So it’s good bye from me and it’s hello from him!

My term as your chairman has almost ended after 3 years or so in the role. I welcome and strongly endorse the new chairman Guy Wilson to the “big chair” and wish him all the best in the role for the next 2 years. Guy brings some great skills and experience to your Association and a younger man’s viewpoint as well. I expect all members to strongly support Guy as he puts his mark on the fabric of our Association.

I write this article a few days before our Gold Coast Convention. By the time you read it we will have witnessed a big affair, with a myriad of events and speakers, numerous dinners and much fraternising. I expect that those who attended will be basking in the afterglow of a fantastic event from which (as I said in my last article) you will have gained plenty of good ideas, that when implemented, will make your life better and your business stronger.

I would like to close out my term as chairman with a few words about “culture”. This is a word lately used by all and sundry, especially in sporting clubs, political parties and big end of town businesses. Mostly it is discussed in the context of a lack of culture in an enterprise. Where an enterprise is lacking good culture it usually experiences a range of problems, mostly within the staff of the organisation. It’s simply “cause and effect”.

We hear about “bad” culture and it is often used to explain a business where good people work poorly, relate poorly and leave as quickly as they can. “Good” culture on the other hand is said to improve staff performance and attitudes and therefore lead to success in an enterprise.

For most of my life I have been a Melbourne football club member (…yes I know that is character building). Boy have they copped the “bad culture” wrap. I have also worked in different spheres and had a variety of experiences with culture. I think I have learned much from these experiences.

To me the word “culture” has been hijacked and is now a term that covers many bases. Put simply I encourage our members to think about their personal leadership. What we as an association and as individuals need to recognise is that culture is really the sum of the parts of the people working in any organisation. And generally leadership emanates from those in positions of authority. Leaders lead… and better leaders lead better. The consequence is a better outcome. At the Melbourne Footy club that is apparent in spades, a new CEO who shows leadership and a new coach who practices leadership every day. Outcome is a better place for all, including us long-suffering members.

But leadership is personal. All of us can make a difference. We can lead in our own way. You don’t need to be the “Boss” to lead. Certainly good leaders empower others to do better. By doing better we all contribute to leadership.

What should we do then to improve our organisations culture, be it our home, our business, our SSAA, our friendship groups? The answer in my view is simple. Show good leadership by acting courageously, consistently, with authenticity and honesty. Sometimes this is hard, but that is what makes good leadership and good culture.

In your business, empower your staff. If you are a staff member, show your personal skills in leadership and practice honesty, authenticity and courage and you will contribute to a better workplace. In my opinion this is better than any single other thing you do to influence success.

Now its time to say farewell. Thanks for the support of so many people over my time as Chairman of our SSAA. I have made some great friendships, worked with and around some great people, too many to identify. I am grateful for the opportunity to offer my leadership to our industry body. Others can judge success or failure.

gary headshot

Gary Vick
SSAA Chairman

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