Teryl @ Work

Feb 10 2015

What is the difference? Over the years, I have been lucky enough to have quite a few mentors, who were generous with their time, ideas and input. And I have certainly had sponsors, who have recommended me for really good positions and opportunities, as well as head hunting me at just the right time!

But once I was in the position of having a mentor who was also a great coach and a sponsor. Sieg Frankenfeld held my current position of heading up Accsys for 4 months as a caretaker, before I was promoted from Sales Director to CEO, and he was, and is, an unbelievable coach.

Teryl @ Work
Feb 9 2015

I caught myself apologising to my GPS for not following her instructions and I swore at SIRI. She wasn’t happy!

Saying “Excuse me” when I am trying to get past my dogs amused my brother-in-law some years ago, because my sister does it too!

Then there’s explaining to the ants covering the kitchen counter that I don’t really want to kill them, and couldn’t they just stay outside where they would be safer.

I realise that dogs and ants aren't inanimate, but you know what I mean.

Teryl @ Work
Feb 3 2015

Did they like you, too?

So you had the interview, you felt it went well, and yet there has been no feedback. Worse, you notice that the job is still being advertised. What now?

Before you leave the interview

Ask some key questions while you are still in the room.

  • What is the process after this round of interviews?
  • Will there be a second interview, or have I met all the decision makers already?
  • When will a decision be made?
  • What is your preferred method of follow up? Phone call or eMail?
Teryl @ Work
Jan 30 2015

Three favourite business words that open up lots of discussion.

And so important in running the Accsys business, because they come up every single day, in one way or another.


Like many businesses, we built up a set of Policies and Procedures, trying to clearly define the principles by which we run our business. Much as I loved the Nordstrom model (see below), we realised it was necessary.

Teryl @ Work
Jan 28 2015

Many managers, including me, procrastinate when faced with a difficult conversation. The end result is that it becomes even more awkward, the longer it is left.

I have found that long delays have all sorts of potential results, eg:

  • the situation improves on the surface, so the impact of the conversation is lost, and the learning opportunity is gone or
  • the frustration builds and the problem grows and the situation spirals out of control and causes real problems
Teryl @ Work
Jan 26 2015

Closing the productivity gap and ensuring that new recruits are engaged and effective early is more and more important.

How it used to be

In the gold watch era, when people used to stay in jobs for 10 plus years, it made sense for companies to invest both time and money in training and upskilling employees.

In the 21st Century

The average tenure in the US is less than 6 years, but it is the under 30's who are moving after short periods. According to Stats SA, the median employment for the 25 to 34 year old South African worker is 31 months.

Teryl @ Work
Jan 22 2015

How it was

I grew up in the beautiful seaside village of Muizenberg. Our amazing old house nestled on the mountainside overlooking the river and the sea.

My parents were not big socialisers, but when they went out, they told us where they were going.

On one memorable night, a veld fire started on the mountain side and quickly reached the empty stand next to us.

They were at the movies, and I called and the projectionist flashed an "Urgent, fire on the mountain, call home" with my parents’ names on the movie screen.

Teryl @ Work
Jan 21 2015

William Shakespeare said that "Parting is such sweet sorrow", and Sheryl Sandberg said "don't leave until you leave." And for me it comes down to that jet stream (or wake) again, do you want it to be a beautiful memory, to fade quickly or to leave a stain?

As important as the first day is for companies to get right, with effective inductions and warm receptions, that last month post resignation, is when the employee becomes re employable, or a bad penny!

Teryl @ Work
Jan 20 2015

As a business, resolutions are an informal way to get us all thinking about what we want to achieve in a fresh year.

Of course, there are a lot of funny personal and business resolutions.

One of my favourite’s this year was on Ellen, when a young lady wanted to get past Level 183 on Candy Crush. It took an Harvard Graduate to assist her!

Not to mention the young woman who was resolving to be more patient with her children and drink better wine.

Teryl @ Work
Jan 16 2015

...or what used to be known as New Year's Resolutions.

Each year brings its highs and lows, and the eternally optimistic human race believes that we get a fresh start each January 1st. Belief is a strong driver, and optimism is capable of delivering very good results.

So, with that in mind, in January 2014 I decided to try and give myself some good advice...

  1. Enjoy more special family and friend time, have got a bit too chilled and lazy over weekends – Did quite well on this one until March.
Teryl @ Work
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