Beyond the travel opportunities, 3D printers and beer kegs, Electrum is a great place to work because it’s a great place to grow. Our custom-designed leadership programme gives our people the tools they need to shine.
At Electrum, we’re proud to have a flat management structure where everyone has a say in major decisions and the strategic direction the company takes. Operating in this way empowers everyone who works here, and to give our people the tools they need to lead, we invested in a company leadership programme.
“…Electrum really tries to empower people, personally and professionally”
Rather than an off-the-shelf, generic workshop, we enlisted Aveleigh Gateman of NAMETAG and Karen Ortlepp of Leadership Insight to custom-design a four-month programme – the Electrum Personal Leadership Programme (EPLP). It had to be one that fit our philosophy of leadership, and that encourages autonomy, mastery and purpose.
“Not all organisation are as committed as Electrum is to leadership,” says Aveleigh. “Many pay lip service to the idea but continue to operate with a top-down approach, but Electrum really tries to empower people, personally and professionally.”
…develop essential leadership skills like handling conflict and difficult conversations…
Ten Electrum team members participate in the EPLP at a time. The programme runs over the course of four months, with a combination of workshops and individual coaching. The EPLP is designed to address aspects of leadership in an holistic way, starting with a team member’s personal values and goals and progressing all the way to how we engage with the wider world.
The first workshop in the series, The Intentional Leader, focuses on personal leadership, life purpose, emotional intelligence and the concept of leading from the inside out. The Team Leader is the title of the second workshop, and it helps participants get to grips with the role of teams in the world of Electrum. We identify the ingredients for effective teamwork, and help develop essential leadership skills like handling conflict and difficult conversations, and motivating and energising teammates.
…the potential to impact our communities and the world at large
The Task Leader workshop is all about developing the leadership skills needed to manage projects and workload. Our team members learn how to set realistic goals, to manage priorities, to delegate and to approach evaluation.
The final workshop is The Proactive Leader. It asks the question, what are the broader responsibilities of Electrum leaders? Each of us has the potential to impact our communities and the world at large. It covers themes such as business sustainability and impact, individual privilege and responsibility, and leading change initiatives that can have a big impact.
“…several other Electrum team members ask to join the next cohort!”
The EPLP coaching sessions are one-on-one meetings with organisational psychologist Dr Karen Ortlepp. Participants sit down with Karen for an hour and a half to discuss their individual goals, challenges and progress in developing leadership skills. While each of these sessions is different, they’re opportunities for a participant to apply what they’ve learnt in the workshops to their role at Electrum and in broader contexts beyond the workplace.
It sounds intense, but the workshops and coaching sessions are supportive and inspiring, eliciting a lot of discussion and reflection from the participants. “The participants must be talking about it with the rest of the team, because we’ve had several other Electrum team members ask to join the next cohort!” says Aveleigh.
The EPLP is just one of several training opportunities at Electrum. Others include advanced training in software development, project management and negotiation skills, all of which make our team members better equipped for our fast-paced business environment. Valuable as these technical and business skills are, we place particular emphasis on leadership, because our inclusive, flat organisational approach demands it, and because it’s satisfying to see so many of our team members growing into their full potential.
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