New Health and Safety Representatives and Committees requirements proposed
The Health and Safety at Work Amendment Bill proposes to improve all workers access to Health and Safety Representatives and Committees.
This fourth episode of Across the Board presented by the Institute of Directors CEO Kirsten Patterson and Sonia Yee looks at how experiences of anxiety, isolation,depression and stress at the top have played out for directors, affecting their sense of self, their family lives and their ability to stay ‘checked in.’
Making decisions at the top isn’t an easy task. But when directors, CEOs and managers encounter life-changing events, is it easy enough to leave personal issues at the door and continue business as usual?
In 2017, Tina Jennen was driving from Kerikeri to Tauranga for a routine meeting. She had a demanding executive position working in the technology horticulture sector. And along with an official board role, she was also leading a student incubator.
But as she turned onto State Highway Two, someone had fallen asleep at the wheel.
This resulted in a deadly head-on collision with Jennen who suffered a punctured lung, damage to her knees and a compound fracture to her right arm. She ended up with 17 screws in one of her ankles, and a cast on every limb.
“I was actually told months later by someone from the wreckage company that this was the worst car they had ever seen where someone had come out alive,” she says.
But while her injuries were serious she went into autopilot. The ambitious go-getter and mother of four wasn’t about to down tools. Instead, she was attending board meetings in her wheelchair and continuing projects from her hospital bed.
“What allowed me to be okay was just to keep going…because I could tell that staying [in the hospital] and feeling stuck there was going to affect my mental health,''Jennen says.
Intent on a speedy recovery, she was released from hospital earlier than anticipated. But in retrospect, she says if she had to do it all again she would do it differently.
“Entrepreneurs say, 'yes,’ so I kept saying yes because I want to add value in the world,” she says of her previous way of thinking.
But while she has continued to contribute to the world, these days she is doing it slightly differently.
Today, Jennen is a PhD candidate focusing on regenerative governance. She is also a director and trustee on a range of boards across non-profits, start-ups and philanthropy and still remains involved in the high-value horticulture technology space.
The accident informed her way of thinking. She listens more closely to what feels right when opportunities arise, rather than being solely outcome focused.
But that also involves “having the courage to say, no.”
“We have all the answers we need inside, but sometimes we don’t slow down long enough to listen,” Jennen says.
Listen to episode four of Across the Board where you’ll also hear stories from former Bauer Media CEO Paul Dyzeul, Kevin Kenrick (former CEO of TVNZ) and Taimi Allan discussing mental health, bullying in the workplace, depression and more.
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Across the Board was produced by the Institute of Directors in partnership with NZME and iHeart Radio and proudly sponsored by ASB Bank.