Life is all about learning. Every engagement that we all do is an opportunity to learn something new. At my age and with my current job, there are a number of individuals who come to me asking for advice about work, about decisions that they need to make, personal problems, and just about anything that they are comfortable asking me for my point of view. I have also had the opportunity to engage with colleagues and friends where we get to share our experiences with work and we learn from the process.
As I have been growing in my career, I have also the privilege of engaging with other managers from other sectors other than the fitness industry. It is amazing how much you can learn from these interactions as each one seems to have a different way of managing people but with both of you having the same objective – that is to hit company targets. Again, you could pick a management principle or two which you can also apply in your respective fields.
One of my recent interactions with a young manager who works for a bank introduced me to a principle that is probably alien to the company that I work with. ER, as I call him, and I come from two different ends of the spectrum. He is a man of a few words having worked on the administrative side of the bank compared to my “sunny” personality that can be associated with my sales background. I ask the questions and he answers them. I end up steering the conversations, most of the time.
During one of our meetings, he shared his work concern that involved the team that he was working with and me, being a more experienced manager, went on to listen and coach him through his concerns. That was when I heard him speak about his “Sunshine Principle”. His “Sunshine Principle” did not appeal to me initially, not until a few weeks after. It was then that I asked more about the logic behind the principle.
This was how ER explained to me his “Sunshine Principle” – “Balance of life. Time sa work. At time sa family or play. Sunshine kasi di ka aabutin ng gabi sa office. May araw pa pag alis mo. When u bring balance, there’s sunshine.” He also shared to me that this principle has allowed him to manage his team to work within their work hours that significantly reduced his cost on overtime. On the other side, it motivated and disciplined his team more.
Having a thought about this principle, I looked into how I can incorporate the principle into my style of management. I decided to put the principle into place with a strong focus on member engagement, customer service, and getting my staff to use the product. I had to tweak the application and yet keep the principle in its true essence. The idea was to get all back office employees out on the floor gym at 5.30pm in workout clothes to either workout or just simply engage with members. This would allow us to still see the sun shining through our windows as it sets.
The principle has already been in place for the past two weeks and the feedback that I am getting from my staff was that it has allowed them to spend more time with their members apart from the fact that their members enjoy seeing them working out. I have also noticed that my consultants have a different energy when they are in their workout clothes. They have a different vibe when they do their presentations. As a result, we were able to improve productivity with my Membership team.
One of the remarkable feedbacks that I got was from a member. She asked me what we were up to with us in workout clothes every evening. She actually noticed that all of us seem to be working out. I shared with her my thoughts about the Sunshine Principle and the step change that I took in terms of service delivery and staff welfare. She told me that it was a great idea and that it gave the club a different feel in the evening.
It was a great feeling to actually see the Sunshine Principle working in my workplace. It has generated a new buzz in the club and has created a new discipline with my staff and managers. It has also prompted me to also work on my fitness regimen. The principle shared by my good friend, ER, has not only changed the culture in my club but has also initiated a change in my personal outlook.
As a senior manager, I am used to being approached by individuals seeking advice on their concerns but in the same process I also get to learn or pick up new ideas that open up my creativity or challenges my way of thinking. These interactions are in fact a two way learning process for both the coach and the coachee. The great thing about this process was the engagement with another individual from another field of expertise. I would like to thank ER for inspiring me to put his Sunshine Principle in place in my work area.
Keep the balance of life. Get out and get a little sunshine. It can do wonders.
I know that for all of us, at one time or another, hoped that we could be small kids again. As we all become adults, we have come to realize that life is not that dandy like when we were still kids. I remember the time when the biggest problem we have encountered as kids was getting into a fight with our closest friend. These were the “tampuhans” that gets solved within a matter of an hour or two. Life was simple back then unlike now when we have to really work hard to get by living a decent life. Adult life is now about obligations and responsibilities.
What brought about these thoughts today?
I am killing time today and I started by having breakfast at McDonalds Alabang Town Center. This restaurant brings back a lot of good childhood memories. This restaurant was where we had a meal prior to taking an entrance exam for my transfer to another school from Baguio City. Family grocery done at ATC was not complete without my parents treating us here with our favourite McDonalds meal of chicken and spaghetti. My siblings and I had our own share of Happy Meal toys when we were younger. I even remember the time when my highschool friends and I held our own Christmas party here where we bought our own food and drinks and all we did was share stories over the meal and have our own exchange gift and that was it. It was our party.
These memories make me smile.
The irony of it was that when we were kids, we eagerly wanted to grow up and become adults and now that we are adults, we want to become kids again. Life was a lot simpler back then and all we had to worry was what to do during the day, what games to play, and how to answer the assignments given in school. Our parents provided us with everything that we needed and we did not have to worry about what we needed. Our parents found a way while we played and enjoyed the whole day with bliss.
I have now come into a full circle where I am now on the other side of the stick. I have a family of my own with a smart little girl to boot. She need not worry about anything. She worries about the small things – the petty fights with her playmates, what toys to share, her broken toys, and how to follow her teacher in school. I worry about the bigger things now – putting food on the table, her tuition fee in school, bills that I need to pay, performance at work, and a whole lot more. Now I understand why my dad has a lot of white hair and the stress lines on my mom’s face. I have deeper respect for parents nowadays.
I really wish that we could go back in time to enjoy my childhood more and appreciate the small decisions that I had to make back then. But the reality is that when we lose time, we cannot regain it back. Science still needs to work on this one for me. But until such time, all we could do is to slow down and appreciate the small things that we have now so we can find the true meaning of our lives. Do not be afraid to show appreciation to people who inspire you. Take things slower and appreciate the small things. It is true that the best things in life are free.
Now I seldom drop by this place as I have already relocated to another place as my own search for success and accomplishments have allowed me to venture out of my own comfort zone. In fact, I only dropped by today because I had to find a place here in Alabang where I can kill time while I am waiting for my wife. I did not expect that the place will bring back these memories to push me to blog about it. In summary, learn to appreciate more so that you can live more.
Raving: I have picked up a new management principle with my interactions with a good and close friend called Sunshine Principle. I have already started putting it in place and it is working. I will be blogging about it soon.
Ranting: The Chief Justice was convicted and was already taken out of his post. I have a strong belief in the political system but I feel and think that it is all a political move.
Raving: I like the challenge raised by the former Chief Justice Corona for our politicians to sign a waiver that will allow the public to scrutinize their bank accounts.
Ranting: The only problem is the politicians are not okay with the waiver. It is all about hypocrisy.