An ideas exchange about what makes leadership at all levels in an organisation really work.
Author: Ricardo Mock
Africa 24/7 Marine Manager at Maersk Line, Cape Town.
Psychologist, Certified Crossfit Trainer, Health Coach and Motivator.
Experience working in Project Management (Operations, Human Resources and Sales), innovation driving change.
Specialties: Project Management, Sales, General Operations, Lean Six Sigma (LSS GB Certified), ERP´s implementation and Change Management.
MBTI Profile: ENFP-T
Let’s talk about work ethics. We live in an ever changing dynamic world where words like improvement, profit, market share, EBIT and success are sometimes more common than shopping lists and people’s names. Everyone wants to lead without having a clear definition of what it takes to become a leader. I have been listening a lot lately to talks about understanding the millennials and talent retention and I agree that we need to be more flexible going forward. However, there are some rules that even if we change them in the way we explain them and drive for the teams by in, we must not change the basic essence of them. As leaders, we have a responsibility of coaching young executives in order to leave our legacy as part of their professional growth.
I am a firm believer that we come into this world with an empty toolbox. As we walk along our path, we find tools along the way. Sometimes the tools that we find are not useful immediately but one will always find a use for it down the road. I always like to relate this to a TV series that I used to watch during my childhood called “McGyver”. It was about this very smart agent that collected several items during the episode and at the end he would save the day with a clever “gadget solution” made out of all the items he had collected.
A couple of years ago, I was struggling both in my professional and personal life. I started being over anxious about my future and so I was not enjoying my present. Does this sound familiar? Most of the time we get so immersed in ourselves that we fail to enjoy our life by missing out on those beautiful moments around us. I sat down and started thinking about what I could do to stop worrying so much and just allow things to be.
This article has been written at a time when most of us have given up on our new year’s resolution. And now we need to ask why it is so common that we fail in our resolutions? We set measurable objectives and we make a plan to achieve them. Then what is missing? Most of our plans miss two crucial aspects: preventative plan for relapses and a plan to ensure that we enjoy the process. The main reason we miss this is that there is a general belief that in order to achieve our goals and ensure happiness, we need to put ourselves through hell while we pursue this happiness. We tend to compare hard work with being miserable.
We live in a society where being introvert – or ‘quiet’ – is often labelled as a limitation. After many years of working with teams, I have reached to the conclusion that this statement is so far from being true. What most people fail to acknowledge is that every team need their fair share of ‘quiet’ players. These are the ones that think and follow an introspection process before reacting. This virtue is so crucial in the planning part prior to executing. Quiet teachers that allow students to express and pay attention to their needs instead of following a standard ‘one size fits all’ script. These are the true ambassadors of the ‘do more and talk less’ principle so commonly found in over achievers. In most recent times, I have had the opportunity to learn from a few outstanding ‘quiet ones’.
I was traveling from Cape Town to Panama to attend my mother’s funeral and my brothers agreed that I would speak at the ceremony. I was sitting on the plane trying to think what to write since she has been a huge influencer in my personal and professional life. It was an impossible task to fit it all in one speech. Then I decided to just focus in one word that will define her greatest legacy in my life. After hours of thinking that the perfect word was ‘trust’. She trusted me to do well, always. It didn’t matter how much I failed in something, she will always be there to cheer for me.
I was 13 years old and I was laying on the couch watching TV, as usual, and my mother looked at me and took the decision to make me join a swimming team with my brothers. When I say that she made me join is that I did not like the idea, but I have received a direct order and believe me when I say that it was on my best interest to obey.
In my recent professional years, I have concentrated on receiving feedback to continue improving. My personal theory is centered on the fact that when a specific situation of my life put me in an uncomfortable place, at the end, the whole situation resulted in personal improvement. There was during an improvised coaching session with a friend when I started referring to these uncomfortable situations as “personal storms”. And it is during this so-called storms that I experienced all kinds of emotions inside of me. This is a unique opportunity that life give us to embrace these emotions and start asking us the “why’s” and understand more about us and the origin of the storm.
Everywhere I read I see articles about success and how to be successful. The truth is that we all are capable of being successful, however that will not be meaningful until we put love and passion into everything we do. Then, and only then, we will “feel” successful. That is when you reach the “Meraki” stage. Meraki is a Greek word that can be translated to the action of putting love and passion into everything you do.
During the early start of my professional career, I gave a lot of value to get things done fast. I was an impatient operator whose only focus was execution with acceptable results. Now, ‘acceptable’ is very subjective word that can have a lot of different meanings depending of the one who use it. Later I found out that acceptable results often lead to rework.Continue reading “Procrastination and Creativity”