Ashleigh Barty’s performance and attitude throughout the Australian Open have been impressing the world! What a great proof that character defines leadership!
Character and Authenticity
At Bridgeworks, much of our focus is around character and authenticity. You must have both to be an effective leader. Of course competence goes a long way but it takes more than that to be an inspiring leader.
We have mentioned her before, and I am sure that we will again. It is hard to find a greater example of character and authenticity than “Our” Ash Barty. The dreams of Australian tennis fans came true when Ashleigh Barty won the Australian Open.
Already, after winning her Round 1 match, like after every win, Ash dedicated her winning speech to her family and explained how she loved catching up with them all: “The nieces and nephews love to call me Auntie Ash”.
In interviews about her success, as most effective leaders, the world No.1 always refers to her team, rather than focus on herself. For her, the pursuit of titles is a team sport, and she always talks about her close-knit team, family and friends. After her final win, Ash’s emotional hug with Casey Dellacqua was yet another proof of how she values others around her.
Her other favourite sport, women’s cricket, is said to be the source of Barty’s “we” mentality. It also gave her the opportunity to develop as an inspiring leader for her team and young cricketers. And fortunately, fame and fortune haven’t got to her.
Young Australian of the year in 2020, now winner of 3 Grand Slam titles, she remains humble and thankful, always recognising that her favourite team is right there at home. Amazingly she is still focusing on being the best she can be on the day, clearing her head from the massive weight of expectations.
“She is just a good human. She just happens to be a great tennis player, too.”
Belinda Clark (as quoted in an interview with The Age)
People love to follow those who are authentic. Besides, Aussies have a well-defined BS detector!
Leadership Brings Teams Together
Cricket fans rejoiced too, as The Ashes became ours again.
So, why wouldn’t the team celebrate the win as it had for the last many decades? Well, No, their leader, Pat Cummins, saw a better way where team leadership prioritises caring for ALL team members.
He recognised that Khawaja had walked away from the flowing champagne, owing to his Muslim faith which disallowed alcohol. The whole team could not join the celebrations.
Pat asked the team to put away the champagne, bring Khawaja back to the team and celebrate together without the alcohol.
Small difference to the players, massive difference to Khawaja! Indeed, character defines leadership. Pat’s outstanding bowling contributed to the win, his leadership contributed to team cohesion and strength.
Leadership Drives Culture – From Toxic to Terrific
In my experience, many business people seem to think that character is tucked away into a box and only to be pulled out when necessary. In fact, it is your essence – both in and out of the workplace, at all times.
One CEO, with Bridgeworks’ help, has converted a once toxic culture into an engaged, highly innovative business. As CEO, his mindset is helping his people be better. And “Better” refers to how they deal with others.
Nowadays, he never ceases to talk about the growth in his people. His focus is not so much around the business they are generating, but more about their passion, their personal development, and their state of mind. He sees his workplace as a way to bring the best out of others.
But it wasn’t always like that. When I first worked with this manager many years ago, he was very task oriented and tended to create what I call RED or defensive relationships along the way. Being RED doesn’t build trust.
“If people don’t want to work here, they know where the door is”. And they will take the opportunity to walk!
Got Trust? Bottom Line Will Look After Itself!
These days, he is still task-oriented but now he understands the value of empathy, building trust and that people are motivated differently.
He has found that with this focus on people, the bottom line looks after itself. His business is now one of the fastest growing and better performing in the industry.
Focus on developing your people. And the profits and results will follow.
If you are wanting to turn toxic into terrific, give me a call.
Contact Wayne 0402 300999