Talking courage with a Practice Manager

(~4 minute read.)

Gideon Joseph is Practice Manager ANZ/SEA with Ultimate Kronos Group. He has an in-depth knowledge of the logistics, supply chain and distribution sector, with more than 20 years’ experience in project management, operations and supply chain strategy for major Australian supermarket and retail chains. Since joining Kronos in 2015, Gideon has applied his wealth of experience to helping clients achieve commercial and sustainable outcomes, improve service and efficiency, and reduce costs. Gideon is based in Melbourne and holds a Masters of Business Administration from La Trobe University.

Join us as Gideon shares stories of workplace courage with us.

How would you describe workplace courage?

Workplace courage is the courage to place trust in people, the courage to let people not be scared to fail when trying new things, and the courage to know that they are supported in challenging the status quo.  Additionally, it is the courage to put people truly first and mean it, and be held accountable to it.

What does courage look like in your workplace?

At Kronos (now UKG) we believe that effective leadership takes courage – the courage to challenge outdated norms and set new standards that inspire, engage and develop employees every day.

Successful leaders are aware of their behaviours and actions and must inspire, engage and develop their people by being bold and humble, by challenging and supporting, and disrupting and connecting.

Please describe 1-2 examples in which you have been courageous.  What did you do?  Who/what enabled you to be courageous?  What was the outcome?  

I have a largeish team of 16 people and I work to provide them with information and guidance to empower them to make the right decisions and to take the correct course of action and trust in their abilities to deliver outstanding results for the organisation and our customers.  For the most part this approach has been successful in increasing the performance of my team as well as the results we deliver for the company.

I also look to challenge the way we do things and look for better ways to achieve outcomes.  Furthermore, I give my team tacit permission and support to try new things and to be flexible and adaptable in their approach.  If things don’t work, there are no repercussions, we analyse why and try again.

There are 2 main components that enable me to be courageous. Firstly, the organisation itself and the example of our senior leaders and it’s culture allows me the freedom to be courageous and to take courageous decision in leading my team. Secondly, I have learned from all my previous leaders and managers and have learned from the best, and worst, of them to define my approach to leadership.

There are a number of examples of success that come to mind where this approach has had measurable results for the individuals involved and their impact on the business.  Over the past couple of years, for instance, I have a PM in my team who was a new PM that I appointed when I started.  He was very uncertain about his abilities and capabilities at the start but with coaching and support he has developed into a highly capable and confident PM who exudes credibility and achieves fantastic results with our customers against all metrics.  Essentially I provided him the necessary support and guidance to give him confidence in his decisions, skills and experience rather than trying to direct him.  He responded very positively and really stepped up and took ownership and has really blossomed as a result and received the highest rating in his recent review and also won an award for his efforts in the last financial year.

Successful leaders are aware of their behaviours and actions and must inspire, engage and develop their people by being bold and humble, by challenging and supporting, and disrupting and connecting.

From your point of view, to what extent are Australia’s leaders leading with courage?

I think in the corporate world we have some truly inspirational and courageous leaders, however, in the political sphere we are sadly lacking in any courage, leadership, vision or strength of belief.

I find that unfortunately in the political sphere, inspirational leaders of the past who had a vision and clear direction for the betterment of humankind have been replaced by professional politicians who’s only goal is re-election and are becoming increasingly popularist in their politics rather than providing the direction and vision that great leaders do.  

In contrast, we have corporate leaders who not only look to provide great leadership for their organisations but also look to elevate and improve the world and it’s people. 

Tell me about the Courage to Lead Award. How did you lead courageously? How does it feel to be recognised as a courageous leader?  What does this mean for you?

At Kronos, we believe that every Kronite deserves to have a great manager. Leading others is a privilege and we expect our people managers to do so with courage matched with thoughtful humility; for me, this means putting one’s people first and empowering them to be the best that they are, and to succeed and even surpass you and to celebrate that rather than putting one’s own success and recognition first. 

Our best people managers are those who trust, empower, develop, and inspire their employees; those who go the extra mile to be sure they are cultivating an environment that is positive, caring and fun. The Courage to Lead Award Program is to recognise the outstanding people managers who exemplify the traits and behaviors we believe are so important to lead all of us to reach our greatest potential.

Personally, I have found receiving this award to be a humbling experience. I recognise that my success is built on the success of those who I lead and those who I work with, and whilst it is always wonderful to be recognised and we have achieved some truly wonderful results, I have not achieved these things in isolation but off the back of a hardworking team and organisation that truly works together to achieve results.

Leading others is a privilege and we expect our people managers to do so with courage matched with thoughtful humility.

As a result of being courageous in the past which has resulted in your winning this award (and congrats again!), how will you use your courage in the future?

In addition to continuing to challenge myself and looking to continue to provide the best leadership that I can for my team, winning this award gives me the confidence and support to both ensure the ongoing development of leadership skills in this vein within my team and future leaders, as well as looking to continue to influence the culture of the organization by ensuring the ongoing development and direction of quality leadership at all levels.  This means challenging norms and behaviours within the organisation and holding myself and others accountable to the expected standards, behaviours and values that we all expect and deserve.

If you would like to connect further with Gideon, please contact him via LinkedIn:

Learning of Gideon’s Courage To Lead Award, I was keen to learn more of his experiences of courage. I have thought deeply about “… courage matched with thoughtful humility;” for me, at this time, I consider this most important. We need to be brave, to live our values, to do what we consider is right and we need to do this with the utmost respect for humanity. Thank you so much for sharing your stories Gideon; I have learnt much.


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