What I’ve learned about being a great leader (instead of just a good one!)

By Juleen Shields


Through a lot of observation, as well as my own experience managing teams, I’ve come to understand something fundamental: a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach definitely doesn’t apply if you want to be an inspiring and successful leader.

The best leaders I’ve seen really get to know the people they’re working with and understand what motivates them individually. They get results because they’re adapting to the people they’re working with, and not the other way around.

I’ve also discovered a number of other unexpected but valuable skills that great leaders possess, including the ability to self-reflect (surprise surprise, leaders can also make mistakes!), a sense of humour and being a good storyteller.

Great leaders bring their people on the journey with them and place trust in their team to execute a plan. When people feel included, trusted and valued they will bring the best of themselves to work every day.

Great communication is key

I was once managed by our current General Manager, Samantha Breust, in her former role as a Regional Manager, the one person thus far in my career who has inspired me the most.

Samantha has mastered the skills of motivational speaking and storytelling. Whenever she came up with a new initiative or plan for the region, she would deliver the message in such a way that you felt absolutely pumped and excited. She also made us all feel we could carry the task out independently.

With my own team at Konekt Workcare, I make sure they maintain their consistently high performance by instilling the importance of communication at all times – in Vocational Rehabilitation, communication is key!

I ensure my consultants are communicating with all stakeholders by encouraging them to think of their client as their mother, father, brother or sister – and think about how they would want or expect them to be treated and have their file managed.

I also have a saying I always share with any new staff member: There is no such thing as a silly question; just a silly person who didn’t ask the question. I want everyone on my team to always feel comfortable coming to me for assistance. It helps me identify gaps in their knowledge or confidence and I can then provide them with the tools, skills or buddy they need to overcome these gaps. Once this happens, performance takes care of itself.

Over the past six years, I’ve had a fantastic journey with Konekt Workcare. It is impossible to list all the opportunities the company has provided me, but thanks to the caring, driven and knowledgeable leadership I’ve worked under, I’ve completed my Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety and grown to become a leader of my own team.

Does this sound like the ideal place to develop your career too? Head to our website for opportunities to join our team and subscribe below for more articles like this.

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