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;
- Connecting: They connect with people both within their organisation and externally.
- Catalyst: They are the catalyst for courageous and compelling conversations.
- Clever: They are mix of business savvy and street smart. They take learning and turn it into reality & action.
- Clarity: They provide great clarity in challenging and uncertain times.
- 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