Welcome to Episode 10 and the final episode in Season 1 of What Leaders Know.
Season 2 launches shortly. But I won’t leave you with crickets chirping in between time. I will post a Leadership Resource on my website in place of the Podcast each week in the interim period.
What Leaders Know explores the unique leadership journeys of successful and accomplished leaders and their insights for others on their own journey to leadership.
If you have tuned into my previous podcasts you will be aware that I always ask each guest, Why does leadership matter. Given COVID, I asked my guests to respond in the context of COVID.
Here is a compilation of the responses to the question “Why Leadership Matters” from each of my Season 1 guests. Enjoy.
In episode 5 of What Leaders Know, Professor Robert van Barneveld, a Scientist whose leadership of Cooperative Research Centres and large private companies, gave us a glimpse into the power of having scientists at the leadership table. Rob notes that we seem to have a lot of leaders, however we don't have a lot of leaders - it’s a commodity in short supply. He says “just aspiring to a position, or having the position doesn’t make you a leader”. Rob speaks about the need to leaders to gather all of the facts, and then question the facts to identify all of the risks and possibilities, balancing these to determine the way forward.
We now meet Mary Williams, CEO of Belmont Private Hospital who featured in episode 5 of What Leaders Know. In her response to why leadership matters, Mary speaks to the value of clear and transparent communication to ensure people are on the same page. Mary spoke about the importance of being present and connected to her staff, and she makes a point of walking through the hospital and engaging with her teams to ensure she remains in touch and accessible.
And our next guest, Emma Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of the Sunshine Coast City Council spoke to us in episode 2, about her passion for inclusive leadership. Emma is the original STEM girl, who became an aeronautical engineer with the Australian Airforce before turning her talents to leading significant government infrastructure projects. Emma speaks about the capacity of human beings to come together in times of adversity and face the challenges by targeting the best of ourselves. Emma shared her belief that leadership begins with“Understanding ourselves and what drives us to respond and react to certain things”.
Our next guest is John Cawcutt Assistant Commissioner for Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Brisbane Region. John spoke about the vital role emotional intelligence plays in leadership. In episode 1, John responded to why leadership matters with reference to the successful health outcomes emerging from the leadership of Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young during COVID. John said that leadership mattered in part because in times of crisis people lose their footing and are looking for clarity and a way forward.
Kate Hillman, Partner People Advisory Services With EY responds to the question of why leadership matters in episode 7 of What Leaders Know. Aligned to Johns’s response, Kate tells us how important it is that people feeling safe in uncertain times and the responsibility of leaders to set that culture at a Macro level in Government as well as within our organisations. Kate spoke about how vital it is to put the well-being and safety of our people at the very forefront of the queue as we can’t achieve economic well-being without the health and well-being of our people.
And in episode 9 of What Leaders Know, Garth Callender shares insights into two decades of his leadership journey in the Australian Army across two deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. Garth continues his journey beyond his career in the Army, and now works with leadership teams in the Risk space. It’s not surprising that Garth’ response to the question Why leadership matters, includes reference to leading and protecting your organization - Garth speaks about the importance of leaders taking that step back from the situation and making clear eyed decisions to protect your organisation, your people and your stakeholders.
Garth’s insights into the responsibility of leaders resonate with Dr Lisa Griffiths response to Why leadership matters in Episode 8. Lisa is the CEO of OzChild, brings head and heart together in her leadership as she interweaves the needs of vulnerable people with the delivery of high quality, evidence based outcomes through the application of good data. In her response to Why Leadership Matters, Lisa speaks about how leaders now need to be adapting their leadership approach and their leadership style to the context to deliver evidence-based outcomes.
Kelvin Spiller was my guest in episode 3 and his response to why leadership matters is succinct and captures decades of experience leading organisations, in both the public and private sectors. Kelvin alerts those on leadership journeys that leadership now is under the microscope more than ever before. He shares that good leadership gives you a sense of hope at an individual level and also hope in the community for the future.
As I was preparing Episode 10, someone whose insights I value asked me if I would share on this Episode, “Why Leadership Matters”.
I believe leadership matters because leadership courses through the blood of human organisation.
From our earliest, pre-language attempts at organising ourselves into groups for the common good, and it must be said, sometimes for the uncommon bad, leadership has proved to be in the DNA of human existence.
To this day we can observe the long-term implications of leadership decisions and behaviour on the lives of people thousands of years ago.
And while we have countless lessons to draw on, it is evident that leadership comes down to each and every one of us.
Leadership is a verb, not a noun. It requires us to be active in our leadership and to commit a high level of intellectual and emotional rigour to our work.
Every day in leadership we must stretch into our own discomfort, as we seek to make a positive impact in our chosen path.
And when we feel ourselves wearing leadership like a comfortable suit, its time to stand in front of the mirror and ask ourselves the question, why does leadership matter?
Today’s episode of What Leaders Know Is episode 10 of Season 1 - the final in this season.
Season 2 of What Leaders Know will commence in shortly and until then, each week in place of a Podcast I will upload a new leadership resource to my website.
If you missed some of the Episodes from Season 1, I hope this little taster will have whetted your appetite to find out more about the journey of the leaders featured in this medley.
Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of What Leaders Know.
I’ve been your host, Penny Beeston and I look forward to rejoining you for Season 2 of What Leaders Know shortly.