Nicolle’s Leadership Story – “Choosing to Lead”

“I could choose to cruise and be comfortable in my role, like I have been for the last three years, but I have chosen to become uncomfortable and make real progress as a leader."

Nicolle Korp was a participant in the 2017 Rob Hunt Transformational Leadership Development Program, and she is the Regional Manager of Business Management for DELWP, Loddon Mallee Region.

Nicolle and her manager had been looking together for something to take Nicole to the next level; she knew that her role could be so much more than simply fulfilling a technical role.

“I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking for and it wasn’t until I was inside the leadership program that I realised I was in the right place to make the change I needed.”

Two days before the first leadership program day, Nicolle’s organisation announced a restructure. At such an incredibly stressful time, she really wanted to not attend and instead be with her team as they faced difficult changes.

“I realise now, that attending the program was the best thing I could do for my team,” she says. “Getting to know myself better, helps me react better to challenging situations.”

The sessions are facilitated by Fabian Datner, who provides participants with a tool kit and individual tools to lead to transformation. Fabian believes that great leaders are set apart from other leaders when they, “…have the ability to hold high stakes, risky, sensitive or emotional conversations and hold them well.”

Nicolle knows that after the six-day program, she has the right tools in place for her team as they go through a restructure.

“I don’t avoid what needs to be done anymore,” she shares.

The Lifestyle Inventory assessment showed Nicolle that she has a strong passive or defensive style of leadership. It clearly identified that when she is challenged, she avoids those situations and “Puts her head in the sand”.

“When the program first started, I wanted to speak up and say that a Acknowledgement to Country needed to happen.”

Nicolle knew that if she suggested that a Acknowledgement to Country should happen, that she would be asked to deliver it. “Not only did I deliver the Acknowledgement to Country in the next session,” Nicole smiles, “Fabian coached me to deliver the Acknowledgement to Country so that I enabled others to connect and explore and embrace the Acknowledgement to Country as their own.”

“I chose to take the Acknowledgement to Country beyond a tick the box, and explain why the acknowledgement is important to me and how I am connected to the Acknowledgement.”

“Sharing my personal story opened up the group and everyone shared their different connections to our indigenous heritage. I felt so proud to share my family story and found it added meaning to everyone I was speaking with.”

“When you craft a story so that it is really about sharing, and not about avoiding a situation because you are worried about what everyone will be thinking, people really connect. This is a leadership skill called, ‘self-actualising’. Through your leadership, you help others connect to their story or become curious to find connections.”

“I have had conversations that were difficult in the past, where I felt like I had been clear, but in fact I wasn’t, and so we didn’t connect.”

“Now I know how to ‘hold the space’, so that I can have adult conversations where another person can put forward their point of view without fear of judgement. We can only work towards solutions and the best way of doing things with conversations that are genuine and where each party can accept responsibility.”

The experience of the program has given Nicolle a level of calmness, whereas before the program, she had felt very chaotic. “In my work, I can see that I have a role as a leader to influence a culture where people love to come to work and want to do their best. Not just in my team, but for the whole region.”

Nicolle explains that she has stepped out of a darkened room where all she had was a torch to shine momentarily on a single spot. “I thought I had everything I needed with a torch, but now I realise that with all the lights on, I am in a glass room with views that are amazing. There is so much more than what I thought possible.”

To find out more about the Rob Hunt Transformational Leadership Program, click here.

This article is courtesy of Tamara Marwood, Creative Director of Create Business, delivering strategy and content for businesses to engage their audience and create attention.