Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius is a Stoic philosopher, who lived in the 2nd Century. When I read his book “Meditations”, I was deeply impressed by its first section “Debts and Lessons”. I thought, if I write a book someday, I must make its opening exactly like this. I wrote my first article in my blog article with this inspiration, and this is the extension of the first one. You can find my first article’s Turkish version here (this one yet to be translated): https://www.serapozcalici.com/tr/borclar-ve-dersler/
Marcus Aurelius makes a list of important people in his life and summarizes the things he learned from them. Even by reading these, I have gained new insights and inspired by them. Aurelius made me understand, how much I learned from the people around me, and how they contributed to become who I am now. As a way of showing my appreciation and to always remember them, I would like to dedicate my article to all those great people who helped me to grow.
All these people, and many others who are not in the list, taught me countless more things. However, I had to limit the article. So, I chose the people and subjects that contributed to the building my fundamental characteristics, and things that can be beneficial to people who will read this.
My list is quite long and continues to grow. I plan to enrich this article by making some additions time after time. Therefore, I hope the people, who looked for their names here but could not find it, or the ones who find their names but believe they thought many more things to me, would kindly forgive me.
I am glad that I am meeting with many fantastic people whom I have learnt from. They put their mark in my life and I am grateful to share with you with lots of appreciation for them.
The order is alphabetical.
Abdulhadi Ozcalici (my father): Something may not be as it seems. Being unbiased and using different perspectives and approaches together is essential to discover the truth.
Ahmet Zeytinoglu: Creating a trust environment, where employees and managers can communicate sincerely, openly and clearly. Observing and evaluating with a wider perspective. The importance of networking and keeping the communication network strong.
Alp Saldamli: To observe everything with an analyzing, criticizing and comparing perspective. So as to gain the awareness to discover the new and different things.
Andrew Price: Humbleness and being approachable. Value of always being a gentleperson, being kind and inclusive. He reminds people to have fun and be themselves even before a very critical customer meeting. You don’t have to “behave” in those settings because he makes you feel ok to bring your authentic self to anywhere.
Andrzei Ferber: Inspired me for painting with his wonderful talent for painting, even though he would claim that he cannot paint, his paintings are beautiful and inspiring. And Olav Larsen: The importance & value of having trustworthy and kind neighbors. We have a saying in Turkey: “Don’t buy home, buy neighbor”.
Baransel Atci: In business life all the moves and endeavors must be analyzed meticulously. In addition to financial and economic values, subjects like employee and customer satisfaction must also be managed in balance and harmony. The downfall of a company can start, when there is no strategy designated and harmony is broken (experienced by a business simulation).
Betul Saf: Our lives have their ups and downs. We must be aware that bad times are especially important because they can make us question and reevaluate important things. They can help us to understand some problems better and give a chance to correct our errors for a better future. Therefore, the expectation of always going up is neither possible nor beneficial. “For continuous development, first you have to be dissatisfied with the current conditions.”
Bulent Saldamli: Taking notes and recording important things, to remember them easily and precisely (chatting with him, and listening to his vivid memories and experiences is a great pleasure).
Burcu Canacik: Some of our “obtrusive” characteristics that we see as extravagancy or scarcity can actually be our values that make us who we are and open the real path to success.
Catharina Rosendahl: Role model of being inclusive. Thanks to her, I learned (some) Danish (The journey to be continued).
Christa Nielsen: Understanding the dynamics of change management. How to get people onboarded by understanding stakeholders, listening, choosing your battles. During the change journey how to create effective communication lines, importance of building relationships, creating various change management tools and using a systematic approach to do all these.
Abstract thinking, not going down to tactical level but staying at abstract level.
Treating everyone as queens and kings so they also see themselves like that and this supports their confidence and enables them to make greater things. She has a fantastic leadership style that helps people around her to shine.
Chiara Liberty: Value of being a true kind spirit. Being a fellow traveler, embracing change together. Understanding Buddhism better by experiencing and deep discussions.
Corinna Refsgaard: Being careful about not using the same “success gears” and utilizing other strengths for personal development.
Coskun Erol: The implementation of 5S Methodology. The vision of continuous improvement, and the determination to make the change. Here is an impressive anecdote from him: He was lecturing at a school and a classroom’s door was crooked because of a broken hinge. Days, weeks and months passed but nobody fixed it. Here is his interpretation; “The children kept seeing the crooked door like this all the time. So the crookedness is normalized in their minds, as a result their perspective become crooked as well. That’s the thing we must fix.”
Elise Brøchner: Power of vulnerability. Value of self-worth and the first step to find your self-worth is to accept the wound which comes from insecurities. This awareness helped me on the journey to unleash my authentic self. Understanding Tao better: “Soft overcomes hard, gentle overcomes the rigid, everybody knows that, but few put it into practice”.
Elcin Unlu: Many important steps in personal development, including Accurate Speed Reading.
Engin Ustel: Intellectualizing while making decisions. Never compromising fundamental values. Examining and analyzing deeply. Asking correct questions. Empowering and allocating responsibility to the employees.
Erkan Kirat: Understanding the processes, by dividing them into sub processes; and making them understandable and manageable for everyone by using a clear and simple language.
Ferhunde Atalar: Producing new projects continuously, to be excited to realize them, and staying dynamic. Planning and organizing well. Doing everything with love and enthusiasm, differentiating them by adding beauty with an “ornament”, and doing it with your own style.
Finn Vestergaard: A continuous focus for acquiring talented people, having an eye for talent (It was surprising to realize that so many people I met in the company that we worked together were either hired by him, or brought to an important position by him.).
Focus on utilizing each person’s strength as a leader and caring for people.
Hidayet Sahin: It is important for the people to understand the real benefit they are providing to others by doing their job, and their position in the big picture. (One day he asked one of our dishwasher personnel, “What is your job?” When he heard the answer “I wash the dishes,” he said “You are not only washing the dishes; you are a major part of the group that provides healthy food to all the people eating here. Therefore your real job is providing clean dishes, so people can eat healthy food.”
John Robbins: Being there for your team, helping your team members to shine, supporting your team’s development no matter what.
Julie Rømsing: Finding the best way to communicate in a caricaturized way, even very difficult subjects become very understandable, and she makes it in a funny and interesting way.
Creating followers, doing everything possible for your followers – fighting for them and sponsoring people you believe in.
Determination and finding creative solutions to overcome obstacles, find another way if one way does not work.
Juan Francisco Puente: Power of true kindness. His mentorship helped me to understand where I am in the culture compass and acting with power.
Katrine Husum: Determination and focusing on achieving goals.
Leyla Kanmaz (my primary school teacher): It may not be always possible to get the highest scores from the exams (I was not able to get over my first average score for a long time). When this happens, being coolheaded and thinking about it is important. Sometimes being unsuccessful can be more beneficial than rapid success as it provides you with new experiences and knowledge.
Mahmut Dogan: Significance of symbols and what they mean. Ancient Egypt.
Meric Karacan: In addition to the valuable information on food security that he thought, he also encouraged me to join the Food Engineers’ Association politics. Although it was short, this experience showed me the complex decision making mechanisms of communities.
Mukaddes Ozcalici (my mother): The determination and persistence when she decides to achieve something. Sometimes the goal may seem unreachable because of many types of obstructions, but she makes them attainable. I learned from her to be goal oriented and to try different methods if necessary.
Nahide Turut: Trainings reach their goals more effectively when you prepare and present them funnier/more enjoyable, and use your voice and body language properly. (She was the first good trainer I have seen in my business life. She was training people with great excitement and amusement. Her style inspired and helped me a lot, especially during the earlier period of my career.)
Reha Abi: The importance of continuous self-improvement and being determined and strong-willed in this (listening to his experiences and meeting him as a great example in this field is both enjoyable and inspiring). Many valuable things on Human Resources…
Secil Ozcalici: Having a sibling is one of the things that I am truly grateful for. It is so valuable and important to walk the life journey together, sharing and supporting each other. She is the one that I learned enjoying every moment of life and focusing on making it more pleasant.
Selay Turgutalp: A role model and inspiration for continuous learning and development. She is so open and generous in sharing what she knows, every time I am with her, I learn something new.
Sitki Akyon: “What is being human, what is her purpose, what Western and Eastern philosophers said about these?” I have started my first voyage in the field of philosophy (which has a great influence on my life) with these questions and the guidance of him.
Stella Alamil: Determination – dreaming big and persistently working on it.
Therese Sevaldsen: Value of trust and empowerment to your people. Making sure that they are seen, and they have the room for development and supporting them in their development journey, believing in them and being with them in their journey.
Tulin Saldamli: Adding beauty to everything and appreciating aesthetics is very good for human soul; applying this on yourself and the places you live augments the value greatly.