The gift of cake and the 6 people in your corner

I’m going visiting today. A former colleague who I haven’t worked with directly for about 10 years now and who retired to Cambridgeshire a couple of years ago.

I have a lot to thank her for over my career. She has rescued me from tedious roles on a couple of occasions by promoting what I can do to other senior leaders in the Trust. She got me back involved in the PFI project when it started getting interesting again, after I’d taken a sideways tour into Reseach & Development for a few years. Whilst on the project I’d started of as the Admin for all the Project Managers and by the end I was one of the Project Managers having been supported by her all the way through.

When the project ended I was head hunted for a role in Estates & Facilities, something which I would never have applied for just by looking at the job description. All through that time we kept in touch, meeting for coffee and as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I continued to be her personal IT support.

When I needed to move on from that after 6 years, for my sanity, she was the one who had a chat with another senior manager and suggested I might be a good candidate to fill the managers role in their team. And that’s where I am today.

I used to have a picture on my office wall of the six people you should have in your corner: the instigator, the cheerleader, the doubters, the taskmaster, the connector and the example.

I used to think about who I would put in each of those positions and then it occurred to me that they didn’t have to be different people. The same person could take on several of these roles. Then I figured that actually one person could be all of them.

I’m really looking forward to seeing her and if by way of a simple thank you for all she has done, a raspberry ripple cake will make her smile, then I’m a very lucky person.


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