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How to Inspire People to Do Their Best: A Genuine Pozitivista in Foreign Affairs




For a couple of years I worked in my home country’s foreign affairs ministry. I had always dreamt to work in diplomacy. I used to think it is one possible route for me to help make the world a better place.

It was a great school and an immense opportunity for me to practice some of the concepts and subjects I had studied in London, like international relations, conflict resolution, crisis management, international law and so on.

Besides the amazing exposure to domestic and foreign experts in the field, I had a unique chance to grow near a true leader. My direct boss, a seasoned public servant and sincere, hard working specialist, was leading by example.

I left the foreign affairs ministry to be my own boss and start my own business. But years later, I still draw much value from the time I spent around this amazing woman. She was a true role model in every possible way.

While public servants are, more often than not, very stern and stiff (perhaps diplomatic etiquette requires a drop too much starch in their posture and conduct), my boss managed to elegantly balance superb professionalism with a vivacious and friendly, humane approach.

She was the first to arrive at the office and the last to leave. Smart and practical, she’d navigate through the day’s tasks with stunning speed and efficacy. On countless occasions I marveled at her ease in imagining, devising and setting up intelligent, comprehensive systems and procedures to deal with issues old or new.

She would convey and delegate with crystal clarity and would always make sure we understood she is available for questions and suggestions. A terrific listener, she never minimized your opinion or performance.

Never one to focus on guilt and punishing culprits, she’d give priority to solving the problem and minimizing the damage. If she had to point the finger, she’d make sure to do that in private and help us save face. Praise and appreciation were never scarce either. She would help her team members employ their strengths and skills, as well as giving them numerous opportunities for learning and growth.

Always aware of the intricacies of human nature, she’d always be up to date and aware of sympathies and animosities in the team. Grumpy colleague? Let’s see how we can match her with someone suitable, to keep the office atmosphere light and productive.

I was a witness to her amazing and sincere character on more than one occasion. She would be loyal and extremely supportive of her team; when her assistant director was downgraded due to downsizing throughout the country’s public machine, she offered her resignation to express her support. The minister, knowing her value, wisely rejected it and insisted that she continues her good work. While ministers and directors came and went, changing with the short-lived governments, she grew slowly and steadily through decades of instability, thanks to her recognized professionalism and truly irreplaceable expertise.

An amazing mediator and negotiator, she perfectly blended a soft approach with hard facts. In a world dominated by power struggle, I had seen pride and personal agendas put in the way of public issues, obstructing cooperation and productivity. Not in her case. I saw her leave her ego aside and go on, for the sake of a higher good.

While polite and considerate, I have never seen her fake or artificial. Even through sensitive times and challenging situations, she kept her calm and authentic self together. Underneath the smiling, positive and genuinely compassionate femininity, there was solid wisdom, patience and experience.

Between traveling, meetings and intense hard work, she always had time and energy to be a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother and daughter to her octuagenary parent. She maintained a large number of friendships from high school and university times, and she generally had only good things to say about people. Hardly ever complaining, if she did so, she would do it in a light and casual manner, with the worry or sadness dissipating from her face within seconds.

Wherever I went, people reacted with respect and friendliness at the mere mentioning of her name.

I used to wonder at her energy and positive, power engine presence. Being able to work around her, learn from her and grow in her presence was such an incredible opportunity.

I am sure that she has positively influenced hundreds, if not thousands of people. By all means, I know she mattered for so many, and all this goodness will, no doubt, come back to her multiplied tenfold. I strongly believe that.

A true leader, role model and inspiration for me. Hats off to an authentic lady and genuine POZITIVISTA.

Never be afraid to let your light shine. Stay true to your values. Have no doubt: you matter, and you can make a real difference in your own life and others’.

Respect yourself, people and your work. Live life with joy and responsibility, dare to reach to your full potential, by thinking creative and staying open to new opportunities.

Find your strengths, employ them for a higher good, always inspire your people and give them the courage and opportunity for growth.

Now we want to hear from you, please tell us in the comments below who is the number ONE person you admire most, and why. What is the best way to bring out the best in people around us?

Have an amazing  weekend and  set the world on fire with your  Pozitive attitude!

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Posted by Alina on Apr.03 2015

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PoZitivistas photos by Lia Nichifor