Management – A House of Cards?

Is Your Management Style Built on a House of Cards?

Have you ever tried building a house of cards? It is certainly not an easy thing to do and a brand new deck is no good, too slippery. No when it works best the cards need to be well used, well thumbed and a bit sticky! Nice huh. Continue reading Management – A House of Cards?

Managers Managing Manager’s Management

Managers Managing Manager’s Management

Managers Managing Management’s Management

Management’s Management Managing Management

So many variants, so many things that can be done with the M words! I suppose in one way or another they all mean the same thing, managing the management. I will stop this now, please do read on… Continue reading Managers Managing Manager’s Management

What’s Your Calling?

On the radio this morning there was an interview with this chap who worked as a welder. He used the skills of welding to create sculpture and waxed lyrical about the skills involved and the various techniques. Who knew huh? At one point the interviewer said “it sounds like this was your personal calling in life” to which the welder emphatically agreed.

Now welding might not be your thing, but there are times when we feel that what we are doing is linked to a personal calling. Well what’s yours?

In your current profession does it truly resonate with you and consume what you do in a way that creates a fire and passion deep in your soul? Does it say to you “yes, this is what I was put here to do?” if it does then perhaps it could be said that it is your ‘calling’.

Being lucky enough to be in this situation is wonderful, when we look back at our childhoods and teachers asking us “what do you want to be when you grow up?” leads some of us to say an astronaut, a fireman, a ballet dancer or even a welder! yet how many of us actually get what we wanted?  When I myself was asked that question I said “a teacher”. As a result I made sure I was involved in training in nearly every job I held and I genuinely believe that being a trainer, coach and mentor is my personal calling. So I got what I wanted.

How can we make this happen for ourselves? Well first we have to identify what it is we want to be called to do. So if you think about this phone box on a beach, the phone rings and a voice calls you do something, what would it be? What really drives and inspires you? what would make you get out bed early every day, with a smile on your face filled with happiness and passion? If you can think of it, then how can you make it happen?

It is important to understand that we spend a massive amount of our time on earth working to earn money to live. Many people are deeply unhappy in their work and would love the opportunity to start looking at something more meaningful, even if it meant taking a cut in pay. When training people, I often say to them “truly, if what you do makes you unhappy then get out of it and find something that brings you joy. Even if you have to stack shelves in a supermarket for a while, nothing is worth being that unhappy.” It takes a strong will to make that jump, but those that have done, would never look back.

It is often said that people want an effective work life balance. What they actually mean is they want more time to do what they want outside of work. I have yet to find anyone who has too much time doing what they want and not enough of the work! “oh no, take away some of this free time and give me more work to even out my work life balance” can you imagine!

We surround ourselves with technology, resources and labour saving devices to help free up more time for us to do what we want, but we still feel trapped somehow. This is why we need to work out what our calling actually is and strive to get as close to it as possible. If you want to work with technology then network with people who are and find an inroad. If you want to work closely with the public or with animals there are ways of getting into this via social networks and specific industries.

We are all so blessed with the opportunities available to us that we often cannot see the wood for the trees. So as a start, good news, you probably don’t need to be told how to get into these things, you already know it, you just need to make the move and that is the tough bit.

Ask what the worst thing that could happen if you did make the move. Is it really that bad.? Could you leave a door open behind you so that you could go back if needed? You probably could. As wise man once said “if you are in a position to be fortunate enough to do what you want, it is better to build a longer table than a taller fence.” so surround yourself with networks, support and contingencies that can act as a safety net. Things will start to find their way and fall into place. Fate can play a hand too and you might get a feeling that things are going the right way, alternatively you might now believe in fate, you will just know that what you are doing is right. Right for you that is.

So ponder for a moment what your calling is, and start to work on answering it.  That phone box is ringing somewhere for you right now…

Thanks for reading. This blog forms part of personal development and career coaching offered by me Simon Hares at SerialTrainer7 Ltd. If you would like some help get in touch with me Simon@serialtrainer7.com or call on 07979 537824.

Are You A Pioneer?

Personal & Business Confidence: Are you a Pioneer?

Pioneer

Noun

  1. A person who is among the first to explore or establish something new

Verb

  1. Develop or be the first to use or apply (a new method, area of knowledge or activity.

Great word isn’t it. Pioneer. It originated from the 16th Century as a military term denoting a member of the infantry ‘Pionnier’ but in today’s world it is used often in the business world for those who are looking to be first or to do something new or for the first time.

Many of my friends and former colleagues are moving into a new field of work either by turning their hands to freelance work or to set up businesses on their own or with colleagues. Having done it, it really is a big step and requires many deep breaths before taking the plunge. The thing is, once a little time has passed and things start to even out you wonder what all the fuss was about. Yes you have to fanny about with tax and setting things up, but this little bit of labour intensive effort pays off to leave you free to develop your business. As time passes further you start to see your business as your baby and it genuinely feels extremely, well, pioneering. After all, it is about be first to explore something new, or to apply something new for those doing it, it is new. Often when people set themselves up on his or her own, they are often described as entrepreneurs, this term is somewhat overused and reading between the lines, I think I prefer pioneer, I have also toyed with ‘entre- pioneer’ but that doesn’t work. Support plays a big role, and having support from friends, colleagues and associates really makes a difference. For those out their starting on their own pioneering quest, reach out to as many people as possible, ask for help, take help when it is offered with a grateful smile as this will help to build your business confidence (especially when networking events beckon) and you can learn from their mistakes before you make them yourself. It is great to network this way too, be warned you don’t come across to ‘grabby’ for information and always try to reciprocate wherever possible if you are to keep your network happy.

Personally, people who have experienced some form of epiphany and make a big change in their lives are pioneers too. All to often we hear people wanting to be more confident or more assertive, and when applying some self-development principles we can really see people develop. One method I like involves asking 7 specific questions of the things we are about to embark on, this helps to get a grip on things and take control.   These self-coaching questions work like this and can be applied to both business and personal situations.

  • What is the specific action I am about to perform?
  • What problem does it solve, or what goal does it help to achieve?
  • What is the cost of doing this? (Can be interpreted not only in financial terms but also time)
  • Is it profitable/worthwhile (delete as you see fit)
  • Can it be sustained? If so, what do I need to do it?
  • What is the first thing I can do to start?
  • When will I do it? Commit!

When you have the answers to your questions, your pioneering can truly get under way, as you work through the tasks you start to feel like you have achieved something and this achievement should be recorded. Personally I favour a journal of some sort, something nice, and not a device like an ipad. I have a leather bound journal when I have pioneered something I set it out in three simple terms, this stops the waffle!

  • What did I win or pioneer?
  • What did not go well?
  • What would I do different if I do something similar again?

By recording your pioneering achievements this way you have a record of really good, confidence building information and if things didn’t quite go to plan, well points 2 & 3 ensure you never make the same mistake again, therefore continuing your pioneering journey in the right way. This method works so effectively for people in employment too, for example sales people love to demonstrate effectively what they have delivered, using this helps them to gather evidence and can help when looking for a pay rise! Managers can use this to evidence good practice especially with a new team or if the manager is just starting out.

Wherever you are, whatever you do, look at what you do as being valuable, be aware of your own value and appreciate it. I am not saying go around singing “look at me, aren’t I amazing”, no that is not it. Rather it is simply about understanding what you contribute, what you achieve and how you can be your own personal pioneer. So go ahead, make some tracks in unchartered territory and pioneer!

Management – Making the Move from Mate to Manager

Congratulations! You have made a significant step in your career and you have begun taking your first steps into management. Nice job. You can look forward to having your own team; more responsibility and really impacting on the results of the business you work in.  Continue reading Management – Making the Move from Mate to Manager

One to One Coaching with SerialTrainer7

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One to One Coaching with SerialTrainer7

The delicate balance of coaching or mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” Steven Spielberg

The overall message

Spending time developing someone’s skills in a one to one situation is invaluable. It enables the individual express their problems, concerns and development areas in a way that is often lost in a training course environment.

One to one coaching needs to be safe and professional with tangible outcomes for the individual to work towards in a time period that is comfortable and achievable.

Continue reading One to One Coaching with SerialTrainer7