Leadership lessons from outgoing VLDC chief

Leanne Ansell-McBride, CEO of the Victorian Leadership Development Centre, is stepping down to take up a new role in the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance.

But before handing in her VLDC lanyard, she left some leadership lessons picked up from leaders she admires — from Mahatma Gandhi to Nelson Mandela and FDR — for their love of learning and humility to the actions they take to the actions they take to build trust and help the team succeed.

Love for learning

People look up to leaders who have the humility to admit they don’t know it all. Not being the first to share your views also encourages others to share their views, which leads to more informed decisions. Leaders who let their team know they are always looking to learn set a good example for others and promote a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Mahatma Gandhi was known as a lifelong learner.

Lead by example – role model desired behaviours

As leaders we are often trying to create cultural change. What the leader does and does not do has the biggest impact on culture – not the ‘agreed values’ and the wall charts. How you treat others, and what you focus on in your work, will set the tone and the culture for the organisation. Gandhi was a leader who was noted for walking the talk in every way. Think about the last difficult interaction you had – how did you role model respect, impartiality, accountability, honesty or transparency – key VPS values?

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