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Managing the Passing Parade – Getting the Right People to Spend Some of Their Life Journey with You
By Peter Nicholls

Every person in your workforce is:

• On a constant personal journey from yesterday to tomorrow

• Pursuing unique personal dreams and goals

• Motivated by unique incentives and driving forces

Each person plays a multiplicity of roles throughout their 24/7 week, only some of which are work roles: They can sometimes be

• the salesperson / the customer,

• the boss / the subordinate,

• the parent / the child,

• the driver / the pedestrian / the cyclist.

• the leader / the follower

• the student / the teacher

These are just a few of the roles we all play. Often we joke how we are sometimes the dog and sometimes the tree, or sometimes the bug and sometimes the windshield.

And if that isn’t enough:

• the employment scene is increasingly becoming a buyer’s market, and

• Managers tend to get where they are through their knowledge of the product, rather than their knowledge of how to manage people.

What hope then do you as a manager/employer have in these days of what I call “the stress revolution” to entice the right people to ‘tarry a while’ and journey harmoniously with your organisation along the road towards mutually benefiting personal and corporate goals?

Here’s a couple of quick thoughts:

1. Imagine your business as a ship.

Imagine your business as a ship, captained by the CEO and crewed by the staff. The ship is an inanimate structure (the business is an impersonal legal / economic entity). Both are totally dependent on people for direction, steering and reaching pre-determined ports (goals) at agreed times. This is where the parallels diverge. In business, all the ‘crew’ – including the captain! – leave the ship each evening to enjoy being on their personal ship of dreams – of which each person is its captain (or at least first mate!). These people see the ‘corporate’ ship as merely the means to increasing the enjoyment of their personal ship of dreams.

Management wants to ensure that the captain and crew all return to the corporate ship each morning, to get more of the benefits that enhance their personal ship. Money is only one of the incentives and benefits. Just as people base their buying habits on emotions, so employees seek experiential benefits that an employer ‘sells’ to attract and keep good employees.

2. The work ethic has a lot to answer for.

Not because the work ethic dignifies the value of work but because it devalues leisure (i.e. any enjoyable non-work interest). For more than 200 years, the work ethic has built an image of leisure as frivolous, time-wasting pastimes that detract from the ‘serious’ business of work productivity. It has taken the dramatic ‘stress revolution’ of recent decades to start reminding us of a ‘pre work ethic era’ when society once recognized leisure as the source of creativity. Drop the first two letters of recreation to get an idea of what I mean. Now ask someone “what do you do for creation?” i.e. what do you do to enable you to experience the joy of creatively expressing your true self in ways that make you come alive and unleash your natural talents.

Creative leisure interests, viewed in this light, become a key part of personal growth and development, with a purpose and value in enabling the individual to achieve their personal goals and dreams. They also help develop transferable skills that are so important in maximizing individual productivity at work.

You are invited to visit for further information on Peter Nicholls’ approach to lifestyle management affecting work productivity. Peter Nicholls can be contacted at

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