Thank you to the 1,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading
7 Questions with Kevin Mack
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Kevin Mack
Name: Kevin Mack
Current title: Mayor
Current organisation: AlburyCity
40 years in Victoria Police. Albury City Councillor since 2012. Mayor for seven years. Chair of Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation. Chair of Regional Capital Australia. Deputy Chair Regional Cities NSW.
1. What have you found most challenging as a board member?
As a chair and member of boards the challenges can be meeting expectations of your board and also staff. Invariably my focus is to summarise the consensus on issues to enable clarity and reinforce our objective. Getting lost in meaningless detail can undermine productive outcomes so it is important to maintain a solution focus with strategic outcomes.
2. How did you become a board member? Can you please briefly tell the story?
As a policemen with a youth focus I spent a lot of time and energy maintaining an operational focus. Barriers always seemed to be legislation or the regulatory framework. Often ignoring the needs of the young person and their families. I began the board journey with Wodonga TAFE and also including philanthropic youth related organisations, PCYC’s etc. My role was as a Subject Matter Expert but it evolved into chairing and extended committees. AUDIT RISK, HR etc. Great experience for balanced representation.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
As the Mayor I have a part time responsibility with a full-time output. My council calendar is the starting
point but the response required is never consistent with the plan. Recent pandemic issues have required an inordinate requirement for 24/7 representation. My family can attest to my reliance on phones and iPads but the job is what you make it. I love it.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
I think it is important to frame your personality to suit the circumstances. As a Mayor it is important to maintain the integrity of the decision making process. My outspoken traits have largely take a backseat but it doesn’t prevent me from having a view. You become a more strategic, patient and inclusive leader. Bring everyone along on the journey. Not just DO.....Listen!
5. What are some of the keys to doing governance well in a organisation?
Maintain the integrity of the decision making process whether you agree or disagree.
Follow good consistent meeting practice, listening skills and be fair. Do not utilise meeting practice rules to isolate free speech. Importantly always have a sense of humour. Rigid chairing or participation negates healthy discussion and positive relationship building.
6. How do you differentiate between the role of board member and the roles of CEO or executive team
member of a organisation?
Know what you can and can’t do. Read your papers and learn the business. Being an expert does not qualify you to form generalised assumptions about your team. Listen and build good relationships as this keeps you in good stead for more productive outcomes as a business or organisation.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a board member so far?
I have worked diligently from day one on council to form a cross
border partnership with Wodonga. My board were willing,
however, historically they were not. We needed to understand the cultural divide and find common purpose. During our own discussions I would always reference Albury Wodonga as the opportunity not the problem. Consequently we have a Two Cities One Community MOU.(first of its kind in Australia between two border councils.) We have successfully negotiated a Regional Deal with the Federal Government and look forward to the future as one community.