My heart is exploding with ❤
We’ve just kicked off another training for a group of new #Samaritans volunteers.
So many generosity in soul and spirit, to want to take the time to be there for others who are struggling.
#ActiveListening is a skill that is so important.
It’s something they will take with them into their own lives, into their work relationships and personal relationships.
I’ve found myself being a better person, for having learned this skill.
It enhanced my role as a Project Manager, and helped me create the bonds within the team that created tight-knit relationships within the group.
I remember when I first started, I was so nervous.
Talking to people about such harsh topics that explored almost every area in the spectrum of human emotions felt so daunting.
Topics such as suicide, death and dying..
Like everything – with practice, support and experience, I got better.
With every new volunteer who joins us, we are making the world a better place.
And that’s why I do what I do.
It makes my heart so full, and so glad.
The world needs more kind people.
If you are in a good place, and you want to help others who are going through a rough time (and at the same time, be a better listener yourself and improve your own relationships), think about joining a voluntary organisation like ours.
If you’re in the UK, and you think you would like to join us, reach out to the closest Samaritan’s branch and find out their open day.
We’d love to have you.
And the world would be just a bit better for it. 🌹
“What’s the point of listening if you don’t try to help?”
“Getting into the hole? What for? Now you’re both in the hole. Why don’t you rescue them?”
“Empathy is about as useless as a wet rag if that’s all you do.”
I wouldn’t have thought that my post differentiating sympathy and empathy would generate so much heat but it did.
Yes there are situations when practical help is needed, such as
– rescuing those who’ve been affected by disaster
– providing shelter for those fleeing abuse and aggression
– helping with food parcels for the hungry and vulnerable
How about if someone’s grieving, or struggling with flashbacks from abuse in childhood or from their last military posting?
How about if someone’s struggling with mental illness?
When you engage in active listening without judgement, without trying to problem solve, sometimes you can help them “unjumble” their thoughts.
This can leave them with a bit more space to contemplate options.
I believe that all of us can become a lot more resourceful when we have space to breathe, and to take stock of things.
There is power in just being there to listen.
Even those who genuinely need professional help to untangle trauma and abuse benefit from being surrounded by supportive people who would just listen.
With empathy and compassionate.
It tells the speaker that you care.
And that you hear them.
That’s one of the most basic human needs.
To be heard.
And that is what we all deserve. 🌹
The demon and the angel on the shoulder, bickering about who’s right.
We all have them.
I’d be mortified if anyone is able to plug a megaphone into my brain and listen to my internal arguments.
The most common one is the battle between the head and the heart.
Most of the time I am pretty congruent.
Both of them work in harmonic symphony.
Sometimes, on controversial issues that matter, they do not.
Who is right?
Do you follow the rational left-brained “Head”?
Or do you listen to the emotion-driven “Heart”?
I have come to accept that these struggles will continue until my last breath, as they are both part of me.
However, I can help myself by facilitating a grown up discussion between the Head and the Heart.
“Head, you put forth some good points about why I should take on this challenge. It will make me grow as a person, and add more skill to my quiver.”
“Heart, thank you for worrying about me. You keep me safe, but it’s time to step up and step out of my comfort zone and grasp this with both hands.”
The key thing is to disengage and analyse what the different parts of you are doing, thinking and feeling, and why they are doing so.
“De-bugging” your brain is the best skill you can learn, and is a crucial step in the quest to managing your emotions.
And that is a skill that is absolutely worth mastering.
“I can’t believe they are hiring people with the ‘right mindset’ so that they can ‘train the skill’ but they aren’t actually doing it!!”
My former mentee who was now leading the Test Practice at a Partner, was wringing her hands in frustration.
They were working burning out their consultants with back to back projects, and little bench time to recover.
This resulted in an exodus of some of their finest client-facing consultants, and the solution to this was to hire people who were admins.
People who were users of the software, and could be trained to become consultants.
But the problem was – they weren’t being trained.
They were left to their own devices to do their own online learning, to ‘shadow’ any random project team member (this is difficult to do virtually) and to ‘figure things out’ on their own.
She spoke to a senior Delivery Director, who said…
“It’s fine. They’ll pick it up eventually.”
That made me want to punch someone in the face. 😡
It’s totally unnecessary.
Software consulting is one of the best careers out there, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my 25+ years in the industry.
However, there are many of my peers left to join end customers and other roles for various reasons, some of which are the brutal work hours and stress.
Chucking someone new without adequate training and support just totally does my head in.
You, Mr Delivery Director, may be “Fine” with the situation, but your team are not.
You are doing them a disservice in the way you treat them.
They are NOT meat that you can grind out billable hours and then chuck them away when they’re done.
They are people who deserve respect and support in order to be at their best.
This really p*sses me off.
That’s the reason I started the Consulting Delivery Masterclasses.
So so many #Salesforce Partners just believe in muddling through, when they can accelerate the upskilling of new hires, equip them with knowledge and confidence to be client facing and to deal with the human side of the work.
Treat them right, damnit!
/rant properly over
I am now going to imagine stuffing my face with 🍩.
That’s because I don’t have any on hand.
Which is a good thing, or I may just give myself a sugar carb coma 😣
Silence is under-rated.
Nobody likes silence.
Sometimes you need to leave a few heartbeats of silence, when someone is sharing a vulnerable moment with you.
You don’t need to fill in the spaces because you’re uncomfortable.
The moment is not about you.
It’s about the other person who may be struggling with finding the right words to say.
Because they are afraid of what you’d think about them.
Because they are are afraid you’d judge them.
Their thoughts may be all jumbled up, and they need some time to sort it out before they can say what they’re thinking and feeling.
Just stay quiet.
It says to them,
“Take your time.
I am not going anywhere.
I am going to sit with you and be with you.
I’m not going to judge you.
Take your time.”
All without using any actual words.
You can #BeKind without saying a word.
Sharing moments of silence can make people feel connected in a way that goes beyond words.
You might be surprised to find out I’m right.
The Malaysians call it being “blur”.
When you aren’t aware of things that are happening around you.
When you’re absent minded.
When you’re just not aware.
Accidents happen when you don’t anticipate the actions of the other drivers.
Embarrassing situations can occur when you took things at face value and didn’t pick up on the unsaid messages.
Avoidable incidents happen because you did not realise that the situation has changed, requiring a correction in your plans.
Being situational aware is only the first step to being self-aware.
Self-awareness is key to forward motion in life.
Otherwise you get stuck.
You may get caught up on the whys and wherefores of the things that happen in your life.
Emotional Intelligence is really key in becoming an effective #Salesforce consultant, because we need to be able to read the room, and identify when there is a change in the energy and the dynamics.
This will allow us to change our approach in communication or action plan in order to get the outcome that we want.
I wrote about Self awareness in last week’s newsletter #OnThePeiroll, the first in a small series on Emotional Intelligence.
If you like my writing and doodlings, you can get more in my weekly issues, link 👇🏻.
So, if I were in a Looney Tunes Cartoon, I would absolutely anticipate that a growing shadow might spell my impending smooshing under an anchor or anvil.
However, I seriously doubt that this happens in real life though 😁
13th #OnThePeiroll #podcast with Amanda Beard-Neilson now out!
When I first started this gig, I didn’t think I’d get that many people who’d want to jam with me and record it for the world ot see. 😁
But here we are.
I had a really fun conversation with Amanda
When we were working together in the same company, we were just too busy working on projects to properly get to know each other, so this was a wonderful opportunity to rectify that.
She’s a community leader, a #Salesforce #MVP, an organiser for London’s Calling Ltd and an incredible person to know.
I believe that she’s actually more suited to be a tv presenter, what with her amazing flair for on-camera improv skits 😊
Pei Mun Lim
Hi, Amanda, I am so pleased to have you on my podcast. It’s called on the payroll. How are you today?
Hey, Pei, thanks so much. I am good. Thank you. I’m cold today, if we sneakily give away we recordings in June, and normally we should be complaining about how hot it is. And here I am with layers on and I’ve even got woolen socks on. It’s that cold. I mean, really what’s going on with the weather?
Pei Mun Lim
Absolutely. We’re in England. And it’s climate change and all that sort of thing. So thank you. I’ve been really looking forward to this for a while. We met Actually, we work together in the same company. But then we have not had the opportunity to actually sit down and talk and get to know each other. Isn’t that crazy?
Whenever so how are worlds just make more kind of collide and pass around and busy people just yeah, that happens. So I’m glad we’re doing it today.
Pei Mun Lim
Right recorded. Indeed, indeed. Thank you very much for agreeing to this. One, I’d like to know I’m quite interested in your journey. There’s specific bits that I’m going to stop you and maybe ask you to flesh out. But what I think interests me the most is how people land in the Salesforce ecosystem, and the journey that they’ve had. So if you can share with me your story?
Sure. I’m going to really way way back, because I think it also helps people to get into the idea of how they get into this ecosystem. Because as a kid, I wasn’t smart. As a kid, my dad thought that my best opportunity for a career would be a secretary. Because when and it you’ll get this when he used to go to parents evenings, and they go You know what, we know our wishes. You’re right. You should just be stupid. You know, what’s the deal? Thanks, Dad. They would turn around go Oh, no, she’s lovely. Gosh, nice to chat. Here we are. And and so we just went, Oh, well, she’s just not very bright. Okay, well, maybe she could be a secretary because because people me back then that’s what we got as options. So wind forward, and my I got GCSEs. And so I got into a levels and I did a level so I did a degree. But this was never a career path meeting with education. It was just a, oh, I’ve got that. Oh, well, I’ll try the next bit then. I was the first person in my family to get a degree. So the education side was never there. My dad was an apprentice, my mum went to secretarial college so you know where your background is, how it shapes you in the future there hence why I’m just going to be a secretary. So I went to Bordeaux as part of my degree and see if you see the part of a picture, I’m just going to raise my laptop up, just
stuck to my
screen. There we go. There we are. If you see that pink picture, there is murder tech, which is basically voices that I stole that from a lamppost. It was a theater poster, and I was obviously nice, I literally nicked it and, and and took it home and put it on my wall. I also got another one which was back in the days when Renault Clio first came out and it was his massive poster six foot high and it had a naked man in it and I also liked that one and put it on my wall. That was much more exciting than that one anyway. I did actually throw that one away a few years ago shouldn’t have done it anyway digress moving forward got went to university we lived in Bordeaux for years Bordeaux wine, okay, got that feeling as well if you know me then you know about wine. Okay, so it started very young. When I left university, I got into the idea of wine I had this vision that I would be driving around on your wine wine I would pop into vineyards and and taste a bit of wine ago. That’s lovely. Put some in the back of the boat. Brilliant. Move on to the next one that transpired actually into getting a job in wines or spirits company. So the largest wines and spirits company I became a bit for the area. So yeah, I’ve got a company car. And I went to drive around all these pubs and bars and restaurants and nightclubs and had a free social life for three years and I was doing it. So I didn’t become a secretary. I became a nightclub girl promoting really large wine spirits brands to really get their whole visibility and to go into pubs and places there. I would just walk in and take over the space irrespective of what was going on and give them out some some point of sales and posters and key rings and do the best I could. That then went into account management. I went into haircare My father was gutted What the hell are you doing leaving jack daniels to go into haircare I can’t drink this and moved on and moved on. got to a point so that was like a sales and marketing and PR background even did a stint in PR as well. got to a point when I just turned on I went, you know what, I’m kind of done with sales. Because the targets forever move, and I do a target because I want to get it done. And then I want to get rid of it. Instead they said, Oh, it’s great. You really know that target. Yes, I did. His small No, no, don’t want that. So I decided to move away. And I’ve got a job as a business development coordinator for a company where I helped to build the sales team up, I helped to build their processes do all their procurement side of things. And the director at the time turned around and said to me, we don’t know who our customers are, we need a CRM. And I’m like, quickly, don’t you Google will out. No, that means Oh, okay. Here’s some options, had a little think about what those were, and saw this system called Salesforce. Oh, okay, this, I get this. I’m not I’m not an IT person. I came from a sales background, I came from PR marketing, I came from standing up and promoting jack daniels sake, I did not play with systems. But I was reasonably sane I was reasonably organized. So when I looked at Salesforce, first of all, you know, back then it was a simple, simple deck of ces 2007. And I said, You know what, I get this, you know, I don’t lose myself, I can click on the Home button, I can click on the opportunities, I can find things. And back then it was also colorful as well, we had a little dancing now for the late great. And I thought, well, if I get it, other people will get it. So let’s get it. And so helped with the implementation with that I became the admin as well went on the admin course, this is before certs were really a thing as well, again back in 2007. And from them actually moved into it. And I built other systems, I built Asset Management System ran all the it procurement for it. So one minute, I am trying to sell procurement options and sign up things. And next minute, I’m being the buyer for the business for all of the it, which is great fun, and managing the assets as well. And then I went into other I decided to leave there because they wanted me to look after all of the procurement. It’s been No, there’s nothing exciting about buying toilet long, sorry, just not my back.
And I do it, I don’t need to do it work. So went on and went into contracting, I’ve got my first gig, which was working for a company who was moving their code from one type of code to another type of code, trying to take all the customers with them. And I got the gig because in my first interview, it turned into a consultancy role. Because they turned around and said, Oh, yes, for this project, we’re going to be using this tool called Salesforce. I know Salesforce. Oh, really? And they were like, can we do this? And can we do this? And can we do this? Well, yeah, you can do all that stuff. Oh, great. Project turned out to be incredibly dull. However, it was saved because I was actually helping the admin with digital jobs. Like, can you test this for me? Can you can you run a report for me? Yeah, sure, I can do this stuff. And so it kept my hand in, I then went into a different contract. And it was different types of it. Again, it wasn’t Salesforce directly. But then in 2012, when that project came to finish, so to sort of sit myself down and have a really good think about things and just went, What do I want to do next? I’ve bounced around, I’ve done sales, background marketing, PR, done a bit of it. Where do I move forward? And I took some advice in my head from that he the director who said about we need a CRM him and said, you need to start specializing in something and I went, Okay, that thought, What do I do? And every time I thought about Salesforce, I smiled, which is really sad. Because you know, to sit there and start smiling over a piece of tech and just don’t really like it. Oh, God. And they’re just like, Okay, look, that’s what I’m going to get serious about how I get in about it don’t really know. And wasn’t that hands on at the beginning. I’m more into now project management and analyst side of things. I kind of like the human interaction when it comes to projects. Maybe that’s how I lean. And so I put myself back on an admin course, again, because trailhead didn’t exist back then this is 2012 trailhead came out what 2014 2015. So I spent 3000 pounds of my own cash, went on a training course to learn admin to pass the course, which gave me the confidence to go where I’m certified, and then go black myself a job. And I got a job with a boutique consultancy. And that’s how I started my journey. And I kind of started learning about being a project manager delivering Salesforce in that role, and that’s that’s how it began.
Wow. Sorry, until secretary to being a product manager. There you go.
Pei Mun Lim
I know that’s such an incredible journey. And what I really like apart from your incredibly engaging way of telling the story is that it is one where anyone can get into it. And you don’t. So the latest thing on LinkedIn, I think is the law. People are this love story. I’d kick back. No, that’s not what I’m thinking about lots of unhappiness about the adverts that are posted that says you need eight years experience, you need a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, you need to learn computing, you need this degree. And that is not that’s not quite true, is it?
I mean, I’ve got a business degree. So that’s kind of one of the accepted degrees. If it’s not computing, then if you’ve got business, that’s okay. So okay, but I’ve hired people without any degrees. In fact, I would, I would always go much more about experience and attitude, more than the fact that they’ve got a particular Certificate of some sort. I think I also was lucky, back then in 2007, when I discovered Salesforce and then towards the beginning of 2012, Salesforce is a mass marketplace within the UK wasn’t massive compared to how it is now. Now, we’re desperately looking for people with with talent, who can come into the marketplace and work for it. So there’s an element of right place, right time. right attitude, let’s go for it. And and to try and fail and then try again, and then pick yourself up and keep going. So I do feel for people and I got my first stab at it, because I was I selected Salesforce, let’s face it, I didn’t know what it was going to turn into. You know, I didn’t realize that the journey that it would take me on, but I was lucky enough to choose it. And to install it and become then the admin, which gave me that background. And I’ve always say to people, when they’re looking for experience when they are trying to do that transition effectively is if it’s in your business, try and get closer to it somehow become a super user, if necessary, stop you from running reports. Or you can get a delegated admin access to do something, whether it’s uploading data or something like that, get a little bit more hands on, get that trust, and see if you can do that. And then you can learn things and then you get experience. Or you spin up your own Dev. org and build your own scenarios as well. There’s ways of doing it.
Pei Mun Lim
So I mentioned earlier on that his conversation would follow my curiosity. And it’s right now it’s pinging in quite a few different directions. And I will bring Robin conversation back to your journey in a minute. But one of the things that you do is all you are also one of the organizers for London’s calling in you meet a huge number of people who are in the ecosystem. So I’m just going to segue slightly, because we are talking about people who are looking to get foot in the ecosystem. And given that Salesforce has this target of creating 4.2 million jobs in the next four years. There are that it’s a big, it’s a big number. And then I can see such a big push, I can see the Salesforce talent Alliance being formed to encourage partners and companies to give opportunities to those who are just pivoting from a different industry or career. What would your advice be to people who discovered trailhead? Oh my god, I can now learn about product. I was a yoga teacher. But now I know everything about Sales Cloud because I did the trailhead. I did certification. I’ve passed it. I’m finding it difficult to get a job. Do you have any thoughts or words of wisdom for this group?
Yeah, it’s it’s a tough one. Unfortunately, because I think Salesforce is a brilliant tool. I think what they’ve done with trailhead is amazing limit of information they are supplying in order to help people with that, but it’s only part of the story. So we’ve been I again, I also alluded to earlier on, when I look to hire people, it’s not so much their certifications I’m looking at it’s very much an attitude in the past experience as well. And that’s the hardest part. For your example, the yoga teacher, how did yoga teacher go and get that exam that experience? Well, they need to start translating what they’ve been learning in trailhead into something a little bit more tangible. Because trailhead, I think can go only so far. But what trailhead doesn’t always show except for maybe super badges. Super badges get a little bit closer to this. If that trailhead shows a happy path of creating something, what they don’t show is the Why are you doing that in the first place? Is this actually the correct way of doing it? And what happens when it goes wrong? And you only get that sort of information when you’re working on a project directly? Or you get a proper proper scenario and this proper scenario could be something that’s that surrounded in your own life of going by me to I’m going to decorate the room Okay, how do I do that? Well, maybe then you can look at creating a custom objects and the fields to manage that process, for example, or you get to get involved with charity. Sometimes charities are looking for people to volunteer with charity. He’s also want good quality people to volunteer, because they have limited resources as well. They don’t want just anybody walking up the street going, Yeah, I’ve heard of this Salesforce, I’ve done a couple of badges, no problem, I can take over your role. You know, they need someone to actually going to have a good responsibility, you’re handing over potentially data and resources. So be conscious of that. So it’s a tough one. Salesforce isn’t just about the functionality, if an awful lot about the, the attitude and the processes, huge amount of process behind the scenes of how you actually build this thing, and why you should do this thing and how you deliver it, and how you set a customer for success so that you don’t just build it and turn around and then there’s lifted that that’s just just going in a puddle. No good. So yeah, it’s, I can’t give you a winning solution. I’m afraid to try and get the experience it’s most important.
Pei Mun Lim
Okay, thank you for that. So now I’m going to go back into your journey. And I know this is quite, I find it quite interesting how you have gone from Oh, I like Salesforce. Let’s specialize there, right up to where you are now. one of the founders and organizers of one of the largest independent Salesforce event in the UK.
Can I say me? Yeah, no. Well, you could. In Europe, we in Europe costs the EU anymore, because?
Pei Mun Lim
Yes, that’s right. Yep. But
in Europe, I still think we can be the largest. Yes, I’m not technically a founder. I did get involved very early on, sort of behind the scenes. But I wasn’t one of the founding members, but got involved very, very early on helping behind the scenes. And now the past three or so years, officially a an organizer as well.
Pei Mun Lim
I’d like to hear the story of how you got involved in what that means to you. Cool. Yeah.
So London’s calling is the conference that we’re talking about is the largest, I think we’ve thought of Europe, Salesforce community conferences, community conferences are they’re created by the community for the community. And with Salesforce sort of guidance and support in the background, but very much our events to help and shape it and deliver. It has to 2021 was our sixth year, we did it completely, virtually 2020 was a bit of a hybrid. And all the previous ones were probably in, in person. So it was let me just do think of math says 16 1718 1920 and 2016. When, or maybe back in 2015, late 215. When Francis came to an admin group, which is also one, I’m the one of the CO leaders for, and said, Hey, we’re thinking about doing this conference event, would anyone be interested in one like turning up into maybe being a speaker and I was like, Whoa, maybe I’ll give it a go speaking because I’d also been just a member of the admin community at that point, I wasn’t a leader. And I was but I was quite gobby. And so I just thought, you know what I could put myself forward for this I having stood in front of 1000s of people with a microphone in a nightclub, you can you can handle a few 100 people if necessary in a room, so not a problem. So easy. So I thought I put myself together I’ll put my profile forward for to be a presenter on that. And Julie did put together a talk and abstract and was accepted. And for the first year, which was 2016 of London’s calling delivered a basically how to manage projects. And I remember the title out so long ago, but I’ve done it a few times over because basically our project management and apparently I was the most engaging speaker so I got top speaker for for the first one for London’s calling. So that was that was nice. And and I’ve spoken it every year. And especially we would kind of this for people who have spoken every year except for 2020 when we all kind of like stepped back and it’s myself my co organizer as well. Louise Locky. There’s Peter chiton, who’s part of Salesforce and there’s also Paul Bateson who is part of cloud black because there’s four of us who have managed every single year and so that’s quite a nice little club to be part of to always be your speaking and I want to lose my voice and text motor very quickly.
Pei Mun Lim
I am very impressed by how it’s grown and the kind of passion that is ignited when i when i when i attended event. Tell me about how what that means to you because I know it does in the past conversations that we’ve had it’s a big part of who you are in what’s made you the person you all today. What do you get out of it massive.
Oh, I cry at this point, cause when you’re menopausal woman just hormones go everywhere and she’s doing motions. Just Oh All right. So, yeah, it does mean a lot for me Actually, it. I don’t think it’s a glassy eyes already, the community is massively important to me, I went through quite a tough time. And I was ill very ill effects my work really, really harshly and made me sort of really consider what I wanted to do, and whether I should just step away from the whole Salesforce ecosystem, because I just thought, I’m not, I’m not doing this very well, I don’t think I’m, I’m being success here. And I should step away. And it was because of the community that I stayed in it. And it was, more importantly, the London admins that made me made me very much a part of it. And I thought, you know what, I’m not leaving this. And, and that was very important. So when also when London admins asked me to become a co leader, that was really lovely and rewarding, and, and I just went, you know what I’ve, they’ve given me so much they’ve given me they were my therapist, they want my free therapists. And, and so when it came to the point of London’s calling, it was a no brainer. It was like, Yes, I’m actually going to do this as well. And I want to share, and I want to give back. And yeah, that’s very important. And it really is still to me as well. I’m not going to cry. Oh, yeah, it really is. Yeah.
Pei Mun Lim
Okay, I’m going to carry on trying to make you cry. Because I found it. I tend to doubt 2019 are looking forward to 2020. And we all know what happened in 2020. And I was watching i think i as well as everyone who had a ticket he was so looking forward to it was watching because COVID came. And we were wondering, what can go wrong? What’s going to happen? How are you guys coping? What what’s happening in so I can just imagine what’s happening behind the scenes. So I’d like you to just share with us your thoughts, all of you, and how you’ve how you’ve experienced all of that right up till the D day basically, can you just share? Sure,
I mean, so we were planning London’s calling 2020. And we kicked that off, so that the August beforehand. And for that year, we decided, you know, my growing event, we’ve kind of grown out of our, our previous location, we’re gonna go to the brewery, and it’s gonna be great. And we can really grow into this space. It’s gonna be exciting. So we kicked off going look venue, venue, and everyone’s excited about that. We’ve got our sponsors on board, got our speakers on board, and then started the noises about this. Blue that was getting a bit tricky, and, and it was around about january, february time when it was actually out some of our speakers and our sponsors going, look, we are in the US, or our business turned around, said we’re not on to travel anymore. I don’t think we should be able to travel, I don’t think we can come what’s going to happen. And we’re like, oh, okay. Meanwhile, in the UK, UK was completely open for business. In fact, I remember very vividly on the 13th of March, Boris turning around and going. If you’re over 70s, please don’t go on cruises anymore. And I’m just we’re just sitting there going, God is this is this the best advice we’ve got coming from us from the government. We have we were getting information from really big, global integrators going, this is what we’re doing with our people. We’re not learning to travel, this is no this things looking very risky, we should be taking much more security things. So we were taking more advice from these businesses than we were in government. And we were having to make decisions of what happens, what if, what if, what if we have to lock down? What if people can’t travel? What do we do? How do we turn this around? And within the last few weeks before the event, these are conversations, we were having very, very regular going. I don’t know how safe This is now. And I don’t know if if we can do this, we even sent out to all of our attendees and our sponsors of the you’re going to turn up and you’re happy, safe to travel. And people like Yeah, but I’m not sure. And we just went okay, we have to make a grown up decision here we have to call it and literally a week before, we made the decision to say if you’re a sponsor or a speaker, you are invited to come to our venue, we will turn over you into a TV studio. But for all of our attendees, please stay at home. I don’t think it’s safe now for you to be in this environment. So we made the call. And then we asked all of our sponsors and speakers to record content if they couldn’t make it. And so that’s what we did. Unfortunately, Louise have the capacity to sit there on zoom like we’re doing here and just record all the content as much as we could to then layer it up almost like a tv schedule, so that we could run the VTS at the right time at the right point in the right room. Almost all Time and go with that. We then for the day before we got access to the venue, which was really, really sweet to them, because let’s face it, all of their venue, all their events, which has suddenly been cancelled, left, right and center Western right going, now we’re coming, we paid, we’re coming, and we’re going to do something about it. But all those all that bit of furniture we asked for all these stands, we asked for all the booths we’ve asked for. Yeah, we’re not gonna do that. Now get rid of that, we’ll have a couple of TV screens and the food, food catering, oh my god catering, we had to make a decision on catering. Before we made a decision on what we’re going to do. So I then had to shrink shrink down in numbers. We had lots of food eventually. But we gave it out to everybody that came including the staff there and the crew,
please eat the food please
in food. And very, very fortunately, they had to deal with the event the venue had to deal with homeless charity without any food that was not used. We’ve got moved over so nothing got wasted, which was great. Because my God, the brownies were absolutely killer. They were amazing. So they’ve only really looked after us. And they really appreciate the fact that we turned up and we ran around the building delivering content to with our speakers who turned up with like one or two people in the room as support going on to fill a massive room have met me for hundreds go. But it was it was lovely. And it was exhausting. And it was it was crazy. And there I’m doing piece to camera to like here go Hello, hello, watch us. lovely to see you kind of and then filling gaps between the between the different talks of random things, often usually with a photobooth prop with a hat on or in the photo booth or getting some of the other speakers to, to chat about stuff or throw them into a photo booth as well. We haven’t quite got social distancing quite right at that point. But yeah, it was it was incredibly rewarding, very emotional at the end of it after we after we kicked off the keynote, which thankfully, we recorded because the signal wasn’t there, as we had recording just in case. And we sat down to watch the keynote with a bottle of bubbly and just sat there and just went oh my god, I’m exhausted. I don’t think any of it went in because I was just just battered. And then we wrapped up the session. And going thank you so much and speaking to an older audience of the few and camera audience of many and, and cried actually, at the end of it cried, we were exhausted. And just thought, you know, why are we done this? And what was really strange sort of going off again. And what was really strange was that that was the night that the pubs closed. So everything closed, then a Monday the following Monday, we went into our first lockdown, we, you know, we were that close to potential failure and not being able to even pull off what we did. It was it was a real risk, but we made it. And we did actually have a band, which we cancelled, but then half an hour later, right when we paid for you. So why don’t you turn up, it’ll be the weirdest gig of your life. because there’ll be literally like a handful of people there. And just come and play one of your sets. Because I think we don’t know when you’re gonna play again. So why don’t you do it? But yeah, okay, we’ll do it. And they were brilliant. In fact, they are like the London’s calling house. Man, I definitely want to bring them back into play, because they were awesome. And, and I did dance I was there dancing with the waves over there fully trying to fill up the space dancing, making a lot of big shapes. And yeah, and we had a bar and a party party for some very exclusive. Few people that turned up to an off show party. But yeah, I’m really, really glad we did it. Because Well, what were we in for?
Pei Mun Lim
Absolutely not. I was thinking that was you pulled off such an amazing event. And I was obviously watching it from home. And I think I mentioned to you, I think you have missed your calling to be on television. I thought it was amazing. I don’t know, if I could have done it. I had a question. So your your narrative about what’s happened? It’s gosh, you know, to me there. But did at any point, did you think we’re going to totally have to call this off.
We looked at our options. And as a team sat down and just went, you know what more options when we could cancel it and all the other events were canceling. They were just looking at stuff and going you know, I don’t think we do we get canceled canceled or postponed was the first thought because originally we just thought, well, this is going to be for a couple of months it will it’ll fizzle out, and then the flu season, and then we’ll be back. We’ll just postpone it to semi and we just went. If we do that we will be in competition with everybody else trying to do their events. So we already had a brilliant tech team who could flip it and they were already talking behind the scenes about how this London’s calling TV format was already there available to us, because we used to stream our content anyway, to for certain rooms, we just had to expand it, that was all. So it was it was already there we ordered protecting in place who could do it, it just suddenly went from being a background to the main focus of the delivering of the events. So, so for us to flip, it wasn’t so difficult compared to maybe other events who didn’t have that infrastructure in place. So we were lucky. So we’re all points that journey that during the journey, it was, we will always deliver, we will deliver something, it may not be fully everybody in in venue. We may not use the venue. That’s another thing, you know, but we will deliver somehow. And we will do we do it from our homes. Because Do we need the venue? Should we just cancel it? And we just went to you know what? No, we will we’ll go to the venue because it’s great looking venue. And we will deliver it somehow there. And then of course to have the team when Well, actually one I’m quite vulnerable. I don’t think I should be around other people. And then the other woman, I’ve got a cough or well, oh no, who is this? COVID? I bet stay away with Okay, fine. So only three out of the five core team made it to the venue for the day. But we were always going to deliver something
Pei Mun Lim
is still blows my mind how you guys pull it off? Because I was there on the other side, just thinking, What’s going to happen, etc. I think you were the only only event that happened that year, I think yeah,
I think there was one that happened in maybe January, February, we were able to do it. But anything from mid February on was just Well, now not going to.
Pei Mun Lim
Okay, so how has that informed so this year was over to your bs reasons. What do you think next year is going to be like, What are you planning? Oh,
we are planning we are close to announcing as well. So because with that close to announcing, I don’t gain I should say
Pei Mun Lim
absolutely fine. I will I will wait in like everyone else. Hearing the announcement. Okay, so let’s bring bring the conversation back to your, your current journey. So you’ve been you’ve I know you’ve worked with end customers, you’ve worked with boutique consulting companies, and that right now you’re with a GSI? What are your thoughts in terms of how? What mode of working? Do you like the best, like which space?
I think it, it can differ to whatever mindset attitude you’re in at the time. And for me, they everything suited for me at that time as well. When I first kicked into going into the boutique consultancies, it was it felt right, because it gave me exposure to a lot of projects very, very quickly, to gain my experience and to gain more experience of how those products should be delivered. Until you know make mistakes in a safe environment. So, so that was right, it then I got to a point where I was kind of exhausted with that piece. And that was to do with my illness that I then flipped very consciously back into end user side. So I started end user went to a consultancy, back to end user. And with our end user took a model wide role, not just Salesforce, but looking after all the systems. And that was useful to see how other systems Connect. And also to kind of get my brain away from thinking originally thinking, oh my god, falfurrias is amazing. You can do nothing at Salesforce to Okay, reality check here. Salesforce is brilliant tool. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s an amazing tool. But it should be used to do certain things, and then integrate with other systems as well to help with that fuller picture. And I think that really helped me get that sort of wider knowledge of it as well again. So I think that was really, really beneficial. And then went to into another end user where it was multiple orgs. And how does that work much more DevOps side of things, and global team management as well. So they really helped to expand my knowledge base, my career outlook. And now working for a GSI, which is a global systems integrator, just for those who don’t into the jargon is, again, expanding even further, larger projects, different clientele, and different admin processes behind the scenes, because different businesses work in different ways. When you’re a small boutique, you can kind of manage stuff on a spreadsheet, no problem. When you work in a large GSI is still managing stuff on a spreadsheet, you just have to send it to other people, that’s all the same day, people businesses work on spreadsheets. There’s also systems and stuff like that, but predominantly the world works on a spreadsheet. Don’t tell Salesforce. So, you know, it’s, you can learn an awful lot. I think it’s your mindset that takes you to to whatever you want to achieve and in whatever environment it is.
Pei Mun Lim
I totally get the sender’s spreadsheet to someone else to do that, that’s kind of one of the maybe nice perks about being in a larger consulting partner that you can get to do that. And so in the course of your career, I know that you’ve done not projects, what are some of those that sticks in your mind is the most memorable project that you can share with us and what makes it memorable.
I remember one particular one, which was like a kind of a kickoff. And it was, it was a rescue job because this particular client was had a had an implementation of Service Cloud in particular was not struggling with it, how it had been done just wasn’t quite working for them. And I remember that Salesforce had asked us to go in, have a chat with them see what they could do, because they, they don’t want to lose them as a potential client. And I remember myself and a BA going in, we had the floor, we had about 20 people in a room in a horseshoe shape here. And I had a wall behind me, which you could write on, which is great. And there’s one of these paints that you could just write directly onto it. And over the course of the day that was with them, I wrote twice over on this board. And it was getting point I was like a mad woman was writing behind me. And he got to the point, at the end of the day, at about four o’clock or something, I’m literally sitting on the floor, because at that point, I’ve now just filled every bit of space on the wall works outside this bit around me. And this woman CEO and the CTO walks in the CEO, he tells me afterwards, he’s like looking to horror ago, how’s he doing sitting on the floor, oh, my God, and then takes a breath and realizes that they’re all listening, they’re all kind of meeting at my hand, everything is fine. Everything’s in control here. And everything written down is all sorts of thoughts and things that we captured. Okay, now, it’s all fine. And we won that particular project, we completely saved the day when it came to the Service Cloud implementation that loads more, they became a longer time client. And you know, it turned into a sort of a good story in the end of it. So you know, sort of moments you have with clients sometimes of initiation. I remember another time I was kicked off a project and I would use a tool whereby I talk about let’s let’s write down posting those post notes in real life. Remember that? Wow. And you can write down something and you put it on a wall a real wall, not a not a virtual wall. So I’d ask my clients to go, what is it that you’re looking for what success What does success look like? So write down some notes me on a post it note what’s what’s good and what you don’t want. So they write that down. And I’d also write down a post it note as well put on the wall. And then we go through them afterwards. And then someone pick up, go, we’ll go I want a pony. And I went, that was me. And they will go and explain about I want apparently and I want you to just have a little think about a pony. I want you to think about the color, the Shea stain, whatever, and they would all think about this pony and I go right, so we’ve got the pony. Good. So everyone had a short white dumpy pony with a blue bow. Yeah, got that? Yeah, no, no, no. Oh, okay. Well, you’ve got a brown one. Okay, you’ve got a Black Stallion. Okay. Okay. So when it comes to requirements, what I need from you is to make sure you’re on the same page and you will have the same pony. Not to have all different types of points of view. Others will never ever deliver anything. They’re like, Oh, okay, I get that. Great. watchpoint one of the clients turned around to me Do you want a pony because I’m a man who can tell you a pony. Oh my god no, I’m in trouble now. envisaging that getting on a flight with a pony going anything to declare no no nothing to declare just just a pony. You’ll sit quietly Don’t worry. So yeah, be careful what you start on conversations because clients will go with it and I’ve had feedback from clients post on just random stuff I’ve said in in in things about I used to go on about what tried to stick to as much vanilla as possible so they keep talking with a little bit of raspy source and and they go You and your vanilla and raspy source or a customer less less customer example Mrs. miggins went a bit Blackadder at times Mrs. makings was one always use Bob now as a as another option. So these random things that come into my mind and my spew them out, and people remember them. So this is going to be interesting that people are going to come to me after this podcast and I keep saying this. Yeah, I have to live with a lot stuff.
Pei Mun Lim
Excellent stuff. Tell me what are the things in your opinion and your experience makes a really solid, two questions. One is a successful team. What makes a really good high performing successful team?
Trust, it’s even if you’re not that skilled as somebody coming if you’re brand new person coming on board to a team and everyone seems to be really really with it and jailed. The best thing you can do is just say, Look, I don’t know about this, and can somebody help me with that? Because that will build trust and if the Trump team trusts each other than they will deliver and that trust Then built up with having the skills and having the communication and, and knowing that I think a purpose as well as knowing exactly what is our goal, so we can actually deliver that. And then that builds up with the trust, which then actually helps with the performance side of things. So those things are really important. And it doesn’t come straight away. That’s something that builds over time. So when you’re actually in a build phase, and you’re building in springs, that the first sprint, the second sprint, sometimes can be a little bit bitey. It’s a bit, it’s a bit disorganized. But once you get into the rhythm of things, where people then know how to work with each other, okay? Oh, you need to like this. Okay, you’re fine. Well, I’ll do that. Okay, great. And I can pick that up, that’s good. Or no, tell me if you need help, or I’ve got help, I’ve got time. Does anybody need help? It’s that sort of level of communication, where suddenly they can rely on each other. They know how each other works. That helps.
Pei Mun Lim
How would you Okay, so before the pandemic, the we would be working most of time, in the same location with a team maybe broken up. I also, I don’t mean broken up, but separately, maybe some with clients in some of the office. So in the brave new world of the pandemic, where everyone’s virtual, how do you as project manager, create the kind of trust in a virtual team? How do you do it,
I’ve been working with virtual teams. So for quite some time, one of my, one of my offices, we did have a global team. So I had people in different offices scattered around. And some of them I didn’t even meet for months, until I until I got managed to get on a flight to go and say hello to them. So you have to start that journey really, really early on. And it’s the sort of communication and unfortunately, it is cameras on because you can see their faces and have for me as a manager, certainly as a proper people manager back then as well. The one to ones that we’re having here, having videos on and just talk to them about anything and everything. Your life stuff, I don’t really care about job stuff, talk to me about your life. First, I want to know who you are to, to build that. And then when it comes to team meetings, team meetings would be super regular as well on always gonna happen. And again, even if I had half the team in the same room as me, we’d all sit with our, with our laptops on with our videos on and hear so you could see me go to the next person all around. And it was this concept of remote first, so that people would see each other and whenever they did their update, they’re talking to the cameras not talking to me, talk to the camera, talk to those people on the other side. And that’s how you build it up. And then start having normal conversations and use other tools such as, get on Slack, or something where you have fun, you know, have a chapel that you’re doing work with have a channel where you’re just having fun with, you know, I saw this joke, bang, put it out there great share stuff, because it’s that water cooler moment that you miss, when you’re not physically in an office with someone. There’s also the element whereby anyone who is global, who is not in the same office environment suddenly thinks, well, they don’t see me that I don’t get the gossip, I don’t get to hear that the information straightaway, you’ve got to try and eliminate that straightaway. You’ve got to get away the idea of this whole PowerPoint, whereby the head office is where all the power was where the opportunities are, no, it’s not, you’ve got to keep the opportunity available to anyone in any location. As long as they shine as long as they communicate as long as they are present. You know, and, and, and collaborating and contributing, then they’re noticed. And and I think that’s what you need to forever keep mentioning a fact if somebody did good to say, you know, well done so and so hey, they passed the exam, they did this or delivered that that’s great. And keep keep those sort of features going. And it’s not always the people that are in front of front of eyes or on, you know, next desk or anything like that. So
Pei Mun Lim
thank you very much as that the fact that you’ve already done it before helps, I think for many businesses and teams COVID is a cold shower. A was a constant wake up call. Exactly. The way that you have been running your remote teams in the past help you ease into this. And I think a lot of people will find what you just shared. They’re very, very useful, because I think many are still struggling right now. And not quite sure. I was just speaking to an ex colleague who’s now a contractor and she joined a company when nobody has videos on and she’s been there six months if she does not know how any of them look like an unthinking How do you build trust them that feels like you’re hamstringing yourself, basically.
I think it’s really important people are conscious about their home environments. You know, some people don’t have setups whereby you’re comfortable to share backgrounds or Anything like that, and I totally get it. But if you can, if you’re building a team, if you can just show very briefly with just a few minutes ago, hey, this is me, and this is what I look like, it helps so much, even if it’s then for the rest of the conversation, your camera’s off, and you can relax a bit if you want to. We’re now getting to a point whereby, you know, I’m wearing slippers, I’m wearing khaki pants, I’m wearing a hoodie, you know, this is now our office gear, gosh, you know, what we’re gonna do we actually go into the office again, what we’re gonna wear? What susceptible? You know, we’ve got into a different world now. And I think we have to be aware of that.
Pei Mun Lim
Thank you. I know time’s going on. But one of the things that I was thinking is that you present so well, in so many ways. And you are very self confident, and you’re the successful project manager. Is there any time in your history that you’ve made? mistakes or something that made you I know, you mentioned when you were poorly and you were, can you share maybe a mistake that you’ve done during a project? And how you handled it, and how you managed it or something that went wrong? Yeah, yeah, there’s,
there’s stuff that happens. And ironically, it was when I was sick, that probably the worst stuff happened actually. So I got sick, I, my back broke. But for six months, I didn’t know my back was broken, I was just an awful lot of pain. And I was given lots of painkillers, anti inflammatories to work on, but I’d only take half the prescription because otherwise, I probably would have been just in bed and not able to function. So walking around in a lot of pain, couldn’t see it couldn’t stand, and it would have a ping pong ball under my bum to try and stop the sciatic nerves going down my leg until I managed to get the MRI and then get fixed. And the surgery was only the beginning of then the getting fixed, which took another year. And mentally, I was broken, really, really broken. Because unfortunately, I put work in front of my getting better. not helped by the fact that my company didn’t help me with that either. And, and so when you are sick, you are not your best self, you do not deliver well. And when you don’t have a company supporting you either, then you don’t make right decisions. And I put my my projects in front of me. In hindsight, I would never do that again. And even when being managers have teams post that and if anyone is sick, I make sure that I get them away from the business in the nicest way possible. Because I want them to focus on them first, it’s it’s incredibly important. I made mistakes, when I was a project manager in that particular role at that time, whereby I may not have listened to the customer properly, because my brain was so fogged I probably wanted to do something differently to how customers would want to and I should have listened to what they were generally saying. And, and that you know, that causes effects of how things are delivered, whether I’m even on the Project panel sake, you know, that it was that bad. So what I took away from that was you have to look after yourself, you know, we are we are experiencing now this past year, this whole thing of like mental awareness, mental, mental health, and I went through that back in, you know, many, many years ago now and I’m very, very conscious of that. So this COVID time has not been a difficult challenge for me because I’ve been through a lot worse with my mental health and, and physical health in addition to that, so I know it’s all temporary, I know what I can deal with I know what I can work with and I know to ask for help so you’re going emotionally again so yeah, it was a really really tough time and I also now know about stress and as a woman I’m going through a very early menopause I it comes all the health stuff I had hysterectomy 11 years ago and I was grateful I was grateful that time because hey you’re gonna die of cancer you go through that mental stuff I then had a broken back I went through that mental stuff as well so but without maybe the real support from from health people from from companies etc etc. that you might need so I know that I’ve been the past have gone through menopausal hormonal issues and mental health stuff with that not realizing I’ve been going through it because I was too young to be going through this stuff. And now I know you just now looking back and go Wow, what a bitch. I know I was I was going through all these crazy crazy feelings because my hormones were just all over the place. But I didn’t know that. So mistakes, short made tons, absolutely tons. I wish I had had better support from a company, I wish I’d had better support from health people at the time. I wish I had the ability to listen to my body when I needed to. So yeah, made lots of mistakes, but still here, and able to progress and learn from them really hard lessons have learned.
Pei Mun Lim
Thank you, I can see, I want to be respectful of your time, this has been totally, totally worth it in so many ways. And you have such an amazing engaging style of telling story I just like brought me along with you everywhere in every step, I am so grateful to have known you because you are somebody who’s just done so much. And I thank you for sharing your vulnerabilities on camera, you’ve shared a few moments in various situations that you’ve had that just shows what a deeply compassionate human being that you are, and how you are now, kind of taking lessons that you’ve learned, and you’re sharing it and you are helping the people within the ecosystem in so many ways, I guess, you know, you must be tired of people telling you how much you’ve helped them. But thank you for sharing your story. And again, those vulnerable moments, I think are the ones that are most impactful all around the other good stuff that you’ve shared. Anyway. So I acknowledge you for being such an amazing, amazing person for so many to look up to and for all the impact that you’re making an ecosystem. So thank and also thank you for sharing your story with me on this podcast. I really appreciate it. So
thank you. Oh, that’s really sweet. And yeah, it’s been a tough journey. I won’t went high for that. No, everyone probably looks at people just go wow, God, they’re so successful. Had they managed it really badly at times. So yeah, no story is perfect. No journey is perfect. I think you’ve got to figure that out. And you just got to keep going. Even if you think you think you’re gonna die, possibly at times, but sometimes he’s got to get going. So, but thank you. It was nice to chat.
Pei Mun Lim
I think the lesson that you brought up right towards the end is health matters. So so much, and for everyone to really focus in as you say, listen to your body. what it’s telling you and don’t put working for interview. Yes. Listen. So thank you very much, Amanda. I really, really appreciate the time that you’ve taken today. Thanks
Do you judge people?
Yes you do.
We all do.
We are only human.
But the crucial thing is, do we let that judgement colour how we interact with others?
Sometimes I talk to people whose values are very different to mine, and I can find it challenging to see things from their point of view.
People who are in distress may look inwards and believe the cause of their suffering is their own fault.
They aren’t good enough.
They deserve all the misery they are going through.
Others find blame elsewhere and believe someone else is to blame for their unhappiness.
Regardless of what I think about them..
If I can see the world in the way they see the world
If I went through what they went through
If I know what they know
I would understand why they are where they are.
Once again, tonight I am reminded about the most humbling thing about the human condition.
No matter who we are, we want the same thing.
To be seen.
To be heard.
And to accepted for who we are.
Many of us battle demons that you will never see.
If you’re in a dark place and you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, please know you can ring us freephone from the UK on 116 123.
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You don’t have to go through this alone. 🌹
“Be the You your Future You will thank you for.”
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The quotes are lovely and uplifting.
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For some reason, it creates a sense of faux accomplishment, of satisfaction, when you read or forward it on…
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Digital Art is to Insta, as ASCII Art is to LinkedIn.
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LinkedIn is similar, with a lot of real world stories about success in work and life.
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Am going to stop scrolling and get off my tushie.
What you see as “reality” is rarely the real thing.
There is often distortion on multiple levels, and by the time you get the information, it may be warped beyond all measures.
You can see this happening within organisations.
Poor performance can be simply the wrong resource in the job.
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The leadership team needs to take a good long look at what’s happening, and ask some really hard questions.
Critical thinking, and incisive questioning with unflinching resolve will allow a business to strip back the layers to get to the real truth of things.
If you don’t know what the real problem is, how are you going to solve it?
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Key skills that a #salesforce consultant need to have are critical thinking, emotional intelligence to be able to build rapport and connect with users and stakeholders.
Our job is to do more than scratch the surface.
We need to help our clients surface core issues so that we can help them design the right solution.
I talk about topics like this in my newsletter, link 👇🏻
Cutting off branches when the tree isn’t fruiting isn’t the right solution.
Firing people when sales is taking a dip isn’t either.
And ask some real tough questions.
Otherwise, you’re just going to end up as a stump.
I know. I know.
Someone save me from my bad metaphors 😁