Jason Waldron | Senior Sales Manager, Zurich Middle East
Making your mark, leaving a legacy
Often, in my interactions with owners of
family-run businesses, the word “legacy” plays an essential role in creating a
succession plan. Often what a business owner perceives as a family legacy, is
really just personal legacy so he can be remembered.
As a small business owner, stop for a moment and consider what kind of legacy you want to leave for your dependents and how you want to be remembered.
A life on the high seas is not for everyone
If you aspire to hand the reins for your
business over to the family, consider that some family members will want to contribute
to the growth of the business when you are gone, while other’s will pursue
their own path.
Consider my own example, my father was a
commercial fisherman and owned several boats. He was successful, raised a
family with two children, and ensured that my sister and I were primed to
ascend into the family business.
I went on to take over the business, this made sense to me on a number of
levels. There was enough
profit to attract and retain me and because my father had instilled years of
knowledge into my training and education, I was comfortable
running the business in his absence. I became a successful part of our family legacy,
helping it to reach new heights.
My sister however, wasn’t overly keen on joining the family business and becoming a commercial fisherwoman.
A fair and equitable legacy
Herein lies the problem my father had in
preserving his legacy.
Had something had happened to my father such
as death, illness or incapacity, I would inherit his fishing boats, shares in
the company and his commercial license worth approximately $1m. My sister on
the other hand, would inherit very little in comparison.
After considering the legacy that he wanted to leave behind, my father invested in an insurance policy that would equalize our inheritance in the event of his death. In this scenario, there was no need to divide any shares or assets amongst siblings which could have created conflict and subsequent business failure. Simply put, I would receive the business and assets, while my sister would receive $1m from the proceeds of the life insurance policy.
An important lesson for family businesses in the UAE
As an owner of a family business, are you
sailing the legacy seas of uncertainty or have you put plans in place that
secures the survival of your business and the lives of the ones you love?
With many UAE businesses currently in the
first generation of ownership, a succession plan is imperative for any family
business owner looking to avoid significant conflict between their nearest and
I share my father’s vision on leaving a legacy, on making your mark. So, gather together with your family, consider their plans and goals and then celebrate the decisions you made to protect them and support their dreams.
I am very happy to tell you that my father kept himself healthy and well and we ran the business together until his eventual retirement. At this time, we sold the family business and I pursued the bright lights of financial services.
“A company is like a ship … everyone should be prepared to take the helm.”
If you like hierarchy, stop reading this article on leadership. Go back to barking orders and keeping people in line. Know, though, that you will never be a victorious leader of a peak-performance team.
Peak-performance teams operate differently than the ones that operate on the top-down leadership style we see in the military. Barking orders works well when you lead soldiers into battle, but it doesn’t help a team adapt to the ever-changing conditions of a business.
In this final article of my series on extreme performance, I’m going to address kinetic leadership. If you want to be able to lead a successful team in your industry, you’ll need to know how to change who leads the team and how leaders should adapt their leadership styles.
The most consistently high-performing teams are not led by a single leader. Extreme-performance teams are led by multiple people. The leaders change as the conditions and challenges change.
Everyone on the team should be ready to lead—and should be expected to. When I was racing nonstop for six to 10 days, we had a formal team captain for the record book, but the team captain didn’t call all the shots. When we got to paddling sections in the jungle, Ian Adamson took over. If the terrain was difficult, Neil Jones came forward to guide our way. If mountain biking was our mode of transportation for that leg of the race, Ian Edmond set the pace.
If you want your teams to reach extreme performance, you need to change leaders based on expertise. It helped our team become Adventure Racing World Champions.
Change Leadership Styles
Not only does your team need to change leaders, but the leaders must be able to change their style of leadership depending on the situation.
Sometimes a team needs a visionary to show the way, a motivator to inspire, or a friend to give a warm hug. The best leaders know when to change and use their emotional intelligence to determine which style to use.
As I wrote in my Tibet Raid Gauloise racing article, we faced a problem when our team’s mountain bikes were missing from our transition area. It seemed like the race was over until Robert, John, and Keith changed their leadership styles. They formed a vision for how we could go forward by borrowing bikes from the locals.
After we gathered these rusting relics, they changed their leadership style again. They provided inspiration to the team so we believed we could win on borrowed bikes. They knew just what to do to keep us going. We didn’t win the race that time, but we did reach extreme performance, so the next time we raced we were able to handle the challenges and win.
If you want your teams to reach extreme performance, you need to be flexible. Allow different leaders to emerge and to use different leadership styles to give your team what it needs.
New details have emerged about the UAE’s National Wellbeing Strategy 2031 from the office of the Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.
The strategy, approved by the UAE Cabinet on Tuesday, set out a comprehensive 10-year plan that aims to make the Emirates a world leader in quality of life.
Ninety projects, to be implemented by various government bodies, and five new centres were launched to support this goal.
The strategy established:
A National Wellbeing Observatory to track the UAE’s progress against global wellbeing indicators.
A Future Generations Wellbeing Academy that will train and upskill government employees to adapt to this “new approach to government work”.
A National Wellbeing Council to manage the implementation of the strategy and ensure government bodies are aligned in their approach.
Community Design for Wellbeing Centres where communities can design policies and initiatives to boost wellbeing.
And a National Lab for Behavioral Sciences where scientific and practical approaches to improve wellbeing in policies will be developed.
These centres, coupled with the 90 initiatives, hope to improve the physical and mental health of the population, social relationships, education, and the efficiency of government services.
Ohood Al Roumi, the UAE’s Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing, said the strategy represented a “new government approach focusing on individuals in the UAE.”
She said policies and initiatives would be designed considering the wellbeing and happiness of people first and that these would build on the work of the National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing launched in 2016.
The UAE Government’s new strategy will target three main levels: the Nation, Community and Individuals.
On the national level, the strategy aims to ensure a prosperous economy; efficient and effective government in the fields of education, health, social services, security, safety and the rule of law; government work flexibility, reliability, efficiency and transparency; the building of vibrant livable cities and communities; the establishment of a sustainable lifestyle that preserves national resources; support for a vibrant and diverse national culture by organising cultural and recreational activities; maintenance of national identity and cultural diversity, and fostering a connected community.
On the community level it aims to foster cohesive and stable families with strong positive relations and robust values; a co-operative community characterised by strong ties and positive values; and promote Emirati culture and identity. It also aims to create positive environments for work and education, empower individuals and provide them with opportunities for growth and development, and focusing on building secure, meaningful, positive digital communities.
And finally, at the the third level, it aims to promote active and healthy lifestyles, healthy nutrition options, good mental health, positive thinking and good life skills.
Simon Alexander Ong | Life Coach & Business Strategist
Successful leadership is about creating more leaders by empowering those that you are responsible for and creating a safe place for them to explore, experiment and improve. As Bob Burg and John David Mann noted, ‘your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first. Even if you don’t happen to occupy a traditional leadership position, that doesn’t mean you’re not in a position to influence others, to inspire and empower others, to be the catalyst for others’ greatness. To champion their success; to hold them up.’ Some of the characteristics of successful leadership shared in this video are that it’s not about you but those that you are in a privileged position to serve; the importance of self-awareness; and, cultivating a space and culture that places employee wellbeing and growth at its core.
A successful business owes a lot of its success to its employees. As such, it’s important to keep your employees happy, productive and eager to work. If at the end of the workday your employees run for the exits, leaving you to turn out the lights then perhaps it’s time to take a look at your employees’ engagement.
What is Employee Engagement?
According to Forbes, employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to the organization he or she works for and its goals. In other words, it means that the employee actually cares about their work and the company they work for. They are not just working for a paycheck or another promotion, but instead, are truly interested in working to help their company meet its goals. And when an employee truly cares, he or she will give their absolute best to the organization and be happy to do so. The result? Better business outcomes.
So when it comes to running a successful business, employers should make employee engagement a priority. Here are five reasons why.
1. Better Engagement Equal Better Productivity
When people really care about something, they truly try their best. And they do so because they want to. This is especially so when it comes to the business world. When employees are engaged at work, they feel an actual connection with the company. They believe the work they’re doing is important and appreciated, so, therefore, they work harder. And when your workers are more productive, your customers are happier and the business is more profitable.
2. Less Employee Turnover
Have you ever worked at a job where you felt like your work was unappreciated? If so, how long did you stay there?
Employees who feel appreciated, respected, needed and wanted are much more likely to enjoy their jobs than ones who feel unappreciated. These are the employees that will be less inclined to look for work elsewhere, and more inclined to do their best work.
In addition, employees who are happy and enjoying their jobs are also more likely to form connections with their coworkers. And a happier team that works well together is a more productive team which in turn leads to a more profitable business. Besides, wouldn’t you prefer to be surrounded by happy workers who enjoy coming to work?
3 Increased Customer Satisfaction
In many cases, it is the employees who are directly involved with the customers. And customers that have a positive experience are much more likely to keep coming back than those who have a negative one.
When your employees are engaged, they are much more likely to be positive and enthusiastic about the company’s product or purpose. They are also far more likely to deliver a positive customer experience than a negative one. We all know that satisfied customers are happy customers. And happy customers will keep coming back.
4 Better Management Teams
Low levels of employment engagement can also lead to negative perceptions of company management. Employees often disengage and stop supporting the management team, and some even lose sight of the company’s mission. The support of the employees is paramount when any business organization wants to grow and innovate.
5 Better Creativity
Another reason employee engagement is so important is because employees who know that their ideas are heard, considered, respected and appreciated, are more likely to come up with new ideas and better solutions. They are creative, excited and driven. Disengaged employees, on the other hand, have little interest in being creative or even contributing to the bigger picture. And who can blame them if they feel that they are not needed and unappreciated?
If you want employees that show up and are involved, not just because they’re paid to be, but because they’re invested, emotionally or otherwise, then employee engagement should be at the top of your list. Engaged employees are more productive and efficient. They are more interested in their jobs, less likely to quit and driven to provide a better customer experience. They are happier at work and in their lives as well. And all of this translates to a better business outcome.
Katie Maycock | Anxiety and Digestive Health Specialist
There has been a lot of talk about burnout, but what
is it really?
Burnout is complete physical,
mental and emotional exhaustion stemming from prolonged stress.
That’s what it means in a nutshell.
Burnout can change everything. The way your body digests, fights off illnesses,
the way you communicate with people and the way you view yourself.
Before I get too heavy, let’s cover
something off really quickly. This stress does NOT have to be negative.
I know, I know. I’m hearing you now
ask yourself “if the stress doesn’t start off as a negative how can it be
I will absolutely answer this in
Stage One Of Burnout.
Before I start, I also wanted to
share some really concerning statistics about burnout.
From a recent Gallup study of 7,500
employees, they found that 23% of those full-time employees have felt burnt out
On top that, 44% also mentioned
they felt burnt out sometimes.
That my friends equate to 2/3’s of
employees feeling burnt out.
Anyone else a little bothered by
Not only that but feeling burnt out also leads to:
A 63% increase in the likelihood of taking a sick day.
2.6 times more likely to resign.
23% more likely to visit the Emergency Room.
That is quite unsettling. Not only for the people who
are suffering but also for companies. A lot of employees who end up burnt out
are top performers, high achievers and the highly motivated.
Losing a top performer to burnout is preventable.
What can we do?
We need to understand the stages of burnout. Burnout
is something that can and does creep up on you. In saying that there are
warning signs. The sooner you recognise those warning signs and understand the
stages, it will become a lot easier to prevent.
Let’s get started.
Stage One Of Burnout: Excitement.
Yes, you read that correctly.
A lot of the time burnout starts
with excitement and optimism. Maybe it’s due to a new job, a new goal, a new
target or even an exciting life event.
This excitement and optimism make
it easier to concentrate, there’s an increase in energy, productivity and
output. 16 hour days? No problems at this stage!
Working overtime? It’s a
Getting up after 4 hours of sleep
still motivated? Absolutely!
Feeling like a superhero? Most
Not taking care of yourself? This
is for certain. However, you still feel great. It’s as if nothing can get in
This is what I call the “I’m
getting addicted to adrenaline” phase. Which is really difficult to break.
Not only that, a lot of people end up getting positive feedback in this stage and they start associating certain behaviours with success. Which is usually not be sustainable.
Stage Two Of Burnout: Let’s Work Harder!
This is when small cracks begin to show. Maybe the
initial energy is starting to wear off.
You are becoming a little tired.
However, you have associated certain behaviours with success. Maybe these
behaviours are working long hours, not resting, working weekends and not caring
Instead of taking this as a warning
sign, you keep pushing through. Fighting to get back to Stage One.
I’ve seen this time and time again.
Instead of seeing this as a sign to rest, people push through.
I was even one of those people.
That’s a different story for another time.
Also in Stage Two, you may start to
see relationships suffer. Loved one become frustrated and this can cause a
strain on significant others.
This is when health issues may
Insomnia and poor sleeping patterns can occur also.
Stage Three Of Burnout: Frustration
You have been fighting a losing battle. You have tried
incredibly hard to get that initial energy and euphoria back, to no luck.
In Stage Three you are becoming
increasingly more frustrated, fatigued and forgetful.
Concentration usually declines,
increasing the likelihood of mistakes. It’s a very vicious cycle.
Not only that, your productivity can slip leaving you impatient and anxious.
Stage Four Of Burnout: Illness and Denial.
This is when your body is starting to really give up.
It’s wanting to tap out and you’re not letting it.
You’ve most likely pushed it past
its limits and your starting to become quite unwell.
From my experience, a lot of the
health issues are from a decrease in immunity, increase in inflammation and
I have seen a lot of health issues
that have arisen from burnout including IBS, intolerances, allergies poor
digestion and severe inflammation. Not to mention an increase in the frequency and
severity of viruses.
However, another phenomenon can occur at this stage, which is denial.
Yes, denial can absolutely happen
at this stage. I’ve seen people blame their health issues on their decrease in
focus and productivity. Rather than seeing it as a symptom.
For a lot of people, it really is
hard to understand how something can from feeling really good to causing so
Not only that, a lot of people don’t want to admit they’re not coping.
Stage Five Of Burnout: Lack of Drive and Apathy.
That original drive and motivation you started off
with are nowhere to be found.
You can become apathetic and
This is when anxiety can really
become an issue.
A little side note, anxiety can be
present at any stage throughout the stages. However, I typically see it more
within the later stages.
And the next thing you know you are in Stage Six.
Stage Six Of Burnout: Burnout Has Me Now.
You are completely and utterly mentally, physically,
and emotionally exhausted.
This is the stage where people quit
jobs or get signed off.
Whether it’s from being overwhelmed
or not physically being able to do the job. Either way, this is when people are
forced to slow down or stop because of burnout.
You might not be able to cope with
simple pressures around you. It’s as if everything is too much.
Burnout can completely change the
way you work, think and feel.
The hardest part about burnout is
seeing warning signs and not doing anything about it.
Not only do I see people do this daily, I personally went through the same scenario.
Take the warning signs seriously. Our bodies are
AMAZING at telling us what we need. All we have to do is listen.
If you are feeling tired, REST.
If you are starting to suffer from
digestive issues, SLOW DOWN.
If you need help, ASK.
All of those things are simple.
For companies, become aware of your top performers.
Understand the stages and look at encouraging your employees to rest.
Encouraging them to switch off.
If you or your company lack the
resources or education, bring in specialist or professional.
Educating yourself on how stress
and anxiety can directly impact physical health is beneficial.
For more information please feel
free to head over to my website, I
have blogs and videos discussing the impact
of stress and anxiety has on the body.
If you would like to make direct
contact, please free to reach out here.