Self-Actualization

“Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction”   

                                                                                                            GERMANY KENT

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the need to realize personal potential, self fulfillment & personal growth & peak performance is equally important though to some extent the most difficult to realize. 

As an HR Leader, an OrgDev person & a company executive, I have seen a lot of peers, co workers & direct reports come & go, or in some cases, stay but move laterally, because the pursuit of excellence, self-fulfillment & happiness depend on personal circumstances, priorities & set goals. Other than the financial incentives that we get from our daily toil, there is a bigger reward that is only realized if we just go for it – SELF ACTUALIZATION.

Tettet & Archie were stand out colleagues in my stint with a renowned GOCC not known to be “meritoctratic” in terms of its hiring process . Though we were from different departments, there was already some buzz about these “rockstars”. There was talk about their outstanding academic credentials, work ethic & leadership qualities. Tettet exuded intellectual acumen while Archie oozed with charisma in the workplace & beyond. And yet, their job title was “Table Supervisors” (honestly thought it had something to do with restaurant business). The system in place then did not really favor employees of such credentials. Had they not left the comforts of their then high paying job though limited in tasks & responsibilities, they would not have realized their full potential & stunted their professional growth.

Today, Tettet is employee #1 a company that runs a modern casino in Clark and is among the very few women leaders in an otherwise male dominated gaming industry. Dependent on her are more or less a thousand employees and their families. Archie has made his mark in the local government scene, now a zone employee & a respected media personality.

Rhoda was one of the best that came out of her batch in college, but somehow, her HR career could not really peak. Not only was it difficult for her to relate to the demands of manufacturing but also found it a challenge to immerse with a foreign culture which clashed with her strong religious beliefs. It’s been 17 years since, she  is now a beloved mentor to children. Found fulfillment & joy in helping mold children into becoming good Christians.  Jan Darren was one of the most exciting (eccentric) personalities that I’ve had the honor to handle. Though a true talent, (photography, prose, cheer dancing etc) and 100% people person, being a free spirit, he cannot be confined to anything that limits his creativity. He was restless soul. He was always an attrition count in the companies he joined. Not that he was incompetent or not hardworking enough, but he had other things in mind which were worth his while. He was more excited hiking mountains than facilitating trainings, was more patient talking to indigenous people asking about their culture than counseling an erring employee and could easily write an article in minutes about the beauty of the place he visited or the exotic food he ate than a crucial incident report. Who does not know “The Kapampangan Traveler”? Today, Jan Darren is a sought after travel & tourism blogger/influencer. Between jobs, he was able to visit all 82 provinces of the Philippines in 2019, writing about his experiences. This explains why his  accrued leaves were not even enough & had to file so many “emergency” leaves.

Paul Bryan was a seasoned Facilities Manager. Later on, he had to take the role of the Health & Safety Officer because the former Safety in charge decided to bring his talent to a big beverage company where he felt he created more value plus higher pay. When a re organization was implemented, the facilities maintenance tasks were assigned another team, he felt this was an indication that either he was not trusted by his supervisor & or was not meeting expectations. To him it felt more like a like a demotion if he only handled health & Safety. But when the pandemic struck, seeing the enormity of the problem & the threat to human life, he passionately implemented Health & Safety protocols, spearheading a no let-up hygiene & sanitation program and dedicate himself to the 24/7 campaign that not only lives but also jobs. In the end, his current job of keeping people healthy & safe is far more fulfilling to him than keeping machines & equipment in tiptop shape.  Mark Ryan was the epitome of overcoming all sorts of adversity at an early age. When his university education was already a burden to his family resources, he stopped to look for a job. When his minimum wage salary as a factory worker was not enough, he walked from Clark maingate to the factory to save the transportation expense or skip snacks so that he can help his siblings go to school. He later sent himself to school earning an Industrial Engineering degree at a local university, graduating the oldest in his class. When I hired him, I knew he was a great potential who can be the next generation of leaders of the organization. True enough, being an achiever, he outshone most of his contemporaries. When another opportunity from outside came knocking his way & was bent on accepting it, I was honestly disappointed. Determined to retain him, I confided to him his very bright future in the organization, the role he will someday play & future crucial leadership position. I know he made a better decision accepting the job offer in another organization because now he has really blossomed into a great leader and future company head. He could have achieved this too with us if he had stayed but it will take him longer given the structure. On hindsight, I would have blamed myself if he missed out on such great opportunities for him & his family had I been able to convince him to stay.   

Michelleen, for years jumped from one company to another, holding different positions somewhat aligned to her education (Industrial Engineering) & work history (manufacturing). From a QC person, to a New Product Introduction Engineer, Production Control Specialist, to a Production Supervisor, an Operations Head and one time or another an Operations Excellence advocate. In between companies, whenever I came across her, she had different job responsibilities.  Here is a technical person, intelligent, articulate, competent & well liked but had been bouncing around. One time while reprimanding her about the messy employee attendance records and the spike in misdemeanors happening during her shift, it dawned on me that her passion might have been misaligned with her current job that is why she was always half hearted. I saw with the proper mentoring & training she can be a good OrgDev person.  Her skills, traits, passion & advocacies fit OD to a T. She was relentless, passionate & creative while having so much fun herself. Finally, she had found joy in helping employees achieve their full potential. She is now on her way to a fruitful HR career.  Paola had a masters degree in HR management but had a difficult journey in connecting with her customers as an HRBP. Her strong personal convictions came in the way of directions on how to extend support to other departments. She became more disillusioned than inspired by the realities on the ground. But when she started taking on a different role, handling data and joining section & department meetings, she self actualized into my most dependable adviser, un afraid to give her opinion on an issues discussed & giving honest feedback when most needed. She pushed what she thought was right and proper in every situation & scenario. When she left the organization to pursue a career abroad, she successfully transitioned well. 

The above success stories tell us all to never allow anybody, specially yourself to underestimate what you can accomplish outside of your comfort zone. If you cannot find it in your current job, your supervisor or organization that you belong to, go for it. It could be outside your current company/organization or in another form. Please always allow yourself to SELF ACTUALIZE.

GOOD MORNING HARDWORKING PEOPLE!For comments & suggestions, you may email author [email protected] & follow in Facebook Herrie Raymond Rivera.    

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