Thursday, May 7, 2009

Your Karma Account Balance

It's a tough time for everyone right now.

The economy is troubled, there's an H1N1 flu outbreak, and there's increased competition for scarce resources.

This causes people to be edgy, angry, and impatient.

I encounter a sense of frenzy when I board airplanes, when I search for parking, and when I commute on busy highways.

It's time to dust ourselves off, make the most of each day, and strive for more good Karma.

What do I mean?

Conflict happens every day. I have always believed that the nice guy can finish first in any conflict by doing the right thing.

1. By trying to win every competition you may win the battle of office politics but lose the Karma war. I've found that those who are Machiavellian live by the sword and eventually die by the sword. Thus, do not grandstand, take credit inappropriately, or demean others to enhance your own stature.

2. Rather than worrying about fame, fortune, or glory, just try to make a difference. Treat everyone with respect, listen to their concerns, and make decisions based on the greatest good for the greatest number.

3. Use email as a communication tool, not a weapon. If you feel emotion, save as draft and send it later. Never use blind cc's or use email to make others look bad to their superiors.

4. At the end of every day, look back on each open issue and ask if you've moved the issue forward. Many conflicts are not easily resolvable, but can be moved forward over time via gradual change and aligning the interests of stakeholders.

5. Stick to your principles. Integrity, honesty, and consistency should guide your actions.

If everyone looked at the balance in their Karma account at the end of every week, the world would be a much more positive place.

Yesterday in a meeting, someone asked how I was doing. My answer what that my 401k may be bad, but my Karma account is looking good. I have my health, a happy marriage , a loving daughter, and a set of really interesting challenges that enable me to make a difference.

I do not know where the future will lead, but when I look back in 30 years, I'll feel good about the journey. Along the way I'll be optimistic, kind, and fair.

Speaking of journeys, I'm at NASDAQ today doing a live webcast at 2:00pm Eastern. You can watch it at


Unknown said...

I hope this attitude flows down to others in your organization. It is needed.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine had a bumper sticker that summed up his view on life: My karma ran over your dogma.

Medical Quack said...

A nice reminder we all need to hear once in a while. Nerves have been on edge for most even before the flu episode.

We all need to stop and reflect back on what is important and what matters in life and good karma is part of it. The levels of being able to predict and forecast have certainly have taken a toll on everyone.

Share some of this with NASDAQ today.

GreenLeaves said...

Thank you John. Totally agree and I could not have formulated it better.

Peter Bachman said...