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The Value of Respect and Experience In Your Career

Work can be tough, particularly in the mining industry. When you implement certain principles into your working life, it could help generate a better work environment, further your career as well as benefit those who work around you. I’m talking about discipline, practical experience and raising standards in industry relations.

John Barnes is a South African expat currently stationed as Chief Operating Officer at the Runruno, Metals Exploration site in the Philippines. John and I had an in-depth conversation on a recent episode of Full Production, and some of his key points I want to expand upon.  

Be More Disciplined Within Your Life

After John lost his mother at the age of three, his grandmother took over the child-rearing duties. As part of his daily routine, his Nan would get him to carry out regular chores as a way of instilling discipline and structure within his life. This principle would come into use later on. From making life easier during his compulsory military service to being one of the fittest 55-year-olds I’ve ever met, this continued discipline has meant that anything John has taken on, he’s executed it to the absolute best of his abilities. “I always believe, the fitter the people are, and the more disciplined they are, the better they perform in all aspects of life.”

By having healthy levels of discipline, you’ll establish stability and structure within all areas of your life. In a work based setting, levels of productivity, self-esteem and job development tend to increase, benefiting everyone.

The Importance of Practical Experience

Education is so important. The more educated we are in this world, the better our prospects tend to be. But, there’s a fundamental element that mustn’t be dismissed, and that is practical experience.

Hands-on, practical experience can develop your knowledge and standards not only as a worker but also as a source to provide valuable experience and lessons for the next generation of miners. “How are we going tell the younger generations how to do their job, if we cannot do it ourselves?” John says, marking the importance of experience-based learning.

Maintaining Good Working Relationships

Whilst working in the Philippines, John has become well acquainted with the governing bodies out there – and their relationship is tight. “I’ve basically met with the regional director, I’ve got his mobile number, “and they strive to communicate with one another at least once a month.  Runruno has been a tough project from the get-go, particularly due to the huge emphasis on environmental preservation of the surrounding areas. But luckily, compromises have been met, and for every tree taken down, another 100 must be planted elsewhere.

John notes that there are some key factors to this well rounded, and high functioning relationship and that is openness, respect and honesty.

This is a global industry, so understanding and respecting local cultures and the landscape in a proactive and sensitive way, ensure that stronger relationships can form, and productivity can increase.   

Not only does this apply to the international workforce though, back home in a more local setting, one-on-one respectful and open relationships aid in generating better opportunities and closer, more prolific teams all around.

To hear the full conversation, click here.