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Leading A Purpose Driven Economy


23 June 2017 at 2:18 pm
Rachel McFadden
There is a stark difference between management and leadership, a Victorian conference has heard.


Rachel McFadden | 23 June 2017 at 2:18 pm


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Leading A Purpose Driven Economy
23 June 2017 at 2:18 pm

There is a stark difference between management and leadership, a Victorian conference has heard.

Speaking at the Volunteering Victoria 2017 conference on Friday, keynote speaker Chris Kotur, Leadership Victoria’s leader in residence, said there were some crucial ingredients organisations must adopt to stand out from the crowd.

“The most successful leaders are excellent communicators, they know how to shift the conversation when compassion wears thin,” Kotur said.

Kotur said instead of focusing on the negatives, that most in the social sector knew too well  –  funding cuts, lack of resources, faulty buildings and perpetual cycles of injustice and poverty – emerging leaders were talking about hope.

“A fabulous communicator is confident and hopeful. They speak of ambition over pity, ambition over welfare and ambition over charity,” she said.

Kotur said leaders in the social sector were aiming to empower the people they worked with and essentially trying “to do themselves out of a job.”

This approach, which Kotur said pursued “logic over emotion”, saw organisations stand out from the crowd in terms of funding submissions.

“The ones that really stand out are those who are offering solutions and are partnering with others. I am particularly blown away when some of them propose to save money down the track,” Kotur said.

She said the difference between management and leadership was that managers dealt with the technical side of budgets and policies while leaders, in addition to dealing with those aspects, put people and relationships at the centre of everything they did.

Similar themes of a people-centred approach were picked up on in the Corporate Volunteering Breakfast, also held at the Volunteering Victoria 2017 conference on Friday.

The speakers, KPMG corporate citizenship manager Kaushik Sridhar, United Way special projects manager Emily Cormack, Seek lead of social investment Jack McLean, The Plato Project co-founder Omar de Silva and Be Collective social enterprise and B corp executive Mandy Burns spoke about the rise of a purpose driven and people centred economy.

Sridhar said that corporate volunteering “made good business sense”.

He said that up to 80 per cent of people were disengaged from work and that volunteering had been proven to enrich people’s wellbeing and sense of purpose by up to 90 per cent.

McLean said millennials were much more driven by purpose and making a positive contribution to the world over pure finance.

The annual conference ran over two days and with more than 20 speakers, including international keynote speaker Tobi Johnson.


Rachel McFadden  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Rachel is a journalist specialising in the social sector.

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