21-year-old Code for Cape Town alumni, Mandisa Dlubom joined Responsive Tech as an intern earlier this year and we’re so grateful that she did. We asked her a few questions and her answers reveal why she has been such a good fit and how having her with us has been more than mutually beneficial. What a woman!
“There’s something about you all, you’re different,”- that’s what people say when they walk into our offices or meet us.
Two weeks ago we held the first Responsive #Retreat2017 in a 1800's Victorian homestead in Paarl, a 50 minute drive from Cape Town. The aim of the retreat was to take time to team build, share leadership insights and discuss our vision for the year to come. Spoiler alert: exciting things around the corner.
“You guys, get it,” said Jaco Pieters from Corporate Activities who assisted us with the team build, “I’ve never in my 13 years of experience worked with a group of people with enthusiasm like yours.”
One of the reasons why the staff at Responsive are zealous and committed is because our leadership culture focuses on teamwork, collaboration and encouragement.
Simon Sinek in his book “Leaders Eat Last”, explains why some teams pull together and other’s don’t:
“The true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own. Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest.”
Leadership isn’t a rank you achieve, it’s a skill you need to practice. Leadership is helping one another instead of playing a game of one up. It’s “Hey, you did well on that,” or “How can we do this better?” or “You know what? Let’s work through it together.”
Here are 6 leadership thoughts which help us create a place where people love to work.
We’re still learning a lot about this, but we found these points inspired us to continue to grow and shape our leadership culture.
If you think saying hi in the morning is a waste of your time, you are wrong! “How you doing?” may seem insignificant, but a hi makes people think: my leader has my back and I matter to the team.
Have a say
Old school leadership is, “how do I get people to do what I want NOW?” Real leadership says involve your team in the vision of the company and let them contribute to how they would want to move things forward. You will find, once your team feels a part of the vision, they will overperform.
If you fill the room, make every decision and never provide a chance for anyone else to step up you limit growth. Trust and inspiration trump control every-single-time. The people you work with are smart and capable- give them a chance to show the world what they can do.
Healthy relationships are one hard conversation away. Step in and have the conversation which will turn around your team and company culture. Hard conversations keep a workplace healthy, they grow your leadership and your character. They aren’t easy, but they are worth it.
Decide to be a leader
There is no Bruce Almighty scene in life. You may get a new role which demands greater leadership skills, however, most of us have to decide to lead by example no matter what HR has put on our job specs.
Leadership, also called integrity
People don’t follow people because they have a title, parking space or corner office. Imposing authority does not win over the hearts of the people around you. True leadership, the kind people respond to, is about polishing the talent in others, doing what you say you will do and “eating last”. Every human being has a need to feel valued. Everyone seeks opportunities to learn and wants to contribute to something significant. When you create a leadership culture in your workplace which embraces this need, something different is formed. We can call it camaraderie, exuberance and a sense of accomplishment.
Are you an enthusiastic passionate person who looking to work in a dynamic and encouraging work environment? If so, head to our careers page to say hi.
What do you think makes for an encouraging leadership culture?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.