Career Resilience – what does it take for a resources business to survive a downturn?

Published: 02/10/2016

Originally published by WIMARQ – September 2016.

Dr Vanessa Guthrie

Dr Vanessa Guthrie – five keys to resilient leadership

During her recent address to a WIMARQ event, hosted by Mullins Lawyers in Brisbane, Dr Vanessa Guthrie, Chief Executive of Toro Energy and Chair of the Minerals Council of Australia, gave the following insights.

She says she has learned five key characteristics to being resilient in leadership through tough times.

Here they are:

Leading through ambiguity
1. Clarity – provide clarity of vision, purpose, focus, tasks with honesty, and never waver from your view of where you want your company to be, even if you feel a bit wobbly yourself

2. Be Consistent – in style, approach, purpose. If you act with uncertainty as a leader, it will spread to the rest of your team.

Leading when you are not in control of all the external factors
3. Be Flexible enough to adapt plans if things change outside your control. (Dr Guthrie generously shared her personal example of her husband falling ill ). You can always make it work but you have to adjust your priorities sometimes to make it all fit

Whenever are we in control of all the factors?

Leading when the tide is against you – community based and politics
4. Be evidence based in your position (Dr Guthrie gave the example of the consequences for the Uranium market following Fukushima). Acknowledge other people’s fears and legitimately state them, but if they are not based on facts then gently challenge and put the facts of your view forward

5 Be courageous – in your beliefs and live them with authenticity (Dr Guthrie gave the example of Mount Lyell in Tasmania where the community rejected moves to rehabilitate land, because the degraded landscape had become a tourist attraction) I believed it was the right thing to do and I had a mandate, but I didn’t have the community with me. The environmental outcome is not as good as if we had been allowed to finish the job. It took a lot of courage to stand up to the community there.

Thank you to Mullins Lawyers for hosting this event.

Click here to see a photo gallery from the event.