While reading through applications as a judge for the 2017 Executive of the Year Awards, Shark Tank Australia’s Janine Allis (who is the woman behind Boost Juice and Retail Zoo) said there were many takeaways on leadership that she picked up on.

The nuggets of wisdom included: “A leader is a person willing to go against the tide; to be brave enough to do things others have not thought of yet.”

And that all leaders “need courage, passion, vision and confidence”.

While Janine isn’t on the judging panel this year, her Channel Ten co-star Steve Baxter is, as well as the woman behind the activewear craze Lorna Jane Clarkson and 2017’s CEO of the Year, Michael Ebeid, formerly of SBS.

With their successful careers and deep-rooted experience, we knew they’d have some interesting insights on the topic of leadership too.

We ask our 2018 judges: What makes a great leader?

Michael Ebeid AM, former CEO and Managing Director, SBS

“Successful leaders lead by example. Being your whole self both in and out of work is important. I see a lot of leaders, particularly at a CEO level, who create a different persona in the workplace; however, employees know when you’re not being authentic and this can lead to distrust.”

Chris Beer, Founder, CEO and Managing Director, George and Matilda Eyecare

“I believe there are a few attributes: Be a great listener; Create a big ambition; Align everyone to the ambition; Execute relentlessly to the ambition; and Make the ambition simple.”

John Banfield, CEO, BPAY Group

“There are a few indispensable qualities to being a great leader. These include humility, vulnerability, curiosity, resilience, and being present. Being present and curious are two that deserve a deeper dive, because these qualities recognise that any company’s success is always down to its people. Encouraging a workplace culture which is dynamic, innovative and creative is hugely important, not only in motivating a team, but creating an environment for strong minds to thrive.”

Steve Baxter, entrepreneur, investor, and star of Shark Tank Australia

“Vision that can be communicated, and the capability to aspire for people to be better.”

Louise Baxter, CEO, Starlight Children’s Foundation

“Vision, energy, curiosity, trust, honesty, teamwork and storytelling.”

Lorna Jane Clarkson, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Lorna Jane

“Someone who acts with purpose and has a clear vision of where they’re going, while also having the focus to stay on track (and keep everyone else focused), the dedication to make it happen and the passion to bring it all to life. They’re also a teacher who wants to support their team to learn and grow. A great leader is passionate about not just what they do but why they do it. And this inspires and compels the people around them to be a part of making it a reality with them.”

Marcella Romero, Founder and Managing Director, Rehab Management

“A great leader is someone who listens, learns, communicates effectively and is respectful."

Maureen Jordan, Founder and CEO, Switzer Media and Publishing

“A great leader draws people to them because they have charisma and people know that they’re always working in their best interests. There’s something that emanates from a great leader, something in their spirit that makes you want to follow them.”

John Karagounis, Managing Director and CEO, The CEO Circle

“A great leader is a courageous leader; someone who doesn’t hesitate to make the hard – sometimes unpopular – decisions. They have the skills, experience, and business judgement to know how to react under pressure, deal with adversity, be resilient, and make the right calls at the right time. Great leaders know that they are only as good as the people around them. They surround themselves with people who: are different to them; embrace diversity of opinion; nurture, mentor and coach; and guide, develop, equip, and empower their people to be the best they can be.”

Chris Dutton, Co-founder and CEO, The CEO Magazine

“We speak to more CEOs in the world than any other magazine and the same common traits seem to ring true: communication, honesty, transparency, integrity, being true to your word, trusting others, doing what you say you will, belief in your team, giving back for the greater good, and surrounding yourself with the best people.”

Daniel Di Loreto, Managing Director, The CEO Magazine

“A great leader oozes inspiration, motivation and a burning desire to succeed. They make themselves available to coach and mentor others, and can provide a strategic direction that delivers results. They have experience, are excellent listeners, and act with integrity and honesty, but, above all, they leave their ego at the front door and demonstrate equality with those they work with"

Event Details

Wednesday 21 November 2018

ICC Sydney

For more information on the 2018 Executive of the Year Awards and criteria to apply, visit executiveawards.com.au

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