By Gerry Murray. 02-08-2020
(Scroll down for a laugh)
"Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered - either by themselves or by others." ~ Mark Twain
One of the reasons I write these weekly posts is that someone once asked me “What do you do?”
Nothing unusual about that question you’re probably thinking. However, it came from someone with whom I’d shared an office for several years and had even co-trained with on several occasions.
How could they not know, I thought? Then I realised that I could learn something from such an innocent question, such as:
- We’re often a legend in our own imagination! So many of us live in our heads. We discuss the world with ourselves. We extole our own virtues. We tell ourselves wonderful stories about our successes. We sometimes forget to share this with others.
- Few people actually answer the question they're asked. They answer a different one. A reflex and standard answer is to make an identity statement such as: I’m a doctor, a teacher, an accountant, an engineer, etc… So, they tell you who they are. This becomes quite risky as you leave it up to the other person to categorise you according to their own perception or interpretation of what an accountant is like. If they think all accountants are boring then they’ll probably convict you of being boring too!
- Simply telling someone what you do may still not be so meaningful unless you explain how what you do benefits others - the value you create. This is particularly important if you run your own business or work as an independent or freelancer. However, in terms of your career, it’s also important to be able to articulate how what you do brings value to your organisation. When organisations start retrenching people, not being able to answer this question in terms of the value you create can have serious consequences.
So, back to the original question. What do I do?
My company’s mission is to provide managers in organisations with the best tools and insights to enable them to make informed talent decisions. This can range from who to hire, how best to engage and develop existing talent, who to promote, how to create high performing teams. Getting these factors wrong can be very expensive. Getting them right can produce outstanding results.
Coaches, Trainers, Consultants
To do this, I teach and certify coaches, trainers and consultants in how to use these tools so they can provide insights and value to their clients. This also increases their own earning capacity. So, a win-win-win for all concerned.
I also teach and provide support to HR people on how to use these tools in their people decision making across the talent life cycle. We provide them with the software systems to do this so they don’t need us most of the time. This enhances their reputation amongst their peers and senior managers.
Each year I work with a few select individuals so they can make better career decisions.
I’ve had particular success working with young adults to help them choose either a course of study or to make better career choices upon graduating from university or college. With high fees and living expenses in many countries, getting this right not only saves a lot of money but also it’s not great for a young person's sense of self worth if they don’t succeed in their studies or their first job.
My Back on Track programme has helped people going through a career crisis to literally get themselves back on track. This seems to happen to a lot of people around the age of 40.
Better people decision making prevents avoidable and costly risks and promotes results that help people and organisations grow, perform at their best and reach their full potential.
If you’ve had a few people disasters or near misses or simply want to ensure that you have the best talent available working for you then perhaps I can help you.
Or, if you’ve got young adults embarking on their careers or not sure what to study or to do with their lives, then perhaps we should have a short chat…
My parents are actually very supportive of my right to choose my career path
They let me pick which medical school I'm going to
As a child, I thought about being a musician, but all my efforts fell flat.
In High School, my teachers seemed to be pushing a career as an astronaut, but then I realized they had something else in mind when they said I was “a real space cadet.”
My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned because I couldn’t concentrate.
Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I couldn’t hack it, so they gave me the axe.
I had hopes of being a professional Bridge player, but I had no finesse so they shuffled me out the door.
Next, I became a personal trainer, but was asked to leave because I wasn’t working out.
I tried working in a muffler factory, but I found that too exhausting.
So, I attempted to be a deli worker, but any way I sliced it, I couldn’t cut the mustard.
I studied a long time to become a doctor, but in the end I didn’t have the patients for it.
Next was a job in a shoe factory. I tried, I really did, but I just didn’t fit in.
As a professional fisherman, I couldn’t catch on and hence I couldn’t live on my net income.
So I tried computer software, but couldn’t get with the program.
I thought I might be one of those professional eaters—pies, hot dogs, and the like—but I didn’t have the stomach for it.
After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as a historian—until I realized there was no future in it.
I was beginning to feel like my grandfather who was an executioner in the old West. He could never get the hang of it, so they cut him loose.
My last job was working in Starbucks, but I eventually quit because it was always the same old grind.
So I tried retirement, and you know what? I’m perfect for the job.