Real Life Story – Emma Taylor

Real Life Story – Emma Taylor

As Head of Technology for Virgin Australia, Emma knows a thing or two about leadership. She has worked in various industries, starting as a programmer with NAB.

During this real-life interview, we will hear some of the highlights of Emma’s career, and how she got to where she is today.

We Need Better Managers, Not More Leaders

We Need Better Managers, Not More Leaders

Stop Making More Leaders! 

Managers and Leaders are two separate identities.

Managers are the ones who get stuff done. The ones that make sure the doors open of a morning, the customers are served and the business is operating well. 


Leaders are the ones with the ideas. The visions. The Idealists who believe there is a better way. They are able to communicate their ideas and get people to follow them. 


But they aren’t always the doers. 


So why are we focusing on developing more leaders everywhere?

We NEED the doers to bring the visions to life! And if you’ve got so many leaders it’s like having too many cooks in the kitchen – chaos ensues as everyone has a different vision, and all the energy is going toward getting followers – not getting anything done!


Look at some organisations that have a great vision, AND operate well – they have confident, effective managers who are skilled in all facets of management that allow them to execute and build the vision. These managers are ones who are able to value their people, apply their strengths and allow everyone to be heard and fulfilled in their job. 


And I’m betting that’s what you want to do to right? Be an effective manager, caring about your people and helping them to grow and develop and to be the best they can be?


If this is you, then you are striving to become a truly human leader – someone who puts their people first, works to their strengths and creates a safe and encouraging environment, building a high performing team in the process. 


For this to occur you need to focus on the 4 core management competencies that will build your confidence, AND your results. These are


  • Setting Clear Expectations
  • Delegating Effectively
  • Giving AND receiving feedback
  • Coaching skills


Let’s go a bit deeper into each of these:

Setting clear expectations:  This is the biggest conflict creator in ANY workplace. People blame communication, but I take it back one step further and ask the really obvious question – did that person know EXACTLY what you expected of them? Did you actually spell it out or write it down?

And the answer (if the manager is honest with me, is always a no – I could have done this better). 

Knowing how to clearly set the expectation and to do it up front will save you countless conflict and hassle, rework and frustration. The process to do this involves many steps, and includes creating the vision, defining the actual requirements, assessing capabilities and defining what success looks like. 

Take a brief moment to assess yourself in this area – can you be clearer with your expectations? 


Delegating effectively: When this is not being done properly, you’ll find yourself saying “It’s easier just to do it myself!” There is an art to delegating and involves quite a few steps to be done properly. How is your delegation going?


Feedback – The ‘tough’ conversations. If you actually just remove the fear around hurting someone’s feelings, and put respect for them and their growth in front of your own fear, you’ll find that these conversations are not hard at all. And can be very rewarding when you have the mindset of helping – not just telling.  And to do this, we need to develop some coaching skills. 


Coaching skills – For you to develop into a confident manager, you HAVE to start getting your team to think for themselves. And to do this, we need some coaching skills.

Go and read up on the GROW coaching model – it’s the framework of any coaching method and can be used in meetings, over the phone, to fix problems, for performance development and so much more. 


Once you have mastered these 4 core management skills, you’ll start to see your team taking on their own responsibilities, knowing what is required of them and pushing themselves to get there. You’ll see harmony, less conflict and your results will improve. 

Your managers will notice, and you’ll be invited to share what’s working, mentor other managers and really start to influence the direction of the organisation. 


Yep, through management skills – not leadership skills. 


And I teach you all of the steps involved in this in our Management for Impact program. Register your interest for our next program – starting in early February 2022.


Check It Out Here


 Spaces are limited as everyone also gets a 1:1 session to help them implement what they are learning. So get in quick if you want to get started on this RIGHT NOW!

What is Leadership

What is Leadership

This is a great question that is not asked often enough -“What is Leadership?” We can try and define it by dictionary standards, or I can give you my version.


My version is that a leader is someone who others willingly follow. 


Note there is no reference to rank, or seniority or position or title. And that’s because we are conditioned to follow a manager, just because they are higher up in the corporate ranking system than us.

Does this make them a leader?

No way.

However, if you find someone whose ideas resonate with you, who seems to speak your ‘language’ and you trust them – you follow them. That might be a peer, or it might be someone in a different department or it might very well be your manager. Hopefully, it’s your CEO.

Let’s ask a different question though. One, I believe, is far more important.

Do you WANT to be a leader?

Just because you are a manager, doesn’t make you a leader. You can be a manager but not a leader. The two are NOT the same thing.

Does knowing that change your definition of a leader? I hope it would.

So then, if a manager and leader are not the same thing – and you can be a manager without being a leader, WOULD you WANT to be a leader? What does it mean to be a leader? What does it take to be a leader?

These are the questions that I believe are more important to ask. So, let say then , that you’re on a journey of discovery with me today here. (Thank you, by the way) In order to help answer these questions, let me elaborate.

I believe a leader consists of 3 elements, and you need all of these in some degree to become a leader. The next step is to improve in these areas to become a better leader 🙂

1. Courage 

What is courage? How do we define courage is different for everybody. My view is that courage is doing something you feel afraid to. Kind of like, feel the fear and do it anyway? But courage is also about being the one to speak up. For yourself. And for your team. Speaking up for your business and for your customers. Courage means also putting yourself out there to be the FIRST to do something. Because we know that putting ourselves ‘out there’ can be scary – again, this comes to feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
So you need to have courage in some degree if you are going to be a leader. You can have all the ideas in the world, but unless you step up and ACT on these ideas (even if it means just talking to someone else), they will just stay with you. You need COURAGE to ACT.

2. Curiosity

Why have I put curiosity in there? Well, glad you asked! This is a trait that brings about innovation. It brings change. Because if you don’t have the curiosity to ask questions – how will know what you need to lead? If you are going to sit back and act on what is given to you – then you are a follower. And this is ok. But if you truly want to LEAD, then you are going to have to a good dose of curiosity. Find out what the problems are, Learn about your people, Ask questions to know where you can help.

3. Empathy

Ah, the good ole empathy card. I can just hear you groaning now. Let’s not get this confused with sympathy. They are VASTLY different things. But why then is empathy important to leadership?

I believe it’s a critical element because by having and displaying empathy, you gain trust. You develop rapport. You can seriously understand what someone is going through. And when you can describe someone’s problems better than they can, you will have yourself a follower for life. Having empathy allows others to feel heard and understood.

And if you need followers to be a  leader, you have to develop empathy so they will trust you, and yep, you got it – follow you.

So, let’s ask again – “What is Leadership?”

What are your thoughts on this now?  Does this post help you to answer that? What do you think the response would be if you went to your manager and asked – what is leadership? Are you on the same page? Maybe it’s an exercise to ask your team?

So now you know this, let’s go back to my question: Do you WANT to be a leader?

Leadership is not defined by hierarchy, it’s defined by these 3 elements. If you chose YES to being a leader – then let us help you develop into these characteristics and come and join the Her Leadership Journey Membership.

Real Life Story – Kerry Grace

Real Life Story – Kerry Grace

This interview with Kerry Grace was personal, it was a bit raw and Kerry was completely true to her own value of honesty.

She spoke of her own imposter syndrome, and how she has learnt to stay true to her values and her own leadership. 

Kerry revealed her take on the difference between leadership and management and her advice to surround yourself with those who believe in you and that you can trust.