You Snooze, You Lose…

“Growing up in Namibia, I spent many of my holidays on my grandparents farm, which is in an arid area of the country. There was no electricity and every drop of water had to be pumped from a borehole. This didn’t worry my grandfather in the least.

Regardless of the season, he was up every morning before sunrise when the old cuckoo clock struck four, and was then in the kitchen making coffee. After this he headed out to attend the work of the day.

He didn’t press a “snooze” button. In fact, I doubt he ever set an alarm clock. His motto was:

“today, not tomorrow”.

He knew that when it was time to plough, that’s what had to be done, because the rains don’t have a snooze button. The same went for the cows. When they came into the kraal in the early morning, it was milking time. No hitting the snooze button.

The snooze button is an invention which encourages the poor habit of delaying unavoidable action.

Pressing the snooze button buys one a few extra minutes sleep, but doesn’t make a difference in the long run.

Instead of hitting the ground running, we fall prey to this folly of delayed action, which often results in things taking longer. Every time we choose “I-can-do-that-later”, we waste time picking up the thread and re-focusing.

In terms of safety, there are a number of examples. Two of these are OPPORTUNITY and RISK. Opportunity normally has a short time frame and if you press snooze, in most cases, you will lose out. The expression, “there will always be another opportunity”, is the language of losers.

The same goes for risk. Once it has been identified, it must be dealt with, because a risky situation cannot be put on hold. Actually, if swift action is not taken, an even bigger risk might be created by breeding complacency.”

Jurgen Tietz, diretor: eKhuluma and Disruptive Safety.
Source: SHEQ Management, Issue 1 2018.

Happy Sancert Cycling the Cape Town Cycle Tour


 

This past weekend we supported our SANCERT and THE HAPPY PROJECT athletes while they took part in the 40th Edition of the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2018 (Also known as The Argus Cycle Tour).

The cyclists had an early start to their Sunday morning having to get ready at the start line in the city center in  order to complete the long and scenic route of 109km around the peninsular.

A great time was had by all, the support was incredible and the smiles where wide all over.

  

Well Done Team SANCERT!

Quality in Schools

Quiet children can be outstanding leaders

Schools have different ways of choosing their leaders. Some schools choose leaders on the basis of those who excelled at leadership camps. Then there are schools that use a voting system where staff members and children choose by secret ballot.

Sadly, there are those schools – and it applies also to many businesses and governments – that have a voting bias in favour of the extroverts. The loudest and most eloquent children with ‘larger-than-life’ personalities seem to get preference over their quieter classmates. Yet those very quiet ones could be just as suitable and sometimes even better to take on leadership roles.

Too often leaders are unwisely chosen on their sound quality rather than their sound qualities.

 

There have been exceptional leaders who’ve given so much to the world in their quiet, unassuming ways. In the 20th century we’ve had introverts such as Madame Curie, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi and Rosa Parks of American civil-rights fame. Think of the many positive contributions that introverts of today such as Bill Gates, the Dalai Lama and Angela Merkel give our world.

Extroverts need to guard against a common negative characteristic. Their egos and forceful personalities can relentlessly (and recklessly?!) drive their personal agendas. Think of the present-day leadership found in both the United States and North Korea. Too often, extroverts aren’t good listeners. They hear but they don’t listen to the voices of quiet reasoning from introverts.

Fascinating research from Adam Grant at the University of Pennsylvania has identified a common strength of introverts. Quiet leaders usually give others greater freedom to run with their own ideas. They’re less concerned with their own egos. Quiet leaders give great attention to their thoughts before moving in to action. A core question that they often humbly ask is:

What is the best that we can do for others?

However, challenges face the quiet child when wanting to take on a leadership role. A leader is often expected to be a confident public speaker; the quiet leader prefers the one-on-one interaction with others rather than the big-group gatherings. The preferred stance of staying silent when all around them people are blabbing endlessly, is incorrectly interpreted as a weakness.

Yet the quiet child can be nurtured to gain confidence to speak in public; can be given the skills to interact comfortably in a crowd. As others get to know and understand such a child, there can be growing acceptance and respect for the innate quiet leadership. If you have a quiet child in the family, gently discourage ‘putdown’ comments such as, “I’m too quiet to be a leader. Nobody listens to my ideas,” or “Nobody notices me because I’m not a superstar in such-and-such a sports team.”

Yes, there was a time in so many schools that the extroverts and dominant personalities were viewed as the best to take up leadership positions. Fortunately, such flawed thinking is diminishing. There’s a growing realisation that quiet children can also be outstanding leaders.

Sue Cain is an internationally acclaimed writer on the issue of the introverted quiet person. In one of her books she writes a manifesto for the introverted child.

Four statements included in the manifesto are:

  1. A quiet temperament is a hidden superpower.
  2. Most great ideas spring from solitude.
  3. You don’t need to be a cheerleader to lead. Just ask Mahatma Gandhi.
  4. Speaking of Gandhi, he said: “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

Affirm and nurture the quiet child’s self-worth. Encourage the child to strive to take on leadership roles at school. The quality school welcomes the various leadership talents amongst the children. Quiet children deserve and need to be part of such leadership.

  • By Richard Hayward

References
Cain, S 2016. Growing up as introvert in a world that can’t stop talking. London: Penguin.
http:/ www.npr.org/2012/01/30/145930229/ quiet-please-unleashing the-power-of-introverts