WHAT WILL YOU LEAVE BEHIND? Make a Difference Before You Go! Steve Wise November 2010
What will You Leave Behind? This presentation is directed toward anyone that is entering the twilight of their Work Career. I for one can be considered in this group – and can say that I have been blessed with a wonderful career. I have worked for a great organization for my entire career –
It has provided me with many memorable experiences and I have worked with very wonderful people.
I have held various Positions that not only have challenged me but have also helped me to grow and use my skills.
I have been able to impact my organization and many others in a positive way and I have made a difference.
And I met my “Bridge” who holds my Heart along my way.
What will You Leave Behind? Two questions to those of you reading this presentation – “How will you ride off into your sunset?” “Will you try to make a difference before you go?”
What will You Leave Behind? There are two ways in which we “Twilighters” can ride off into our sunsets – We can simply finish our Careers doing what we do every day (and thankfully) – performing our responsibilities as expected – without pushing to improve our organization – and / or taking with us, what we have learned and have experienced along our way. Or we can continue to find ways to make a difference in our organization – as well as finding ways to share what we have collected – with those starting out, that will soon walk in our shoes. This presentation is being offered as my suggestions on what you can do to make a difference before you ride off into “Your Sunset.”
What will You Leave Behind? Share Your Knowledge & Experience You can Still Make a Difference! Be a Teacher, Mentor, Example Leave Things Better than You Found Them Find Ways to Pass It On
What will You Leave Behind?
Share Your Knowledge & Experience If someone from the HR Department walked into your Office one day and asked you to write down what traits, talents, skills, or education that you acquired along your way that you could share and pass on to others…what would you write down?
Share Your Knowledge & Experience Answering this question – could be a perplexing one for many of us…
But it should be an exercise that all of us “Twilighters” perform because we all have something that we can share and pass on – that others can use, learn, and benefit from.
I for one do not think that we do enough of such actions – both as Individuals and as Organizations. The experience that we have gained along our way is too precious to just take with us. And simply riding out our days – should not be an option for those of us whom have been blessed with successful careers – and have talents and experience that others have yet to learn or acquire.
Share Your Knowledge & Experience Posing the prior question to members of a Workforce – would be an interesting endeavor. If by chance 50% of what was submitted was worthwhile and could be shared with others in the organization – just think of the impact that it could have – especially with those just starting out. Placing yourself back in the shoes of someone starting out now in this day and age –
Wouldn’t you want to have advice at least available to learn from?
From someone whom has weathered the storm and has had a successful career?
Share Your Knowledge & Experience Start this effort by answering the following questions – What Significant Events happened during your Career? What Positions have you held? What Experiences taught you the most? What Skills do you excel at? What People have had a major impact on your Career…and Why? What Special Talents do you feel are necessary to have and succeed in today’s Workplace?
Share Your Knowledge & Experience If you were exposed to SIGNIFICANT EVENTS in your Career – chances are you gained Knowledge and Experience from them that you can pass on and share with others. The Major Events that I have been exposed to include –
Union Relations – from heated Grievance Meetings to Strike Threats
Changing Job Disciplines & Responsibilities: Accounting to Material Management to H/R, Workplace Safety, & IT Infrastructure Mgt.
Employee Terminations – i.e., Drug Use, Bullying, and Theft
Staff Layoffs at both HQ Office and Manufacturing Plant levels
Job Relocation – 2 times including impact on Family
Severe Injuries that needed Immediate Attention & Response
Fighting for Plant Survival and its eventual Closure
Share Your Knowledge & Experience When we Twilighters look back at our Work Career I would bet that each one of us would have EXPERIENCES that if we shared with others, they could benefit from. A few Experiences that I have had that are worth sharing include –
JOB RELOCATION – Having relocated twice in my career, I can say to anyone so undertaking – to be ready for a traumatic experience that could impact you and your family for years.
From the WORK SIDE – you will be moving to a new environment where you will have to establish new contacts, earn respect, and adjust to the People that you will now work with.
From the FAMILY SIDE – your emotions will be heavy especially if there are Children involved. You have to adjust to living away from your Family, to spending your Holidays alone, to now taking your Vacations to SEE Family.
Share Your Knowledge & Experience Experiences that I have had that are worth sharing include (con’t) –
WORKING WITH PEOPLE – I cannot say enough that being able to Work with People is critical to your Career Success. To some People, this comes natural. For others…they have to work at. And still others will never find success at. My critical aspects include –
Walk Your Talk – If you say or promise something then deliver it.
Talk with Your Ears Open – Listen AND Hear what others say.
Engage People in Your Efforts – Solicit their input / suggestions, find ways to include them as critical parts of your efforts.
Be a Leader – Means that you conduct your efforts in a “Team” fashion – telling your People what to do is not a true Leader.
Treat People Fairly – If you treat People fairly or as you would like to be treated – they will go to great lengths for you.
Share Your Knowledge & Experience Rocking Chairs and Sunsets – and the One that I Love… But before I go, here is what I know…
Share Your Knowledge & Experience The SPECIAL TALENTS that I feel are critical for Working People to have includes the following – BE WELL ORGANIZED – Not only has the computer age improved our knowledge and what we do – but it has made our lives faster. It is common place for each of us to not have enough time. Being well organized in the Workplace is now a must for all. MULTI-TASKER – Over the last several years, it is common place for organizations in efforts to save money – have combined jobs. I for one now wear a hat that includes five (5) totally different responsibilities. The Workforce of today must be able to do just that – You must be able to manage and accomplish several different responsibilities at once and as expected. COMPUTER SKILLS –When I started out, Desktop Computers were a rarity. Now to be successful in the Workplace – you must be fluent in all common Business Programs / Software.
Share Your Knowledge & Experience Critical Special Talents (con’t) – ABILITY to CHANGE – We are living in times when things are constantly changing – including in the Workplace. Organizations and their Workers must be able to adapt to Change either imposed on them or to compete and survive in today’s marketplace. Be ready to try something new. BEING ABLE TO COMMUNICATE – Communicating with People is more than just talking to them. In the Workplace, you must be able to say words that People can understand.
To be successful here – not only must you also be a good Listener – you must know and be aware of the time that People have. You must be able to say what you need to say, to accomplish your duties, without wasting time.
Share Your Knowledge & Experience Critical Special Talents (con’t) – SUPERVISOR / MANAGER TRAITS –In order to be successful as a Supervisor or Manager – you need to be true to your word, lead by example, follow-up on items needing your attention, be consistent, and treat all of your people fairly. BEING MORE THAN AVERAGE – Should be the standard that Workers shoot for today. Due to time and cost constraints, pressure to perform / survive, etc. …Workers of today must learn to be more than just your Average Worker.
Have the mindset of continuous improvement
Never grow old with learning
Always look to better not only yourself – but what your People do and / or what your Organization does
You Can Still Make a Difference
You Can Still Make a Difference Does your Organization look at their Twilighters as “Drift Wood” or as “Treasure Chests?” This statement most likely will depend upon the effort that you put out and how you choose to close out your Career. Twilighters that can be considered DRIFT WOOD –
Those that are looked at as past their Prime and Out of Ideas or having Old Ideas by their Organization.
May be just “coasting” with their Individual effort.
Twilighters that can be considered TREASURE CHESTS –
Are full of Knowledge and Experience that is used to both improve Organizational and Other Personnel performance.
Should be used as Teachers and Mentors to spread their wealth.
You Can Still Make a Difference My offering to “How Can I still Make a Difference” – STAY ACTIVELY INVOLVED in various efforts both within your work organization and any external organizations that you may be a member of. BE A SOUNDING BOARD for People within your organization by advising them on their efforts and provide suggestions based upon what you know or have experienced. CONTINUE TO IMPROVE not only what you do individually, but also what your organization does as well. Push to find ways to do things better, for less cost, require less time, etc. BE ABLE TO LOOK “OUTSIDE YOUR BOX” – don’t let your years of experience fence you in – look outside for more.
You Can Still Make a Difference My offering to “How Can I still Make a Difference” (con’t) – PARTICIPATE IN EDUCATIONAL EFFORTS if your organization provides such to its People. Look to become an instructor, help prepare training materials, make suggestions for what training should be offered, etc. STAY FRESH meaning that you should stay current with various things including computer programs, presentation media, and possibly helping your company to “Go Green.” LEARN & SHARE FROM OTHER ORGANIZATIONS – with your work experience, you should be able to look at external organizations and quickly determine what they do which could benefit your organization. Learn from others.
Be a Teacher, Mentor, Example
Be a Teacher, Mentor, Example For those of us Twilighters that have been blessed with a successful and rich Work Career – I feel strongly that we must share what we have acquired along our way with others. TEACHER – In the Workplace, a Teacher is an Employee that has a passion to share their Knowledge and Experience with others – so that they can learn and benefit from –and be better as a result of. MENTOR – Is one that takes another under their wing – to show them how things are done. The intention of this effort is so that the person being mentored can stand on their own and complete the job responsibilities once they are trained in – that they will be expected to eventually perform one day. EXAMPLE – Without requiring much effort on our part, we should make a point to show others how to be successful with our responsibilities. Let others learn by watching what you do.
Be a Teacher, Mentor, Example MY TEACHER EXAMPLE – Safety Training at my prior Plant was definitely lacking which when conducted was one sided communication that did not provide any “Safety Takeaways.” Upon taking over as Safety Manager – ADDED PASSION – Over the last several years, I have developed a love of Workplace Safety and inspiring those that I work with – to Work Safe. ENGAGE YOUR PEOPLE – As the Safety Manager, I conducted Safety Training that reached out to those I was instructing, got them to be part of my training efforts, and gave them Safety Takeaways that they could apply to their Workplace and be Safer as a result of. TEACH OTHERS – Based upon my passion, experience, and success – I created a presentation titled – “How to Conduct Effective Safety Training” – so that others can apply to their Safety Teachings and Instruction and benefit the Safety of their people – http://www.slideshare.net/Steve_Wise/quothow-to-conduct-effective-safety-trainingquot-keynote
Be a Teacher, Mentor, Example MENTORING – If someone from HR walked into your Office one day and asked you – “Who Could Replace You?” – what would you say. For those of us that have held our current Positions for a number of years – there is a strong chance that it is not the same Position as when we took it over. More and different Responsibilities have probably been passed to us along our way – plus we have surely acquired additional resources such as Experience and Contacts. The question now is “How Do You Pass This On?” My recommendation if your Position is critical in nature – is to recommend to Mentor someone who could be your shadow and learn what you do.
Be a Teacher, Mentor, Example I write this presentation to teach/show/encourage you to make a difference by passing on what you know – and give others something to benefit from… So that you can ride off into your Sunset… knowing that you surely did make a difference.
Leave Things Better Than You Found Them What will Your Sunset reflect?
Leave Things Better Than You Found Them When your Work Career is over and you start your next journey – what will your past reflect? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For those that walk in your shoes after you leave or come on board after you have gone – will they be able to tell that you once worked there?
Leave Things Better Than You Found Them The previous two statements are powerful – yet ones that we should strive to answer. As Twilighters – it should be our mission to leave what we were given in better shape than when we found it. This kind of goes with what a Parent does with raising their Children – spending years strengthening their wings so that they can one day – “fly on their own.”
Leave Things Better Than You Found Them The following are my suggestions on how you can leave things better than you found them – JOB PROCEDURES – Make sure that you have current Procedures in place to perform your Job Responsibilities. Having someone new taking over your duties may struggle for months without current Job Procedures. CONTACT LIST – For those of us that work with Personnel outside of our organization, we have well established Contact Lists. Such should be made available to not only our People who may have to interface with – but also anyone taking over. UNATTENDED BUSINESS – More than likely we all have work issues that we have not attended to and left for tomorrow. Do what you can each day to reduce that “I’ll get to it tomorrow” pile.
Leave Things Better Than You Found Them The following are my suggestions on how you can leave things better than you found them (con’t) – AUTOMATE WHAT YOU DO – It is not uncommon for numerous workplace tasks to only be known how to perform them by the individual so performing. Look to automate what you can – so that others can easily perform when needed. DON’T LEAVE YOUR…UNTIL THE END – If you are planning on undertaking any major Change Efforts, Undertakings, etc. – don’t leave them until your end. Such major actions can take years – so get on it! HAVE FUN & SHOW IT – It is good for the soul to have a Job that you truly enjoy. Letting others see your enthusiasm for your job and what you do – can spread to them.
Find Ways to Pass It On My “Little One”
Find Ways to Pass It On From time to time – one hears of the problems and issues that Organizations will encounter over the coming years in filling their Open Positions. One that I have heard more than once – is that once the Baby Boomer Generation retires – there will not be enough Workers to replace them. In addition, as one surveys the various industries – it appears that some Work Trades are dying due to those entering the workforce not wanting to perform hard labor while facing associated health and safety hazards. For those of us that can do something about it – we must help our organizations to ensure their successful future.
Find Ways to Pass It On In addition to the previous mentioned recommendations, other ways that you can pass what you have on includes – WRITE & POST TRAINING PRESENTATIONS – Such as this presentation for others – is another way to share your Knowledge and Experience.
My position using such means – is that if I can impact at least one or two others – they may do the same and so on – resulting in many people learning from and possibly being better off.
TAKE TIME TO SHARE IT WITH YOUR CHILDREN – For those of us as Parents – we must do our best to find ways to share what we know and have experienced – in ways that will benefit them.
I do so knowing that my way is not the only way – but one that may somehow work for and benefit them.
Find Ways to Pass It On Others ways to pass it on (con’t) – SOCIAL NETWORKING – Is great way to not only share what you have – but to hear what others have to offer as well.
Posting Questions on sites such as “LinkedIn” – can get you almost instantaneous feedback and advice. I have used this site several times as a sounding board.
HAVE THAT BURNING DESIRE TO TEACH – One of my goals is to become Teacher once my Work Career has ended – so that I can share what I have learned along my way with others – so others can learn and benefit from.
For those of you that can and so desire – I hope that you chase this goal too. We can touch so many if we simply try.
Find Ways to Pass It On I will also leave my Love for them.
In Closing This presentation was written to include my thoughts and recommendations – on how we can share what we Know and have Experienced with others. I encourage anyone reading this to not only share what they have Learned and Experienced – but to find other ways to do so as well. My special THANKS to those who posted the Sunset Pictures on the web that I borrowed to supplement what I had. All are breathtaking and truly should be enjoyed. If anyone would care to comment on this presentation, please do so. My Home e-mail address is – email@example.com
Be Sure to Take Time to Enjoy Your Sunsets!
For They Surely should not be Ignored
Even if You are not a Twilighter
WHAT WILL YOU LEAVE BEHIND? Steve Wise November 2010