top of page
  • Writer's pictureMarion Burchell

Can you discuss a time when you had to make tough decisions as a leader and how your gender might have influenced those choices?

It is the role of a leader to make tough decisions, to give clarity and to navigate the organization through increasing complexity and uncertainty in the environment in which we work.

It is important to decouple the operating environment an organization finds itself in with leadership. For it is easy for people to think someone is a good leader if the environment is calm. The real ability of a leader comes to the fore when there is a storm.

There is an old saying that a smooth sea never made a good sailor. It also goes on to say that calm seas do not make a good sailor. It's important to know the difference when looking at leaders and the context of their leadership.

During my time as a leader, I have had to work within a complex political environment, inability to adequately resource the organization to meet service delivery needs, and expanded scope and volume. With limited capacity, and the need to demonstrate the value of the organization there needs to be clear focus on specific delivery targets.  This requires prioritizing resources and time against agreed critical projects for delivery and managing everyone’s expectations in the process.

In effect, it was a new way of working that meant discarding the traditional organisational structures and silos, into one of flexibility and agility, where capabilities were directed to identified priorities.

I don't think this relates to gender, but more a logic frame forged from continuous learning, a mindset of experimenting and focusing on delivering outcomes.

About Marion

Marion is a highly experienced and accomplished strategy, innovation and leadership professional with a focus on the enterprise and government sectors. She is a trusted advisor to CEOs and senior executives, providing practical and pragmatic solutions to the challenges they face. Marion is the Managing Director at Azolla Holdings Pty Ltd, a Board member, thought leader and member of an international entrepreneur association.


bottom of page