When I take a moment to think about great leaders and teams, I remember one of my earliest and best partnerships — with a beloved horse. I know. That might sound trivial, but hear me out.
His name was Calido and he was one of those once in a lifetime animals that you never forget. While I was in high school and college, he helped me understand the world at a young age. Like a wise professor, he patiently taught me not only how to be a skilled rider, but also how to be a caretaker, develop empathy, hone nonverbal skills and much more.
We shared unconditional love for each other, and we had each other’s backs. Always. Even more so, we had a shared purpose: training, competing and learning to master dressage.
Being in that human-animal relationship as a young person helped set the stage for me to seek even stronger and more rewarding partnerships with humans as I entered the work world.
A few weeks after I graduated from college, I had the esteemed pleasure of joining the team at Capella Hotels and Resorts in Singapore as a concierge. It was 2009, and the hotel had only recently opened. Our team had our collective eye on one goal: being the best hotel in Singapore.
During the two years I worked for Capella, I had leaders who mentored and guided me toward success. They invested in me by showing me the “rules of the road” in a hotel and, more importantly, encouraged me to be the finest version of myself.
As a team, we were committed to creating the most desirable guest experience in Southeast Asia.
Today I can say the same about our Talent Plus team. We are committed. At the top of my list for us is the relationships we are working hard to build and grow – with each other and our clients to bring the best talent science to our global partners.
And none of that is possible without being fully present.
Lately, I’m especially grateful for increased face time and connection points. We’re coming out of a time and circumstances that required us to keep our distance. Even as we creatively pivoted in the recent past, we’ve also learned that there’s no substitute for in-person connections.
We still live in a hybrid world, switching from one device or platform to another and bouncing between digital and physical spaces. But this year, I’ve had more opportunities to be present with people. We’ve enjoyed meals together. We’ve been on sites with each other. We’ve laughed and shared stories. We’ve worked face-to-face toward shared goals.
To me, the heart of a great partnership — with individuals, teams and organizations as a whole — is building relationships by getting to know and appreciate one another.
Taking Pride and Feeling Thankful
Because of those relationships, we’ve accomplished a lot at Talent Plus over many decades. This year, though, I’m especially proud of launching Talent+Ready, which has been years in the making and is a labor of love. I have no doubt it will be an industry disrupter in the best ways.
Again, as I reflect on leaders and teams, I’m so thankful for the ones who unlocked my potential through mentoring and shared goals. From my earliest experiences with my horse and my time in Singapore to the daily interactions I now have with colleagues, great people have shown me how to be a better partner, team member and leader.
That’s the power of genuine relationships.
Makenzie is the President of Talent Plus where each day, she leads with a focus on our mission, “We know every person has talent.” Through supporting and partnering with our colleagues and client partners, Talent Plus works to create a world where people do what they are good at and enjoy.
“Talent Plus is positioned for unprecedented success and growth because we have the premier science in the industry alongside extraordinary colleagues.”
Talents: Focus, Intelligence, Individualized Approach, Conceptualization, Persuasion