3 Lessons to Remember From September 11

Today is solemn day for my colleagues and friends in the U.S. – indeed, around the world.

Though I was not in the U.S. the day of the September 11 tragedies, I’ll always stand with those who use the anniversary as a day of remembrance and honor for those who lost their lives and those who ran into the heart of terror to save others.

As I watch and read news coverage of the anniversary, I am most struck by the American spirit of focusing on the positive, remembering the good, and yet never forgetting the importance of the lesson learned that day – that we must stand tall when others would make us cower.

This is the mark of resiliency in the American people.

3 lessons we should never forget

And I see three lessons for us today:

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  1. Remember (and memorialize) the good. The best answer to terror is always to remember the positive and the good.
  2. Praise the contributors to success. We all have heroes (known and unknown) in our midst we should commemorate. Remember the highly visible heroes like the firefighters and other first responders, as well as the unsung bonds trader or receptionist who put their own lives second to helping others also escape the towers and survive.
  3. Never lose sight of your culture and the end goal. America, and the rest of the world, is now far more focused on preventing terroristic groups or acts than ever before. Yet, that is not the goal or the ethos of the country. The U.S. is still known as “the land of opportunity.” The base of the Statue of Liberty still reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teaming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

How has September 11 impacted you?

You can find more from Derek Irvine on his Recognize This! blog.

Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their company culture. As the Vice President of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek helps clients — including some of world’s most admired companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Intuit, KPMG, and Thomson Reuters — leverage recognition strategies and best practices to better manage company culture, elevate employee engagement, increase retention, and improve the bottom line. He's also a renowned speaker and co-author of Winning with a Culture of Recognition. Contact him at irvine@globoforce.com.

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