I don’t normally write blogs in the holiday, but this one is a P.S to one written earlier in the year when I mentioned a plan hatched with my two brothers to grow our understanding of the significant part work has played in our lives. I spent yesterday shadowing my younger brother, Andrew, as he met with clients in his capacity as a nationally renowned landscape designer.
We visited a variety of high-end properties in Golders Green and Highgate where Andrew discussed projects at various stages of development. The first property we visited belonged to Jennifer. She showed me a photograph of one of two trees blown down during high winds that had devastated her garden. Andrew had come up with a stunning design to transform the space. He walked me round the garden, taking me through the thinking that underpinned the design. It was fascinating to see how the concepts linked together in a harmonious whole.
Amongst the other properties visited was that of Anton and Tina who were not only transforming their house, but the garden too. Whilst there, I met sub-contractors who have worked with Andrew for many years, principally in north London. It was fascinating to witness their expertise and passion for the work they were planning and implementing: the challenges of dealing with multiple organisations in order successfully to complete a project; the process of developing and conveying a vision for a design then working in collaboration with clients to realise the plan. I felt a certain pride when Tina said that all the right people in Highgate say that the only person to employ to design a garden is Andrew Wenham!
In discussing our respective jobs, we concluded that there were more similarities than differences. Both of us work in businesses where positive word of mouth is essential to the success of what we do. Strong and open client relationships are at the core of our working lives. We have worked in our respective professions for over thirty years and feel that our passion to do the best we can has brought us the greatest rewards.
I came away hugely impressed by the talent and creativity my brother demonstrated in the four short hours I spent with him. As Head, it is important for me continuously to build a picture of different professional lives and the skills set they require in order to prepare those within my sphere of influence for a successful future in the workplace. Next stop: my older brother John who has spent over thirty years working in the diamond trade. I hope the brothers will visit Bickley Park next term to understand more about the hot seat of Headship!