The LIP’s aspiring leaders were inspired by a master community leader, Eddy De Gabriele on 24th February 2021. Eddy is the Chair of Regional Development Australia (Illawarra) and by the end of his term in 2025 he will have lead the community and served in this capacity for 20 years. And that’s just scratching the surface of Eddy’s leadership journey, which includes outstanding achievements with Edmen, Football South Coast and his current business endeavours.
Eddy shared his passionate thoughts on leadership with the LIP, in an engaging and stimulating presentation. The factors of leadership, behaviours and ingredients for successful leadership were all discussed. He also imparted the key to successful leadership with the cohort, being YOU!
A favourite quote from Martin Luther King Jr was “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”
One of the cohort mentioned afterwards that they were ‘still buzzing’. It’s fair to say that the LIP participants enjoyed the thought-provoking discussion on the differences between a boss and a leader and were thoroughly inspired by Eddy’s leadership journey and plethora of stories.
On Wednesday, February 2, Leadership Illawarra welcomed the newest cohort members to the program for a introductory dinner event at The Lagoon Restaurant Wollongong. The 2021-22 cohort, made up of 27 enthused future leaders, gathered together and had the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and various partners and supporters who would be there to encourage them during their two-year journey in the Program.
It wasn't just chatter and networking on the commencement of the Program, as participants were asked to deeply think about a variety of frameworks pertaining to the LIP foundations. The participants were asked to explore the 4 key concepts:
- Leadership Learning.
After brainstorming, the groups were able to devise valuable information about their expectations for LIP. Many participants believed growing leadership and communication experiences were pivotal for personal development compared with future prospects being primarily concerned with learning about establishing strong foundations and conscious boundaries in leadership.
LIP aims to push the boundaries and create confidence in competence for the newest cohort.
This Tuesday 3 November we held our long-awaited Leadership Talk with Liz Cosson, Secretary of the Department of Veteran's Affairs, via Zoom. When our planned trip to Canberra was cancelled in March due to COVID-19, we worked hard with Liz's Office to make sure LIP still had a chance to hear from this remarkable leader, and the opportunity to ask her a few questions.
Liz is a retired Major General of the Australian Army, so it was a huge honour for LIP member and ex-serviceperson Rod Clark to be spokesperson for our session. We were treated to a presentation of Liz's leadership history, peppered with fascinating anecdotes from her career in the military and learnings from her 40 years of leadership experience.
Thanks to Liz and her staff for making this event possible. Honourable mentions also to Rod for stepping up and making us all proud and to Stephanie Hummerston for her Vote of Thanks.
On 20 October TIC held it's penultimate Dinner Meeting of 2020 at the Novotel Wollongong. Present were current LIP members Jake Pearson of Interchange Illawarra, Zahra Shahbazian of UOW and James Welch of Access Law Group, and they were joined by Bethan Farmer of RDA Illawarra. Thanks to Graham Lancaster of TIC for giving LIP a shoutout in his President's address.
The guest speaker was Dan Hunt - former NRL star and founder of The Mental Health Movement. Dan spoke with passion and conviction about his struggles with mental ill health, about breaking down barriers and the code of silence that surrounds particularly men, in that situation, and passed on some practical tools we can use to keep on top of our own mental health and that of those around us. Bravo Dan!
We were joined for another in our series of Leadership Talks by Oscar Gregory, to discuss 'Leadership Through Change and Adversity'.
This is a topic that is of immediate concern to many of our emerging leaders, and Oscar was the obvious choice to grill on the subject. Oscar has a long and storied career in the Illawarra steel industry, which has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the last 40 years. He compared what we are going through we now, with the coronavirus crisis, to the recession in the 1980s, and the GFC of 2009, when he was an executive at Bluescope Steel.
Throughout our discussion with Oscar, for which LIP members we encouraged to prepare 'searching' questions, the themes that stood out were his humility and his respect for the people he managed. Memorably, he reminded us that in a crisis "There are no bad ideas" - that sometimes the most effective strategies can come from unexpected quarters and for this reason it is crucial that the whole workforce is engaged in finding solutions. On a practical level Oscar gave us lots of great advice about cost saving, and smart reallocation of resources both human and material. But he acknowledges that it is your people that will get you through it - be transparent, be honest, be visible and nurture a culture of respect.
What were the critical items you had to made relatively quick decisions on? (Production rate, inventory, acceptable losses, etc.)?
What strategies did you use to maintain morale during this period?
In hindsight what would you have done differently?
How can leaders effectively engage their teams and staff in making difficult business decisions, and get their buy in to safely and effectively take action even when it may see them out of a job?
What do you see as being a major change to business operations that is required (now or later) as a result of Covid, and do you have any tips for helping us lead our teams through instituting such a change?
Posted by Beth
Blog posts written by the Leadership Illawarra Program Cohort.