No longer crushed by the system – the story of Simon
Simon had been working for a number of years in a public sector organisation. He had reached a senior level, taking responsibility for the strategic development of services. The culture in which he worked was one where the senior staff were expected to put in many extra hours of work, without any financial compensation. Simon, like everyone else, complied with the oppressive and controlling leadership style. His work/life blend was severely compromised, but he didn’t feel there was anything he could do about it.
Simon had built up a national reputation in his field, making major contributions at seminars and in published works. This had not gone unnoticed outside of his organisation, and one day he was invited to undertake a year’s secondment to Whitehall, a government department. He accepted, having no idea just how profound an effect this move would have.
From the moment he arrived at Whitehall Simon was given an enormous amount of responsibility. He acted as a government advisor, liaised directly with the Minister on matters of policy and attended the House of Commons during debates. He was being trusted to use his skills in an independent way, and as a result was having a real effect on people’s lives. Being given this amount of personal control in such a high-powered and exciting environment meant that Simon fell in love with his job all over again.
Simon told us one of his greatest moments whilst on the secondment came during a meeting with a group of consultants.
Simon’s Whitehall boss was present, and when asked which of the two men was in the senior position, the boss replied that although he was technically higher up the ladder, it was Simon who had greater knowledge and experience. It was this acknowledgement, which stemmed from a healthy and self-aware leader that allowed Simon to regain control of his own life and work.
Simon knew that he could never return to his old organisation, where micro-management was the order of the day. He resigned and now runs his own highly successful consultancy business.
What’s the lesson?
Simon’s Mind Fit state was restored by his time at Whitehall, and he realised the poor leadership at his original place of work was the cause of the damage to his mind fitness. They lost a great member of the team because they would not allow him an appropriate level of control over his own life, and did not acknowledge his skills and experience. As a consequence, the performance and productivity of the team suffered greatly.
To learn more and how you get into a Mind Fit state take the simplest first step and read the book Mind Fit For Success , by Graham Williams