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Arrest yourself when under the influence of a negative thought

Arrest yourself when under the influence of a negative thought

“Use mental floss for uncertainty and confusion”

You recognize the signs and symptoms when company morale starts to plummet – employees shuffle into work like marionettes, pulled only by a string of survival needs. People are showing up late, or not at all, and new ideas are harder to find than Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction. Sometimes an outrageous interruption of an emerging negative pattern is imperative to revitalize the work force. Enter the “pattern interrupt.”

On March 19, 1998, the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team was sold by the beloved O’Malley family to corporate predator Rupert Murdoch. Named that year by Sports Business Journal as baseball’s most successful organization during the 20th century, the Dodgers were a paragon of “family values” as an organization, a very close knit group. It was understandable that everyone in the organization had a massive let down when Murdoch’s marauders usurped the helm. A friend of mine worked in the Dodgers’ public relations department, and informed me of how demoralized they were because of the change. Being a Dodger fan and good friend, I faxed over to him the following news memo parody just to interrupt the pattern and bring back some levity to his staff:

Rupert Murdoch Acquires The Catholic Church Vatican City. At a press conference today in St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican announced that Rupert Murdoch will acquire the Roman Catholic Church in exchange for common stock shares in his media empire. If the deal is approved, it will be the first time a media mogul has acquired a major world religion. Pope John Paul II will become Senior Vice President of the company’s new religion division. “We anticipate tremendous growth in the religious telecommunications market for the next decade,” said Mr. Murdoch. “The additional resources of the Catholic Church will allow us to make religion easier and more accessible for a wider audience of people. Through our telecommunications systems, we will make the sacraments available via satellite for the first time. Through new interactive media, you can confess your sins, obtain absolution, and reduce your time in purgatory, all without leaving the comfort of your own home.” Mr. Murdoch added that he intends to give the church a racier look for broad public appeal.

According to my friend, the memo made its way around the office and reinstated the family spirit. They resolved to maintain solidarity in the face of any changes that were not deemed beneficial to the organization. Sometimes you have to do something that is a bit “over the top” to break a negative pattern and regain perspective. Go Dodgers!

Terry Braverman is a Los Angeles-based author, professional speaker and trainer. This article is excerpted from his book, When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Lighten Up! Go to Terry’s web site for more about his presentations and background: www.terrybraver

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