Sunday Column (212)

Happy Easter Sunday (Column).

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At the beginning of the week I read a quote which stated something like you are formed by the people you surround yourself with. This gave me to think as I am an advocate to surround myself with people who challenge me, ask me awkward questions and pinpoint mistakes I make. I see this as the only way to constantly improve myself, have people to rely on when needed, and from a work environment I always have the best talent out there. That of course is only true if I adhere to a certain standard myself 😉

At work, in families and many clubs, we cannot choose who we work or socialise with. We assume that people in the same group have similar interests, characters and ideals as ourselves. This is not always true which from my perspective must be seen as a challenge. A challenge to grow, identify patterns and practise different ways of dealing with people of certain character. As with many characters you will come across them all your life, no mattering which environment. You will always have the same character challenging you, the same character you get along with, and the same character that drives you up the wall.

With a fair bit of patience, practise and persistence you learn how to deal with them all. You grow and will be able to help others grow on those challenges. I personally find protégées in companies, usually entry level with less experience, which I can mentor. For myself I choose my own mentors. Some are officially chosen, some are mutual beneficial relationships and some are coincidences. So far I always managed to find a mentor or two that can give me independent advice on how to grow as a person and make the most of my career or life. A fantastic concept.

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This week we said goodbye to a great business mentor who came over from our US company to help the integration for a year. He took a year out of his own career and life to live the company’s culture and way of life for us in Europe. A huge dedication. He now went back state side and will be truly missed.

As written in a blog post previously, people come into our life for a reason. Some only stay a moment and disappear, however they leave an impact or thought for you to follow up. No matter how small the mentor’s input, how short live the appearance, the influence counts. Any influence really. Embrace it as it makes you a better person where you are.

Another big influence in my life is coffee (maybe not the best change of subject). This week I had my first ever de-caffeinated espresso. It tasted a bit different but not too bad. My 10 cup a day habit of espresso and coffees needs to change, hence the trial 🙂 I keep you posted.

Next big influence is family. They count as mentors too. In a different way I suppose. A partner is a mentor, friend and critic in the same person. Whilst biased and almost always on your side, this person is brutally honest. At least that’s how it works for us, and I think for most good partnerships. Of course children are mentors and big influencers, usually in an innocent way. Needless to talk about the influence we got on them as parents.

Regarding man flu, or viruses in general, we got properly hit this time. The cold weather is supposed to continue until mid April, making British Gas happy. Tuesday I had to go home early and Wednesday I worked from home, nursing an ill wife and two ill-ish boys. If you don’t have family close by you are stuck. Whilst the law allows for this leave, I can never leave my emails untouched for longer than five minutes when at home. Difficult. I got more done than expected, however since I am not 100% myself this didn’t help. We get over it. One by one.

Again, no training this week. I tried cycling but was still too weak. Easter was well overdue to chill out and relax. Recharge of batteries needed, quality (healthy) family and friend time. Next weekend my parents are over. Some but only little DIY projects we want to tackle and lots of time to catch up. Again, about time.

That’s really it.

Have a happy Easter
Volker