VIDEO: where real leadership happens

The idea everyone can be a leader is a myth, ANZ director Paula Dwyer says, but that doesn’t mean leadership can’t be found at every level of an organisation.

Speaking after she received the Melbourne Foundation for Business and Economics alumni Leadership Award for 2017, Dwyer told BlueNotes on video leadership isn’t a title, it’s an action.

"Leaders can operate at the bowels of an organisation or at the highest levels."
Paula Dwyer, ANZ director

“Leaders can operate at the bowels of an organisation or at the highest levels,” she said. “I don’t think leadership is something which is relevant only to those sitting in a governing role.”

Dwyer: gender equality happening – slowly

Dwyer said for every successful leader there needs to be a business of good followers. Indeed, the art of following is undervalued in modern business, she said.

“Leadership is an innate thing,” Dwyer said. “It requires courage, it requires self-confidence, and the ability to make a call on things. It can be very uncomfortable.”

Addressing gender equality in leadership, Dwyer said business had taken small steps but it was easier today than it once was.

“I think the world is changing slowly and companies are doing better in terms of permitting women to… pursue a different set of interests to men while being successful at work.”

Dwyer: where real leadership happens

Dwyer remains opposed to quotas to improve the level of women in leadership positions in Australia and is adamant targets are a better option. 

“Prescribed quotas are in no one’s interests,” she said. “Targets mean that managers have to articulate the target… and must be accountable for delivering on them. It’s similar to budgeting.” 

Watch the videos above to find out more.

Andrew Cornell is managing editor at BlueNotes

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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