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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

A Pleasure and a Privilege

This week an ex-colleague has been recognised in the new years honours list. (Not the first one) I’m always thrilled to see people I have spent time working alongside achieving their personal successes and am proud to see recognition bestowed.

If, like me you have spent a considerable amount of your working life having been given the responsibility of a senior management position, the way you manage becomes important. With these roles the responsibility to carry out your job effectively is important. It’s been a few years now since I was involved in “people management" but much of the knowledge I gleaned along the path became well embedded. I always considered it a pleasure and a privilege to work with such colleagues.

Little did I know that my final employment role would give me the opportunity to revisit management techniques from a recipients viewpoint. Kind of travelling full circle.

One of my responsibilities some time ago was to look after the training and development of teams of staff in offices as far apart as Truro, Worcester and Southampton and many points in between. 25 offices perhaps. At least two of the senior mangers, me included, felt the need to spend a bit of time with all the teams. To help achieve this I employed a recognised management technique called Management By Wandering Around. Not that I was aimlessly traipsing around the place the wandering around bit took quite a bit of a planning. Then there was another favourite management technique of mine known as Management By Exception for when things deviate from the norm.

I started to learn these techniques, and needless to say many others, 30 ish years ago. Employing these seemingly simple yet often complex techniques, was what made my jobs so enjoyable. I discovered the methods and put them to good use. Close to a year ago I was quickly taken into hospital for the removal of a tumour. I never returned to work. I appreciate the world may have been turned upside down but I’m still waiting for a phone call from my last manager enquiring about my health.

Similarly when I moved around the site of my final employer I think I used to stop for a couple of minutes to ask colleagues what they were doing and to lend a hand if I had the time. Something that was willingly returned many fold. The remnants of Management By Wandering Around, I couldn’t resist. The nearest thing I experienced of MBWA, was when it was confused with MBE only getting out and about to moan. It seemed everything got done in spite of management intervention. Again for my immediate colleagues it was a pleasure and a privilege to work alongside them. However having said all that HR team (my natural environment) consistently delivered the goods well.

Enough of the old reminiscing.

I have a dilemma. Do I renew my passport? It expires in August. It needs 6 valid months on it to travel, so effectively it becomes relatively useless next month. So many questions. When can I travel? Where can I travel? Should I travel? When is my expiry date likely to be? Let’s not worry too much but whatever I choose to do it’s going to be poor value for money!

But if you’ve managed to read this far your reward is imminent.

You may recall me wittering on about a supposed ladies rugby team. Well I thought I would reconstitute and reduce the rugby team to a volleyball team. From 15 to 6 team players. Then think back about what could you do before total lockdown with 15 peeps that now you can, but only with special dispensation, only do with 6.

So now you know. I’m taking up volleyball........or not.

Anyway I’m entering my first weekend of my chemo cycle, I've been advised to go easy on my sleeping pills but I think I’m going a bit too easy. I get way more pills than I’ve been using. I think it’s time to crank up my usage a bit. I’ve just taken my last steroid for 9 days so my sleep will improve but tonight I think I’ll pop a pill. No one really wants to watch “Return of the Jedi" at 2.20am.

You may also recall my post a couple of Mondays ago which I wrote after my most challenging weekend so far. Well I’m pulling out all the stops to try to keep my spirits up. Not the easiest start with such little sleep.

Let’s make this weekend a pleasure and a privilege to still be here.

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Jan 16, 2021

Happy Days.


I'm proud to say that I was a member of one of your teams and for awhile your office wife! I also remember being regularly 'picked on' during training sessions 🤣 Many happy memories 💕 xx

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