When Good Leaders Matter – Making Life Peachy

Written 23rd March 2020 the day we went into lockdown.

For any business the last few weeks have been challenging with recommendations and insights changing daily, sometimes hourly. As a pub company we have our own unique set of challenges, the majority of our team cannot work from home and we knew eventually we would have to close the pubs. It’s in these moments, where we crave safety and normality, that we look to our leaders to find out what to do next.

In Peach we’re lucky, we have a clearly defined set of Leadership Habits that provide direction and make each of us accountable in our daily roles. In the last few weeks we’ve witnessed these brought to life by the individuals we all look to most for support and guidance. Founder, Hamish Stoddart, Operations Director, Chris Stagg and Finance Director, Tony Bobath started the Peach Task Force (it’s hard not to imagine them with capes!) and were shining examples of these habits in action. Together with our Pod Directors – Frazer, David and Bevy we have all been strengthened by their actions.

  1. Everyone Counts – they created the Corona Collaboration Group, including all Poddies, partners and senior team, sharing ideas, concerns, worries, positive examples from similar businesses etc. It really helped to have an outlet here while still being positive with the team. Every message to our wider teams asked for their input too and we got some great ideas that were put into action.
  2. Getting Things Done – we knew they would be exploring every scenario of what could happen and how to safeguard Peach and our jobs. Gathering information each morning, taking the key messages and presenting it back to the teams. The Help Centre pages were created so everyone had access to the most up to date messages. They recognised the importance of the right messages being out there, removing any misinformation and remaining calm. Initially this was updated once a week, then twice, then as and when required.
  3. Excellent Execution – While the pubs were still open and our team, guests and communities became more aware of the impact of this crisis we followed every guideline on personal and pub cleanliness. We updated our teams daily, shared our concerns over any unnecessary travel, briefed and continually reinforced every recommendation we were given to help control the spread and keep each other safe.
  4. Trust – In normal day to day circumstances we enjoy the autonomy and trust these individuals have in us – but right now we’re all looking to them and trusting they are making the best decision for us. This can’t be an easy burden, but they shoulder it well and are honest and open about some of the tough decisions we may have to face together.
  5. Character – throughout this all of our leadership team have shown grace when others may have been flustered. Discretion and dignity when discussing our teams and the impact on their futures. Patience when each of us have needed a few kind words of support and given us confidence that we can get through this together.

There have been many messages of support and thanks from our team since closing the doors on Friday. They are thankful not just because they still have jobs to come back to and funds coming in, but also because they have been informed and included in an increasingly uncertain world. So this is a thank you to all our Peach Leaders for showing great courage and supporting our team in unprecedented times. Here’s to Making Life Peachy for a very long time to come!