The Pamela Positive: From Anthony Silard–the Power of the Human Calculus

Today, my Pamela Positive is on a colleague of mine, Anthony Silard.  Anthony speaks about the importance of measuring and watching for the human calculus in our decisions.   I agree with him, and think it needs to be considered in every decision we make.

Anthony, thank you for capturing this astute wisdom from Japan.  Readers, enjoy!

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Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Become a More Effective Leader

Even a hunter cannot kill a bird which flies to him for refuge.
— old Samurai saying

Leaders who act with integrity pay less attention to the latest political or economic calculus and instead focus on the human calculus. These leaders hail from all walks of life and hold positions ranging from CEO to service representative.

Take Chiune Siguhara, the Japanese consul general in Kaunas, Lithuania in 1940. After the Nazi’s Blitzkrieg on Poland, Polish Jews fled to neighboring Lithuania. One of their only hopes for escape as the Nazis continued their takeover of Europe and closed in on Lithuania was to obtain transit visas to travel to Japan. Siguhara issued these visas despite many refugees not having passports or proper identification. Despite repeated orders from his superiors to stop, Siguhara issued over 5,000 transit visas. After he was fired from his position for insubordination by the Japanese government, he continued issuing transit visas until his last day, even handing the lifesaving documents from the window of his departing train.

Meditate on the wisdom of the Samurai before moving forward on your next initiative. Instead of immediately pushing for what you want, ask yourself first, “What is the human calculus here?” Write down the effects of the various options on the human beings involved – your employees, customers, the people in your community – and then make your decision.

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