#49 Hang with an exec

This week as part of their leadership workshop, Mercury Energy invited four Be. Leaders to come and 'hang with an exec' for the afternoon.

group of 4 Be. Leaders and mercury energy executivesSo three Be. Leadership graduates, and one of this year's participants went along to the offices at Mercury Energy to spend a few hours chatting about business, career, leadership and social change through an accessibility lens.

The executives came from a range of departments within the Senior Leadership Team from Pricing, to Commercial Operations and Technology Architecture.

Allan Lightbourne, Head of Technology and Change at Mercury Energy expressed his appreciation for the experience: "All of the team involved took a lot out of the opportunity, as did the wider business when we had a group discussion on the day."

Sonia Pivac, a current Be. Leadership participant who was paired up with Allan said, "It's not often one gets the opportunity to talk with an executive from Mercury Energy, and Allan was very accommodating with sharing his knowledge and experience. Even though our businesses are quite different, it was a valuable and rare opportunity to talk about the broader issues of teamwork and leadership."

Ezekiel Robson, a Be. Leadership graduate from 2011, felt that the benefits of this 'hang out' were mutual: he was able to discover the motivations and challenges for these corporate leaders, as well as showcase his own talents, achievements and aspirations for a totally inclusive society for everyone.

Be. Leader Shaun McKinney with Ranjesh Kumar"An additional highlight for our hosts was that, by thinking about accessibility, this not only improves customer experiences and builds loyalty, but also ensures the work environment is suitable and accommodating for staff and their access needs as well," Ezekiel reflected.

Another Be. Leadership graduate Shaun McKinney discussed the importance of self-awareness and being open to constructive feedback with Ranjesh Kumar, Head of Pricing at Mercury Energy. Even though their leadership roles differed in terms of formality (Shaun's in a social sense, and Ranjesh's in a business sense), they found that they had many common views and experiences of leadership.

Ursula Becroft-Thynne with Chris VincentUrsula Becroft-Thynne, Be. Leadership graduate and National Youth Co-ordinator at Deaf Aotearoa noted that even in the short afternoon spent together, Chris Vincent from Mercury Energy had developed a great depth of understanding of Be. Accessible and her role as a leader within the accessibility movement. And in return she gained some valuable insight into business processes and value alignment between the corporate world and the community that they seek to serve.

So a big thanks to the Mercury Energy and Be. Leadership participants for taking part in this wonderful opportunity to share, grow and develop each others' leadership skills. As John F Kennedy said, "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other."