Leading engineering teams on opposite sides of the country is a unique challenge for a leader to take on. But Phoebe Tee makes it work – through preparation, collaboration and donuts! As an Agile Delivery Lead, Phoebe practices empathetic, people-centred leadership, and her team, as well as Shell Energy, are growing well because of it.
Ask Phoebe Tee what matters to her most about her role at Shell Energy, she doesn’t hesitate to answer: people. For Phoebe, her team guides her purpose every day, and she makes sure to facilitate a great environment for them in return.
“I pay a lot of attention to creating a culture that recognises my teams’ contribution. I organise team building activities every month to foster a stronger team spirit. I’ve found celebrations like these become a positive reinforcement for the team, along with monthly donut days!
“I create clear roadmaps and strategic direction for the team to move forward, so they can focus on the important, innovative and high-impact work Shell Energy delivers for our customers and business owners.”
This is no mean feat when the two teams Phoebe leads are split between Brisbane and Perth, but her calm, yet confident leadership style, ensures the collaboration is seamless. This collaboration also extends to Shell Energy’s business and IT groups, supporting the broader internal goal of upgrading our systems to more modernised technology. This is vital to ensure we are best equipped to lead the change and energise tomorrow.
“The bigger picture we’re working towards is moving into a lower-carbon energy space, and eventually a net-zero world. It’s a direction I’m really passionate about because it aligns with my personal principles. Who doesn’t want to make sure our environment is healthy?”
Living close to the gas industry in Limbang, Borneo as a child, Phoebe regularly saw Shell employees and knew from a young age she wanted to work for Shell.
“Many of my friends work for Shell around the world and they all suggested I join Shell Energy because the culture here was fantastic, and I’m definitely glad I did. Culture has really been a key driver for me. I’ve seen a lot of focus on upskilling and growing our people, which is the first thing I considered when looking for a permanent career. I don’t only want to see myself grow, I want to ensure my team is growing as well. We’re growing together and providing more value to our customers.”
The close-knit and collaborative culture she fosters in her team enables them to work closely together to deliver on key priorities and requirements.
“We have a blended environment, which I just love. It’s a very positive environment to grow our people, because we’ve been able to establish agreed ways of communicating with one another. Whatever challenges we face, we all unite to figure out how to clear any hurdles and prevent the same issue from happening again. It’s very collaborative, and the team is more motivated by working together.”
Phoebe’s high regard for her team’s individual and collective success is modelled to her by her own managers.
“My direct line managers have been fantastic to work with. They are open-minded when it comes to my ideas for how we can best structure the team to deliver more value or strategise our roadmaps based on capacity. They’ve provided me with the direction and support I’ve needed to be successful in this role, and taking on their feedback, whether positive or constructive, has helped me make strides in my own leadership.”
Looking towards the future, Phoebe is excited to revive her pre-pandemic goal of travelling to a new country each year, accompanied by her husband and two daughters. She looks forward to continuing to grow her career with Shell Energy.
Shell Energy’s responsibility continues to grow every day. We’re looking for more people to join us as we work collectively towards solving the world’s biggest challenge and transitioning the globe to net zero. Phoebe says the characteristics that would help someone succeed in their career at Shell Energy are open-mindedness and a willingness to learn.
“We’re open to anyone coming to Shell Energy without prior knowledge in energy, but they can’t be afraid to ask questions because that’s the best way to grow their knowledge and shorten their learning curve. Cultural fit is even more important. My team definitely isn’t afraid of a challenge or to ask questions. Everyone has a great attitude, so that’s definitely something we look for.”
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