A sense of belonging has always been the most natural and best feeling in the world to me. When we feel we belong, we thrive and everything truly is possible. As I walk into my fourth decade in business, as Commercial Director of Cutitronics and with more passion than ever for people and business, here is some of what I’ve learnt about team along the way.
There will never be a better version of you than you; be yourself
“There will never be a better version of you than you” is a famous quote from Mr Warren Buffet and listed as the first lesson in Robin Sharma’s book, The Greatness Guide. I had the opportunity to attend and meet Robin at a leadership-training event in London a few years back. His ethos of getting to the top of your game keeping two things with you; the people you love and your health is a mantra I try to live by daily. I’ve so far never met Mr Buffet but was honoured to chat with the late CEO of a previous company I worked with, who spoke so positively of his weekly calls with Mr Buffet, confirming how he applied this belief into his daily business practice.
I grew up in a successful family business where I was regularly given a variety of jobs; manufacturing, admin and customer-facing. Some of these I loved, others I most definitely did not! Loving what we do is, in my opinion, a key indicator that we are operating within our unique gifting and the one piece of advice I have consistently given our children. Over the years since those early experiences, I’ve been exposed to a wealth of psychometric testing, training and career development, which has only ever further confirmed those early beliefs.
I recently heard an expert advise that if we operate within our natural gifting and talent at least 80% of the time, then we will feel sufficiently fulfilled to be stretched out with our comfort zone for the remaining 20% of the time.
Lesson 1; Great teams begin with the coming together of individuals who understand their own strengths and recognise and respect those of others; Do what you love.
Coming together; the role culture plays
The late Steve Jobs once famously said his model for business was the Beatles; four guys who kept one another’s negative tendencies in check and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. For many, the Beatles were an overnight success, most of us never really understood the significance of those two and half years performing in Hamburg, which honed their individual talents to collectively create a sound, that changed the music world forever. This is precisely my experience in business. When individuals come together in a culture where everyone is respected, great collaboration and productivity grow to produce truly amazing results.
Steve Job’s Apple is just one business example of this. The world of sport also gives us some great examples. Some of my favourites include Europe’s legendary Ryder cup wins at the K club and more recently at Gleneagles. I’ll never forget the day we watched Andy Murray win his first Wimbledon title and thank the team that had supported him to achieve his ultimate ambition. And dare I mention Scotland’s recent victory over England to win the Calcutta Cup?
Lesson 2; when we create a culture that actively encourages a diverse variety of skills and talents where every member of the team is respected and supported to grow; everything really is possible.
The role of the mentor and the ability to laugh out loud
As we walk life’s journey opportunities come our way, which if we choose to accept, take us completely out of our comfort zone. I can recall many of these moments both personally and professionally. This is where the role of the mentors we are surrounded by, in my experience, become pivotal. I have been privileged to have some truly inspiring mentors throughout my life. One of my greatest achievements thus far in business was when I took a call from a lady who had just awarded my then company an Investors in People Gold Award, to congratulate me on the number of mentees I had in that company. Making others feel valued, honoured and appreciated is truly priceless as we build teams.
That nurturing ability is I believe one of the strengths we as women bring to the boardroom and to business. I see this to be especially true in my ultimate life role as mother to our two sons. Not by any stretch of the imagination am I a feminist, I love working alongside my male counterparts, I’m merely once again recognising that we need a breadth of skill, talent and passion to build the ultimate team. A sense of humour and the ability to laugh out loud, not taking ourselves too seriously particularly as we face new unchartered waters and challenges is also essential.
Once formed, the confidence and belief system of this ultimate team ensures that as life’s challenges come along, which they surely will, the team pushes through, supporting and if necessary carrying one another over the finishing line to success, smiling.
Lesson 3; Great teams stand together when the going gets tough, they stick and stay and make it pay, they make it fun because life is too short for anything else.
At Cutitronics nothing is more important to us than our team. We’re thrilled to have brought together the diverse skills, talent, experience and expertise to create our game-changing devices and digital platform. We are now offering white-labelled access to these, to the world’s most visionary, consumer-centric cosmetic companies.
We do also have lots of fun, so if you’re coming to In-Cosmetics Global this April in Amsterdam get in touch! We’ll be delighted to arrange a chat with you and your team on the Croda International Stand (G60).