Category Archives: Better Leaders


Spotlight on a Manager/Mentor – Jim Mildren – Boral

Jim Mildren from Boral has worked with LMA over many years mentoring many of Boral’s operational staff through our LMA courses. If you’re looking for someone with great mentoring experience, Jim is your man!

As the Concrete Operations Manager – Country North for Boral Construction Materials.  Jim is responsible for concrete production in Cairns, the Tablelands, Townsville, Mount Isa, Weipa. In total, Jim’s area employs 53 staff in total, including 4 direct reports.

“The people I’ve mentored with through LMA have generally been direct reports.  I’ve tried to be a guide and sounding board rather than taking a directive approach as I’ve found that people get a lot from the course when they assess their own attitudes and make their own decisions.”

Jim’s experience mentoring people was generally focused on the Challenge of leadership course. Quite a few front line staff from his organisation have completed LMA programs after his encouragement.  Jim believes LMA courses gives his staff a good grounding in people management skills, but more importantly it teaches people to critically evaluate their own performance and to make improvement plans for themselves.

All of our participants have been able to make improvements to their businesses that more than paid for the cost of the course.  In addition to that we receive the intangible benefits that a more confident manager is able to provide.  I find that my people are more likely to let me know about a solution than a problem.

Jim feels that the best part of the experience is the satisfaction of helping someone get closer to their potential and has witnessed this first-hand time and time again with LMA Participants. 
We tend to have people come through the ranks to our front line management positions and it is a great feeling to be able to assist someone to transition from a hands-on role into a position of responsibility,” he says.

After seeing the benefit Jim’s mentee’s received, Jim decided to enroll in his first LMA course, the Effective Personal Leadership program which focuses on developing personal motivation, emotional intelligence and self-image to improve how you perform, respond and lead. Jim is eager to embrace this new challenge, “It has been some time since I participated in formal study so this is an exciting opportunity for me.”



The best way to achieve success in 2018

How can you achieve success in 2018?

One of the best ways to achieve success is to develop your own self-confidence!  Start every activity in 2018 without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat.  Concentrate on your strengths rather than your weaknesses; on your powers rather than your problems and on your opportunities rather than your obstacles.

To develop supreme confidence in yourself and your ability to succeed, identify your goals for the year in all areas of life and then outline clear plans of action for each of them.  Nothing gives you more confidence than having clear-cut knowledge of the actions you plan to take and the order in which to take them.  The mere existence of a written plan of action contributes immeasurably to your self-assurance and self-confidence.  The most important source of self-confidence is knowing that you can take the actions and make the necessary internal changes that are needed for your goals to become reality.

Confidence in yourself enables you to deal honestly with your shortcomings and compels you to consistently make corrections.  Confidence comes from experience. Experience comes from know-how.  Know-how comes from having the courage to submit yourself to obstacles, situations and circumstances from which the average person shies away.

Self-confidence stimulates your creative imagination.  No matter what you undertake, you will never do it until you think you can.  You will never master it until you have the confidence in yourself to act first in your own mind.  Anything you undertake must be mentally accomplished before it can be materially accomplished.

The primary element at the beginning of any goal, the one factor which will guarantee its success, is confidence in the beginning that it can be done.  The major difference between high achievement and failure is confidence – confidence builds your self-image.  You either succeed at failure or you succeed at success.  Both of these results are outward expressions of the attitude you hold toward them.  You can either think lack or abundance, poverty or plenty, obstacles or opportunities.  The choice is yours!

The degree of success you achieve in 2018 will be governed by your level of self-confidence and the degree of determination you apply to achieving your goals.  Every time you say to yourself, “I can do it, and I will do it,” you are strengthening your determination and reinforcing your positive self- image.  You are forming a habit of thinking which will manifest itself in behaviour that generates success.  You begin to look for ways that things can be done instead of looking for reasons why they can’t be done.

Determine to be successful in all areas of your life in 2018 by developing your confidence and taking control over your future! An LMA course could be a great first step – Click Here.


Spotlight on LMA Graduate

Dwight D. Eisenhower once said “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because they want to do it.” LMA Graduate Michael Carnell is a walking testament to this, thanks in part to his professional development during LMA’s High Performance Management course.

Michael is both a Director at South Haven Group and its Director of Investment. In his role, he is responsible for South Haven’s investment strategy, acquisitions, management, disposals, investor relations and major negotiations. He has significant experience in all aspects of real estate investment, development, asset management, construction and business administration. He undertook LMA’s High Performance Management (HPM) course which commenced at Glen Iris in November 2016.

“I was the first person from South Haven to undertake a LMA course. Both the company and I were attracted to the HPM course as an opportunity to invest in a greater understanding of what it takes to be an outstanding leader in today’s corporate environment,” says Michael.

Throughout the course, his colleagues at South Haven were very interested in hearing what Michael was learning and understanding how they could apply these lessons to the betterment of the group and themselves.

South Haven Group is a privately-owned creator, investor and owner of quality properties. It focuses on delivering excellent outcomes for our tenants, investors and partners in all phases of the property investment, development and ownership cycle.

“The course reaffirmed that effective communication is the lifeblood that courses through an organisation’s veins and keeps it alive and functioning. It provided so many useful learnings and tools which I continue to implement and practice with particular focus on the importance of teamwork, communication, delegation and empowerment of others.”

“The combined benefit has been less stress coupled with increased productivity, time to listen, lead and strategise,” according to Michael.


Three Cheers for the High Achievers

As 2017 draws to a close we would like to celebrate the thousands of people who have participated and graduated from an LMA course this year.

As high achievers, we hope that you continue to practice LMA’s teachings, utilise the tools within the workplace and set goals in both your personal and professional lives.



Here is some of the feedback from LMA graduates in 2017.


Remember that high achievers:

  • Think positively (Above the Line)
  • Are willing to pay the price for success
  • Are willing to accept personal responsibility
  • Expect to succeed
  • Set goals in all areas of life
  • Are on a journey of self-discovery and self-improvement

Congratulations to the 2017 Graduates of Leadership Management Australia!


Leading a Team Through Change

Transition times can be trying for any business. However, the more you wish to innovate and progress with the times, the greater the need to be able to skilfully guide your people through the difficulties that can come with change.

Ensuring that any developments align with your overall and individual goals, both short term and long term, is also essential to consider when implementing any changes across your organisation.

Here are our tips and guidance to help you as a leader positively transition through change, and lead your team to bigger and better things:

  1. Everyone reacts to change differently. Make allowances for differences and questions

Depending on the type of personalities in your office, some of your team may take the intended changes very differently to others. While it is not your goal to change your employees, you need to be aware of how different team members will project their reservations upon others.

Remember, your team are not mind readers! Introduce the change to the group and give them the opportunity to ask questions in a comfortable and secure environment. Give them every opportunity to become comfortable with the intended changes in their own way.

  1. Invite feedback

Don’t jump into making changes immediately after announcing the new direction. Launching immediately into action without gathering feedback will make your team feel more isolated from the changes happening around them. Instead, once you have announced the intention for a change of direction, invite your management team and informal leaders to work with smaller focus groups to determine where improvements can be best made, and how. Allow others to assist you to determine the next steps forward across a range of departments. You will be guaranteed to learn something, and you will be a better leader through the change for it.

  1. Identify your change masters

After the change has been introduced and workshopped, you will be able to better identify who on your team will be your advocates or ‘change masters’. These are people on your team who will back your vision 100% and will do everything to try and implement it. They are normally followed and respected by their peers, and will assist in warming others to your lead. By letting these change masters to share the big visions you have for the future, you are creating more informed advocates who will continue to push developments along in a steady way.

  1. Determine who is on board, then drive

At some point after the feedback and rallying stages, there is a moment when it will be time to kick the changes into gear. Disruption, if needed, for the good of the project and the company will be seen and embraced for the step forward it is, if handled in a way that involves group dynamics, feedback and recognition of personal impact. Know that others will come on board with the changes that are needed, and there will be no dramatic showdown or mass uproar.


Is Your Communication Style Demotivating your Team?

Motivation can be a fragile thing. More often than not, it is easier to demotivate your team than it is to motivate them. Motivation is almost always intrinsic, and it originates from within an individual.

As opposed to always focusing on motivation, more effective leadership and management techniques may be those which serve to not demotivate those around you. Not being a demotivator is reliant on your own communication choices with your team.

A few key demotivators to avoid with your team would be:

Being Excessively Critical

Guidance and direction are one thing, criticism is another. Guidance points to success and development, while criticism highlights and publicises failure. While managers and leaders cannot simply ignore poor practices and procedures that may compromise performance, or productivity, there are ways to approach your team that will inspire internal motivation, rather than encourage demotivation.

The core objective as leaders and managers is to reach organisation’s goals in the most efficient and effective way possible. To do this, it requires an understanding that all available assets must be activated to perform at their best. If a team member is not performing at an appropriate level, it is your responsibility to do what has to be done to resolve the problem. If there is a demonstrated need for more training, provide it.

Excessive criticism may lead to team members who will actively work against the goals of the organisation and no amount of motivational techniques will creative internal drive.

Failing to Appreciate and Reward

Some of the most demanding challenges as a leader or manager arise when there is a need to balance what needs to get done, against what needs to be reflected upon and improved. In today’s numbers oriented world, it is easy for managers and leaders to focus on the numbers to the detriment of their people skills. When a person or department reaches or almost reaches targets, set time aside amongst the team to celebrate the achievement.

Appreciation doesn’t function merely in celebrating achievement, it has a much broader definition. Celebrating milestones demonstrates a regard for others and a respect for their energy and effort directed towards the goals of the organisation.

Ignoring Progress

Checkpoints are very important for goal setting. However, to be effective you must be faithful and diligent in your inspection and regulation of them. By ignoring progress within projects your team is involved with, you undermine their confidence and risk that key objectives will not be met when or how you wish them to be. Checkpoints provide the facts that you have to work with to improve. They tell you what, if anything needs to be corrected or modified.

Just as it is important to reward progress, it’s also equally important to note the direction and speed of work amongst your team to maintain peak productivity.

Is your communication style demotivating your team?


Positional Leadership v Personal Leadership

If you walk into many organisations in most industries, you will likely encounter the staffing phenomenon of those in positional leadership roles, and those in personal or real authentic leader roles. What will often separate the more forward-thinking, aspirational and focused organisations from others is the ratio of real authentic leaders compared to the number of positional leaders.

What differentiates a positional leader and a personal leader?

Positional leaders operate from a traditional or formal understanding of power. Someone who holds a position of power, say a CEO, CFO or COO, can reasonably assume that a large amount of power is granted to them based on their title alone. Leaders who operate from a positional standpoint alone are often unable to look beyond the roles and responsibilities of the title to see how their performance, attitude and general behaviour affects others.

Authoritarian by nature, positional leaders often rely solely on their formally defined responsibilities to influence or coerce others to obey them. Unfortunately, those who operate using this type of leadership style have fundamentally misunderstood how great leaders work to secure and maintain the loyalty of those around them.

On the other hand, personal power comes from being someone worth following and looking to for direction. Authentic leaders or personal leaders operate far beyond the formal responsibilities of their position. Those who operate with a personal leadership mindset are more focused on organisational and business growth, motivation of those around them, and the overall engagement of the entire team.

While personal leadership also can involve positional leadership in times of trial, stress or necessity, it is not used as the defining factor for influencing others. Rather, a strong personal leader will be highly respected because of their ability to juggle responsibility, while also being able to be relied on by those around them.

Developing personal leadership qualities amongst those outstanding performers in your team is essential for your business to grow around the qualities of self-leadership, self-respect and self-management. Similarly, those who aspire to be leaders would be advised to invest in their own self-leadership, and develop their personal power, trusting that opportunities to influence others will surely come.

Remember, leadership is not necessarily about the title someone holds or the designation of duties. It is more about the impact, influence and inspiration that someone has over a group of people. More often than not, the real power of a position comes from more than just where they may sit within an organisational chart; it comes from how authentically they can hold a team together, generate enthusiasm in others, and make a genuine difference in an organisation.

Are you a good manager?

LMA’s complimentary and confidential DIY Leadership Management Competency Analysis can provide you detailed information on your leadership style.
Click here to start the Leadership Management Competency Analysis


Limited Spaces Left – Book Now for 5% off

We are very excited to announce our partnership with Genos International to deliver their Emotional Intelligence short courses and assessments through the Thrive More product range.

As a world leader in emotional intelligence assessment and programs that enhance self-awareness, empathy, leadership and resilience, Genos were the obvious choice provider to extend our offering in this exciting area.

The first courses run in Perth and Brisbane have sold out but we have some spots available for the upcoming 1/2 course in Melbourne – click here to book and access a 5% discount using the discount code LAUNCH.

In the modern workplace where change is constant, the benefits of Emotional Intelligence development occur within and outside of the workplace. When strong emotional intelligence is displayed relationships improve, stress is reduced, change occurs more efficiently and performance increases.

In the workplace, Emotional Intelligence is fundamental to strong self-awareness, empathy, leadership and resilience. People who work on developing their emotional intelligence feel better at work, facilitate a more productive work environment, and better lead and engage others.

To facilitate the development of emotionally intelligent behaviour our short courses provide cutting-edge content, assessments, frameworks and tools which transfer into real, practical behavioural changes that create lasting results.

Available as a half, one or two day course, in an Open environment with Participants from other organisations, or delivered in-house for a selection of your team members, our Emotional Intelligence short courses help participants explore and practice tools and techniques for applying emotional intelligence at work and outside of the workplace.

Click here for more information and upcoming open courses.


Culture Club: Understanding your Work Culture

On the surface, workplace culture can seem deceptively easy to observe and understand. At its most simple, it can be the obvious factors such as office layout, how people behave, style of dress or general language being used between colleagues. In reality, culture goes well beyond the surface layer of how things look at a casual glance.

Culture can be summed up as the complex set of behaviours, values, reward systems, and rituals that make up your organisation. You can ‘feel’ culture when you visit a business or organisation, because it is often evident in the behaviour and enthusiasm of those who work there, along with the space itself.

The funny thing about culture is that the true nature of what is happening will often not be the obvious, surface level happenings. What is going on below the surface will often reveal the true drivers of both fulfilling and unfulfilling workplace cultures.

Organisations with reputable and enviable workplace culture often have one key thing in common: the people who work for them genuinely want to be there and are engaged when they are there. Recent data from Gallup shows that only 24% of Australian employees are engaged at work (60% are disengaged and 16% actively disengaged). While the culture of your organisation may not be the only reason for disengagement amongst your team, it can be a significantly important factor to determine if people are happy and engaged at work.

By investing time to develop a better understanding of the existing culture of your workplace, you will be able to determine current engagement levels and know how to best improve them. There are some key strategies you can take:

  • Conduct culture interviews

The best way to get to the heart of your culture is to ask the people who make it: your people. By sitting down with your people either individually or in small groups, you will be able to ask the questions that you really want answers to. The best way to find out more about how your people feel is to ask open ended or indirect questions, such as: ‘How do you describe what you do and your workplace to your friends?’ or ‘What is one thing you’d like to see change at work?’

  • Analyse how your team is working

Conducting a regular analysis of how your team is working together is essential to understanding what is working well and what needs improvement. LMA’s DIY Teamwork Analysis test will provide key insights into how your team is working, ask each team member to complete the analysis and compare the results.

  • Learn to observe

Learn how to tune in to what is happening around you. How are senior leaders interacting with the middle managers and staff? Are these interactions easy or strained? How are conflicts being resolved on a daily basis, if at all? Learning to analyse without judgement or assumption will help you to determine where the culture is growing and succeeding and where it may be faltering

Understanding and improving your team’s experience is critical for companies operating in a highly competitive global economy. Providing an engaging experience will help organisations succeed in attracting and retaining highly skilled, engaged employees. Similarly, a strong employee experience also drives a strong customer experience. It is a real win-win all around to be acutely aware of your workplace’s culture.


Think Perform Partner with Character Group to Optimise Manufacturing

In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, an organisation’s ability to deliver quality, cost effective products and services in a global market is essential to its survival and growth.

LMA’s sister company Think Perform are leaders in delivering transformational business improvement programs, built around strong values and respect for our client organisations and their people. We are the best at what we do – partnering with organisations to achieve operational excellence and a sustainable future.

We recently filmed a video with one of our clients in WA, Character Cabinets and Stone with Character in which CEO ‘Squeak’ Van Duyn and his team explain how engaging Think Perform to train and certify their workforce in lean manufacturing resulted in a more efficient and profitable business creating a happier workplace with more satisfied clients.

“We all know that Lean is not something that you arrive at, it is a continual journey, there is no destination as such, and so it’s something that we will continue over the years to improve, improve and improve.” ‘Squeak’ Van Duyn.

Click to find out more about Think Perform.