Sep 27, 2017
In this episode you’ll hear from Jim Soorley, Former Mayor of
Brisbane and Chairman of CS energy and Unity Water.
Jim has left an almost unrivalled legacy in Brisbane through his
tireless work at Lord Mayor. He led the introduction of CityCats,
A/C on buses, RiverFire, RiverWalk and brought a business and
commercial approach to the running of the council.
Jim outlines the importance of energy, getting connected to
the people on the ground and role modelling the behaviour you want
Jim’s top messages include:
- Life is about sales. You’re always selling something. An idea,
concept, product or service.
- For people who are working in management roles, they've got to
see it is the system that determines outcomes. I guess the lessons
out of that are that, if you're going to engage in training,
restructure, reorganisation, you, A, must take a systems approach
and B, let the people on the ground have a say. The worst thing in
the world you can do is impose new structures, new disciplines, new
ideas without consulting people
- I think it's important to get good people around you. You've
got to let them do their job and you've got to give them confidence
and puff them up so that they feel like they're safe and secure and
- I came to the conclusion that the decision to employ is often
made in the first 30 seconds. Initial impressions are critical. For
people who are going for an interview in a job process, I still
believe it's that first 30 seconds. You don't get a second chance
at a first impression.
- I think there's a few of things people need to do in the first
30 seconds; show energy, good presentation and rapport. Initially
they are the critical things. If they come into an interview, can
they really connect with you, because if they connect with you, you
can't not connect with them, so to speak. So, that's your way to
take charge of the interview process.
- If you're in an organisation, emails is often an avenue to
cover my arse. If you're working with people and it's important,
make it personal. Get out of your chair and take the five steps or
even 20 steps and say, "Hey, we need to fix this up. How about
- Management is not about control, "I've sent you an email. Do
this. I've got it off my desk and it's now on your desk." Sometimes
we must do that, but management is about getting people to
understand, engage and lead and that's important.
- Stop tapping away at the keyboards and go and talk to people.
Know your customer, know your people, that way you can inspire them
and give them the tools they need to do their job.
- There's a guy I studied with in America, Gerard Egan. He's
written about 14 books on organisational culture and his last one's
on the dark side. That's the unknown stuff that's going on. What
are the real values, the non-espoused values?
- You've got to take a risk. If you're running a department
you've got to say, "What do I really want to achieve here? How do I
do it? What resources do I need? What resources don't I need?"
- You've got to be able to show, you build a team, the team has
delivered outcomes, and in many environments delivered them safely,
and you know, “I deserve the next gig”.
- To be really be a successful manager, you've got to bring the
last person with you or get rid of them. They'll either come the
journey or they go. Sometimes, the ones who are slow can be your
best outcome and deliver best results.
- In job interviews a reference is basically non-sense in most
cases, particularly if they're not known.
- To have a network of people who you can bounce ideas off and
have a beer with or whatever is important. But to have that network
who can then, if you're looking for the next move up, can be
referees and support for you. That’s very important.
- So when you're recruiting, you've got to get the person with
the energy, the vitality, the difference.
- A question I always ask is in recruiting is, "Why are you not
the best person for this job?"
- A successful leader generates by their presence and by their
disposition and by their action a sense of urgency and a sense of
energy, and a sense of the outcome.
- I think a successful manager has got to generate energy and
insight and cooperation.
- You have to build up your own confidence. That, "This is my
opportunity. I am a unique individual, and what I want to do I can
- Believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, you can do
anything. Then, clearly define what you want to do and go to it.
The thing that I think holds a lot of people back is
- they don't know what they want to do, and
- they don't believe they can do it.
Put those two things together and you can conquer the world.
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