As a social enterprise Talking Prints is giving a solution to a social problem and at the same time making a profit as a company. This formula is quite rare which means we had to find our way of leading the company.
There are different styles of leadership but we had to find a style that would fit into our company, goals and ideals. Our goal is to push the people we work with forward by setting the example and inspire them to be their best selves. And at the same time taking care of their needs. To know what they need we had to get in the role of a parent who can feel what their needs are. But at the same time giving them room to grow.
We believe that everyone follows their own path in life with their own challenges to work on. This also means in their work life. We have implemented this into our way of leading as well by having a different approach towards each person. For this kind of leadership, a lot of empathy comes to it. Empathy means nothing more than feeling and understanding what the other person says or does. And actually putting your own feelings aside. This is called empathic leadership. We want to guide them to walk their own path in life. This also means that we are giving them a lot of freedom to make their own decisions.
It has been a journey for me as well to accept my role as a leader. I had some ups and downs along the way. The biggest lesson I've learned so far is to take my responsibility and at the same time letting go of things I can't control. For example: when we teach the women a certain bag to make with a deadline, I’ll do my best to put my energy and attention into teaching them right and communicating so they understand. After that I go home and let it go for a while. With a lot of patience and faith I look forward to the result. And most of the time it comes out just fine.
I’ve learned that all choices in life have consequences, every choice we make has an impact on the company and the women we work with. We planted a seed of making a difference for people in need and we make sure that every decision is in line with our purpose to help others.
“Be the change you wish to see in this world and the rest will follow”