Leading by Example Red and purple Pins

What It Means to Lead By Example

What It Means to Lead By Example

Posted on July 2022 By Madeline Rowston

Leading by Example Red and purple Pins

​The tension between what companies stand for and how they walk the talk is a tough challenge to overcome in fast paced industries like marketing and advertising.

Earlier this month I attended one of B&T’s sold out Changing the Ratio Events. What I took away was the importance of leading by example after listening to keynote speakers discuss diversity in television, advertising and the mental health crisis in these workplaces.

It was refreshing to hear leaders and founders advocate for flexible work. Whether it’s for caregiving responsibilities, working where you’re most productive or to volunteer to outside the workplace. It’s clear that flexible workplaces must start from the top down.

Work is no longer a place you go, it’s a thing you do.

Predicted by LinkedIn in 2019 and Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella in 2015. Perhaps this prediction has been accelerated by the rise of #WFH and hybrid systems over the past three years. Regardless, they were right.

This culture shift has been catastrophic for many industries, such as advertising and media who were notorious for long inflexible hours.

What’s most interesting is that more and more employees in these industries are demanding for the 9 to 5 mentality to be thrown away and for flexible, empathetic and boundary led cultures to be embraced.

We can only have true flexibility if leaders set the example.

Whilst both our candidates and clients are embracing flexible work and looking for hybrid and remote roles, the only way to make these changes long lasting and sustainable is for organisations C-suite and founders to follow suit.

Do you managers and leadership teams take time for caregiving roles or prioritise their wellbeing during the work day?

Life and work have been blended, employees are given more freedom working from home and it’s time for everyone to embrace it.

Working the hours that suit not only your lifestyle but also your productivity and efficiency are essential. If you work best early in the morning or after 5pm, then who’s to say you can’t work productively in the hours that suit you?

Werklabs showed six different types of flexibility that employees desire. These include location variety (chose your own work location), unconventional hours (choose the hours that suit your productivity) and freedom to adapt (swap your hours to prioritise life outside work).

With this in mind, it's important to consider what flexibility means to each employee and how they want to use it to their advantage.

At Team Stopgap we've long been advocates of flexible work from the 4 day work week to location variety. We are driven by the importance of integrity and togetherness. Work is individualised to each team member. To the hours that best suit their schedule and more importantly, what makes them thrive. After all, it’s the people that make the heart of an organisation beat.

In my 6months at Stopgap, I’ve learnt the importance of leading by example from Helen, our General Manager. What struck me when I started was her commitment to flexibility and prioritisation for health and wellbeing. Being a full-time student, my schedule changes frequently and the encouragement to move my hours and location to suit study, assessments and life has been invaluable in my final year of university.

As a Gen Z worker entering the early stages of my career, my hope is for leaders to listen with empathy and lead a culture of individualised flexibility across all industries.