• Cat Graham

Women’s Month Series: Simple Lessons Learned for a Happier, More Productive Working Life

Updated: May 31, 2019

by guest contributor Louise Harris, Chief Marketing Officer at Orbis International

This women’s history month I want to celebrate not only the strong women who make a difference in the world and in our working lives but also the men who support them. Throughout my life and career, I’ve had many role models, both male and female, and I’ve gained valuable insight from them all in different ways.

Some of the lessons that I’ve learned and that I take with me today are to spend time with positive people, do good things and be inclusive. I’ve found these make for a happier and more productive work experience.

Spend time with positive people.

If you hang out with positive people you can’t help but mirror their behavior when you see how effective it is. I am conscious of how my behavior is seen by others on my team and that if I approach a challenge in a positive frame of mind, the results are much better. Without a positive attitude, it’s very easy to get dispirited and it rubs off and influences those around you. Spending time with positive people can give you an energy boost and usually results in better outcomes.

Do good things.

I’m very fortunate to be working in a non-profit organization that does well every day, bringing people together in the fight against avoidable blindness. We’re giving people their sight back In places where they have little or no access to quality eye-care and who would otherwise face a lifetime of darkness and missed opportunities. It’s meaningful work.

But you don’t need to work for a non-profit to do good things. It doesn’t take much to do good things on a daily basis. It could mean putting aside your own deadline to help someone else meet theirs, helping a junior member of staff learn a new skill or filling in for someone who’s going through a tough time or personal difficulty.

Be inclusive.

In my role as the chief marketing officer at Orbis, I appreciate how important our internal culture is for our brand and why it needs to be a priority. How can you have a strong brand externally if it doesn’t start within the team?

We created a new vision, mission, and tagline to better align our organization with our strategic priorities. It was a collaborative process, collecting input from across the global organization. The process was very interesting, it elicited a huge amount of conversation, along with disagreements and some tension. But it resulted in something that everyone felt good about, felt a part of and could stand behind. It’s only when you talk to people that you realize that how you see an organization is rarely the way others see it. It depends on your viewpoint and your role. I found that being as inclusive as possible in this process was a positive way to drive the brand forward.