How to lead
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.