We were thrilled to host our first sit down breakfast earlier this month at The Hoxton in Shoreditch. It was a baking day, and the palm-filled conservatory was a slice of the tropics within London’s bustling East End. The topic was SUPPORT, which is essential confidence, learning, risking taking and reigning in risk, and filling in the gaps in your skill set.
On the Step Up menu at our breakfast – alongside the summer porridge, fruit and baked rhubarb – were Frame gym founders Pip Black and Joan Murphy. Pip and Joan founded Frame in 2009, at the time both were working in advertising and had been top level athletes in the fields of hockey and track and field respectively. They wanted to offer a place for women to train where they didn’t feel that the gym was only there to relieve the guilt of overeating. For them, fitness is about enjoyment, positively, the high of training in a team and good music! Frame now has four gyms, and a booming database of committed and energetic members.
Pip and Joan talked passionately about working in a PARTNERSHIP. While they acknowledged that not everyone thrives within such an intimate working for relationship, for them it’s been hugely beneficial to the success of Frame. Why has it worked so well? Each brings something different to the business: Joan is the practical, clear-minded one and Pip the visionary. At the beginning, they did everything together, learning as they went, now though they find they are more effective and focused having divided responsibility for different areas of the business.
PARTNERSHIPS can be hugely rewarding. They aren’t always easy but when they work, they can build your CONFIDENCE and ENERGISE each of the members. Obviously, not all of us have the opportunity to work in PARTNERSHIPS, nor do we all aspire to them either. The principle of collaborating closely with another person though can be just as energising and fulfilling. Collaborations expose us to bigger networks, help us see our faults and strengths through the eyes of someone else, and can be great fun too. We say, if the opportunity arises, grab collaboration by the horns – a good one can do wonders for your career.
Here’s some Step Up PARTNERSHIP advice:
· Be clear about how you’re going to work together
· Be focussed
· Allocate responsibility for the best efficiency of the PARTNERSHIP as a whole
· Be honest and communicate with each other!
Also at the breakfast we talked about the importance of EXTERNAL SUPPORT. Call them whatever you like (sometimes we all struggle to use these terms, they feel a bit too official, don’t they?!) but each of us needs a MENTOR, a CHAMPION and ROLE MODEL to make the most of our careers. Here is what each one does, and how they can benefit you too.
MENTOR: Mentors lift us up when we're down, give advice when we need it and generally keep us on track. People with a mentor are proven to be happier in their careers.
CHAMPION: Champions support us in our endeavours, whether that's a promotion to the next job title or driving forward a start-up. Their support signals to others of influence that you are worth backing too. People with champions are proven to earn more and reach the top faster.
ROLE MODEL: Role models inspire us by example. We don't need just one: borrowing different facets of work behaviour from a variety of role models is the way to create a coherent and authentic whole. Role modelling helps us hone areas where we might feel less confident (business development anyone?!) but which are none the less crucial to our success.
Don't fixate on the labels or on one of each. Your best bet is a smorgasbord of these influences to help you create your stellar career.
It was a fantastic morning, and we’d love to see you at the next one. Stay tuned for more exciting events coming up in September.