Roger has more than 25 years’ experience in management and leadership consulting and executive coaching. He has worked throughout Europe and Scandinavia, as well as in India, Russia and Dubai. Roger is also a Director/Trustee of Sibs, a national charity supporting the brothers and sisters of disabled adults and children. We met with Roger to discuss success at work (and life!) and here are his top pieces of advice…
Roger was thrust into self employment by late-life redundancy in the wake of the 2009 global recession. It was the very best thing that could possibly have happened to him, although it didn’t seem that way at the time!
He was a management consultant with a wide portfolio of capabilities and experiences. He was also a family man with a wide portfolio of dependent children!! The first decision he made was to carry on doing what he seemed to be good at. Reinventing the context of it (moving from global consultancy to self employment) but staying with the work he loved and in which he had achieved not inconsiderable success.
He knew his best immediate resource for executive survival was the wide and positive network of clients he had, and those other people who already knew him from work, life or elsewhere. Otherwise, he would be just another cold call. So his first ‘top tip’ for anyone looking for success at work (and maybe in life) is to unselfishly and openly engage with those people you know. Your only ‘unique selling point’ (USP) as a person delivering a professional service is who you are. If someone wants to work with Roger Fielding, then they only have one choice – he has the monopoly!! And, he is keen to point out, you have a monopoly on you!
Personality, positivity and attitude are priceless. It’s easier to teach the right candidate relevant knowledge than it is to change the wrong candidate’s personality!
The second ‘top tip’ is to be receptive. Be open to learning and change. You are not the finished item. And if a person is positive and has the right personality and attitude, as well as being receptive, then there is no end to their possibilities. And this will be recognised clearly by clients and potential employers alike.
One of the challenges Roger says he has to face is how to stay fresh and informed; even ahead of the curve as a thought leader in his work. For that reason he values working in collaborative partnerships with people he knows, likes and respects. And for that same reason, he reads. Books, articles, blogs, posts; at random sometimes with an open mind, and at other times with more focus! But he knows it all informs his work in one way or another. He’s currently reading (or, he admits, occasionally dipping in when time allows) two books.
The first book is the latest from theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli called “The Order of Time”. He’s the popular successor to Stephen Hawking. Roger shared with TalentYard what he had taken so far from the book…. the Earth appears flat but it’s spherical. The sun appears to revolve in the sky, but it doesn’t, we are the one spinning in space. And the same is true of our perception of time. It’s actually and in real terms not the same for everyone ….. but, he then says, enough of the physics. The lesson for Roger is that things are not always (even not usually) what they seem. Be curious and ask questions!
The second book is “Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life” by Peter Godfrey-Smith. The octopus apparently is ‘very smart’ and may be the nearest thing on Earth to alien intelligence. Monkeys are too closely related to us to be described as ‘alien’ intelligence, but the octopus is so far removed from us, way down the evolutionary tree, that it qualifies as the nearest to ‘alien’ intelligence we have on Earth. Inspiring eh? Roger thinks so! The lesson Roger takes from this? Don’t take anything for granted! And respect others even if they are very different….
He is honestly reading these books! Or, honestly speaking, dipping into them for interesting insights like this. Roger has also even based leadership workshops on Einstein’s special theory of relativity! He claims it was fun! He has also incorporated circus skills, saxophones, drums and painting as sources of inspiration in his work when it could help…
Roger is now enjoying huge success as an independent management consultant, trainer, facilitator and executive coach. He’s delighted that his international work has increased whilst working independently, and since 2009 he has worked in many European countries, and Scandinavia, as well as in India, Russia and Dubai.
Roger is also a Director/Trustee of Sibs, a national charity supporting the brothers and sisters of disabled adults and children.
If pressed for a third ‘top tip’ Roger would say that above all you need to be lucky. Which initially appears a bit odd but which for Roger is based on the psychology of luck which suggests there are things you can decide to do that will help you make your own luck and maximise your good chance opportunities. These are: 1) be open to new experiences 2) develop and trust your intuition 3) don’t give up even when things get tough, and, finally, 4) reframe difficult situations and find the ‘upside’. This is from “The Luck Factor” by Professor Richard Wiseman. Roger reports this to be a brilliant book, and not too long! This is the one book he’d recommend more confidently than the ones on time and the octopus if you really wanted to boost your success in life, work and even love….
Roger can be found on LinkedIn and on his website www.rogerfieldingconsulting.com