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Leadership matters - a message from AIM CEO David Pich

Friday, September 25, 2015

It’s been quite a month in the world of leadership.

Of course, it’s arguably the case that the vast majority of things we read about in the news actually boil down to issues of leadership, but the past month has at least felt as if leadership, or perhaps more accurately, leaders and their leadership styles have been on our Twitter and Facebook feeds and on the front page a little more than usual. 

In the UK, a new leader of the opposition was elected by a huge and unexpected majority and the tabloids, broadsheets and internet went into meltdown. Underneath all the hysteria, the main question seemed to be whether Jeremy Corbyn could possibly be the leader to turn around Labour’s fortunes by 2020 following their recent defeat in the 2015 General Election.

Whilst Corbyn’s leadership capabilities were being questioned in London and beyond, Tony Abbott’s were coming under similar scrutiny along the corridors of Parliament House in Canberra. The result, when it came, just after 9.30pm on Monday 14th September had the distinct feeling of inevitability about it; Australia had a new leader. Just as Corbyn’s Labour supporters expect his new style of leadership to reap electoral rewards in UK, so Malcolm Turnbull’s new approach as Prime Minister is expected to turn things around for the Liberals.

And that brings us to the US, where the race for the Republican Presidential nomination is heating up with the promise of a televised debate every month between August 2015 and February 2016.  In September’s instalment, 2.3million viewers (a record!) watched 11 of the 17 candidates stake their claim for the top job.

With all this macro leadership chatter dominating the local and global airwaves, it’s worth noting that things have been busy on the local leadership front locally.

September has seen the regional and State finals of The AIM Excellence Awards. In 2015 nominations across the four leadership categories (Young Manager of the Year, Not for Profit Manager of the Year, Owner Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year) were up by an average of 32%. Moreover, the reports we are receiving from our hardworking and dedicated panels of judges around Australia suggest that the quality of all applications this year has been excellent. In many categories across the country the judges have asked us if it’s possible to award joint winners! Such is the quality of our leaders, and the standing of AIM’s Excellence Awards.

I’m linking these global and local leadership events because they illustrate something that we, as Members of AIM know well; leadership matters. It matters on a political level in terms of confidence and the ability to effectively communicate policy. But it also matters at a local level in the workplace and in the community. Good managers and leaders have an impact that matters beyond the world of work.

It’s exactly what the AIM Excellence Awards were designed to celebrate. Hopefully we will see the Award nominees, regional, State and National Finalists and the four eventual winners on as many Twitter and Facebook newsfeeds as Corbyn, Turnbull and Trump. Because AIM believes that local leadership matters!