In this Side Mirror episode I've reflected on why our adoption of new skills and behaviours might slow down once we get into the workplace and how we owe it to ourselves to take ownership of our development so that we remain valuable in our rapidly changing world.
I hope you find it useful and I look forward to hearing what resonates with you.
This episode of CAREER-VIEW MIRROR is brought to you by Aquilae.
Could you use some additional experienced resources who can work alongside you and your team on a flexible basis to help you achieve your priorities?
I started Aquilae in 2016 and since then we have worked internationally with established automotive OEMs, EV start ups, FinTechs and insurance companies to achieve their unique mobility goals.
Aquilae team members are highly experienced senior leaders with complementary areas of expertise who have run businesses and divisions internationally in our industry. Because we have all had many years experience of operating in the industry ourselves, we don't just advise our clients on what to do. Instead, we tend to work alongside them, delivering their specific projects. We are happy to help develop strategy and we're equally happy to then get involved delivering the plan.
Mobility businesses are all about people, processes and technology. We leverage our Aquilae Academy for people development and Aquilae Consulting for those wider business topics.
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Episode recorded on 26 November 2022
I am sitting in lovely Siesta Key Florida.Sherene Redelinghuys:
I'm coming from Bangkok in ThailandDaniel von Treeck:
Prague in the Czech RepublicOsman Abdelmoneim:
Cairo in EgyptHolger Drott:
Auckland, New ZealandShannon Faulkner:
Welcome to Career-view Mirror, the automotive podcast that goes behind the scenes with key players in the industry looking back over their careers so far, sharing insights to help you pick your own journey. I'm your host, Andy Follows Hello, listeners, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Or so the saying goes. It occurred to me the other day that many adults seem to apply that same rule to the corporate classroom. What happens in there, stays in there. In this side mirror, I'd like to share some reflections on why that might be and encourage us all to reconsider our approach to adopting new skills and behaviours in our adult lives. If I say classroom, you'll recognise that to mean a place we go to learn because that's where we were when we learned at school, except the school classroom was actually our office as well. It was where we went to do our work, our day job. We wrote stories there, we did sums there, all under the watchful eye of our teacher who would intervene with constant feedback. There were clear expectations on why we were there, to acquire knowledge, and pick up skills on our mission to get certain qualifications. Then we start work. And we don't have a teacher anymore. We have some onboarding, we have a manager who may be more or less indifferent about our development. There's a lot more freedom, chances are we have a lot less clarity about our objectives. Expectations aren't made quite as clear. It's probably fair to say we get a lot less feedback, we don't hand in work every day and get it returned with a mark. If we're lucky, we may be enrolled on a programme for some professional development, we'll take some time away from our office or role either physically in a grown up classroom environment, like an academy or hotel or country house retreat, or even in a virtual setting, but where the focus is on our development, rather than operational topics. Then we'll go back to our workplace and carry on behaving exactly as we used to, because it seems that the training environment is much like Vegas, and what happens in the training environment stays in the training environment. So what can we learn from school? When you're five, there's an understanding and acceptance that your knowledge and skills are not going to see you through your adult life. We know that what got you good exam results at 16 won't get you good exam results at 18, and certainly won't get you a university degree. At school, our paradigm is that we need to keep learning and developing new skills and we're in the environment to do that, and where that gets tested, it's all aligned and geared up for us to learn and develop new skills and behaviours. The same goes for our further education, we enter an environment where we study and work towards our objectives, which are very clear. And we get constant feedback on our progress in the form of grades on each piece of work, we submit. But once we get a job, our paradigm becomes that we're here to work. And to achieve the goals of our team and the organisation. The objective is no longer solely about our personal development and academic success. In fact, if you reveal yourself to still be a fan of personal development as a grown up, you may find that even your friends think you're a bit weird. You may be really lucky to find yourself in an organisation that's exceptionally clear on its mission and its objectives and that helps you to be clear on where you fit into that. They may even be really dedicated to making sure you get the development and feedback that you need to perform at your highest level and to keep growing every day. Chances are that you're not in that kind of environment and that a large part of the responsibility for your own development has passed across to you without any formal ceremony. In fact, without anyone really mentioning it overtly at all. When your work is also your passion, you can't help but continuously do things that will result in you developing your capability in your field. This is a huge benefit of finding work you love. But unless you've already found a professional vocation that grips you and motivates you to continuously improve yourself, your development can very easily slow right down at this point and even stall. If that happens, it isn't great for your employer. But more importantly, it's not great for you. The pace of change now is faster than it's ever been. And it's accelerating. You simply can't afford for your development to not keep pace with the external environment. If you don't continue to develop your capability you will fall behind. So what does this mean for us as managers and as individuals. As a manager, you need to create really clear expectations for your team. They need to know what they're supposed to be doing and why. They need to know how they're doing against those expectations in real time, not during an annual review process. You need to be helping them to develop their capability. And by that I mean their knowledge, skills, experience and mindset. And you need to provide the resources for them to execute against their objectives. You need to develop the same expectation to try new things and develop new skills in your team environment that they would have experienced in their school classroom. And you need to develop an environment where they feel safe, and are encouraged to challenge themselves and do things differently, even if they might not get it right first time. And as individuals, we need to take responsibility for our own development. We need to work hard to identify the career and life direction we want to go in personally. We need to know what is expected of us by our organisation and manager. And if we don't know that we need to ask repeatedly until we have that clarity. We need to know how we're doing against those expectations in the eyes of the people who are going to have a say in our future career progression. We need to identify the knowledge, skills, experience, mindset and resources that are going to get us where we want to go. We need to do everything we can to equip ourselves to perform at a high level without waiting for our manager or organisation to spoon feed it to us. And we need to be prepared to be uncomfortable, maybe embarrassed as we learn and practice new things, just like we did every day at school where we considered it normal. And we need to push ourselves in the way that our teachers hopefully did and that our managers unfortunately, may not be as focused on doing because unlike our teachers, that's not their only goal. And we need to take knowledge and concepts that we learned from books, articles, blogs, podcasts, Ted Talks, or wherever and actually apply them in our work. And if you're fortunate enough to be part of an organisation that does invest in your professional development, and you find yourself benefiting from formal programmes, remember this, the corporate classroom is not Vegas, what happens there must not stay there. If you want to continue to grow and increase your capability and maintain the value of your contribution in these rapidly changing times, you must take the new ideas and approaches into your workplace and start practising new skills and behaviours. You've been listening to Career-view Mirror with me, Andy Follows. In this side mirror episode I've reflected on why our adoption of new skills and behaviours might slow down once we get into the workplace, and how we owe it to ourselves to take ownership of our development so that we remain valuable in our rapidly changing workplace. I hope you found some ideas to reflect on in this episode. If you'd like to work with me on a one to one basis, let's start with an informal conversation. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you enjoy Career-view Mirror, please follow us in your podcast app. Thanks for listening.Osman Abdelmoneim:
No matter how hard you try, no matter how hard working you are, you're never going to be able to do it on your own. It's just not possible.Paul Harris:
You know, at the end of the day, you're steering your own destiny. So if it's not happening for you, and you're seeing what you want out there, then go out there and connect.Sherene Redelinghuys:
Don't rely on others. You have to do it yourself. You have to take control.Rupert Pontin:
If you've got an idea if you've got a thought about something that might be successful, if you've got a passion to do something yourself, but you just haven't quite got there, do it.Tom Stepanchak:
Take a risk. Take a chance stick your neck out, what's the worst that can happen? You fall down okay, you pick yourself up and you try again.