The Cookietime story: 30 Plus Years of “Smiles”

Last night the The GM of Canterbury based Company Cookietime Ltd spoke to over 40 of our clients at a networking function. He told the fantastic and entrepreneurial story of over 30 years of history. (Link here so see some of the images: Cookietime Presentation). You can hit their website to find out more about their culture, Vision and philosophy of being part of the community. (Link here to their website www.cookietime.co.nz)

CTLLincoln Booth has been leading the company for eight years and it has been a fun, challenging and successful period as the privately held Company has grown and evolved. In 2013 Cookietime was voted as one of the top three of New Zealands most trusted brands. In itself a major achievement.

I have been lucky enough to work with Cookietime over the past three years as they plan, execute and achieve fantastic results. The culture is one of fun (work hard and play hard), opportunity is found in every situation and they seek to execute relentlessly. A recent retail opportunity in Japan has brought a new era, new challenges and new successes as the brand starts to push well beyond the borders of New Zealand. Their annual, 100 day and team framework really makes them a high performance team and high performance company. Clever people at the top of their game.

The Cookietime story is an awesome one to be a part of and I am looking forward to the next chapter being published.

Feeling the Burn

photo
Myself and my Company Sergeant Major Andrew Bain of 2/4 Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, Saturday 19 July 2014

Last weekend was the annual “Twin Peaks Battle Tab”, a New Zealand Army endurance race sponsored by our unit 2/4 Battalion. Held over the hills to the North of Dunedin city this race saw 17 teams (from units right across the Army) and 34 individuals compete. This is the second year I have competed and my Company (A Company, 2/4 RNZIR) had 3 teams and a number of individuals competing.

The weather was wet and cold, we carry 20kg of gear and it makes for a full on day of navigation, endurance and focus. Over 26 km we climb across two peaks a number of times. Ironically we trained more for the event this year and it seemed to hurt more! But you have to challenge yourself and get in amongst it and as a Company Commander it is important to be doing the same things that your soldiers are doing even if a few more years make you a bit slower.

Nailing it is very satisfying and makes the beer taste good.

The Leadership Journey: Lessons Learnt from Tracey Chambers

Tracey Chambers telling her story.
Tracey Chambers telling her story.

This week Tracey Chambers spoke to a CEO Leadership Peer Group which I chair here in Christchurch.

Tracey has been working in the Christchurch Business sector for many years, the last 10 of which she and husband Noel, have owned and operated “Chambers” (link here: Chambers website) a Strategy Company (one of the largest in the country) that works closely with many high profile organisations (and high performing Chief Executives) in the Government, Corporate and Privately held Business space. Tracey is the current President of the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce (and first woman to hold this position) and Vice President of Business New Zealand. She has previously held and still holds a variety of Board level and Board Chair appointments.

I asked Tracey to share some of her experiences and lessons learnt over a decade of being in business and working closely with senior leaders. Her key leadership messages were;

  • Her work involves being a connector and supporting CEO’s to fix things & get things executed.
  • Chief Executives by the very nature of their jobs work hard, need support in a lonely space and make a lot of mistakes. They learn from their mistakes and continue to bounce back adversity.
  • The best leaders trust and follow their gut (along with good logical thinking and planning, they have no fear of failure and are brave in times of adversity and change.
  • The best leaders understand the need to be kind, they know what people need, they listen, they guide and they are prepared to give away control in order to gain control (they are vulnerable and show their human side). Traditions are as important within an organisation as they are within a family.
  • Some common words Tracey associates with great leaders;
  1. Connecting: They connect with people both within their organisation and externally.
  2. Catalyst: They are the catalyst for courageous and compelling conversations.
  3. Clever: They are mix of business savvy and street smart. They take learning and turn it into reality & action.
  4. Clarity: They provide great clarity in challenging and uncertain times.
  5. Calm: They always remain calm.

Tracey is very good at what she does and the passion for her work, business and family came through in spades. I learnt a lot and the questions and follow up conversations certainly showed everyone attending had connected with what she had to say.

Thanks Tracey for sharing your journey, your passion for helping others and what you have learnt.

Other Leadership links;

Leadership Lessons: Dr John Penno, CEO of Synlait Milk

High Performance Culture: Todd Blackadder

Good Guys Don’t Win: Dave Winsborough on why NZ Businesses don’t perform