The Best I Ever Worked With …by Jane Moors

Senior Associate, Outerbox Thinking

When Hung Lee asked if I’d join his initiative to write a tribute to the Best Five co-workers or collaborators I’ve ever worked with, I was stuck! I felt immobilised by a sea of delightful names and personalities that started swimming through my mind – each one with qualities I deeply admire and feel privileged to have learned from. And so, this is not an exclusive list but rather an effort to spotlight 5 different types of lessons that have made a measurable difference to the joy I gain from my work today.

Reinhard Moors, Executive Coach, Outerbox Thinking

I’ll start with my current and closest collaborator – my gift. I feel lucky to love working with my husband of 27 years: Executive Coach and Existential Practitioner Reinhard Moors. Reinhard ignites that “anything is possible” spirit in people, unselfishly believing in what they can achieve and bravely exploring creative ideas to enable his clients to realise their goals in line with their definition of success and purpose. In 2000, I was one of those “clients” who felt stuck. I had been successful as a Consultant and Area Manager for a leading national recruitment company, but I knew that as a mother-to-be my definition of success was changing. I was starting to think about “what matters 10 – 20 – 50 years from now?” I knew I would regret not spending quality time with our kids. I didn’t know how to work and be the “Mom on the side of the rugby field” for our boys at the same time. Reinhard didn’t push me in a direction that would have made life more comfortable for him. He never wavered in his support and never made me feel like I was compromising our financial status. Reinhard is all about helping people engage in work and life that is meaningful, about living a life that doesn’t lead to regrets, about sifting through what looks attractive and to find what really fulfils you. If it wasn’t for Reinhard, I would not have resigned as Area Manager and started my own recruitment consultancy with Robin Stam. And 5 years later we also wouldn’t have sold Moors & Stam Recruitment Consulting as a thriving business so that I could work under his company Outerbox Thinking and focus on training and coaching. Having learned how to make choices that matter from Reinhard, I am now lucky to love what I do each day, giving back to my industry and helping others achieve success in their life and work.

Lisa Rudolph

Thinking about my 25 plus years in the recruitment industry takes me back to where it all began and to someone else I feel lucky to have been able to watch and learn from: my first manager – Lisa Rudolph. I remember our frantic regional recruitment office in the heart of Cape Town, filled with new consultants, all competing for clients and commission; some nicely, some not so nicely. And then Lisa would walk in, making eye contact with each of us as her team, smiling warmly and sincerely, wanting to know how we were doing as people and not just productivity machines. I would walk into her office for our weekly discussions aimed at boosting our performance and could learn with confidence because I knew she had my back. I sensed she didn’t always experience that from her managers, but I never felt that she transferred the anxiety or pressure she received from above onto any of us. She looked at each of us in relation to our own “best” and challenged us with kindness to go beyond what we thought we could do. Lisa’s approach meant I could quickly build success based on my strengths and not prescribed formulas. She showed me that compassion dissolves judgement and not taking things personally could help me focus on others’ issues and not make them “all about me”.

Vanessa Raath, Founder, The Talent Hunter

Time-travelling back to a few years ago, I think about those who have taught me the skills that help overcome “imposter syndrome” and be myself on social media – key requirements in our new world of work. Again, there are so many people I can mention, but I cannot not mention Vanessa Raath! She has made me laugh so much and has pushed me into uncomfortable places, for which I am most grateful! I met her on Twitter and was instantly drawn to her energy and boldness. When she started her own business in training sourcing skills for recruiters, I immediately wanted to do all I could to encourage her exposure, but in the process she has taught me about boldly creating a personable virtual presence. I remember asking Vanessa to partner with me and train a corporate team on sourcing while I covered the interview side – and was horrified when she gathered us all together for a photo in the company’s reception area to post on LinkedIn. Up until that stage I had gained years of experience working with corporate teams and recruitment consultancies, but there was something about my internal wiring that did not open me to share what I was doing with others, let alone share in the public domain! And now I need to be mindful not to share too much! As a result of her example in this area, I have so enjoyed building a professional network and making wonderful friends through LinkedIn, which I have found to be an especial source of encouragement and joy during our pandemic and lockdown.

Elizabeth Lembke, Chief Talent Navigator, Transforming Talent

Speaking of pandemics and lockdowns, my mind goes to the opportunities this has brought to collaborate internationally. My first speaking engagement at a virtual conference was at the start of 2020: Hung Lee’s brave initiative to create a 24-hour recruitment marathon with trainers from across the globe! Little did I know that the facilitator supporting my session would become one of my best international friends and someone who would change my experience of our pandemic: Elizabeth Lembke – an engaging professional woman from Ohio living in Stuttgart, with a passion for transforming talent and building teams. We bumped into each other and bonded through overcoming the technical challenges that tried to trip us up in Hung’s Brainfood Marathon, and from there I was privileged to be invited into what Liz calls her ’kaffeeklatch’ designed to foster #workingremotelybeingconnected. From there, I was drawn into even more of her events and coaching groups where we could encourage others and help one another survive and thrive under the impact of our global challenge. Liz embraces “if you don’t know how to do it, learn it and do it”; “learn in the wobble” and “vitality, vulnerability and viability”. Liz believes, “Don’t wait till it’s perfect! Pull in people who have the heart, and together we can make dreams a reality and have a positive impact on our world!” Thank you, Liz, for making lockdown a very different experience globally for so many people.

Susan Fouché, Group Head: Organisation Effectiveness, Performance and Reward, Cellulant

And now? It seems appropriate that my 5th valuable collaborator is someone who has modelled collaboration for me ever since the time she asked me to facilitate interview skills training for her hiring managers at Fundamo and Visa 10 years ago: Susan Fouche. Susan is an accomplished HR Director with global experience for leading banking and fintech organisations. A “maximiser” by nature, Susan never settles for anything less than the best for her clients and takes a personal interest in creating long-term sustainable solutions with the most up to date tools and techniques. In every engagement with Susan, I have had this question pop up in my mind, “Do you really believe I can do this?” Susan’s message is always the same: “stretch yourself”, “I trust you” and “I love what you bring to the table and how we complement one another with our different strengths.” Because of Susan, I took a “Teaching through Technology” course at WITS at a time when I did not want to embrace virtual facilitation skills, I designed the EI component for a global online intervention at a time when I resisted investing in video software, and I learned to explore the uncomfortable conflict between leaders with curiosity and kindness when everything in me wanted to smooth things over and create a “happily ever after”. Thanks to Susan, I have practised and refined new skills to serve my clients with confidence and circled through rhythms that show that no new experiences are ever wasted.

Thank you to Jane Moors for sharing The Best I Ever Worked With

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