What does working mean to you? How do you do a 'good job'?
No matter whether you work in an office, a caravan or in a cafe - sometimes we struggle. Understanding how to be the best you can be at work is an on going journey. I personally found my first two years of working really tough. I became very interested in learning from other people, through Youtube and simplt meeting people for coffee's to talk about how they got better at working.
My work colleague recently attended the Women in Leadership Summit held in Auckland in June (her name is Megan Blenkarne and is a very funny, well dressed woman and all around great person). The event was an opportunity to hear from some of New Zealand's most successful and accomplished leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities for women in New Zealand's workplace today. Megan shared 6 lessons she learnt that day - they were so brilliant I asked her whether I could post them here. Megan kindly agreed. So here they are.
1. Know About Yourself
This came up again and again. The best leaders, who can keep themselves stable and respond to events with equilibrium, are the people who know what matters to them and what their skills are, and can use that knowledge to their advantage.
2. Bring the best you to work
We’re all made up of lots of different parts. You should absolutely be your authentic self at work – but you should be the self that is the most appropriate for work. Be the You that is focussed, determined, empathetic, strategic – whatever it is about you that is invaluable to your team. Don’t just show up, be yourself, and expect everyone else to indulge you.
3. Reflect and Feel
Take a sec to check in, instead of charging onwards, ever onwards. Think about what worked well today, what was an abysmal failure, and what you think you learned. Similarly, take a minute to see how you feel about a decision before you make it and think about why you feel that way.
4. Influence is Earned
A title means nothing. Getting a title doesn’t give you the ability to influence change, or to inspire people to achieve awesome things. Those are skills that you need to develop, and your ability to influence will be determined by how you work, not who you are.
5. Resilience is in your Mindset
There are days that aren’t that great. Everyone makes mistakes or has to deal with less than ideal circumstances. The important thing is to have the right mindset to deal with setbacks. Failing means you just haven’t achieved yet – it’s not a failure, it’s a “not yet”. Have a growth mindset, about yourself and the things you are working on.
6. Evolve and Adapt
Darwin said “it’s not the strongest or most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change”. We live in an environment of continuous and even transformational innovation, and that transformation and innovation is increasingly a requirement for survival. Good leaders are not only open to change themselves, they empower and inspire others to identify positive change and action it.
In the end, Megan put down the lessons of the Summit to be summed up in a simple quote she jotted down from Suzanne Stew, the Deputy Secretary, Corporate at the Ministry of Justice.