My name is Bronte Eckermann. My company is Eckermann And Associates Pty Ltd.
E&A is a product design consultancy, that also develops its own innovative products and creates businesses around the intellectual property. One such invention and spinoff business is Zing International, which is the company created around our patented flashing cricket wickets that we conceived and developed.
The main leadership challenge for me in 2019 was to develop a small team of skilled and motivated individuals capable of innovating as a group. To turn the all-round nodding and hearty enthusiasm for innovation into real action and striving toward challenging goals.
The stumbling block seemed to be finding the right people who thrive in such an environment. Finding the right skills experience and attitude is tough, but anyone in Adelaide with these qualities plus a good dose of “get up and go” seemed to have already “got up and gone”. Getting the final ingredient on top of the talent stack looked like an exercise in improving my HR strategy.
However, I still questioned how much extra a good leader would get out of the people I already had in my team. But it’s bloody hard to get a decent honest benchmark of your leadership skills when you are stuck in a business bubble without talented peers to watch and learn from.
So a leadership course at The London Business School seemed like a great way to spend a week. With my cricket commitments, London was a good choice to double up on some other work on the trip.
I have to say that the course was one of the best things I’ve ever put myself through professionally. I was worried that it would disappoint because I really wanted to get some value from the experience. It really helped me put my own skills and talents in perspective and highlighted areas and specific skills I can improve on. The people in the group were inspirational, and we learned so much from each other and in the practical activities that we did through the week.
I felt like I came away with a very clear understanding of where my leadership skills and strengths lie, benchmarked and tested against a talented bunch of high caliber people and it really clarified my situation to return to Adelaide and put the capabilities of individual team members to the test, and commence an HR strategy of hiring those cultural traits in to make up for the deficiencies.
It gave me confidence to accelerate the team building with some big decisions and then take it further by applying the skills and techniques I learnt from that week to improve on my strengths. It’s very exciting and I’m really looking forward to seeing where it takes us.