Conversation

“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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Leadership

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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Diversity and Inclusion

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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Diversity and Inclusion

Strong leadership ≠ dominance

Recently I heard two cases where leaders with track records were unsuccessful for roles they applied for, and they were unsuccessful because the hiring manager was looking for a ‘strong leader’.

One of them wrote to me and said:

“I think they were looking for that [a dominating style of leader] because it is their current workplace culture. They fight, they push each other around…”

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Confidence

The dangers of leaders who appear confident but are…

Lately I have had many coaching sessions and conversations around aspiring leaders who wish to be more confident. Many have been told to ‘be more confident’, which is unhelpful (see Don’t tell me to ‘be more confident’). Others have been told that they appear confident but don’t feel so confident inside. I am excited to be working with these people as they are aware of and open to the need to develop their inner confidence.

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