12 months ago today started like a normal Monday morning.
My wife and I were running around getting the kids ready for school.
Due to the extreme levels of anxiety that one of our kids has, it was a stressful, difficult morning getting him out the door and into the car. Once they had gone I left the house to rush for train.
Being January it was cold and a little icy, but I had a train to catch.
So I rushed down the lane in our village and then boom, just like that, I slipped on a patch of ice, a snap and sharp pain later, I broke my leg and ankle.
Well, that changed my whole outlook for the year.
I ended up having to have 3 months away from work.
During that time there was significant changes to my team and the leadership team around me. My challenge of making the most of some changes to our leadership team went out the window.
But I didn’t dwell on the negative – I focused on improving me.
I set up my own company to follow my passion of helping people and organisations transform.
I shared more of my photography.
I created a personal improvement plan to be a better me.
And I created an improvement plan for my team with their direct input (collated virtually via my tools).
During the last 12 months I have made progress on implementing all of these parts.
- Burning Leaf Creatives has successfully helped more than 8 companies to grow and develop, including 5 new companies set up by an inspirational founder.
- My photography has gone down well – and I published a book of photos from my village.
- I feel that I have become a better me – although that’s a harder one to judge myself!
But the team development plan hasn’t really developed.
We had three members of the team leave during the last 12 months for personal reasons. This has made it difficult to implement the changes that I, and the team, identified.
However, today that all changed.
A new beginning
On the anniversary of the break, I have spent most of today onboarding two new members of the team.
And I have been able to recruit them myself – only the third time I have been able to do that.
I have also been solely in charge of their onboarding process, which I have done in my own style.
Both started this morning at 9am.
Both were then taken straight to get their ID badges and security passes.
Both were then shown to their desks which had been cleaned and checked to make sure they work.
And then both were given personalised welcome packs.
The packs, which had a cover similar to this, contained the following essential information:
- Briefing about who we are and what we do
- An introduction to the team
- Structure charts
- Map of the building
- ‘You are allowed’ poster
- Passwords and login details for their accounts
- Initial priorities and tasks
All of which was customised to them.
I also enclosed an ‘About me’ sheet to capture details about them to populate our new design manual, which I have recently developed.
Following an hour or two of allowing them to log in to the system, read through their packs and the design manual, I then met with each of them individually to:
- Get to know them better
- Talk through their priorities
- Talk about our culture and working style
I use this information to identify the key strength that they bring into the team so that:
- I can ensure that they can use this strength in their day-to-day work so that they feel valued
- I can ensure that the team benefits from this strength
Amazingly I was able to guess one of their superpowers and the other one I was very close to guessing. More evidence that I had appointed the right people.
In the afternoon we finished with a new team briefing where we completed our teamsteps tool to help us keep the team aligned, informed and help us measure our progress.
I’ve also re-committed to my leadership intention for 2017 which was to –
“Inspire the soul of each individual in my team”
Here’s to progress.