First impressions

By Bernadette Gamo

First impressions

As most people can empathise with, the commencement of employment at a new company is daunting.

There are a whole new set of people, processes, and culture that one needs to understand and start working comfortably with. I started at Achieve Forum at the end of January 2018 and was filled with excitement and a WHOLE lot of nerves stepping into a new chapter. And what were my first impressions (especially around leadership, because after all, Achieve Forum specializes within the leadership space)?

Building trust and loyalty

The APAC Managing Director happened to be in Sydney during my first week. Now everyone knows that a Managing Director is busy at the best of times. The APAC MD spent 3 hours one-on-one with me – a newbie – over the course of my first week at Achieve Forum. I know he could have easily spent his time on other, and probably more pressing, matters but he decided to spend those three hours in building a personal connection.

Transparency – the jaw dropper

My second amazed-in-a-good-way moment was when I was informed that the Achieve Forum Operating Team weekly calls (the Operating Team is essentially what other companies refer to as the Leadership

Team) is open for everyone to attend in listen-only mode; and to account for time differences across the globe, the meeting is recorded for AF employees to listen to in their own time. Never have I encountered this level of transparency in company leadership before. This in itself was revolutionary, radical and refreshing to me. For a ‘newbie’ coming in ‘green,’ it demonstrated a certain level of trust and openness that the Achieve Forum CEO has for the company.

Welcome and recognition

The third time I was ‘wowed’ was during my first attendance at an All-Hands meeting. This is a call open to ALL employees whose companies sit under the Twenty Eighty umbrella. The Group CEO runs these calls, and again are open for everyone to attend in listen-only mode, or are welcome to listen to the recording. In the first ten minutes of the call, the Group CEO called out the names of each and every person who was a new starter, or who recently got a promotion. I know that the Group CEO may not know each of the people personally, but the fact that the call was opened in this way and is important enough to be first on the agenda speaks volumes on the importance placed in making employees feel valued.


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