Former Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer on Life Leadership Lessons

Therefore, following AUSTRAC’s allegations, Hartzer’s position quickly became untenable. Despite his departure, Hartzer’s belief in The Leadership Star and its five guiding principles for engagement remains stronger than ever. These include showing genuine care to staff, being able to provide clarity and context, removing barriers to success and, of course, celebrating victories along the way.

At a time when businesses are relying on their employees to drive post-Covid recovery, leadership is undoubtedly going to make or break many organizations over the next 12 months. So what makes a good leader? For Hartzer, there is no single definition, but authenticity is a good place to start.

“People can spot a fake,” he says. “So I think it’s important to have confidence in what you know, but also to be prepared to be vulnerable to what you don’t know.

“It’s very important to be clear about where you want to go and what makes you tick, which you can then share with other people so that they are excited about something bigger than their daily work.”

When a leader has a genuine interest in and appreciation for people, as well as a natural curiosity about their role, the energy is palpable, Hartzer said. As the first manager of his five-point cadre, caring for staff is key. Without it, fostering real engagement is a daunting task.

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