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June 2009 - Move through the storm

Greetings everyone,

We are in Quarter 2 and herewith my second briefing mail of 2009…

My Experiences

Financial downturn, cut budgets, souring food prices, decreased / no salary increases, short-time, plant closures, retrenchments, unemployment, stressed working environments, recession, these are the realities of the "Storm" we are in. 3 months ago it was a topic that came up in a discussion somewhere, over the last few weeks it has become the discussion topic, whether it be in business or social interactions and even more prevalent as an issue requiring personal and professional counsel. The number of referrals I have received requiring formalised counsel to deal with strained working relationships, the thought of having to cope with being unemployed, the affordability to resign and look for new opportunities, has increased dramatically over the last few weeks. The storm of recession has hit everyone in some way and the reality is that like ourselves, our employees need to think about how they are going cope and "Move through the Storm". These life skills are the facts and realities that I would like to focus on in this edition’s My Insights & Views.

My Insights & Views

As humans we were created to GROW. The ability to be resilient is a fundamental skill in life.
There is a story that goes around of a woman who lives with chronic pain and says: "You can't sit around and wait for the storm to be over. You've got to learn how to dance in the rain."

"Dancing in the rain" or "Moving through the storm" is prudent for today. In business we are trained and conditioned that making money and accumulating wealth is the game in life; planning and thinking about the future is what we need to do. Backpackers however, have a different perspective even if it is momentary and short lived. They live for the NOW enjoying everything there is to enjoy now, rather than in the future. The reality is that tomorrow never comes… You're always here in the now!! The key lesson about "Moving through the storm" is that it is about choices and how you choose to mould and look at circumstances.

For many of us, storms bring fear, uncertainty, anxiety and the need for protection from the elements. It seems that every time we have a storm, we put everything on hold, until the storm blows over.
In a business context, the challenge is to keep on empowering and growing our people despite the need to cut back or put things on hold. Our words and actions of encouragement and motivation to employees is what are needed in these times more than ever, for them to experience and sense ongoing achievement and success and keep "Moving through the storm".

On a human and personal level, we influence employees, clients, customers, family, children and friends on a daily basis. In organisations we learn to set goals and exercise discipline, this business culture and value system can be related back and transferred into life skills. As Manager’s and Leader’s in our environment, we can pass on these simple, practical lessons to employees of creating vision, structure and discipline to enable them to withstand the storms in their lives. Again, it is about the choice we make as individuals to either approach the challenges created by the storm or defensively become imprisoned in our comfort zone.

I have always tended to view presenting circumstances as "If it is to be…it’s up to me!" As a leader, in your own space, let this be your inspiration and coaching.

My Discoveries

Yet another book on Leadership! LEMON LEADERSHIP by Brett Johnson. Well this book interestingly explains and defines 5 types of leaders: Luminaries, Entrepreneurs, Managers, Organisers, Networkers. It goes on to explain how you can adjust to be the required type of leader in any changing situation.
It is an easy read and affordably priced at about R130.00. Read this new release and you will be sure to expand your understanding of leaders.

All the ladies – Don’t forget The Women’s Show at the Coca-Cola Dome 26 – 28 June.

Kind Regards

Audri Riffel
P O Box 147 Magaliesig 2067
Cell:    +27 (0)82 4944720
Fax:     086 661 0060

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