Staff profile: Gail Siracusa
23 July 2012 By Hannah Carrodus
What is your role at LV?
I'm general manager of leadership development, and I coordinate the great team of people who provide LV's leadership development activities. That includes Williamson, Ignite and our board leadership programs; as well as developing customised programs for other organisations. Recently we delivered leadership programs to a group of French-speaking women visiting from West Africa and also to a delegation from Thailand.
My busy team also coordinates LV's guest speakers and events, such as Alumni lunches and our evening Salon events.
What key projects are you working on at the moment?
One of the exciting projects we are working on at the moment is the Citizen Leadership project. Web 2.0 and social media are creating a change in how people can take up leadership – from more traditional hierarchies to spontaneous, grass roots "citizen-lead" leadership. I'm finding this very interesting as it particularly raises questions around values and ethics.
It's great for LV to be at the forefront of developing leadership in "on-line times", and we have some exciting activities and programs planned for the next 12 months and beyond.
What do you like about your job?
That's a very long list! It's a fabulous job and a great place to work. What makes it fabulous really is the people - it's a job where you're connecting with people the whole time.
As well as working with the great staff team at LV, I get to meet and work with the people who attend our programs, as well as our guest speakers. They all come from a wide range of organizations and sectors and each bring their own unique experience and fascinating perspectives and insights.
It's a privilege because I get to share in these learning experiences as part of my work.
On top of all that, I know that through our programs and activities at LV we are ultimately making a difference in people's lives and in the community – you can't ask for much more than that.
What do you get up to in your spare time?
If I had a choice I would be outdoors enjoying natural surroundings. I'm not particularly athletic or adventurous, but I like to clear the cobwebs with a walk along the beach or a scenic view from a mountain top.
I'm also an avid AFL fan, so most weeks I'm at the football. I am also a member of the A-League, so during the AFL "off- season" I'm with my family at the soccer or various other sporting events.
What AFL team do you support?
I won't comment on that except to say that it has the color blue in the club colours.
What leadership lessons have you learned?
I am continually learning in my working life, and believe it is very important to reflect and review, and to be open to new ideas. Some of the leadership lessons I have learned are that while you may need to "be the person others need you to be", you also definitely need to be yourself and to be authentic.
I also think it is important to be brave, to back yourself and to take some risks.
And that leaders need to have a really clear vision of where they want to get to and they have to really hold steadfastly to that –it can be difficult to do this at times, so you have to remember to keep taking that step back to keep an eye on the big picture.
Who is a leader you admire?
Jim Stynes. I find his story really interesting and I think there are many other great leadership stories in sport. He showed many facets of leadership, not only in his journey from Ireland and working hard to become a champion in AFL, but also through the Reach Foundation and his commitment to saving the Melbourne Football Club.
The leaders I admire are the ones who not only excel in their specialist area, but also step up and make a contribution in areas where they see a need.