Staff Profile: Carol Owen
12 July 2012 By Hannah Carrodus
Bachelor of Business, Accounting, RMIT
Executive Certificate in Social Leadership, Systems Thinking, Strategic Business Acumen, Australian Graduate School of Leadership
What do you do at LV?
I’m the business manager at LV so I have responsibility to ensure LV can operate with the tools and resources available to deliver the program of work and LV’s strategic intent. That includes administration, HR, IT and financial control and managing the JJ Clark room. It encompasses the whole of the corporate services for Leadership Victoria. So it’s making sure everybody can be effective in their work and that the organisation is sustainable.
How long have you been at LV?
Three months now and enjoying every moment.
What key projects are you working on at the moment?
Our corporate structure has changed to make it fit our stakeholder requirements and this requires me to realign LV’s financial management and accountability with the new corporate structure. The structure includes leadership development, social impact, Alumni engagement, development, communications and marketing which all have distinct reporting and accountability. Another key project is developing and management of the JJ Clark Room, which is the function room LV has recently acquired. Our programs and events will mostly be held here.
What do you like about your job?
I like what the organisation does. That is really important to me. Its focus on developing leaders to generate a positive social impact. You’re supporting people at the coal face who can make an impact in the community. My background is in not-for-profits and I’m passionate about organisations being able to deliver services in this sector, so that’s a good fit for me. I like the people, I like the work we do. It’s innovative, it’s fresh and it’s coming up with new ideas and new ways of thinking.
How do you unwind in your spare time?
I probably talk a lot. I do some voluntary work in my local area to support a program of work that makes a small contribution to the community, as well as undertaking part-time studies in social leadership and the Italian language. An odd mix but I like to be challenged, to think differently, and they both certainly provide that. I enjoy my family and friends being close by and enjoy Melbourne’s cultural diversity. I’m a fan of the NGV Ian Potter at Federation Square, the theatre at 45Downstairs; as well as good food.
What leadership lessons have you learned throughout your career?
I’m a strong advocate for working in collaboration and empowering others. When working together you can achieve a lot more than if you’re coming at a situation from opposite points of view. It can be hard work to get to that point but when you find a way to work together, it's magic and a whole lot more is achieved. By empowering others it makes them feel valued and respected and to be accountable. That way, you have far more positive outcomes. It's less stressful on everybody.
Who is a leader you admire?
Christine Nixon. She has operated in demanding environments and has proven, throughout her career, that being an effective and innovative leader doesn’t always win friends.