Chamber Connect Issue 17

Page 20

What would you tell your younger self?

A letter to my younger self In this issue, we spoke to four Chamber members asking them “what would you tell your younger self?” Darren Gearing, Gearing Management Services: Upon reflection I have been very fortunate with the choices I’ve made along the way. I joined the hospitality industry at a very young age here in the UK and was guided to grab the opportunity to work overseas in the USA, Asia and ultimately returning back to London. Then departing that corporate World in 2016 to begin my own ventures here in Sussex. What would I have told my younger self? 1. I was well guided to always have clear goals, just perhaps I could have dispensed with enjoying myself a little too much and stuck to them more diligently. Not only career and financial, but also more philanthropic and community led activities in the fantastic places I lived. 2. To have pursued more personal development. I have been blessed to have had some esteemed mentors but looking back I should have been

more pro-active with their advice. Specific examples being to have managed my time better, learnt Chinese and to have become a more specialist and robust marketeer. 3. W hen making my way up I knew the value of people, particularly in hospitality. Just perhaps I could have been more focused and creative in building better teams, developing even more long-lasting relationships (Something Asian leaders positively excel at) and giving praise and encouraging strokes more frequently. Favourite quote when considering all the above: “Management is the development of people, not the direction of things” – Peter Drucker, recognised as the Father of Management Thinking…

Heidi Rush, HR Smart: The first piece of advice would be that change will happen; it will be scary at times and it will most definitely be unplanned. Roll with the change and good things will happen. I have been placed at risk of redundancy twice in my career, the first back in 1994 and again in 2004. In 1994, we had just bought our first home and our wedding was scheduled for the following September. At that time it felt like the timing couldn’t have been worse. However, I was redeployed and this started my journey into the world of HR. In 2004, this time I was made


redundant, but as a result I went ahead and set up HR Smart. And here we are today 17 years later, running a successful Company and supporting locally based businesses. The other piece of advice I would give myself is do what makes you happy. A previous boss once told me “make sure you have a little of something that is very good than a lot of something very average”. Sound advice.