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  • Keith McCabe

My time (working) in prison

A little over 3 years ago, I had to go to prison for 6 months.


No, not like THAT.


As part of a leadership programme I was on, I had to spend 6 months on a placement which placed me outside of my comfort zone.


Running a team of engineers in a prison certainly did that!


There were 2 main challenges.


Firstly the physical challenge of working in 2 prisons (one of which had its office "behind the wire", next to the actual cells!)


Secondly, running a team of largely cynical tradesmen who I had to win over. I had "no trade" to fall back on so at first they assumed I'd add no value.


In the end I won them over and we delivered some great results.


What did I learn?


1. As my mentor would remind me, you don't have to be an excellent tradesman to be able to lead a team of tradesmen. You just have to be good at providing leadership, direction, common sense and courage to situations.


2. If you remind yourself constantly that you have **tremendous coping skills** (kudos to Marisa Peer ) then it becomes easier to deal with the unknown and the uncomfortable.


What's the worst that can happen if you know you can cope?


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