Bring your whole self to work
When people feel safe, and they feel seen is where they find the space to be their best self, believes Saller. And leadership plays a key role in fostering that setting. “I believe leadership is about creating an environment where people can do their best work and lead their best lives,” explains Saller.
“Wherever you’re leading, whether it’s a project or a company, you want people to lean in,” says Harrisson. When people are afraid, they shrink back, and they conceal their true selves. Saller alludes to the voice in our heads as being more often than not contradictory to the way in which others see us. What’s important is to turn that voice off. “Ultimately we are really bad judges of ourselves,” says Saller.
For Saller, everyone should feel able to bring their whole self to work, “because I think it’s such a waste of energy for people to pretend to be something they’re not.” While people supporting one another matters, for Saller, she urges people to get to a point where they’re less stirred by what other people think: ““the journey is about that locus of judgement being in you,” she adds.
To enable people to bring their whole self to work, they need to recognise what Harrisson calls, “the cycle of confidence and the wheel of shit.” Confidence breeds confidence, and a lack of it breeds the same. When you’re in the cycle, “you’re in an environment where people help you understand your potential and you’re allowed to be safe and your confidence thrives,” says Harrisson. The wheel of shit is the total opposite.
Prioritise more ruthlessly
One of the predominant issues for individuals and businesses navigating life under lockdown, and working from home, is the lack of boundaries around what constitutes work and life. This flexibility does have its benefits of course but it also can mean, “that the boundaries are even worse,” explains Harrisson. If you’re working all hours, you’re not going to feel energised and passionate, and that’s what your team and the business needs.
Saller believes it’s important to remember the job in hand. Ask yourself two questions, she says, “what are you working on and is it really important? Because there’s a lot of stuff that we do that doesn’t really matter.” Being more discerning will enable you to carve out a better work/life balance. “Prioritise more ruthlessly,” adds Saller, because that’s what’s within your power and control.
Answering a question from the audience, Saller revealed she doesn’t like referring to imposter syndrome because, what we should be doing, is understanding the nuance of the moments in which you feel like you’re not good enough. “Growth is never a straight line,” she adds. As Harrisson concluded, “focus on your superpower not someone else’s.”
WACL Gather 2020 was hosted online with any donations being directed to NABS, the support organisation for the advertising and media industry.