Name: Rachel Bishell
Title: Safety and Wellbeing Business Partner
Organisation: NZ Post
I have worked at NZ Post for the last 20 years across a range of roles from frontline, to Leadership, finally landing in Safety which I was always passionate about. Previous roles include Sales and Hospitality which I guess support my passion for people.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Rachel's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Managing people has been the most challenging. Having to be a counsellor, lead people through change, support them with growth mindset, encourage them to better themselves, all the while meeting the business KPI's against cost, service and safety.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
In all of my Leadership roles I have started on the frontline.
Sales Rep to Sales Manager.
Postie to Delivery Leader.
Waitress to Maitre'd
I believe that to be a great Leader you need to have started on the frontline.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am naturally a very structured person in my personal and professional life so I find this quite easy.
Before I go to sleep, I always check what I have to achieve the next day and diarize this. That way I sleep better knowing I am prepared for the day ahead. I also prioritize what I need to do in case a curve ball comes my way and I need to re-prioritize. Exercise is a huge part of my day too. Morning 6k walk and weights in the evening. Helps me think,digest and reflect on the past,present and future.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Your personal brand.
I was recently reminded how important our brand is and how others perceive us. Not saying we should bow down to feedback, but we need to be aware of how we act, what we say and what we do, can affect others.
Stay true to your values and beliefs and always be kind.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
'A Leader becomes a Leader' J Kevin Sheehan
I was given this book after a leadership course and it really resonated with me as it highlights that Leadership comes in many different forms.
What Leadership means to one person, is not the same to another. How we learn and grow and adapt to our people in this ever changing environment is true Leadership. How we muck in with the people when required, how we have those courageous conversations, how we coach and teach, how we be honest and supportive.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Remember that Leadership comes in all shapes and sizes. Find what works for you, always keep learning and be kind.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
One of my workers retired and a few years later they made a comment that I was one of the best Leaders they ever had. I listened to him, I encouraged him, I taught an old dog new tricks and I was always kind.
That meant the world to me and still brings a tear to my eye.