It’s the classic dinner party conversation starter. What would you do if you won $10 million? Would you quit your job? This question was posed to me the other night, and after only a moment’s deliberation, I proudly said, “No, I wouldn’t quit.”
“Why?” I hear you ask. Well, I can confidently state that I genuinely love what I do. A statement like this is commonplace, yet rarely genuine. To find yourself in a situation where you honestly feel this engagement within your workplace is something rare. I know that I feel it – I look forward to arriving at work each day to lead my wonderful team, to participate in programs of change, and to tackle the new challenges that get thrown at me.
My feelings were very much validated at a recent Salesforce event, where the truly inspirational Louise Baxter shared her views on life and career.
Louise was our guest speaker at the August 2016 Women in Leadership lunch. These lunches – and the broader Women in Leadership program – are all about connecting female leaders across the business community and celebrating the achievements of amazing women like Louise.
Louise is the Chief Executive and Executive Director of the Starlight Foundation, an Australian charity dedicated to brightening the lives of seriously ill and hospitalised children and their families. During her time leading the Foundation, Louise has significantly expanded its program. Starlight has received recognition as an AON Hewitt Best Employer accreditation, and ranked in the top 10 in Australia’s Great Places to Work and Australia’s Most Reputable Charity brands. In 2015, Louise was the Not-for-Profit CEO of the Year by CEO Magazine.
Louise’s achievements at work are remarkable; her attitude towards life even more so. She shared some seemingly simple but clearly powerful strategies for becoming a better leader and really engaging with the people around you.
The simplest strategy? Get off email. Louise encourages us all to walk across the office and talk to colleagues face to face. As she acknowledged, it’s so tempting when you’re busy to take the easy route of email – but email ends up hampering our efforts to really engage with people.
She also stressed the importance of authenticity and transparency, and it’s clear that she lives and breathes these two traits in her daily work.
Finally, she shared the idea that if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, it may be time to step away and do something else. This is exactly what she did when she left the Starlight Foundation after six years in her first role. She wanted to find the next challenge to grow – which she did, and then returned three years later refreshed and ready to give it her all in her current role.
And this is where the $10 million question comes in. I do believe that if you’re not genuinely happy in your current role, then you’d likely leave it in a flash if you won the lottery. And, if you really enjoy what you do and are challenged every day, then no amount of money could make you give it up. I feel extremely lucky that this is where I’m at.
Question is, what’s your answer?
The Starlight Foundation is a Salesforce.org customer. Leveraging 1% of Salesforce’s technology, people and resources, Salesforce.Org is our self-funded social enterprise, delivering best-in-class technology to non-profits. The proceeds from the technology supports employee volunteering and grants into the key areas we are passionate about, like STEM education, youth workforce development and technology innovation.
For me, giving back is such an important part of the positive culture we have here at Salesforce. The marketing team at Salesforce recently had the opportunity to give something back to the Starlight Foundation. We participated in an incredibly rewarding team volunteering event, where we donated our time to sell a range of goodies to help raise money for the Foundation.
“Volunteering showed me how ready people are to give, which was inspiring. It was also amazing to have to do this as part of a corporate team – we’re a competitive bunch, it turns out! We were showboating and pulling out all sorts of tricks to sell more than each other. As a result we sold out in record time. It was a lot of fun,” said Kayleigh Kahlefeldt, Director, Customer & Content Marketing - APAC, Salesforce.
If your team is looking for a great way to volunteer and have loads of fun at the same time, please check out what’s coming up at the Starlight Foundation. Gather your troops and see what you can do to help!
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