What Am I Good at Doing?
This question…What am I good at doing?…seems to be the question I am asked right after I answer the question…What do you do at SyncLab Media?
What I do is:
- Oversee All Operations of the Company and the Work that is done by the staff
- Consult business executives, owners, and entrepreneurs on the importance of Operations Management
- Coach business people on the importance of maintaining a professional image 24/7/365.
Why is This Question Asked So Frequently?
Why that is, probably has to do with the reaction people have to all I have done over the past 50+ years.
I realize there are not too many of us veterans of the ‘corporate war’ era left. However, is it really that strange to find someone who worked for one company for 32 years NOT be experienced at a lot of things?
Granted the people I talk to usually are just getting started in the business world or are members of the new age generation who feel working for a business for over a year is wasting their time on earth. There are a lot of reasons why young business people should stay working for a company for more than 10 years.
Of course, things have changed over the last 30 years. One of the big changes is in how many businesses stay in business for over 10 years. This makes it hard for anyone to get as much experience in doing things like me.
How I Got Good At Doing What I Do
32 years is a very long time at one company. However, during that time I was not chained to a desk in just one department. In the era from 1974 to 2004, the corporate world realized that their Human Assets were more valuable than the product they sold. This meant ‘Change’ was frequent. Actually, change happened like clockwork. Every 5 years the company would go through a forced change.
The five-year swing in ‘Change’ was the result of the economy. It would take five years of changes made to grow the operations to handle a robust economy. Then as the economy weakened it would take five years to swing back and undo all of the changes to cut back on everything. Each time the change would swing one direction I got to learn another way to manage the business another way that I did not do the last time there was a Change.
You can only get good at managing Change and how to deal with the pressures of Change by going through more than one Change. The more changes a person deals with the better they got at dealing with Change.
Having every employee cross-trained to work in multiple positions through the corporation’s operations was usually the product of the change to a weaker economy and I was fortunate over 32 years to be trained in every position in:
- Operations Management,
- Project Analysis,
- Project Management
- and Crisis Management.
Along the way, I was also trained in:
- How to Train the Trainer,
- Corporate Etiquette
- and How to Carry the Political Football.
As a result, I got good at doing a lot of things for which I still am good at doing today.
What Are Some Things I’m Really Good At?
Being good at doing something was a job requirement. Unfortunately today, that requirement to be good at something has seemingly evolved into ‘looking good at what you do’. Meaning, the company who hires only college grads, who Look Good on paper, to be able to do a good job are finding that these employees do not have the interest to stay for the 30 years it is going to take to learn how to do a Good Job.
Back then, the best thing that ever happened to me was after working ‘grunt work’ for two long years I was thrown into ‘Management’ at the bottom level. This 10 years of grind was my Boot Camp for what I would deal with when I moved up to being ‘On Staff’ and later after I retired from corporate life. This is where the company felt their more experienced person would be good candidates as trainers for the new employees.
Surviving Five Cycles
Since I had a large number of ‘Five-Year Cycles’ under my belt I was considered a ‘utility player’ and was fast-tracked through Operations to becoming a crisis manager in charge of predicting a year ahead what the budgets should be for all operations the following year. Naturally, the predictions were not always correct or had to be manipulated to meet some sort of internal policial goal which leads to me being one of the best Crisis Managers the corporations had.
After 31 years and 9 months, I carry all of this experience and training out of my office in 15 boxes. When I left the corporate world in 2004 I was hoping for it to be a long retirement. Unfortunately, like many veterans of Real War, I too felt a calling to pass on to the next generation my experience in the hope it would help young executives and troubled business owners avoid the hitting the potholes along the fast track career paths many people are talking.
Coaching the Coach
Coaching and Consulting was something new I was getting good at.
There are still things for me to learn and that is what keeps me going. For learning something new gives me another opportunity to get good at doing something. Maybe that is what you should try doing..get good at doing SOMETHING.
Let me know how I can help.
Originally published at Scot Duke.