Six tips for being a strategic leader

Leadership. It’s a fact of life for EL1s and EL2s in the Australian Government. A requirement. A responsibility.

The key is to rise above being an ‘ordinary leader’ and into an ‘inspirational leader’. One who will make a massive contribution to the APS. One who will be remembered by those being led.

But how?

Here are some of my top tips:

  1. Conduct your own research on inspirational leaders, but only through reputable sources, to learn what makes them tick. Explore their characteristics—visionary, innovative, collaborative, entrepreneurial and effective.
  2. Read biographies and speeches of leaders who inspire you, drawing out what has made them so fabulous. This can be big guns like Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama and Rosie Battie.
  3. Get a mentor who is a leader in their own right; someone who will share their knowledge and expertise and discuss their thinking on what it means to be strategic and nimble at the same time.
  4. Work with a coach to help unleash your leadership potential and encourage you to develop and refine your leadership capabilities in a way that aligns with your core values.
  5. Factor in professional learning into your personal development plan at work. This will keep you on a career strategic leadership track and on top of the latest and greatest in the leadership arena.
  6. Look for important work, not work that makes you look important.

I developed the ‘Strategic Leadership Program‘ knowing that the APS is having to do so much more with so much less.  And this means developing the right set of tools, skills and abilities.

In this two-day course, jammed packed with practical tips and learning you can start applying immediately once back at your desk, I focus on:

  • strategic performance for innovation
  • decision making with integrity
  • your DISC profile, which helps you identify how to improve performance
  • emotional intelligence for collaboration
  • performance coaching
  • resilience and performance
  • prioritising what matters
  • creating an action plan.

To support your ongoing engagement in learning, I back up the course with a one-on-one session with an accredited executive coach. And last, but not least, I host a cocktail reception with both participants and a small group of executives from different government departments, academia, the private sector and ngo sector. It’s a great chance to learn from great APS leaders, and network.

So take charge of your style and lead with impact.

Keen on reading more?

Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results, by Judith E Glaser

The First 90 Days, by Michael D Watkins

Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader, by Herminia Ibarra

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