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So where are the thought leaders?

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Prior to Christmas I attended a lunch with some colleagues and a question was posed – if you were putting together a group of people to create the plan to guide Australia out of the current economic challenges – whom would you select?

There were six of us and we were each allowed one nomination: Names tabled were:

Paul Keating, Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Kelty, Gail Kelly, Tim Costello – after that the conversation slowed noticeably! This group seemed self-evident! Any others? – It became a very difficult question! There was serious conversation –many names – no obvious selections?

Issues and questions were tabled:

  • This group probably had had their best years of performance behind them! So where were the younger generation of leaders?
  • Business leaders were not front and centre in the conversation
  • Women were not easily visible

The question actually had caused the group to reflect on business leadership in Australia – and it raised the additional question – as individuals are we doing enough?

All at the lunch are business leaders.

It is an even better question when it causes self-reflection – it is too easy to sit back and bemoan the fact that there is a paucity of leadership – avoiding self-reflection is the easy way!

However even business leaders need “inspiration”, “guidance”, and “thought leadership.” So in Australia 2015 who are the genuine business thought leaders – where are they?

There is a wonderful story I heard many years ago about a couple of old guys – Moses and Aaron. Leaders from another time!

As the story goes Moses and Aaron were leading their people somewhere and as it turned out they were a long way ahead.

Aaron says to Moses – “Moses we are way out in front, maybe we should sit down?”

They thought for a while and then sat down – and so did their people!

I guess the question for me as a result of the lunch is more focused now – the question becomes – Am I far enough in front?

The question for you is the same! Are you far enough in front?

Ben Kehoe



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