backlight sign, time for change

Written by Stephen Molloy

Leadership is the accomplishment of a goal through the direction of people involved. In this ever so changing world that we live, the importance to create value for others is stronger than ever. Some may assume that leadership qualities are only found in military or management roles within the workplace, however leaders are found in your sports club, your community, in your family, all without having a title. Some of the important traits are empathy, effective listening skills, what helps people get out of bed each morning, understanding people’s motivations and purpose. Providing support, praise, constructive criticism when required, adequate recognition of each member of your team or group for their function towards the overall objective, project or goal.

Working online has rapidly improved productivity for many entrepreneurs

Change is inevitable. Adapt or perish

Since the start of the pandemic, the adoption of initiatives such as ‘working from home’ which provided flexibility for employees to spend more time with their families, ‘work from anywhere’ has shifted the opportunities to live somewhere other than large cities. These have reinforced the importance of trust and support as team members have moved from the traditional meeting places to something quite unique. Many people I know have decided to rent out their house and leave their usual place of work for a more lifestyle approach of working in Byron Bay NSW. One of the challenges facing managers nowadays are around motivation of employees once they’re out of the office. I often see confusion when it comes to understanding leadership's role in an agile transformation. Leaders must now be able to outsource or delegate outcomes, inspire individuals online, and give them the space to do a great job, not to micromanage them constantly via Zoom.

Platforms of People

I’ve consulted with large corporations, small startups and throughout my career I’ve seen the need for new leadership skills which evolves around helping people and benefiting others. Managers may consider that social media can be beneficial to their organisation whether it’s hiring people, growing their message or gaining new customers. Outsourcing websites have helped companies become more productive and using platforms such as Uber make it easier to claim business meeting travel than personally driving and keeping logbooks.

Samuel Johnson with his late sister supporting their charity, Love Your Sister

Samuel Johnson is an Australian Actor who won the Gold Logie as the Most Popular Personality on Television. When he gave his speech, he dedicated it to his sister and their charity Love Your Sister. Using opportunities for the betterment of others is one of the best ways to show real leadership in 2020. Last year he won Channel 10’s Dancing with the Stars and raised $50,000 again for his charity Love Your Sister.

“Leaders become great not because of their power but, because of their ability to empower others.”

Leadership is empowerment. It’s lifting others up, helping them advance, and making them a part of something bigger than themselves. In short, it’s helping people to be the best as they can be. Some may fall into the trap of thinking once achieved elevated positions, we’re making enough sacrifices. We think we’ve taken our turn and now it’s the job of those below us to sacrifice on our behalf. Or our staff to be grateful for having a job during these uncertain times. The pandemic has shifted people from full-time employed to part-time or unemployed. In the last 6 months more than 1.5 million people in Australia have lost their jobs. This has been a shake up on traditional thinking towards a more agile mindset and opportunity to prioritise what's truly important and valuable.

In 2012 I wrote the book How Apps are Changing the World with contributions from Disney Mobile and Saatchi & Saatchi New York. It was republished in 2015 as a hardback with more of a focus around leadership and mindset around developing apps to disrupt industries. I claimed that you don’t need a fancy office, lots of staff and huge budgets to understand the customers needs. Apps are very transient with people changing or trialling new apps for something better. We launched an app in 2009 by charging a download fee of $4.99 as a once off fee. This model was superseded by freemium (one free app, one paid) then In App purchases (free to download then pay for additional features). The outcomes from all these discoveries was the subscription models (small monthly fees) which are here to stay. We discovered that brands which solve the needs of customers or solve the frustrations are the winners.

Much like in business today, if you understand the customer you will understand the frustrations to address them in the next update. It’s about being customer centric, where the customer is at the heart of everything. Last year I was nominated for the NSW State Election, Federal Election and Australian of the Year. I placed my goals around discovering what were the issues most important for young Australians. Secure Jobs and Affordable Housing were the two most important issues facing young Australians. Young families were spending far too much time gaining full-time employment for a small apartment in the big cities. Banks and Credit Cards weren’t changing to the demand or need; Welcome AfterPay, ZipPay and Humm. AfterPay has seen their share price from $8.60 to over $100 a share in the last six months. Millions of people accessed their Superannuation in the early release scheme. People started working from home, starting up businesses and a record amount of people started trading in shares for the first time. This shift has been happening all over the World with the concentration of wealth shifting from the big cities and the traditional corporations. Where we go to from here is up to us, opportunities are everywhere.

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