If only I knew that the darkest and ugliest of times in my career would contribute and fuel my purpose now. My fascination with the modern workplace came from working for some very unpleasant people in the past. Everything I learned and practiced is the opposite of what they did. A simple lesson really.
As Royall developed and offered opportunities to others, I vowed that I would always be supportive to colleagues in the best way I could– especially with an understanding that people need to play a central lead role in the lives of their children and family; as well as developing their career and personal brands.
I know it is possible to balance these needs, and I know of clients who do balance these needs. For the main, it comes down to thinking and planning ahead. Accountability, support, structure, and being confident enough to know when to push back, or even say “no, not this time – something else is more important to me.”
I recognise that there will always be some circumstances beyond control which mean things tip out of balance and when they do, it is up to us as team members to do what we can to help. These times should be the minority and not the norm.
I also understand that for some, forging a progressive career, influencing management and developing a strong personal brand in the company you work for and industry you serve, can feel like a battle with the desire to play an active present role in your children’s lives, and not just see them when they are already tucked up in bed.
A recent survey tells us that more than two-thirds of parents said they regretted not affording more special time with their children when they were young. Surely, we can prevent this from being the case in the events industry. The early informative years are crucial, as parents we want to be the ones that influence and shape these, not others – children grow up so fast and we can’t turn back the clock.
Goldman Sachs led the way by opening an on-site office crèche and has since opened other crèches in New York and Tokyo. More great ideas are coming forward; but I know only too well that it isn’t only about the new-born and baby, toddler and child stage, it is a lifetime’s work. My Father, our Controller, will second this in the loudest of “Hear Hears”!
At Royall we provide a nurturing, empathetic environment which allows for later start times for those that face complicated logistics in the morning. One of our team has 3 different drop-off’s and a long commute to the office, we all have school-age children so sickness and childcare complications are commonplace. And of course we all want to be there for sports days, school concerts and parent/teacher meetings. We never discuss ‘making up the time’, our relationships are built on trust and respect for one another.
We also actively encourage SMART working; for days when travelling to client meetings and then back to the office will consume your day, or, if there are those days when reaching the office may just take up all you have, working from home is granted and respected. This way, our energy goes to best use, into our performance, results and doing all we can for our client and talent community.
Long gone are the days where it is considered impressive to be so ‘busy’ all the time, not getting back to people, working all hours and not practising self-care or partaking in the things that you love… the things that feed your soul. My objectives are to work hard to create a legacy for my children, but I want most of all to be as close to them as I can, to furnish their childhood so they can be children and feel safe and secure, so I do my utmost to put everything down after 5.30pm, including my phone, to be connected to them and not another reality – as best I can.
I strongly believe that it is possible to balance job and family, no matter what level you are, and this certainly is how we encourage our clients to think, just like all other great CEO’s.
Have a fantastic career and be an awesome parent who is truly present at the same time!
Habits are there to be broken, questions are there to be asked, and changes are to be made!
No time like the present.