough to get back up. So if you have a temporary slip-up with your resolution, get up and carry on to achieve your goal. Winners always do!

Money Can’T Buy Everything In Life ?

How often do you hear someone say; “If only I had the money?” No doubt, just like the Kaleidoscope team, you have even said it to yourself. Having money seems to be the answer to many, if not all, of our problems. Money plays an important role in our lives because without it we cannot buy food, clothes and other essential things. Most of us will agree that money, and the more we have of it, enables us to own many things; houses, cars, the latest gadgets as well as gaining power and fame. However, whilst such things may satisfy our desires and needs, having them will not necessarily make us happy.  A way to understand the role of money and how it affects you, for good or bad, it is consider that it is only a tool. If you do not know how to use it then it could injure or even kill you! Once you start on the money escalator, it’s said that you must never forget your roots, otherwise you will lose yourself.

Nearly sixty years ago ‘The Beatles’ wrote their worldwide hit song, ‘Can’t buy me love’. In the chorus they sing; “I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love”. This statement is more revealing, when one considers its implications. Many lottery winners relate stories about how, after winning all the money, they seemed to lose their friends. Suddenly gained new friends turned-out to be ‘money’ friends who were only attracted to their new wealth. Having money and spending money buys you services, that brings with it courtesy and attention, which may be confused as friendship. The more money you have the greater the attention and service. People around you begin to say what you want to hear, rather than what you need to hear. They do so because they do not want to upset you. They need to keep either your friendship or their job!

Some years ago, one of the Kaleidoscope team visited Los Angeles for the first time. He was sneaked into a Universal studio lot where filming was taking place. It featured a movie-star who was known to be rather unpredictably emotional. Hiding at the back of the sound stage, imagine the astonishment of everyone when the star stopped the filming and shouted out; “Hey what are you doing here?” Thinking this was a sign of trouble there was a hushed anticipatory silence. This was happily broken when the star called to his manager; “Look after that guy. Give ‘em whatever they want.” It turned out that years previously, when completely unknown, the star had been a film extra, desperate for a meal. He hadn’t forgotten who had bought him one without asking for or getting any payment. It was now unexpectedly repaid in full. Maybe this was why the unpredictable emotional actor had such acclaimed acting qualities, he hadn’t forgotten his roots. The pleasure it gave everyone involved, remembering and chatting about things were when they both had very little money, gave real pleasure than money could buy.

The pleasure and joy of having a happy family is also something that money certainly cannot buy. Add to this respect and inner peace and it becomes more obvious that money really is just a tool, something which can be used to oil the wheels of life so they run more freely. Clearly a great advantage for those who have it but more dangerous for them, when they start to let the love of money drive their lives. Nowadays, as our world becomes ever more excessively concerned with material possessions and money-oriented, emotional, spiritual and mental welfare tends to take a back seat. We forget that only by using our money correctly may we achieve a happy heart and agreeable life.

Internationally acclaimed, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is someone else who appears to be determined to remain grounded in his roots.

He disclosed, during a BBC Radio programme that he employs, and surrounds himself, with his old school friends and family members. The reason is because they know him well enough, when he had nothing, to tell him when he is being stupid. If you stop believing your close friends, those who knew before you had money, you have probably started to create trouble for yourself. Guess how Ed summed up his attitude to enjoying what really matters to him? He said that, even with all his money, a luxury item he always makes sure he has, when touring, is a bottle of tomato ketchup.

If you think having more, and even more money, can give you the best feeling in life, maybe this true incident will convince you otherwise. When Big Bazaar opened their store in Trivandrum, Kerala; a customer noticed an elderly lady looking confused standing before an escalator. “May I help you?” he enquired. The lady replied that she had never seen ‘one of these before and didn’t know what to do’. The customer recalled later, to his friends, how much joy it had given him to see the pleasure in the lady’s face when they reached the top. The incident had made his day. I wonder what the lady would have said if she had known that her helper had been a millionaire film/record producer English tourist. The pleasure she had given him, with the look on her face, was worth something that money could not buy.

Which brings us to our punchline in response to the proposal; ‘Money can’t but everything in life’. Whilst money plays an indispensable part in our lives it is not everything because family, friends and love are the only things which may give us true happiness. Unless you feel happy, content and have a good sense of self, when you reach the top of the escalator, then clearly you will realise that money can’t buy you everything in life.

World’s Largest Shipyard To Be Built In Saudi Arabia

HaskoningDHV UK and Hyundai Engineering & Construction have been selected to perform the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) for the infrastructure of a new maritime yard in Ras Al-Khair in Saudi Arabia.

The maritime yard will comprise a separate shipyard facility for large shipbuilding, large ship repair, offshore rigs fabrication, and offshore support vessel repair. As planned, this facility will become the largest maritime yard in the world providing a range of services. It will be located north of Jubail on the Arabian Gulf. Royal HaskoningDHV’s specialist shipyard consultancy experience combined with Hyundai E&C’s track record in Engineering-Procurement-Construction (EPC) projects will provide comprehensive technical knowledge for all elements of the shipyard’s design.

Adrian Arnold, project director at Royal HaskoningDHV said: “Maritime yards must be globally competitive with facilities which are cost-effective, operationally flexible, and durable. This project combines four different yards into a single development, creating significant opportunities for economies of scale and enhancing the country’s economic development.”

The maritime yard will have an impressive range of facilities including seven fully-equipped dry docks, two basins and five piers, a shiplift system, workshops, warehouses, utility services areas, as well as office buildings, living quarters, and recreational facilities for more than 10,000 workers.

Royal HaskoningDHV undertook the initial market study for the maritime yard in 2014. The FEED development work is now scheduled to take five months.