Buckle up. From starting as a consultant to taking a career break to returning and becoming a nation leader for Flight Centre, Meighan Nash’s journey is filled with perseverance, hard work, strong leadership and a tenacity unlike anyone else.
Meighan Nash “Nashy”, started her journey with Flight Centre as a consultant in 2000 and worked in store for 18 months before leaving and going on to have two beautiful children. At the time, she thought to herself, “well, that’s the end of my cute little travel career”, but little did she know that it was merely the beginning. When her youngest was 3 years old, Nashy had a happenstance encounter with an old colleague of hers who prompted her to come back to Flight Centre. Whilst she was hesitant to return and wasn’t sure it was even possible due to her family commitments and the time elapsed since she was last a consultant, her worries were quelled by her then team leader, who made sure she felt supported to return to work in a way that suited her.
She was back in the red & white a couple of days a week in December 2009 and it was safe to say a lot had changed since the last time she’d set foot in a store. Between her first time as a consultant to the second, all the systems had changed, they got email & internet which she didn’t happen the first time around and it made a world of difference.
In those first couple of months back, Meighan was struggling with the changing computer systems but one interaction with a customer put everything into perspective for her. She clearly remembers trying to have this consult and work with the system and in the end, she just pushed it away and said,
“I actually don’t know how to use that, but I do know how to sell travel and I’m going to know how to get what you want.”
Meighan remembers the customer being taken aback by her statement and in reply proclaimed it was the best thing that any agency had ever done for him. From that point on, it changed the agent that Nashy was becoming and henceforth the team leader she became.
After spending three years as a Flight Centre team leader, Meighan moved to the Global Sales Academy where she embraced her love of sales and customer service. Three more years passed and she considered herself very fortunate for the opportunity to become an area leader, which she was successful in obtaining and went on to be the Area Leader for the Western Suburbs of QLD.
Once settling into the role, she remembers as she was setting goals for the area that a team leader turned to her and said, “Don’t you know we’re the joke of the Heartland? We know that we’re the area that doesn’t make any money and everyone kind of laughs at us?”. At the time this was crushing for Meighan to hear, she couldn’t fathom how people could think that way about themselves. Then and there they made a pact that every day they would do things that made them proud. Her area went on to be the most improved in profitability two years in a row and watched as confidence returned to her team members.
“They did such an amazing job and it came from believing in themselves. As a leader, it’s my job to provide the platform for somebody to launch off. They do the work; they just need to be given permission to fly. I think that was really important and from there that transpired into the rest of my leadership journey.”
Nashy then moved to become an area leader for the North Side, which is an area with about 23 stores. Once she started there, she realised the area had the same opportunity the western suburbs had two years prior and henceforth named themselves the Powerhouse, because that was what they were determined to become. Through Meighan’s strong leadership, the tenacity and determination of her people, the area claimed more awards for productivity and improved profitability.
“It doesn’t matter how big your area is or how small your area is, it’s about being yourself each time and making everyone see that there’s growth potential. The most amazing achievement is to be better than you were last year, to instil a growth mindset and to take the confidence from that.”
Throughout Meighan’s leadership journey, she has received support from FCTG in two major ways: world-class training & connections.
“There is a training course for every step of your career path, from your first day to your last. We have both interactive and self-learning programs. We have a mountain of training to help everyone along the way but some of the best lessons are from your peers in each of the teams.”
Nashy states that reaching out to other leaders is one of the ways she felt supported as she eased into leadership roles because, as she puts it, “they’re also going through the same things as you are and you can get a collective perspective on challenges and how to solve them”.
Meighan also speaks about the importance of seeking out differing opinions to your own, to challenge you and ultimately make better decisions.
“If you’re stuck with something, don’t go to someone that’s going to just enable your own opinion. Your best work mentors will tell you when you’re going down the wrong path.”
Following her time as an area leader, she was fortunate enough to become a senior RSL in 2022, where she took on managing the state whilst running areas at the same time. Nashy says this time was a lesson in time management. “there’s only one of me – so O meed to be on point with my conversations." Reflect “have I added value to that meeting or have I added value to that person?”
Bringing her up to 2023 where Meighan was appointed as the QLD/NNSW nation leader in January.
“I’m so proud of the Heartland (named due to the worldwide head office being situated in QLD) and now the goal is to bring the (heart) beat back to the heartland. Every person through covid has been through so much and they’ve just shown so many resilient qualities, they’re truly the highest calibre of skill and character and they’re still out there, going through every challenge that faces them to get the industry back and continue the iconic red and white brand. I’m really proud of them.”
Given Meighan’s extensive Flight Centre career where she has proudly painted her Brightness of Future red & white when prompted what advice she would give someone looking to start their career at Flight Centre, she says:
“Buckle up, it’s a journey”.
When Meighan has had the opportunity to speak to novices upon completion of their training and their subsequent transition to store, she aligns it to an aircraft taking off.
“You will hurtle down this runway at a million miles an hour and you kind of cross your fingers and think “fly, just fly” and once you are in the air, there’s a couple of bumps, you might have a bit of turbulence as you gain altitude and that’s what working at Flight Centre is about. The learning curve is incredible and there is turbulence like in any role while you’re learning something different but you know once you reach altitude, the views are spectacular and you know where it will take you is somewhere that will change your entire life.”
Meighan’s life has changed in totality since re-joining Flight Centre and pursuing her leadership journey. She loves the way that Flight Centre not only celebrates individuals and success but also encourages and celebrates ideas.
“I don’t think you could work for another company that would allow you to say, I’ve got an idea, and actually let you see that idea through.”
Meighan Nash's career journey is a testament to the power of hard work, perseverance, and building meaningful relationships and her strong leadership approach is centred on empowering her team and prioritizing customer satisfaction.
If (like Nashy), you’re up for growing your career and discovering your Brightness of Future, we have more than 500 open roles spanning 30 brands, 20+ regions, sales, tech, finance and more!
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