Thursday, 18 September 2008

The Quitter

I was at an event about entrepreneurial spirit this evening. Derek Mapp who owned and sold the Tom Cobleigh chain and Leapfrog Day Nurseries for millions said he would rather employ someone who had failed, but tried, rather than a quitter that had not tried at all to make a go of things. It makes me wonder what sort of employer would tolerate the triers, and for just how many times before the employer decides- he or she has failed, and must quit (either he/she does it him/herself or I'll do it! thinks the employer). Would the entrepreneurial employer be more tolerant? You wouldn't think so if Alan Sugar is anything to go by, would you?
Yet our employment legal system says you have to let people try. You can't dismiss someone for their incapability without going through a process of giving them warnings and second or third chances, with some goal setting. Wouldn't this be more frustrating for the entrepreneurial employer who wants to cut through the thrust of red tape and get to the tinkling sound of "kerrchinnng". Or is there secret admiration for the employee with the guts to stick at it, and ultimate satisfaction when someone has 'cracked' it?
I think it's part of my job to suss out the employer before I can advise on the strategy to deal with the trier or the quitter- but are you the Derek Mapp entrepreneur or are you the Alan Sugar entrepreneur??!

Thursday, 4 September 2008


I heard on the morning news today a business woman billed as a 'high-flier' saying categorically that you can't have work life balance. "Choose what your focus" is she said. "HURRAH" I say. Yes, we have flexible working laws, and yes, employers should enter the 21st century to be more flexible in their approach about getting the outcomes they want from women workers - using innovative working ways as the means. But you know- women still beat themselves up about trying to get this work-life balance thing. " Once a woman makes up her mind that it's not quite achievable, somehow the stresses disappear" this wise woman said. Sorry- can't remember her name. Sooo resonates with me. I know I can't be there all the time for my children and bring home the bacon (turkey of course, being Muslim!) at the same time. But, ladies, choose when and what responsibilities you want to take on and pass on!