Archive for category Musings
Well – our family is hooked. We’ve been tuning into The Voice over the last few weeks and cheering our favourites on. For the uninitiated, The Voice is a singing competition. What makes is different is four judges/coaches, all noteworthy recording artists, choose teams of contestants through a blind audition process.
In the final battle round this week, a 67 year old Steve Clisby and 44 year old Mitchell Anderson sang ‘Walkin’ in Memphis’. Remember, this is a show dominated by young and youngish performers who are hoping to ‘make it’. Sound like some workplaces you know?
The response was euphoric. And it got me thinking about assumptions we make about older workers.
1 Age is no barrier. How inspirational to see a 67 year old in a singing competition. Steve is a class act with years of experience under his belt. It’s not about his age; it’s about his attitude.
2 You deserve to be heard. Joel, one of the coaches, commented, that he was moved to tears, because he recognised how hard these singers had worked over the years – playing in bars where people weren’t really listening. He said, ” You deserve to be heard a lot earlier than tonight.” Which workers aren’t being heard in your workplace? I guarantee that you have older workers who deserve to be heard. There was a permeating sense of respect for these two performers and they were definitely ‘heard’.
3 The merits of blind auditions. Competitors make it into this competition through blind auditions. I wonder if Steve and Mitchell would have made it otherwise; they’re not your usual candidates. They were judged on their voice – alone. If we judged our job applicants on results and competency alone, how diverse would our workforce be? There is no room for prejudice and discrimination when your applicants are singing to the back of your chair.
I could go on. Meanwhile, you might be interested in this article by Martha Stewart in a similar vein – It’s never too late to bloom.
Sometimes we only have career conversations when we’re in transition. Conversations triggered by redundancy, changing location, leaving a bad boss, retirement or itchy feet. The challenge with these conversations is that there is usually time pressure and some degree of emotion lurking in the background.
We often muse at Sageco how our working lives would be changed if career conversations were just as much a part of the employment fabric as performance reviews? Imagine looking forward to a regular conversation with your manager or mentor about what you envisage for your career. How might this enrich your work? How could it prepare you better for when transition triggers strike?
If you’re a manager, maybe you could try structuring some career conversations with your team members around the five Ps. (And don’t discount your mature workers. At 55, you could have a whole other career ahead of you. Just ask Ita Buttrose!)
- Pride: The employee describes what they are most proud of and recalls what made the experience so motivating and successful.
- Passion: Values, beliefs and interests present in that and other experiences are identifed .
- Purpose: Other possible projects or assignments are explored which might also involve similar interests and values that would bring meaningful focus.
- Performance: Develop, in collaboration, work strategies and resources required that will enable similar successes.
- Poise: Manage expectations, trust and reinforce the idea that, with practice, success is achievable.
As we savour all the good things from 2012 and look forward to the transition to 2013, we wish all our Sageco circle a wonder filled festive season.
We’ll be back on deck on Monday 7 January 2013.
In our “Envisage – create your future” seminar, we include relationships as one of the palette colours. We colour it red – the colour of a love heart. But red is also the colour of a warning and potentially a red rag to a bull; an irritant.
In Envisage, we talk about relationships in the context of transition. Who is counting on you? How do you keep your relationships healthy through the transition of retirement or career change? How will you maintain your networks? Who do you need to care for? How healthy are your relationships?
I got to thinking that looking at some of these questions in preparation for Christmas and other festive celebrations might be handy. The intensity of family Christmas celebrations can sometimes get the better of us. I’ve adapted our healthy relationship checklist for Christmas.
Pick someone with whom your relationship is not the best it could be. At your family festive gathering ie just for one day, can you:
- Have realistic expectations of the other person?
- Be a kind ear – listen and talk?
- Be flexible?
- Be dependable?
- Be true to yourself?
- Make time for them?
- Share some humour and warmth?
Go on….it might be the best gift you could give.
Want to join the discussion? Join our LinkedIn group.
Wishing you a wonder filled festive season – the Sageco team
What Liesel Jones, Lauren Jackson and the absence of Bruce McAvaney can teach us about the value of mature workers.
Are you bleary eyed from too much Olympics already? Even if sport’s not quite your thing, it’s hard not to be inspired by people who give their all to compete. Imagine being in a job where 1 / 100th of a second can make or break your career? And your performance review is tweeted, facebooked and replayed over and over again for all the world to see?
As I dip in and out of TV and radio coverage and check results on my iPhone app, there are snippets this week that make me think about the value of mature workers.
After coming fifth in her fourth 100m breastroke final, Liesel said in an interview:
“My focus has totally changed at these Games. For me it was all about the changing of the guard and handing over to the younger swimmers. It’s a pretty tough Games in terms of just learning things,” Jones said. “Smooth sailing doesn’t make a skilful sailor. So I think I have got all the skills for life now. I would rather have a tough experience than an easy one because you don’t learn much about yourself then.”
In her fourth Olympic Games with an impressive collection of medals, Liesel doesn’t need to prove she is a champion. One can only guess the impact her presence and fight has on the younger members of the swimming team and the other athletes. She used the criticism of her pre-Games fitness to spur herself on.
What was your attitude to Liesl pre-Games? What’s your attitude to mature workers in your team? Are you assuming they’re ‘past it’? How are you supporting them to continue the ‘fight’ – to be productive, to do their best and to inspire other workforce generations?
Lauren Jackson is also at her fourth Olympics as the captain of the Opals – Australia’s women’s basketball team. She’s often described as the best woman basketballer in the world. And yet she is so understated. This Olympics, she could become the highest scoring female basketballer – she just needs 41 points to do so. Her response to this, “I’m just older.” It’s not a focus for her. She has said many times that her personal goal is to help her team win.
Who are the Lauren Jackson’s in your team? The understated, experienced professionals who just want their team to win? Are you treating them like gold?
When I worked at the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, Bruce McAvaney graciously agreed to speak at one of our all staff meetings. He was amazing. He recounted his personal highlights from every modern Olympic Games. We were enthralled; he had 1500 Olympic tragics in the palm of his hand. Oh – how I miss his commentary at the London Olympic Games. Due to the complicated and expensive tussle of Olympic media rights, we miss out on the calibre of Bruce on the television coverage. There is a veritable chasm between his commentary prowess and the current Channel Nine crop (talented and hard working though they may be). Why? Because he’s passionate, extremely knowledgeable and experienced. Bring on digital streaming rights; I for one will tune into Channel Bruce 2016.
Who in your team has the knowledge and experience that can’t be replicated? How big is the chasm between them and the other hard working and talented people you have? How will you transfer that knowledge in some way to mitigate risk? How can you use the ‘Bruce’s’ in your team to coach your up and coming team members? And how can you creatively retain ‘Bruce’ beyond a traditional retirement date?