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By Darryl Stewart

Managing through tough times Rolling Stones style – tip #3

By Darryl Stewart, Head of the Herd

Charlie Watts playing drums
Photo by Michael Conen

Keith Richards, guitarist and vocalist of the Rolling Stones, tells a great story about Charlie Watts, the band’s legendary drummer. After a night of drinking, Mick Jagger (lead vocalist) saw Charlie Watts asleep and yelled, “Is that my drummer? Why don’t you get your %^&* down here?” Charlie got dressed in a Savile Row suit, tie, shoes, shaved, came down, grabbed him and went: “Don’t ever call me ‘your drummer’ again. You’re my singer!”

This is “thinking inside the box” and my final tip in this series on managing through tough times.

Managing through tough times requires that we take leadership.  We need to demonstrate to our team that we have a plan and that we are not just going to carry on, but carry on with style.

I heard a great inside the box leadership story from a future IBEX customer recently.

A manager was asked to take over a residential support location where staff morale was causing serious problems.  After speaking with the staff and working with the supported individuals, she came up with a plan.  She re-branded the house.  It was now to be called “the Palm Oasis” and it was going to be the best place to work in the agency, an oasis where everyone else wanted to work.  The beautiful setting of the house lent itself to this branding. She coached each of the staff outside in an area deemed “the  oasis” and got to the root of the problems.  In her words, “I found a pretty great team that just needed some help.”

Her solution was to take the focus off the current problems and onto an exciting vision for the future.  She already knew she needed to work one on one with each staff member to get to the root of the problems, but she took it a step further by declaring right off the start that this house would be the best place to work in the entire agency.   The situation was dramatically improved.

My final tip on managing through tough times – find a simple and inspiring way to improve or re-frame the situation with the tools well within your reach. Think inside the box.

IBEX Payroll extends our profound respect and immeasurable gratitude to all the ancestors and keepers of the land on whose traditional territories our work takes place. We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people. This land is sacred, historical, and significant. 

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on the wrongs of the past, what we do in the present, and what we can do to continually honour the people whose lands and water we benefit from today. 

This statement only acts as a first step in honouring the land we reside on and its peoples, and must be paired with education, understanding and informed action.