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Changing Rooms

By May 29, 2013December 19th, 2016No Comments

lean in 2“I’m sorry if this sounds harsh or surprises anyone, but this is where we are. If you want the outcome to be different, you will have to do something about it.” 
– Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Last week, I was privileged to listen to four amazing speakers at the LBD Business Seminar in Sydney. Today I will listen to four more here in Melbourne.

The main topic of their conversation with those listening, and taking part – and it was a conversation – was courageous leadership; what it takes to be a leader in today’s corporate and entrepreneurial landscape. Actually, I should correct my own words; not just what it takes to be a leader, but what it takes to be an outstanding leader.

What it takes is courage. And I am going to go to what Sam Mostyn, first female AFL Commissioner, had to say on what is happening in the current environment.

Things aren’t fantastic. Business doesn’t easily support flexible work conditions. We are losing talent. We are not accessing 50% of the workforce in the best way that we could. The language of business is not courageous; leaders are not challenging the norm.

What do we, as business leaders, and as change makers, and as those who call ourselves women and men of courage, need to do?

We need to actually be the change.

We must take ownership. Change the language of the workplace so that it reflects what those we are trying to retain really need to hear, not what WE think they need to hear. We have to force, and face, the hard conversations that nobody really wants to have. Those of us in the workplace have to become far more conscious of what is happening around us and, in the words of the incredibly street smart and savvy Sheryl Sandberg, LEAN IN. We have to challenge the unconscious biases that nobody is willing to address because – well, because they are unconscious. This may have to happen outside the walls of the corporate arena – but that is where the talent is going because it is not being fulfilled within said arena, so seek out your warriors where they fight.

Understand something. This is not going to be easy. But this is where the courage has to come in. If you are a true leader, then you want what is best for business – not just your business, but the business future. For women and men of courage, and skill, and talent.

Particularly women.

We can do this. But we have to – we have to lean in.

And lead. With courage.

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