Coming to you from a freezing Antwerp – in fact today we are looking at -6 degrees !
I had an email conversation with an old friend and work colleague – he will be chatting to me and we will be posting the zoom video on our latest venture; Switchboard Collaboration. Dillon reminded me of an entrepreneurship mantra – planning is essential and DOING even better. I was also reminded of plans and strategies happening on paper often miss the essential ingredients of relationship. This is in reference to all relationships; those within the organization; relationships with suppliers, clients, support , community. I was very touched to be drawn into reflecting on this essential part and in my opinion the core of any organization.
Dillon’s company https://rnr.co.za is successful on many levels, we will leave those details for the Switchboard Collaboration post, and what he most treasures is the care and emotional investment each team member carries; all this contributing to the company culture. It takes me back to a decade that I spent at https://www.flightcentre.co.za which was such an extraordinary experience and is embedded as one of the highlights of my working career. Work felt like an extension of myself, rather than a burden or unwanted responsibility. The culture fostered community collaboration. There were no offices and very minimal iron door hierarchy, although the leaders held their positions with great care and reverence. I am finishing up a book called Leadership Embodiment and the general manager at my earlier years at Flight Centre; Shayne Flynn was remarkable in his leadership presence. The leaders that followed also embodied leadership and certainly had some of Shayne’s essence. Shayne had the formidable ease and presence that commands attention and invites approachability. I always trusted Shayne and experienced his business acumen and judgement to be very sound and simultaneously never felt that he was beyond reproach. Flight Centre cultivated a culture of employees that were driven to be the best they could equally contributing to the company’s successes. There are financial rewards as well as travel rewards which both exceeded employees expectations – of course they were pending targets were achieved.
I am not sure exactly what the theme is in this particular blog; I am running with 2-fold – relationships and presence. I want to mention that although there is a certain amount of natural leadership, that for example Shayne has in his essence, it is also a skill that can be cultivated through daily practices. Wendy Palmer from the book leadership Embodiment has so practically and generously dedicated her life to making these practices accessible.
This has been quite an energizing blog for me to write – perhaps some of the energy jumps out to you the readers J