Leadership…and a bit of fun.
Leadership…and a bit of fun.
Apr 3 2023
A while back I came across a LinkedIn post that shared that “the measure of an organisation’s culture is the way team member’s feel on Sunday night, when thinking about having to go to work on Monday morning”. I think a lot about this, considering how to create an environment where our team love being at work.
Spoiler alert – we aren’t there yet, and I’ll be thinking about it, and working on it, for the rest of my career, I reckon.
At the Personnel Group we are fortunate to do meaningful work that has a big impact in our communities, but it can also be challenging, and I know that sometimes this takes a toll on our team. I’m conscious that for every life changing win, there are just as many bumps and bends along the road. This work can be incredibly rewarding, but it also takes a high level of resilience and patience.
All our team are motivated by our purpose, but we are also motivated by the customers we serve, our community, and each other.
We recently held a Leadership Forum focused on building the capacity and skill of our leadership team. There was a small amount of work on technical leadership, but most of the time was spent on emotional leadership – being better able to support, develop, motivate, and grow the people around us. There was a strong focus on our leaders as whole people, imperfect but willing to learn and grow. On understanding and improving ourselves first, and then understanding the people we lead and serve.
I play an important role in moments like this. As our CEO it is essential that I demonstrate to the team that it is not one rule for me, and another for them. I share stories freely about my own mistakes, my fears, and the things I am doing to improve as a leader. I want them to see that I am driven by honest self-reflection and determination to become a better version of myself. I hope that motivates them to do the same.
About half of our Leadership Team have been with our organisation for more than 5 years, and many are well beyond 10. We have grown as leaders and as people, together. Over dinner one night there was much reminiscing about funny moments we’ve shared together over the years. It reminded me that while purpose is essential, it is the relationships and shared journey of a team that create the glue of culture. It is those funny moments, that get told over and over, that create the community of an organisation.
Following the forum, we announced an impromptu week-long ‘Prank-a-thon’ where any member of the Leadership Team could play a joke on the Executive Team without fear of retribution. It sparked a wave of scheming, innovation, and clever planning that was a joy to be part of, with most of the exec getting stitched up multiple times. It made for a wonderful week at work, where we were never quite sure where the next joke would come from.
Externally it might seem small and not so significant, but it was culturally impactful. Leaders connected, bonded, and laughed together. They formed a deeper shared journey, and appreciation for each other beyond their role. That means a lot to me and will make us an even better organisation.
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