Aspirations, Attorneys and Al Pacino

Private Property South Africa
Cathy Nolan

I’m writing this after a four-hour-long motivational training session for “middle management”. (Yep, seems I’ve kinda sorta been unofficially promoted – I think this is completely as a result of the popularity of this blog but that could just be a matter of opinion.) Anyhow, for one of the exercises, the trainer split us MMs into two groups and instructed one to argue vociferously FOR Private Property and the other vehemently AGAINST.

A classic battle ensued … from which we learned a few things:

  1. Greg really should have been an attorney.

  2. Gareth feels rather strongly about terminating the negative people in the office.

  3. The team that adopted the “anti” stance struggled to list negative things about our company.

Which is great news! When the pros outweigh the cons, you know you’re on the right track.

Here are a few of the positive aspects we came up with:

• We’re leading technological developments for the industry.

• We’re focusing on personal care for our clients.

• We’re introducing accountability for all our staff.

• We’re relooking our products and systems to make buying and selling property easier for everyone.

Do you notice how I’m using the word “for” here, as in “for the industry” as opposed to “in the industry”? This verbiage shows commitment and participation. It indicates that we are not merely operating in an industry, but are working for the good of this industry and all its stakeholders. Pretty neat, huh? Or maybe it’s just word-geeks like me who get excited about nuances like this. I can’t take credit for it, though, it’s a core insight developed by AppleTree.

Anyhow. During the course of the afternoon we also learned that Dawood does a pretty reasonable Bob Marley impression and would choose Al Pacino to play him in the movie of his life – but perhaps those are stories for another time. Us MMs left the session fired up about what we’re here to achieve – both in our personal and professional capacities.

Don from AppleTree, who is an impressive trainer in every sense bar that he can’t remember my name, showed us that the same emotional need drives both of these functions. And going round the room, we discovered that this core need is different for each of us – which, again, is great news, as it means that we each bring a different set of core intra-personal skills to the office every morning.

For example, we discovered that Ashleigh’s personal passion is travelling and this is a manifestation of her inner need to feel fulfilled and gratified. But what Don showed us is that Ash’s need inspires her to bring out these feelings in everyone whom she deals with, every day. And that makes her an inspiring person to interact with. If you’ve ever had dealings with her, you’ll know exactly what I mean!

Until next week then – and please, feel free to send “congrats on your promotion” gifts my way … that way, it’ll all seem a lot more official …

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