From Russia with Love
Once again, a victim of the Media, Russia gets a bad rap! The media tends to focus on stereotypes that paint Russia and Russians in a dark light creating bias perspectives that affect global perceptions. And… once again, it’s just more BS. The experience on my trip to Russia as a keynote speaker at the Global Networking Marathon has left me with a beautiful image of Russia and its People. I found beauty everywhere I turned, from architecture to art to people enjoying life all around me (even at 3am). I found the Russian people to be kind, smart and genially friendly and caring. And yet, the media paints a totally different image.
Granted, I was not surrounded by an average group of people. My status as the #8 ranked of the world’s best speakers / thought leaders in Leadership gave me the privilege of speaking on the same platform with some globally renowned speakers like Itzik Amiel and Gil Petersil, The Russian politician truly making a difference in positive reform: Alena Popova, famous journalist, author and anchor Sean Thomas of RT, and Russian leadership guru Radislav Gandapas. Plus the 400+ people who came to see us were industry leaders and entrepreneurs, coaches, trainers and people who wanted to make a difference. So, I was not exposed to anything negative relating to the people or the country. Was my perception also bias?
When our Focus is confined to one perspective, we delete all others. At work, we tend to notice the difficulties or mistakes others make. When something goes wrong, we see their incompetency and often forget any goodwill earned earlier. And then, we take the role of the media when we talk about the “Issues”, “How management is Mismanaging” or how our colleague is “Difficult to deal with”… and perpetuate the “Story” to the others in the organization.
When we delete the good behaviors, competency, and even passion, we perpetuate the bad. When it seems that no matter what good things we do, that they go less noticed that the few bad things, we tend to give up. Do less of the good and settle for mediocrity. When our children get 5 good grades and one “F” on their report card, what do we focus on, the good grades, or the “F”? …and so we get them to focus that if everything is not perfect, it is equal to failure. And so we nurture low confidence and redirect focus to failure instead of success.
When I was in Moscow, I noticed the pride people had in their city, I saw the youth with so much hope and positive outlooks of personal potential. I met super wealthy people who were grounded and gladly have a conversation with you over coffee. I met people who cared about the welfare of strangers and wanted to support their success. I noticed everything the media deleted, and it allowed me to have a great time.
I also noticed some fun lessons from history… below are a few videos
This is not the first country I have experienced a very lopsided perspective of the media. On my trips to Iran, I found so much passion and happiness from very intelligent and caring people in a country painted to the rest of the world in a very dark light. So I don’t like to listen or read the media, I like to be in control of my own focus, in business, as a leader, in my relationships… and I wish to focus on all the greatness that has gone before the mistake, to see a full picture, and not a dark image a partly cloudy day.