By Paddy Ryan, Family Business Specialist & Co-Director, The Family Business Unit, Ireland
We all need a bit of direction sometimes. During the summer months when times are slower and the novelty of sand, sun and sangria are beginning to wear off the busy mind turns to the self help, how to succeed books available in all good bookshops and airports. (Well it is possible)
Success, they say, come with numbers. 5 habits of highly successful people, is capped by that excellent tome…7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Simon Covey et al have it sussed and wrote the book to let us know that there are “five ways to well-being”; “7 ways to look like a millionaire”; “6 habits of Great Bosses” and only “5 Habits of Dysfunctional Teams”. I reference Covey because I have read it a number of times and it appears to have much to offer that some of the others may not. The basic premise though is the same.
These guides focus on ways we can discipline ourselves for success, wellbeing or whatever. Forming the right business habits is like forming the good health habits, like the good (though sometimes boring) eating habits, disciplined responses to everyday occurrences which taken as such allow those of us who have the habit and the space to deal with the unusual or unexpected.
The discipline of creating habits, developing ways, repeating proven actions, develops our strength and resilience. We do this by a very simple set of activities. We see the action to be performed, we do it, we reflect on its success and if good we repeat it. If it is really going well but needs tweaking on reflection we replicate with additions, but don’t repeat the action just a nearly but new version. Understanding when to replicate, repeat or delete the action from our habits is what allows us to be successful.
As with all habits they can become engrossing and loose their effectiveness. The Super boss who tells us he walks five miles every morning before work probably means every morning that he can; the leader who closes her office for 30 minutes each lunchtime to reflect on the day snoozes or doesn’t, depending on what needs to be done, and usually doesn’t snooze. The habits and ways allow us the space to do the unexpected, to do the exceptional whilst maintaining equilibrium.
Two weeks of salad for dinner welcomes the takeaway, but recognises that the salad is better for you.
And always remember that there are “50 ways to leave your lover” – thank you Paul Simon.
Over the past twenty-five years Paddy has worked in HR T&D at Director and Executive level. He has worked in heavy Industry, in Hi-tech, Medical Devices as well as Software reselling and Construction; leading teams across Europe, the Middle East and Asia for Global and international businesses. Most recently he headed up the Human Resources Department Mercury Engineering a major Irish based international business.
Throughout his career the one constant driver has been the development of people. The senior positions filled in, the UK and Ireland with British Steel and Smith & Nephew and mainland Europe with Software Spectrum and Insight, US multinational and global companies have focused on best practice HR and leading edge Training and Development.