Honoring the Past: Creating a Future (Maintaining Self in the Role)
David Ivers is from Sydney, Australia. He is a qualified Primary and Secondary School Teacher. In total, he has served on school leadership teams for 16 years in senior leadership roles.

Each year on April 25, the countries of Australia and New Zealand hold a public holiday to commemorate ANZAC Day. The day remembers the day that the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed on the shores of Gallipoli (modern day Turkey) in 1915. The cliffs were sheer and the landing on the Peninsula saw many sacrifices their lives. The Allied forces lost approximately 47,400 soldiers in the Gallipoli campaign. Of these 11,400 (Approximately 24%) were ANZACS. It is worth remembering in this wandering through the pages of history, that Australia became a self-governing nation in 1901. (Statistics from DVA)

Today, like Veterans day in the United States, ANZAC Day remembers all who have served and all who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. According to the Australian War Memorial: “The spirit of ANZAC, with its qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice continues to have meaning and relevance” today.  

What does this have to do with ‘managing yourself in your new role’? Quite a lot really. The ANZAC campaign from a military point of view was a failure. There are many lessons to learn from the ANZAC legend when it comes time to maintain yourself in the role.

Lesson 1: Stop to reflect, learn from and in some small way, celebrate your failures as well as your successes. In fact, failure probably has many rich lessons to learn from.

Lesson 2: Sacrifice is inherent in any job, particularly where that job has become a career. There will be moments when you might need to sacrifice some time to meet deadlines. This is common in Teaching, Health Care, Law, Accounting, even Journalism.

Lesson 3: If you sacrificed time to meet a deadline, ensure you pay it back. If you used a weekend to meet work commitments, make sure the following weekend is work free. If it impacted family life, then take the family away for the weekend. A balance between your work life and your personal life is critical to career success. Many employers look for this quality when considering employees for a promotion.

Courage is something that you will need both personally and professionally.
Lesson 4: Courage is something that you will need both personally and professionally. The courage to apply policies and procedures without fear or favor is an important aspect of Governance. In certain occupations such as a Police Officer, it is critical. Have the courage of your convictions. If you believe that something in the work environment doesn’t seem right, ask about it and challenge the underlying assumptions that such actions are based upon. This is really important if it is inconsistent with the values of the organization. Finally, have the courage to seek out feedback and perhaps a Coach to assist you on your professional journey.

Lesson 5: Mateship or ‘Loyalty and Support’ is critical in maintaining yourself in the role. In those busy, chaotic periods, it’s good to know that the team works and you’ve got each other’s back. The soldiers in 1915 on ANZAC Cove relied on that for survival.

On the notion of Loyalty, if you are in a Leadership position, the research suggests that “credibility makes a difference, and leaders must take this personally. Loyalty, commitment, energy, and productivity depend  on it.”

(Cf. Kouzes, James, and Posner, Barry. (2012). The Leadership Challenge (5th Edition). Josses-Bass, San Francisco. Page 38.)

Just as the concept of Loyalty is important for leaders, it cannot be a one-way street. It is more than reasonable for the leader to expect that ‘Loyalty’ is a shared value and thus reciprocal, especially if you are operating in a team environment. The only caveat here is to be cautious of ‘Group-Think’. When the team acts in a manner that suggests that they’re not just of one mind but of one brain, dangerous decisions come into play and Courage is once again required. In scenarios like this, there is much to be learned from the ANZAC legend.

Lesson 6: All of these things require Resilience. This really means taking the time to work on you Inner-Wellbeing and your physical Health. This helps with mental alertness, cognitive functioning, and your ability, in turn, to adapt and change course in the face of setbacks or failures.

Add to these lessons the aspects of the Personal Plan, and you have what is essential to maintaining yourself in the role. In case you missed it, my Personal Plan Template is below and can be accessed at: http://goo.gl/6BqCP1

It is important to realize that certain things need to be attended to. Not just to maintain yourself in the role but to maintain you as a healthy human being.

These are:

  • Family and Friends
  • Personal Health and Well-Being
  • Study (Formal and Informal)
  • Career (Plan it with your Coach)
  • Wealth Creation (Think Retirement)
  • Inner Health and Well-Being

Your personal Well-Being is more than just the absence of illness, in much the same way that Peace is more than the absence of War or Conflict. Being comfortable with yourself as a Human Being will positively impact your career. Likewise, be strategic in your Career Planning and anticipate what you will need to do for future success. This includes Study and In-house training. It also includes discussing your plans with a Coach.

Ultimately, your goal is to be ready to do your job properly in order to achieve mission success.

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