founder of naked leader
Naked Leader Week 857 – 28 January 2020
Time To Read: 2 minutes
For this month’s Leader Feature Clive Barrett has enjoyed speaking with Sally Jenner, an experienced top change professional. Read on for some unexpected tips:
THOSE adept at studying human characteristics would know within moments of meeting Sally Jenner that she is the very definition of the term ‘people person’.
Not just a top change professional at London-based management consultants Alchemmy, inspirational Sally is a skilled ‘people’ leader with a proven track record in airport management, leading and managing large teams and managing complex transformation.
She creates visions for others to follow.
She also radiates warmth and enthusiasm and realises the importance of ‘having fun along the way.’
With more than three decades’ experience in the industry, she has been in the enviable position during the past 10 years of ‘being able to shape my roles to bring the best out in me.’
Her passion and love for what she does shines through while her empathy and true understanding of what makes colleagues tick has earned her widespread appreciation wherever she has worked.
Those roles include a UK based airport company and UK based airline, cargo company and other businesses in the transport sector.
In recent times she has been instrumental in driving change at Alchemmy in order to allow employees to be the best they can be.
Sally has three main principles which have stood her in good stead throughout her career – namely respect, listening and learning.
The first of those was shaped by a boss she had, when aged 17.
Sally explains: ‘I would say it’s important to be really respectful of people. Very early in my career I worked for someone who treated me appallingly. The important lesson she taught me was how NOT to manage others and how I didn’t want to lead. I learnt something then that has stayed with me, which is it’s not what you say or where you say it. It’s about how you make people feel.
‘I met that woman a few years later and thanked her. For me it’s about maximising people’s potential and to give them belief in themselves.’
Secondly, it’s crucial to listen to people. I know I’m the best leader I can be when I don’t know something, not when I think I know. I’m at my most powerful as a leader when I really listen to the people that do know.’
Sally’s third life lesson is learning from those you work for and with. ‘Work with people who inspire you,’ she adds. ‘I know I’m at my absolute best when I work with colleagues who I can look up to and learn from.’
Simply speaking, Sally enjoys life and wants to better the lives of those around her.
‘I’ve had an amazing career and I’ve done jobs very well and I’ve done jobs not so well,’ she reflects. ‘In the last 10 years I’ve been in a position where I know where I am in my life. I’m “on purpose”.
‘I’m in the fortunate position where I’m able to shape the roles to bring out the best in me.
‘I’m very, very lucky.
‘I absolutely love by job; it’s my passion and I thrive on going into work every day. And I get more thrilled at the feedback from people who work for me than those I work for. It’s all about people for me.’
Meeting Naked Leader founder David Taylor has had a big impact on Sally, too, particularly in a time where she has needed to implement a long-term strategy and put it into action.
As in the Naked Leader Formula for Guaranteed Success – Know where you want to go, Know where you are Now, Know what you have to do to get to where you want to go, and Doing IT!
‘I first met David when we had a strategy meeting in October and he sat in on it,’ Sally recalls.
‘He and I connected straight away. I absolutely got what he was saying. We very quickly developed a trust.’
Earlier this month, David provided a team event at Alchemmy and Sally adds: ‘David has a unique style. It was an amazing event. It was so thought-provoking. He brings the truth and he strips out all the jargon. I have always been a straight talker and I’ve never sugar-coated anything, and I liked the way David stripped it all back. I liked his candour.’
Sally has been credited with an ability to integrate people and process, within changes to technology and facilities, to drive benefits and realise the business case.
Well, it was fictional character “Wolfie” in the 1977 sitcom Citizen Smith who proclaimed “Power To The People” while that was also the title of a John Lennon song six years earlier.
It could be said Sally Jenner is carrying on that mantra by instilling values in people that allow them to be the best they can be.
And she does it with an engaging smile.
David adds: ‘Sally is such an inspirational leader – and working in such a technical, high pressure and dare I say male environment as Heathrow. It is an honour to know her and work with her and Alchemmy.’
As ever, thanks to Clive and Sally for showing us new perspectives on old challenges.
With my love and best wishes