3 Tips for Being an Authentic Leader

3 Tips for Being an Authentic Leader

Anyone can ‘lead if their idea of being a leader is old-fashioned and involves them saying one thing and doing another, and bossing everyone around!

Authentic leaders are those who are trusted and keep an open and honest atmosphere while ROCKING IT. They inspire and motivate their team every day! Leaders don’t have titles or roles, they just take charge and get it done.

But just how do you become an awesome, authentic leader?

Here are 3 tips to start improving your leadership skills:

1. Be true to yourself

This is something we should all practice in every area of our lives, but it’s especially true for leaders.

You can often tell when someone is ‘faking it’ and doesn’t really know what they’re talking about. Is that someone you would look to for leadership? Of course not!

Be yourself and show people what you believe in – don’t just tell them! Genuine people make genuine connections.

Watch More Here by Bill George on Authentic Leadership

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=r6FdIVZJfzg

2. Serve others

You need to genuinely care about others on your leadership journey, and not just focus on yourself! Being all about others should be your primary focus as you write your leadership story. You will fall down and make mistakes, but failure is a part of any journey to great leadership – so don’t let it STOP you!

3. Empower  others

We know nobody is perfect, so don’t pretend to be! People connect with those who admit their mistakes and are open about when they stuff up. Be honest, and you’ll empower your team to push through and learn from their own shortcomings and weaknesses.

If you want to kickstart your leadership journey, you need to join our Leadership Academy! We know this online program – starting from just $10 a week – will change your career or business in no time, and bring out your inner authentic leader!
Top Companies are Still Lacking Women in Top Leadership

Top Companies are Still Lacking Women in Top Leadership

I’m all about helping people, especially women, reach their full potential as authentic leaders – as you’ve probably noticed by now! It’s a subject close to my heart, and when I saw that there are only 14 women chief executives at the helm of the top 200 companies, and 24 women CFOs, it gave me the push to start my brave program and conference for women leaders (to find out more about brave click here at https://leadershiphq.com.au/brave/)

It’s incredible in this day and age that there are 23 companies in the ASX200 without any women as top leaders! This is according to the CEW ASX200 Senior Executive Census from this year. The number has gone down; it was 41 companies last year! But 23 is still an unacceptable number.

The Census doesn’t look at women on company boards (which is another issue I’m incredibly passionate about) so for now we’ll be focusing on chief executive positions and companies that are missing women in those roles.

Have a look at these key stats from this year and last year:

The number of ASX200 female CEOs:

2017 – 11

2018 – 14

The number of ASX200 female CFOs:

2017 – 17

2018 – 24

Number of companies with no female representation in their executive leadership teams:

2017 – 41

2018 – 23

Number of women in the ASX200 executive leadership teams:

2017 – 381

2018 – 430

Number of men in the ASX200 Executive Leadership Teams:

2017 – 1423

2018 – 1428

Shocking, isn’t it?? 1428 men and only 430 women! We still have so far to go in terms of equality, even though we’ve come a long way already.

Here are just some of the companies that don’t have any women in their executive leadership teams (we can help!):

  • ARB Corporation Limited
  • Evolution Mining
  • James Hardie Industries
  • JB Hi-Fi
  • Pilbara Minerals
  • Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group
  • Washington H Soul Pattinson & Company
  • Whitehaven Coal

That’s just a sample! Isn’t it terrible that so many big companies are missing women at the top?

All companies needing to be focused on placing women into the important line roles, roles that have a direct effect on commercial outcomes, like being the head of a business unit or a COO. 78% of the 23 CEOs appointed this year (up until August) were those who held these sorts of line roles – and 88% of lines roles are held by men, which is hardly surprising.

Companies without women in lines roles have reduced from 63% last year to 59%, and shows the slow change towards equality in top leadership roles. I will continue doing my part to inspire women and give them the tools they need to take charge and ROCK their positions, to get to the leadership roles they deserve!

I’m finishing this blog with a shout out to the 14 female CEOs listed in the ASX200. You ladies ROCK IT! And kudos to your companies for working towards equality in the workforce!

  • Mirvac’s Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz
  • Fortescue Metals’ Elizabeth Gaines
  • REA’s Tracey Fellows
  • Harvey Norman’s Katie Page
  • The A2 Milk Company’s Jayne Hrdlicka
  • Coca-Cola Amatil’s Alison Watkins
  • Incitec Pivot’s Jeanne Johns
  • Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Marnie Baker
  • Viva Energy’s Margaret Kennedy
  • Chorus’s Kate McKenzie
  • Estia Health’s Norah Kathleen Barlow
  • Lynas Corporation’s Amanda Lacaze
  • Ausdrill’s Theresa Mlikota
  • Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia’s Georgette Nicholas

 

About the Author Sonia McDonald

Sonia loves to build and develop future CEO’s, Leaders and Entrepreneurs. Sonia McDonald, CEO & Founder of LeadershipHQ; is an Entrepreneur, Thought Leader, Dynamic Keynote Speaker, Leadership Coach and Author of Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It!. Sonia McDonald was recently named in the Top 250 Influential Women across the Globe and Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs by Richtopia. She is one of Australia’s Leading Leadership Executive Coaches, Advisors and Keynote Speakers. Her passions are coaching, keynote speaking as well as leadership development and advising on boards.She loves to inspire & motivate leaders to think differently, be the best they can be & empower everyone to see themselves as leaders. She is making a difference. Her purpose is to build leadership capability, confidence and leadership attitude across the Globe.

She has over 25 years’ human resource management, leadership and organisational development experience. She has held senior leadership roles in organisational development, learning and development, human resources and talent management fields across the Globe. She is passionate about cutting edge research and consulting in her industry as well as innovative tools and strategies around Leadership, Organisational Development, Neuroscience and Diversity.

Sonia’s expertise in organisational development, learning & development, facilitating, and leadership development makes her an excellent leader to partner with organisations and CEOs to ensure the full potential of their business is achieved through its people.

She is about RESULTS! Sonia has been published in The Australian, HRD Magazine, Business Insider, Business Woman’s Media, Style Magazine, Richtopia and Women in Focus. She is an inspirational and dynamic Leadership and Neuroscience Keynote Speaker. She will engage, educate and change the hearts and minds of your leaders and organisations.

Please contact Sonia here at http://soniamcdonald.com.au/ or http://leadershiphq.com.au/

Building a Pipeline to Gender Equality (Free Ebooks!)

Building a Pipeline to Gender Equality (Free Ebooks!)

We know about the glass ceiling, and how that is or was, considered a barrier to women achieving their career and leadership goals, but what else is blocking the pipeline to female leadership?

It’s easy to blame breaks in employment due to having children and going on maternity leave, but these pauses don’t need to have the halting effect that they sometimes do for some women.

Women need to be encouraged and to hear positive messages about their capacities to achieve positions of leadership from the get-go. We need to stop the mixed messages around whether study and striving to achieve is worth it if a woman intends to have children some day for example. Being a parent doesn’t preclude you from leadership. In fact, the skills developed might come in handy!

There have been slow but steady improvements in the participation of women in senior and executive roles, but women are continuing to be under-represented at the executive levels, and we have far to go to close the gap.

At a CEO or organisational level, there are strategies that can make gender equality a priority and not just a set and forget policy that sits and gathers dust and doesn’t make real change.

Get active – You have a strategic agenda for your company, and if gender equality and increasing opportunities for women in leadership truly is important, then that needs to be documented and acted upon, not just paid lip service.

Widen the net – Don’t just write a policy or include women in leadership as a strategic priority and stop there, we need CEOs and organisations to broaden their scope and set the wheels in action in different ways, and at different levels. You can’t fix the gap overnight, and a commitment to change needs to be made for the long term, starting with mentoring and encouraging at entry level, mitigating the losses on career due to breaks in service as a result of maternity leave, and then continuing to develop women as they advance and provide real support and training so that they don’t get left behind their male peers once they hit the ‘glass ceiling.’ There’s no short term or ‘one size fits all’ fix, but if something is worth doing, it is worth committing to in the long term.

Ask the hard questions – Once again, having a policy is not enough if you don’t review the results and keep chipping away to allow women leaders to shine and achieve.

Identifying women in the talent pipeline and ensuring they get the support they need, allowing them to develop any skills required, checking for unconscious bias, and assessing the success of policies and strategies are all essential self-assessment tools for an organisation wanting to make real change and put their money where their mouth is. Questions around these issues need to be asked honestly and often.

Check out our amazing Women Leadership Experience Program and our Public Program empowHER.

I love our FREE Diversity Debate Ebook and 10 Traits of a Confident Leader – and you will too!

‘As women, we must stand up for ourselves. We must stand up for each other. We must stand up for justice for all.’ – Michelle Obama

Why your business isn’t as gender inclusive as you think, and how to change that.

Why your business isn’t as gender inclusive as you think, and how to change that.

‘’How gender inclusive is your business?’’

‘’It’s very inclusive. About 50% of our employees are women. We have a new policy which encourages female recruitment.’’

‘’That’s great! How many women do you have on your board?’’

‘’Oh. One.’’

‘’And how many female execs do you have?’’

‘’Umm…one.’’

‘’OK. What about your senior leadership team? What percentage of women do you have there?’’

‘’Yeah, maybe 10%? But we have around 20% at middle management level, and probably 40% or more at the lower levels.’’

…….

At the moment, this is pretty typical of most businesses. According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, only 16% of CEOs and 27% of Key Management Personnel in Australia are women. Businesses are conscious of the need and the benefits of having a better gender balance across the organisation, and they are trying to get there.

But gender diversity is about more than numbers.

It’s about what is really going on inside the organisation.

A report released last year by The Boston Consulting Group suggests what’s really stopping your business from moving forward with gender diversity. Do you know what it comes down to? The report says it’s a “a mismatch between the perceptions of women and those of senior leaders—who are overwhelmingly male at most organizations—regarding the main challenges to achieving gender diversity.”

Mismatched perceptions.

They give this example. When asked, women say their biggest blocks to building a leadership career are obstacles to promotion and issues with retention. Male leaders think the problem lies in recruitment, so businesses are focusing their gender diversity efforts on a system which is not the main issue.

Another example the report gave was the issue of flexible work programs. Across the board, men and women ranked it as the most effective gender diversity intervention, yet senior males ranked it at number eight.

What it boils down to is this.

Until you go out and talk to the people involved – the women in your business – you’re never going to know what the real issues are. You can’t be a gender inclusive organisation if you’re not dealing with the biases or mismatched perceptions behind the decisions which are being made.

You can’t solve a problem when you only have half the information you need.

Take a look at the gender breakdown throughout your business. Where are the females well represented? Where does that representation stop?

Now go out and find out why that is. Talk to your people, male and female, and you’ll be closer to the truth than you’ve ever been.

Now is the time to show leadership in gender equity and to take steps towards improvement.

To help your current and emerging female leaders, consider enrolling them in brave Women Leading so they learn to understand and use the skills they have. Strong female leaders will add balance to your business and ultimately boost your bottom line results. Call today on 1300 719 665.

 

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