Susan's Musings

Just Thinking Out Loud

Value Begets Value

I don’t typically watch Action category movies, but years back I watched the Rambo movies and although I can’t remember much of the story lines there is a particular scene from Rambo II that I have never forgotten.  It’s a scene where Sylvester Stallone a.k.a. Rambo is in a boat with a young Vietnamese lady.

The lady asked Rambo why he was sent on the mission that he was on.  He replied – “because I’m expendable.”  The lady not understanding asked him what expendable means to which he responded – “it’s like someone invites you to a party and you don’t show up, but it doesn’t really matter”.  During a later stage in the film, Rambo was about to embark on a dangerous part of his mission.  As he sets of the lady called out to him and told him “Rambo, you’re not expendable”

The truth is no one should be seen as expendable as every human being is of intrinsic value.  Whether at work, home or play there is a need to understand what individuals unique talents are in order to tap into them.  However, there is additional a more general value that everyone offers that can be tapped into with minimal effort.
I was reminded of this recently when I bumped into an old friend that I hadn’t seen for quite some time.  She told me that she hadn’t been very well and had therefore been compelled to take some time off work.  On the first day that she went back to work she still felt quite drained and so her manager sent her off to see the organisation’s Occupational Psychologist.  It was agreed  that in order to accommodate her, that she should leave work  a couple of hours early over the subsequent few weeks (with full pay) in order to enable her to fully recover.

I also had a conversation with a manager in a school who had an employee in a similar situation.  He allowed her to work from home one day a week in order to prevent her from relapsing.  In many ways these employers were making pragmatic decisions to prevent a situation whereby they ended up with employees who were not able to work to full capacity over extended periods. After all an employee whose health is not 100% is unlikely to be able to work to 100% capacity anyway.  Besides if an employee under such circumstances is to push himself/herself to hard, he/she could end up going of sick again.   Some employers in a similar situations would however, not want to provide their employees with such support for fear that things would be taken for granted.

The truth, however is that for most people just as for my friend, such actions by employers make people feel valued and when they feel that they are valuable to their employers they tend to want to work that much harder to add value to the organisations. Besides which they become the biggest advocates for the organisation.

Susan Popoola
Conning Towers
HR Transformation & Talent Management
Leveraging the Power of People

Copyright 2011 This document is the specific intellectual property of the Conning Towers Consultancy. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated from content obtained from other sources and such content is referenced as appropriate.

Sometimes our Greatest Successes Lie Beyond Our Dreams

Have you heard of Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister?

If you live in Britain and know anything at all about British politics, you’ll know that he once had a dream – the dream of becoming Prime Minister. He is said to have waited – not to patiently for 13 years whilst Tony Blair was first leader of the opposition for 3 years and then prime minister for 10 years. Finally, Tony Blair stepped down and uncontested (at least in public), Gordon Brown became Prime Minister.  The fulfillment of a dream!

Gordon Brown was Prime Minister from 24th June 2007 until the 11th May 2010 when Labour lost the general elections and the coalition Government under the Premiership of David Cameron took over.

His time as Prime Minister was short, many people were critical of his effectiveness, but it’s probably fair to say the dream was still met – fulfilling or not.  If I have one criticism of Brown, it would be to question whether he was true to himself and his beliefs during his time as Prime Minister.

Brown is still involved in politics as a backbencher, but critically he is also now a Board Director of the World Wide Web Foundation “advising on ways to involve disadvantaged communities and global leaders in the development of sustainable programs that connect humanity and affect positive change”

I’m pleased about this because I believe it provides Gordon Brown with the opportunity to fully represent who he is and what he believes in. I believe that with the kudos that come from him having been Prime Minister in this role he will be able to really and trully excel at being who he is and have a real long lasting impact.

The funny thing is it doesn’t just apply to Brown with many of us with dreams fulfilled or unfulfilled; fulfilled but not really fulfilling or whatever the case may be, the real success lies just beyond the dream.  It doesn’t jut apply to that dream job, but also relationships as most other things in life. Do you remember that person that you met – the guy or girl of your dreams – things didn’t quite work out as you had hoped and you were devastated, but then someone else came along…

As it’s the beginning of a new year so it’s worth me concluding by saying: this year go for your dreams, but if they are not totally fulfilled, don’t despair, it really and truly is not the end of the world. Something much better may just be around the corner – just keep the faith.


Copyright 2011. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated

Susan's New Year's Honours Lists

So thankfully we’ve made it through to another year and people are optimistically stepping forward with lists of objectives and goals; with new year’s resolutions – determined that this year is going to be way better than last year.

I constantly review my goals and objectives throughout the year with the view to ensure that they are aligned to what I see as my God given purpose in life. I therefore didn’t feel especially aligned to follow the new years trend – my objectives et al sorest defined and constantly refined. More than ever I recognise the need to be more disciplined and focused in order to achieve my desired results. Disciplined in doing what I need to do and not get distracted. Focused not simply on the important things, but focused more on the things that I have at least a degree of control over and not the things that are in other people’s hands that I can do nothing but worry about unless they permit me to do something more constructive.

With all this in mind I am reminded of the people that I observed through 2010 who stood firm for something that they believe in regardless of the risks and the costs. With many of them I am not in total agreement, with some I actually believe that their cause is wrong, but they are consistent and they stand and I respect that. Some of them include people that passed away during the year. It’s sad to see them go, but great that their lives had a specific meaning.

So just as the Queen has a New Year Honours Lists I have mine and that is for all those who have faithfully and consistently stood for what they believe me. I’m not going to mention any names, those that belong on this list will be able to identify themselves with a little bit of reflection.

The only thing to add is that for next year’s list I hope that I can count myself amongst the numbers with confidence and that you are on the list too!

Happy New Year! Have a good one. 🙂

Copyright 2011. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated

About The Author

Susan Popoola

Susan is a Human Resources Capital Optimisation Specialist specialising in areas inclusive of Talent Management with additional interest in a number of other areas inclusive of Education, Community and Social Justice.

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