The road to strong leadership

by 18 Sep 2013

As discussed last week, strong corporate cultures are an important part of any organisation. A key driver in fostering and allowing these cultures to blossom is an organisation’s leaders.

While many HR professionals may look upon the leaders littered throughout their organisation as adequate flag-bearers of their department, Vaughan Paul , vice president of HR at Optus, believes there is a lot more to it than that.

Organisations are driven by the leadership cohort,” Paul told HC. “The leaders set the tone, they live the values, they set the culture and most importantly they bring people together to actually get the work done. They basically are the lynchpin of pulling it all together.”

Paul stated that leaders must become role models of the organisation: they must exemplify the values of the company and bring it forward in everything they do, leading by example to help bolster their colleagues’ morale and engagement.

“I actually think a really strong leader is a good coach. Making everyone as good as they can be – that’s the leader’s job,” Paul stated. “A leader really has to want to develop their people.”

In addition to these traits, Paul stressed that the best leaders step outside their own department. “A leader – a good leader – really stands out not only in their own discipline but across the organisation. You might have a great technology leader but they are really powerful when they are seen as a leader across all parts of the organisation.”


At the HR Summit in Brisbane, Paul will demonstrate how HR can help develop these autonomous, strong leaders in their organisation, urging HR professionals to ask three questions of themselves:

  • How are you making sure what your company stands for comes back to you and how you are growing your leaders?
  • What are you making leaders accountable for? Is it accountability for delivering results, or is it accountability for growing the people? What are the two or three things you are really trying to make your leadership group strong on?
  • Are you coaching and developing the leaders, or are you doing their job for them?

HR has a fine line to play in terms of making sure that they don’t take over a leader’s role, but they are there to support the leader and help them grow,” Paul explained.

The HR Summit is the leading series of people management events in the Asia-Pacific region and now in its 11th year. Click here to register now.


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