Insights Men have During their Careers Part 1

Men have useful insights during their career that are worth sharing with you. I conducted research with a group of thirty men in various industries. The insights they gained are described briefly below:

Be true to yourself: One of the men said an insight he had was to be true to himself. Going against his gut feel or doing something that he felt uncomfortable about inevitably caused regret. This led to a quest to never “lose himself” again. This same person indicated that he has a definite need for his own space. As a result if he is pressurised into relinquishing it, it creates problems for him and his close relationships.

Critical thinking: Another individual loves debate and arguments. One of his insights is that he “fights” for goals but not the man. He does feel that he can be quite hard e.g. make decisions that are right for the business but that could mean staff losses.

Reflection time: One of the men felt that it is important to make time to reflect on what happens. Then you need to take corrective action. At the same time it is also important to allow situations to evolve.

He says it is important to observe the politics and adjust to personalities. But only to fit in to the extent that your values will allow. An insight he had is that as he ages he no longer wastes time on negative relationships. He also takes whatever opportunities come his way. He believes that situations in life go full circle.

Vulnerability: Learning about one’s vulnerability and facing one’s own mortality is another lesson: living and cherishing the present. One executive who lost a sibling feels that an insight he gained is to become more compassionate with his children.

Solitude: Another individual enjoys solitude, simplicity, rest and time to rejuvenate and contemplate.

Authority figures: One of the SME owners knows that he does not do well with authority figures. He knows that people like and enjoy him and he feels blessed about who he is as a person. An uncomfortable insight he gained is that he is an under-achiever. Consequently this affects how he feels about himself at times.

Strategic thinking: A retired MD feels he has the ability strategically to see what can be done in a company. He did not easily feel threatened by seniors or colleagues. He delivered on what he promised and had a service driven sales team. This meant that the company had a high retention of customers. He kept to his agreements. His very real insight was that there are no friends in business: you need to have contracts in place.

Several also highlighted that through experience they have learnt which “fights” to pick and which to leave.

Action plans: An ex-corporate manager likes to work with action lists both at work and in his personal life. He gained the insight that it is a way for him to handle stress. In this way he can measure what progress he makes. This same individual says his career was not all about advancement but rather about accepting and dealing with challenges. He felt challenges keep him engaged and enthusiastic. A further insight is that he is intolerant of “slack” people at work.

Goals: Another ex-corporate executive says that if he has goals then he achieves them but if he has no goals then he tends to be lax.  An insight that he feels less good about, is that he neglects his health. Furthermore, he also feels he has spent insufficient time with his daughters with regard to their development. This is a role his wife took on.

Taking a sabbatical: After an executive was retrenched, he took a brave decision to take  a sabbatical. He realised that he had lost parts of himself while working in corporate. Consequently he is pursuing several areas of interest. He is following his dreams of travelling, photography and becoming involved in projects where his skills can be applied. He realised that he is thriving on this change.

Development: Several managers indicated that they are still growing and developing in their roles. One individual learnt that he can survive under most circumstances. His faith carries him through. One of his key insights is that he can be impulsive and tends to trust people too easily.

If you would like to take stock of your life, coaching would be of great value.


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Posted in Business Owner, Executives.