Rahui Corbett is Partner, Director and chartered accountant at Morrison Creed Advisory. Rahui completed the Leadership Development Programme 38 in 2020.
This Kiwi Business Story is based on a Podcast from May 2021 and all figures quoted are from that time. You can enjoy the complete Podcast here.
What's your day-to-day role?
Morrison Creed Advisory is a business advisory and accounting firm, based in Palmerston North. We service the lower North Island region across manufacturing, commercial, construction, investment and agri.
I've been at Morrison Creed for about eight years. Prior to that, I was at another firm for about seven years.
My role within the business, like a lot of small business owners, is quite varied. I started with the firm as one of the accounting team. That role evolved into a leadership role and then most recently, into a directorship. The role varies from operational, leadership and managing the team, and aspects of how to manage and run the business side of it.
Why did you join the Leadership Development Programme?
I'm all about constant improvement. You can always get better, your team can always get better, and you as an individual can always get better. I wanted to develop my leadership role and really use those skills to grow the business I was really invested in.
I’d always known and heard about The Icehouse. I'd spoken to a couple of friends who had done LDP, had awesome experiences, and took out a lot of personal growth from it, which was exactly what I was looking for.
What did you do with The Icehouse?
The technical side of things came with career, but where this experience will lead you as a leader, is the insight of who you are, how you then know yourself to know and motivate your team, and then run and grow your business.
It was very honest and insightful. I learned a lot about myself as a person and a leader; what works well, what doesn't work well, and how to manage those sorts of things.
You have strong connections with the cohort. The best thing about LDP was just meeting a cohort of like-minded individuals. You’re all there for the same purpose. You're all motivated, energised and excited people. And it was just great. You learnt a lot about what worked well for them in their own business; from staffing, to working with the business owners, working within the team, you also learned a lot about what didn't go quite so well, and how they got themselves through it.
The fact is that everyone goes through the same leadership issue, the same type of business issue, the same type of staffing issues, irrespective of what they do. And then the other great thing is that it's non-competing.
How do you weave those into the business?
You come back absolutely fizzing. For me, it was taking a bit more of a step back as part of that leadership group, slowing down a bit more, and realising that other people need the time to get on board with the concept and get on board with the ideas and processes.
I loved the learning around high-performing teams and how to create an awesome team culture. The change for me has been around creating the focus on that internal engagement. How do we create engagement internally, which then transmits out to the business and out to the customers?
So there’s a big focus on strengthening and developing and empowering the team internally. For example, I've now got a traffic light system; what we do well, what we need to do better, and what we need to stop.
There are so many easy, really low-hanging fruit ideas, that you can actually come back to your business and put in place straightaway. It's not all about these big, grand strategic ideas, there are just some little tweaks and little things that you can do differently, almost instantly, when you get back. I found those sorts of things made a lasting and positive impact, and it brought it back and it just keeps that energy alive.
The other thing that LDP makes you do is hammering home the importance of just taking stock and resting, giving ourselves a chance to connect and have that balance.
I think lockdown and Covid-19 also brought that to light. We often focus on the health and wellness of our businesses and our staff, and too often we put ourselves at the bottom of the pile. The LDP programme had an awesome session on resilience, and communication which really hit home.
What is a piece of advice for an employee stepping into a leadership position right now?
Be the leader that you would want to be led by!
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