Julia Baird Presenter, The Drum, ABC, Columnist, SMH and INYT, Author of Victoria: The Queen
Julia Baird on Leading Deliberately
Would you like to know how to transform workplaces by changing the way we think about leadership, and each other? Often individuals mistake confidence for competence or assume extroverts are the best leaders.
So how do you Lead deliberately? Is it different to living deliberately? Gone is the compartmentalizing of work selves and real selves; we want to make our work count, and have an impact every day. Research tells us to be strong, ethical, deliberate leaders, people need to model selfless behavior, reflect on the way they use their position, feel accountable and be empathetic. And kind. The latest studies about how to prompt people to do things for other people, to foster a culture of loyalty and decency, where colleagues matter, is to do it yourself. Maybe we need to think about leadership as the spreading of contagion. Kindness is, after all, a muscle that needs to be exercised.
But we can be powerfully affected by watching acts of decency. Those quick to take responsibility, shoulder blame, recognize how mistakes occur. Those who are accommodating of those undergoing personal crises, mental health battles that may take months if not sometimes years. These are the workplaces that impress us. The researchers found that leaders, by ethical behavior, can promote what they call “virtuous upward spirals”.
So in your workplaces: challenge stereotypes, be skeptical of confidence, err towards kindness and never underestimate the impact of what it means to see a person in a position of power be decent, respectful and work hard.