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DIY Leadership Advice – Be Real

Image: attendees enjoyed a DIY activity at the Bunnings NSW Quick Bite event!

NAWO’s recent  NSW Quick Bite, hosted by Bunnings on 21 June 2018, focused on the ‘Authentic Leadership’ Learning Priority. Thanks to Melita Bevan (Key Account Manager, CHEP Australia Ltd, and NAWO NSW State Committee Member) for providing the following key summary and learnings…

 Bunnings was thrilled to host NAWO members and guests at their new format store in Gregory Hills for the NAWO NSW Quick Bite event, DIY Leadership Advice – Be Real.

The theme for the event was Authentic Leadership. Exploring why so many of us try to conform to what we think everyone else expects us to say or do, what it takes to get comfortable in our own skin to be ourselves and how being an authentic leader helps us to better manage work/life for ourselves and our employees.

NAWO attendees were split into groups for a site tour to learn about sustainability at Bunnings (less energy, less water, less waste) and a DIY event discovering how to make a wooden tea light candle holder (it’s absolutely possible, even if you haven’t held a drill before!).

Robyn Hudson, State Operations Manager at Bunnings, shared her experiences climbing up the career ladder, followed by a Q&A panel with Robyn, Amanda Stevens (Bunnings Complex Manager, Ulladulla) and Andrew Shalala (Bunnings Complex Manager, Bonnyrigg).

Robyn very humbly shared her journey from a Horticulturist to working her way up the Bunnings ladder to managing 48 stores and over 5400 team members. From being selected for the Bunnings authentic leadership program, to making an impact on the organisation’s culture, Robyn shared how your leadership style can help you manage a demanding role while still valuing family time and personal interests.

Key messages were as follows:-

  • Find your own ‘board of directors’ –
    • 1 x analyst
    • 1 x moral tester
    • 1 x person that keeps you grounded
  • Surround yourself with a solid support network
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Individual behaviour breeds team behaviour
  • Stick to your values
  • Above all – find your purpose in life and do what you love

Top tips to reflect on:

  1. If you want something, find out what you need to do to achieve it
  2. Find your passion – the one release to get you away, for ‘me time’
  3. Identify your gaps and the ‘sweet spots’ within your team – leverage off this knowledge to grow your team
  4. Know what your people love doing and play to their strengths
  5. People can see when you’re not enjoying what you are doing

The Q&A Panel shared their individual career journeys at Bunnings and answered questions from the NAWO attendees exploring the qualities of authentic leadership, why it is so important and how it can set you up for success.

Key messages included:

  • Be yourself
  • You don’t always see everything, trust the spark others see in you
  • When others are encouraging you, stop self-resisting
  • Do it your way – living your values
  • Walking the talk – challenge the status quo, be open and honest
  • You don’t have to fit the mould – challenge not being like everyone else

Key insights of authentic leader’s style:

  1. Be real, be you
  2. Easy to talk to
  3. Comfortable with teams
  4. Don’t adapt
  5. Be natural (same at work/outside work)
  6. Be authentic to have people’s respect with authority

We would like to thank all of the attendees and hope that you took something away from the day and a very special thank you to Rana Obeid, Aaron Fischer, Brenda Smith, the Bunnings team, for organising a fabulous event, and our three presenters Robyn, Amanda and Andrew for sharing their stories and genuine insights.

Let us know your thoughts from the day and block your calendars for the next NSW Quick Bite event which is being hosted by Officeworks on August 30: ‘Leading with courage. Courage to lead.


Sending out a warm welcome to new Silver member @KelloggCompany from the NAWO network! Such a great company and brand committed supporting women develop their careers and move the dial on gender balance in operations. #inspirationatwork #operations #genderbalance

Last week from NAWO's Twitter via Hootsuite Inc.