As the old adage goes, time flies when you are having fun. It is amazing how quick the years go by nowadays. I celebrated my birthday with close friends and family, as well as receiving a crazily large bunch of generous messages across social media. Firstly, I have to express my gratitude to everyone for their warm and kind words, none of them are taken for granted and I sincerely appreciated each and every one of these amazing messages.
Birthdays provide us all with a great opportunity to take a step back and reflect. Hopefully, we will have had some personal landmark events and occurrences that are worthy of celebrating, alongside some stark reminders that we are still on a learning journey. None more so than as a society, in fostering more inclusive environments, so that everyone can succeed.
My young, vibrant and energetic team took me to my favourite Italian restaurant, Locanda Locatelli, for an evening full of surprises, laughs and love. It felt a lot like family. Each one of the team has their own different personal purpose, a unique driver for why they work as hard as they do. This creates a beautiful blend of ideas, perspectives and collective ownership.
Where we are all aligned is in the overall business purpose, and our values, beliefs and attitude. When we come together – magic happens. Everyone has each other’s back, we lose together and win together, we look out for each other and look after each other.
The team’s average age is roughly 26. It is not by accident. Experience has its place, but as technological innovation continues to disrupt the business landscape, maybe we are at an inflexion point where experience is now a little overrated. Skills are always something you can train, develop and learn. We always hire more for attitude. Attitude is so much harder to train – a person’s inherent personality, characteristics and upbringing make them unique and special.
Despite traditional wisdom, I decided years ago to experiment by providing leadership development to people nearer the start of their careers. I’m privileged to have witnessed and played a small part in seeing each one of them grow and develop out of recognition from when they joined. The leadership mindset is the best gift to all our colleagues – it is always the single biggest career accelerator.
I’m well aware that at as time continues to fly, they will all move away onto something special to further advance their career. For me that is the whole point. They will forever carry the leadership gene and when the time comes for them to lead their own teams, I will feel a great sense of pride.
Hopefully, I’m (completely by accident) heading towards starting to prove that good leaders create followers and great leaders create leaders.