I have just about completed my first month in my new career. So much has happened in such a short space of time.
TOTAL ENGAGEMENT – I find that when I get home I am drained but I love it. There is much less time to do things like chess or art. In fact I have been playing over one chess game for a few days now. In the past I would play over a game in a matter of minutes. I think I am totally engaged in what I do during the day. I have to think on my feet all the time. I am dealing with current and potential customers a great deal of the time and everything I do matters, it affects my personal and company’s brand in one way or the other. I am interacting with colleagues from other teams and other parts of the company from our management consulting space, interim executive business and sales performance.
QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS – I ask questions every single day. If something doesn’t make sense to me and I can’t figure it out within a few seconds, I will ask. I think it’s much more efficient that way and I get to move on quickly. The doubt and confusion is replaced with clarity. That can’t be a bad thing! I have felt silly many times but it’s fine. I just move on. I have asked the same questions again but it’s fine. I need to get it right! New processes, new systems, new people, new markets and new frontiers – I am asking questions about everything and everyone and absorbing as much as I can.
LESSONS – There has been so much to learn. Every single day I have learnt something new. I know tomorrow there will be a new lesson and I am looking forward to it. I keep an open mind about what I will learn next. I imagine it is my first few days in school again. I am a rookie again and it’s a nice feeling. I am reading a motivational book when I have time and trying to apply the lessons when I put the book down. I am very clear about my goals now in life and see no reason whatsoever why they will not become a reality. If God is on our side, who can stop me, who can stop us?
LEARNING TO LISTEN – One of the biggest experiences so far has been just learning to listen. I deal with people much more than before. The exchange of ideas and communications has increased exponentially. Its been a big lesson to just have a clean slate when I converse with someone, totally focus on the message, process it and respond appropriately. As basic as this might sound, I think I have fallen short a great deal in the past. I used to think of myself as a great communicator but I realised I have a very long way to go. Communication is a two way process and I have focussed too much on the one aspect and side of it, my own story. What I want and have to say, what I had in mind. It’s been me, me, me. What about the other person?
IDEAS – I love to generate ideas about everything I come across and I have been suggesting this and that. Why not try this and why not try that. However, this can be a tricky business. I have to express my ideas and without making compromising anyone’s dignity and self worth. Many times I do this, I pretend to be the other person and it helps a great deal. It can take a few seconds but these can be vital in the quality of communication. Do unto others as you would want others to do unto us. Why not say unto others in the same spirit? If there is better way of doing things, let’s consider it and put it forward in the best way.
FINDING MY OWN STYLE – I think it will take some time before I have developed my style of doing things. My own way of selling, of marketing and going about the business. I feel really great about this. I love this freedom and will make the most of it. I think I have suppressed my creativity a great deal in my working life and there is no reason to really. I am little conscious of other people when talking on the phone but I know this will go with time and I will be in my element in good time. I find that being too nervous leads to mistakes but practice makes perfect.
KNOWING EVERYONE – One of the challenges I set for myself early on was that I should know everyone in the company by name within a week. With less than 50 people it has been quite easy. For the first week or so I would move around the company with a phone list and every time I met someone new I would mark their name on the list and write what they did. Some people’s names were not so easy to remember for some reason but I kept trying. The next challenge is to know intimately what everyone does in the company. I have a very big interest in cross selling across the group and the strategic view of all the functions.
MANAGEMENT CONSULTING – Even though I am in executive search and selection at the moment which I am enjoying immensely I think where I really want to be is in the mentoring, leadership and coaching space. That kind of work is done in our management consulting business. I have already engaged with the relevant parties regarding my career plans. I am quite sure that will be my next stop within a year or so. I feel that everything is slowly coming together. Regarding my career I am now much more decisive. I know where I want to be tomorrow and I will do what it takes to get there!
TOUGH MEANS I GET TOUGH – Let me make no mistake about things. The new role is very demanding. I have targets to pursue every week and every day. It is tough but I think it’s making me tougher. I will not shy away from the challenges that lie ahead but I will take them head on. There is one life to live on earth and I will take all my chances. From where I stand I cannot see any limits and will not accept any. I will embrace all the possibilities that come my way and work hard towards the future I desire. I want to be all used up when I am done. Let the journey continue!
Have a great weekend and all the best. Be The Man you want to be. BTM