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This week we say farewell to a much-loved team member, our Head of Business Growth, Guy Redhouse.  As always at Leading Teams, this provides us with an opportunity to review, and to highlight one of the key models we utilise – both ourselves, and with teams we work with – the cylinder model.  The cylinder model is vital in creating a positive team environment because it draws attention to the starting point of success, and that is culture.

Guy came to us from Cricket Australia three years ago and made an instant impact in our team.  Our Leadership Team is reselected annually, voted on by each team member.  The selection is based on character and competence, effectively, “Who would you most trust to run our business?”  Each team member has an equal vote, and Guy found himself voted into our Leadership Team after just six months at Leading Teams.  It didn’t take the team long to notice that Guy was a great cultural fit for us, and he that he was a leader through both his actions and his ability to influence others.

He has remained on our Leadership Team until this week, when he will leave us to take up a role with the Independent Brewers Association.

I remember the start quite vividly because the first step in Guy’s induction was at our Leading Teams days in Melbourne in November in 2018.  It was an opportunity for Guy to see our culture in action, and I think it made an immediate impression on him.

My first day with the team was amazing and truly inspiring. The culture was clear through action. I didn’t need to see big signs on walls or read the strategy document to know what was important. Everyone in the team wanted to hear each other, they wanted to hear what they were doing well and what they needed to work on to get better. I clearly remember Simon Fletcher sitting next to me, his leg twitching under the table because he hadn’t received any feedback from the team and at the first opportunity he was on his feet asking ‘What do you want to see from me?’.

Induction is a critical and often underestimated step because recruitment is not a perfect science.  We can’t always guarantee that the people we select will be right for us, or that we will be right for them.  One of the keys to a successful induction is to start having genuine conversations (giving feedback) early.  New team members have a different lens, and their eyes are usually wide open.  They are trying to figure out how to fit in, so they are more likely to notice some of the things that perhaps we don’t.  This presents an opportunity, but only if we’re prepared to listen.

From day one Guy was prepared to challenge us.  He took the time to build relationships with us, which allowed us to trust him, and trust that he was challenging us for the right reason – to make us better.  His willingness to show leadership in this space was recognised by the team, not just with selection in our Leadership Team, but also by being awarded the Sally McLean medal, the award named in honour of Leading Teams founder Ray McLean’s late wife.  It is presented each year to the team member whom we believe best lives our culture.

Winning the Sally McLean Award is clearly the highlight of my time at Leading Teams. It means more to me than any other professional achievement in my working life, but it goes beyond that. To be recognised as the best example of a culture that is so cherished was incredibly rewarding and special. Having my name linked to an award named in honour of Sally is something I’ll always cherish.

The end point to the cylinder is ‘exit’.  All of us will exit a team at some point.  We will all leave a legacy – this isn’t a choice – but the nature of our legacy is.  Guy’s willingness to take responsibility, to show initiative to find ways to collaborate with us has changed our business.  We have improved in many ways, and there is no question that Guy leaves us in better shape than he found us three years ago.

I hope you are better for having been with us too Guy.  Thanks mate, we wish you all the best in your new role.

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tim.ferguson@leadingteams.net.au'

Tim joined Leading Teams in 2012 after experiencing our program as a client. Tim is a facilitator based in Northern NSW.