And how can your Saints be happy if your Angels are not happy, too!
Our Angels in business, our Guardian Angels in fact, have always been the colleagues we have been working with. Yes, in the business world they would be called employees, but not in our business world. They are our trusted, reliable, highly-established colleagues. They have been working WITH US instead of FOR US. We have entrusted them with our precious clients and they have respected and appreciated that to a level hopefully many other businesses have experienced the way we have.
It is a big responsibility choosing the right person to work with. The path we have always followed (and we have been very lucky to experience a booming business that needed additional colleagues several times) is that of sharing the same vision. Whenever conducting an interview, we would mainly describe the way our business worked, the visions and priorities we had and of course, how it had all started. From the other party’s reactions and comments, we would easily realize if our business, and up to a point, personal chemistry, matched. There were basic technicalities that were very important as far as the qualifications were concerned, and basic qualities in their personality such as politeness and punctuality, a great sense of humor and a very positive attitude.
But then, it was up to the business to make sure that our Guardian Angels were fairly and professionally treated; were kindly and lovingly blended into our business family. We have been in the position of a person working in the interests of a school that did not belong to us. So we held on to all those moments, and made sure that they felt as if our school DID belong to them.
We did our very best:
Individual well-organized and equipped offices; User-friendly methodology with full communication and discussion with us in the event of complications or different preferences on behalf of our clients; Monthly meetings but also anytime-meetings to discuss … ANYTHING and EVERYTHING; Constant modifications based on their invaluable feedback but also the clients’ feedback. Finally, my personal favourite: Fun but informative lockers for each employee. A locker in which they have discovered a wide range of information throughout the years: from examination or schedule changes, to both my pregnancies.
And those are the moments you truly cherish your Guardian Angels. When our relationship had reached a point of such mutual respect and compassion; when we had achieved such high levels of professionalism and democracy; when we cared for, protected and stood up for each other. Without ruining the balances among colleagues while making sure our clients were never disrupted.
No! We had not spoilt them one bit. They deserved every single element offered and deserved so much more. We have had excellent teamwork. Stunning collaboration. Outstanding results. It was not smooth or perfect from the day our very first colleague joined us. But we learned a lot along the way and never forgot one single lesson.
Many years ago when the first problem with a colleague occurred, I made absolutely sure none of the other colleagues were disrupted. I was pregnant to Maggie, my first child then. When a new teacher arrived to take the place of the one that had left, Helen, a long-term Guardian Angel said: “How did you do that? We did not have a clue that something was wrong.” My answer to you now Helen is because we loved you and our school, and never wanted anything to ruin it.
Our moblie phones and email accounts were available to our colleagues 24/7. They knew they could feel comfortable informing us on a development or concern, something they had forgotten to mention at school or just a quick joke to add a happy ending to a long day. We would all arrive way before work began and would stay even after work had ended.
All the above refer to the team we created at The Loras Academy in Ioannina, Greece. At The Loras Network in Zug, Switzerland it is just Vicky and me for now. The unbelievable group of Angels that we were honoured to have met, especially before our finale in Ioannina, is like a dream come true for us. I hope they feel the same. It took me a while to exit my mourning phase and find the braveness to maintain contact with them. I apologise to them for that.
Thank you LAMBRINI, HELEN, CHRISSIE, MELANIE, REA, ALEXANDRA, MELINA, JAHNAVI, LISA, DIMITRA, TINA, ANASTASIA, ANDREW, ANGELA, JOANNA and my very own VICKY and CHRISTINE LORAS.