Jonny Berger is Sydney managing director at CHEP Network and has over 20 years’ experience managing some of Australia’s and London’s most creative, complex and prestigious accounts. Jonny has a passion for delivering effective and award-winning work for his clients and playing a part in fostering people-first high performance agency cultures.
Make it your own. Authenticity is key. Lead according to your principles. Your integrity is the only thing that no one can take from you, only you can give away.
It's always ‘we’, never ‘I’. Your team is everything.
Be considered. Be over-prepared. Show up early where possible. A meeting with the most junior member of staff should be treated with the same respect as the most senior. Learnings can come from anywhere.
As my Dad used to say: You were given two ears and one mouth, use them accordingly.
Listen, collect opinion, talk, make sure your team are invested in the journey and in your decisions. Be as transparent as possible.
Foster a creative environment where people feel safe to come to work and be the best versions of themselves. High performance is a confidence game so make sure people around you walk with their shoulders up. Keep your radar tuned for when your team (and others) aren’t themselves - gently ask if people are okay, enquire after people, be thoughtful. When your battery is low, let others know so they're reassured it’s okay to let you know when they feel the same.
Keep to your word. Don't make promises or assurances you can't keep or, worse still, forget to deliver on.
Use questions and prompts to interrogate situations, empower others to provide solutions and deliver action. Better to guide than dictate.
Positively and publicly endorse. Gently and privately course correct.
Be precise. Precision is power.
Own the tough calls. Confront conflict head on. Take the bullets. Be tough, fair, and polite under fire.
Being challenged is rewarding. Feedback is a gift.
Remember it’s your role to turn the volume down on confrontation and negativity. Better to turn the volume up on energy and outcomes.
The optimal working relationships are value exchanges, where individuals and teams are played to their strengths but also encouraged out of their comfort zones (with the right support) to continue to learn and grow. Create a self-sufficient network of leaders - a hive mind - who feel confident to canvas opinion and empowered to make decisions, even in your absence. Especially in your absence.
Each individual is on the team for a reason. Acknowledge everyone, often. Share your gratitude.
Always pick up the phone. Always have the chat. Collaboration is conversation.
Let your team own every success. Take account for all mistakes or failures.
Always be considered and often rebellious. Don’t be afraid to blow shit up and try again. Don't be embarrassed to be wrong.
Everything is a lesson. Encourage your team to self-reflect and take learnings from all situations, both good and bad. Never stop being open to learning.
Your legacy won't just be the outcomes you deliver and the work you create, it will be the people you impact and the culture you foster.
Love the work. Smile. Have fun. As someone wiser than I once said, it's all just a ride.