#78: Building an impactful company starts by transforming ourselves with Anouk Lagae

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Who is Anouk?

With over 20 years of FMCG and iconic brands’ experience (Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company and Duvel Moortgat) - of which almost 10 years were spent abroad (in the UK and Australia) – Anouk has a strong track record in brand strategy, innovation, M&A and general management across multiple countries. In line with her tireless efforts to unlock potential and put people first, Anouk is now the proud CEO of Accent Jobs, a talent placement company, where she wants to contribute by giving everyone a chance to participate in society via a meaningful job and by helping companies to grow. Anouk believes that if employees are in the right environment and at their best (= wellbeing), a company will thrive (= welfare).

She is also a mom of three beautiful children and wife to a loving husband.

What makes her organization so great?

I asked her this question and the answer was quite simple: love. This love is ingrained in the DNA of the company and in the everyday employees' tasks. Her role as a CEO? Being a guard of that love and making sure that she creates an environment where everyone feels safe to show and spread that love. But having the greatest place to work award doesn’t mean frictions don’t exist…we are humans after all.

How to deal with challenges

The most important thing Anouk told me, is first to remain calm and centered. Whatever the situation is, remember to stay cool and breathe. The next important thing to do is to analyse! Ask yourself the ‘why’ question, until you find a root cause or know what steps you can take to resolve the issue. If you ask yourself this question, you will be forced to look at the situation through different lenses and you can distance yourself to look at the manner in a more objective way.

And if working the problem out on your own seems difficult, ask for help! There are a lot of people around you that can help you finding new perspectives on a matter. That’s also why it is great to have diverse thinkers in a team.

How can you spread love as a leader?

First of all, lead by example! The values your company lives by shouldn’t just be a poster on the wall. Try to adopt these values as much as possible in everything you do. That way, you give everyone around you the tools to help themselves too. Another value Accent has, is to be a friend. Be a friend to your clients, be a friend to your candidates, be a friend to your colleague, and don’t forget to be a friend to yourself. That means that you’re there for each other and if someone doesn’t act that way, people need to be strict about that.

Three core values at Accent

The first one we’ve just discussed. It’s to be a friend!
The second one is appropriate to this podcast: stay gutsy (which roughly translates to ‘be a rebel’ 😜). This value means you must take risks, do crazy things and be a pioneer. In other words, don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t be afraid to try things no one has tried before.
The last value is to go pro! Everyone in the company must be willing to improve on everything they are doing, making things better for the team, the organization, and the client. Everyone must become a professional at what they are doing.

I hope you guys have learned what direction you can take to become better leaders. Be sure to share this podcast with your colleagues and friends if you found it to be helpful! I will see you in the next episode, bye!

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