How to stay in front

There are four key elements to authentic leadership, and really, they’re not all that hard to follow. NAOMI SIMSON

Naomi Simson

By Naomi Simson

I was asked to speak recently to an audience of women executives on the difference between leadership and management. If you read my blog regularly you will know that I have some very clear ideas about this.

For me, leadership is about bringing every one together with what they have in common – shared vision and values. Management is about nurturing people’s uniqueness as individuals, so that they are doing what they a good at most – contributing their strengths to the greater effort.

I enjoyed listening to Maree Morizzi, head of consumer car loans, auto finance division at ESANDA, at this same event on her views on leadership and what it takes. It was interesting that both of us speak of authenticity and being true to yourself. Here are Maree’s thoughts:

Authentic leadership: 4 key elements


  • Congruence is being consistent by “walking the talk”, and leading by example.
  • Being who you are, in every moment and every interaction.
  • Doing what you say you are going to do and delivering on promises.
  • Standing up for what you believe in.


  • Not being afraid to do away with the sacred cows.
  • Being open-minded.
  • Testing new ideas.
  • Sailing unchartered waters.
  • Being upfront when things don’t work.


  • Open, honest, frank communication.
  • Being straight-up in delivering messages, not sugar coating.
  • Calling behaviours that are inconsistent with the values of your business.
  • Being completely transparent about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
  • Communication that is meaningful and relevant to people.

Positive emotion

  • Positive emotion is important in setting tone as the leader, show your passion for what you do.
  • Adapting and shifting tone and emotion is important, emotion needs to be relevant to the situation and context.
  • Positive emotion enables you to get into the hearts and minds of people.

This is a far more eloquent way of saying “you can’t fake it until you make it”. You have to believe in what you do…. and play full out to get it. My mantra as you know is “if it is meant to be, it is up to me.” But likewise I cannot do it on my own.


Naomi Simson is the founder and CEO (Chief Experiences Officer) of RedBalloon Days, Naomi is passionate about pleasure! Backed by enthusiasm, energy and drive and recently named one of Australia’s best bosses (Australia’s Marketing Employer of Choice), the Entrepreneurs Organisation (Sydney Chapter) President 2007 – 2008 and mother of two, Naomi also inspires others as a regular speaker, writes a blog and has recently completed her first book .
To read more Naomi Simson blogs, click here .


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