Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with
helps you in your leadership.
Name: Juliet Robinson
Title: Leadership Specialist
Organisation: Big Goals
I am a leadership and change management specialist with over 20 years of consulting experience across listed, private, government and not for profit organisations. I specialise in helping leaders plan for and guide their teams through culture and process change, and building leadership capability to develop and deliver sustainable change.
I am raising a teenager and two ridiculous dogs, and love working in my garden when I'm not travelling.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Bringing people with you and keeping them as motivated as I feel.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
My first leadership role was setting up and running an African travel business, sending people in safari to Africa just as the continent was opening up. From there I went back to uni to do my MBA and have been running businesses and consulting to leaders ever since.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am an early riser and I walk the dogs first thing. I then make a pot of coffee and work on whatever needs doing - client projects, marketing materials etc until early afternoon. In the afternoon I manage life maintenance, do a meditation, work on my not for profit projects and connect with friends. I try not to work in the evenings.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
The importance of vulnerability. I was reminded of this in a recent workshop I was running when one of the participants was very open about his struggle to be assertive. By raising this he made it possible for everyone in the room to admit to things they were struggling with.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Patrick Lencioni's The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is such a simple book, written as a leadership fable, and I come back to it so often in guiding a team. It sets out his model for a high performing team, with the elements of trust, conflict, commitment, accountability and results, and I use it often to help teams connect with what is really important in the ways that they work together. If we can get those five elements right, there is nothing our teams can't do.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Your role is not to have all the answers. It is to gather together and lead the people who can help you find those answers.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
When I was running my first business and I went back to study, I was struck by the diversity of experience we as students brought to the lectures. I also loved being able to talk about what worked and what didn't work with them, as I couldn't talk with my team.
Since then I have always looked for different perspectives on issues, particularly if it is something I am grappling with, to ensure I don't take a narrow view. And I have always looked for other leaders with whom I can share experiences and advice and create a community.