This week I was part of a leadership event at work, invited because of my involvement in our change management project as a business Change Coach. An added bonus to this opportunity was that I was able to experience a presentation from Rachael Robertson, author and former team leader of the Australian Antarctic Expedition.
In keeping with the focus of leadership Rachael shared her experience of being a leader in a situation with compounding extremes; a small team, far away from home, isolated and in the harsh antarctic climate. The effectiveness of the team in such an environment can become a matter of survival.
I didn’t have my usual sketchnoting book with me, but I have been taking all of my work notes in my Evernote Moleskine (with huge thanks to Optimal Workshop who gifted it to me). I sketchnoted the whole session including Rachael’s presentation which I have shared below.
The key themes I got from Rachael’s presentation:
- Respect in a work environment is way more important than harmony, and more effective.
- Going direct to the source in disputes helps resolve conflict. She introduced the concept of No Triangles which was an agreement teams can enter into that they will go direct to the source with issues rather than take it to a third party (such as the manager).
- Awareness as a leader is critical, awareness of your behaviour and acknowledgement of achievements (even small ones).
Rachael is a very engaging speaker with practical leadership advice and a compelling story to tell. She has also written a book about her Antarctic experience and the topic of leadership titled Leading on the edge, available on her website.
As an interesting aside, Rachael employed a neat use of SMS technology to connect people with information about the No Triangles concept.
By texting ‘No Triangles’ to a number an auto response requests your name, and then your email in order to send information. An effective way to increase the chance of people following up and the humanisation of the interaction is very cute.