As a Strong Leader, What Does Leadership Mean to You???

This is a question that I regularly ask leaders, in an attempt to both learn from them, and to find out how they are able to achieve what they have by leading their teams to greatness! 

Sheena Trumble is the General Manager of Thermoview, a thermographic testing (electrical hot joints) company, based in Adelaide. Sheena has had an amazingly successful career, and she is amazing to talk to, as you will see in the video that goes with this blog! 

I really enjoyed the chat with Sheena, she is quite direct, to the point, and a of course very people focused, empathetic and caring of others. 

Here is what I learnt from Sheena about her take on Leadership: 

Leadership is about empathy 

So, what does empathy look like, in practice? Being empathetic requires you to be: 

  1. Caring enough to listen to the viewpoints of others, and ‘walking a mile in their shoes’
  2. Caring enough to understand the ideas and opinions of others
  3. Caring enough to work with them to come to a solution or a resolution

When you have got decisions to make, it is important to have clarity on why you are making the decision and what the impact will be. 

The best decisions are arrived at in collaboration! 

At one end of the scale is apathy. As a leader, being apathetic is both obvious, and condescending. Whilst you are saying one thing about how important something is to you, or the business, you are demonstrating (consciously or unconsciously) that you are not interested in what is important to those affected by your decisions.  

If, as a leader, you are committed to ‘empowered and collaborative decision making’, and you are committed to taking a ‘we, not me’ approach, you will be naturally empathetic with your team members, and others in the business. 

Being sympathetic, is the other end of the scale, and you will experience this more when your team members are struggling with personal issues, or personal challenges. 

At the end of the day, empathy wins every time! 

Opposites attract 

We all love people like us, right. Right.   

Does that mean that we should hire people like us? Personally, I agree with Sheena when she says that we should look for people that are very different to us. Look for people that support our weaknesses and look for people who have weaknesses that we can coach them through, as their leader. 

It is a great strategy, and one that proves that it certainly is both possible, and practical, to actively search for people that are unlike us. As long as they are a good fit for the team, and will integrate into the culture of the business easily, why not bring them into the team … 

Put people into roles that support their strengths 

Do more of what you are good at, and work on what you are not, as the old saying goes. 

I don’t really agree with that saying, as I think it should be, do what you are good at (and put people in roles that they are good at), and help them find support to do the things that they are not good at. As a leader coach, I try to discourage leaders from trying to get people to turn their weaknesses into strengths! Why not just get them some help or support … maybe not always possible, but a way better option, in my humble opinion!!! 

In summary, be empathetic, and understand others view points. Hire people that are not like you (as hard as that might be). And finally, help people play to their strengths – it will be so much better for the team!!!

And please click the image below if you’d like to chat about what leadership means to you.

If you would like to learn more about Anton or The Guinea Group, please click hereto book into Anton’s calendar, to:

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About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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