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Last week Jenny and I enjoyed Dr Jordan Peterson’s ‘12 Rules for Life’ visit to Perth.

Thinking later I wondered what rule I would like to see added as Rule #13.

How about, ‘Take every job seriously’?

Let me give you an example, for us to follow.

I have previously covered the remarkable life of Sir Arvi Parbo here.

From a young immigrant, in 1949, escaping the uncertainty of post-war Europe, to becoming perhaps Australia’s leading and most respected business leader of the 20th Century, is a story in itself.  However, let me just cover one small snippet of Sir Arvi’s career.

When he was elected as the President of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), in 1990, he was at the peak of his illustrious career, being the Chairman of Western Mining Corporation, Alcoa Australia and BHP. He approached his new challenge with these words; “I am honoured to have been elected and I will fulfil this role to the very best of my ability.”  He felt, that to do this, he would set himself the task of visiting every operating branch of AusIMM at that time (37 in total and interestingly 26 branches operating as at 2019).

Not only to take on this mammoth task of visiting these 37 branches but to present an address in the form of a carefully researched paper on the mining history and significance of each region visited.

How a busy executive manages to do this in one year, without ‘missing a beat’, is nothing short of miraculous.

Arvi would give credit to the supportive nature of his various companies at that time.

Companies then actually employed ‘thinkers’ to contemplate the significance of our industry and its role in nation building and the importance of developing a narrative to leave for future generations.

I may be a little cynical about how much our current leading companies may be investing in such priorities?

The lasting legacy of Sir Arvi’s year as AusIMM President is a mammoth, 310-page, volume of Down Under – Mineral Heritage in Australasia (AusIMM Monograph #18) that contains all of his presentation papers, liberally sprinkled with hundreds of illustrations.

To my knowledge this presidential achievement in AusIMM has never been matched before or since.

The book has been described as one of the most effective mining history books ever produced and has become a collector’s item.

Some copies are available here.

So, here is an example of how to approach a new challenge when we are confronted with a responsibility above and beyond our regular ‘day jobs’.

That is why I feel that ‘take every job seriously’ rates for inclusion as one of the Rules for Life.

Sir Arvi Parbo’s book

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