Friday, May 06, 2005

Seek advice from your boss second

'Getting ahead in a difficult profession ... singing, acting, writing, whatever ... requires avid faith in yourself. You must be able to sustain yourself against staggering blows and unfair reversals. When I think back to those first couple of years in Rome, those endless rejections, without a glimmer of encouragement from anyone, all those failed screen tests, and yet I never let my desire slide away from me, my belief in myself and what I felt I could achieve.'

Sophia Loren

This is yet another example of looking for management inspiration from the most unexpected sources.

I suspect very few managers would look to a film actress for advice – even though the words of Ms Loren ring very true to me about my long management career in the NHS.

Ms Loren is absolutely right - one must never, ever give up and never lose faith in one’s own ability.

I suggest all managers - wherever they work - whoever they are - should be required as a condition of their employment, to actively seek out advice - let's say once a week- from someone outside their own organisation, their own colleagues or their bosses.

People who are successful in any walk of life can offer advice to those in any other walk of life. It really is as simple as that.

It is just that our mindset is to 'think traditional' and ask questions only within the place we work.

So here are some practical steps;

What about making it a requirement that everyone in a job asks for a weekly tip from someone in a totally different job?

The person you ask must be from a different organisation and a different job type.

For instance;

  • The Chief Executive of the local NHS organisation asks the Head Chef of the best Hotel in the town for advice about meeting deadlines.
  • The Director of Finance asks the 44 year old woman who is a single parent with two teenagers for advice about running a budget.

And so it goes on ..... what suggestions do you have?

In case you thought this was a joke - I AM DEADLY SERIOUS!


Anonymous said...

That's a great concept. I have in my studies of leadership that this is very true. I have learned so much over the course of the past year by communicating with people that do a variety of things. It allows for so many perspectives. I have learned a lot about my chosen profession by switching within the organization. I worked in residential programs for most of my career. the past three years have been in the community. We work with the same clients a great deal of the time, however the approach is much different. I have had to expand my ways of thinking and reacting. the education has proved very valuable. I also like communicating with leaders in totally different professions. It opens the whole forest up for viewing rather than a small group of trees.

Trevor Gay said...

Keep doing it Rocky - you will go far.