By Taryn Richardson

future of leadership

I’ve just been to an A-maaaazing event this week in Brisbane that I wanted to share, “The Future of Leadership”. We even trended in the top 4 on twitter #FOL2014. There was a line-up of incredibly clever, dynamic, savvy and forward thinking speakers sharing their insights on leadership and communication. It was so cutting-edge, vibrant, fresh and contemporary. I don’t think I’ve ever been to any full day event and not dosed off during the afternoon session. These guys kept me awake and on the edge of my seat for a full 6 hours – congratulations! I left pumped and inspired to take my new wisdom back and apply it to my own business and relationships.

There’s absolutely no way I can do it justice here…. but below are some of the key take-home messages that were light bulb moments for me:

Peter Baines had an entire room enthralled in his stories. You literally could have heard a pin drop.

•Leadership is about making hard decisions.

•Lead with sensitivity & simplicity.

•Act with good intent and good integrity. If you make the wrong decision, you will be forgiven. If you don’t make decisions for the fear of making the wrong decision, you wont be forgiven.

•You can’t have a mistake free organisation and one that is innovative.

•You can’t change what’s happened, but you can change what happens next.

•Focus on results, not excuses! (love this one)

•If we do nothing, nothing will change


Jen Jackson is a funky, potty-mouthed communications consultant.

3 pillars to communicating better:

1. Tell a story

2. Get consistent about the things that matter

3. Match your message to your medium

She has a great story about her husband who would never put petrol in the car and the way she communicated the right message to get him to change his behaviour…

Darren Hill is a behavioural scientist and strategist

3 key focus areas of great leaders:

1.Manage pressure well

2.Make progress

3.Establish connection


•He talked about the power of shared experiences.

•Get a touch or get in touch. The best teams touch each other. Trust is built by touching.

•Break down the walls & make people vulnerable. Build bonds of trust


Get touching people! (but not in a weird way…)


Dr Adam Fraser is the only keynote speaker in the world to have the impact of his presentation measured in a study

•The stuff we are most proud of is the stuff that’s hard

•The best relationships are when we have more active, constructive conversations as opposed to passive, deconstructive ones

•Engage & be active in conversation. I.e. get your head out of your phone!


A couple of books to add to the reading list:

The Game Changer: Dr Jason Fox

StrengthsFinder 2.0: Tom Wrath.

Dealing with the Tough Stuff: How to achieve results from key conversations: Darren Hill, Alison Hill, Sean Richardson


There was so much more which you will have to see for yourself. One of the best things about the day was the fact it was all not-for-profit. Presenters themselves had to pay to get there and 100% of ticket sales went to Peter Baines charity ‘Hands Across The Water’ to help at-risk children in Thailand devastated by the Boxing Day tsunami.

If you’re in Melbourne or Brisbane (and possibly even Sydney), look out for next year’s event the “Future of Culture”. Definitely one to add to the calendar.

Here’s to active, constructive conversations, hard decisions made with integrity, story telling and a bit of touchy-feely.



*No commission exchanged hands during the process of writing this article.


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