Dubai is a remarkable city - vibrant, multicultural, intelligent, future thinking and led by a very smart man, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who has wonderful foresight for his beloved country and its people.
One of the things that impressed me the most was the appointment of a "Minister for Happiness and Tolerance", Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi. The new ministry aims to promote the UAE's plans, programs and policies to promote the happiness of the UAE society. There is even a Happiness Street!
I heard all about the plans via a podcast through Emirates. It was a fascinating insight into the vision they have to create happy and well balanced citizens of tomorrow.
This will be done by creating genuine change through positive behaviors, mindfulness, self-awareness, resilience and emotional intelligence.
Students in schools will have education of the heart as well as mind. Showing how positivity brings out the best possibilities for life.
Some schools have adopted the "caught curriculum" where the children have photos and videos of what excellent things they do and these are shared with the parents. This allows only the positive to be focused on and no negativity.
It's a belts and braces add on to all the other programs they are rolling out.
It got me thinking about the UK and the rest of the world's attitude to happiness and being content.
There are many insightful companies rolling out with huge passion this positive attitude towards their employees' hearts and physical and mental health.
To me, it's the only way to go and what I bring with my talks in schools, universities and workplaces.
Some examples of where I think they are doing it right and I use to benchmark others are -
Bob Chapman CEO of the $1.7 billion manufacturing company Barry-Wehmiller. He is on a mission to change the way businesses treat their employees. He has even started an academy Truly Human Leadership that teaches other in his methods. His TEDTalk is truly inspiring. His measure of his employees' happiness is their home life and family.
Gary Vaynerchuk builds businesses. Fresh out of college, he took his family wine business and grew it from a $3M to a $60M business in just five years. Now, he runs VaynerMedia - one of the world's hottest social media-first digital agencies. He is all about giving - his time is his most valuable commodity and he gives huge amounts to people each day all over social media. His "Chief Heart Officer" is Claude Silver who has been with him for many years. Claude believes in the health and happiness of the employees through their heart as well as brain. Gary's TEDTalk is a must watch!
Oprah Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. I've spent years watching and learning from shows and talks this beautiful lady has arranged. The relationships she has with her employees and colleagues are all based on her own beliefs and values.
Sir Ian Michael Cheshire is a British businessman, who has been chairman of the British department store retailer Debenhams since April 2016. He was previously chief executive (CEO) of Kingfisher plc, a British multinational retailing company. Sir Ian's views on mental health and the value he personally places on this for everyone around him are incredible.
BNP Paribas Corporate & Institutional business is a leader across capital markets, advisory and financing. I've worked with them for a couple of years. They take their employees' mental health so seriously they have weeks of talks across all the offices. It's an impressive lineup too. They get as many lived in experiences as possible as they truly believe in the authentic stories of recovery and hope.
Perhaps one day all employees & students will have their hearts as well as their minds taken care of at work, schools & universities - as at the end of the day we should all go home feeling respected, valued and appreciated. If we all treated each other the way we want to be treated what an amazing society it would be...
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