Importance of Giving Time to Build One’s Foundations

Crocodile TalesLaying a foundationAfter working for the new company for slightly more than a month, I started my origami activity again.  One of the toughest folds was the Crocodile, which I had featured last year.  Knowing that I will get shoulder and neck aches doing this, I set out with the challenge to make a better model.

As you can see from the two models shown in the picture, there were several improvements that I had made from the first model (the first croc on the left).  I took more effort to lay its foundation, its “scales”.  Unlike the previous one, which I took some shortcuts by reducing the number of pleat folds, this time, I resolved to do double the number of pleats.  This is really tough as that will mean more lines to fold (approx. 500) and with smaller line spacing (approx. 3mm).  This time, the orientation of the scale is facing the correct direction.  The positions of forelimbs were also better and the head is shaped more correctly as the previous one looked more like that of a snake.  The extra number of pleats also helped shaped the model better and I could also stretch it out (i.e. the pleats get unfolded) to extend the mouth and the forelimbs.  All in all, the effort put into the initial pleating process was worthwhile.  The time taken to complete the model was about seven hours, with more than six hours just pleating the paper (see picture on the right before the starting to fold the crocodile).

Managing our staff requires much time in preparing its foundation.  We may promote our staff from one level to the next level, but without spending quality time and patiently building the foundational elements, the staff may not turn out to be what we hope they will be.  By then, it is difficult to set in place the right foundation for them as you have to “unfold” a lot of steps to “refold” them later.

A staff’s foundations are its core values, the belief systems that are moulded into the staff’s development path.  More time and energy is needed to spend on the staff in these foundations than the functional or technical competence development.  The more time spent moulding him the core values, the better and more resilient the staff will be.  The final product of the staff will be closer to the ideal role model when lots of extra time is given to develop the right foundations.

Take time to work on your staff’s value and belief system and not be afraid to repeat talking about such topics over and over again with him.  Do not rush through the leadership program just to complete the curriculum but emphasize on developing the right values in the staff.

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