The Culture of Leadership

20 / 03 / 2014

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Women in public leadership positions are still all too rare, and those that do crack the glass ceiling have more than their fair share of vitriol to contend with, from shock jocks to social media misogynists. 

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In this edition of Culture Club, f ormer Health Services Commissioner of Victoria Dr Beth Wilson AM steps up to the plate in defense of Australia’s first woman Police Commissioner, the oft-maligned Christine Nixon.

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by Dr Beth Wilson AM

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binära optioner nasdaq Several years ago after I gave a talk on leadership to a social networking group, a woman associated with the police force announced, “We hate Christine Nixon.”  I’m not sure who she meant by “we” because all the other women in the room were strongly supportive of Nixon. So I asked “why do you hate her? Is it because she’s a woman?” “No”, the woman responded, “it’s because she’s from New South Wales”. The sarcastic tone of her voice when she uttered the dreaded words New South Wales was enough to make your blood run cold.  It did, however give an indication of how insular some Victorians were back when Christine Nixon was appointed as Victoria’s Police Commissioner in 2001.  It was fairly predictable that the first woman Police Commissioner in Australia was going to have a rough time though few of us could have predicted the ferocity of the media abuse that was thrown at her because she had the dual disadvantage of being a woman in leadership and a rank outsider. 

testa binära optioner So why did being from New South Wales cause such acrimony in some quarters?  I don’t believe it was simply territorial thing; I think it was because Victoria’s police force was incredibly insular, self-protective and self serving and they knew an “outsider” like Nixon would not approve of some of the practices such insularity breeds.  She was appointed at a time when gangland wars were raging and there were allegations of corruption within the Victorian police force. I still believe she was the best Police Commissioner Victoria has had and the reforms she brought about have given us a much better police force and one that is closer to being a police force for all Australians than was previously the case.  Her decision to march with a contingent of police in uniform in the Gay Pride March in 2005 as part of the Midsumma Festival was a bold statement of her inclusiveness.  The right wing media screamed in response but not so joyfully as the crowds in packed out Fitzroy Street , St Kilda, a moment many of us will never forget.

come funzionano opzioni binarie Unfortunately her many fine achievements have been overshadowed by her visit to the pub on Black Saturday when she was Chief of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction Authority. While there was a frenzy of condemnation, let’s stop to consider what we can justifiably expect from people in leadership positions. 

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buy russian sustanon My first tutor on the ethics of high office was Sir John “Bugsy” Norris (yes, you were allowed to describe people thus back in the early 1980s). Sir John was fond of telling me, “In law my girl there is no such thing as a reasonable woman.” He was a retired Supreme Court judge whose wife, the wonderful Dame Ada Norris, became a Dame prior to her husband receiving his knightship. (Well!)  Sir John “rested” each morning in the Victoria Law Foundation Library for which I was responsible and he claimed he had lawful authority to do so as “a mere licensee”. He was a wonderful source of information about the law and also gave me much gratuitous advice about leadership, some of which I still find enlightening today.

binarie con demo According to Sir John high office brings with it strong responsibilities as well as many privileges.  A judge, he advised, should never be seen in a pub. He believed the jury system was wonderful from a judge’s perspective because it introduced into the courtroom, where thieves, rapists and murderers were paraded daily, twelve ordinary, decent human beings doing their duty. Sir John considered leaders, especially members of the judiciary, should lead by example and be aware of the position they hold at all times. Because he was very hierarchical in his thinking Sir John thought the higher the office held, the greater the degree of responsibility and sacrifice.  I didn’t agree with everything Sir John said but I found the conversations fascinating.

migliori libri sulle opzioni binarie When I woke up on Sunday the seventh of February 2009 I wasn’t alone in thinking, “Oh gosh I hope no one’s been hurt.”  These hopes were dashed for us all as the grim news unfolded of the devastation wrought by the Black Saturday fires. Some of the media broadcast the ever increasing and sometimes fluctuating number of deaths like a sporting score sheet causing much distress.  One hundred and seventy three people died and 414 were injured. The situation was ripe for a scapegoat and Nixon was right there as a useful target.  The media had made her famous and now they went in for the kill. The criticism of Nixon has been based on wisdom born of hindsight.  Nobody knew what was about to unfold.  Does a police Commissioner, or other people who hold positions of responsibility, have to be on duty 24 hours a day?

http://pelicanhouse.nl/?nsover=trading-binario-online-demo trading binario online demo Commissioner Nixon, as she then was, strove to develop a police force that worked as a team and where responsibilities were shared. A good leader does not have to be on deck all the time and if an organisation relies on that kind of leadership it is not a well-run organisation.  Nixon was available if needed, as was the Minister for Emergency services Kim Wells who was at the Australian Open when there were fires burning this year.  He has agreed that it was “not a good look “ to be at the tennis but heaven forbid our leaders should be motivated by what is or is not “a good look” rather than by common sense (which is code for consensus about what are reasonable expectations about leadership).  While the media was critical of Wells he experienced neither the ferocity nor the duration of the attacks on Christine Nixon.

where can i buy Revia without prescription in El Monte California We justifiably expect high standards from our leaders but these expectations also have to be realistic.  While justice must not only be done but also be seen to be done was it really necessary for Nixon or Wells to be behaving in a “Captain at the Helm” kind of way? Even leaders need to rest, to sleep, to have a social life and sometimes to go to the pub. What really matters is the systems and policies that are in place to ensure what needs to be done is done. And women tend to be better at this than men because they have been the predominant carers, household managers and organisers.

Sildenafil Citrate beställa Much media discussion has been unhelpful and very unfair in relation to women in leadership positions. The extreme misogyny of some shock jocks was all too obvious in their prolonged and hate-filled attacks on Christine Nixon while the blokes were ticked off but then let off the hook.  In 2008 she was criticized for accepting a ride on the inaugural flight of a Qantas airliner with her husband. Again the media acrimony and pursuit was far more vitriolic than any that men who take wives or mistresses on trips have faced.  With typical good humour her very supportive husband John Becquet said at the time, “I am normally her handbag but on this she’s my handbag.”

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