Minute With a Mentor
Leading HR Pty Ltd
Mentor since 2013
Jonathan’s career began in South Africa where he worked for two global companies, Unilever and Barloworld. He completed his MBA at UniSA in 2002 before working for three years as a HR Manager for IGA.
In 2006, Jonathan started working in the utilities industry at ElectraNet as a Senior HR Manager where he received several internal promotions. In 2011 Jonathan took on the role of Group Manager Human Resources at SA Water.
Jonathan established his own HR consulting business, LeadingHR, in 2013, to capitalise on his experience in HR.
We asked Jonathan, if he had one piece of advice for alumni what would it be?
“My tip comes from one of my favourite leadership and life teachers, Benjamin Zander. Among his writings I particularly love The Art of Possibility in which he tells a little story which reads as follows:
Two prime ministers were sitting in a room discussing affairs of state. Suddenly a man bursts in, apoplectic with fury, shouting and stamping and banging his fist on the desk. The resident prime minister admonishes him: “Peter,” he says, “kindly remember Rule Number 6,” whereupon Peter is instantly restored to complete calm, apologizes, and withdraws. The politicians return to their conversation, only to be interrupted yet again twenty minutes later by an hysterical woman gesticulating wildly, her hair flying. Again the intruder is greeted with the words: “Marie, please remember Rule Number 6.” Complete calm descends once more, and she too withdraws with a bow and an apology. When the scene is repeated for a third time, the visiting prime minister addresses his colleague: “My dear friend, I’ve seen many things in my life, but never anything as remarkable as this. Would you be willing to share with me the secret of this Rule Number 6?” “Very simple,” replies the resident prime minister. “Rule Number 6 is ‘Don’t take yourself so damn seriously.'” “Ah,” says his visitor, “that is a fine rule.” After a moment of pondering, he inquires, “And what, may I ask, are the other rules?” … “There aren’t any.”
I try very hard to live by this rule - it really means stop focusing so much on my own needs and desires. I find that when I lighten up a little life becomes easier, more open and new possibilities emerge. The business world tends to take itself very seriously and we can get drawn into it unless we remember Rule Number 6! For some instant inspiration, look Ben Zander up on YouTube or read The Art of Possibility.”
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