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Kick goals with leadership tips from Eagles Chairman

By CCIWA Editor 

Good leaders must be creative, brave, energetic, authentic and emotionally intelligent – that’s the advice from West Coast Eagles Chairman and Hawaiian CEO Russell Gibbs.

Gibbs, who sits on a several boards in addition to WCE including Satterley Property Group, St Ives and Murdoch University Foundation, says CEOs can also learn a lot from being on a a board.

“You can go off to Harvard and learn theory but when you sit on a board and you’re really accountable then you have to be engaged with what other companies are doing, so it’s good in that regard,” he says.

“It gives you wider exposure, it’s good for networking as you certainly meet high performing individuals on those boards as well.

“Networking is good for your own company as well, in terms of brand. When it comes to not-for-profits there comes very much a responsibility that you should do that because you are by nature of the position a high performer or have networks that not-for-profits can leverage contacts, skills and knowledge for example.”

In terms of skill set, Gibbs – who grew up in Maddington – says he sits in the camp of generalists.

“You don’t have to be an accountant or a lawyer but have a broader skillset. A well-rounded general manager should be able to know when something isn’t quite right, at which point you should go out and seek external advice,” he says.

“You shouldn’t be using your board members for legal advice, finance advice. It’s restricting yourself to that person’s opinion.”

Tips for a good leader

Gibbs’ five traits that make a good leader in no particular order are as follows:

  1. Creativity: That comes through being well travelled and keeping your mind open to ideas.
  2. Bravery: Sometimes you have to go against the trend of the norm and you have to be able to take your idea and execute it.
  3. Energy: People really follow energy. They want their leaders to be energetic and inspiring. You don’t set out to be inspiring – it’s the energy and creativity.
  4. Emotional Quotient: You have to be EQ. The emotional intelligence side of things is really important. So not just being about empathy, that’s part of it, but also mindfulness of yourself, who you are and what your limitations are and through that your understanding of other people as well.
  5. Authenticity: You’ve got to be authentic. You can’t manufacture. You’re either accepted and be real about it, but don’t try and pretend. And there’s nothing wrong with saying I don’t like to stand out the front and speak.
Good leaders must be creative, brave, energetic, authentic and emotionally intelligent – that’s the advice from West Coast Eagles Chairman and Hawaiian CEO Russell Gibbs.

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