Thought Leadership – Kate Roffey

“My journey from manager into leader and how to build a positive team culture.”

When it comes to fascinating speakers, it is very hard to think of a leader more current and inspiring than Melbourne Football Club President, Kate Roffey.

Kate presented to all staff at Mentone Grammar as part of a dynamic four-day program of Professional Learning designed to challenge and inspire staff as part of the School’s ongoing commitment to lifelong learning, quality leadership and delivery of the best teaching and learning, and professional practices.

As a high-profile, successful manager and leader across a myriad of sectors, Kate shared what she has discovered along the way. Most importantly, she learned through experiences, good and not so good, that meticulous management skills do not always guarantee genuine leadership of people and culture.

Without notes, Kate’s humble and calm sharing of her life’s lessons, was an inspiring example of words in action.

Here are 10 things we learned about effective leadership:

  1. Write it down. Make life notes wherever you go. You can then remember your ideas and share them with others.
  2. Talk with people, not at them. Listen.
  3. Like great management, leadership also requires empowering those around you. Let the good people around you do their job. Help people to get to a better place.
  4. Great leadership can be inherent, but you still need to create trust, so people want to follow. Your people need to feel they will be supported, particularly through the tough moments.
  5. Calmness, decisiveness, and warmth are great attributes to have as a leader. Be inclusive.
  6. Leadership works best when the initial response is ‘yes, we can’, rather than ‘no, you can’t’. Working out howto make it happen can come next.
  7. A measure of great leadership is making a difference to others around you. Encourage, inspire and guide others, even in the ‘hard’ conversations. Be calm and thoughtful.
  8. Great leadership needs to be authentic. You can’t mimic someone else’s style.
  9. Continuous,candid self-reflection is vital for developing leadership skills.When you get that ‘off feeling’ always ask yourself, ‘how could I do that better next time?’
  10. See ‘feedback’ as a challenge to improve. View it as constructive, not personal.