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7 Questions on Leadership with Jane Thomason


Name: Jane Thomason


Title: Web3/Metaverse author


Organisation: Web3 Institute/ World Metaverse Council


Dr. Jane is Founder of Web3 Institute and Emeritus Chair of the World Metaverse Council, and a globally recognized thought leader on Metaverse and Web3. She holds distinguished roles on the editorial board of “ Journal of Metaverse” And “Frontiers in Blockchain” She is the author of “Advancements in the New World of Web 3” . She was featured by CNN in “Decoding the Secrets of the Metaverse,” and is AIBC Eurasia as “Web 3 Leader of the Year.”


Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!


I hope Jane's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Cheers,

Jonno White



1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?


You have to be always on. A leader is not a 9-5 job. Its constant and especially with the exponential growth of technologies. Always on, always scanning the future and always communicating.


2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?


YOU OFTEN HEAR THE TERMS LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT INTERCHANGED. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME. YOU CAN BE A GREAT LEADER BUT A POOR MANAGER. YOU CAN BE AN EFFECTIVE MANAGER, BUT NOT A LEADER.


A LEADER IS GOING SOMEWHERE.


A LEADER LEADS.


A LEADER NEEDS TO HAVE A VISION AND BE GOING SOMEWHERE – WITH AN IDEA, WITH AN ORGANIZATION, WITH A COUNTRY. A LEADER MUST HAVE FOLLOWERS – OR THEY CANNOT BE A LEADER.


WE WERE NOT ALWAYS LEADERS. SOMETIMES, LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES ARE THRUST UPON US.


WHEN THAT DAY COMES – HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?


WHAT KIND OF LEADER WILL YOU BE?


WILL YOU OVERCOME YOUR FEAR AND RISE TO THE CHALLENGE?

WE ALL HAVE FEARS, FEAR OF LONELINESS AND INADEQUACY, FEAR OF FAILURE, FEAR OF STANDING OUT. IN EVERY GROUP OF PEOPLE, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE LEADERS. IF YOU DO NOT LEAD, SOMEONE ELSE WILL. IF YOU DO NOT SET THE EXAMPLE FOR YOUR CHILDREN, SOMEONE ELSE WILL. IF YOU DO NOT SET THE STANDARD IN YOUR WORK PLACE, SOMEONE ELSE WILL.


LEAPING INTO THE LEADERSHIP CHASM

LET ME SHARE WITH YOU MY EXPERIENCE, WHEN I WAS CALLED UPON TO LEAD. I WAS ASKED TO TAKE UP A CHALLENGE THAT WAS BEYOND MY WILDEST IMAGINATION.


I JOINED QUEENSLAND HEALTH AFTER 15 YEARS LIVING AND WORKING OVERSEAS AS DIRECTOR OF WOMEN’S HEALTH. ONLY A FEW MONTHS AFTER I ARRIVED, THE DEPARTMENT WAS RESTRUCTURED AND MY JOB WAS ABOLISHED. THE VERY NEXT DAY, THE DIRECTOR GENERAL ASKED ME IF I WOULD TAKE OVER THE RUNNING OF THE ROYAL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL, THE TERTIARY PAEDIATRIC TEACHING HOSPITAL. I SAID TO HIM “ YOU KNOW I’VE NEVER RUN A HOSPITAL”. HE SAID “ I KNOW, BUT WE THINK YOU’LL BE GOOD”…


I SAID “WHEN WOULD I START?”

HE ANSWERED “MONDAY”.


I HAD NO CLINICAL TRAINING. I HAD RARELY BEEN TO A HOSPITAL… I HAD CERTAINLY NEVER RUN A HOSPITAL….THE HOSPITAL WAS HIGHLY SPECIALIZED WITH 1500 STAFF AND 46 MEDICAL SUB-SPECIALTIES.


I HAD 24 HOURS TO DECIDE. IT WAS TOP SECRET A CABINET LEVEL APPOINTMENT. I WAS GIVEN THE NAME OF ONE PERSON I COULD DISCUSS THE DECISION WITH. MY DECISION WAS MADE, WHEN SHE TOLD ME THAT WHAT EVER I DID, I COULD NOT MAKE IT IN A WORSE SHAPE THAN IT WAS ALREADY IN!!!


SHE WAS RIGHT.


THE HOSPITAL WAS IN A MESS. IT WAS $5 MILLION OVER BUDGET 6 WEEKS BEFORE THE END OF THE FINANCIAL YEAR. IT HAD:

NO STRATEGIC PLAN OR BUSINESS PLANS

NO MEANINGFUL FINANCIAL REPORTING, NO PROSPECT OF FINANCIAL CONTROL

NO COST CENTRE MANAGEMENT

STALLED ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

SKILLED MEDICAL POLITICIANS MANIPULATING MANAGEMENT INFORMALLY BUT NO FORMAL PARTICIPATION OF DOCTORS IN MANAGEMENT

ALL SENIOR NURSES WERE MODELED AFTER FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE OR ATILLA

THE HUN – NOTHING IN BETWEEN

NO COOPERATION BETWEEN DISCIPLINARY GROUPS

HIGH LEVELS OF STAFF DISSATISFACTION

MANAGEMENT WAS PHYSICALLY SEPARATED FROM HOSPITAL OPERATIONS

ADVERSARIAL RELATIONS WITH THE UNIONS


THE EXECUTIVE WERE CERTAINLY NOT MANAGING – LET ALONE PROVIDING LEADERSHIP.

THE DIRECTOR OF NURSING WAS LIKE FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE

THE MEDICAL SUPERINTENDENT WAS LIKE A MAD SCIENTIST

THE DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE SERVICES WAS LIKE BASIL FAWLTY

MY PERSONAL ASSISTANT WAS LIKE MARILYN MUNROE IN “GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES”


EXECUTIVE MEETINGS WOULD GO FOR DAYS AND DISCUSS STRATEGIC ITEMS SUCH AS THE PLY OF THE TOILET PAPER…


WHAT WAS I TO DO?

I LISTENED, I LEARNED (I HAD SO MUCH TO LEARN ABOUT HOSPITALS – I WOULD RING UP A FRIEND WHO RAN A HOSPITAL AND ASK BASIC QUESTIONS LIKE- “WHY DOES A HOSPITAL NEED STEAM ?”)

THEN I STARTED MAKING DECISIONS.

I LEAPT WITH BOTH FEET INTO THE CHASM…

AND IT WAS OK.


BY THE FOLLOWING FINANCIAL YEAR


THE HOSPITAL WAS ON BUDGET

STRATEGIC PLAN AND BUSINESS PLANS COMPLETED

MEANINGFUL FINANCIAL REPORTING AND SOUND FINANCIAL CONTROLS WERE IN PLACE

COST CENTRE MANAGEMENT WAS IMPLEMENTED

WE HAD IMPLEMENTED A NEW ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE WITH REPRESENTATION FROM MEDICAL ,NURSING AND ALLIED HEALTH

WE HAD FORMAL PARTICIPATION OF DOCTORS ON THE EXECUTIVE

NEW MODERN DIRECTOR OF NURSING AND NURSING MANAGEMENT TEAM

MOVED THE EXECUTIVE OFFICES INTO THE HOSPITAL WORKS

CONSTRUCTIVE RELATIONS WITH THE UNIONS


HOW THAT HAPPEN?


I ACTED. I MADE DECISIONS. JUDGMENT IS WHAT YOU DO WHEN YOU DON’T (AND CAN’T) KNOW WHAT TO DO (BUT YOU SENSE YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING - FAST!). I EXERCISED A LOT OF THAT. I LISTENED A LOT… THEN I EXERCISED JUDGMENT.


ALIGN INDIVIDUAL AND ORGANISATIONAL INTERESTS


ORGANIZATIONS DO NOT SUCCEED – PEOPLE DO. ORGANIZATIONAL SUCCESS AND INDIVIDUAL SUCCESS MUST BE ALIGNED – MOST PEOPLE REALLY IDENTIFIED WITH RCH, MANY SPENDING THEIR LIVES THERE.

SURVIVAL OF RCH AS AN INDEPENDENT HOSPITAL, AND BUILDING A CENTER OF EXCELLENCE WAS PART OF THE RATIONALE TO GET PARTICIPATION.


EVERYONE WANTED A REDEVELOPMENT TO ENSURE THEIR SURVIVAL AS A FREE STANDING CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL – BUT THERE WERE NO COMMITTED FUNDS. I BROKERED A DEAL BETWEEN QUEENSLAND HEALTH AND THE HOSPITAL FOUNDATION TO GET FUNDS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT.

CAPITAL WORKS WAS ALSO A BIG CHANGE MANAGEMENT OPPORTUNITY – LEVERAGING THE FUNDS AND THEN USING CAPITAL WORKS TO LEVERAGE CHANGED WORK PRACTICES.


BE A CHANGE AGENT

AS A NEWCOMER, I WAS ABLE TO IDENTIFY AND “NAME” ISSUES, IDENTIFY THESE UNCONSCIOUS ASSUMPTIONS OR VALUES AND CATALYSE CHANGE.


COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE

FACE TO FACE MEETINGS AT ALL LEVELS

NEWSLETTER

REGULAR STAFF FORUMS

BUILD A TEAM AND DELIVER A CONSISTENT MESSAGE


BE AN ETHICAL LEADER


PEOPLE WILL ONLY RESPECT AND FOLLOW LEADERS IF THEY CONSISTENTLY MODEL SOUND BEHAVIORS. THINK ABOUT YOUR OWN VALUES. SOME SPRING TO MIND IMMEDIATELY.

TRUSTWORTHINESS

RESPECT

RESPONSIBILITY

FAIRNESS

CARING

SERVICE


MAKE SURE YOU BEHAVE AT ALL TIME IN ACCORDANCE WITH THESE.


3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?


1. Wake and do emails and overnight messages

2. Take an hour long walk

3. Complete the immediate tasks for the day

4. Spend time with colleagues, customers and collaborators

5. Do necessary calls.

6. Relax with family

7. Sleep

Every day - LEARN ONE NEW THING OR MEET ONE NEW PERSON - ACHIEVE ONE TASK - SHOW APPRECIATION


4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?


You may not know people, but they know you. A leader is always on and always needs to appreciate and respond to their followers. I have thousands of Linkedin Followers and many of them feel they know you, though you may never have met. Whether on line of off line - be ready for when you do meet, remember who they are and show your respect and appreciation for your community.



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?


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson.


Manson shows us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.


Manson makes the argument, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—"not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault." Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.


We need to figure what really matters, While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience.


6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?


“Fear can be overcome!”Fear is a mind-set. It is not absolute. We all experience fear. Fear of failure, the fear of not fitting in, the fear of not being good enough, the fear of intimidation in a male-dominated industry.


I pivoted my career by resigning from my job as the CEO of a successful international development company to set about carving a new pathway inspiring people about the transformative impact of technology. It would have been easy and comfortable to stay, but I wanted to challenge myself and see how much I could accomplish if I took the challenge. I had fears, but I knew I had to do it.


“Shut your eyes jump!”


7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?


A WELL KNOWN MANAGEMENT WRITER HAD BEEN RESEARCHING LEADERSHIP TRAINING ACROSS CULTURES. HE WAS VISITING GHANA AND ASKED A PROMINENT GHANAIAN LEADER, HOW THEY TEACH LEADERSHIP IN GHANA. HE ANSWERED SIMPLY -

“ WE DON’T TEACH LEADERSHIP – WE SHOW IT”.

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