Growing Me: Growing You

I’m sure we’ve all been faced with losing something that we’ve become really comfortable with. It could be that our job is made redundant; or we face a health challenge that prevents us doing something we love doing or we are faced with a relationship or even financial calamity that leaves us terrified of our ‘what next’.

Fear actually comes in many forms. Just as we can hit the wall of a negative situation (as above) we can similarly be challenged when something positive is offered to us. Something will challenge us and take us way out of our comfort zones. This is what I call the ‘But/Fear/WIIFM’ (What’s in it for me) triangle. As an example:

  • When working with business owners and managers who are exhausted, I suggest delegating some of their tasks to one or more of their team. The ‘but’ will be – ‘there is no-one qualified; it will take too long to teach them and it is simply quicker to do it myself’. Their ‘fear’ is that people will make costly mistakes; the WIIFM is that he/she will be less stressed; their people will become better qualified and the owner/manager will be able to do more productive things.
  • When working with employees who are stuck in jobs they are bored with and jobs that are on the verge of becoming obsolete anyway, their ‘buts’ are ‘I’m too old to learn new things’, their ‘fear’ is ‘failure’ yet the WIIFM for upskilling is remaining employable.

In the workplace we all have responsibilities:

  • Owners are responsible for keeping their business solvent; to stop doing the itty bitty detail things that keep them warm and dry in an office when they need to be out and about looking for new markets, new suppliers, new products or services.
  • Managers are responsible for the day to day efficiencies of their department; to ensure that every day they and their team are looking at every aspect of improvements that can be made.
  • Employees are responsible for managing their own careers – to take every opportunity offered to them so they never risk becoming obsolete and without expecting a pay raise every time they volunteer for something.

This is the work I’ve done for over 30 years – it is what I term an Adult/Adult workplace – where every single person in the workplace thinks and acts like an adult rather than a dependent.

Sadly for way too long we’ve had parent/child workplaces. Owners and managers have taken on the parent role and employees sit around waiting for someone to tell them what to do and how to do it. Given the speed of change and the massive competition every business faces, this way of working is not only obsolete, it is dangerous for all concerned. It wastes so much time and a fails to tap into a bottomless pit of talent.

Back to my title: Growing Me: Growing YOU

Growing Me is about me taking personal responsibility for my life and my career, whether I’m a manager or an employee. It is up to me to keep an eye out for opportunities; to be willing to volunteer for committees; to be seen and to get known. I’ve even had employees tell me that their career is their boss’s responsibility. NO IT ISN’T!!!

Growing You is about owners and managers offering opportunities to their people. To be constantly looking to delegate everything and anything that prevents them for working ON the business rather than IN it. If an owner or manager is doing any task that someone on $20 – $40 could do, they are not only letting themselves down, they are letting the business down. 

So how do you get past ‘buts’? As an owner manager you work out or even ask ‘what is your fear?’ and then you coach and mentor and train and develop your people so they grow and you make better use of your own talents.

As an employee – how do you get past your ‘fears’? You work out your WIIFM’s. We are never too old to learn something new – no job or trade or skill will last a lifetime; if you are not growing you are diminishing; if you refuse to learn and grow you will do the very thing you fear – you will become obsolete.

As the saying goes ‘Don’t die with your music still in you’.

I’m taking time to update all my previous books and the very first book I ever wrote was called ‘SHIFT YOUR BUT’ which seems apt for today’s newsletter. I tell the story of the changes we made in a manufacturing plant where Parent/Child was the order of the day. I show the reader how we shifted that thinking quite rapidly and achieved results that blew us all away (me included) once everyone at every level of the business worked out their WIIFMS.

Normally $30 – for the next 48 hours $15 plus P & P
E.mail me direct and I’ll get the book in the mail to you tonight – the perfect gift for someone in your team who stubbornly refuses to lift their game!

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