Here we go again

It feels like not too long ago I wrote about the year that passed and now 2018 has already gone.

As last year, I see this as a great opportunity to reflect on the year that was and what a great year it has been. In 2018, I faced challenges, had the opportunity to meet amazing people all over the globe and accumulated new skills along the way. The most important thing, was the fact that I have enjoyed doing what I do and through the year, I have evolved and grew so much.

So what did I achieve in 2018? This time last year, I moved into a new role within the finance department, without knowing where this path will take me, I was requested to lead the establishment of a new entity located in Bangalore, India.

This was a steep learning curve and I gained business and local knowledge. It was also a great opportunity to work alongside incredible people who taught me so much and I’m so grateful for each person I have met and interacted with along the way.

I have no doubt that 2019 is going to be exciting with new challenges on the horizon which makes me thrilled to what’s ahead of us.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year. I know that this year will be even more exciting than last year.

2019 here I come!!

Just do it

So many times in life we heard the phrase, do the right thing even when no one is watching. This expression was resonated with me and I was thinking about what it means to me.

A few days ago, I started my routine in the morning and got into the car and was on my way to work. When I was few metres away from a very busy intersection I noticed that most of the cars in front of me started to shift towards the left lane. Few more metres forward, it was clear what was the reason for the shift. On the right lane there was a very big branch that fell on the road.

Same as everyone else, I signalled to the left and overtook this obstacle. When I have done this, I thought about what is the right thing to do. Is it to keep on going and continue with my busy day or should I do something to help others. In a split of a second decision, I decided to pullover and drag the branch into the side walk to ensure the safety of the people that were behind me and maybe couldn’t see this object on the road.

Sometimes those little things we just do makes an impact on someone else’s life. Sometimes it is just making us feel great about doing something for the greater good.

Embedded yourself in local culture

Recently I was privileged to be part of a large project that was landed in India and I have had the opportunity to visit in India a few times.Initially, I knew only a little bit about this country and from a perception about what I’m going to see based on what other people have told me. With some concerns and a lot of excitement I travelled to India for the first time. I was so pleasantly surprised to find out that most of the concerns I have had proved to be wrong.

The colours, the friendly people and the beautiful views made feel culturally connected. It almost felt that I have already been here before. In my last visit I had the opportunity to extend my visit and to explore what Bangalore city has to offer over the weekend. Initially I was recommended to visit the tourist places such as the beautiful palace and the temples which I did but I kept on asking to experience the city as a true Bangalorean.

Luckily for me it was Krishna birthday and I went to the Sri Radha Krishna temple. This was an amazing experience, one that I will be remembering for years. This project, people and journey through the cultural challenges taught me the importance of understanding of the small nuances and local gestures.

Co-pilot

Recently I was assigned to a large project and was advised that my role will be a supportive role to the project lead and I will be acting as the co-pilot.

Initially I was concerned about the role and how I can fit in with the project team. At that point I wasn’t sure about my role and how I can contribute to the delivery of the project.

Very quickly, I started to learn more about the project itself, the team and the challenges we were facing. It was evident that the project team was required to build a governance framework for delivering tasks and accountabilities.

Slowly things started to fall into place and I’ve gathered a better understanding of the value of the supportive role to the project group and that this was as important as any other leadership role in the project team.

This made me think about how sometimes we underestimate our contribution for the greater good. We all have a role to play and it is important to have a sense of appreciation for what each individual can deliver and the pivotal role everyone plays in achieving the share goals together as a team.

A story about Olga

Last weekend we went to the shopping centre to buy a few things and have lunch with the kids. When we finished we returned to the car park and we were ready to go home. As we reached the car a nice elderly woman who looked in distressed requested our assistance as she had some trouble finding her way out of the car park.

A few weeks ago, the shopping centre implemented a new ticket machine system that recognise the car on the way into the centre. This lady was trying to find an actual ticket machine and was circling the centre for more than 20min.

As we saw that she was struggling to find her way out, I offered her to join her car and assist with the parking payment. She accepted my offer and was extremely grateful. On the way out we chatted and she told me that her name is Olga and this was the first time she has experienced such discomfort.

After she dropped me off, my husband that was driving behind us picked me up and we drove back home. On the way back, my kids asked me how come I went into a stranger’s car, as they know this is not acceptable and unsafe.

We explained to them that we saw that this lady was confused and needed someone’s assistance. There are times I find it difficult to explain to them why sometimes we need to deviate from the norm and do things differently. This was definitely one of them.

Reward and recognition

In the last few months I was working on a new overseas initiative that was completely different from any work I have been involved with in the past.

Only few days ago when I was requested to provide a list of all the people that contributed to the successful delivery of the project I realised how many people from all business areas were involved in the execution of this program.

This morning we had a thank you morning tea for everyone involved and I was so proud to stand with the team and reflect on what we have been able to achieve and the great learnings we had along the way.

At the end of the recognition of everyone’s contribution, I received these beautiful flowers and amazing card from our leader. To say that I was humble and grateful will be an understatement. It is amazing what recognition and a simple thanks can do to boost your motivation.

The best part for me was that I didn’t expect anything and throughout the whole project was focused on delivering the milestones and support the project team.

Truly grateful to work in a workplace that appreciate and apprise all team members with their contribution for the greater good.

Thank you to each and everyone who has been a part, I won’t be able to recognise everyone but you know who you are.

Random act of kindness

Today is the Jewish new year, one of the most important celebrations in the Jewish tradition.

This holiday is about celebrating the new year with family and friends and start the year with positive wishes for the year to come. Our family moved to Melbourne many years ago and always this holiday close to my heart as it is all about celebrating with your love ones. Therefore, I decided to celebrate in my home and invite my closest friends and family over.

This morning I went to buy the final few last items that I needed for tonight. As you can imagine, the supermarket was filled with people like me that only came to buy the last thing for their special dinner tonight.

As I was searching through the isles, one lovely lady approached me and asked if I have come across cranberries. As it was just next to me, I passed on a pack and she was very happy and grateful.

After good 45 min, I had everything I needed and I was making my way through to the registers. At that moment, the same lovely lady named Louise, said that she has something to give me when I finish my payment. I wasn’t sure what she meant but she kept her word and waited for me at the entrance of the supermarket. She then said that she was prying to God to meet Jewish people as she was volunteering in a Jewish organisation called Tikkun Olam and she handed out a big hamper with lots of kosher goodies.

To be honest, I was surprised and grateful for this beautiful and unexpected random act of kindness. Sometimes it feels like God gives you signs and I truly believe that today was a sign that a new great year is ahead of us.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my family and friends all over the world Happy New Year and Gmar Chatimah Tova.

Embracing technology

Last night my daughter looked at me like I’m a dinosaur, “you really don’t know what Deliveroo is? You don’t use snapchat?” I thought she was speaking foreign language but you know what, I realised that I was the one that wasn’t up with the technology and got a wake up call from my 12 year old daughter.

For so many people the thought of using new technology can be dreadful. I have to admit sometimes I do feel the same but I do like to learn new skills and explore new technologies. Every new skill is additional to your tool set and your growth.

Recently, as a tribute to my daughter, I started to explore new ways to support our very busy lives and I discovered a new world of easy to use apps that can improve our lifestyle.

The next few days, I was encouraged by my daughter’s words to try some of those apps and report back and that is exactly what I did. In one night I used 3 new different applications:

1. Uber Eats to order our yummy dinner.
2. Shebah to pick up my kids after school.
3. Snapchat for a funny photos with my daughter

Through my discovery phase, I noticed that it was evidence that the major differences between kids that are fluent using technology and us adults is very simple, kids today have no fear of trying new technology and for them it seems a natural thing to continuously explore.

What I have also learnt from this experience is that it is ok to feel uncomfortable at the beginning as you step outside your comfort zone but we are moving rapidly towards embracing new technologies in all aspects of life and I encourage you to start exploring. Are you on board?

Innovation comes from everywhere

Today I was inspired by my son’s simple and innovative solution for completing his daily tasks. Usually on Monday’s both of my kids arrives home prior to my husband and I. The kids know that before they can play electronic games they are required to complete their daily tasks that includes setting up the table for dinner, empty the dishwasher and completing their homework.

My son is nine years old and like any other typical boy at his age, he loves to play electronic games. As part of his daily homework he is required to read out loud to an adult a few paragraphs in Hebrew and get it signed by either my husband or I. As he knew that we will be late, he decided to video record himself reading his homework and when my husband arrived home he requested him to watch the video and sign the form as an evidence that he watched him reading the article.

This simple innovative solution demonstrates how kids can encourage us to think differently and come up with new ideas that might seems obvious.

Innovation can come from everywhere and we should be encouraged to continually develop and generate new innovative ideas and solutions to enhance future growth opportunities without being afraid of making a mistake or simply fail because from failures we learn and grow.

Being busy is not an excuse

In the last few months I was really busy. Between work and personal commitments I was trying to find the right balance to manage it all. Sometimes in life some things takes priority over other things and it seemed like a constant run.

In today’s environment being busy is a given and it is how you manage your time to fit it all. One of the things I have neglected in the last few months is my writing habit. At the beginning I was telling myself that I’m just busy and I will get back to it when I get the time. Then days turned into weeks who turned into months.

Recently I was thinking about the things I am passionate about and what I love to do. Writing was at the top of my list, which made me realised, that even when I am busy I should always allocate the time for the things I love to do or makes me feel happier.

I also learnt that it is not too late to go back and pick up from where I have left it. The more time went by, I was too concerned about going back into it. What I found is that I might be a bit rusty to start with, but I’m sure I will pick up and get back into my routine. As I was once told, practice brings perfection.