Ten Business Lessons From a Tiny Greek Island Part 3

Lesson 5

On a small island or village, your word is your bond. Once trust is gone, your name is mud. Last night an aerobics group was meant to put on a class on the foreshore. Word was you could go and watch or you could join in. People waited…and waited…it was a no show. When people referred to the ‘non event’ later, they weren’t talking in terms of a ‘no show’ or wrong date, or cancellation, rather, the word was that the event was a lie. And along with that comes dishonest, untrustworthy and other negative connotations. The same applies in business. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Always do what you say you are going to do. I remember my father did a deal once and shook on it. His word was his bond and a handshake was as good as a signature on a contract.

Lesson 6.

The island (and the rest of Greece) has multiple memorials and an amazing number of churches built in the most remarkable places. The village I visited this morning had 5 small churches and a large church at its centre. When someone has an accident, whether they survive or tragically lose their life, a tiny structure is created in thanks for the miracle of life or in perpetual memory of the victim. The Greek people are highly spiritual. There is no question of a higher being, a universal energy. Second to family is their commitment to spirit. This deep sense of purpose is reflected in daily life. I overheard a conversation this morning where an owner of a cafe was asked why she wasn’t at church. Her reply was that she didn’t need to go to church every Sunday to live by her spiritual beliefs. She lived them by trying her best to be kind to people and by not gossiping about anyone. The same principles apply to successful businesses and organisations. When we are on purpose and following our own spiritual path, when we are concerned only with the success of all and not consumed with envy or comparisons, when we don’t belittle our competitors or our collaborators – all is well in the world. As my grandfather used to say – if you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all. Wise man my grandfather, born on the island of Kythera, sent at the ripe old age of 15 across the sea on his own to make enough money to send back to the island so he could ensure one by one his siblings (all 7 of them) could join him on Australia. He never saw his parents again, nor returned to the island. But he did He raise 5 boys and invent choc tops!13592435_660191750799574_9214861377098282863_n

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