The Future of Leadership Conference

6 Characteristics Every Leader Should Have

Can you skip along your office corridor without inhibition? Do you think in questions, not in statements? Have you earned the right to a legacy?

If so, you’re well on your way to leadership success, according to a respected roll call of Australian leaders presenting at the Future of Leadership 2017 Conference. Here’s what we can learn from their advice.

  1. Be conscious of your why

“If you lose sight of your purpose, you stop making progress”, says Alison Hill, Co-Founder of Pragmatic Thinking, a motivation strategy company with a client list that includes Pepsico, Siemens, McDonalds and Sydney Trains.

It’s not only the big picture purpose that Alison is referring to, but your daily purpose. Each day, ask yourself why you are taking this course of action or making this decision. Even when holding a meeting, think about why you’re having it and how it should align with your purpose.

    2.   Design systems to make failure difficult

“Don’t rely on discipline or motivation to drive your team. Instead, make it easy for people to feel competent by designing the right systems”, says Dan Gregory, panellist on ABC's 'Gruen Transfer' and marketing consultant to global brands.

Work out the friction points in your processes and find ways to make things run better, explains Dan.  Let performance drive engagement. The more you help your team be good at what they do, the more they will enjoy doing it. Engagement and productivity will skyrocket.

    3.   Find the 1%ers

“Find the little things that make a difference – the 1%ers”, says Dr Sean Richardson, performance psychologist for St Kilda Football Club and consultant to the Australian Ballet Company.

Don’t think you can fix everything at once, Sean urges. Look at what marginal improvements you can make. If you’re working long hours at a high intensity, what small changes can you incorporate in your day to manage your energy? There is more chance of making a lasting change by starting out with a 1%er and creating a habit that sticks.  

    4.   Celebrate effort, not outcome

“Find out what motivates your team and what they are proud of”, says Darren Hill, behavioural scientist and culture change consultant with a client book of Fortune 500 and ASX Top-20 companies.

Leadership is all about motivating your team, but don’t assume that what motivates you is the same as what motivates them, Darren cautions.

Ask your team members to write down three things they have been proud of at work. Tell them to think about the journey, not the outcome. Their responses will give you a powerful insight into how you can keep their interest and motivation. 

    5.   Write down your legacy

“Constructing your legacy in written words makes you think deeply about what you have earned the right to say about yourself”, says Tricia Velthuizen, a leader in education and honoured with CEO of the Year 2016.

Look ahead to five years from now and write a story about what you will achieve, urges Tricia. Think about what you hope to be able to say about yourself. Use this story to lead your team from a place of hope. Inspire those around you by your honesty and forward-thinking approach.

    6.   Take up skipping   

“There’s something about the childlike action of skipping that makes us laugh”, says Lisa McInnes-Smith, global keynote speaker and expert on peak performance.

Next time you’re walking down the corridor at work, try it out for yourself, take a few skips and see what happens. Lisa predicts that you’ll feel happier, more energised and ready to meet new challenges.


Justine Northcott is freelance copywriter and content creator who was lucky enough to win tickets to the Future of Leadership 2017 Conference. She works with professional businesses of all sizes to engage readers with crisp, compelling copy. Her communications services include web sites, newsletters, brochures, tenders, award submissions, emails, press releases, SEO copy.

Justine can be contacted on 0406 451 098 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Go to her website to read the full blog post 8 Characteristics Every Leader Should Have


Contact Details

Address : Level 2, 6 The Corso, Manly 2095

Telephone : (02) 9977 0513

Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Subscribe to News