Friday April 21, 2023

Enabling personal growth: Meet Future Leaders Committee Chair Anthony Pronin

  • Enabling personal growth: Meet Future Leaders Committee Chair Anthony Pronin image

In this special Q&A series, we introduce the members of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) ACT Future Leaders Committee (FLC) who work closely with us to deliver a series of events throughout the year.

Today, FLC Chair Anthony Pronin shares his thoughts on the importance of continuous learning and flexibility in leadership, and why public servants mustn’t forget to have fun and enjoy their jobs.

What is your role in the public service and what do you enjoy most about it?

I am the acting director of Decision Support at the Department of Defence. I enjoy briefing our senior leaders both verbally and in writing, and putting myself in their shoes – what change does their position and authority allow them to influence? How can they implement large-scale change?

What is your role on the committee?

I am the current chair of the committee.

Why did you join the committee?

After my first IPAA event, I was instantly hooked on the value and inspiration I gained from hearing experienced leaders speak on their thoughts of leadership and the interesting stories that accompanied them. I participated in the IPAA ACT Future Leaders Program and IPAA mentoring program and was very keen to express my interest in supporting IPAA and the committee. Needless to say, I continue to attend every IPAA event I can.

What does great leadership look like to you?

Great leadership means showing courage and virtue when faced with responsibility – it is a function, not a position. I think great leaders value curiosity and listening, and asking questions that influence thinking. I really value growth and continual learning and believe leadership should be contextualised to the individual. A ‘stretch task’ for one person is completely different from that of another. To enable personal growth to occur a one size fits all approach won’t work.

If you have participated, can you tell us your three key takeaways from when you attended the Future Leaders Program?

  • Great leaders demonstrate their values through how they speak and behave every day.
  • It’s important to be curious and realise that even though you have settled on a point of view or made a decision, it is not too late to consider new evidence and change your mind.
  • It is vital to create an environment where there is diversity of thought and staff are comfortable sharing bad news. Even in high-pressure times, it is important to have fun and enjoy the great profession that is public service

If you have participated, can you tell us about a time when you applied some of the lessons you learned from the program?

I like to lean into leadership by engaging with graduate cohorts: ensuring they have appropriate expectations, inspiration, and ability to influence change, and of course – to let them know about IPAA!

Make sure to follow the Future Leaders Committee on LinkedIn.

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