Courageous leadership

The pursuit of power can be healthy, if undertaken in a spirit of stewardship. MARCIA GRIFFIN

Marcia Griffin

By Marcia Griffin

During the week as per The Executive Connection tradition, all Victorian members and chairs gathered to hear a speaker with a message of global significance.

This year did not disappoint, as the speaker was Richard Olivier (son of Sir Lawrence).

It was fascinating as he dissected the characters of Macbeth in the context of courageous leadership – using Shakespeare to look at the issues of heartfelt leadership and the difference that makes to outcomes in business.

As we know there was a lot that was heartfelt about Macbeth – but not for others – for his own blind ambition and that of his wife Lady Macbeth (with its dire consequences).

I guess throughout history we have seen that type of leadership and its destructive forces played out many times. Around the world today we still have some of those leaders – looking out only for their own power and blind ambition and destroying their country in the process.

On a smaller scale we see this type of leadership in some businesses, generally ending in business collapse, unhappy investors, employees etc.

The theme of blind ambition is a really interesting one and begs the question; what are we prepared to stand for and what are we prepared to stand against?

It also begs the questions:

  • If I am not for myself, who will be?
  • If I am only for myself, what am I?
  • And if not now, when?

Richard Olivier’s thesis is that sustainable leadership is the only valid leadership and that the role of the leader is really to be a good steward – in his words. Stewardship in our organisations calls for respect of individuals and social responsibility, and this includes all stakeholders and the planet – a type of triple bottom line approach.

As I came away from the presentation I thought about the importance of having time to reflect on these issues, as often the tactical requirements of keeping business alive and successful become all consuming and that the quiet leadership of Malcolm.

He eventually wins back the Scottish throne through good strategy and leadership – remember the moving Burnham Wood – is a great reminder of the power of vision, strategic planning and sufficient resilience to fight/work to overcome all obstacles to success!


To read more Marcia Griffin blogs, click here.

High Heeled Success is Marcia Griffin’s latest book, and is a frank account of building a business from a solitary sales person to a multi-million dollar business with 4700 sales consultants around Australia and New Zealand. It recounts successes and failures along the way and was written to inspire entrepreneurs-particularly women to triumph in business.

High Heeled Success (Kerr Publishing) is available directly from Marcia ([email protected]) or Domain Books



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