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April 12, 2021

S7 Ep02: Your Leadership Narrative Matters

The HON Steven Marshall MP

This week on The WarriorU Podcast, Trent is joined by the HON. Steven Marshall MP, who is the current Premier of South Australia. Trent talks to Steve about his leadership style and also introduces us to the important concept of “Your Leadership Narrative.”

By the end of this episode, you’ll be equipped to develop a great elevator pitch that’ll leave your team in no doubt as to your expectations and your values as a leader.

A Glimpse of the Guest

Name: The HON. Steven Marshall MP, “but call me Steve.”

What he does: Mr Marshall was elected to the South Australian Parliament as the Member for Norwood in 2010, and then re-elected to the seat of Dunstan at the 2014 and 2018 elections. It was in 2013 that he became the leader of the Liberal Party and the State Opposition, leading the Party to victory on March 17th 2018. He was the first Liberal leader to end the Labor Government’s rule in 16 years. Today, he is responsible for the portfolios of the Defence and Space Industries, Tourism, Aboriginal Affairs, the Arts, Veterans’ Affairs and Multicultural Affairs.

He has lived in the Dunstan area all his adult life and is the father of two children – Charlie and Georgie.

Food for Thought

“Widespread restrictions will change the way we all live, and what lies ahead may be the most difficult period many South Australians face in their lifetime. But my message to you is, you are not alone. We are all in this together. Through our strong and clear plan, we will maintain the quickest possible pathway to economic rebuilding and recovery. If we continue to work together and play our part, then I am confident we will come out of this stronger and more resilient. We will get through this.”

– The HON. Steven Marshall MP

Top Tips from this episode

Steve’s values on:

  1. Humility
  2. Accountability
  3. Delivering outcomes

Set goals and believe you can achieve

As Steve’s dad would say, set your goal, then double it.

Don’t have a victim mentality. Enable yourself, don’t disable yourself.

How to influence cultural change

“Culture evolves over time. Standards need to continuously be evolving too.”

“Things that were culturally acceptable five or ten years ago or thirty or fifty years ago might be completely unacceptable today.”

Model the desired behaviour

“Lots of workplaces have got complexity, and people have pressures in their lives, but one needs to be modelling that high level of standards and behaviours.”

Episode Highlights

How to role model a cultural change across to the entire team:
Steve admits that government has not always gotten this right. The absence of a dedicated HR function has meant that government has been slow to keep up with the change of cultural pace seen across many other organisations. Steve is adamant that people should expect better and that he is leading reforms that will support better behaviours and higher standards.

An example of a specific leadership challenge:
Steve thought that rather than a bad leadership example he would share with the audience a positive leadership challenge. That challenge was trying to win the Space Agency Headquarters for the state of South Australia. This was a huge task for the SA Government because every Premier, every state, and every territory wanted the Space Agency HQ to be in their locality; and they won!

Top quotes:

[41:43] Don’t write your goals in the sand, etch them in steel.

[1:04] There is no one right leadership style and so you’ve got to choose a style that actually suits your personality.

[1:06] I don’t think we should ever try to pretend to be something that we’re not and I think that people have got to choose the right leadership style for themselves.

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