How to lead

Qantas - - QBUSINESS. - Stan Li­a­cos CEO, Queen Vic­to­ria Mar­ket


isn’t about tak­ing peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties where they want to go but where they need to go – there’s a big dif­fer­ence. These are my five “Cs”.

Pre­pare to chal­lenge the sta­tus quo. When I was the di­rec­tor of the Gee­long Water­front De­vel­op­ment, one could look at it and say, “Well, just leave it as it is” but to gen­uinely re­de­velop and re­gen­er­ate an area you’ve got to chal­lenge the sta­tus quo. There will al­ways be peo­ple say­ing, “Don’t do that. We’ve never done that be­fore” or “Why do you need to do that?” At Queen Vic­to­ria Mar­ket, not chang­ing isn’t an op­tion. The world is chang­ing around us and we must, too.

Have the abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate your mis­sion and ob­jec­tives. I’ve al­ways de­ployed a very per­son­able style – build­ing re­la­tion­ships, en­gag­ing di­rectly with peo­ple. I’m usu­ally very vis­i­ble. I hope that peo­ple say, “At least he has the de­cency to com­mu­ni­cate di­rectly with us in a sim­ple way and doesn’t hide be­hind things.”

Have the courage to get stuff done and the con­vic­tion to re­alise your mis­sion. You’ve got to be able to make tough de­ci­sions and move for­ward. Some­times that causes rum­blings in the tummy. In the mar­kets, de­ci­sions on in­fra­struc­ture or me throw­ing out a trader for bad be­hav­iour take courage. The eas­i­est thing to do is try and avoid it but you have to make a de­ci­sion then just do it. I cer­tainly never show any weak­ness to staff; they wouldn’t know if I’m get­ting those rum­blings in the tummy.

Ap­point, sup­port and nur­ture out­stand­ing col­leagues. They must also have the right cul­tural tem­per­a­ment. I em­ploy pri­mar­ily on char­ac­ter and rep­u­ta­tion over skills and qual­i­fi­ca­tions. I pre­fer some­body less ex­pe­ri­enced and less qual­i­fied who has un­ques­tion­able morals, ethics and pos­i­tiv­ity. That’s what I’m al­ways drawn to – char­ac­ter first.

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