About this blog:

These blogs are all about getting you expert advice for the business you are in, however, I will not be using the traditional business experts you may expect.

You will get access to greater tools to use in your professional life from these specialists I have lined up just for you, that will allow you to think outside the square and succeed.

Read on a benefit from these ‘not so usual expert’ experts.


Danielle Di-Masi | AGSM Alumna

Effective leadership skills are one of the most desired skills to have in your toolkit, well especially according to Google Trends and the conversations and questions I get from my clients. People always seem to be wanting to enhance their leadership abilities and so in this blog series we will get a few different views on this skill from different ‘not so usual expert’ experts.

For the first touch on leadership I thought I would start with an expert where being an effective leader can be a life or death situation. I’m not talking about end of financial year kind of life or death, I’m referring to the real deal so our expert is a man who’s ability to lead a team can lead them to safety and success, for themselves, his unit, the mission and our country.

Shaun McTeigue was an Army leader for Australian Special Operations. When interviewing Shaun for his thoughts on leadership I wasn’t sure what response I would get back that would benefit those in business, however, his answers were some of the most insightful and articulate I have had on this topic so I am now confident that he can help think about being a leader in a much different way.

For Shaun, being a leader is about balance; a balance of looking out for your team but also your mission and seeing it until completion. “Leadership is being able to mentor and nurture to not only maximise the efficiency of the team but enhancing their skills and ability.”

His view on leadership is extremely team focused as he states, “You always have to earn the respect and never demand it.  People who sit in positions of authority or power must remember that, for your team to achieve the task at hand, you need all efforts from each of them and to remember that no matter how much power or authority you have, no job can be completed with just the leader alone.”

Sometimes, when you are busy, you can lean on the team to get things done but this is not the most effective way forward.

Shaun also states that leaders should always remember how they are perceived in their role by their team so they are in fact not left alone, “The position that you are in is merely a word, you must prove in actions that you are worthy of the position; people will not respect someone who does not show their team that they are capable of the role.”

Engaging your team is a powerful tool and Shaun best does this by involving the team in every aspect of the mission, right from the planning, this way they take ownership and responsibility of the outcome and the mission as a whole.

Shaun also has a tactic of engaging his team by letting them learn from his mistakes. I had to ask this question twice to confirm he said “mistakes” as some leaders don’t like to expose their faults, however, Shaun believes it’s a brilliant learning tool, for all. “I definitely have made mistakes, thankfully it was always in training and I would always stop the team and explain that I made the wrong decision and we would identify why it was the wrong choice.  This way, my team can identify Team Leader mistakes and when they are in the hot seat they won’t do the same.  I want my team to always be judging my leadership and decisions just as I do to them.  This kind of environment always ensures that each of the soldiers, me included, are performing 110%.  This also builds trust and trust is how I turn my team into a family and this was my ultimate goal, because brothers will do anything for each other.”

So can we all learn to be strong leaders like Shaun? He thinks we can but it doesn’t just come down to a sole effort, “There is certainly an element in every person to lead, but certain lifestyles and experiences will unlock that ability in you. There are definitely people who naturally can lead, but I believe that you need good mentors and leaders that will foster you.”

So look at your leadership strengths, engage your team as a whole, learn from your mistakes, always remember to work with your team to utilise all of the team as it is very hard to run a mission alone and approach a good mentor that will help you develop strategies and a path towards your successful future as a victorious leader.

Danielle Di-Masi is the Principal Click! Consultant at Click! Training & Consulting. She is a keynote speaker and business trainer. She specialises in business etiquette and all things around behaviours and human interaction; especially in building effective business relationships through connection and rapport.

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