In my previous 2 blogs, I set out to offer some thoughts to those entering the workforce or those responsible for developing more junior members of their teams. In actual fact, anyone can benefit from being reminded of these key principles. You can even use them to help your children develop core skills that will help them throughout their lives, regardless of the path they choose both professionally and personally. I know I plan to!
In this final blog of the series, I will focus on principles that are becoming increasingly relevant in today’s working world, and (for better or for worse) are not going away any time soon!
9. Lets Get Digital. Artificial Intelligence and the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” will completely transform life as we know it, and let’s face it, the children of today will not know any different. Whilst this poses an obvious threat to certain skills and jobs, it also presents huge opportunity for those able to leverage the digital revolution. AI might even augment our creative capabilities, for the foreseeable future. Pursue a career that you love but be realistic about where that industry is going.
10. Diversity is good for business. It’s good for sales, it’s good for your clients, it’s good for society and its good for everyone. Full stop.
11. Be agile. Do your job well, but don’t waste time and effort just to be seen to be present. Sometimes you need to be in the office. Sometimes it pays off to sit down face to face. That’s fine. But if it’s not critical then work from home/the coffee shop. Managers: allow your teams to take time off to go to that dentist appointment or attend their child’s assembly or – dare I say it – allow flexible working practices. Treat everyone like adults, let everyone get on with doing their job. If you do, your talent pool just got way bigger and is not dependent on individuals who live locally to your business. If you don’t you may just lose good people who eventually realise that other companies are being way more flexible than yours.
12. Put your own oxygen mask on first. With all this technology, we risk never switching off – our ability to focus is continuously eroded. And if you have any dependants (kids, spouse, elderly parents), it just got way more complicated. As an experienced project manager, I have always assumed I can add spinning plate after spinning plate and juggle my personal life and my work life ad infinitum. This is not true and it is not sustainable. You cannot be all things to all people all of the time. Sometimes in life you have to protect yourself and it actually takes greater strength to say stop, than to continue in such unsustainable chaos. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Look after yourself first. Don’t wait for a personal crisis to make the changes necessary for a truly happy and well balanced life. Get into the habit of practicing mindfulness as early and as soon as you can. In my opinion, this is possibly one of the most important lessons out of all those shared over the past 3 blogs, and one I fully intend to commit to with all the family over the forthcoming months. Watch this space for details!
So there you go, 12 key lessons that can help you on your personal leadership journey. If only I had known these much earlier in my career! Each week, take one principle and make it your mantra – with regular practice over time the principles will become part of your natural approach.
Of course this is not an exhaustive list. We will look to focus on additional principles in later blogs. In the meantime, if you have any other thoughts or comments I would love to hear from you – drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.