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What I learnt about leadership in 2022

There is no denying that 2022 was another momentous year for managers and leaders right across Australia and New Zealand. At the Institute of Managers and Leaders, we love sharing the stories and voices of our Members. One of the benefits of our community is the ability for us to learn from each other.  To celebrate 2022, we asked four valued members to share their lessons and proudest moments from the year. Their responses are below.  

Melanie Caldwell CMgr FIML, Senior Project Manager, Magistrates Courts Victoria   

What was your biggest lesson in leadership in 2022?  

As a leader I try to be a good role model and shield my team from some of my own struggles at work. I’ve learned that this isn’t always the right thing to do for the team or myself. Finding ways to have difficult conversations and communicate honestly in a safe space can really help everyone move forward and prevent leadership errors of judgement.   

Finish this sentence. My proudest achievement as a leader in 2022 was….  

Being the ‘glue’ that held my team together while delivering some very challenging project timelines in my last role as Principal Project Manager for Homes Victoria’s Social Housing Growth Fund as part of Victoria’s Big Housing Build.   

What is one thing you will be doing over the holiday period to recharge?   

Hopefully having fun in the sun!  I am craving the good weather after all the cold and wet we’ve had in Melbourne.  It’ll be great to have some beach days with friends.  

Justin Lippiatt CMgr FIML, Founder, blueprint2BIGNESS

What was your biggest lesson in leadership in 2022?  

It is possible to love a team to higher performance!  

Finish this sentence. My proudest achievement as a leader in 2022 was….  

Loving a geographically diverse team of 42 managers and 4 regional managers to exceed targets without “metricated motivation” or “punishing performance”.  

What is one thing you will be doing over the holiday period to recharge?   

Prepare to love more teams to higher performance using the following:  

  • Engaging  
  • Equipping  
  • Enabling  
  • Empowering  
  • Encouraging 

Madilina Tresca AFIML, Student Support & Event Co-ordinator, UBSS  

What was your biggest lesson in leadership in 2022? Any “a ha” moments as a leader that you can share with us?  

Communication can be challenging at the best of times. When a delicate situation had unexpectedly presented itself, I instinctively knew that I would have to follow through: I listened, and I reflected before acting: being ever so mindful to be objective and supportive.  

The lesson I learnt is never make assumptions.  If things are not clarified/understood at the start it will create the scenario of ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’. And yes, there was a happy ending. It made me feel empowered (and relieved!) that things had run smoothly from that point onwards.  

Finish this sentence. My proudest achievement as a leader in 2022 was…   

… to enrol in a postgraduate course. At the time of writing this, I have only just submitted two assessments and I’m two assessments away from completing the course.   

What is one thing you will be doing over the holiday period to recharge?   

Putting my feet up and reading the books I didn’t get around to during the year. 

Anthony Villani MIML, General Manager, One Lonely Barrel

What was your biggest lesson in leadership in 2022? Any “a ha” moments as a leader that you can share with us?  

You never stop learning and growing. Every day is filled with opportunities to help customers and your team members and learn from them. I share this with my team and mentees. Take time to reflect on how you can improve. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence are key and no matter how many years of experience you have you can always build on your experience and knowledge base. 

You are only as good as your team. Respect and value them and Invest in their future and work on building a culture of ownership and empowerment where their contribution makes a difference. 

Finish this sentence. My proudest achievement as a leader in 2022 was…   

Contributing to the success and growth of the business. I was able to bring my experience in Leadership, Retail and Finance to the business and assist the business achieve the goals set.

I enjoy being part of the Mentor program with the Institute. I find it rewarding and I have always enjoyed developing and coaching my teams and assisting them move to the next level. It always gave me a sense of fulfilment that you were able to help your team members maximise their potential and progress.  

What is one thing you will be doing over the holiday period to recharge?   

I am a firm believer that in order to be successful in whatever you want out of life you need to be happy with who you are and have a healthy outlook. That is part of a number of important contributing factors including family, friends, healthy lifestyle, fun, interest, a social life, and purpose. I would like to continue ticking all these boxes however do something fun and different. I have been trying to take up playing the guitar and have not been able to devote the time. So, I am looking at giving it a go over this summer holiday for enjoyment and relaxation, I hope?

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