In honour of our fearless leader, founder, mentor, puzzle master, and friend on her birthday, I’d like to share 5 things that I’ve learned from working closely with Brianna these past couple of years at Envol.
Aside from provoking some birthday attention and appreciation for Brianna, I am also sharing these because I believe that the real value of knowledge is created when it is passed on; knowledge in itself is not all that valuable. This has become abundantly clear these past few months, as businesses and communities have come together to offer ideas, guidance, support and connection to each other.
So, Brianna, thank you for passing these small nuggets of wisdom onto me. They have already made a huge impact on my career and I hope that they will do the same for our readers. In addition to, of course, giving you a bit of a birthday chuckle.
1. You can be personal and still be professional
Whether it’s remembering anniversaries, asking about families, or sending through a topical GIF, one of the reasons that people are so drawn to Brianna is her effortless ability to combine personal care with professionalism.
While it’s important to keep meetings efficient, relationships move from transactional to sustainable when you are invested in the people and not just their business. Being genuinely interested in learning about other people not only helps us provide better support, but also makes for some truly remarkable work interactions.
2. Never have a meeting for the sake of having a meeting
This one likely strikes a chord with many people navigating the challenges of transitioning to remote work. Time is valuable, and while it’s important to make time for connection with your team, meetings need to feel productive or you lose interest – fast.
Here is a framework for having extremely effective meetings:
- Send out an agenda before each meeting to all attendees
- Confirm agenda at the beginning of the meeting and ask if anything needs to be added
- Stick to the agenda and keep things moving forward
- Summarize key information, action plan and next steps at the end of the meeting
- Send out action plan and next steps right after the meeting to all attendees
It sounds simple, but it has made a world of difference for us in ensuring there is clarity around expectations and next steps.
3. Formatting matters…. A lot.
I never thought I’d care as much about white space and subheading levels as I do. This kind of thing may seem trivial at first, but as I’ve learned from Brianna – it matters. Formatting matters so much that it can make the difference for winning major projects with dream clients. In fact, for us it has done exactly that.
When you think about high quality work, work that really stands out and is memorable, I can almost guarantee that they will have this in common: The person who made it cared. They cared about what they were doing, cared about how it looked, and you can bet your bottom dollar that they cared about the formatting!
4. Want to get better at something? Read.
Brianna is of the belief that you should never aim to be the smartest person in the room. She is incredibly humble for someone who is successfully running two businesses. However, if being the smartest person in the room is your goal, then you are going to need to read. A lot.
I’m lucky to receive countless articles, webinars, podcasts, book recommendations, etc. from Brianna on the daily. I (and many others) are often astonished at the way she can always provide a new perspective or share expertise that many of us would never think of.
I’ve come to learn that this isn’t done through luck or magic – it’s a lot of reading.
5. Birthdays are a big deal
Without your birthday, where would you be? The answer is literally nowhere.
Brianna has pioneered a culture at Envol that is full of celebration. We celebrate each other. We celebrate big wins. We celebrate overcoming big losses. And we certainly celebrate birthdays.
Some may wonder if celebrating so often reduces the value of each celebration. Our experience is that recognition breeds more motivation, not the opposite. Feeling appreciated makes you want to do better, be better, and help your team. I don’t plan to ever stop expressing my appreciation for people’s contributions, no matter how big or small.
On that note, Brianna – Thank you. We appreciate you. Being a part of this journey with Envol has been one of the most rewarding, challenging, humbling, inspiring experiences of my life and I am excited to see what other nuggets of wisdom are in store for us.
Cheers to you on your birthday!
HR & Talent Specialist