This blog reflects on life at work at comments on the latest news that shapes my 9-5 working day in a Corporate Communications consultancy.

About Me

I am a born and bred South African who has always loved to read and write. As a child my mother used to read to me and my siblings, from classics like the “Lord of the Rings” but later also from her own stories. She would write children’s stories and then use us as her test audience, but I loved to hear what she had written long after my siblings had tired of it. So I grew up in an environment of reading and writing, which inspired my love of these things. I hope to write a great book some day, and have learnt first hand the determination and will that it takes. My love of English inspired me to continue my study of it at university. I majored in Law and English in a BA degree at UCT where I found that I took to English much more than law. I enjoyed learning about South Africa’s history and the development of our liberal Constitution, which increasingly made me committed to the hope this country has for the future. Ideally, I’d like to find myself in a job where I am able to write; that allows a good mix of time spent with people and being able to work on my own.

Sunday, 06 May 2007

Secrets of success

Some conflicting views have emerged from our speakers during the programme. Kuseni Dlamini challenged to see that there was nothing wrong with self -interest because it drives personal success. Others have emphasised the importance of having a heart for the community. Professor Lovemore Mbigi encouraged us to work harder than anyone else if we wanted to be successful, even if it meant working eighteen hours a day. Fiona Macdonald talked about the importance of a work-life balance and in our stress management workshop we discussed getting eight hours of sleep a night.

But despite these contradictions, all the speakers have agreed on two essential ingredients of success. The first is to know who we are. The second is to stand out from the crowd and be an exceptional person. There are many ways to impress- with our talent and our abilities, but most of all, with our attitudes. Fiona Macdonald told us that Celeste made an immediate impression because she made the effort to greet every single person she met on her first day at work. Celeste was prepared to do anything she was asked, including going to buy Berocca for a group of hung-over accountants who had partied the night away and had to spend the next day at a conference. Through her actions she showed that she was keen, enthusiastic and friendly, and her employers knew she was a person who would add value.

Aki Kalliatakis emphasised that the people we remember are those that make a personal effort and go out of their way to serve us. One of the secrets of success of the employees at the world famous Pike Fish Company is that they know that they choose their attitude at every moment of the day. Brad Arden spoke about ‘hot’ people as the ones who are really in demand. Kuseni Dlamini reminded us that in a globally competitive market, people who are sought after will be able to live and work wherever and for who ever they choose.
So I think the biggest challenge for us as we go into the world of work is to remember always that our attitude and our actions speak loudly about us, and that a commitment to be exceptional will carry us far down the ladder of success.

1 comment:

Valentin said...

Dear Susan, a very good overview of all the essential points we have been exposed to with regards to the work-place.
You are right, in fact, all the speakers talked to us about our skills and individuality as the most essential weapons for us getting a job.
In fact, you illustrated this concept very well in your rehearsal for the presentation today. I would be also talking about that, but in a different manner tomorrow.