Kitchen talks

When we moved on from our previous lives and sat in our “office” (the kitchen), we challenged each other to be totally honest about what we wanted to achieve next. What would make us leap out of bed in the morning, genuinely excited by the day ahead and go to bed at night knowing we had contributed and made a difference. And critically, what did we think we were really good at….what did we have to offer that was important and relevant to leaders and teams across various businesses and borders.

Our list did not shout systems or processes. Everything that motivated us, that we were passionate about, without exception, was people centric. And so armed with our copies of “The $100 Startup” (by Chris Guillebeau and highly recommended) we set to work on redgiraffe.

Firstly, we asked ourselves the question “While companies have stormed ahead with ‘digitalisation’, ‘disruption’. ‘optimisation’ or ‘globalisation’, have they taken their eye off the ball? Have companies relegated their most powerful resource, their people, to the reserve bench?

Christopher J.Nassetta, President and CEO for Hilton Worldwide has spoken many times of the importance of building a great culture that motivates people to move forward together. It is no accident that the Hilton group is now regularly voted as one of the best companies to work for and their results and growth under his leadership have been phenomenally successful.

In this first 90 days on the job, he toured the world of Hilton reaching out and talking to as many employees as he could. From managers to bellhops, from cooks to corporate staff, big groups and little groups, he gave them all a voice.

“To me, leadership is about establishing the vision of the future [along with] great strategy and building a great culture that is driven by a purpose that motivates people to move forward together….. It’s amazing, the opportunities that you can take advantage of and the obstacles that a group can overcome when they really feel inspired by a purpose as opposed to just a component piece of the overall equation.”

The best CEOs manage to combine a directive as well as a more participative approach to leadership.

Michael C Bush, author of “A great place to work for all” believes you maximise the true potential of your employees (and therefore revenue growth) not by perks but by how people feel they are treated by their leaders. Trust, fairness and listening are all key to leadership effectiveness.

These guys are both leaders that exemplify our redgiraffe philosophy and how it impacts results.