Juliette Economo’s leadership skills set her apart. It's those same leadership skills that make her an exceptional mentor and the NAWIC Business Woman of the Year 2017.
As a solicitor, Juliette is innately skewed toward strategic thinking and learning agility. However, it’s her self-awareness and sense of responsibility as a woman in the construction space that has given her valuable insights around motivation, communication and positivity. All leadership skills that are abundantly evident in this second part of her conversation with Emily Wilson.
The value of leadership skills
Juliette's humility is laid bare as she confesses to the levels of exhaustion and feelings of inadequacy that accompany today's leaders. Her antidote to this - she focuses on the purpose behind her endeavours, which for her is the role model she provides for her young children and her mentees, as a mother and a leader respectively.
The purpose of strategic leadership
She also focuses on the importance of authenticity and the pragmatic role this plays in one of the more important leadership skills; relationship building. Juliette reflects on her leadership role models and the lessons they've imparted on the importance of being authentic. It’s easier to have a difficult conversation with someone with whom you have a relationship based on mutual respect than otherwise.
Please enjoy part two of this three-part conversation with Juliette Economo, Director of Commercial Services, Roads and Maritime Services.
(For part one: Juliette Economo, Director Commercial Services, RMS 1. Smoke & mirrors)
Leadership skills video transcribe begins - Part 2: relationships, exhaustion and authenticity
Emily: I recently caught up with Juliette Economo, the Director of Commercial Services for Roads & Maritime Services. What I love about Juliette's brand of leadership is her clarity of thought; the simple logic and the authenticity around her relationships.
I don't think you'll be too surprised when you hear her response in terms of what she looks for in a leader, and why.
Juliette: That's a great question and it's actually something that I've been thinking about quite a bit recently. In leaders that I've really admired it's always been the fact that they've been authentic, they've been real. And whether it's because you've seen their vulnerabilities from time to time, or there's been something else where you've kind of gone, "they're human they're human after all", that's what makes the relationship much more genuine and sincere.
When you think about it relationships now are everything.
Even in terms of business, the key differentiator now is relationships. Whether you can actually build a connection with the other party. You want to have those key relationships and they've got to be sincere. The only way that can happen is if you're true to yourself. Then if something gets hard, you can have those conversations. They're not difficult anymore because you've got a connection; you can build on that.
And that's been absolutely key for me.
It can be really hard because the politics are constantly being played out. But I guess I got to a point eventually where I was just.... ergh y'know..? I didn't necessarily want to play those games anymore. I didn't want to be like that towards my team and I didn't want to be like that with my interactions with other people, with my colleagues. So, there was a real need for me to just be genuine... To just do the right thing.
Emily: Just be a nice person.
Juliette: Effectively yes, that's what it was.
Emily: Which sometimes I think is underrated - just be nice.
Juliette: Just be nice! Just be nice... And be polite.
If you can't be nice, at LEAST be polite.
Emily: The next bit is quite revealing about Juliette's innate nature in regards to her leadership skills. I asked her about the challenges she faces and how they affect her. Aside from making a really great point about functional exhaustion, she talks, instinctively, about how it relates to her kids, which I found really interesting.
Juliette: I think this is a problem that's shared by so many parents, working parents. It's the fact that you always feel like you're never giving 100% either way because you're trying to juggle so many things - and you're just so tired; you're just exhausted. You're drained because you're trying to do so much for so many people all at once and you just give give give. And there's always somebody who's being let down, to an extent, all the time.
And you've just got to learn to deal with that.
There are times when it's harder than others, like when you've got a little person who goes, "Mummy I really want you at literacy group today", and you can't be there. That's hard. That's really really hard. But you know, at the same time, I sort of look around and go, well you know what, I've got a 10-year-old daughter and I've got a 7 -year-old son.
I want to show them that Mummy can have just as good a job as Daddy, and Mummy's just as important as Daddy, and set those role models.
Teamwork is key in our household. It's a sort of managed anarchy... but it works because he and I share the responsibility equally.
Emily: What I love, what I absolutely love about Juliette is how naturally she is geared to values and purpose. It's in her DNA. That response is why she's such a cherished mentor. in fact an award-winning mentor. She gets it, and she just gets on with it.
While not all leadership styles are the same, FutureYou's Managing Partner, Emily Wilson has found there are certain characteristics of effective leadership that successful leaders share. Em's on a mission to learn - and share - as much as she can about the true meaning of leadership from some of Australia’s more remarkable leaders.
See below for more inspiring strategic leadership articles or to grab further effective leadership skills insights:
Juliette Economo, Director Commercial Services, RMS 1. Smoke & mirrors
16 Essential Leadership Skills For The Workplace Of Tomorrow - Forbes
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