We recently attended PRCA’s NextGen event, ‘Becoming the Leaders of Tomorrow’, featuring panellists Natalie Luke, Founder & Managing Director at Aduro Communications; Ishtar Schneider, Account Director for Health at Edelman and our very own Director, Tim Lines.
Anneliese Searle, PRCA’s NextGen London Chairman, opened the discussion on what makes a great leader today. Listening to anecdotes from the panel’s own careers and key insights into leadership, we took away the following pieces of career advice:
Ishtar, who moved from a leading health agency of 60 people in Australia to Edelman, a global communications agency of 600, stressed the importance of taking ownership of your own career: “You are your own CEO. If an opportunity comes in, grab it – or ask for what you want.”
As we build our careers – especially at a junior level – it is important to build on skills such as leadership, communication and your knowledge of the business. While these skills generally grow as our careers progress, we should be prioritising our personal development from the get-go. It’s only by personally driving your career and asking for the training that you need that you’ll be able to shape it in the way that you want.
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Tim, a champion of company culture and developing talent from within, has been at NBU for 12+ years. He talked us through his own career and growth, including his milestone moment when he realised that he couldn’t micromanage every little thing and had to let go and give giving people the freedom to try new things – and the room to fail.
He said: “While management is about direction and control, leadership is much looser, more inspirational and focused on the longer term. Great leaders have a genuine passion for their people and teams. They can listen and use their experience to address any issues before they come about.”
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Natalie Luke, Founder & Managing Director at Aduro Communications, reflected on client relationships. Speaking about growing up with a client and the challenge of altering that perception, she said: “Sometimes you need a fresh start in order to be seen as a leader.” She went onto explain that when clients fail to see your career trajectory in the way that your team do and continue to respond to you as the junior colleague, it’s crucial that you find other accounts which give you room to mature.
Ultimately, the panel agreed that good leadership is about recognising when your employees and your team need room to grow, then making space for them to do so.
Hire people that have the potential to be better than yourself – and provide the best culture and environment to help them achieve their potential.