How We Elevate Each Other: Viktor Frankl on the Human Spirit and Why Idealism Is the Best Realism
by Maria Popova
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“If we take man as he really is, we make him worse. But if we overestimate him … we promote him to what he really can be.”
Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl (March 26, 1905–September 2, 1997) is a timeless testament to the luminous tenacity of the human spirit. His 1946 psychological memoir Man’s Search for Meaning (public library) is one of the most vital books ever written, and one of the most vitalizing one could ever read — a wealth of insight on how to persevere through troubled times and what it means to live fully.
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I read this book very early in my educational years. (Wish I could remember when?)
I was amazed at the death camp side; the humanity came in by osmosis.
Soon after that, I became a “manager” at AT&T. I said many times that as a supervisor, the tile should be “leader”.
(“Manage Things and Lead People” — David T. Morgenthaler)
And, I hated to do appraisals. So I didn’t! I let my people set their own objectives (i.e., lines of correct code was a big metric in those days). I put down on a scrap of paper what I thought each one of my four people could reasonably accomplish. Didn’t show anyone. EVERY one of the four people ESTIMATE higher 25 to 200%; EVERYONE delivered more than they estimated.
An my “leadership” couldn’t understand how I made that happen. They called me “Simon Legree”. But I just patiently explained Frankl and expectations. I’ve never been disappointed by letting folks set their own targets.
I was amazed to see this video.
Wish I could have heard him live.
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