Training and Motivational Experts

5 Skills you learn along the way. (By Elmarie Pretorius)

It’s funny how sometimes random quotes pop up in your head that make you think. This was the case with IBN Batutta’s quote: “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”.

When I sat at the airport, for the fourth time this month, this time on route to Namibia to present a series of skills training sessions for a client of ours, I thought about traveling and what you can learn from it. There are some truly valuable lessons traveling can teach you to help develop your skills and enrich your career growth. 

This is the follow-up article on ‘4 Things that keep Leaders up at night’. During our Leadership Development Programmes, presented over the years, The Mindspa Institute identified four things leaders lay awake at night and ponder over. In this article we want to help you manage your nightmares with these 4 solutions:

Anxiety and enthusiasm are direct traits of leaders who truly care. Let’s face it; you are either too worried or too excited to sleep at night. But excitement is easier to contain; it is the worrying part that is more difficult to control and will make your head spin all night as you keep on going over and over certain scenarios in your head when you are supposed to be resting.

Many argue that to worry won’t get you anywhere, when in fact, it is sometime necessary and can be valuable. Stress, worry and anticipation help ensure our survival. It is therefore not necessarily always a bad thing. It makes us put away money for difficult times; it helps us to get our kids to focus on their homework and study because we worry about their success, etc. Worrying helps us prepare and deal with situations. In some cases, it motivates us to perform and do better. 

At the beginning of the year, social media and newspapers are swamped with photos of kids starting school, looking both cute and odd in their oversized school uniforms. Matric results are revealed and the high achievers reach front page while everyone else searches frantically for their names in the papers. But did you know that a shocking 25% of government school grade 1’s in South Africa, don’t even make it to matric? What is more shocking is that about 80% of matriculates who actually graduate fail their first year at varsity. This is according to a Finweek article: Building a New Generation to Outsmart Google.

News24 states that Capetonians are experiencing the worst drought in Cape Towns’ recorded history. Level 6B water restrictions are effective as of from 1 February 2018. This means that less than 50 liters per person should be used per day at home and at the office. There are some experts who believe that day zero is inevitable. They predict that the water in the Western Cape will run out by April 2018 before the plans that were made are properly put into place. The fact is that although our leaders are trying to resolve the water issue, it remains the responsibility of our businesses and citizens to help fight this crisis. They are communicating the crises, we need to listen and act.

Leadership evolved so much over time and in such a way that it underwent a total paradigm shift.  From being the person with the most brute strength or the person striking the most fear into people’s hearts in mid-evil times, to that of the new age leader; a person who is the kindest and most empathetic one investing more into others. A leader today is someone who is creating followers through mutual respect and teamwork rather than with force and fear. 

But how much is the right leadership and great managers contributing to the business and its actual growth?  With the world rapidly changing around us, great leaders should stay on top of new trends and developments in order to sustain growth and profitability in their organisations.

Everyone has a story to tell. This is a story of the everyday people, frustrated and irritated road users overlook or don’t even take note of, on their daily trips. This is a story of PT Operational Services (Pty) Ltd who implemented their Phambili Campaign, by partnering with The Mindspa Institute as a training partner, to motivate and make a difference in the lives of their employees, through a series of motivational workshops.

Yes we are talking about lives of ordinary, hardworking South Africans who are toll-gate operators, route patrol drivers, comms clerks and other operational staff. The Phambili Campaign was a set of motivational workshops, developed, and implemented to invest in the motivation of the operational staff mainly to increase productivity, customer relations and job satisfaction.

Stress is part of our daily lives. It is also called ‘the silent killer’. It’s hard to focus on everything, multitask and to stay at the top of your game day in and day out. Everyone always says it is important to live a balanced lifestyle, but how? Maybe all you need to do is to go back to the basics.  For you to enjoy life and take off the edge both personally and professionally, start with this one thing. Start by delegating.  Delegation is a useful tool in time management to relieve stress, but it is underutilized.

To delegate means that you assign certain responsibilities like tasks or activities to another person. You are in fact empowering that individual to make decisions. Don’t be fooled though, you as the person who delegated the work is still held accountable should this task be a failure or not completed. It, however, lightens the workload tremendously if assigned and monitored correctly. So the real question is whom to delegate to and how to manage the delegation of the tasks needed to be performed.

New research by the company Korn Ferry Hay Group in Los Angeles showed that women are better in applying the various essential soft skills that they obtained for effective leadership to increase business performance. They determined that women outperform men in 11 of the 12 key emotional intelligence competencies.

Someone recently had coffee with me and while we were talking, she suddenly, out of the blue looked at me and said “when I am around you, I immediately feel energized and positive. I can be in such a depressing state of mind, but after spending a few minutes in your conversation, I feel uplifted and ready to take on the world”. What a nice compliment and what a feeling to know that you are the reason why someone feels charged up to stand up and walk tall.

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