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066: Rebecca Bezzina: Working For Your Team as a Leader, Not the Other Way Around

Listen as we explore the authenticity needed in leadership and the non-negotiables that allow Rebecca to show up 100% as a leader for her team.


Rebecca also shares her unique view on why she is the one working for her team, not the other way around. She believes that to be successful, you have to create environments where people work with you, not for you and it has been central to her approach to leadership.

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Business Leadership Self Development

Creating a Culture for Transformational Work

Creating a Culture for Transformational Work

I had the privilege of attending an LLB Cannes talk on building cultures, featuring an exceptional panel of senior leaders from Accenture Song, Lego, Mother, and Framestore. They shared invaluable insights that can help you assess your own culture, ensuring it nurtures talent, adapts to new ways of working, and fosters ground breaking work. 

Here are some key takeaways:

Tip One – Understanding What Drives People to the Office

Mother faced the challenge of encouraging employees to return to the office. Guided by their cultural pillar of curiosity, they posed questions to understand why people preferred working from home. They discovered that one reason was the ability to manage household chores, like doing laundry.

In response, Mother designed their new office to include laundry facilities. Although it may have seemed unconventional, they believed in its potential to cultivate the desired culture. This example beautifully illustrates the importance of listening to employee needs and delivering on them, even if it initially appears unusual. It demonstrates that people want to feel valued and heard, and addressing their needs can enhance their sense of belonging.

Tip Two – Embracing Vulnerability

During the panel, one participant courageously shared their experience of panic attacks and ADHD. The room shifted as the audience witnessed their openness and vulnerability. The insight gained was that when leaders are willing to show weakness and acknowledge they don’t have all the answers, it encourages their teams to do the same.

The level of vulnerability displayed by leaders sets the tone for the team’s comfort in expressing themselves authentically. Creating a culture where individuals can be themselves and feel respected for who they are has become increasingly crucial in today’s work environment.

Tip Three – The Power of Play

Listening to how Lego incorporates play into every aspect of their work was truly inspiring. Before starting any meeting, Lego engages in play. This could involve simple brick-based games or full team activities. It creates an atmosphere of curiosity, fostering innovative thinking. Similarly, Accenture Song begins meetings with sharing good news to set a positive tone.

Lego also has a “leadership playground” that exemplifies playfulness as a company-wide value, starting from the top. Additionally, they have an annual “play day” when the entire company takes a day off to reconnect with the company’s purpose and values.

Building on the previous tip, Lego has found that integrating play into the workplace and embracing the freedom to be silly and make mistakes naturally fosters vulnerability among team members.

When asked about managing leaders who don’t align with the company’s values, the panel emphasized that a strong culture swiftly rejects those who disrupt it. The clarity of expectations and standards within the culture ensure that anyone who doesn’t fit is quickly identified and addressed.

Culture is the heart of your business. It represents your people and plays a vital role in determining your success. Investing in your culture is not merely a “fluffy” endeavor; it is what will ultimately shape your future by attracting and retaining the right individuals.

In conclusion, these insights from accomplished companies remind us to prioritize culture as a powerful force that enables transformational work. By understanding and valuing the needs of your people, embracing vulnerability, and incorporating playfulness, you can create a culture that fosters innovation, collaboration, and overall success.

Connect with me on LinkedIn or drop me an email—I would love to hear from you.

If you are are a leader transitioning to a more senior position and want to have support for your first year to create meaningful change and a positive impact, please book a call here

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065: Jamie Elliot: The Courage of Conviction

Join us for a fascinating conversation around how he approaches leadership and why as leaders, we have to find the courage to stand by what we believe, even when everyone else around us may be on a different page.
Jamie also shares his insights into what it is like to make the transition from having control as the manager and letting go as a leader.

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Business Leadership Self Development

Finding strength in your leadership through vulnerability

Finding strength in your leadership through vulnerability

In leadership, vulnerability has emerged as a powerful catalyst for growth and connection. However, many find themselves grappling with the question of how to strike the right balance between vulnerability and oversharing. What does it truly mean to be vulnerable as a leader? In this article, we explore the transformative power of vulnerability and how it can strengthen both our personal and professional lives.

Discovering the Power of Vulnerability:

For me, embracing vulnerability was a transformative journey—one that required a shift in my beliefs. I had to recognise that vulnerability was not a sign of weakness or inadequacy, but rather a source of strength that allowed me to build genuine connections with others and, most importantly, with my own self.

The Importance of Defining Vulnerability:

To begin on the path of vulnerability, it is crucial to first understand what it looks like in the workplace. Consider the below list and evaluate how they align with your current leadership style. Perhaps there is an area that could benefit from more attention. Personally, I realised that I needed to let go of the fear of intruding by asking about their well-being. Avoiding uncomfortable conversations only hindered genuine connection.

What vulnerability in the workplace looks like: 

  • Being open and honest with yourself and others about areas of development you need
  • Being your true self with people
  • Giving people the opportunity to get to know and understand you
  • Asking your team for feedback on your strengths and weaknesses so that you can be a better as a leader
  • Calling an employee or colleague whose child is not well, a loss in the family etc..
  • Asking someone for help
  • Taking responsibility for something that went wrong at work

Exploring the Boundaries of Vulnerability:

While embracing vulnerability is empowering, it is equally important to recognise its boundaries. Here are a few considerations to help navigate the fine line between vulnerability and oversharing:

  • It’s not spilling all your dirty laundry to everyone
  • Its knowing the appropriate person to tell
  • Know the intention of why you are sharing 

At our recent Courageous Leaders LIVE event, Lori Meakin led an inspiring exercise where participants paired up and shared something significant about themselves. The room immediately shifted, and a newfound sense of relaxation and closeness enveloped the atmosphere. One leader, for instance, shared his experience of losing his mother, a deeply personal revelation he had never previously shared in the workplace. This vulnerable moment fostered a profound connection between him and the person he confided in.

The feedback from the room confirmed a powerful truth: as leaders, we establish the level of vulnerability that our teams can comfortably embrace based on our own openness. The act of vulnerability not only strengthens relationships but also cultivates a sense of safety within the team.

Crucial Listening and Action:

The most important factor to remember is if you choose to ask someone if they are okay, it is essential to genuinely listen and potentially take action based on their response. Superficial enquiries or dismissive responses will only shut down vulnerability. To truly empower your team and help them reach their full potential, you must bring your whole self to the workplace, thereby encouraging and enabling them to do the same.

Conclusion:

As leaders, we possess the extraordinary gift of inspiring others to unlock their full potential. To achieve this, we must be willing to embrace vulnerability, allowing it to guide our interactions and shape our leadership style. I invite you to reflect on your own experiences and share your thoughts on this article. 

Connect with me on LinkedIn or drop me an email—I would love to hear from you.

If you are are a leader transitioning to a more senior positions and want to have support for your first year to create meaningful change and a positive impact, please book a call here

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064: Bee Adamic: Overcoming Shyness to delivering a TED Talk

Join us whilst we talk about Bee’s journey through leadership. From overcoming shyness to delivering a TED talk and starting her own business, Bee’s story is inspiring. She also discusses the importance of celebrating motherhood and following your passion.

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063: Guy Bradbury: The Cost of Success, When it Becomes Addictive

Join us whilst we talk about what happens when success becomes addictive, to the point it takes away happiness.

Guy also shares his thoughts about why we need to stop making such quick judgment calls on people and give them the support they need to succeed.

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062: Christiana Coker: Why it’s time to change how we use job titles

Join us whilst we talk about the cultural bias that exists around job titles, and why it needs to change.

Christiana also shares her thoughts about inclusion and psychological safety in the workplace, which are so insightful.

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061: Anthony Purkiss: Understanding team behaviours

Join us as we explore using EDISC to comprehend team dynamics and the power of early adoption. Gain insights on leveraging diverse personalities and valuing creative ideas in a flat company structure.

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060: Charlie Shrager: The Power of Self Belief

Join us whilst we talk about the power of self belief and why it’s important to know what you want, set goals and be driven to achieve them.

Charlie has had a life changing year, and in this episode she courageously shares her learnings from being diagnosed with cancer and how being a single mum inspired and helped her to set up life on her own terms.

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059: Clive Armitage: Why You Need to Let Go of Your Ego

Join us as we explore letting go of ego and maximizing potential. Gain valuable insights on elevating team thinking and achieving growth.