The Boss Show

Workplace wisdom with heart and humor

February 16, 2013

The Carnival Triumph and Your Workplace

By Steve Motenko

When they disembarked the ironically-named Carnival “Triumph,” they presented a fascinating variety of faces.

Some were angry, some ecstatic.  Some jovial, others surly.

“Horrendous, horrendous,” a couple of middle-aged women told a TV news reporter.  They looked shell-shocked.  They spoke of the smell and the dark and the inconvenience and the severe lack.  They had nothing but harsh words about Carnival.

Someone else – despite having been on the same dark, smelly boat – told the waiting microphones it was a largely positive experience – one he was thankful for, one that offered unique opportunities for community.

“It was a great three-day cruise followed by a bad four-day camping trip,” he quipped. But the adversity of the “camping trip” brought people together into tightly-knit communities bent on supporting each other throughout.  They gathered in groups and sang and played games and laughed, he said.

A young woman was asked, “You must have been really frustrated during this experience?”  To which she replied, “What’s the point of being frustrated?  It was what it was.  Frustration wouldn’t have helped.  And the crew was so wonderful …”

The next passenger who spoke to the cameras “gave all the glory to God.”  It was definitely God who got the Triumph through to the dock, God whom she interacted with most on the trip, God who was always with her.

My point is this: whether it’s a cruise ship, your family, or your workplace, reality is not a one-size-fits-all phenomenon.   From the fabric of your own experiences, your own beliefs, your own style, and your own mood, you cut a cloak of reality that’s unique to you.

If you think your boss is X, chances are some of your co-workers think she’s Y.  If you think your job sucks, chances are someone else in the same job thinks it’s not too bad.

So if your reality depends on how you approach your experiences, then what new ways of approaching your work situation might help you to make it better?

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About the Author

Steve Motenko is an executive coach, leadership trainer, and co-host of The Boss Show, a weekly podcast on workplace dynamics. Steve and his Boss Show co-host, Jim Hessler, are co-authors of Land On Your Feet, Not On Your Face: A Guide to Building Your Leadership Platform. Steve lives on Whidbey Island, Washington, with his wife and dog, whom he loves, and a cat he tolerates usually pretty well.

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