When I catch up with Bobbi I just get this feeling I’m with a person of serious wisdom. She is quiet and unassuming, but ask Bobbi a question and you suddenly realise she’s absorbed every word that’s been spoken in the previous hour. You receive this highly considered and well thought out response that gets you thinking from a different angle. It gives me great pleasure to bring you Bobbi Mahlab’s #leadership tips.
Who is the best boss you’ve had and why?
The best boss I ever had was Russell Skelton, my editor at the Melbourne Herald. He gave me a chance by giving me a job as a graduate cadet journalist in the business section which he ran. He had quiet confidence in my smarts and ability to learn quickly and he took the time to teach me skills and critique my work. He left me to swim but I never felt I would sink because I knew I would get help when I asked for it. I still use phrases and ideas I learnt from him.
What are your 3 tips for being a better leader?
1. Ask lots of questions. Always. It’s the best way to learn a lot and get insights, input and ideas. 2. Always be up for meeting people and going to events and read, read, read (and listen to podcasts!). 3. When you get something wrong, acknowledge it.
What conventional corporate wisdom no longer applies in today’s workplace?
What success looks like is conventional wisdom that I hope is changing (it still applies but I’d like to see that change!). I think it is really important for each individual to define what success looks like for them, at that stage of their life rather than adopting corporate mantras of promotions, money, status, etc. It’s ok to have a different definition of success to the people around you.
Workplaces are changing, I predict…
The trend to working virtually may slow. The magic that happens when people meet in person can never be underestimated.