Malcolm Lazenby

Cofounder, Global Leadership Foundation

My working journey started a long way from where I am now. One of my earliest jobs was with the service department in an automotive dealership in my home state of Tasmania, where my strong technical ability saw me rise through the ranks to senior management positions. I quickly learnt that leadership and management required quite a lot more than those technical skills!

After the business was sold, I transferred my skills and began lecturing in the TAFE system. That became a significant turning point for me. It was here that I really started to understand people, how they learn, what drives, motivates and engages them and, importantly, the impact I could have on those. I also realised I really needed to have known all this in my previous senior management roles.

From there I took on a senior leadership role in the corporate world with functions across a number of geographical locations. This role had significant profit-and-loss responsibilities and included the human resources functions of OH&S, learning & development, enterprise agreement negotiation, selection and recruitment and so on. My connection to people and enabling them to be the best they could be continued to strengthen.

A number of years later, a new CEO gave me the opportunity to shift the organisational culture and develop the leadership capability needed to fulfil our strategic direction. As a result, we became leaders in the application of emotional intelligence in the latter part of the 1990s.
This eventually enabled me to establish my own business, specialising in emotionally intelligent leadership and, in particular, building leaders’ self-awareness. I also started collaborating much more with Gayle Hardie, who was also working in the consulting field, particularly in leading change in organisations.

After a workshop we did together, Gayle and I decided to establish the Global Leadership Foundation, with the express purpose of supporting leaders in increasing their emotional health levels and understanding the positive impact this has on themselves, those around them, their organisations and the broader community (local and global).

Emotional health is different from emotional intelligence. It’s about the ‘vertical development’ of the person. Emotional health means having greater behavioural freedom and making choices in the way we respond to situations, rather than getting caught up in ‘automatic’ defence mechanisms and simply reacting. (You can read more about this in this blog post on our website.)
The model we base our work on is deliberately holistic, embracing the ‘three centres’ of head, heart and body.
Global Leadership Foundation also operates with three guiding principles: self-realisation (knowing ourselves), collaboration (engaging and enabling others) and stewardship (working on the world).
And ultimately this is where my passion for what we do springs from, and how it connects back to my earliest days of realising the potential that people have.

Self-realisation enables people to better understand what drives and motivates us and how that ‘shows up’ in what we do and how we relate to others. The principle of collaboration enables us to approach our work differently, always with a mindset of ‘both … and’ as opposed to the all-to-common scarcity mindset of ‘either … or’. In stewardship, we look at what we can do together that we could not do apart in our organisations, communities and for the planet. Given the nature of our work is cross-cultural, it sees us applying our approach all over the world, for both ourselves and via our foundation’s Fellows.

There can be few things more satisfying than knowing what you are working to achieve, having principles to guide you, and actually being able to apply those principles in practice.

What we do is not theory. We live it every day.

Something others may not know about me It’s possible that someone who lived in Tasmania in the early ‘90s and tuned into the ABC at the time has seen me before in a very different context. Back when I was involved in the automotive industry, I found myself being a spokesperson for Tasmania’s motoring organisation, the RACT. In that role, I spent seven years making regular appearances on local television and five years taking talk-back questions on ABC radio, in both cases providing advice on all things automotive.

EEC 2018 PANEL TOPIC: Conscious Leadership