Nov 25

Our World Needs Big Leadership Right Now. This is How Leaders Create the Future.

No one can refute that it has been a big year, perhaps bigger than any of us imagined after 2020 and 2021. In my conversations over the last couple of weeks, there have been some consistent themes. Many executive and senior leaders are still facing into the challenges of their organisations and their industries. And it is tough going.

Everything from talent management and retention to an increasingly complex financial landscape, challenges in supply chain, and in some cases unpredictable demand for service and products.

Just last week one of my CEOs, Mary, said to me she feels like they she is in a state of perpetual overwhelm. There is so much to do, so many things requiring her attention, and her people are demanding so much of her time and support, that it can be very hard to know what to focus on first and what to focus on next. Let alone moving out of a reactive state into a much more strategic one. And this is what concerns her. That she is not being sufficiently strategic to ensure a future for the organisation, her people, and herself.

This is something that I am hearing on repeat, very senior leaders, executives, are in overwhelm. There is so much to do, and so many challenges. There are obstacles and there are opportunities, but which to tackle first?

There are big issues and big problems, and big options and big opportunities. Let’s not forget things like fatigue, general weariness, limited development of people over the last couple of years, leaving them feeling less capable and less confident than they were in 2019.

So, there is much to do and leaders need to figure out what to focus on, how to focus on it, and how to create the outcomes that are important.

When I look at what has happened over the last couple of years, consider the interactions and the observations that I have had with leaders in a variety of organisations, in a variety of industries, I feel like all the things that were challenges before have become amplified. All the problems and issues have been accelerated. What you need here is to remember to balance this focus with the new opportunities. There are new areas of potential and innovation, and there is a heap of possibility if you are open to and seeking it.

Stacey Ashley Big Leadership - Venn

I believe we need big leadership. We need leaders who think beyond what they already know or what they have already seen and done. We need broader perspective. We need lots of growth. We need big ideas. If you are going to face into the big problems, the big challenges, the big obstacles, and make the most of the big opportunities, so you get big outcomes, you need big leadership.

Leaders with big vision, who challenge the status quo, who make bold decisions and take brave action to create the future. The future for themselves, for their organisations, and for their people. The future that is sustainable, the future that is relevant.

Leaders need to think and act bigger. Know, be and do leadership in a bigger way.

Not making decisions, not having big ideas, not taking advantage of the opportunities, not moving to brave action, does not create the future. In fact, it is an almost sure way to ensure you do not have a desirable future.

I am excited. I believe there is much potential. There are many options. There is great opportunity right now.

If you are, or aspire to be, a phenomenal leader leading with heart, who wants to create the future, I’d love to know what is your first, next step?

Stacey Ashley Create the Future - Venn

What are the big questions you need to be asking and answering?

What are the bold decisions you need to make?

What is the brave action you need to take?

I’d love to know your thoughts.

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH – BIG LEADERSHIP
2022 The Stevie Awards for Women in Business

Leaders with big vision, who challenge the status quo, make bold decisions and take brave action, create the future.

Our world needs big leadership.

Leaders who accept the responsibilities of leadership, including growing and developing the people around them. Leaders who show up every day to inspire, influence and impact us.

I’m privileged to work with phenomenal leaders, who lead with heart, and I thank them for that opportunity.

I thank my family for their incredible ongoing support. And I thank the Stevies, for offering an incredible platform which recognises world-class female leadership.

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