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Management Training For Life

Dec 12, 2007
I'd been working a 70 hour week for as long as I could remember. I was doing it for the family. So they could have the best things in life. Out at the crack of dawn, back after the kids were in bed, a microwaved evening meal in front of the TV with a large whiskey to help me unwind.

I didn't see much of the wife or children but sacrifices had to be made. I was building a future, a legacy for my children. This was the most important thing in my life. I'd wasted my youth and was now determined to show the world I could make a success of my life.

It was around this time that I took a call from a management training company. No thanks, I said, like I need help!

I'd worked my way up the corporate ladder. God knows how! Sometimes pure luck but there had been some close shaves along the way. Like the time I was working towards my first promotion for departmental manager. I had such a vast workload. I had no choice. There was no-one else as capable as me. I couldn't afford to let anyone else screw this up for me. How I coped I'll never know!

The area managers job was now in my sights. All those people to give orders to. Maybe I could delegate some of the workload and take an easier route. I sat up all night working on my presentation. I was determined to show those in power that I had what it took. After my sixth whiskey the presentation looked perfect and I fell into a fitful sleep on the sofa.

Waking late the next day, I threw all my things together with no thought to my personal appearance. A little dishevelled, I realised, when I got there but a quick spruce up in the gents would suffice. Once in the meeting I began to feel the effects of last nights alcohol consumption. Sweating and shaking, I managed to bluff my way through the presentation and scraped through to my much prized area managers job.

My subordinates were not appreciative of my managerial style. They begrudgingly did what I asked but they had no drive. No ambition. They took sick days for stress related complaints all the time. What did they have to be stressed about when I felt like it was always me doing the work?

Another call from a consultancy claiming they could improve my departments productivity with some tailored courses on managerial training. What would they know when it was me, out there, doing it. And doing it well as far as I was concerned.

If I could just make it to regional manager Id be happier. More affluent, better car, bigger house, the envy of all the neighbours. Of course, it would involve extra work but I could cope.

I took it on and I took it home. Weekends passed in a blur with me hammering away on my lap top - regular expletives and shunting away of children occuring. But I did it. I got that promotion. So, I stepped on a few people on the way. These things happen. Dispensable commodities was how I saw them. If they didnt want to succeed then more fool them!

Then one day everything changed. I closed my laptop the evening before and went to bed with that last drink that would get me off to sleep. Well, it did that alright.

I remembered nothing else until I work up in hosptial the next day after suffering a heart attack. I will never forget my wifes distraught face. It was like seeing her for the first time. Holding my children I couldn't remember the last time I had done this.

Of course it was stress, bad diet, bad life style, no work/life balance that had brought me here but above all it was my foolish refusal to accept help. I didn't understand how so many people could get as far as they did and not end up here, in hospital, beside me.

I recovered well and returned to work but things had changed. The atmosphere was different. I was called into the boss' office and their kindness amazed me. Without many words, my boss quietly slid a business card across the table with the business training and coaching consultancy's number on it.

I conceded what I thought was defeat and gave them a call. With the utmost tact they put my life back together. I learnt how to deal with my staff, how to delegate efficiently, how to organise my workload and change my outlook. More importantly they gave me back my family that I came so close to losing.

Within a year I had recovered enough to get back to where I was. But with a difference. After several management training courses tailored to my specific needs, my staff were happy, I was happy, confidence soared within the company as the training was applied to all and business was thriving.

I also learnt to leave work at work and enjoy my family.
About the Author
Expert business manager Shaun Parker relates the importance of management training for health. To find out more please visit Right Track
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