This article appeared in the Chatham Daily News February 19, 2015
Andrew Faas knows all about bullying in the workplace – because he used to be one.
Today, he's a leading advocate to combat the issue, which can debilitating psychological and physical impacts on employees.
The Dresden native, who is author of 'The Bully's Trap,' discussed the topic of bullying in the workplace on Thursday in Chatham during a Lunch & Learn session presented by the Foundation of Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.
Faas recalled that early in his career working for Loblaws that a senior executive came into his office to ask his advice about how to handle a young manager who bullied people into getting things done.
“I'd fire the SOB,” Faas recalls telling the executive.
He never suspected the response would be: “The problem, my son, is the young SOB I'm talking about is you.”
Faas said it become his most important lesson in leadership, which led to him becoming the youngest vice-president of Loblaws, where he worked for 23 years.
“I learned that motivating out of respect, rather than motivating out of fear, is far more effective.”
Faas was also the victim of bullying when he blew the whistle on a corrupt executive, which included such aggressive actions as having his e-mail and phone hacked and receiving an anonymous death threat.
He said this had a horrible psychological and physical impact on him.
Faas credits the intervention of others around him who recognized his deterioration and helped him to confront the situation.
“Most people, I have discovered are not as fortunate,” he said, adding this experience became the catalyst for writing 'The Bully's Trap.'
He has discovered everyone seems to have a story to tell of either them or someone close to them being targeted by a workplace bully.
While there has been much media coverage of bullying in schools, Faas said there has been scant attention give to the issue of bullying in the workplace.
He noted a major difference with workplace bullying is the bullies are often vested with power and control.
He believes workplace bullies are “masters of deflection, deception and manipulation,” and the reason they bully is because they can.
Geri Lyn Wilson of Blenheim was among those who attended the event and purchased Faas' book.
“I know it's an issue in many workplaces and it's important for people to know there is support out there,” she said.
Wilson added bullying could also be happening in your personal life as well.
When asked by The Chatham Daily News about the reaction of the corporate world to him shining this kind of light on such an issue, Faas said: “In most cases they say, 'It may go on elsewhere, but it doesn't go in my environment.'”
He added that usually the reason corporations give this response is they are not getting the information they need.
In many cases, corporations have the processes in place to gather information, such as reviews and employee surveys, “but there's such a disconnect from what they get from that and what the reality is.”
He added the reason is in most cases, people are afraid to even a fill a form expressing what really goes on.
Faas said he has worked with companies that get the message about dealing with bullying.
He is working on developing a psychologically safe workplaces program to raise awareness about the impact bullying has on the mental health of employees.
“Bullying is a systemic issue the requires a systemic resolution,” Faas said.
A new study by Joel Goh, a Harvard Associate Professor, finds that more than 120,000 deaths [PDF] may be attributable to workplace stress. This was nowhere more overt than on January 26th 2015, when Phillip Perea, a former Fox News promotions producer in Austin, Texas fatally shot himself in front of the building in New York which houses the Fox headquarters.
This article was recently published by Betty Francis in the Desert Sun. The link can be found here
This may be the most important report I will ever write for you. Please read it.
After 19 years of society reporting (just when I thought I knew virtually every charity in the Valley) I discovered a new one last week that blew me away. As a fourth generation patient of ovarian cancer (I broke the early-death cycle!) I can't stop thinking about it.
The charity is the Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF). Please remember it. It is unlike any other research — or charity — group I have ever encountered and the speaker who introduced it is unlike any other cancer survivor I've ever met.
Here are some of the things I learned in an information-packed two-hour luncheon held in a private dining room upstairs at Lulu's California Bistro in downtown Palm Springs.
•The ICRF has been around since 1975. It currently has three branches in the U.S. (New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago), two in Canada(Montreal and Toronto), and one in Jerusalem.
•Because of lower costs in Israel, every $1 you donate buys research that would cost $5 in a US research facility. And their results are proven.
•ICRF research has already produced the drug Gleevec, which has saved the lives of thousands of leukemia patients without the torture of chemotherapy or radiation.
From left, event co-chair Dr. Jeralyn Brossfield, keynote speaker Andy Faas, and Gloria Guttman. (Photo: Gregg Felsen/Special to The Desert Sun)
• ICRF research is in hot pursuit of a similar drug for breast and ovarian cancer, and making great strides against malignant melanoma, pancreatic and lung cancer.
•Israel has the world's largest concentration of international scientists and physicians, but has insufficient funds to sponsor all of its vital cancer research projects.
• ICRF shares its techniques with other research scientists without charge.
•ICRF has funded over $52 million for over 2100 grants which have had major impact on cancer patients in the US and throughout the world.
•When ICRF-funded scientists find a breakthrough, it is given back to the institution that founded the research.
•Cancer is overtaking heart disease as America's No. 1 killer.
Speaker Faas concluded by saying, says "Chemotherapy and radiation, as we now know it, will be things of the past within a few years."
Another 35 reasons you should pay attention to ICRF: Honorary co-chairs Harold Matzner, and Barbara and Jerry Keller; event co-chairs Patrick Mundt andDr.Jeralyn Brossfeld; board officers Charlotte Sternlieb and Gloria Guttman, along with other supporters and attendees Donna MacMillan, Annette Bloch,Georgia Fogelson, Lori Serfling, Shellie Reade, Melissa Neiderman, Peggy Cravens, Renee Glickman, Marion Schaefer, Marion Goldin, Pam Erwin, Marjorie Victor, John Clancy, Barbara and Bernie Fromm, Teri Ketover, Susan Rosser, David Brinkman; Melissa, Tristan, Reid, and Scott Milanovich; Steve Maloney, Taira Rapoport, Robin Milstein, Madeline Zuckerman, Phyllis Eisenberg, Mary Lester. Roger Perry, Joyce Bulifant, Bobbi Holland, Bruce Landgarten, Geoff Kors and Carl and Richard Sukman.
Honorary co-chair Jerry Keller who, with wife Barbara, underwrote the excellent Lulu's lunch, spoke up, giving credit to Matzner as "A prime enabler for this successful fundraiser."
Barbara Keller said of her participation, "So many of our friends continue to be diagnosed with cancer. It's exciting to know we can help by supporting researchers, including Nobel prize winners, who have been able to develop better techniques. ICRF gives us a glimpse of light at the end of a very dark tunnel."
Mundt served as emcee and Dr. Brossfield, ICRF Coachella Valley vice chair, spoke movingly of her involvement. Rabbi Andrew Bentley of Temple Sinai gave the Invocation and Donna Ostrower, ICRF executive director, provided an overview of ICRF.
Breaking up the seriousness of the subject, Mundt concluded with an announcement that each guest would receive a copy of Gloria Guttman's popular cookbook, "Cooking Kindness – Heroes in the Kitchen." (Tip – check out the pudding recipe on page 56.)
YOU HAVE CANCER
"Those are the three most heart-stopping words in the world" said luncheon speaker,Andrew Faas, a former desert resident, now living in Florida. Faas is a successful management adviser who focuses on organizational transformations and is a generous philanthropist in his own right.
In 2005 he was diagnosed with leukemia and was soon prescribed Gleevec,a drug developed from ICRF's research. He now heads the Faas Foundation which focuses on Health Care, Education and Medical Research. More importantly, he is healthy, energetic, and dynamic. One pill a day has changed his leukemia from "fatal" to merely "chronic" with no side effects!
In his brief, to-the-point remarks, Faas, who spent 11 winters in the desert, praised Eisenhower Medical Center's cancer facilities and the care he received there.
Faas drew laughs, saying that when he became so active with ICRF, many people said, "I didn't realize you were Jewish." To which he replied, "Neither did I."
WHAT TO DO
One of the desert's most loved and respected philanthropists, Gloria Guttman, has for years, sent a $20 donation to ICRF in honor of her friend's birthdays and anniversaries. She hopes you will consider doing the same. (Remember that five-to-one ratio of what you get for your donation.)