Head of Assets
One of the hallmarks of a great leader is having their own unique sense of purpose; they know and can articulate why they do what they do. This is best encapsulated in Simon Sinek’s Start with Why framework and I encourage aspiring leaders to watch his TED Talk and reflect on what their own core purpose is.
Identifying this is part of bringing your whole self to work each day and it drives the energy and commitment that breathes life into your leadership.
It has been some 15 years since I was first asked to lead a team. I remember at the time not feeling ready to do so but trusted in myself, and perhaps more so in my then manager’s faith in me, to leap into the void and give it my best shot.
Since that opportunity I’ve led increasingly larger teams, and about five years ago I started leading a team of leaders, which I felt required another level of self-awareness. To me, stepping into leadership is about knowing yourself, standing for something, knowing the impact of your behaviour on others, being conscious of your decisions and staying true to your values.
I’ve been on an amazing leadership development journey at EnergyAustralia where I was selected for the first cohort of their business leadership program, INSPIRE. This was an eye-opening and truly formative experience in which my colleagues and I dug deep, with the assistance of our coaches, to explore our inner selves and articulate and share our Why.
Complementing INSPIRE is a course run by EnergyAustralia’s parent company CLP – in conjunction with the IMD business school in Switzerland – which I was privileged to attend. This experience helped me understand the natural strengths and weakness in my leadership, and how to balance acceptance of who I am with the opportunity to refine aspects of leadership, especially those areas that could be ineffective.
I have always been outcome and achievement focused. I’ve had to find a balance between being confident – that through my leadership I can make a difference – and the notion that not everything is within my control; in other words, when and how to accept that my best may not be good enough.
I feel like I have come a long way as a leader. In my first year at EnergyAustralia I was tentative and perhaps less than inspirational, but since then I’ve been given many opportunities, both on the job and through training courses, and with each opportunity I have been able to grow and develop.
The thing is, there is no arrival point where you know you have ‘made it’ as a leader; it is a voyage of learning and self-discovery. Each time I embark on a new experience I look forward to seeing what I learn through it and where it takes me.
Julian joined EnergyAustralia in February 2013. Hired as a General Manager, Wholesale Market Operations, Julian was offered opportunities to work with Energy Markets and in strategic projects and participated in the first INSPIRE Cohort, EnergyAustralia’s business leadership program.