Carolyn Taylor, leadership consultant and author of Walking the Talk, tells us what good management means to her, which CEOs she’d invite to lunch and the most important quality for a new leader.
IN A SENTENCE, WHAT DOES GOOD LEADERSHIP LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
I think walking your talk would have to be the answer to that one, wouldn’t it?
WHO WOULD YOU INVITE TO A LEADERSHIP LUNCH FOR FOUR?
One would be [former Telstra CEO] David Thodey. Of all the people I’ve worked with in Australia, I think David has worked really, really hard both on being values-led and on continuing to grow himself.
Another is Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia, a long-time advocate for women and for community services. She moved into business and has totally transformed the Australian cruise industry over the past 10 years, and is still the most approachable and wonderful woman.
That’s two from my generation.
Of the people up and coming, one I’d love to have at the table would be Mike Cannon-Brookes, who is one of the joint CEOs of Atlassian. I’ve not met him, but what’s amazing is that they have taken the global stage and I would love to find out how he’s done that.
The other person I would pick would be Naomi Simson, who’s Red Balloon. She’s an advocate for women, for personal branding, and she’s done social media really well.
SOCIAL MEDIA: FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN OR TWITTER?
LinkedIn – we’ve had a lot of success on LinkedIn.
EMAIL OR PHONE CALL?
My time is so crazy, I like to speak to people by phone, so I ask if we can set a meeting request and speak then.
WHICH LEADER DO YOU MOST ADMIRE AND WHY?
I think Sheryl Sandberg, who I did work with at Google, who’s now the No.2 at Facebook. She wrote the book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead (Random House), which is the best book on how we as women have to have the opportunity to ‘lean in’ [be engaged and involved] to what we become. And she’s just amazing and so connected to herself.
WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER SOMEONE JUST STARTING OUT ON THEIR LEADERSHIP JOURNEY?
I think the [most useful] characteristic for me is curiosity. Just to be continuously curious about how other people have done it. You know, learning from mentors… learn, learn, learn, never close that door.