Leading By Example: Two of Australia’s Greatest Business Leaders.

Having good leadership can make or break a workplace, and it affects every facet of a business. From customer loyalty to employee morale to sound decision-making, the fate of a company lies in the hands of its leaders and managers. Plenty of corporations have gone belly-up thanks to poor leadership from their bosses, but there CEOs and leaders around Australia who prove that it is possible to be a great boss, and who continue to lead their companies down safe paths to this day. If you think that a leadership position lies in your future, then these are the people whose examples you might want to follow.

DAVID GONSKI

The Gonski Report might have been one of the hottest political topics in recent years, but his contribution to Australia is far outside that of the educational reforms he proposed. As one of Australia’s most prominent businessmen and a leading philanthropist, Gonski is no doubt someone all leaders and managers should strive to emulate. Widely considered to be a kind, humble man, something that can be hard to find in business, his likeable demeanour has certainly aided his success. However, despite this, the Sydney Morning Herald labelled him as “Sydney’s most networked man” in 2008, and one of Australia’s “best-connected businessmen.”

From studying Bachelors of Commerce and Law at the University of New South Wales, Gonski has never shied away from a challenge. Whilst he is the chair of Future Fund at this point, as of 2012, it was estimated that Gonski sat on over 40 boards around the country. In the past, his roles have involved positions with Swiss Re, ASX Limited, and Singapore Airlines, just to name a few.

And as to what makes Gonski such an admirable leader? He has always worked hard to ensure the community is benefiting from his actions, and his philanthropy certainly has not gone unnoticed by his employees, who recognise him as someone well worth working for.

MAILE CARNEGIE

For Carnegie, leadership is always about looking towards the future. As the managing director of Google Australia, the future is where all the focus needs to be. Being a part of what is arguably the biggest company in the world means constant striving for change and development. And for Carnegie, she knows that the future is what you make of it, not just accepting whatever falls into your lap.

For her entire life, she has always been willing to take the risks and chances that others might otherwise avoid. From arguing her case to the Dean at UTS to allow her to do a double degree before it was accepted, to cold-calling Google after working at Procter & Gamble for 21 years, taking initiative is key to Carnegie’s leadership. Combined with her plans for the future, her initiative has made her one of Australia’s best bosses to work for, driving Google Australia firmly into the future.

To follow Carnegie’s lead in business is to keep your eyes firmly fixed on what is coming next, and the best way to approach it. Humility is important, but Carnegie always has faith in what she thinks and what she believes, and that sort of conviction will take you far in a leadership role.

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