I am publishing today with great amusement. One, because today we reach the 150th posts milestone and also because it is the first leadership journey I publish and from someone I really admire as a professional.
Despina and I met a couple of years ago when I was leading a project related to fleet monitoring. I was very impressed by her passion about the business, knowledge and also her leadership skills and gravitas very evident in every interaction we had. On a personal level, me being the father of a young lady (and I related this to my previous post – (Dreams I Dream for my Daughter. A Successful Business Woman). who aspires to be a business woman, Despina also became famous in my place because of her drive on topics related to Diversity and Inclusion and to empower women in shipping – historically a predominately male-dominated business. She’s someone who my daughter looks up to as role model.
I am glad women like Despina has taken such discussions and I can honestly see things changing in the world. This gives me peace of mind thinking that that when my lovely daughter enters in the labour market, she will be a professional measured, get paid and promoted based on her education, skills and most importantly, performance and professionalism, without gender being in any way a factor.
It is being a while since I published my last post. I am under job transition and this subject came up during one of my sessions as part of getting to know my stakeholders – and I thought it worth sharing with you.
Sometimes people don’t do their best not because they don’t want but because condition for that to happen is not being created – mostly by the leader.
Allen Tu is KCGFF Sales Team Leader for Maersk (China) Shipping Co. Allen attended my Coaching Master Class programme in Shanghai in 2011. Using my material he kicked off his ‘Buddy’ coaching programme in 2016 for his direct report sales managers. He regularly keeps me in touch with their progress. Allen gave Samson feedback how pleased he was to see Eileen’s business performance improvement in Quarter 4 2017, which he believes relates to Samson’s participation in the ‘Buddy’ programme. He asked Samson to share his recent coaching story as an inspiration for others. Samson is showing really professional attention to detail and thoughtfulness as a coach. And as you will see from the end of the interview below, the story has a very happy ending. Congratulations to both Samson and to Eileen.
For some time now I have adopted the habit of working out early in the morning – usually around 5:00 am. This year and motivated by a close friend, I resumed running and it is impressive how it boosts your energy for the day and the myriad of ideas sparking in one’s mind with working out – there is a scientific reason for that but will not get into details here.
Chewing the fat with this same friend (who encouraged me to resume running) a few weeks ago, he mentioned that the Vicar of our local church and who was an avid runner himself, had prematurely passed away during one of his run earlier that week – heart attack while out running. On the Sunday after that, I went to this church with my son – aiming to participate the sermon but also expecting to hear his eulogy – something I came to know living abroad as it is not common in Brazil.
It was amazing. Whole community was there and his family too. In sum, the Curate conducting Sunday morning sermon said that he was
‘An example in many ways. A great and respected leader, head of family and a trustworthy friend who anyone could rely on for advice and support. A sporty man who loved run and occasionally spent time in the jazz club. A great reference to anyone he interacted with.’
His legacy! And, I believe, building his legacy was (consciously or not) what took him out of the bed every day!
In my youngsters days, at some point, I felt uncomfortable when someone told me one of these phrases, and even though I’ve learned how to act upon them, these for me are the top 5 things no one enjoys listening to and I want to share them with you. I’m pretty sure you will even agree with me on the reasons why.
Last week I had one of the most extraordinary experiences of my training career. Through RADA in Business I was engaged to train speakers taking part in the BBC’s commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchedeale.
Thus, I found myself in Ypres working with a group of almost 40 serving military personnel, actors and descendants of people who had died in this bloodiest of battles; an incredibly diverse group of people, all of whom would be reading on live television.
This is set in the context of remembering a battle that took the lives of tens of thousands of men and the intense emotions that evokes. If you saw either of the two programmes on the BBC you will understand what a humbling and tragic event we were focussing on.
Back in October 2016 I published an article ‘Coaching is Blooming in Shanghai’ about General Manager Sales, Allen Tu and his team. Allen attended my Coaching Master Class programme in 2011. Much to my delight he kicked off a coaching programme for four of his sales managers in 2016 using my material. He promised to keep me in touch with their progress. Here is the first coaching interview and case study.
I started working with the Top Team at Maersk Line East China Cluster (PRE) in Shanghai when I visited them in April 2011 to kick off the Coaching Master Class program. Cynthia Li was Customer Service General Manager and starting out on her coaching journey.
Here she reflects on that five year journey. In 2013 Cynthia was promoted and moved from Customer Service to sales as Key Client General Sales Manager. In 2016 Cynthia jumped ship (pun intended) and joined Swire Shipping in Shanghai as Head of Commercial for mainland China and Hong Kong. What has Cynthia learned from her broad experience as a senior leader in the shipping industry? What can we learn from her coaching journey?
Unsung heroes – whose quiet dedication makes them special.
For those who live in UK and/or follow the tradition, know about ‘Her Majesty’s Most Gracious Speech.’ given on December 25 at 3pm local time. This is an old tradition which was started back in 1932. The first time was given by Elizabeth II’s grandfather King George V and the Queen has been giving address since 1952.
Since I moved to UK, 2014, I watch The Queen’s speech with great interest. I did some research to know who writes her speech and came to know that the Queen does it herself and use it as a chance to reflect on major events that have occurred that year, her personal milestones and her view on Christmas in general.
Last year’s speech was very touching, as it usually is, and she covered topics that I immediately related to business reality. But there was one part that resonated in my mind and inspired me to write this article. When she spoke about ‘Unsung Heroes’.
Her Majesty’s words “I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things: volunteers, carers, community organisers and good neighbours; unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special.”