By Martina Willis (Columnist) Olive Press
WHEN I first came to Spain I did what all the ‘nice’ foreigners do. I turned a blind eye to the lack of ‘quality’ work and total disregard for punctuality.
Actually, I was happy if workers turned up at all and simply accepted the ‘Andalucian Way of Work’. Who was I, a newcomer, to try and change the system? However, when I opened The Source Of Wellbeing it became quickly apparent that things needed to function if I wanted to be successful. As foreigners on holidays or a retreat have very little tolerance and patience for the ‘Andalusian Way’, I was faced with a real challenge. What had become ‘good enough’ for me was, for others, way off the scale.
I had to change my way of dealing with staff completely and set expectations and boundaries. Basically I had to apply my project management skills and leadership abilities.At first I was met with blank looks and a ‘what’s wrong with her’ attitude. But then a miracle happened. They changed their ways, almost without exception.
Along the way I realised a couple of things.
There are some people who never learned any different. So there was no way they ever would be able to live up to The Source’s high standards.
Others were just plain lazy and thought they could get away with it. They mostly shaped up or shipped out.
And then another set of people started to enter my life. People who shared my values and attitudes a towards quality and standards.
The moral of the story is the same as always. We can not change others but we can change ourselves. And if we change, the circumstances and people around us will change.
But we need to be very clear to what we want and what our own values and expectations are.
Only then do we become authentic leaders others will follow. Our own behavior, words and actions should reflect this and then others will relate to us on all levels.
What about you? Do you feel stuck with an issue or a person? Do you have clear expectations and values? Or do you say one thing but do another?
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