Speakers Profile - Rachael Robertson

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Rachael Robertson's presentations provide real stories and real insights - the actual highs and lows, ups and downs of being an authentic leader.

With breathtaking examples, Rachael shares the insights she gathered from the unique experience of leading a 12 month expedition to Davis Station in Antarctica. As the first female in a decade to be chosen to lead a diverse team of 18 people, through total isolation, months of darkness, with no way in and no way out.

The intensity of this leadership role, where the leader is on-duty all day, every day, with no respite, gave Rachael the opportunity to road test leadership the hard way - without the luxury of an office or a mentor to turn to for advice. For better or worse... you're it. You're in charge. There is no one else.

As part of this journey, Rachael found her own solutions to challenges such as - How do you lead a diverse team towards a common goal? How do you inspire people to make decisions, especially when the going gets hard?

How do you show up, front and centre, when a crisis occurs and all eyes are on you? How do you keep yourself going when you feel like you have nothing more to give?

It was a leadership laboratory in the most extreme and hostile environment on Earth, where none of the theory applied. As Rachael reveals using incredible and often hilarious examples, like all leaders, sometimes she got it right, and other times she learnt the hard way that leadership takes practice.

Rachael's presentations resonate with audiences seeking practical tools around extreme leadership and managing constant change. Whether you're in the most unique and isolated workplace on the planet, or a busy corporate office, the same rules apply. Great leaders are authentic, resilient, innovative and adaptable. The best leaders also know how to get the most out of their teams, even when navigating in the dark without a compass.


Adapt or Perish
The ability to adapt to a changing environment is an integral part of nature. Leaders who thrive and succeed have learnt the art of adaptation. Reading the lay of the land; understanding and anticipating what challenges may emerge; and having the flexibility to respond to any given situation is vital for leadership success.
Rachael presents inspiring stories and her insights on:

- effectively leading people through change
- crisis management and the role of a leader through adversity
- situational leadership and why one size doesn't fit all

Extreme Leadership
There can be no argument that leading Antarctic expeditions is extreme. Once you commit there is no turning back. Yet the challenges for the leader are the same in every workplace. Leaders need to acknowledge and navigate through the perpetual scrutiny, the frequent isolation, and the need to keep going when you feel you have nothing more to give. Rachael shares her experience in:

- developing personal resilience
- how to look after yourself and manage personal boundaries
- why authenticity and reflection are key to leadership survival

Extreme Teams
Few of us get to select every member of our teams. Usually, we need to build an effective and resilient team from an existing group of diverse people. The ability to understand and harness this diversity to create high performance is critical. Rachael led a highly successful expedition team in Antarctica and she shares her experience and techniques to:

- motivate your team through task appreciation
- match people to the task
- 'checking-in' on your people without micro-managing
- keep your main goal in sight, but focus on what needs to be done now
- look for opportunities to celebrate and laugh
- plan and conduct those difficult conversations
- "The Bacon War" and why the little things matter so much