I read a good blog the other day which advised leaders to treat their employees as they would want to be treated. This is sound advice in many situations, however I shall always remember my diversity training at Shell which challenged my basic belief of “Do unto others as you would be done by”. The challenge was that I was applying my own standards and principles to other people. Take for example the excellent belief about empowering people. I remember a company with whom I was consulting, whilst at KPMG. The Operations Director of this manufacturing company told me. “Many of our people on the shop-floor just want to come to work, do a good job and go home”. Their priorities are different and they don’t want to be innovative, empowered or work flexi-time etc! So, rather it should be “Do unto others as they would be done by”. This means understanding their motivation, their different styles (communication, personality, learning and so on). First, understand your people and then check if your assumption that they would want to be treated in the same way as you do, applies. For more on different styles, look at previous blogs:-
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The next events will be in November and December
The Leadership Forum, Essex,
10th December, Essex
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I have again had the pleasure of helping someone by sharing some of my expereinces. In both instances, it was an owner/manager who had taken the plunge of starting their own business. They were asking themselves the same questions I remember asking, such as “when should I expect my business to break-even?”, “how many clients should I be expecting and when?”, “how do I find them or help them find me?” and many more. My main messages are that it always takes longer than you think; try all marketing channels and evaluate which ones work; find out where your prospective clients gather and go there and so on. Most of all though, “you have taken the toughest step already so be kind to yourself – you are probably doing better than you think”. Sharing some time with others also helps me reflect on my business, and remember some of my tips that I might have forgotten over time! So, who can you share your knowledge with this week?