Guest Blogger

Workplace Wisdom

August 22, 2013

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Due to the nature of what we do in the television industry, we rarely attend meetings and workshops, but a group of us had a privilege of accompanying our manager to a workshop this week where he was addressing a staff of over 30 employees. In an effort to motivate his dull and bland audience, he shared his own life experiences in an industry that can be very harsh and unforgiving. He opened up about some of the challenges he has faced on his way to becoming who he is now. He also went an extra mile by sharing his struggles as a manager currently. These lessons gave the audience a broad understanding of who he is as a human being- beyond being our boss, we saw someone we could relate to.

As I listened to him, I got a glimpse of what hard work and a good attitude can accomplish. He spoke passionately and powerfully about the vision of the company and how we should see ourselves being part of a generation that will make history in South African television. And then he made a bold statement that caught not only my ears, but my heart. He said, “Gone are the days of working to impress your boss. Work to impress yourself.”
What a profound statement, I thought. As much as we want our managers to inspire us, we need to inspire ourselves. We need to show up at work, self-motivated, looking to add value and bringing solutions to our work environment. We need to realize that we are more than just employees; we are leaders where we are planted. His statement reminded me how powerful we really are as human beings- whether in business, in life or in love. We have choices.
At the end of the day, we (not our boss) determine the level of our happiness. When we leave the office, and go home to our lives, we have to live with ourselves, we have to be satisfied with the effort we put into our work. And if we’re not happy, then we need to make better decisions about our careers. We, not our bosses are in charge of our lives and how we carry ourselves.

As I listened, I was so glad that I’d made time to attend the workshop. My mind took me back to my dad, a great businessman that I look up to and admire. He once said; Ask yourself, what does the company get when they employ you? If they get mediocre, then you shouldn’t be surprised by your lack of progress. But if they get an asset when they employ you, then you will grow beyond your wildest imagination.
And just like that, I’m inspired again.

Love Always,
Nono Cele
Twitter: @Nono_Cele

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