Who is Timothy Maurice Webster?
Without actually meeting the man in person, this is a very difficult question to answer as resources on the Internet about this dynamic and thoughtful man are few and far between. So needless to say, I was very curious at the prospect of meeting Timothy and finding out a bit more about him…
Timothy, according to Vuma Reputation Management’s website, has written three brand leadership books, and is a prolific columnist, writing columns for Destiny magazine and The Star Workplace. In addition, he is a lively speaker and consults widely on the subject of personal branding.
He came to South Africa almost 10 years ago and began his career in publishing by writing a weekly column for The Star, something which he still does to this very day. When I asked what subjects he favours, Timothy told me that he writes about “people” in his columns. He makes a point of listening to what people say in response to his columns.
Timothy’s writing is, according to him, influenced by three pillars:
1. How you develop your values and how your values are influenced by your environment,
2. How your values create your image – in other words, your brand, and
3. How do you position your brand and use it as a tool to create, for example, a career for yourself.
Walt Whitman’s influence on Timothy’s work
The poet, Walt Whitman, greatly influences his work:
• During the Civil War, Whitman discovered that there is a relationship between your internal being and the external world. He believed that there is an integral connection between these two elements and that your internal being is influenced by the world that you live in.
Timothy believes that a similar relationship exists between companies and their employees: “Once you’ve been in a corporation for a while, you take on its personality,” he says.
Timothy’s opinion about why staff members leave an organisation
A problem, which I’m sure not one organisation in South Africa is immune from, is the issue of high staff turnover and the associated high costs of training and recruitment. Timothy has written extensively about this issue and I decided to ask him his opinion about staff turnover and how your company can reduce this:
“The reason why there’s a high staff turnover is that management doesn’t acknowledge their company is a living, breathing ecosystem. This means that these individuals don’t necessarily create the infrastructure, and a culture, in their organisations which cause every single member of the company to be included.
“So what results is a scenario where there’s a disconnect and people feel alienated from what’s really happening.”
To reduce staff turnover, Timothy feels that we need to communicate more effectively with our employees and let them have a part to play in how the company moves forward.
Spend time getting to know yourself
At the end of our meeting, I asked Timothy what, in terms of his teachings, he would like to be remembered for. After a moment or two’s consideration, he replied that his message to the world is that everyone needs to spend some time in quiet contemplation, healing themselves from negative experiences, so that their minds will be clear enough to pick up on what life is trying to tell them.
“Spend more time alone, away from technology and other people as much as possible. Find time to introspect, to bring yourself back together so that you can be more in tune with signals. Life can be so distracting.”
Timothy Maurice Webster will be speaking at this year’s IPM Convention which will be held from 3 – 6 November at Sun City. The topic of his presentation will be: Modelling Successful Leadership Behaviours. Follow this link for more information.
Author: Lia Marus is the editor of HR Pulse. She has a BA in French, Italian and Linguistics from UCT, an MA in translation from Wits and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management from the Wits Business School. She is currently studying towards her LLB through Unisa. Lia started her career off in corporate communications, where she worked as a sub-editor, researcher and marketing coordinator. She then heeded the call of the publishing world and went into the business-to-business publishing field. She worked as a sub-editor as well as a chief sub-editor. Before joining ITWeb, she managed an HR guidebook at a leading international publishing company.