netlogx Managing Partner and CEO, Audrey Taylor, recently joined Shawn Richards on The Team Engagement podcast to share her expertise on mentorship in teams.
Since founding netlogx 25 years ago, Audrey has mastered her approach to building trust within the business. She reflects on the challenges she overcame as an entrepreneur, fostering creativity as a team, and establishing a mentorship program.
In each episode of The Team Engagement podcast, Shawn fires through 5 questions in roughly 10 minutes with the featured guest. Shawn’s questions are typically centered on team engagement and leadership principles for leaders of all experience levels. Get the key points from Audrey’s thoughtful responses below!
Is there a challenge you’ve overcome that you’re especially proud of?
Audrey explains that as netlogx evolved, the personal relationships she formed early on in the business struggled with changes once a corporate structure was needed. This taught Audrey how to not only draw boundaries but stick to them. Although she struggled with boundaries, she worked with her coach to develop techniques to push back appropriately.
She adds that as a leader, she has learned through her struggles that transitions can be a good thing. Overall, the structure of the organization is what matters, and as a leader, you must ensure that everyone is aligned with this structure.
As a leader, how can you help your team foster and generate more creativity as a team?
Audrey raises the point that as a leader, you ask your team to bring their “whole selves” to work, meaning she encourages each team member to be a true individual. She demonstrates this through the training programs, and encouragement to use their PTO and VTO. At netlogx, the company culture allows people to have a choice about where they go to work (as a fully remote team), so she aims to embrace the philosophy of “bringing your whole self to work.”
Audrey confirms that although leading a remote team has its challenges, she has implemented creative solutions to stay connected in the virtual world while connecting with the team on a personal level.
Another key principle Audrey has prioritized at netlogx is diversity. As a woman-owned business that employs professionals of different age groups, locations, upbringings, and cultures, netlogx leadership listens to their team. She mentions that as a nine-time winner of Best Places to Work in Indiana, their success stems from team feedback. It’s crucial to note what your team enjoys, what they would do differently, and what makes them feel part of the organization. This data allows a baseline to rank your organization amongst others and retain talent.
How can leaders build trust between team members?
Audrey prefers the word “resilience” over “trust.” She notes that when team members feel safe and secure in their environment, they can easily contribute. Additionally, leaders need to celebrate success as well as failure—because failure is where we learn. To create trust in the organization, netlogx believes in a mentorship program. Mentorship allows new team members to ask an expert their questions and explore different career paths. She clarifies that mentoring isn’t an age component, and nothing should be age-based.
Trust is super important to any organization, especially when hard times come. netlogx aims to work as a team through a series of grading principles. The ultimate goal is to empower the team and ensure they are actually celebrated throughout the organization.
Is there a failure that you turned into a win?
Audrey takes the responsibility for a failure that occurred a few years ago. She explains that there was a time when netlogx was growing quickly, but she was not paying close enough attention to a large source of revenue that stemmed from one particular area. She shares that their line of credit wasn’t sufficient, and as a result, they sometimes used personal finances to supplement corporate cash flow.
Almost losing everything taught her to build a stronger business mindset. She stresses that your business must be self-sufficient and generate its own income.
Tell us about your first job.
At age 18 Audrey announced to her parents that she wanted to take a gap year. She was soon working for an insurance company and was put in a boot camp to learn programming languages. She was working with other graduates, and at the time the company was looking to attract talent due to an IT shortage.
Although Audrey never went to university, that role gave her the confidence to try something new quickly, which eventually inspired her to move to the USA. Once she relocated, the flexibility she wanted in her life inspired her to start her own business. She urges that leaders have to be comfortable with risk. She adds, “If you want to know what tomorrow is going to look like, you need a career, not a business. My willingness to live in risk and reward and try something new led me to this path.”
netlogx is a leading management consulting services firm that helps clients nationwide solve complex business challenges. Woman-founded in 1998, we guide enterprise organizations as they navigate change and make it work for them. Backed by Lean Six Sigma principles and methodologies, our business consulting services create high value for our public and private sector clients, resulting in successful operational and cost-efficiency improvements.
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