Industry leaders told to embrace change

By Geoff Adams

Leadership speaker and author Margie Warrell has urged the dairy industry to embrace change and to adapt to a new environment, looking for opportunity in a volatile world.

‘‘What is it that you could be doing more to lead yourself?’’ Ms Warrell asked the recent Gardiner Foundation Australian Dairy Leaders lunch in Melbourne.

‘‘The first job in leadership is self-leadership. What is it that I need to be doing?

‘‘The first step to effecting change externally starts with yourself.

‘‘Good leaders listen and try to understand what is going on around them.

‘‘Often it is what is not being said.’’

Ms Warrell encouraged a longer-term vision for the future, and being able to see beyond the immediate issues.

‘‘Are you able to get people on board with a vision? We often get caught up with dealing with what is going on in front of us.’’

Ms Warrell also cautioned against being risk averse.

‘‘When you are giving something a go, you don’t have to know 100 per cent that this is going to work before we try it.

‘‘If we do, we are going to miss out on opportunities to learn.’’’

Ms Warrell said she once interviewed entrepreneur Richard Branson and he told her how he tried and failed at many things.

‘‘Give ourselves permission to tweak and pivot as we go.’’

Ms Warrell worked in the corporate world before going back to study psychology and starting a career in coaching and leadership development.

She was appointed by the Federal Government as the first Ambassador for Women in Global Business in 2016.

She spoke about growing up on a dairy farm near Bairnsdale in Gippsland when there were about 13 dairy farms along their road and they milked about 80 cows, noting there weren’t any there any more.