As we approach our twenty-five years in business, I wanted to examine the reasons as to why I have spent those years doing what I do and enjoying it (mostly!)
I want to start by examining the “why”. Whilst we were undoubtedly naïve and overly optimistic in the early stages of the business, we did share a belief that what we were offering our clients was going to help them. I still am convinced that any training and development intervention that we provide, and deliver, will be better than expected and will have a positive impact on results for our clients. Our purpose and our “why” was to help people improve at what they did, get results, make a difference. I am still driven and motivated by the opportunities I have to impact on people’s performance. Hearing how much we’ve helped, how people have changed or just how useful that session was is what pushes me to work hard to research content, to adapt programmes to specific requirements and to support people beyond the training room. I know my colleagues share this and that this is a key factor in why I have been doing it for twenty-five years.
For all businesses I would think the first challenge is winning new business, “getting bookings on the board” is how we have always referred to it. We would literally write them on a white board! That moment of triumph, satisfaction, relief sometimes and joy when somebody said “yes, we want to book that”, especially when bookings are few and far between. I have always loved that sense of “winning”, regardless of the monetary value of the booking. To this day, the winning of any sort of business is a tremendous feeling. Over the years our need to get bookings on the board has varied – sometimes to hit a monthly target, sometimes to break even, sometimes to survive! For whatever reason getting bookings is a fundamental challenge to deal with for any business, I have always loved the process from enquiry to confirmation, I am also lucky that I am often involved in the actual delivery of the “booking”.
I am sometimes asked if I have been bored by running training programmes for so many years. I can safely say that one thing I have never been is bored. I could try and calculate how many people I have met and worked with over the years, my database could help me out, but I can say with some confidence it will be a lot! Every course, module, meeting, session, is different, it has to be – the people are different and even when it’s the same people who I have worked with before – the event will be different. Variety as certainly been a factor that has contributed to my enjoyment of the last twenty-five years. The range of clients we have worked with over the years is extraordinary. The locations, the training venues and the journeys to get there have all added up to keep the interest and engagement level high – I am still nervous before every meeting and training session. Each one is unique and that is very exciting and challenging.
So the three main factors that have combined to result in my continued commitment and my enjoyment of the role I have at Phoenix are – a desire to help people improve their performance, a determination to win business and prove we can do a great job for our clients and a huge amount of variety to keep things interesting and exciting. Once those factors are added to the fact that for twenty-five years I have worked with a great set of colleagues, past and present and enjoy a nice balance of home and work life it is no surprise that the twenty-five years have flown by!