“Bulldozer”​ no more

For those of you in Australia, what a weekend with the federal election! Some of you may be very disappointed and others of you may be elated. Putting aside policies and politics, what I am absolutely thrilled about is the removal of the “bulldozer” approach to leadership.

Our former Prime Minister acknowledged that he has been a bulldozer and he was willing to change. But in the same sentence, he said that he had to be like that, to be “strong” through the pandemic and uncertainty. It just highlighted how stuck we are in the belief that strong leadership = dominance and that uncertain times require this style.

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Do you worry about being put on the spot?…

I still remember the time when I went blank when asked a question in a group of senior leaders. It was supposed to be an informal roundtable discussion but I felt the need to make an impression as it was an opportunity for me to share some different perspectives. It was an engaging conversation where I really wanted to contribute and I had thought about some of the ideas to share.

An interesting question got asked and I was invited to comment. I thought of a few things to say and started to share. By the time I finished my first point, I couldn’t remember the second point I was going to make! I can’t even remember what the question was now, I must have really gone blank!

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Not comfortable with power?

While continuing to interview incredible leaders for the Quietly Powerful Leader interview series, a few shared their discomfort with being called Quietly Powerful, in particular, ‘powerful’. They were happy to be called ‘influential’ or ‘confident’ but not ‘powerful’.

I have also come across senior leaders who underestimate or downplay the power they actually have. Perhaps they feel powerless at times when they feel they are not in control or they don’t really know what is going on in organisations.

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Calm in the chaos

In times of uncertainty like we are experiencing now, worry, panic and chaos can set in. These are the times when tapping into our quiet power will help us find calm in the chaos. By accessing our inner calm, we can respond creatively rather than react. Find opportunity in what seems like a crisis.

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5 reasons why we need leadership without authority

The Golden Key RMIT chapter (a collegiate honour society that invites the top 15% of college and university sophomores, juniors and seniors, as well as top-performing graduate students) asked me to explore “leading without authority” with their students and a panel of experienced leaders: Dr Wendy Harding, CEO of the National Institute of Organisational Dynamics Australia; Professor Ron Wakefield, Dean, School of Property, Construction and Project Management at RMIT University; and Gary Novak, Partner at KPMG. It’s an important concept if you are new to an organisation or do not have positional authority – that is, authority by virtue of your job title or where you are in the hierarchy.

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Quietly Powerful Leaders – who are they and why…

Since starting the Quietly Powerful movement just over 2 years ago I have had the pleasure of interviewing 24 Quietly Powerful leaders so far, to understand what makes them quietly powerful and how their natural tendencies have been their leadership strengths (join the Quietly Powerful LinkedIn Group to access the recorded interviews). A few patterns started emerging, which I have been sharing more of in my talks.

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