THE ROADS TO SUCCESS
are very personal
the story has a happy ending
The Road to Success, for the girls, was a new one.They knew the farm. They didn’t know about behaviour of this kind.
They made a plan and followed it through. They had a lot of adventures, and a misadventure or two. But, they felt the glow of achieving their goal, reaching the dream, or knowing the world a little better.
They were confident enough to back themselves, because they understood their Granny, knew the farm and trusted their family.
They talked to the right people—or animals, in this case. They chose those with they thought’d have information or facts needed, and followed their plan.
- It was time consuming for two little girls,
- They got exasperated, and
- Some actions confused them.
The most difficult part of finding their Granny was communication. Their efforts were blocked by friends, and they were helped by strangers.
SOME writing exercises
Use the scenario and suggestions below, either edit it, or create your own story.
Take Tony for example. I worked with Tony for a couple of years, he looked diligent, he put in a lot of hours and produced lots of fine paper work. The bosses loved him; loved his work. Tony’s mistake was that he never really valued other staff, nor was he a good communicator. To him, communication was a one-way street, and he was doing all the talking.
After several years, Tony was promoted to a senior management position. He set about implementing everything that had been bugging him about the business for many years. Everything, in his words, that other managers had failed to address or implement.
As a result he overspent the budget and was unable to develop significant priority areas. He understood this new leadership position to be one of getting things done. The only problem was, he was the only person who knew his goals and priorities. Staff became very disgruntled, and before too long, good and great, staff members were seriously looking around for other positions. Tony did not appreciate the implications of his approach—nor did he value the skills and knowledge of other staff members! Team leaders could see their decisions were undermined, their roles devalued in the eyes of other staff, and they were unsure of the company direction. The final result was that, after a year Tony not only left the company, he left the country looking for success in a different type of career.
Consider what to write about Tony. What’s the experience of the character? Have they done this before? Can they speak in an adult voice to Tony?
Pick some common traits for Tony:
1. shirking staff performance reviews,
2. being reluctant to acknowledge other valid points of view, and
3. a strong reluctance to train co-workers, or enhance the skills or knowledge of co-workers.
Make a declaration about Tony: his beliefs and values generally revolve around the appearance of their performance, not the performance itself.
Your challenge for this topic: identify cause/effect; stimulus/response – that will allow the story to be told. Then think some more. Do story charts if they work for you.
1– objective analysis of the next step in the story,
2—understand Tony’s role and the role of other, after this step
3—key areas, ideas, beliefs, values you are sharing about Tony
4—are the priorities, related to your story, enhanced by your choices. Do these priorities need to change?
5— see what other people think. If that is possible. If not, read it with another voice – mother, grandfather, teacher, ….
6—improve your performance, by seeing problems before you take the next step
7—provide opportunities for your characters to direct you!
There was one ‘Tony’ who responded well to coaching and mentoring. He began to analyse what he was doing, and why, as he compared his current results with his personal expectations. This Tony was a teacher, a math teacher. One of the ‘he who must be obeyed’ mob.
Tony was discovering that teaching requires many things, but patience, commitment and the taking of opportunities were high on the lists of must have qualities. To his credit, he took training opportunities that arose, he talked to other staff members and was brave enough to try out new ideas.
Eventually, it did take some time, he understood that treating everyone the same was not the same as treating everyone equally. After this, his time in the classroom became a lot more productive.
Now imagine the opposite.
You don’t need to write this down. Just create the story in your head.
Rebecca, is another story – she overcame roadblocks by being proactive, and using her desire for success to understand her role.
A new staff member she had taken on a very challenging role. One she was ready for in terms of skills and knowledge but one that she was not personally convinced she could do. During her induction, and follow-up sessions, she constantly sought to clarify and understand key areas related to her job description—areas of responsibility, dispute resolution, and how decisions were made.
After two years, Rebecca was recommended for a promotion she was seeking. It was not that she never made a mistake. Of course she did. One of the main things in her favour was that she analysed what she did, the company goals related to her actions. and everyone knew where she was coming from. She communicated well, and often.