Kicking off NAWO’s bumper 2017 events calendar on the 1st of February was a fully booked Queensland QuickBite, generously hosted by Linfox Logistics. Jessica Perry – Business Development Manager, Distribution & Manufacturing, BlueScope and NAWO QLD State Committee Member provided this overview of the event. Following Jessica’s review are the ‘Points for Progression’ Key Learnings taken from Annette Carey’s presentation and prepared by Leonie Metaxa, Development Strategy and Innovation, Linfox …
Removalist Wanted, I’m moving onto my second career was the first event of 2017 for NAWO QLD and the first NAWO event hosted by Linfox Logistics nationally. Basing their presentations on the ‘Career Management’ Learning Theme, guest speakers Annette Carey, CEO Linfox, and Sarah Collis, Operations Manager Linfox, addressed the 45 attendees.
The aim of the event was to explore what it means to start a second career and, through learning from the experiences of our speakers, better understand how you can take the skills you have learnt in one role/industry and adopt them to another. A structured networking session started the event where attendees were given a playing card on arrival and were encouraged to find someone with the matching number to themselves and discuss the pre-printed questions on the reverse of the card. All the questions were around the topic theme such as ‘What’s rocking your world today’.
Overview of the key speaker/s presentation:
Sarah discussed how she found herself in a logistics company from an HR degree having opened her mind and options to other graduate opportunities outside her field when she found her search was too narrow. She really embraced the role and learnt as much as she could and discussed how her enthusiasm and attitude progressed her through Linfox without the technical understanding.
Annette discussed her un-structured career and how the faith from others that she could do the role ultimately put her where she is today. She gave a very detailed break down of the key traits she felt were important to being successful including “Face the Fear… and do it anyway”. Annette was engaging and had a very ‘real’ and ‘honest’ approach which was refreshing to hear.
This was a fantastic event, very well attended and, from talking with attendees, a very relevant topic that resonated with a lot of people who where currently in career transitions. The speakers were insightful.
By Leonie Mitaxa, Development Strategy and Innovation, Linfox
Linfox CEO Australia New Zealand Annette Carey recently spoke at an event hosted by the National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO).
Though the main focus of Annette’s presentation was career transitions, she shared some excellent advice about behaviours and practices that have enabled her progress to a leadership position. As a woman highly regarded in her senior leadership role, this is definitely advice worth spreading. Her eight tips are below.
Getting out of your comfort zone expands your thinking and reveals opportunities. Annette pinpoints her experience as General Counsel at Linfox, when she volunteered to lead the development of Linfox’s tender for the Australia’s Department of Defence. A huge and significant piece of work, this gave her exposure to several new areas of the business and project management experience. And of course, its success resulted in a new business unit for Linfox and hundreds of new jobs.
Volunteering to lead projects (even though it can be daunting at first) can vastly improve your confidence as you discover abilities and knowledge you didn’t realise you had. Annette says her early Board experiences gave her confidence to involve herself in discussions and ask questions.
While in any new role you’ll bring experience from previous roles and companies, Annette stresses the importance of resisting the temptation to constantly reference this – as in “at XYZ, we always did it this way” – a sure way to get your new colleagues offside. Having an open mind and asking questions of people at all levels of your organisation – especially those in technical, commercial and operational roles – and listening to different perspectives will increase both your knowledge of your industry and your effectiveness.
Ask yourself what sort of culture you want to create in your organisation and find a role model or mentor that inspires such a culture. Annette identifies former Linfox President and current Reserve Bank of Australia Kathryn Fagg as a strong influence in her career. Kathryn was firm but always maintained a professional manner when dealing with people. Today Linfox employees describe Annette the same way.
Annette has seen several leaders adopt a “What’s in it for me?’ mentality, which is transparent and leads to poor decision making. By contrast, being a team player, listening, being responsive and treating people at all levels with respect builds goodwill across your organisation. The best leader in any team is not necessarily the most senior person, but the person who enables other members of the team to be the best they can be.
Trusting your people – but holding them accountable – inspires innovation. The problem with a “command and control” approach is that you cannot hold people accountable if you make all the calls. Disempowered people are also less likely to take risks or stick their necks out – it stifles creativity.
A leader’s integrity and credibility in the eyes of others is tied to their values. While values based decisions can involve managing difficult and unpopular outcomes, but they’re easier to stand by.
Annette returned to work after her first child at a time when part-time roles weren’t an option. So she created flexibility by getting on top of her work and demonstrating this to management. Reliability and competency inspire generosity and flexibility because management want to keep you. Building goodwill will give you the confidence to seek help when you need it.
While these practices have supported Annette throughout her career transitions, they will stand you in good stead at any stage of your career. If you focus on the right behaviours, the outcome will look after itself.