NAWO SA’s August 3 Quick Bite, ‘Leading with Passion‘, was generously hosted by Orora Glass and asked guests to consider whether their leadership style was authentic. Thanks to Belinda Grant and Tanya Madden, both of Orora, for providing this summary of the event…
We often feel the need to change our behaviours in the workplace to fit in and embody the traits and styles of others. When leaders do this, it often feels inauthentic and can create a disconnect between a manager and their team. Being authentic as a leader requires being true to our own beliefs, morals, values and principles.
Guest speakers Greg Bywater, Supply Chain Director, and Kerry Tate, Commercial Manager shared their experiences of becoming Authentic Leaders, whilst exploring what makes an authentic leader and the barriers and successes that come with it.
Insights included the importance of Authentic Leadership to the Orora Glass Executive team’s journey to becoming a High Performing Team.
Greg Bywater took us on a journey of authentic leadership through safety and how he was courageous and dared to be different in the face of negativity and push back. He and his HR Team embarked on a marketing strategy to bring safety into the hearts and minds of the workforce using real people and real language. He also spoke about the ‘Champions of Change’ program at Orora Glass, where they wanted to improve diversity (particularly gender diversity) and how the business took the approach of ‘no barriers’ ie hiring for attitude and offering skills training and flexibility as well as improving the physical working environment. The results were great, with one female quoting she was unable to get a job until Orora gave her a go.
Kerry Tate gave a heartfelt insight into her working career and how the managers she had in the past had shaped her management style. She realised that it was not who she was – not the ‘real’ her – and she went about changing to be more authentic. She gave a great example of a difficult time when a business was downsizing – being honest and authentic to her team lifted morale even though the news was not positive. Her story was both a great insight into the effect management style can have on an individual, and how courage and a strong will can help you achieve your career goals.
Participants enjoyed the plant tour – a glass plant is a fascinating place to visit! Participants also provided very positive feedback about how Orora is taking its own authentic leadership journey: ‘Inspire and Empower our People’.