The job of a founding Managing Director is often a lonely one. Given the power of the position, it can be challenging to find staff who are confident to express contrary views to yours.
In other words, you can never be sure that people are not telling you what they think you want to hear, rather than what you need to hear. This is not a problem if those people are safe in the knowledge that whether you like what they say to you or not, you have no choice but to still love them.
People are often surprised when they learn that I have several family members working with me, including my gorgeous son Kris and my rock of a brother Peter. That is until I point out the comfort I get from knowing that if they think I am making a mistake, or am heading down a wrong track, they will always tell me – because they want to protect me.
I have also discovered over the years that when you have a terrific staff member, their family members are often also terrific. I guess this is because they share the same values. So Partners Life is not only home to my family, but also to lots of other husbands and wives, parents and adult children, and siblings.
One of the key things that people always comment on when they come into our office is just how warm and friendly it feels being among our people – they often comment on how it feels like such a family culture. Little do they know how right they are!
Founder and managing director, Partners Life.
You can read more of Naomi’s columns here.