Umit Subasi on Servant Leadership

Umit Subasi on Servant Leadership

The global executive talks about the traps to avoid and the skills to obtain in order to achieve greater success with servant leadership. 


Umit Subaşı joined Campbell’s as the President of Asia Pacific in November 2013 and was appointed President of Campbell International in April 2018, overseeing all of Campbell’s International operations outside the Americas together with Global Brands. At the same time, he led the flagship business in ANZ as the CEO of Campbell Arnott’s over the last 6 years.  


As the head of an iconic company, Umit knows the importance of staying true to your values and understanding the needs of your people and your organization, while being adaptable to the contemporary business climate.  


In his keynote at the Authentic Leadership Summit 2020, Umit will provide his personal reflections on the concepts of authenticity and servant leadership while pushing our comfort zones for continued growth and development. 


Umit shared some of the principles that drive his own brand of leadership in an interview ahead of his session at the Authentic Leadership Summit in March.  


On the traps that inauthentic leaders make 

Sometimes, when leaders experience a great deal of success, they tend to be over-confident. Umit warns us of the 3 egoist traps or mistakes that get in the way of effective leadership. 


Trap #1 – Excessive confidence and pride 

“When these behaviors are displayed, there are lots of valuable angles that leaders can miss which could be critical in terms of their roles. Whether it’s an organisation, or life in general, staying humble and grounded all the time is really the first thing that I can think of. Success is a very lousy teacher, as we know.” 


Trap #2 – Not listening 

“Organisations are evolving, everything around us is changing, and the presence of, and the sheer volume of intellect around us is not to be underestimated. And people in leading roles, they don’t know everything. I think they have to stay with an open eye, and more importantly with open ears to what’s going on around them, what’s going on in the organizations.” 


Trap #3 – Forgoing self-progress and learning 

“I think the more we progress in life, in organisations, in our leadership roles, the experience comes in. It doesn’t mean that we know it all. There are always things leaders can learn in terms of adding to their asset base – self-development, self-progress and learning. There’s never an end to it.” 


On the most important leadership skills  

Umit likens leaders to architects in the sense that  great  leaders build strong organisations by design. He adds, “almost like architects, leaders monitor the strategy, and build the structure and the culture. Being a builder comes into play”. Here are the important “builder” skills that are essential to great leadership according to Umit – 


Skill # 1 Connecting the dots 

“There’s just so many things that happen across the radar screen and that visibility spectrum for the leaders. I think the ability to see those things and then connecting them with the goals that need to be achieved is an important skill set.” 


Skill #2 Facilitating collaboration 

“Leveraging certain skills or facilitating collaboration in a certain space or bringing two things together or two people together. I think that is an important skill for leaders to display.” 


Skill #3 Managing conflict 

“Constructive conflict is really the basis of collaboration, I think. Conflict is almost something that people and organizations fear, because it’s always easier to stay in safer places as opposed to generating productive mechanisms where different viewpoints come into place.  


Skill #4 Creating a culture of trust 

“When people start trusting each other the rest really follows, because based on trust we can have constructive conflict, and if we have constructive conflict, we can drive collaboration. But certainly, within the authentic style that is enabling people to raise that opinion, and having that diversity of thought, and that leads to better decisions overall.” 


Finally, Umit flips the script on leadership 


For Umit, leadership is essentially about achieving the greater good by being of service to others.  


“I have a very highly altruistic personality. I like to make a positive impact in other people’s life around me, generally speaking. Because leadership is not about position, it’s really service from my standpoint. And taking our egos, our personality out of the equation and doing what’s best for the business, best for the teams.” 



Our key speakers have achieved new levels of success by being their true selves at work and having a shared purpose with their organisation and its people.  


Sign up for The Authentic Leadership Summit and learn how you too can support, engage and empower your teams to succeed. 


Authentic Leadership Summit 2020 - March 17 to 20


Announcing The Empowered Woman 2020 Awards

Announcing the Empowered Woman Awards nominations

We are thrilled to announce that nominations for The Empowered Woman Awards for 2020 are open for the very first time. Open to talented leaders, whether they are emerging in their field, have long-established careers working in large organisations or running their own businesses, everyone is encouraged to nominate or self-nominate.


Dana Lightbody, CEO of The Leadership Institute says, “Every day, women are overcoming hurdles to become business leaders and we felt it was time to create a platform to celebrate defying the odds, being disruptors and creating stronger, more inclusive workplaces.”


“If you are, or you know a woman who is ambitious, successful, daring and empowered then nominate today!” said Dana.


The Empowered Woman Awards categories include:


  • The Entrepreneurial Leader: The Entrepreneurial Leader is awarded to a woman with at least a 40% share in a business started since January 2016. She demonstrates strong business acumen in delivering new and innovative products or services that have made an impact on the market.
  • The Emerging Leader: The Emerging Leader is awarded to a woman who is rising in her field. She demonstrates strong leadership characteristics despite only being in a leadership or managerial role for less than two years, or not having a ‘traditional’ leadership or managerial role. She inspires those around her, and shows the potential to become a leader of tomorrow.
  • The Empowered Leader: The Established Leader is awarded to a woman who has at least 2 years of leadership experience. She thrives in her role and shows exemplary passion for her industry or field. She is an advocate for the success of others and uses her voice to create opportunities for younger women in her field.


How to Nominate

The Empowered Woman Awards is a celebration of the success of women in business and leadership. Nominations are open to talented leaders, whether they are emerging in their field or have long established careers. We equally encourage women working in large businesses and women running their own businesses to enter. Both self nominations and nominations of others will be accepted.


The final voting for the winner of each category will be based on public vote. Winners are announced at a cocktail event following the conclusion of The Empowered Woman 2020. Nominations are open until Friday 14th February, with finalists announced Wednesday 19th February.


To nominate yourself or a colleague, please click here.


About The Empowered Woman 2020:

The Empowered Woman is a one-day experience to ignite your passion for business in all its forms – so you have the skills to achieve your dream career. Be inspired by personal stories of success, learn from intimate tales of failure, harness your ambition to make it happen. The conference will be held in Sydney on Thursday 26 March.


To view the full program, and secure your seats, please click here.

The Empowered Woman 2020

Announcing the Women in Education Leadership Summit 2020

Women in Education Leadership Summit 2020

Senior women executives of elite learning institutions come together to support women in education to advance their leadership careers 

women in education leadership speakers

Empowering women in education  

The Leadership Institute brings together senior female leaders from elite learning institutions in Australia and the US for the Women in Education Leadership Summit 2020, held from the 5th to 8th May in Sydney.


The summit, which is aimed at both the secondary and tertiary sectors, looks to empower both current and upcoming women leaders to believe in themselves, put their hands up for opportunities, mentor and support aspiring leaders, transform their workplace and develop the necessary business skills to effectively lead a high-performance team and organisation.


Featuring an esteemed lineup of speakers

Senior women leaders of Princeton, Harvard, Deakin, The University of Western Australia, and many more, share their experiences and insights on how women educators can grow their leadership abilities. Educators will learn from fellow educators how to effectively navigate their responsibilities and constituencies in order to advance their initiatives and consequently, their leadership careers. 


Investing in executive education

The four-day summit is an intensive program designed to teach teachers how to plan their own career development. Through lectures, panel discussions and workshops, they will learn how to think strategically and develop executive skills to add to their toolkit.  


Connecting with a diverse, like-minded community 

Attendees of this summit – current and aspiring leaders – will come away with actionable information to forward their career ambitions. Helping them through their journey is a community of supportive women who are passionate about leading the change in education.  


It’s high time for women in education to invest in their own leadership and executive training. Sign up for the Women in Education Leadership Summit 2020 and grow in your ability to drive successful innovation in the business of education. 


Women In Education Leadership Summit May 2020