The following is excerpted from Bob Rosner's CNBC.com article:
Didn’t they used to say that bad news came in 3’s? Today if feels like it’s coming in 3,000’s. Jeez, I can’t remember the last good news that I’ve heard about my portfolio, the economy, the workplace, world events, etc. Ouch!
Which reminds me of a classmate’s question during my old MBA days. We were in our Organizational Development class and he asked, “What’s the opposite of a vicious cycle?”
His question was greeted with blank stares. After a pause the professor went back to his lecture, that wasn’t burdened by any actual insight, on high performing teams.
I was chatting with another classmate at the break in our class. He blurted out, “A virtuous cycle.” I asked him what he was talking about and he continued, “A virtuous cycle is the opposite of a vicious one.”
Virtue. What a concept. But how do we actually bring it to work?
This isn’t rocket science. It just involves being more empathetic and awake.
As I looked around, I started to notice that there are lots of people who are who are being virtuous daily.
Take Jill at the gym. She is a personal trainer at the local 24-Hour Fitness. I’ve never worked out with her, but I have watched her work with many clients. Unlike most other trainers, whose sessions resemble enhanced interrogation techniques, her sessions are full of laughter and joy. She takes her job well beyond perspiration to inspiration, by the way she talks, looks at and engages each person during their workout.
There is also a supermarket checkout person in Oakland that a friend told me about. When people are checking out she’ll ask questions about what they’re planning to make with their groceries. She always has a stack of homemade recipe cards that she offers to people. She has dog biscuits and candies for the kids. My friend tells me that routinely people will wait in a long line for her, while other checkout lines in the store are empty.
Finally, on a recent airplane trip a flight attendant went through the entire cabin to personally thank each passenger. I asked her about it and she says that she does it on every flight because she appreciates that her job exists because of these customers.
Virtuous cycles. Think of them as the opposite of Bernie Madoff, AIG, John Thain and the rest of our drowning-in-doom headlines.