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7 Questions on Leadership with Sally Palmer

Name: Sally Palmer

Title: Junior School Executive Administrator

Organisation: Emmanuel College

Give me responsibility, give me a project, give me a problem, give me people ........ I love it all. The employment I have loved the most over my 30+ years has included a "social" aspect to it. I learned a few years ago that I am a "social learner" (hence the teacher comments on my report card "Sally talks a lot") and I'm obviously a social worker too!

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

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


Jonno White

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

I want to be fair to equitable to all the staff I work with (30+) and that brings with it challenge and conversations.

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

Transition over the years. I've done some formal study, but mainly on the job opportunities.

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

4.30/5am Alarm for morning exercise - get my head in the zone and oxygenated blood circulating through my body to help with the intensity of my work.

6.30/7am Breakfast with some quick work emails and text messages.

7-8am Arrive in the office

4-5.30pm Leave the office Prep and cook a nutritious meal for the family Read or watch some Netflix

8.30-9pm lights out and set

4.30am alarm

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

Importance of clear communication and expectations. Making sure those that need to know "the details" have been given them so that they have the best chance of succeeding in their work. It makes for a harmonious team and people feel valued.

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?

7-habbits (an oldie but a goodie)

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

Lead by example, Lead with kindness, Lead with clarity.

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

For the first time ever, I recently took myself off to see a counsellor. I was operating on empty, going through the motions of my job, and my emotional state was not good. It was one of the best things I've ever done. Some of the direction I was given (partly) confirmed what I already knew I needed to do, but it gave me confidence to make some changes and strategies to work on. It's important to recognise when we need to check in on our own wellbeing, and not always just be there to support others in our team.

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