Q&A: An Interview with Lynda Folan

1. Describe your personality

I think if I were to ask others they would describe me as an outgoing, energetic person who generally has an opinion about most things. The person that I have become has been hugely influenced by the fact that I have lived on three different continents and have travelled to over 85 countries. Personally I would describe myself as someone with a love of life and a strong belief that we make our own success.

2. What are your strengths as a consultant?

Having spent most of my career in international executive roles I believe that I have the ability to offer broad based strategic thinking coupled with pragmatic realism of what works and does not work in business. As a consultant my strength lies in energising and enthusing individuals, teams and organisations to go beyond their own expectations and to look for new possibilities. With an academic background in Organisational Psychology I have a strong leaning towards a deeper psychological perspective on business issues.

3. What’s the most memorable workshop you’ve conducted and why?

I guess the most memorable workshop I can recall was one that was conducted on an ocean liner out to sea. The workshop happened to take place in the middle of a massive storm. Delegates were turning green and running from the conference room at regular intervals. This was rather off putting to say the least. We were asked to continue with the workshop through the storm so it was just … Continue reading

Developing Leaders by Ron Cacioppe

With the W.A. economy accelerating, many companies are moving rapidly forward with energy and resource projects. Organisations are hiring new people and pushing their managers to complete projects on time and on budget. Dealing with technical challenges, letting of contracts, hiring manpower, managing costs, maintaining safety and environmental standards and meeting project deadlines have become their main priorities. But the factor that most results in success is often left out: developing leaders who inspire, motivate, plan strategically and manage performance of the workforce.

During this rapid growth, frontline workers are being promoted to supervisors, supervisors are promoted to middle managers and middle managers are given higher levels of responsibility often without the necessary training and support to be effective leaders. As a result, good staff leave because of poor leadership. A survey by the Australian Institute of Management found that the biggest cause of people leaving their organisation was not salary, poor work conditions, or other organisation factors but was poor management. The results were summarised as; “People don’t leave their organisations, they leave their managers.”

A study of outstanding leaders by Jay Conger, a well known expert in leadership development, showed that good leaders developed in three major ways:

Working for an outstanding leader provided a role model that successful leaders emulated. Working for a poor leader provided clear guidelines of what not to do. Being placed in a challenging situation gave leaders responsibility that moved them out of their comfort zone and tested their stamina, intellectual and emotional … Continue reading