How many times have you felt afraid to raise an issue, a failing, or a concern? What if, instead, you felt supported to raise any concern? And imagine how much more effective and perhaps satisfied you would feel – and your team. And if you’re a boss, envisage an environment of openness, courage and curiosity and how motivating that can be for those you lead.
A senior exec once said to me: ‘I can see how agile working is a benefit, but only for experienced staff members who already know what they’re doing’. Well, some might say learning happens during watercooler conversations or ear-wigging more senior people in meetings or on the phone. But, let’s say a ‘junior’ member of the team is on research duty, why is the office a more productive environment than, say, a home or a library? For me, this comment emphasised a lack of trust in their team as a whole and smacked of closed mindedness.
Three-day weekend anyone? I’ll happily be first in line…
There has been an explosion of public chatter about flexible working recently. Widely reported in print and social media, Timewise has awarded its Power 50 2019, recognising people in senior roles who work part-time. What’s more, Peter Cheese, Head of CIPD is leading the charge, alongside other public figures, calling for more organisations to use the strapline ‘Happy to talk flexible working’ and specifically advertise for flexible options when recruiting. He says, “Providing more flexible opportunities for how, when and where people work should be part of every organisation’s strategy to attract and retain the talent and skills they need”. And I couldn’t agree more.
As Steve Jobs once said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”. Brilliant leaders, therefore, are respectful and empowering – they trust others around them to do a good (sometimes better) job. And finally, they are also mindful, purposeful and visionary. They’re in it for the long haul, come rain or shine.
You know that feeling when it seems like only 10 minutes have passed, and yet 5 hours have gone by and you didn’t even notice? Or, if you’re a runner, when you have jogged 10 kilometres and you feel like it’s only been 2 kms (does that ever happen?). Or on the flip side, when you’ve run for 10 minutes and it feels like 5 hours (more likely).
This could well be because you’re in a state of ‘flow’ – or not. Now that may sound a bit strange? But actually, finding your flow is a really powerful tool that may help you with any challenge that life throws your way – either professionally or personally.
We arrived home after a stroll in the park only to find the mortice lock on our front door broken and we couldn’t get in. It was metal fatigue, according to the locksmith we had to call out (on Boxing Day no less!). The metal in the mechanism broke for no particular reason. It had just become worn. Overworked. It simply snapped.
It made me think about how many of us unknowingly suffer from fatigue particularly when performing the same tasks or activities day after day. What’s the potential result?