Leadership Amplified by Dr Karen Morley

Leadership Amplified with Dr. Karen Morley, hosted by Dr. Karen Morley.

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Latest Episodes

Episode 45: Why things are they way they are - a geospatial perspective, with Alena Moison

Episode 45: Why things are they way they are - a geospatial perspective, with Alena Moison

The key focus for our discussion was on how leaders can successfully navigate the increasingly digital world we inhabit.

Alena started her career studying English, then moved to Economics and finally settled on Geography in her quest to understand why things are the way they are.

Geography provides her with an interesting perspective, revealing how much our lives are informed and touched by where we live.

Over time she’s moved into the technology side: she says we have a big data problem as we’re always collecting masses of geospatial data, and the big challenge is what to do with it, how to learn from it?

Which is now her day job as Principal, Technology and Strategy, at Digital Twin Victoria.

Alena counsels leaders unfamiliar with/suspicious or nervous about AI to take the time to become familiar with the technology tools.

She reassures us that it’s easier than we might think.

Her tip is to use a simple AI tool and ask it all your ‘dumb’ questions about other tech tools to build your understanding of what’s going on.

Her three top pieces of leadership wisdom apply both to leading in general, and leading through technology:

📌 Relationships first – as a leader you have to build the bridge to your people, so psychological safety, reaching out to others, providing support and being empathetic are critical to leading well.

📌 Ask the stupid question – that way you can direct yourself through situations and information that is unfamiliar. There is so much change we’re always beginners so stay comfortable in not knowing and always asking.

📌 Leaders are great communicators, that’s they’re real strength, so use these skills to help technical teams to get cut-through for their work, and to help them understand what the organisation needs from them.

🤔  How does your placein your environment affect the way you lead?

Episode 44: Collaboration is the most powerful style when times are tough, with Glen Sharman

Episode 44: Collaboration is the most powerful style when times are tough, with Glen Sharman

This statement encapsulates much of my conversation with special guest Glen Sharman who is General Manager for MaxiTRANS NSW. He’s always been in the transport industry and has had the happy opportunity to have a diverse career across different working cultures, with global and local brands, working for large and small companies. Glen reflects that from a young age he had a diverse mix of people around him who were invaluable for providing him with advice and suggestions, which he greatly appreciated. He started his career in the transport and manufacturing industries and he’s maintained a lot of passion for it, he loves it. He says ‘I’ve never looked back’. Glen enjoys the creative, innovative side of things and tries to think outside the square.  ‘Where are we now and where do we want to go.’  He describes himself as an early adopter, a disrupter. Much of our conversation focuses on a significant change that Glen’s business has recently been faced with – having to move a large industrial site at short notice – and we discuss his approach to the change. What stands out most is Glen’s commitment to collaboration with his team - having a strong collaborative foundation with the team meant that everyone was prepared to roll up their sleeves and make it happen. ‘I’m proud of our team.’ Glen says yes, it was stressful, yet ‘when you have to manage change, you have open communication and good dialogue with your team, a trusting and safe work environment, it can all come together really well.  I truly believe we've done a fantastic job.’ Congratulations Glen! Three key things Glen recommends leaders do for their teams: 📌  Trust your people, have the confidence they'll do well without you looking over their shoulder 📌  Provide ongoing professional development and training for your team, it's an ever changing environment 📌  Self reflect, what did I do well, what could I have done better, and don't beat yourself up!
Episode 43: Why it’s critical to know the environment you’re going into to increase success, with Donna Stace

Episode 43: Why it’s critical to know the environment you’re going into to increase success, with Donna Stace

It can be challenging knowing what it’s like to work in a particular role, industry or organisation. Not knowing is one of the real impediments particularly for women moving into male dominated work. This is something that Donna Stace mastered very early in her career. Donna is an Operational Specialist in a Functional Safety Team at Rio Tinto. Growing up in The Pilbara as she did, she was exposed from an early age to various trades and to the mining industry, and that sparked her interest. She fed her interest by getting out and finding work experience and became known, which of course helped her immensely when she started looking for work roles. She went on to complete her Mechanical trade qualifications and over her career moved into operational leadership roles and has worked across a range of industries. Her approach remains a key part of the advice she provides to others, especially young women, to encourage them to find out more about joining trades as career options. She encourages women to get out and find work experience options, and to challenge the people doing the hiring – ‘make sure you find out about culture and leadership style, what they are like and whether they will suit you’, she says. She’s a great advocate for women in trades, becoming more so after returning to the maintenance area after many years and finding that the dial just hadn’t shifted. To do something about it, because she likes to be active, she co-founded Women in Rail. WIR continues to focus on increasing gender-balance in apprenticeships and trades. There’s been real success there, with numbers approaching parity over the last couple of years. Great work Donna! Donna’s advice for increasing inclusion at work is for leaders to identify the value that diversity can bring to a team. There are benefits, and leaders should know what they are.  Donna says ‘It’s important to challenge yourself about what are you actually after, what do you want in this team, what are the skillsets, what are the gaps in your team?  Do you need another person that looks exactly like the three other people in your team?  Everyone wants to hire themselves, it's easier.’ To make it easier for leaders to be more inclusive they need a good support team, including people who’ll challenge their thinking.
Episode 42: How clarity of purpose is instrumental for focus and direction, with Hanli Pretorius

Episode 42: How clarity of purpose is instrumental for focus and direction, with Hanli Pretorius

This is such an important piece of advice that Hanli Pretorius offers in this Leadership Amplified episode. Hanli is General Manager, People and Culture – Defence and Social Infrastructure at Ventia. As she says, while she got into HR by chance rather than design - she took on a job, and found herself a career - she’s had great leadership support and the freedom to play and experiment to implement new programs or technologies. She’s had experience across many different organisations and industries, both partnering in the business as well as working in a centre of excellence. Hanli says ‘This year I have shifted in leaps and bounds in my thinking around my purpose. There's such power in having clarity in your own mind and being able to articulate it.’ Since clarifying her own purpose, she’s been very aware of noticing when others articulate theirs and how it conveys their focus and strength of direction. She says ‘When you hear someone else able to clearly articulate their purpose it's quite striking.’ It’s striking to hear the clarity about what they DO want and what they DON’T want.  She says, and I can only agree, ‘The inability of people to say no to things comes from not being clear about whatever contribution you want to make to an organisation or society.’ (Clarity doesn’t always make it EASY, but it does makes it EASIER.) ‘The ability to be clear about my purpose, what I want, to recognise and articulate it, has given me focus, it has been powerful and refreshing.’ These are Hanli’s three pieces of advice for early-career HR people: Don't specialise too early on in your carer Value in working as both a BP and in a centre of excellence Gain experience with multiple organisations/industries Listen in for access to much more of Hanli’s wisdom.
Episode 41: Why leader self-improvement matters so much the the team’s performance with Rohan Horsley

Episode 41: Why leader self-improvement matters so much the the team’s performance with Rohan Horsley

It was an interesting way to end the latest conversation on Leadership Amplified: getting great performance from others starts with you, the leader, taking accountability for your own performance and self-improvement. Rohan Horsley made this conclusion after we’d discussed the often-times tricky challenge of team performance and its successful measurement. I enjoyed Rohan’s take on performance and its measurement: it alternately seems to be pretty obvious and yet is at times – usually the tough ones- a delicate balancing act. He starts with the foundation assumption that people want to perform well – a very good place to start! The object is for people to have ownership of their measures, to be clear about what success is, and for their individual measures to be aligned with the team’s and the organisation’s. When people take ownership they naturally achieve and perform. We agreed that this is something both important and challenging, and that it takes time too. It’s so easy, Rohan says, to pick up the old measures and roll them forward; they might no longer apply, might not be the best (just the easiest) to measure and probably won’t be terribly inspiring. He also counsels the importance of trialling measures, as long as you are super-clear that is what you are doing. When the team can trial some measures and get involved in identifying whether or how well they work it inspires creativity and engagement in the measures. It’s important to avoid a blame mentality within the team. You should do a root cause analysis of both success and failure; it might be system or process that’s not right. A lot of relationships and a lot of careers don’t progress as they should because of misunderstandings. What’s key for the team: 📌 Understand the individuals 📌 Lead them in a way that suits their style 📌 Allow them to contribute to the team in ways they can with the skills they have strength in 📌 Where they want to grow give them opportunities People want their contribution to be valued and respected.  If you make people compete they’ll find a way to win – that may be within the rules and it may not be, and can have unintended consequences. ✅ Most importantly, measuring performance starts with the leader, with their accountability for the team’s performance, seeking and listening to feedback, and improving their own performance.   #motivation  #Personaldevelopment #careers #Productivity #performance
Episode 40: How to meet the challenge of leading through warmth yet driving for performance with Ilka Fuerstenberger

Episode 40: How to meet the challenge of leading through warmth yet driving for performance with Ilka Fuerstenberger

The complexity of our world just continues to grow. We have multiple challenges of very different kinds to make sense of and prioritise attention to. One thing that helps is being able to see a way through contradiction, so I was very pleased in this new episode of Leadership Amplified to speak with Ilka Fuerstenberger, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Australia about one contradiction that is regularly encountered by leaders. Leading through warmth while also driving for performance. This is a balancing act that is foremost in Ilka’s mind as she leads her organisation. For her, establishing trust is the first thing she prioritises when she starts a new role. Strength and competence are not the priority in these early stages, instead her focus is on establishing a safe place, being approachable, listening and paying attention to the new team. Ilka says that when trust is established and not doubted it is so much easier to help people reach their goals. People need to know they won’t be shot for making a mistake, and they should feel empowered to generate decisions; after all they’re the ones who have the knowledge to get the right performance. The drive for performance also needs to sit within a context of a clear purpose. ‘What are we here to do?’ As the leader, you need to live it, to ‘inhale it’, to create energy for it, people need to see it ‘written in your face’. When it is so crystal clear, it’s so much easier to drive performance. Perhaps Ilka’s ability to work across contradictions comes from her family’s approach to travel when she was young – prior to visiting a new culture, the challenge was to learn 100 words of their language. And that early experience contributed to her choice of career path – a combination of languages (she speaks 5!!) and economics that would give her the opportunity to work internationally, which she’s done ever since. Ilka’s advice for leading well: 📌 Make use of different ways of doing things – difference is not about better or worse, it contributes creativity and new approaches 📌 Get the support of a mentor or coach, and mentor others as you can – this helps to avoid a bit of the stress and pain for others on their journey 📌 Leading is a journey that’s never finished, and accepting that sense of ongoing challenge is critical
Episode 39: How three very different careers multiply in surprising and successful ways, with Tim Drinkall

Episode 39: How three very different careers multiply in surprising and successful ways, with Tim Drinkall

In this latest episode of Leadership Amplified, listen in to Tim Drinkall’s wisdom about careers, their weird but wonderful trajectories, and the value of career support. Tim should know, he’s Head of Learning and Organisational Development at Metro Trains! While Tim has spent 25 years in various learning and organisation development roles, his career started on a surprisingly different trajectory – as a chef and then a Physical Education teacher. In our conversation Tim reflects on how the lessons learnt from these very different kinds of roles have stood him in good stead for the work he does now. And how his mentors helped and at times challenged him to learn and grow to make the most of his skills and capabilities – some he didn’t even know he had or that even existed. He recalls one particularly influential mentor saying 𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒕𝒆𝒂𝒄𝒉 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂𝒏𝒚𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖'𝒓𝒆 𝒐𝒑𝒆𝒏-𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒅 𝒆𝒏𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒕𝒐 𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒆. Perhaps when you read those words it might seem like it’s all about what the mentor can teach, but not at all. Just listen to Tim speak about these experiences and how they inspired him – you’ll be inspired too!! We discuss the particular value of role models, people who both believe in and care about you and your growth, and who’ll both challenge and support you. If you're a leader and not sure how to support others in their growth, or a bit tentative about whether or not you should, listen in to Tim because he’ll make it clear why you should discard any reservations that you might have about how valuable your support can be. One thing Tim is very candid about is that he has had a yearning for leadership in whatever roles he has held. He is clear about wanting to lead a team, set a vision and be strategic. Again, referring to role models who have inspired him, Tim has seen some amazing L&OD leaders whom he aspires to emulate. He has self-doubts, yes, ‘asks himself ‘am I good enough?’, and then uses that mindset constructively to learn more and grow further. I asked Tim for his three pieces of advice for people in roles like his, and here’s what he shared: 📌  Provide leaders with what they need (he identified data as being the one thing he was currently focused on) 📌 Set up executive sponsorship of learning and development because then they own it and it’s a way of teaching it forward 📌 Never stop learning yourself – keep questioning and reflecting. 🤔 How might you inspire others to step out of their comfort zone to fulfill their potential? #Careers #Motivation #Personaldevelopment #Leadership
Episode 38: Why asking beautiful questions, prioritisation and communication help change succeed, with Sudha Sharma

Episode 38: Why asking beautiful questions, prioritisation and communication help change succeed, with Sudha Sharma

As someone who’s seen a lot of change in her life Sudha Sharma has some terrific advice for approaching it successfully. In Episode 38 of Leadership Amplified we have a powerful conversation about influencing others for change, and Sudha shares her very human-centered and pragmatic approach. She says that ‘in the corporate world where results matter, you can’t achieve them if you don’t take care of people.’ She’s focused on doing that, and helping other leaders do the same. She says ‘Post-COVD there is no playbook on how to deal with a team.’ The old one doesn’t work, but what takes its place? She says that influence is key to the leadership playbook moving forward. How leaders influence now needs to be adjusted – teams are looking for clarity because of course there’s less of it. To hook into what’s important to them - helping them to see more clearly - means identifying and articulating the why of change in clear and simple terms. She says that people are so much less concerned about the what than the why of change, but that most effort in organisations is spent on the what. Shifting the balance is a key way to shift engagement with and openness to change. Her three key pieces of advice for the new playbook are: Use the power of beautiful questions – using beautiful questions helps you to understand what others’ concerns are and then to frame issues and change requirements in ways that will inspire them. Workload is a challenge, so you need to help people to PRIORITISE, making sure that people understand why we are doing - this is a way to help them focus their limited energy Communicate consistently with an emphasis on connection. Sudha reminds us that we actually remember very little of what others say and leaders need to take this into account. And repeat. Consistency and simplicity are key to getting the point across and making it stick. Leaders’ intent really matters, as does how they show up and what they say and do. These basic things influence others more than we realise. 🎧 Listen in to our conversation to discover more about how to influence and lead change: there are some great insights and I’m sure you will enjoy it.   #motivation #influence #transformationalchange
Episode 37: Why reflection and learning through ’failures’ helps you to see the bigger picture with Lauren Jones

Episode 37: Why reflection and learning through ’failures’ helps you to see the bigger picture with Lauren Jones

In this episode I speak with Lauren Jones  about how she helps technical experts transform into great people leaders. Lauren started her working life as an electrical engineer in petrochemical manufacturing and quickly moved into operations management. During that period, she developed important leadership skills heading an operations team, and the importance of quality assurance, health and safety, and environmental compliance became ingrained. One thing that she felt unable to do as a young leader was to step back and see the big picture – it’s critical to understand the big picture, the various stakeholders and what they care about, and what your role in all that is. You need to know what people want from you to be successful. Developing a reflective practice allowed her to do this. Lauren now has her own consulting practice where she loves working with executives, business owners and leaders at all levels to help them improve their businesses. As Lauren experienced herself, moving from a technical role to a leadership role is often quite challenging, creating dilemmas and usually needing a shift in identity. Having the right kind of support to make this move, including the right training, is fundamental to enjoying the new and different set of expectations people leadership brings. Lauren says to help technical experts moving into leadership roles to succeed, the right systems and processes need to be in place. Her advice to get it right: 📌 By ensuring the best systems and processes are in place, senior leaders give people a great opportunity to improve their capability. 📌 Regular feedback, checkins and mentoring help encourage reflection and learning. 📌 New leaders - be open to learning and confident in yourself. Sure, you don’t have all the answers, but no-one else does! As Lauren says, feedback should be a comfortable, regular thing that people seek to help them improve. Listen in as she shares her story and insights, link in comments.   #careers #technicalleadership #engineering #personaldevelopment

Bio of Leadership Amplified by Dr Karen Morley

Leadership Amplified, hosted by Dr. Karen Morley, explores the philosophy that leadership is valuable when it serves as a resource for the organization. Driven by the belief that teams and individuals should benefit from being led, the podcast offers practical insights to engage and inspire leaders, emphasizing leadership as a service to teams and the organization.

The podcast delves into four key themes:

Emerging inclusive leadership frameworks and practices: Dr. Morley explores the evolving landscape of leadership, highlighting the importance of inclusivity and providing insights into emerging frameworks and practices for fostering diversity and equality.

Overcoming gender bias: Addressing the issue of gender bias, Dr. Morley discusses strategies and approaches to overcome biases, promoting gender equality in leadership roles and organizational settings.

The value of coaching in leadership: The podcast emphasizes the significance of coaching in leadership development, focusing on its role in fostering inclusive leadership practices and enhancing overall leadership effectiveness.

Regulating energy and motivation for peak performance: Dr. Morley explores strategies for leaders to regulate their energy and motivation levels, enabling them to perform at their best and lead with optimal impact.

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