How Responsible Leadership helps you invest in the growing economy of trust

The economy of trust is difficult to define.


Traditional leadership avoids putting time and effort into trust. It was instead palmed off to the PR team or marketing department, discarded as an afterthought in the ‘nice to have’ pile, and not prioritised as having an impact on the all-important bottom line.


Fast-forward to 2020 and press play just in time for a global pandemic. Trust isn’t now only a commodity that’s needed to attract increasingly jaded and more informed consumers – it’s a requirement for the fulfilment of practically any organisation’s key remit.


Look at Rio Tinto and how their lack of trust from the Indigenous community has disrupted their business process. Leadership heads rolled en masse, including the now infamous resignation “by mutual agreement”of CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques.


Look at the banks. Some of the biggest fines in corporate Australian history have been handed out to two of the big four banks in just the last 24 months. All of them, as is well publicised, for a blatant and wilful disregard of compliance processes “from the top down”. That’s a nice way of saying leadership knew what the problems were and did not take responsibility for the solutions – culminating over $2 billion worth of fines since 2018 alone.


Look at State and Federal Government leadership. As recent months show, it’s a lot harder for governments to get policy buy-in from an untrusting public. Especially for extraordinary measures such as lockdowns or travel bans.


Millennials now make up the largest cohort in history. Not only are they the future of work, many boast an impressive disposable income and dictate with their wallets which organisation thrives and which dies. And ignore them at your peril – 62% of millennials want to work for an organisation that makes a positive societal impact and 53% said they would work harder if they knew they were making a difference to others. Attracting talent should not be the only consideration for adopting a leadership model that incorporates trust.


We all know technology is changing almost every business vertical in some way, and leadership is not immune. Stakeholders and customers alike are questioning the ethics and leadership of who they do business with – in ways never experienced before. Customers are putting their money where their values are, they are being more vocal about it as well. Social enterprises are emerging and succeeding because consumers want to make a difference and have an impact on the future of the planet. Organisations that don’t recognise this and direct their leadership accordingly will do so at their peril.


This places extraneous pressure on leaders who not only need to deliver on traditional profitability and shareholder value in the short term, they also need to consider and deliver on innovation, long term good will, societal impact, and most importantly, trust.

At the upcoming 4th Women In leadership Summit, delivered virtually for obvious reasons, keynote speaker and CEO of leadership consultancy Solutions2You, Cathy Dimarchos, will discuss just this.



The simple answer is adopting the tenants of responsible leadership. As Cathy will tell you,


“Our actions today will determine our future. Be part of the change you so desperately want to see in others.”


But what is responsible leadership? Put simply, it’s the next step in authenticity and consists of the following*:


1. Stakeholder Inclusion: ensuring that decisions are made with the stakeholder in mind both internal and external and ensuring that internal stakeholders are made to feel included.

2. Emotion & Intuition: Ensuring that your leadership is wholly human and emotional, showing your vulnerable, compassionate empathetic and open self.

3. Mission & Purpose: Ensuring that your goals are clear and understandable by all and ensuring they are upheld by each and every decision you and the organisation make.

4. Technology & Innovation: Ensuring innovation adds value to both the organisation and the customer and that it aligns to the mission and purpose of the organisation. Ensuring the organisation is not left behind and internal customers and provided with the L&D required to stay current.

5. Intellect & Insight: creating and improving on continuous learning and growth by harnessing diversity in education and learning.


Why must organisations think deeply about responsible leadership? Why must You?


Short term thinking and actions backfire. We’ve seen it too many times in 2020 alone.


The organisations we are starting to see succeed – the organisations of beyond 2020, will be both responsible and profitable. One will feed into the other. This should be the priority of leadership going into 2021.


And luckily, it’s a leadership style that is more intrinsic and natural to women.


Learn more about responsible leadership and how you can be the change you want to see in your organisation and beyond by tuning into Cathy’s session at the upcoming 4th Women In leadership Summit, delivered virtually on October 21st – 22nd, 2020.


You can also learn more about Cathy and Solutions2you by visiting

Engage in learning virtually and develop the skills for effective and inspired leadership wherever you may be. Get tickets to LIVE video streaming of The Leadership Institute’s Training and Events today.

View Our Events on Live streaming

Crisis Leadership: A Quick Survival Guide

Crisis Leadership: Quick Survival Guide

The kind of leadership that is needed at time like this is knowing what will work in the moment. Leaders need to forego with the long-term ambition and focus on staying in the fight.  As the great heavyweight fighter Mike Tyson famously said:


“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”


Tsurvive and possibly even thrive in this crisis, leaders must prioritise these 3 things: 




Be the kind of leader who drives business reliability and stability through tough times. This means getting the team to execute the same outstanding work that you’ve learned to do together despite the impact of a crisis.


Consider the crisis response of a customer service manager providing tech support for a massive global network of data servers. 


Her team of call agents was already running low on capacity at the start of the pandemicThe manager’s immediate response was to pull the remaining team together and ensure zero service interruptions. 


By increasing check-ins, they were able to keep customers informed and at ease with the service during this critical time. They have managed to keep operations seamless enough that outsiders would never have guessed how badly they’ve been affected by the pandemic.


Strategies and modes of work shift in a time of crisis, but the team’s ability to deliver consistently and competently shouldn’t. And that is a true test of leadership strength. 




Resilience is often associated with mental toughness – the ability to take the worst blows and come out swinging. For leaders, this means demonstrating grit and mastering self-discipline despite adversityIt is a self-leadership quality that inspires high-performance in others. 


Take Nelson Mandela’s leadership story for example. He endured 27 years of wrongful imprisonment and then proceeded to lead a nation under the banner of peace and reconciliation. 


To be a resilient leader then is to possess an indomitable spirit to withstand pressure and trauma and emerge as a force for good. 


Compassion and Caring 


Compassion and caring are not often regarded as must-have leadership qualities. A recent Gallup poll reported that most managers are not cultivating trusting relationships with their cohorts. And that’s unfortunate because demonstrating compassion and caring is proven to inspire optimism, confidence and courage in others.  


Now is the time to reach out and offer support because our survival depends on it. We need to find ways of connecting and forming trusting relationships so that we can build a network of support to carry each other through this crisis.  


Be stable, resilient and caring enough to succeed during this difficult time. Learn all about it at the CORONAVIRUS LEADERSHIP SURVIVAL LIVE WEBINAR SERIESfeaturing AIDAN PARSONS, CEO, Keystone Executive Coaching. 


 Corona virus leadership survival


Engage in learning virtually and develop the skills for effective and inspired leadership wherever you may be. Get tickets to LIVE video streaming of The Leadership Institute’s Training and Events today. 


View Our Events on Live streaming

Learn The 3 Key Abilities of Effective Crisis Leadership

3 key abilities of effective crisis leadership

Anyone can learn to demonstrate effective crisis leadership with these key abilities, take decisive action and make a difference. 


Are you watching the news on the coverage on COVID19 pandemic and seeing the good, the bad and the ugly in leaders from all levels of governing? As we hope for better leadership to move us out of a desperate situation and into an uncertain future, we wonder – are some people just born to lead? 


While leadership is extremely difficult, complex and demanding, it is not a matter of possessing natural, superhero abilities. It is a matter of acquiring a specific set of skillsThe fact is, anyone can learn to demonstrate effective crisis leadership with these key abilities  


1. Keeping calm and carrying on 

The ability to take control of a “fire” with timely and purposeful action is the kind of leader that you want to be in a time of crisis. By rising above the noise and the chaos to rationally assess the situation, an effective leader can get everything and everyone to work together on a swift solution. 


2. Actively communicating 

We look up to leaders to model our behaviour in a time of crisis. And a leader who communicates clearly and authentically, can influence the right behaviour and response  keeping fear and anxiety at bay and bringing out the best in others. 


3. Practicing a strategic mindset 

In trying to weather the storm, leaders often get hit by a massive onslaught of data. The challenge is to process and qualify the information by learning how to ask the right questions to arrive at a solution and take decisive action. 


The bottom-line 

These are the times when leadership is put to the test and we despair at some of the reckless response that we are getting. The truth is nothing could have prepared us for a catastrophe as far reaching as this pandemic. We can, however, learn these practical smarts to demonstrate the kind of leadership that we wish to see in our current and future leaders and make a difference.


Dive deeper into crisis leadership training by reserving your spot for the CORONA VIRUS LEADERSHIP SURVIVAL LIVE WEBINAR SERIESfeaturing AIDAN PARSONS, CEO, Keystone Executive Coaching. 


Corona virus leadership survival


Engage in learning virtually and develop the skills for effective and inspired leadership wherever you may be. Get tickets to LIVE video streaming of The Leadership Institute’s Training and Events today. 


View Our Events on Live streaming



Announcing The Women in Public Sector Leadership Summit 2020

Women in leadership public sector

To close the gender gap at the highest levels of leadership in the public sector, The Leadership Institute invites aspiring leaders to engage with role models and ignite their ambition at the Women in Public Sector Leadership Summit 2020 on 19 – 22 May. 


Whether new to the workforce, at a turning point, or looking to step up, women working in the public sector will learn the skills to fulfill their leadership goals. And who’s going to teach them? Women who underwent the same difficult ascent to successfully claim their spot in the executive suite.  


Presenting the keynote speakers and coaches who are leading the conversation at this year’s Women in Public Sector Summit to share the best strategies for increasing the participation of women in leadership opportunities. 



Pip Spence Women In Leadership

Pip has had numerous senior leadership roles throughout her career, including the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. She was awarded a Public Service Medal for contributing to the telecommunications regulations reform associated with the implementation of the NBN. Pip will explore the importance of authenticity, integrity and community in leadership. 



Natalie Bassingthwaight Women in Leadership 

One of Australia’s most versatile entertainers, Natalie Bassingthwaighte has achieved enormous success in her well-established career. Actress, rock star and businesswoman, Natalie will discuss how to develop the resilience to stay on top of your game. 



Mary Amiridis Women In Leadership
Mary’s impressive career spans from enforcing criminal justice reforms, fighting crime and violence to leading a complex gambling licensing transition in Victoria. Mary will be speaking about leading from a place of compassion, empathy and vulnerability, and how this is an important requirement of modern leaders who seek to navigate people to a successful future. 



Padma Raman Women in Leadership

Padma Raman has a long-established career committed to protecting and advancing human rights. In 2018, she was awarded a Public Service Medal for her outstanding achievements. The current Chief Executive of Australia’s national human rights institution and the Australian Human Rights Commission, Padma will deliver an important keynote on fostering workplace inclusivity and diversity. 



Brooke Boney Women in Leadership

A proud Gamilaroi Gomeroi woman and the Today Show’s Entertainment Reporter, Brooke has had to overcome much adversity to get where she is now. AtIn the summit, she will be sharing her awe-inspiring success story as the latest break out star of Australian television.  



Ginna Webster Women in Leadership

Ginna has wide public service experience that includes Secretary of the Department of Justice, the inaugural secretary of the Department of Communities and Inspector of the NSW Dog Unit. Ginna is passionate about leadership as the Chair of Tasmania Leader Inc and at the Women in Public Sector Leadership SummitsShe will talk about how to become a strong role model and encourage women in your organisation to embrace challenges and new opportunities. 



Joann Wilke Women in Leadership

Joann Wilkie joined NSW Treasury in February 2019 as Deputy Secretary for the Economic and Financial Management Group. Before she joined Treasury, Joann worked in the Australian Public Service in Canberra for 20 years and during this time, she worked gender policy in the Office for Women. She will deliver a talk on how successful leaders deploy self-awareness by acknowledging their weaknesses and playing to their strengths. 


Women in Leadership Public Sector


Register your spot for The Women in Public Sector Summit 2020! Let our resource speakers help you develop the executive management toolkit to gain a significant career advantage, live up to your full leadership potential and advocate for more women to advance in senior management opportunities. 


Get the full summit experience virtually! Engage with speakers and delegates with the option to enjoy the summit online via LIVE streaming. 

Announcing The SME Success Summit 2020

Leaders are coming together for an intensive business summit to boost the SMEs’ chances for sustainable growth and success.


The Leadership Institute invites leaders of small to medium enterprises to join us in Sydney for The SME Success Summit 2020 on the 13th of May. The summit is an educationally focused program that aims to help business owners drive better performance. 


Small to medium, family enterprises are the backbone of the Australian economy accounting for 98% of all businesses. The SME Success Summit couldn’t come at a more opportune time as the sector is facing a decline. Consider this alarming statistic – 


Over 60% of small businesses in Australia fail within the first three years, and the rate of this failure has risen by nearly 13%.  


At the SME Success Summit, business owners will learn how to hone a high-growth strategy, fine-tune operations, implement a lean sales process and so much more to achieve the fullest entrepreneurial potential. 


The event features Australia’s top business minds who will deliver keynotes and training workshops specifically designed for the needs of SME leaders and their teams. This is a chance for SMEs to tap into the network intelligence of the SME Summit’s speakers – operators with a winning business track record. 


Mark Hawthorne started with McDonald’s in Coffs Harbour on his 15th birthday and ultimately became the CEO of the fast-food giant in the UK. Mark then moved to the fast-growing Guzman y Gomez restaurant chain as the Australian CEO. Under his leadership, Mark increased the presence of GYG to 120 restaurants and more than doubling revenue. He joins the summit to teach SMEs what he’s learned from his years in the top job and the secret sauce to scaling a business. 


You can’t succeed i business if you don’t know where you’re going or how you are going to get there. Great SME leaders not only have a strong vision but are able to execute their business strategy successfully. In this session, Natalie will share how to craft a vision, develop a greater mission, and unlock the values that will drive business performance. 



Tim York has led the Darrell Lea business since 2014 and grew the business by over 400%. And Tim Stanford has been leading the marketing strategy with sharp consumer insight, management alignment and bold ideas. In their joint session Tim and Timthey will outline how they turned around Darrel Lea from the rocky road of receivership to the sweet caramel liquidity of a thriving international brand. 



Dr Glen Richards isn’t your ordinary vet – he has a sharp eye for new markets and diversifying small businesses.  At 27, Glen bought a small vet practice in Townsville and today he runs a multi-million-dollar pet care empire comprising of 160 veterinary hospitals 230 stores and 5,500 employees in Australia and New Zealand. He will share his growth playbook and show SMEs how they can do it too. 


Sales is the lifeblood of every business, but for something so essential, it’s remarkable how many SMEs don’t get it right. Dean Carroll has sold a lot of wine in his time – both as CEO of industry giant Brown Brothers and previously as its Chief Sales Executive and National Sales Manager. In this session Dean will cover the essentials of sales, including establishing a replicable sales process that delivers consistent results. 


Learn what it takes to drive innovation and high performance by honing your business strategy and accelerating sales growth at the SME Success Summit 2020. 

SME Success Summit 13 May 2020

And get the full summit experience virtually! Engage with speakers and delegates with the option to enjoy the summit online via LIVE streaming. 

Announcement: Our Leadership Learning Events Will Go On(line) as Scheduled

View Our Events on Live streaming

We are prioritising the health and safety of our growing learning community as the situation on COVID-19 continues to change rapidly. And in our mission to ensure the continuity of your professional development, The Leadership Institute is pushing through with the scheduled training and events starting April onwards and delivering them to you via a video live streaming platform. 


Attendees now have the option to engage virtually in all the workshops and keynote sessions LIVE and in the safe, distant comfort of their home or office. The virtual experience will not keep them from learning and having conversations with speakers and fellow delegates. In fact, the live video streaming platform will allow attendees to immerse more deeply into the content, share ideas and ask their burning questions. 


To purchase a livestream ticket for an event, simply head over to the booking page and choose the ‘Livestream’ option rather than the location. You will be emailed details on how to access the stream closer to the event. 


Livestream tickets will be available on all events in the future, helping us achieve our goal of building great leaders, regardless of their location and ability to travel. These sessions will also be made available after the event, for a nominal fee.


An Update on March Events and Courses

At this stage, following guidance and advice from the government and medical authorities, we have made the difficult decision to postpone all March events until further in the year. Registered attendees should check their emails regarding updated information on each event.


Most of our events host between 30-150 people, so we are largely unaffected by the restrictions put in place on large scale events, but we are still taking this situation seriously and prioritising the health of our attendees, speakers and staff.


It’s an uncertain, unprecedented time for Australia, and the world. Like many of our customers, this situation puts a great strain on our business, our families and friends, and ourselves. We appreciate your understanding and patience, and we wish everyone well during this difficult time.


Engage in learning virtually and develop the skills for effective and inspired leadership wherever you may be. Get tickets to LIVE video streaming of The Leadership Institute’s Training and Events today. 


View Our Events on Live streaming

How To Be An Assertive Leader

Everyone wants to be a great leader and do great things, and assertiveness and a key component of the recipe.

Being an assertive leader can lead you to great places, landing promotions and producing real results for a business, as well as personal and team growth. Most importantly, Assertive leaders in the workplace command the respect of the people around them, direct reports and superiors.

Assertiveness can often be mistaken for dominance or aggression, but the definition of assertive is actual confidence.

Assertive (adj) Someone behaves confidently and is not frightened to say what they want or believe.

The key difference between assertiveness and aggression is the constructiveness of the action. If there is resentment or manipulation for personal agenda, that is when a manager crosses into aggression instead of assertiveness. Avoid this!

When a manager is assertive, everyone knows what is expected of them and understands the consequences of failing to perform. Your team will be able to identify and appreciate what you stand for; they can trust that you will speak your mind, assessing problems against your own and your company’s values.

The value of a manager who is assertive is that everyone recognises what they should be delivering and what they will get in return.

Here are my top tips on how to be an assertive leader in your organisation:

  1. Communication – An assertive manner will know and communicate with everyone, not just those that are loud or boisterous, or whose personalities they like or get along with, but everyone they are responsible for. Make sure communication is clear and unambiguous, as well as your expectations.
  2. Judgement – Reserve reactions and judgements to situations, including those that become heated for when you have taken the time to assess your response. Your response should be clear and in line with your values and it will not be a rash reaction to emotion.
  3. Adhere to your value structure – An assertive manager will adhere to what they believe and radiate their authenticity. In any given situation, your people will have a good idea on how you will react, because your value set has been clear and your actions reflective of them.
  4. Give feedback – Always give positive and negative feedback clearly and regularly so that it is clear and constructive.
  5. Build relationships and maintain them – An assertive leader will build and maintain strong relationships internally and externally and know how to exert influence without aggression.

Employees are happier, more comfortable, and more productive when they feel like they know their leaders, and that their leaders have the best interests of all of their stakeholders at heart. This is achieved when leaders act as their true selves at work, and you can learn all about how to do this at our upcoming Authentic Leadership Summit from 17-20 March. Tickets are available here.

Can You Learn Leadership Skills?

Can you learn leadership skills?

Just because you can learn leadership, doesn’t mean you will. Understand the 3 myths that get in the way of effective leadership training.


Can you learn leadership skills? 


It is a question that lingers in every aspiring professional as they browse through courses that offer the promise of transforming them into leaders. 


The quick answer is yes, of course, anyone can learn the skills to confront the complex challenges of leadership. But just because you can learn it, doesn’t mean you will and do it successfully.  


And so, the more important follow-up question is – “what is the best way to learn leadership?” Many aspiring leaders have false assumptions that get in the way of effective learning. Let’s dispel these myths once and for all and reveal the fundamental truths to get you started on a clear path to learning leadership. 



Myth # 1 Leadership is best learned by occupying a senior management role

If leadership is learned by virtue of being a senior manager, does this mean then that all senior managers are leaders? Look at your own boss and other executives in your organisation. Are they all leaders you can trust and learn from? Are there people in your company who are not senior managers but act like leaders? It’s logical to assume then that becoming a senior manager is not a pre-requisite to learning leadership. 


Myth # 2 Leadership is best learned by having a mentor 

Certainly, there is value to be gained from the educated advice, case studies and personal stories of those who have led and studied leadership. The experience and expertise of mentors and role models are helpful but mostly in theory and seldom in practice. Mentorship alone, however great, a leader does not make. 



Myth # 3 Leadership is best learned by getting an MBA 

An MBA is valuable for acquiring the tools to make sense of the complexities and challenges of modern business. But will it teach you how to be a leader? Not necessarily. There are many successful business leaders from senior managers to CEOs who do not have an MBA, so it’s not critical to learning effective leadership. 


So, what is the best way to learn leadership? 

As with any discipline, the best way to learn is by doing. Learn leadership by doing the hard work in the trenches – by following and leading at the same time. You may not be aware of this, but if you are like most busy professionals who belong to a team of at least 2 people, you are already spending more time leading than learning.


When your job is so fast-paced and high-pressure, you don’t have the time to process the leadership lessons from your daily experience. And this is where leadership training can help you.


According to research, stepping out of your normal work routine to join other professionals in training – people with different perspectives and values to offer – helps you think critically and learn more deeply about your own leadership experience.


Taking ownership of your leadership-development through training helps you build the competence to lead authentically and effectively. Whatever qualifications or credentials a teacher or an MBA program may have, no one has more insight into your leadership ambition than you.


view all our learning events and training courses

Unlocking your capacity for leadership and high-performance is critical to your success. 

Sign up for The Leadership Institute Training and Events to learn from the country’s most successful leaders who will empower you with the knowledge and confidence to take on future business challenges.

Top 5 Challenges Facing Leaders in Education

Top 5 Challenges Facing Leaders in Education

There are problems that women face in their career simply for being women. Barriers such as work-life balance, equality of opportunity, lack of participation and the gender pay gap, make it difficult for women, from any industry, to advance. The same is true for women in education. But when it comes to their own professional development, it gets more complicated.            


For one, the education sector has its own set of challenges – declining growth and the threat of disruption, just to name a few. Now more than ever, the education industry needs a new breed of leaders, women and men, to bring about transformative change. 


Here are 5 challenges facing leaders in education and the opportunities that could enable them to turn things around for their proud institutions. 


Challenge #1 Transitioning from Faculty to Management 

Leaders in education face a dilemma as they advance in their careers – to lead in the classroom as educators or to lead in the institution as administrators. Do they have to choose one over the other? Is it possible to do both and do them well? Most definitely. 


There is a tremendous opportunity for teachers to leverage classroom techniques such as effective study skills, course design, planning and rubrics, to lead successfully in the business side of education.  


Challenge #2 Investing in Leadership Education 

It is ironic that educators are missing out on their own leadership education. When learning opportunities are abundant and accessible, it is easy to put them aside. Teachers urgently need to commit to their own education success to stay relevant and ahead of competition. 


Challenge #3 Responding to the Threat of Disruption 

As self-paced, individual learning rises, educational institutions are under threat of being disrupted. All members of the education sector, whether teacher, administrator, researcher or policymaker, are challenged to innovate the old business model and find new ways to deliver value. 


Challenge #4 Shifting focus on the Customer-Experience 

Education can take a page from the playbook of commercial enterprises in creating lasting customer relationships. Future leaders in education must be customer-focused in order to succeed – dedicated to serving life-long learners and catering to their evolving wants, needs and preferences.  


Challenge #5 Collaborating with Businesses 

Education is not currently fulfilling the qualified, skilled labor that today’s businesses demand. According to a 2018 EY study, more than half of Australia’s employers say that degrees in management are not worthwhile. 


By partnering with businesses, leaders in education will be able to effectively design content and produce exceptional, job-ready candidates. 



Women leaders need to start investing in their own executive training to lead the education industry into the future. 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


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