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Blog

Creative Ingenuity for the workplace

 

Two must-have habits you’ll need to elevate your value.

Vital Germaine

It's common knowledge to say that company culture is at the heart of the success of every organization. The way in which your team interacts within itself heavily influences and determines how they will interact with your customers. However, as individuals we have the responsibility to not sit back and wait for leadership to spoon feed us on how to behave. 

As individuals we must have integrity and personal accountability in regards to our behaviors and standards if we want to succeed and elevate our value. 

Choose to "show up" for your own personal dignity and sense of integrity. Integrity is doing the right thing when no-one is watching. Doing and giving your best is always the right thing to do. 

Habit 1

Habit 1

Your personal accountability and integrity will create positive ripples, making you a leader by example and setting the tone for others to be inspired by. Behaviors and attitudes are contagious regardless of how high or low we find ourselves on the social food chain. We can elevate or deflate. It's a choice regardless of circumstance.

I once had what most might consider a bottom of the pyramid kind of job. I washed dishes!
Habit 2

Habit 2

Washing dishes neither held me back nor allowed me to lower my standards. I was neither ashamed nor did I lose motivation or belief. I still held myself accountable to deliver results with pride and dignity. I set a personal challenge and goal to be the best dish washer in town despite hating the job. Accountability is not always easy. Integrity is easily compromised. 

Make it a habit to always deliver the best of you. Commit to being extraordinary. Always choose to SHOW UP. Elevate your value.

Consistency transforms action into habits and habits determine who you will or won't become. Stay focused and committed because that approach will influence, overlap and benefit you in all aspects of your life, empowering you to spread your wings and fly without a net. 

Vital Germaine

Top-Selling Author of: FLYING WITHOUT A NET

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Cultural Diversity, are we doing it right?

Vital Germaine

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I recently experienced cultural diversity at its finest during an awards event. It was an authentic, warm form of diversity with love and respect at its core. 

It completely illustrated what it should look, taste and feel like. If only the world could replicate this harmonious coming together of differences. 

The event was for the 2017 Celebrating Our Leaders event for a company called Lifestyle Galaxy. They had attendees from an assortment of nations; Zimbabwe, Australia, South Africa, The Netherlands, Malaysia, The Philippines, Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. I had the wonderful opportunity and honor to share to launch the awards with a short keynote and also be the emcee for the two-day gala.

Everybody seemed to on the same page with a common goal, a common purpose, and a collective desire that brought them together regardless of their color, creed, socio-economic background or gender. Their commonalities made it a United Nations in harmony. All the while, attendees from Zimbabwe were safe from an emerging "Military Coup" back home.

Throughout the event, and in particular, at the close, I optimized the opportunity to talk to people from varied religious persuasions, different cultural backgrounds, different political opinions and a variety of languages spoken.I optimized the chance to mingle and interact with attendees and absorb the beauty and poetry of a Utopian existence within which everybody actually did get along Mr. Rodney King. 

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The situation made me realize that diversity is not a corporate program, a politically correct implementation strategy. The truest and most authentic form of diversity is an organic, natural event based on individual open-mindedness, understanding, empathy, respect and consideration of differences. It's a personal responsibility. A choice to be culturally, socially, ethnically and religiously encompassing.

Humans innately know right from wrong without the need for corporate programs and government regulations. We are smart enough to know that not everybody can have their wishes granted. All good humans understand the value of equality, respect, recognition and appreciation. The true "program" begins in our homes with our children and ourselves. 

This does not detract from the noble attempts of corporate America to improve the concept of cultural diversity. I believe that diversity programs are having a positive influence and that it should be continued, promoted and pushed.  However, it is best not implemented in the form of policy. Diversity should be organically and subconsciously filtered into a culture as a default setting. 

How do we achieve this utopian objective?

One of the most powerful lessons I've learned about diversity is when i Naturalized and became a US Citizen in 1999. During the ceremony, the judge declared that becoming American did not mean you were no longer your previous nationality. It wasn't a question of "you're either with us or against us." Your old culture can co-exist with your new nationality (on paper) in this wonderful country.

In regards to the workplace. It starts at the executive level. The diversity platform is based on the philosophical behavioral foundations that leadership acts out and lives by.  C-suite executives are still too monochromatic and one dimensional in appearance and philosophy. When change is implemented from the top, then everybody who falls under that influence, will organically follow because it feels right and is indeed the right way to behave. Changing that lob-sided dynamic would have an exponential ripple effect. It's a massive challenge for the old-guard to relinquish the power of status quo. Until they do, change will be incremental and painfully ineffective. 

The notion of "equal but different" must have a pulse fueled by loving hearts that have at their core the blood of compassion and empathetic desire for a better world.

Perhaps I have a diversity "advantage" over many and the concept comes easy to me because of my eclectic background. I am a Belgian National, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who got to live the American dream by way of a French-Canadien circus (Cirque du Soleil). My parents are bi-racial and i have lived on 3 separate continents and in 5 different countries. Nonetheless, it remains a choice to live with an open and non-judgmental attitude.

We musn't wait until our species encounters a common enemy for us to realize the power of unity woven together by cultural variety.

Thank you, dankie, terimah kashi, merci, asante, kosonomon, bayerla, danke schoen, shye shye, grazie, spacibo, gracias, Ngiyabonga, bedankt.

Vital Germaine is the top-selling author of FLYING WITHOUT A NET and motivational speaker. For more in Vital

 

Happiness: the facts.

Vital Germaine

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1. Happiness in the workplace.

Gallup did a survey to measure employee engagement and happiness. They polled 25 million employees (part time and full time) in 189 different countries and concluded that 1 in 2 employees are not happy at work. That’s a very sad statistic. People quit their bosses more than the job itself because their boss makes them unhappy. I think we can all relate to a bad boss????

2. General happiness.

Source: TIME

  • In a survey of 2,345 U.S. adults conducted online between April 10 and 15, 2013, only a third of Americans (33 percent) reported being very happy.
  • People whose annual income is between $50,000 and $74,999 are happier than people who earn between $75,000 and $99,999.
  • People with a college degree are happier than those without.
  • The South is the happiest region. 
  • 65+ is the happiest age group.
  • Married people are happier than unmarried.
  • Having a child under the age of 18 in one's household makes no difference at all.
  • People who are registered to vote are happier than average.
  • People who live in the suburbs are generally happier than inner city dwellers.

3. Happiness by gender.

According to TIME magazine, women are happier than men.

Source: WikiGender

"Women report greater levels of unhappiness later in life compared to men, according to a new study conducted at the University of Cambridge and University of Southern California. (Published in the Journal of Happiness Studies 2008)."

4. Happiness by age.

Source: WikiGender

The same study showed that, "Men were the most melancholic at the age of 20, a period when they are most likely to be single. In contrast, greater life satisfaction for men is obtained through increasing purchasing power and the ability to acquire long-desired and coveted items, such as a car. These items might not be within their financial reach until later in life, explaining the increase in happiness."

"It was discovered that women are, on average, happier than men in early adulthood. The age of 48 seems to be an important turning point in women’s sense of happiness, this is when there is a reversal in the fortunes and life satisfaction of the genders."

At the age of

  •      34: Men’s general satisfaction exceeds women’s general satisfaction with life
  •      41: Men’s financial satisfaction exceeds women’s financial satisfaction 
  •      48: Men’s overall happiness exceeds women’s overall happiness 
  •      64: Men’s satisfaction with family life exceeds women’s satisfaction

5. Happiness by race.

Source: Huffington Post

  • 28% of Hispanic Americans say they are happy.
  • 36% of African Americans qualify as very happy.
  • 34% of White Americans claim to be happy.

HAPPINESS TIPS:

Find a sense of purpose that is bigger than yourself. Be of a giving disposition that brings value to the lives of others. Get a dog or a cat. Travel and create memories rather than collect things. Spend time by the ocean, in forests and nature in general. Exercise and enjoy the endorphins. Eat lots of dark Belgian chocolate (phenylethylamine). Do something new and exciting regularly. Share more love. Do right by your fellow man. Smile, kiss and hold hands whenever possible. Meditate. Do random acts of kindness. Hang out with people that love and get you. Have the intention of making others happy and feel good about themselves... these should elevate your joy levels spiritually and scientifically. If none of these work, may I suggest a good glass or red wine.

THE ANSWER TO HAPPINESS

The key to happiness is to be aware of your most important needs and expectations. Build a life that accommodates or fulfills those needs and expectations. Then be grateful that you have those fundamental needs in place, and enjoy vibrating at a high frequency and attract even more happiness. Jim Rohn summed it best when he said that happiness is designed.

 

Thank you for reading.

If this blog was of value or made you think what happiness means to you and what you need to become that emotion, then please share or comment.

Vital Germaine.

The Power of Optimism

Vital Germaine

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People often times begin a venture, such as applying for a job, approaching a romantic prospect, starting a business, wanting promotion or a pay increase and fall prey to 3 main behavioral pillars.  As long as these three traits reside in your psyche,  success is almost impossible.

# ONE: In 1993, I auditioned for Cirque du Soleil while living in Manhattan on the most meager of budgets. Prior to the Cirque audition, professional rejection had become common-place. Fate tempted me to give up on my dream and head home to the small town of Blankenberge on the coast of Belgium. 

At the end of almost 2 years of struggle in Manhattan, I had lost belief in my ability to ever achieve my American dream. Without hope and confidence, aspirations die before they ever had the chance to breathe and live. 

My life changed when my attitude changed! When I believed that I could and deserved to fly, my wings appeared.

At the time I'd never heard of Cirque du Soleil. I thought it a silly idea to audition for a circus.  I had not sacrificed everything in Belgium to run away with a circus, wear over-sized shoes, a red nose and clean up elephant dung. During the audition I initially felt our of my league and intimidated. When i reminded myself that I had as good a chance as anyone here, everything changed. I forgot about my insecurities and doubts.  I felt free and hopeful. I lived in the moment with childlike vigor and performed with the utmost enthusiasm and confidence. 

Believing in your potential and that you deserve what's on the other side of doubt, risk and fear will set you free. Believing makes you confident and gives you wings. As long as I didn't believe in me, my subconscious would only attract, disappointment and failure.  

What separates achievers from those who never live their dreams is the belief they can and will, even when tempted to give up. They simply can't let go of their dream because their conviction compels them to keep going. they know success will be theirs. They remain optimistic midst the rejection, the "no's" and the failures. The pursuit is relentless. A positive outlook is the constant. It helps them get back up at each standing count, when life has knocked them down. The first character trait that kills dreams is, "lack of belief."

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# TWO: During the entire first couple of years of Manhattan life, I was constantly pre-occupied with what others thought about my abilities, what they thought about my "foolish" American dream and what they'd say if I failed. 

Being pre-occupied with what other's think or say is kryptonite to the dreaming and ambitious mind. 

The more we worry about the opinions of others, the more we are shackled, the harder it is to become our best self and succeed. Our purpose is not based on what other's think. Our purpose is based on what compels us to do what we do; your why? We must not allow our reason for being to be distracted by the values and expectations that others place upon us. 

Never feel the need to validate or explain your values, dreams and desires to others. Most won't understand. Others don't care. Not to mention, many are secretly hoping you fail. Deny the naysayers and doubters. It's your dream. The second character trait that kills dreams is, "worrying what others' think or say."

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# THREE: When I moved to Manhattan to pursue my goals, it was not on blind whim. I had invested almost four years at a performing arts academy in Brugge, Belgium to hone  my talent and skills as a dancer. I spend hours, days, weeks and months envisioning what the dream looked and tasted like. I could smell it. 

In order to navigate any journey, a person must have the right tools, a plan or strategy, and the right attitude. At the onset of a pursuit, we usually don't even know which tools to buy, create ourselves and bring along. The more experience and knowledge we accumulate, the smoother the sailing.

As your skills and wisdom develop, you will need to keep your tools sharp and updated. Times change. Darwin and life teaches as the value of adaptability. Leverage your creative genius to overcome obstacles, problem solve and understand which new tools you will need and where to obtain them. Have the attitude of a constant learner. Even the master learns new lessons every day. Growth, development and improvement are never-ending. If you allow your skills and knowledge to plateau, you are inviting stagnation and decay.  It's the same as never updating software. In time you will find yourself left behind unable to remain effective or relevant. The third character trait that kills dreams is "outdated software."

When we're equipped with an effective roadmap and a positive mindset focused on ourselves and our destination, we are empowered. Empowered people are energized. Optimism doesn't guarantee success or achievement. It does, nonetheless, increase the odds exponentially. If you are filled with optimism, your approach to life will change, more doors will open and you will experience the power of flying without a net. 

Vital Germaine, FLYING WITHOUT A NET 2.0

 

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Vital Germaine

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The tragic outcome of human disconnectedness

Vital Germaine

Hurt, angry people do hurtful angry things, such as the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

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Why do people choose to take innocent lives to make a statement, albeit personal, political or religious?

When such acts of hate and violence happen in your home back yard, it seems to resonate a lot louder than from the perils happening in another corner of the world. I can't help to wonder, why?

I am both proud and disgusted to be a human being. This is all so emotionally overwhelming and confusing. 

A lack of love, understanding, acceptance, connection and belonging are often the root cause of acts of violence and hate. This modern "connected" world is so emotionally disengaged and desensitized to the basic emotional needs of fellow humans. We are more lonely, less understood, over-stimulated and too distracted to value the truly relevant aspects of a meaningful life. Where is George Carlin when we need him? 

I am not taking a stance as to what's right, wrong, better or worse. That's for each and everyone of us to ask individually. It is, however, time to ask the necessary and difficult questions and address the pink elephant in the room while he's just taken a massive dump in our living room? Thought must be provoked in order to find a potential answer to this hurtful madness.

Is it finally time to have a gentlemanly discourse as to what can and should be done to prevent such events from happening again, and again, and again? Solutions need to be entertained in order to disrupt what no longer appears to work. 

Logic tells me that the best time to address a wound, is when it's fresh and gushing gallons of blood. That brings urgency. This is urgent!

Is it too early to suggest a conspiracy or cover-up?  

The apparent act of a loner who at the age of 64 suddenly, "loses it," seems a little strange. Yes, time will reveal a clearer picture. But will it? Will the truth of the 1 October in Vegas disappear behind the magic media curtain?

Is it too soon to talk about gun laws?

Questioning our 2nd Amendment rights is not the discussion. Perhaps it's the ease as to which guns, let alone, military power weaponry can be purchased by a civilian. It takes longer and is harder to get a credit card approval than it is to purchase a gun. My eyes need checked and I need to study and pass a test before I can drive. Gun purchasing protocol and requisites? Too easy.

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Either way, it takes a total emotional disconnect to conceive, let alone, execute such a cold, heartless act. Perhaps that's where the answer begins; by minimizing the emotional reasons that drive such acts.

The reason behind such acts, I believe, is simple! MORE LOVE. I choose love! MORE MEANINGFUL HUMAN CONNECTION. Finding connections in this fast-paced disconnected world is the big challenge. 

We all need LOVE! Love, and all other primordial emotional needs when denied or lacking, can fuel resentment, hate, anger and evil. Without love and all that the word encompasses (respect, compassion, empathy... ), life gets dark, ugly and painful. 

There is a Southern African tribe called, The Babembe, who have a wonderful practice to resolve the issue of a person doing wrong or evil. They believe that those who do wrong are hurt souls and lack the fundamental emotional needs that drive good human behavior. They gather as a village and place the "bad person" in the center and spend days telling that person of all the wonderful and good things they are and have done. They share LOVE because an act of evil is considered to be a cry for help. This world needs help and it's crying out loud!

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Answering that cry for help starts with ourselves. We have a humanitarian responsibility to share a little more love, to be a little more empathetic, compassionate and respectful of our differences and our emotional needs. The world is starving for more love, understanding, connection and forgiveness.

My love and condolences to all those who lost loved ones, and to those who were on-sight and experienced such horror. My gratitude to the heroes, and the Vegas and world community for spectacularly coming together by focusing on what brings us together.

If this blog was of any value, please share. #VEGAS STRONG!

THANK YOU

Vital Germaine

Top-Selling Author of: FLYING WITHOUT A NET

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