Sheree Martin, is an experienced Executive with a strong result oriented focus. She has spent the last 15 years driving strategies geared towards increasing business value, known as an inspiring and strategic leader with the proven ability to establish effective teams. She has a track record of achievements in the areas of business strategy, marketing, risk management, organizational transformation and corporate innovation. After a distinguished career at The National Commercial Bank Group, Sheree decided to join The Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd. in January 2014. She was appointed to the Executive team to lead human resources, government and regulatory affairs, revenue management, customer service and communications. The company recorded significant improvements in its survey ratings, employee engagement and customer satisfaction while she headed those portfolios. During her time overseeing HR, Sheree placed an expanded focus on leadership development by spearheading a new high potential programme called JPS iLead, which exposed select employees over a 12 month period to advanced leadership competences, knowledge building, executive mentoring and targeted on the job training. Recognizing the intrinsic value of productive and well-rounded employees, Sheree also introduced the first company wide corporate wellness programme at The Jamaica Public Service. The programme, which started in 2015, has been a contributing factor to improve staff moral and reduce health care cost.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey
- Can you tell us 3 successful factors you find that have made you successful as a leader to yield the kind of results that you’re looking for, not so much the financial result but more so the inter personal result?
- Why these dimensions of wellness are so important and how does this relate to customer experience and customer service?
- Can you share with us 1 or 2 success stories that you’ve really seen the individual transform because of exposure to this kind of strategy?
- How do you stay motivated everyday?
- What is the one online resource, website, tool or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business?
- What are some of the books that have had the biggest impact on you?
- We have a lot of managers and business owners who feel they have great products and services but they lack the constantly motivated human capital, what’s the one piece of advice would you give them to have a successful business, specifically as it relates to constantly motivated human capital?
- What is one thing in your life right now that you are really excited about – something that you are working on to develop yourself or people?
- Where can our listeners find your information online?
- What is one quote or saying that you live by or that inspires you in times of adversity?
- Sheree Martin shared that she listens a lot to what her heart tells her, in a lot of ways she tries to passion and purpose in what she’s doing and if there is resonance with a particular path or an activity, she finds that she typically pursues it, that started as a very conscious way of living. Around 1997, a year after her first daughter was born, she came up on a book called “The Power of the Subconscious Mind” by Dr. Joseph Murphy and it really led her down to insights that really spoke to her about opening up herself to be more specific about her visions and her goals and being more purposeful about how she creates her future and so she will typically engage in activities or pursue paths or form alliances and partnerships with companies, people, teams that are just consciously put into her space because of what she’s trying to create and what she’s trying to create is just this sense of being able to give back, being able to have others think of themselves as empowered creatures and just being able to manifest their desires and their goals and she brought that over to the corporate world in a very conscious way, JPS has allowed her to do that, NCB was wonderful in a lot of ways, as far as her learning and growing on her own self but at JPS she has been able to extend it to others and so, in a round about way, what has happened over the last 20 years of her career really represents an unfolding of herself and sharing that with others.
- Sheree Martin stated that it’s amazing that what she just shared that Yanique took away was the fact that you start with self and in service and customer experience she feels the same way for companies because a company is an entity and she thinks that one of the elements of successful companies is that they are driven by a service culture internally.
- What are the processes?
- What are the policies that are not customer friendly?
- How are your employees able to be served internally, across departments, across teams, across the visions?
- Sheree Martin has seen and lived the example of teams and companies and departments where internal service is taken as first pillar towards an ultimate external customer experience that the company can boast about. She also thinks that companies that look at taking feedback from their constituents both internal and external in a structured way and in a sustained way and using that feedback along with other strategies to drive their business actually continues to execute have found success and sustainably so. One of her most favorite TV Shows, she remembers when it was just launched and she was just fascinated and wondered if it was staged but only to learn that it was actually real and that was “Undercover Boss”, she adores that concept of bosses going out into the field, interacting with their own employees, listening to what their issues are on the ground, possibly interacting with customers as well and using that to take back to the board room or to take back to their executive team and talk about how the company is showing up, she believes this is very powerful. Just like self, in terms of your own development as an individual, companies should start internally, looking at how the first line of service which is internal is actually being handled, treated, given focus, what are some of the pain points, how can you address those pain points, how is the flow internally because what you get on the outside is as a result of a lot of internal work and getting feedback constantly and in a structured way from your constituents really does help you to drive better decisions.
- Sheree stated that using the analogy of what we put inside our body is what we see on the outside and typically when we think about wellness, we think about physical wellness or nutrition, so you have to be conscious of how you are feeding your body with energy and the food that you choose obviously impacts your ability to manifest, your ability to perform, your ability to execute on your goals and your ability to show up the way you want to show up. Physical wellness, nutrition, fitness is absolutely critical but typically what you find is that companies or individuals stop there, most cases they think that that’s the extent of wellness, “I just need to make sure I eat properly and I’m exercising.” She finds, however, that we are missing out on other dimensions which has to do also with energy, which we don’t typically hear about or learn about, but are just as important and energy is everything. Even your thoughts can affect how you eventually show up and what you’re seeing around you, what you’re thinking about, so what are you consuming mentally and how are you feeling emotionally as a result of thoughts and perceptions and receptions you’re getting from the various stimuli in your environment, that is an aspect of wellness that at JPS they now have consciously started talking about more and more. She stated that she read something interesting the other day and she re-tweeted it, just talking about What’s App and how it is so popular and how many messages, over 50 Million messages being transmitted everyday between people yet 40% of persons claim that they are lonely. https://twitter.com/SherMart/status/892418979637194752. So we talked about physical, we talked about emotional, we talked about social wellness, how are we integrating internally and how are we making connections that are meaningful and vibrant with each other, those things are important. Intellectual wellness, are we learning, are we mentally stimulating our minds on a constant basis, she is very wary of people who call themselves experts because things are always changing and there are new paradigms and new versions coming out in whatever field that you’re in and so this habit of continuous learning and wanting to consume additional information and not really claiming that you’ve done and that’s it, “I’m now an expert.” There’s layers to that and she loves when people are talking about how they are continually trying to improve their knowledge, so there’s intellectual wellness and there’s a whole business that we don’t talk about in environmental wellness, she’s a big fan of your physical space representing your mental space, so when she goes into areas whether it’s a company or department or a car and it’s cluttered and it’s dirty, she doesn’t want to pass judgment but she immediately get a sense of what could be impacting this persons ability to be able to think clearly or to just perform flawless and clean execution because if their environment is cluttered, invariably 9/10 times their mind is also cluttered and so environmental wellness and just being conscious of how we are integrating with nature, those are things you don’t typically talk about in the corporate but companies that she have found and read about are seeing success when they look at wellness in a more holistic way because now they bring this to their employees, they facilitate programmes that allow the employees to think about all dimensions of wellness not just open a gym or have a salad bar at the cafeteria, that’s not the extent of it, they go further and then that shows obviously on the outside and impacts their service with their customers. Spiritual wellness means whatever your relationship resources, whatever you call source, it is something that you want to consciously cultivate, consciously develop, consciously maintain and use it as a source of power, a source of comfort. She finds that it allows her to refresh, she meditates everyday and she makes sure that she is constantly trying to keep in touch with source and the results are just really astounding.
- Sheree shared that one of the measures of success in terms of the programme is the extent to which a number of these persons get selected for promotions or other leadership roles at a more senior level in the company and to date, they have been very successful to the extent that the persons that they see are performing at a higher level and are showing up and are being given more responsibility have come form the iLead Programme, so that is a measure of success for them. She personally has a team of 6 individuals, not all members of the iLead were selected for the but 4 out of the 6 are and she have watched and have been privileged to be apart of seeing them develop their leadership competence because one of the things she talks about in JPS is they are great technically, there’s no question about their energy expertize and their ability to master the industry from a technical stand point, what she does find that they struggle with is their leadership ability, just the hallmarks of emotional intelligence, how to create teams and how to build teams that can move mountains, they don’t teach that in engineering school, so you come into an environment and you start to talk to people about their responsibility to harness the potential of others once they’re leading a team and people look at you funny but they get it and they start to talk more and more of how can they show up and it has been a pleasure to see how leaders now take responsibility for their teams, some were naturally doing it, others are really seeing the benefits of focusing more on managing their teams with that sense of heart and that sense of purpose and invariably they’re getting that exposure through iLead and the Corporate Wellness Programme and she’s convinced that it has contributed significantly to JPS success in the last couple of years.
- Sheree shared that by staying motivated, her family is her biggest source of motivation, she has an amazing support network, she could not ask for anymore in terms of her husband and her daughters and her parents and just this sense of, “I can do anything, I can go after any dream, I can chase any aspiration.” And every day she thinks about that support network, she feels fearless and she comes into an environment not nothing fazes you to the extent that you know that you’re going home to this sanctuary, once she turns into that drive way, she can breath and that is so important and has been a critical part of her success, her family and that keeps her because she just refreshes….she resets, it’s like a reset. She also finds that she makes a conscious decision to find things to appreciate and to be thankful for, so whenever there are issues and road blocks, anything that might be coming at her that might cause her to put up some negative reaction to or feel negatively towards, she tries to do what she calls this process of pivoting where she tries to understand what is it that she is reacting to in this moment and why? And then she deliberately try and focus on something that makes her feel good, so she will say, “Okay, this is really bad but there is something great about this.” You’re learning, “That person had on a wonderful pair of shoes, I wonder where she got it from?” so even if she’s barking at you, she always try to find something to appreciate and that helps, it gives her a sense of perspective and a context that says, “Listen, this too shall pass.” Nothing is permanent and it keeps her focus.
- When Sheree was asked about an online resource, website, tool or app that she cannot live without, she stated that her daughters are Millennials and they are very much driven by their smartphones and what they find. She shared that they went to the country last week and it was amazing how they’re the ones insisting that they stop and play a board game. They were like, “Put down the phone mommy and let’s play Taboo.” She stated that her online resource is Twitter, she finds that Twitter is very effective for her industry because there’s a lot happening in energy right now and even when she was in banking, it was the same, she was in charge of innovation and that was a new part of banking at the time, so she would keep abreast with some of the things that were happening in other banks or the whole concept of innovation and she is just so proud of NCB how they have done an amazing job at transformation and digital investments. So Twitter is a must do tool and a must have, she uses it for a lot and she also keep up on the news, she doesn’t get to read the papers so she usually go to Twitter for news both local and international and she can see how everybody is commenting. So she would say Twitter from both a professional standpoint and a personal.
- Sheree mentioned that how she got on her journey, that she read the book The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy. She mentioned that there is also Gregg Braden who is a cross over scientist mystic philosopher, he makes that bridge between science and spirituality and she always watches his videos and the book that comes to mind is The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief, he talks about the connection of the heart to the mind and just how powerful the heart is as an electrical and magnetic field for energy and she went down that rabbit hole after Joseph Murphy many years ago and was influenced by those thinkings and those perspectives. Anita Moorjani, Wayne Dwyer, Neale Donald Walsch, John Randolph Price, there are so many authors out there who’ve had personal experiences or who through their own insights have really started to show us a different way of thinking about who we are when we come on to this planet and what we’re here to do and she found herself gravitating towards those considerations and moving away from the typical views of, “You’re here, you must suffer to get everything you want.” It just makes sense to her to think about something else.
Yanique stated that you control and at the end of the day you have a choice as to what it is that you’re going to feed your mind with. In any situation, you’re not forced to go according to what’s happening around you, you can choose what it is that you want your mind to be thinking about, what you want to expose yourself to and with the age of technology, it’s right at the finger tips either through your phone or your computer. You can feed your mind with any content you choose to feed it with, whether you want to watch news everyday and hear about people being killed and the world is coming to an end and is just terrible or you want to focus on the fact that there are a lot of opportunities and positive things are still happening despite the crime and violence that exists.
Sheree agreed and stated that we need to shout that from every rooftop in Jamaica and across the world because it is that sense of empowerment that we need people to start embracing. She believes in a collective consciousness and when you have societies, towns and cities caught into a mindset of lack, a mindset of doom and gloom, it does reflect on what that city, town, and country can eventually achieve and how they continue to evolve. So we need to start telling people that they do have a choice.
- Sheree shared that this is really important; she doesn’t believe that the consciousness of an organization can rise above the consciousness of its leadership. She would say, focus on your leaders. At National Commercial Bank (NCB) they had 2500 people and they had possibly 10% of that as leaders, at Jamaica Public Service (JPS) it’s a similar percentage, similar ratio, they have around 200 leaders and one of the things that Kelly Tomlin and her spoke about when she was there was that, “We can’t effect change just cart blanch across the entire workforce, let’s focus on the leaders in the company.” And that would now start to send a different message because your cascading a certain philosophy and you’re even looking and cultivating certain talents and a certain way of being that defines the culture and it comes through the leaders and so she would recommend that companies start first by paying far more attention to persons who are being given responsibility to lead others and even from the head, she’s saying this to the Board, Directors and to Shareholders, you talk about your leaders from the top and how does that cascade down to the front line supervisor because there is a constant thread running throughout leadership around how that culture is built and it’s going to come back to the decisions leaders make on the ground everyday, how they treat their staff, what they prioritize, how they’re measured, what is valued, what is given discretion and autonomy, it really for her starts with leadership.
- Sheree mentioned that energy is very exciting right now, it’s a wonderful time to be in the energy business because there is so much, you’re in an industry of significant disruption and transformation, a very one way model of delivering energy to customers have been around for 100 years and now we’re seeing that being turned on its head and so, alternative energy and what does that mean for energy independence in particular for Jamaica that so blessed with natural resources just as sun and wind. She is part of a team now that’s looking at alternative energy far more strategically and far more intently than even 5 years ago and we’re still struggling just to keep energy prices down and to get Jamaicans to start to conserve and to even think about how they can put the power in their hands, now we’re saying, “What other solutions can we provide them?” and renewable energy, different options of delivering energy in a distributed way has her very excited and has her very hopeful and optimistic for Jamaica’s energy future.
- Sheree shared that listeners can find her at –
Twitter – @SherMart
Instagram – @martinsa876
LinkedIn – sheree-martin
- Sheree shared that the quotes that she always reflect on is by Neale Donald Walsch, “Nothing has meaning except the meaning you give it.”
The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief by Gregg Braden