Important learnings for Emerging Leaders

On the 20th April 2023, IPAA Queensland with the support of QSuper (part of Australian Retirement Trust), KPMG and OnTalent were delighted to host our newly rebranded Chief Executives and Emerging Leaders Breakfast.

The theme, “Emergent Leadership and Future-Proofing our Organisations” was designed to highlight and build upon the intent of this flagship event.

The topic, discussed with energy and a swag of insights from international speaker, author and leadership trailblazer, Holly Ransom, highlighted the importance of bringing younger generations to the conversation of capability development. A crowd of over 600 emerging leaders and Chief Executives had their thinking challenged.

While Holly was on the stage, she offered many insights and engaging anecdotes to support emergent leaders in their development journey.

One key strategy she discussed was the “four S’s” that each and every emerging leader needs to have in the village.

Keen to know what they are?  Keep reading.

Holly Ransom:

I wanted to present you with four important perspectives, like four sides of a dice, to consider as a young leader. As I go through each one, take a moment to reflect on whether you have embraced these perspectives in your mindset and approach. I believe that everyone requires these four S’s for personal growth and, most certainly for career development.

  • Supporters

Everyone needs a supporter, someone who’s going to be the cheer squad leader who when it all becomes a little bit hard and overwhelming in a moment can be a circuit breaker, can help you reset, and give you the confidence to go again.

  • Sages

Then we all need sages. People who’ve been there, and bought the T-shirt maybe two, or three times over, and can help us avoid the lessons that they learned on the way, and give us the benefit of their many years of experience to help us get ahead faster.

That’s honestly what part of what progress looks like – is being able to pay that forward to the generation who come after us or the person who comes after us in a typical role.

  • Sponsors

We also all need sponsors.

If there’s one universal truth I’ve learned, it’s that we all need people who have our backs, even when we’re not present in the room. This lesson became particularly evident during my experience in the G-20. Many times, important decisions that directly impact us are discussed and made in rooms where we are absent, at moments when we are completely unaware of the ongoing conversations. And so making sure you’ve got the people who are going to say, “Absolutely Brad’s idea needs to get over the line”, “Jenny has nailed this and we need to make sure that she gets that opportunity because she’ll do such a good job.” That is going to be critical to making sure you succeed.

  • Sparring partners

And finally, this is an invitation for everyone. We all need sparring partners. We all need that group of people who will challenge us, help us refine our ideas, provide valuable feedback on our leadership approach and style, and push us to be the best version of ourselves. It’s crucial to avoid surrounding ourselves with a bunch of yes people and instead be in an active feedback loop.

And as Holly Ransom addressed the attendees, she highlighted an interesting observation: as leaders progress to more senior positions, the presence of sparring partners tends to diminish.

Holly encouraged the audience to consider the importance of having a diverse sparring partner who brings different perspectives and lived experiences. This could be someone from a different background or an entirely different field, challenging you and fueling your curiosity.

As Holly Ransom wrapped up her insights on this matter, she left the attendees with a thought-provoking question:

“Have I got all 4 ?”

So, take a moment to reflect: Do you have the four S’s in your village? If not, make it your priority for the remainder of 2023 to build a community that encompasses these essential aspects. You never know where this supportive network may lead you.

To find out more about Holly Ransom, including her book The Leading Edge, podcasts and other resources check out her website.

We thank our major partner QSuper and our event sponsors KPMG and OnTalent for their support.



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