Learn some important business principles from an executive director in this interview between Dale Beaumont and Anne-Marie Syme. Knowing that they have worked for her in her grand success should be fuel enough to apply them in your own life and business. Easily applicable, yet so powerful.
In 2004, Anne-Marie was appointed executive director of Finance and Systems Technology (F.A.S.T.). She is also chairman of Australian Consolidated Insurance Limited (ACI), a company that concentrates on key market segments in the insurance industry, such as resources (oil/gas and mining), construction, professional risks, and corporate and specialty schemes.
Over the years, what are some of the most important principles you have learnt that have helped you excel?
- One of the biggest things I stand for, and quite often, is the law of reciprocity.Leadership is about giving back and sharing your knowledge. If you give to your staff by providing things such as ongoing training in areas of their choice, options for shares or unexpected bonuses, it is an acknowledgment of a job well done. Giving to your staff can come in many guises such as sending flowers, wine, a card or even just some movie tickets – just do it when they least expect it in recognition of their commitment. We all love to be acknowledged and appreciated for what we do.
- One of the biggest secrets I have learned about being at the top of your game is to remain humble. If I go out with one of my staff to meet their client or referral sources, they should never introduce me as their boss. I hate that term and I prefer to be introduced as a work colleague. The client can tell from my business card that I am their ‘boss’ but they don’t need to say it, that’s for sure. I always treat my staff as work colleagues because that is what they really are. The only time I become their boss is if they have done something fraudulent or to harm the company, its reputation, their peers or themselves. I will then put my boss hat on and deal with the issue at hand. If you give your staff freedom to make great decisions they feel empowered. If you worry about doing this, then it would be pertinent to review your training, policy, procedures and reporting up the line. Fortunately in my business, I’m not really employing junior staff, I’m employing business professionals. Some of them have far better work experience than me! I just happen to be the one holding the purse strings and carrying the ultimate responsibility.
- Another secret I’ve learnt is to never hold a grudge. Everyone makes mistakes and once things have been corrected, move on and never bring it up again. Your staff will always respect this about you.
For more of this interview and some important business principles check out “Secrets of Inspiring Leaders Exposed!“