Strivin & Thrivin Sponsored by The Nudge Group. Ep2. Olga Rankin

Strivin & Thrivin – Sponsored by The Nudge Group – Ep2. Olga Rankin

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“It took a long time for me to stop trying to get the person the job by prepping them too much for their internal interviews and things like that, and letting them get the job off their own back.” 

Internal recruitment can seem a world away from agency work. If you are thinking about making the switch but wondering if it’s the right transition for you, tune in to this episode of Strivin & Thrivin, as Olga shares her career story. 

Olga explains she went from the top of the sales board at recruitment agencies (and loving it!) to building communities and growing the number of consultants at Novon, her current role, from 15 to 50 in less than a year. Discover what she learned along the way and what she loves about internal recruitment. 

Olga shares how she started her career in recruitment by applying for a job as a receptionist at a recruitment company. They said, “Oh no. We think you’d be better as a resourcer,” and that’s where her career started. 

She shined in recruitment and her employers told her to really make it big she should go to the UK and work for a larger firm. In 2000, she moved to Edinburgh with only a thousand dollars (which doesn’t convert to a lot in pounds) and no job, but she made it work.

Coming back to Australia five years later, she used the methodology she had learnt in Edinburgh with business in Australia. From there she met Dominic, the managing director of Novon, and then moved into internal recruitment. 

After a long time working at agencies, being at the top of the sales board and enjoying the motivation of commissions, she found herself losing her passion for the job. 

“I got a job in internal recruitment so I could see what happens next. So I can see them working, I can see if they’re happy, I can see if it was the right move for them”

Olga has been working in internal recruitment in Sydney for 10 years now and it took her a while to find her formula for success. 

“I love building communities and teams. I love it. I love creating a culture in a business where I am able to help embed that culture and then invite people to come and be part of that community.”  

Along the way, Olga has learnt that recruitment is more than simply whether the person has the right skills for the job. In her role now, she builds company culture. As Novon expands it focus on finding the right people that will uphold the values of the business and thrive in their roles. 

Listen to this week’s episode of Strivin & Thrivin to learn more about internal recruitment secrets and the reason Olga loves her job so much (it might even bring a tear to your eye).

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Laura: I’m your host Laura Johnson, and today we’ve got Steve Grace from The Nudge Group as my wonderful co-host, and today we’re thrilled to be joined by Olga Rankin.

Okay Olga, to get us started can you tell us a bit about your career background and your current role?

Olga: Sure. So, I went to university and university wasn’t the right place for me and my mum was like, “You better get a job”. So, I applied for a job.

Steve: Can I just ask why it wasn’t the right place for you?

Olga: Oh.

Steve: I had to ask that, sorry.

Olga: Bit of structure issues. My dad got sick during my second year. I then started working our family business and then going back to university after I’d been earning money, it was just like… I don’t really want to do this.

Steve: Fair enough.

Olga: So, I did two and a half years of university. I only have 12 credits left to get. I have no intention of getting them ever. I got a job. I applied for a job as a receptionist at a recruitment company and they said, “Oh no. We think you’d be better as a resourcer”. I didn’t know what it was, but I said, “Okay”, and I started doing that. After about a year there, I only worked with men. They were all from the UK, which was the way it was back in the late nineties. They said, “If you actually want to get good at this, you’ve got to move to the UK”. I said, “Oh, okay”, and I did.

Steve: They said that to you?

Olga: Yeah.

Steve: They told you you had to go to the motherland to learn the craft?

Olga: Yes, they did! They said, “You need to go”.

Steve: That’s unbelievable.

Olga: “You need to go over to the UK and get into one of the big firms and learn how to do this. You’ll be fine”. So, I left just before the 2000 and I moved to Edinburgh, and I had a thousand dollars and no job. A thousand dollars doesn’t work out to be a lot of money in pounds.

Laura: Or in Edinburgh.

Olga: Yea…and I just made it work.

Steve: Wow.

Olga: I got a job in recruitment, and I loved it and I came back to Australia, and I used the methodology that I put in place in Edinburgh into a business in Australia where I happened to make Dominic, who is the managing director of Novon, and then I moved into internal recruitment. I have to say it was the right move for me because I’d lost my passion for winning in agency recruitment. I didn’t care that much about that. What I wanted to care about more was what happened next.

So, I got a job in internal recruitment so I could be that what-happens-next. So, I can see them working, I can see if they’re happy, I can see if it was the right move for them. Over the last eight years, I’ve done that specifically in professional services. Businesses which I’ve helped build and grow. I’ve been really, really proud to be able to do that. So that’s me in a nutshell.

Steve: I’ve got a question for you.

Olga: Sure.

Steve: Why Edinburgh? Because one, it’s freezing.

Olga: Yeah.

Steve: Two, they speak incredibly different way. The accent is quite strong. Not as strong as Glasgow, obviously. But then that’s a little bit different the way they recruit up there to England as well. So, I’m intrigued as to how you ended up in Scotland of all places.

Olga: Well, the year before I had gone as this one was my want in my early twenties, I would go to Europe for six weeks in the middle of the year. Because you know, I did, and I met a girl and she lived in Edinburgh and I went to Edinburgh for a week and I also had a week in London, and in London I felt incredibly lonely and it was really hard. In Edinburgh, everything was easy. People were nice. Now I did know one person that made it a lot easier, but even people in just the shops were nicer. So I went, “All right, that’s where I’m going”.

Steve: That’s fair. I think Edinburgh is nicer than London in terms of openness. But yeah, that’s pretty random. How long were you there? How long did you spend learning the craft?

Olga: Nearly five years.

Steve: Oh, wow.

Olga: Yeah.

Steve: Long time.

Olga: Yeah. I was there ages. At the end of my first year, my boss asked me to stay for another year and I had a European passport, so it was easy to stay.

Steve: Yeah.

Olga: Then in my second year I met my boyfriend who’s now my husband. So, I kind of thought, “Oh, see where this goes”. Then at the end of my fourth winter, I said, “Hey dude, I’m not doing another winter. No way. It’s too dark. It’s too cold. I want to go back to Australia”.  So, he promised to come for one year and that was it, and he’s been here for 15 years. Yeah.

Steve: Yeah. That sounds about right, and he’s not going back anytime now. That’s for sure.

Olga: Every time we go back to the UK to visit, he goes, “Oh no, we’ve definitely made the right choice”. I’m like, “Okay. All right”.

Steve: That’s good.

Olga: Yeah.

Steve: Five years. Gosh, that was a long time.

Olga: It was a long time. My parents were pretty convinced that I’d be home by the end of January. So, they were pleasantly surprised I hope. I don’t know. I had in my mind that I was going to make it work and I worked… In those early years of recruitment, I worked really hard. I worked a lot of hours. I was really happy to do that.

I had a very clear focus on being successful and I didn’t want to be necessarily a 360 recruiter. I actually really enjoyed the delivery side of recruitment. So, I crafted a role for myself in that space that was managing a delivery team and doing that. I really loved it.

Steve: Interesting. You mentioned something else that caught my attention. You said you lost your desire to win, which is why you went into internal recruitment. Explain that because obviously in internal recruitment you still have to win. You still have to fill the roles, right? So I’m just, I want to unpack that I think is the expression of it.

Olga: Well, let’s unpack it. So, in agency recruitment, my goal was to find someone, to mold them into the role that… They have to have the basic skills to get the job that they were doing, but I could talk them into doing it, even if it wasn’t a hundred percent for them or what they wanted. Then I would just hope they would stay there for six months.

Steve: Okay, wow.

Olga: After many years of doing that, and I loved having my name on the board. I loved having how many people I found or I loved…

Steve: So, you’re talking about the sales board here, right?

Olga: I love it..

Steve: The sales board on the wall.

Olga: The sales board. I loved the sales board. I loved the internal competition with other people. I loved being the best, and I was for a really long time and I loved it. Then I just didn’t love that anymore.

Steve: Interesting.

Olga: So, when I didn’t love it anymore, it wasn’t that I didn’t love the process of getting someone a job, but that process wasn’t enough anymore. I wanted to see what came next.

Steve: Okay.

Olga: That’s when I moved into internal recruitment.

Steve: What did you notice? I know all internal recruitment roles, sorry, are different depending on the company, but what did you notice was the biggest difference when you made that switch? What is it about it now that… How long have you been doing internal recruitment now?

Olga: Oh. A long time.

Steve: So, what keeps you..

Olga: 10 years maybe?

Steve: Still motivated in that space I guess?

Olga: I love building communities and teams. I love it. I love creating a culture in a business where I am able to help embed that culture and it’s a culture of value and then invite people to come and be part of that community. Now, I didn’t do that at the beginning of my internal recruitment career.

Steve: Yeah.

Olga: At the beginning of my internal recruitment career, it was very much like agency recruitment. The only thing was there were no targets and there was no commission. So, the base salary was higher, but it was very, very much like agency recruitment. As my career as an internal recruiter progressed, I then became more of a People and Culture Manager. So, it was very much about getting the right people to fit the culture of the organization and being part of leaving that culture.

Now luckily, the three organisations that I’ve done that for, I’ve really believed in the culture, and I’ve really believed in the values of the organisation and they’ve really been authentic to me and I felt like I could do that. But fundamentally I really like people. I really like getting to know people. I find them so interesting.

Steve: Yeah.

Olga: I love the differences in people, and in my role as a People and Culture Manager, Director, whatever the position title has been. I feel it’s an entirely privileged role because it’s not really HR, which can seem quite scary to people. Let’s be truthful, I don’t really like all the HR rules. Some of them I think are a bit boring.

Steve: Even the legal ones?

Olga: No, like the really big ones. I’m like, ‘Yeah, sure’. But sometimes policy is for policy’s sake and it’s so boring. I always live by the fact that people are grown-ups and I only make a policy when someone does something stupid.

Steve: Yeah.

Olga: So hopefully they don’t do that, right? But I’ve been so privileged and to have people tell me things first. Because a lot of people, particularly in technology, they’re new immigrants to Australia. They don’t have family. So, they might come to tell me that they got engaged or their partner’s pregnant or whatever. They bought a house, or they became a citizen. That’s a huge privilege to be the person that they think, ‘I’m going to share this with someone. I’m going to share this with Olga’. I’ve always felt so lucky.

Steve: Yeah. Wow. That’s a big statement.

Olga: Yeah

Laura: I love that.

Olga: Yeah. We were really lucky. So yeah, I think that’s it. I think that’s why I love it so much. I think that’s what the big difference was. Not like I make a difference to people’s lives. Of course, we all do in our own ways and we give them a job and a good place to work, but I feel like I’m lucky to be included. They want to include me. Yeah.

Steve: I love the way you put that. That’s nice.

Olga: Yeah. Thanks.

Laura: I guess looking back now, for anybody now that was going to switch from recruitment to in-house, what advice would you give them?

Olga: The first job I had working internally, it took me a long time to make the transition from just their close enough fit to they actually need to fit. Not just the technical skills, but also the culture of our organisation where we’re going forward. So that took a long time for me to stop trying to get the person the job by prepping them too much for their internal interviews and things like that and letting them get the job off their own back.

That’s probably one of the fundamental differences I had to change. I would say that if you have a desire to see what happens next, internal recruitment is definitely the right spot.

Steve: As in the people, what they do after you mean?

Olga: Yeah, like after you’ve placed them, what happens next? Do they love it? Do they not love it? Do they flourish? You know, one of the things I’ve learned about professional services is in all the professional services companies I’ve worked for, and I feel like this would be across everywhere, they always talk about, “You’ve got to have two sets of skills. You’ve got to be a consultant and you’ve got to have your technical skillset with specialist skillset”.

But no one invests in the soft skills that is what a consultant needs. So, I spend a lot of time talking to people about their soft skills, and when we do their goal setting, one of their goals has to be a soft skill goal. It can be something tiny. It can be diary management or note taking in a meeting. People need to develop these different types of skills and we don’t invest enough time in doing that.

Steve: Yeah.

Olga: But one of the things we spend a lot of time on doing is trying to encourage people to do presentations, because everybody does that now. Everybody’s in workshops and different things and we want to give people the confidence to have a voice in those meetings. So, we spend a lot of time talking about that.

Steve: That’s good. That’s such an important skill. I know at school, they do it now from about year one, I think. I know that we never did at school, but…

Olga: No.

Steve: It’s become an everyday skill that you need to have now, I think, and it’s still… I don’t know if it is or, is it still the number one fear? It was the number one fear when I was younger. I’m not sure if it is now.

Olga: Yeah.

Laura: I’d imagine so.

Olga: Yeah. Public speaking is a big thing, and I think one of the other skills that is a skill that most of us need to develop is active listening.

Laura: Yeah.

Olga: I have to practice this a lot because I’m not super good at listening. I’m very excited about talking, but yeah. I spend a lot of time talking to people about active listening and being present but doing something to help you listen. So, if that means that you’re doodling, but you’re listening, that’s okay. But tell the person, “I do this so that I’m right here”. Right? Don’t do it like, “Oh God. Look, I’ll just draw a landscape while I’m sitting here listening to you”.

Steve: I’ve got a question for you.

Olga: Yeah.

Steve: So, you say you love talking-

Olga: Yeah.

Steve: And you talk a lot to people about active listening.

Olga: Mm.

Steve: Can you tell me what they say back?

Olga: They say, “I do listen. I do listen”. I’m like, “Okay, well how are you listening?” Because listening, isn’t just hearing the words and them going into your head. It’s about looking at the person, it’s feeling the vibe. One of the things that’s been really hard about being working remotely is you can’t always read the room in the same way because you’ve got 10 people in different rooms.

Steve: Yeah.

Olga: So, the atmosphere isn’t always there. So, it’s about trying to pick up on the other cues and really I’m a big stickler for having a camera on when you’re on a conference, like a video conference.

Steve: Absolutely, I agree.

Olga: I just think it’s really rude if you don’t. They could be doing anything on the other side of the screen. Just put your camera on. I don’t care if your hair’s brushed.

Steve: So how do you deal with that when you are trying to… I guess you talked about the 10 different rooms. If you’re trying to build that culture, you’re trying to build the business, you’re trying to assess people, I find it very difficult to read people’s body language on Zoom calls. I find it’s very easy when you’re with people, because we learned that growing up as naturally as human beings.

But once you get onto a screen, you lose a lot of that. You lose their energy for a start. That just doesn’t seem to translate. You can’t always see their hands or their legs or their feet or how they’re sitting, all that kind of stuff. So, when you’re trying to build a culture or when you’re working with people in a role like yours where it’s all about the people, how have you adapted to deal with the fact that there are… Obviously people are back in the office now, but there is still so much time when we’re remote.

Olga: I was really worried about that when I took this role at Novon. I took this role in August last year, peak of the pandemic. We were coming out of it in Australia, but still people were very nervous. A lot of people were taking their health very seriously as is correct. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. How am I going to build a culture where I can’t see anyone? I can’t build that sort of fun’.

Steve: Yeah.

Olga: So, we did a lot of things. So, it started off with me just reaching out to people a lot and trying to get them to trust me. One of the things that I learned in my first job internally as People and Culture was that not everyone is used to their HR People and Culture lady ringing them regularly, and they get worried. Like, ‘Why are you calling me? Am I in trouble?’ So, I had to introduce it with, ‘I am just ringing you for no reason just to talk to you because you’re at home and you probably could use the chat’.

So, a couple of things, sometimes I do a virtual coffee hour. So, it’s like a virtual coffee shop where just at three o’clock people can just dial in, have a coffee. We do some online activities where people are all together doing quizzes and stuff that isn’t work-related, it’s just fun related. But it is really hard, and especially doing a team meeting where everybody is offsite. It’s virtually impossible.

Steve: Yeah.

Olga: So, a lot more one-on-one stuff. We also changed the way that we do our internal communication. We’ve only changed that recently because we tried really hard. In the last two businesses I’d been in previously, internal chat groups were a really big thing. Look, really in professional services, everyone’s off site all the time anyway. Even if they’re not at home, they’re on customer sites.

So, at one place they were really big into Yammer. The other place, they were really big into Slack. At Novon they weren’t really big into anything, and they were like, “No, we’re going to use Teams”, and I said, “Okay”. But our team couldn’t use Teams because their customers all use Teams and it’s hard to have two instances. It was a nightmare. So now we use Signal.

Steve: Oh yeah?

Olga: And it has changed the way we’re communicating as a group. There’s a lot more incidental conversations across teams. There’s a lot more acknowledgement of each other and helping each other and celebrating small wins. I think that building a community is about the community feeling like they belong and want to share stuff, and that takes time. I think we’re coming up to nine months now and we’ve got a quorum of people who are into it. So, now when new people are coming on board, it’s just like, “Well, this is the way we do it here”, and they just do it.

Steve: Yeah. Okay, cool.

Olga: But it’s been hard.

Steve: You’ve touched a couple of times on Novon. Do you want to tell us what Novon does?

Olga: Sure. So, Novon is a professional services company that specialises in data engineering and business consulting. So, our vision is that we want to be the number one player in Australia of our size. By that we don’t want to be Accenture, Deloitte, anyone really big. I want everyone to be able to be famous for something. I want everyone in the team to be able to be the best at something.

Steve: I love that.

Olga: So, I don’t want to be very big. I mean, a hundred people, maybe 150, but…

Steve: That’s a lot of famous people.

Olga: I know, and there is room to be famous.

Steve: You can have your own awards.

Olga: We do.

Steve: Awesome.

Laura: Good.

Olga: So that’s one of the things. So that was our vision, and then our mission is for our people, our consultants, to be trusted advisors and to take our customers by the hand on that journey of the transition that they’re doing. That’s not different from any other professional services company. It’s just that I remind them of it every single day that that’s what they’re meant to be doing. They’re meant to be not challenging, but influencing and guiding their customers into different ways of thinking, because that’s what they’re there for.

Laura: Yeah.

Olga: So that’s kind of what Novon is doing and where we’ve got a number of really high profile customers. Qantas Loyalty is one of our large customers. Macquarie Group is another one of our large customers. APA, which is in energy. So we’ve got lots of large customers that I think enjoy working with us because we are a little bit different. We’re not Accenture or Deloitte. We’re a small organisation.

In fact, one of our customers the other day, we were doing a quarterly check-in, and what he was saying was, “I would actually like to see your team working out of your office more so that they can really be living your culture more”. I thought that was really awesome because one of the biggest challenges I have had in my career is saying to companies, I need this person to come back for a team meeting because it’s important to our culture and the customer going “No”. So, I think COVID just gave us a massive gift where people are just like, “Oh, well I trust them to do their job. If they do it at home, in your office, in my office. Doesn’t really matter”.

Steve: That is cool. I guess people want to work with 150 famous people, right?

Olga: Absolutely. Absolutely. The other thing I absolutely love about our team at the moment, and it will continue to grow, is we have people from everywhere and I love that we have people from everywhere because the more diverse a cultural mix of people you get, I kind of put it down to this. Everyone learns maths at school, but everyone learns it a little bit differently. They get to the same answer, but their logic path to get there might be slightly different.

So, when you’ve got big problem at work, their approach to problem solving is going to be slightly different. So, if I can’t solve the problem, but I say, “Hey Steve, can you help me?” He might look at it and go, “Oh yeah, this is simple. You just do this or that”, because your approach to that problem solving technique is different. So, I want to be the United Nations at work. That’s what I want.

Steve: So, you want 150 famous people…

Olga: From all over the world.

Steve: For the United nations.

Olga: Yeah. I’m going to get them. That’s it. That’s what I’m going to do tomorrow. I’m going to get a map and pin them all…

Steve: Get one of those old Benetton’s posts. In fact, Benetton’s still around. Maybe they could do all your gear.

Olga: That would be great.

Steve: United Nations of Novon.

Olga: Oh, that would be excellent.

Steve: I think that’s great. Some of those cool Benetton’s posters that you should be putting up all over the office.

Olga: Well actually, excitingly, we’ve been cohabitating with another business and we’re actually getting our own office, which is very exciting because we’ve just cracked 50 consultants.

Steve: Wow.

Olga: Which is an amazing…

Steve: Congratulations.

Olga: Thank you. Amazing achievement. Because when I started in August, we had 15.

Laura: Wow.

Steve: Jeez.

Laura: That’s huge.

Olga: Yeah. So that’s been really challenging as well because that amount of rapid growth.

Steve: It’s huge.

Olga: It’s really… You have to be careful about how you grow. If you’re growing that fast then you have to be mindful about that growth. We have no bench, which is good. You want no bench.

Steve: Yep.

Olga: But…

Steve: You want a bench, you just want it empty.

Olga: Yes, that’s it. But it’s… Yeah, it’s been really exciting.

Steve: That’s massive growth.

Olga: Yeah. I was saying to Steve earlier, I’m a little bit scared at how much our customers want to work with us because it’s an exciting problem to have and it’s a great problem from my perspective, because it means I get to grow my team. That’s always exciting. I love working with other people who love doing this type of work. I’ve been very, very lucky to have great people that I’ve worked with previously. Although they’re all easily engaged at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll find another one that’ll be just awesome.

Laura: How big is your team right now?

Olga: My team is just me and I use some resources and some delivery people from an agency to help me. But soon there will be… Also, really when it’s like this at the moment when it’s so busy, we all muck in. Nobody is too good to do anything in the team. So, our managing director was like, ‘What could I do to help?’ We were very focused on saying, “Well, why don’t you do some LinkedIn posts? That’ll be good. You do that. We’ll find the people”. So, yeah.

Laura: That’s amazing, and the huge amount of growth that you’ve handled as one person.

Olga: Well, I have help.

Laura: Still.

Olga: Onboarding all those people and getting them into the business has been… It hasn’t been super challenging, but making sure that they’re happy and settled and keeping abreast of everything that they’re doing. I do their goal setting exercise with them every month. So that’s like four days of my month spent talking to people about their goals and what they’ve achieved in the last month and where their challenges have been. That half an hour meeting with each person is so valuable because a lot of people go out to customer sites and never see anyone ever again.

Steve: Yeah.

Laura: So, on that, if you’re setting goals for everybody else, who’s setting your goals? Do you do that exercise or?

Olga: So, we follow a methodology that I learnt that’s a Salesforce methodology called the V2MOM, and the V2MOM is vision, values, method, obstacles, and measures.

Laura: Okay.

Olga: Method is like the goals. Obstacles, I just don’t understand why they use that word. Challenges is a much nicer word than obstacles. I mean, I don’t want to say that Salesforce did it wrong. They’re obviously doing something right.

Steve: Everyone could improve on that. Everyone.

Olga: That’s it.

Steve: Even Salesforce.

Olga: The measures is how you know you’ve reached your goal. So, what happens is Dominic our managing director, sets that task, that list for the business at the beginning of each half. Then each sort of manager below that writes theirs to answer that. So, you go the company goal, let’s say, was to be 50 consultants. You would say how you are going to help reach that company goal.

Steve: Yep.

Laura: Okay.

Olga: Then the rest of the team then get that. So, they’d see all the way down the line, how everybody’s working towards making this goal. So, then they talk about how they’re going to do the goal. So, the goal is to get to 50 consultants. It’s, I’m going to refer everybody that I know. I’m going to work hard to be the best consultant I can be so that the customer gives us more opportunity so we can hire more people. So, it’s about doing that and that’s quite interesting.

Laura: Nice.

Olga: Yeah. So, that’s sort of what we do on a monthly basis, and it’s not about saying to people, “You didn’t do it. You’re in trouble”. It’s about the theories. If you write down a goal, if you share the goal and if you revisit it regularly, you’re far more likely to achieve it.

Steve: Particularly sharing, I think.

Olga: Oh absolutely. It’s about sort of reminding people, “Well, you said this was important to you. What’s stopping you achieving it?”.

Steve: Yeah.

Olga: Sometimes you just need someone else to say to you, “Well, hang on a second. So, all you need to do is book the exam? Book the exam. Do it right now. Let’s stop talking. Let’s book the exam”. It can just be making someone clear the time.

Laura: Yeah. It’s accountability as well, isn’t it? It’s like anything you do.

Olga: Yeah.

Laura: If you’ve got a group of people to support you to do it, you’re more likely to get it done.

Olga: I think people like also the fact that often in professional services organisations, it’s hard to feel that you have a career path because no one sees you.

Steve: Yeah. It’s different, isn’t it? It’s very different.

Olga: So, people like the idea that they’re working towards something. So, if their goal is to become a manager, they can show that they’re taking the active steps to do that.

Steve: Yeah. I think you’re right, and I think in all professional services, it’s about doing the job, right? It’s about providing the service, and no one really thinks about where they’re going. Well, not, really. They probably think about it, but the companies don’t necessarily ask them to articulate it and companies don’t articulate where they want them to go particularly well. So, it’s a missing link in a lot of professional services and organisations.

Olga: I think so, and I think when you do it just once a year, you sort of do it…

Steve: It’s not enough.

Olga: You write it down and then you panic the day before you have to have the meeting again, like, “Oh God, did I do any of this stuff?”

Steve: Yeah.

Olga: So, this is every month, it’s a living document. It’s easy.

Steve: Do you just have that in a Word document or?

Olga: Yeah, it’s just Word document.

Steve: Simple stuff?

Olga: It’s just a Word document, we just share it. I keep it as like the source of truth, but it’s on a Dropbox. They can go in and update it. It’s a traffic light report. So, if you achieved it, you’d make it green. You’re working on it, it’s orange, and if you need help, it goes to red and then we talk about it. It helps people stay focused and motivated.

Steve: Yeah. Okay. Cool.

Olga: Yeah.

Laura: Nice. Just looking at time, I’m going to ask two more questions and then we’re going to wrap up. I guess, looking back now, what do you think has been the biggest lesson that you’ve learned along the way?

Olga: The biggest lesson that I have learnt is that I do not have to solve for the now. That I can say to someone, “Oh, that’s interesting. Let me think about it”, rather than just giving the first idea that comes into my head, which might work.

Steve: I learned that lesson too. It’s hard one, isn’t it?

Olga: It took me two years to be able to say, “I’ll have to get back to you on that”.

Steve: I think people get excited very easily.

Olga: Very excited.

Steve: So if someone’s got a problem, it’s like, “Let’s solve it now”.

Olga: Yeah. I’ll just stop what I’m doing. Let’s solve it all, or worse I won’t stop what I’m doing, I’ll just give you an answer that I know will work, but it’s probably not the best answer, but that’s fine. You’ll be all right with that.

So, I had a manager in a job called Claud and he was just like, “Why do you do that? Just say, ‘I’ll get back to you.’ It’s not a big deal”. I was like, “You don’t understand, it is a big deal”. I think it would play on my mind if I hadn’t solved it, but I’ve come to peace with it. It did take two years of active effort to stop myself and I would often give an answer and then say, “Actually, you need to come back to me. That’s one way of doing it. Let me think of some other ways”.

Steve: Yeah.

Olga: That’s my biggest lesson that I learned. I love that lesson because it’s made my life far less stressful.

Steve: I’ll bet.

Laura: Yeah.

Olga: Yep.

Laura: Nicely put as well. Then the last question.

Olga: Okay.

Laura: Who else would you like to hear from on the podcast?

Olga: Well, I have nominated someone that you’re going to speak to Emma Dwyer, who is excellent. I don’t know. I think Alicia at Red Wolf Group, she’s really interesting. She’s had an interesting journey. I think that she would be interesting to hear from.

Steve: I’ve spoken to her. You’ve introduced me to her, haven’t you?

Olga: Yeah.

Steve: She’s got fiery red hair.

Olga: Yes.

Steve: She’s very energised.

Olga: She is a very energetic person.

Steve: She’s awesome.

Olga: She makes you want to get up and do things, and I think that that’s…

Laura: That’s awesome.

Olga: A great thing. There’s also another person who’s a bit like that called Claire Burns and she… Yeah, she’s also like that. She’s just very, very energetic. Very, very excited about life. Yeah. That gives you energy when you’re around people like that.

Laura: Yeah. She’s so infectious. Awesome. Thank you so much for today.

Olga: Thank you. I’ve really enjoyed it.

Steve: No problem.

Olga: This has been excellent.

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