Life is tough. Authenticity is key. Resilience is crucial.

These were some of the key takeaways from yesterday's inspirational breakfast seminar hosted by Stephenson Mansell Group on the topic of resilience in leaders. 

We don’t normally blog about anything other than current or topical issues in our field (sorry!)  Whilst it may seem that this is slightly unrelated, it’s not. 

First of all, I was so surprised by the humility of the panel members*.  There is literally not a lot these 3 leaders haven’t done.  I tried not to let my jaw drop during the introductions, but they are so super impressive it was warranted.  What I liked most was that:

  • they admitted they can’t do everything;
  • they acknowledged the importance of family; and
  • they all noted authenticity as a driver for success.

These things alone are worth reflecting on (particularly as someone who always names “honesty” as one of my negative attributes). 

However, from an HR perspective, the panel members all spoke of the personal obligation on leaders in companies to groom and foster their talent.  They spoke of the importance of not just working with data (like people capability metrics) but USING it to implement change.  And they spoke about forward planning as a stress minimisation technique. 

All of these issues are ones that we come across on a regular basis but sometimes for SMEs they are forgotten about.  It’s not because they don’t want to or that they don’t know how.  It’s just because they are generally more reactive that proactive.  They are only attuned to these issues when they start to realise their high turnover rates, when they have negative feedback or worse still – when a claim arises.

There is no denying that employees are (with the exception of a few bad eggs) a company’s greatest asset.  This is why we advocate a proactive approach to HR and employment for SMEs.  Whilst we’re there to clean up the mess, we also partner with our clients and external providers to work through HR initiatives at the front end. 

We felt so honoured to be in a room full of esteemed professionals and learning from the best at yesterday's breakfast.  It also reminded us that what we do matters and applies equally across all kinds and sizes of companies. 

If you would like to learn more about we do, contact THE WORKPLACE.

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*The panel members were Gordon Cairns (Chairman, Origin Energy and Quick Service Restaurants and Senior Advisor, McKinsey & Company), Nerida Caesar (CEO and Managing Director, Veda) and Virginia Mansell (CEO and Executive Director, Stephenson Mansell Group).