MANAGE WORK / LIFE SKILLS

MANAGE WORK / LIFE SKILLS

Summary
Examine the relationship of work / life skills in the workplace and its potential impact on business performance, career prospects and personal lives.

I have been self employed since 1977 and during this period I have commenced four new enterprises “from scratch”, and purchased and /or developed one other. During this time I have learnt (often the hard way) to effectively manage internal employees and a diverse range of clients.

The gaining of trust is elementary in any relationship and I truly believe that this is fundamental to the management of personnel and the development of a loyal and recurrent client base. Trust is defined as “belief in a person’s reliability” and this I view as the foundation of my business relationships over many years.

I am fortunate in that I can quickly develop empathy with others by listening, displaying interest and genuinely enjoying other people opinions and aspirations.

The article by James Strong (Leading Initiative P91-92) mirrors my own experience in managing organisations, and surviving in the “hard cold business world”.

My personal qualities of gaining trust and respect helped me in a tangible and measurable way during the 1990-1993 economic recession that swamped Victoria (and in particular the Geelong region where I was based).

In a twelve month period 30% of our client base simply disappeared for a variety of economic factors and many local businesses ceased to exist, however I was determined that my business would survive, so I set about planning in twelve month time frames to rebuild the client base from outside the Geelong region, which was simply a “basket case”. In reflection it was the defining moment in my management career.

All department managers and staff were kept informed of the situation and my plans, actively assisting in developing new skills and expertise in products and services previously unknown to them. I focused on industries in the Australian economy that were growing and regions that were also reflecting strength and resilience to the recession, and then developed unique products and services that I marketed Australia wide, ultimately becoming recognised as an expert in these fields.

The result was that by the end of 1993 the business had replaced all lost income and even showed a modest growth, with no retrenchments other that natural attrition etc., Whilst I am personally chuffed with this scenario, it was a team effort achieved though both self and collective discipline by all staff members.

Discipline and management style also underpin my management success, effectively delivering results that reflect business plan projections and financial budget constraints.

The “maintenance of the highest standards of self discipline” explores the personal self discipline of managers that can inspire others (not cut corners), and adhere to company procedures and protocols.

Furthermore leaders displaying humility and moral courage make a deliberate and calculated decision allowing an organisation to progress as a cohesive unit with common goals, objectives and sense of purpose.

Moral courage stems from a cool, thinking approach that has enabled me to grow organisations (in both good and bad times), developing and mentoring staff, which ultimately reflects in high quality customer service standards and loyalty that translates into a profitable and vibrant enterprise.

All these aforementioned skills and qualities are immediately transferable into personal relationships outside the working environment, enriching and encouraging family members to grow, enquire and aspire.

Career development is a service I deliver to clients on a daily basis, actively assisting them into the workforce (from multiple entry points), or to improve and/or advance their personal careers/situations.

The two underlying questions for any person entering the workforce are “What do you want? ” and “How will you know when you get it?”

People really do have their own solutions and it is my role as a career management consultant to guide, mentor and assist them to discover themselves.

Richard Leider, a career counsellor for many years in the US breaks this process down into three “hungers”

  • To connect deeply with the creative spirit of life
  • To know and express your gifts and talents
  • To know that our lives matter

As a professional career counsellor I can assure you that most people have no concept of the above, let alone the analytical capacity to explore them without guidance, which obviously is my role.

I have worked with all levels of management, professionals, tradespersons and unskilled people whose only common denominator is that that are all highly motivated in their own way (hence engaging my services).

Richard Leider has devised a fascinating formula that I consistently use with my clients that lays out the critical factors to consider when making career choices:

T+P+E*V

T = Talent
P = Passion
E = Environment
V = Vision

The sad fact in my experience, and also Lieder’s (Are You Deciding On Purpose P17), is that most people sell themselves short not understanding or knowing their talents and worth. Therefore if a person cannot identify and articulate these basics in themselves, how can a prospective employer quickly understand the future potential of such a candidate. Hence you see dissatisfaction in the workforce with “round pegs in square holes” simply because of the lack of fundamental understanding of who they are, what they have and what they are worth.

Work and life skills are therefore inter related and often inseparable. Good communication skills in the workforce = good communication in private life etc., etc. By improving our people and personal management skills all levels of relationships can be enriched and career prospects dramatically improved.

"It's not the days in your life, but the life in your days that counts." - Brian White

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