Imparting the knowledge and skills your work experience has gained you can pay great dividends. My career in marketing and brand communications was not very long compared to many, but it has been versatile. And what I learned, I have never hesitated to share with others. I believe in tough love. In my book, there is no excuse for anyone working with me, either directly or via, to not give their one-hundred percent to their undertaking. Let me tell you, I have been said to be very exacting.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an unreasonable shrew. I just made sure my team members comprehended that there is no point of getting on a project if they are not aiming to be their best. I always told them to do it for themselves. They were welcome to stop perfecting upon their work – once they became satisfied.
I heard the groans and the moans when issuing my challenges. I know I have been called unpleasant names numerous times. But then, when you guide with tough love, you’re not doing it for the popularity title. You’re trying to be fair to all parties. There are the people who entrusted you with the responsibility of getting a job done right as well as each member on the team so that some did not freeload on the goodwill and hard works of others. In return for their great efforts, I shared my time, knowledge and expertise to make sure they were always learning and I ensured they got the credit their due.
I had colleagues tell me not to show all my cards and maintain a semblance of seniority at all time. They would smirk at me and suggest I would be booted out of my chair by a greenhorn one of these days if I wasn’t careful. But unless there was a classified label on a piece of information, I thought empowering people with the right knowledge can produce much better results.
It has been six months since I left my marketing career behind. I still get calls from my old workplace, juniors I had once trained asking for advice on unprecedented conundrums because they know I would give it my level best to help them find a solution. Just last week, one of my old contact points at the social media agency I once hired knocked me on Messenger, wanting to catch up and have lunch with their team one of these days. I am just a former client who has no plan to get back into the arena anytime soon, but he wanted to tell me how much he had learned from me when the truth is I learned a lot about social media marketing and analysis from him. He told me his team worked so hard for our company because they enjoyed impressing me as much as they dreaded disappointing me – because I held them to the same standards I held myself to.
I cannot tell you what a relief it is to know that they understood the truth behind my scolds – how gratifying it was to be thought of so highly. That simply caring about their growth would one day be returned with such respect is a reward on its own. Regardless of what some of those colleagues, stingy with their knowledge, predicted of my open-fisted ways, I think I betted on the right horse. When you dedicate yourself to the development of others, instilling the same principle in them so that down the line they feel free to impart their knowledge and skills with others, you exploit so much more in the long run.