MaritimeMT CEO Pauline Micallef on Thursday acknowledged that sometimes, business leaders themselves must directly serve and contribute to their own communities, helping employees learn from their actions.
Her thoughts come after she was reflecting on her time at The Duke of Edinburgh Commonwealth Study Conference (CSC) 2023, which was held in Banff, Canada last June. The conference saw 300 of the world’s “most promising emerging leaders” from business, Government, labour and the community sector participate, exposing them to new experiences to provoke arguments and improve their decision-making. The two leaders chosen to represent Malta were Ms Micallef and Zerafa Advocates Founder Omar Zerafa.
On one of the days, Ms Micallef’s team had a “special experience” in Vancouver, as they visited a kitchen, named Save on Meats. The kitchen has been collaborating with A Better Life Foundation since 2013, providing daily meals to people in the community who don’t have access to basic nutrition.
“As part of our journey at CSC 2023, we immersed in a day of learning in Vancouver, where we understood the struggles and challenges of the neighbourhood of Hastings Street. Walking through the area made me appreciate life better, for the ‘problems’ we encounter every day are negligent close to the problems on the streets,” she explained.
During that day, the conference organised “Plenty of Plates”, an initiative where the business leaders prepared meals for over 85 people.
“As leaders we sometimes have to be servants,” Ms Micallef emphasised.
“Servant leadership is a leadership approach rooted in a genuine commitment to serving and contributing to one’s community,” she said, before adding that prioritising the wellbeing of others allows employees to feel empowered to “excel in their roles”.
“When your passion and dedication show through your actions, it naturally attracts community members who aspire to connect with you,” Ms Micallef remarked.
Through this experience, she also managed to learn more about herself, finding out that she excels better when she is in a team, rather than when she is by herself.
Ms Micallef concluded by saying: “In the beginning I wasn’t up for it, but I ended up enjoying it and was very energised. It was definitely an eye-opener on different levels, as interacting with the part of the community that has so many social problems makes you appreciate more the little things in life, that is, the things that matter!”
Ms Micallef has served as CEO of maritime training institution MaritimeMT since 2021, having initially spent six months as Financial Controller. In her present role, she oversees the institution’s overall strategy, manages its employees, and ensures compliance to regulatory frameworks.
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