It's easy to get consumed with your area of work, especially when working remotely. The Common Purpose Programme brought me out of my day-to-day world in media and into a world of people from multiple sectors. It gave me perspective and valuable insight on how these leaders are adapting. At the end of the day, it didn't matter what type of work you did, everyone was going through the same problems brought about by the pandemic.
It was weirdly fine meeting people over Zoom. I felt that I didn't miss out on anything. I got to know people on an individual level, and in a group setting, as well as I would have done if this had been an in-person programme.
Stepping back and gaining new perspectives
During the programme, we all came together not knowing anything about each other's jobs, organizations or sectors. This allowed for open and honest discussions that gave us different perspectives.
Personally, the programme and the diversity of the cohort allowed me to step away from specific challenges and conflict of my job. By doing so, it relieved some of the pressure and stress and gave me more room to think outside of the box. It made me try to approach situations with complete objectivity.
Adapting quicker and thriving
2020 was a challenging year in the media and advertising sector. When the lockdown happened, the majority of our ad campaigns from clients and agents were shut down or paused. Overnight, we had to react quickly and figure out a way to protect revenue.
I'm trying constantly to understand everyone's needs during a meeting, and not approach it with what I or my team needs. I realized that kind of thinking doesn't get you anywhere in the long run. As a business, we need to keep adapting and changing, and we can't do that by just focusing on our own interests.
As long as I can lead with that mind-set – not approach everything with my own agenda – I hope that it trickles through my own managers and eventually to every team member.