Leaders lead by example. They set the pace by actioning the behaviours they want to see from their teams, stakeholders, and anyone else they have influence over.
In my time at Telstra, I have worked closely with several leaders who have had an enormous influence on the company culture. They’ve made complex things simple to understand and helped me find my courage by showing that they care.
As a leader, I try to show the right behaviour to drive a great culture for my team and try to replicate what I’ve seen excellent leaders do. Here’s what I believe are the most important and impactful behaviours great leaders possess.
Having real conversations
Great leaders have real conversations with the people they work with. Having a human connection with your team influences their productivity and produces great results. Instead of letting things go back and forth over email, you can pick up the phone and easily resolve the issue at hand.
When things aren’t going right, it’s your responsibility as a leader to give constructive feedback to your members and have difficult conversations to get things running again. It’s important to use these conversations to understand your team’s motivations and any underlying issues they may have. This will let you effectively influence your team to achieve the priorities and outcomes you’ve set for them.
Trusting teams to deliver
The very best leaders have trust in their teams and their teams trust them to lead. You may have excellent strategies or an amazing work ethic, but without trust, it will be challenging to achieve results through your team. At Telstra, we want our teams to be able to work quickly and effectively, which is why we empower them to use their expertise to make and act on decisions. It is only through clear communication and connection that your team will feel liberated to voice their opinions and perform to the best of their ability.
As leaders, we have to trust our people to make decisions. Sometimes they might not be right, but you can use it as an opportunity to coach or provide a learning experience in the future. By empowering people and improving their experience as an employee, it repurposes their energy and focus to drive outcomes.
Promoting a fun and energetic work environment
Lastly, leaders need to facilitate a fun and energetic work environment where people genuinely enjoy working together. Telstra is by far the most supportive and inclusive workplace that I have ever worked in. The senior leaders help the team members contribute in their unique way to make the organisation an energetic environment of progress and learning. We encourage people to live our company values and support each other through every moment. Having this culture of support and inclusivity allows our people to grow their careers while being their most authentic selves.