Doing like George, something to be proud of

//Doing like George, something to be proud of

Doing like George, something to be proud of

Back in the late 1970’s, I was working in London as a junior marketing assistant for a very self important marketing manager. He had an arch enemy George Gardner, the sales director. Neither of them had much respect for each other but looking back I can now see things in another light.

George Gardner was funny, inspirational, charming, sensitive, hard working, caring and results driven. The marketing manager wasn’t. He spent most of his time trying to hang on to his position, regardless of the ridicule he received from almost everyone around him. To be honest he deserved more but that’s sometimes how it is when you have the wrong person in the right seat at the wrong time.

Back to George, he had the ability to identify underperforming individuals and offered them the chance to re-invent themselves. He did this on several occasions and when he died the church was full to over flowing with mourners paying their respects to a really remarkable man. I swore to myself there and then that I would try and do like George.

Now everyone has their own path and everyone has their own way of doing things but the achievements that I am most proud of in my career to date are not the successful construction of a sustainable company, or the books that I have had published or indeed the fees I have earned. It’s none of these things. It’s seeing people that I had once written off but given a second chance, develop, mature and achieve great things.

I have often thought, who would want to be a teacher, to stand in front of a classroom full of pubescent teenagers?  But then I think of the unique opportunity they have to make an impact on a young person’s life and how sometimes with just a few simple words, followed up with support and care, they can truly make a difference to a person’s entire life.  When you reflect on it, can there ever be anything more useful and satisfying?

I think, doing like George, is the best gift one can leave behind. I have never seen it written down in a Change Manager’s job description or assignment briefing, but it should be:

‘Identify underperforming employees and offer them a second chance. Give them a vision of another way and encourage them to follow it’.

Have a good week,


PS: If you are interested, you can read more about doing like George in my book ‘Making a Difference’

2016-11-17T08:24:46+00:000 Comments

About the Author:

Harley is a dynamic 'we can do this' kind of person with a successful track record of working for a wide variety of companies in all kinds of sectors. From very small family run businesses right through to giant multi-nationals. Over the last thirty five years Harley has built a reputation for inspiring those around him to rout out and tackle the core problems facing their organizations. Armed with a wide range of pragmatic tools that he has developed over the years, Harley is able to help his clients bring about long-term, sustainable solutions, while having fun at the same time. Harley is a motivational 'people person' who is nonetheless tough on efficiency and delivery. Apart from being well known for his highly entertaining and motivational speeches, Harley is also a blogger and author of four books; 'The Change Manager's Handbook', 'Transition', 'Inspirational Leadership’ and ‘Making a Difference’.

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