Optimism and Joy: Wannon Water's Jacinta Ermacora
Wannon Water recently joined me in sharing "Optimism and Optimistic Leadership: The How and Why."
We were led in our deliberations by the Chair of Wannon Water, Jacinta Ermacora,
Intern Luke and I took the opportunity to ask Jacinta what makes her optimistic.
Luke: "Jacinta, what makes you optimistic?"
Jacinta: "What makes me optimistic is seeing joy in other people: That brings me joy and a real sense of positivity. Also, I have the personality trait of being optimistic: I often see the glass half full rather than empty.
"Collaboration is a joy for me. So there's a really powerful feeling when a whole heap of different people, whether it's a working partnership or a voluntary partnership of people working together on something. That gives a real sense of we can do anything, that optimistic feeling!
"I occasionally come across examples from the community and my own interactions where staff at Wannon Water put our Beyond Water for Strong Communities into their own creative version and implement it in the community. And I think that is the most optimistic thing that I could say about Wannon Water."
Victor: "And that sense of joy you've got. Do you want to share a recent moment of joy?"
Jacinta: The Ripple Effect Awards last week: When 12 community groups came along and received funding from our grant. Community grant funding program. And it was lovely to see all of them seeing what each other was doing in the community. So that was a real joy for us, with Wannon Water bringing those people together and giving them the extra oomph that they needed to do that.
Victor: And Wannon Water's growing its facilities and renewing plants and the like. And you've got creative leadership right through to young interns. So what is it that brings you that joy and optimism about the team here?
Jacinta: Well, water and sewer and the environment are absolutely our core business, and it's our business as usual. I love seeing the creative response that our assets, operational, and reception teams put in place in their roles. And we are doing our own version of that rather than a formulaic approach.
"We're all local people and belong to the same communities we work in. And so we are who we are and can't be anything else.
"And that level of integrity is quite empowering and has a lot of integrity in our community.
Victor: It seems at Wannon Water positive leadership starts at every level. As we arrived at the reception desk, there was a sparkling smile and a greeting. And as we walked through the corridors and met your customer service people, there was joyfulness. They were celebrating with a birthday cake. And as we walked along the corridors, people's instinct was to look us in the eye and smile.
Jacinta: We have our tough times, our times when our head is down, and we are working really hard. And we've just finished our pricing submission. We've just signed a very big contract. So there's a lot of work that's been done. So this is definitely a moment at Wannon Water when we're feeling quite chuffed with ourselves.