Don’t be alarmed by the heading, I am not going to be selling you life insurance!
I recently attended a life altering workshop where for the first time I planned all the aspects of my life on a holistic life map. Basically it made me realise where I was and where I wanted to go–realistically and practically.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could plan exactly what our boss should be like? Unfortunately in the real world this does not happen. However you can select the type of relationship you have with your manager.
What have you planned for Bosses Day on 13th October?
Give your boss the ultimate gift –
a Personalised Image Consultation.
Contact us for further details:
Tel: 011 467 5126     Email: prof–imp@mweb.co.za
A life to Plan
Do you know that we plan more for birthday parties, weddings and vacations, than we do our lives?

I believe the lost art on “how to live” can be mastered if you plan it properly. Planning your life is more than grabbing a clock, calendar, digital diary and year planner. You can do all of this and become more effective, but can be effectively doing the wrong thing. You can even start to climb the ladder of success, but run the risk of realising too late that it was standing against the wrong wall all the time.
The secret to success in life is not to have all the answers but to ask the right questions first: The following questions (taken from the Life Planning Workshop © Gustav Gous) will assist you to plan and provide a clearer direction to your life.
Question 1: Who am I? My Identity.
To know yourself is the starting point for wise living. First find out who you are. Then make a decision that you will live true to yourself. How?
  • Test your wings in different situations
  • Look in the mirror
  • Go for psychometric testing
  • Ask feedback (from friends and enemies)
  • Try new things
Question 2: Why on earth am I on earth? My life purpose.
Life purpose is linked to identity: If you know you are an apple tree – then it is easy to determine your purpose on earth: To produce apples! Stress is when you ask an apple tree to produce oranges! Your purpose is connected to your design. But it is also connected to a need on earth. There is not a single life purpose on earth that is not connected to a need.
  • Doctors – to fulfill the need for healing
  • Teachers – for educating children
  • Personal assistants – the need for order and organization, etc
  • Find your life purpose by connecting your abilities to specific needs.
Question 3: What must I do? My profession.
Choose you profession in line with your purpose. You can live your life purpose through a variety of jobs – before and after retirement. Work will be a pleasure if you do what comes naturally – if you choose a job true to your self and your abilities. You will never be without a job or entrepreneurial salary, if you, with your abilities, fulfill a real need.
Question 4: With whom must I share life? My relations, life partner, business partners, colleagues, teams, etc.
If you know who you are, your choices to choose partners will be much easier. You can make a fitting choice because you can compare them to what you are. The greatest pain and joy in life is connected to choices in this area.
Question 5: Who must I use as a model or which set of guidelines must I use to give shape to my life? My beliefs, faith and values.
You become what you model.
  • Make a list of your beliefs and values and the content of your faith.
  • Make sure that your beliefs are chosen truths that bring life and not death to the party!
  • Ask yourself: Are these values good rules for success? Example: It is better to love people and use money than the other way around. You will reap what you sow here.
“You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die.
Or when.
You can only decide how you’re going to live. Now!”
Joan Baez
Question 6: What do I still want to do before I die? My Dreams.
Make a list of everything you would like to become or achieve, every thing you want, every place you want to visit, everything you would like to do before you die one day.
Question 7: How much time do I have left? My life expectancy.
Your life planning will probably be determined by your age. Your time of death is uncertain; take as guideline:
Live as if you are going to die tomorrow and plan as if you are going to live for a very long time.
Question 8: Which aspects do I have to give attention to in my wheel of life? My family, physical, social, spiritual, professional, financial, aspects of my life.
Map all these aspects on one page and take a close look at it: Where is all my time and money going? Ask yourself: Do I have balance in life? Identify the neglected parts and prioritize accordingly.
Question 9: What process of action steps must I take to fulfill my dreams in each sphere of life? My plan.
Only here you start to use the planning tools of goal setting, calendars, year planners, scheduling, delegating, etc.
Question 10: What is my legacy going to be when I die? My legacy.
The last question is to ask yourself about the legacy you would like to leave. Will people be relieved the day when you die (there goes another dictator, oxygen thief, etc), or will they be saddened by the loss of a great woman/man.
If you begin with the end in mind (your legacy you would like to leave in people and structures), it will help you to decide on what to focus on every day.
Get answers to these questions – it can help you regain the art of living to make the most of your life. Better still – come and attend a Life Planning Workshop where you allocate one full day to work systematically through these questions and formulate your own answers.
 
Life Planning Workshops
One day of practical life planning to change your life forever

15 September 2006: Bloemfontein (South Africa)
Windmill Casino

21 September 2006: Pretoria (South Africa)
Wingate Park Golf Club


presented by Dr Gustav Gous, International Speaker & Facilitator
WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
Everybody alive! Professional people, Students, Business owners, Sales people, Home executives, Government Officials, All people in the corporate world (Top managers and workers!), NGO & FBO people, PA’s & Secretaries, Sports people &ndash Anybody between 16 and 96 years old.
If you have a life – come plan it!
Contact: Reani Bieldt. Mail to: admin@gustavgous.co.za +27 12 3455931   
Cell: 0827822477    for info & participation forms: Fax to: 012-3454207

Book online: www.gustavgous.co.za
Click on [Seminar schedule & bookings] (top right)

(October 2006: In London, Jeffrey’s Bay & Pretoria).
The Art of Managing your Boss
Having a sound and pleasing relationship with your boss is essential towards enhancing your career and making your work environment pleasurable. Learning to ‘manage’ your boss will work positively for both parties. It is a two way street – if your boss looks good, so do you. You will then stand a greater chance of financial reward and advancement. Always try and see yourself and your manager as a team and aim to work towards a mutual benefit.
What type of Boss do you have?
The key word at all times is flexibility. You will probably have to change your work style to accommodate a boss’s style of working.
  • A perfectionist boss requires order, dislikes interruptions and requires frequent progress updates.
  • The haphazard boss will require you to minimize their workload, especially paperwork, and to meet with them often to enable them to delegate tasks and be updated.
  • If your boss is the interfering kind, grit your teeth initially and allow them to scrutinise your progress and work until they are satisfied and have built up trust in you.
  • If you work for a volatile boss you may have to deal with frequent outbursts when they are under stress. Stand your ground firmly, don’t become emotional and try not to take the outburst personally. Wait till the air is cleared and then explain, or help facilitate a solution.
  • Some bosses, especially if they are of a similar age to their subordinates are approval addicts and don’t like to get into conflict situations. They often fail to criticise even if criticism is valid and constructive. With this type of boss you need to take the initiative, give lots of feedback and offer your support.
  • The never around boss expects you to take the ball and run with it, which often means second guessing what they would do in a particular situation! For this type of boss you need to give short, sharp summaries on the run and have very clear and concise requests framed to get the answers you require to do your job efficiently.
Many times you will have a mix of the above and then you need to have enough savvy to combine strategies.
Working with your boss
  • Show initiative, save your boss time by anticipating what he/she needs.
  • Keep them informed about goings on in your area, other parts of the company, the industry and competitors.
  • If there is underlying tension or hidden conflicts, raise them before the situation explodes. Only do this when you have your bosses’ full attention – schedule a meeting if necessary.
  • If you work for the same boss for a long period you tend to fall into established patterns. Take time to regularly asses how you work together. Discuss if your roles and experience has changed and whether you could do things differently.
  • Ask for feedback on your completed tasks. Instantly act on a solution if the comments are negative.
  • Keep your boss updated on your latest achievements, courses attended etc.
  • Never disagree with him/her in front of others, unless they have specifically asked for your opinion.
  • If you feel you have unintentionally embarrassed your boss in front of others, apologise immediately. In this way you minimise the risk of them loosing their trust in you.
  • It is positive to show ambition, but take care not to make your boss feel threatened. “I can’t wait to have your job one day” is unlikely to be viewed enthusiastically.
  • It is important to be seen as someone who delivers. To achieve this drop, delay or delegate anything non–urgent if a crisis is looming.
  • If things go wrong it is essential to be loyal to your boss and present a united front. Better still – anticipate “challenges” and nip them in the bud.
  • Having a boss means they get to delegate, probably the stuff they hate doing! Accept these tasks with positive body language and a smile. Remember “ Your attitude determines your altitude”.
It goes without saying ...
  • Although you work very closely at times with your boss, discretion is the key. You need to gauge how open you can be about certain subjects – they are your superior after all not your best friend, so keep a professional distance.
  • You may also be privvy to inside information-never gossip or bad mouth your boss. Loyalties within a company can be very fluid and word will always get back to them, to your detriment.
  • If you work for a boss of a different gender keep remarks of a personal nature to a minimum “Have you been working out?” might be perceived as flirtatious or as soft soaping.
  • Your boss will only invest time and effort in your career if they perceive that you take your job seriously and are committed.
  • Try and end all discussions with your boss on a positive note.
  • It is vital that your boss is aware of your personal goals and aspirations – in order to be able to motivate you. Your goals need to be aligned with your personal values.
  • Be honest about your skills upfront. Obviously you want to present yourself in a positive light, but never lie or distort facts. If you feel you need training in a certain area eg assertiveness – let him know.
Your boss will have a wider and deeper breadth of knowledge and experience than you have. They may have valuable insights and connections in the business world. By observing and learning from them you will ensure your own personal growth. Although a good boss can help you succeed, remember you are ultimately responsible for your own success or failure.
Professional Impressions would like to credit the following for information and images used in this article:
Managing your boss Christina Osborne
Me! Magazine January 2006
Cosmopolitan magazine Various articles
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