Candyce Presland: Climate action for communities

The global pandemic created extraordinary challenges for us as leaders. Many people say that it has changed leadership for the better. Actively shaping and preparing your leadership vision will help you achieve your greatest ambitions and prepare you for the next extraordinary challenges in our changing world.

Candyce Presland, Manager of Community Solutions at Sustainability Victoria, recently shared her wisdom with me on how her leadership vision has helped shape who she is as a leader and where she has landed in her career. 

How important is having a vision?

Candyce:  It’s critical, and in public sector leadership, you need to ensure that your vision aligns with the government’s broad vision and policies.  In government,  it’s not just your team that looks to you for leadership. It’s communities,  businesses,  and households.  They want to see that we’ve got a vision, know where we’re going, and that we understand how to get there. As a leader, you don’t just need to know where you’re heading; you also need a personal leadership vision that reflects your aspirations and goals.

What is your personal leadership vision, and how it has evolved across your career?

Candyce: My vision involves climate action for communities, how we can become more sustainable as a society and other social justice and equity considerations.  I’ve had this vision since I was a young adult. I’ve also been a champion for women in the workplace for a long time, so I focus on supporting, encouraging,  and enabling women to get into leadership roles. 

More recently, my focus has shifted to intersectionality and how I can become a champion and leader for people from a broader range of backgrounds. This includes people of colour, people from the LGBTQI community, people living with disability, and people dealing with mental health issues. We need to have a broader and more diverse representation in leadership that reflects Australian society, and I still think we’ve got work to do there.

What has been most helpful in enabling you to create, find or execute your vision?

Candyce:  A lot of it comes down to the fact that I work in an organisation closely aligned with my values. Sustainability Victoria always strives to do more,  do different,  and do better. It’s not that I just landed here. I have been working my whole career to land where I have. I’m surrounded by passionate, driven, smart, and wise people every day. We tackle those big, wicked problems and issues in society and just being a part of that is heartening.

I’ve met amazing people, and I’ve got a brilliant network. Last year, Sustainability Victoria supported me in doing the Women and Environmental Leadership Australia Fellowship. I met remarkable women from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and careers working in the environment sector. That was humbling, and now I’ve got an even more fantastic network of people across Australia. 

Define and achieve your own leadership vision

Join Dr Kim Vella for the 1-day Achieve Your Leadership Vision Workshop. This will be held on 29 July, 2022 in Canberra.

Together, we will:

  • discuss the true meaning of a leadership vision and how it can change your life
  • uncover some of the roadblocks that may be obstructing your vision
  • define a clear and achievable vision you can aspire to
  • use practical tools to set a roadmap for success
  • address typical challenges you may face and how to overcome them

Seats are limited so register early to secure your spot.

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