I have been very privileged to work with and employ some very skilled people.
There is apparently no end of books on self-improvement and success, which advise people on how to improve themselves but so many such books ignore a very important aspect for our individual success. That is, the importance of other people in our success.
There comes a point in life where we are in a position to influence others; as a parent, an employer, coach, friend or partner. While we do this we must be mindful of our own need for lifelong learning and therefore not be dogmatic.
People, in particular our children, are reluctant after a certain age, to take advice from parents. They are more inclined to do so from influential people in the workplace or in education. it is important for anyone who can be influential in the development of others to be aware of the power we have to do good.
Be the person that you wished others were to you along the way. There is a growing need in the workplace for an expanded pastoral care. Young people who have grown up in single parent environments make up an ever growing percentage of new recruits.
This is a fantastic opportunity to put into practice all of what we teach in success programmes. Having been a large employer I have seen the need for guidance in so many areas. Any employer, large or small, should act in in the role of a parent, guide or mentor. This can be built into the culture of an organisation in a subtle but very effective way.
Many young people do not appreciate their abilities until after this stage of life. Other articles I have written here talk of adults struggling to find their mode of self-expression – their niche in life. This is a concern common to most of us, young and older.
An employer will have a successful business to the extent that they take time to discover the strengths of the individual members of the workforce and then train, develop and exploit those talents.
It has not only been amongst my employees that I have found lack of self-esteem and self-worth. Many of the small contractors with whom I have had the pleasure to work have not valued themselves nor have they appreciated their capabilities. Many do not seek notoriety or great financial reward. They live in a quasi-hermit existence simply taking pride in their work while undervaluing their ability and skills.
Many of us are afraid to put the proper value on what we do. It refers back to the imposter syndrome but a more extreme version because they will never seek to assert themselves as being of worth. Self employed people by the very nature of the way they work do not get the opportunity to compare their ability to others. there is no one to promote them or direct them in the best way to exploit their skills.
We have a duty not to exploit such great people. In my experiences: The gardener who undercharges for his/her time and does not consider the cost of the truck which will not last for ever or of his equipment which will to be need replacing. The carpenter who is a genius but has no idea of the real value of his skill or time. The trades-person who only seeks payment after a year’s delay because they are either too busy or lack administration skills.
I also valued highly the amazingly talented dental technician with whom I worked for forty years who appeared to live in contented isolation and did not appear to be aware of his great skill.
To all of these people I, at some point, returned their invoice and asked them to charge me more telling them why they were worth it. I also gave a little advice on how I could see them improve their working life.
When I was not satisfied with their work, I told them. When I thought their work was fantastic, I told them also.
Do not be so obsessed with finding success in yourself that you forget that your own success depends on so many others and that by helping people to grow you will also grow in the process.
We should not also forget those who devote their lives to encouraging others. They measure their success in a very different way. We should not allow them to be undervalued.
Also published on Medium.