Leadership to lead, not just maintain
Any business, whether you are a startup, scale up or mature, needs the right leadership team to set you up for success.
The definition of success is contextual, based on where the organisation is in its life-cycle and what its strategy is for the coming years.
After 8 years of building performHR from a napkin concept, it was time to strategically assess the leadership structure required to allow us to double and then double again over the coming 5 years.
We had the basis of a great leadership structure, however, we had grown (significantly) and my fellow shareholders and I knew it was time to check in on what we needed to reach our strategic goals (or as we call them, our Jimmy Choo goals!)
We not only looked at the leadership structure in terms of the roles required, but also made decisions around the skills and qualities in the people that would be a best fit for the newly created roles.
As an organisation grows, this regular ‘check-in’ around the right roles and the right people in those roles is critical. You need to respond to the growth, and be adaptable in order to try to stay ahead of what your clients’ see as important to them.
When you are in a scale up phase, like we are at performHR, having leaders with vision, drive and the ability to balance short range needs with medium-term goals is imperative. Energy, vision and innovative thinking, with the additional ability to execute on day to day operational requirements was critical to the selection of our new leaders.
We wanted our next leadership team to have a future focus - creating, inspiring and driving forward. But this needed to be balanced with the now – the development of our internal teams and the quality and execution of client deliverables.
I believe that having a title of a leader, and, consciously deciding to lead are not one in the same thing. To be an effective leader, you need to choose it. Otherwise, when it’s time to have a tough conversation with a ‘friend’ who was, or still is, a peer, you probably will avoid it, rather than own it.
So the outcome of this review, was the decision to expand our operational leadership team. To introduce four additional leaders to work with Kirbie (our Operations Director), Darren (our Corporate Services Director) and I to continue to grow performHR sustainably, without compromise on our value proposition to our clients. After one month in their new roles, Rosalind Loxton (ER Services Director) and Gabrielle Hancock, Karen Ansen and Tahnee McWhirter (Client Service Directors) are demonstrating to me what true leaders look like.
They are already having a significant impact on the future strategy of performHR and are challenging, inspiring and driving us forward. After 8 years, it is so energising to look back on that napkin concept and see how far we have come, and yet how true we are to what we originally set out to do.