After a degree of time as a leader or manager, you are often in recruitment interviews – not only for your business, but often assisting others; or even as I have been lately, the one asked all the questions.

When asked to define a leadership trait or style you often have to pause and think for a while. Start to consider your style and there are some consistent words that jump out.

So, to that question:

How would you define your leadership style?

There are an array of responses that I have heard, and, through our work with Leading Teams in the past we also needed to define our personal trademark. This is what you stand for and how you will be seen, assessed and ultimately lead others.

The trademark behaviour you develop can not only define who you are but give your team the opportunity to hold you to account on such a statement. Personally, I have tried to live those values and define who I am as a leader.

Next week this will be put to the test.


Fearless is one of the key words I always use to define my leadership style.

This was supported by innovation, setting challenges, tackling big tasks or taking on roles or projects that simply had not been considered in the past. I always want to push forward and continue to test capability while ensuring standards are as high as possible.

By constantly challenging the status quo and looking to redefine the situation you can achieve incredible things.

Personally, after 18 years working in one industry and 10 years as a CEO, next week I start in a new environment with equally daunting challenges.

Do I feel fearless at the moment?

For the first time in a very long time, I will walk into a new work environment and start my journey all over again. It is daunting to say the least and that stirring in my stomach is likely to grow over the next 2-3 days.

The first step was knowing change was inevitable and needed to be embraced.

From there on, an the ability to trust that all the years of leadership and management experience have not abandoned me in a new role, but are the reason I have this new opportunity, has been paramount.

The words of support by everyone around me have been incredible and appreciated.

I remember when I was deeply involved in the participation side of sport either as a Coach, Player or Leader, often I would refer to those knots in your stomach as indicators of desire or commitment.

It meant you care about the result and therefore nerves or anticipation was not only normal but an indicator of the way you will approach the task at hand. You actually cared about the result and were destined to give it all that you had!

Now, some of my friends would tell you that those nerves did often get a hold of me on occasions and there was the odd adverse result. I needed to develop ways to embrace those nerves and I used music (or now maybe mindfulness) to focus on why I was feeling the way I was.

It is no different in the work environment and as a leader it is critical to lead in an authentic and transparent manner. There is no point hiding how you feel when you want a team that trusts you and wants to achieve the same results.

I am a great believer in developing an environment that embraces relationships and feelings in order to ensure a team can understand how people cope with different situations.

The next chapter of my career is about to start and the anticipation is real.

I will be taking on a role with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia as the Group Executive; Pharmacy Transformation. A role that is focused on change, innovation, quality, relationships, capability, value and people.

I developed a transformation framework as part of the process which looked at all elements of the need for change and my potential approach.

However, I reflected on the fact that equally it can apply to all of us as individuals:

  • Awareness
  • Motivation
  • Capability
  • Action; and
  • Collaboration

Asking myself the various questions that can come with each of these areas has meant that I can progress to a point of Action.

I was Aware of the need for change, Motivated and Capable – so, now it is about Action and I start all over again.

So, do I feel fearless today?

I am not sure the answer is yes….but I am excited and looking forward to meeting the challenges ahead. I will do this with the same conviction, values and commitment that mean everything to me.

I also know that when I take a look at myself occasionally, I will have approached the opportunity with positivity, enthusiasm and effort.

The main element of support needed is also the last part of the transformation framework and that is ‘Collaboration’.

I often say one of the hardest words to say in a business or even life itself is help.

It is not used as much as it should be and I for one will be relying on the assistance, collaboration, teamwork and ultimately help of all those around me as I face this new challenge.

I often refer to a defining quote by Socrates at various speaking engagements, presentations or even a strategic framework.

So, it is time to ‘start building the new’ and not focus on the past. I look forward to having a new team of people supporting me and some old friends assisting where they can.

Those movements or knots in my stomach have now been redefined (for the moment) and I know I care about the opportunity in front of me!

This article was originally published by Colm Maguire. You can follow Colm on LinkedIn or Twitter. Colm is a client of Leading Teams and formerly the CEO of Touch Football Australia.  He starts a new role at the Pharmacy Guild of Australia in August 2017.



Leading Teams Client

Leading Teams Client