"A challenge is an opportunity for you to learn."
If there is one thing Ian Rathbone has seen in his diverse accounting career – which spans industries including research and development, freight and logistics, wholesale horticulture and outsourced marketing – it’s a wide range of leadership styles.
“Along my journey I have had the privilege of working with a diverse range of leaders, with many different qualities. This exposure has allowed me to clarify and identify the type of leader I aspire to be.”
What has always fascinated Ian is how leadership continues to evolve, and the power of an experiential leadership journey.
“At its core, the leadership journey is about growing, challenging yourself, and pulling together different strategies and tools that have worked well in the past, and further adapting those strategies to succeed in the future.”
“Through the Rising Leadership Program, I learnt that there are infinite resources and texts on leadership, but no set list a leader must incorporate. Leaders need to take inspiration from other areas and build a bespoke suit that fits them.”
For Ian, the key part of this journey – and indeed being a leader more broadly – is finding and embracing one’s authentic self.
“Being authentic creates a space for people to know they are valued, and enables them to strive towards their best work.”
“As an authentic leader I am guiding people not only in their current role, but also in their careers. I don’t think you can just say ‘I’m going to help you for the two years we’re together’. You need to inspire and motivate people on their journey to find their best self.”
A crucial aspect of the personal journey is how a commitment to lifelong learning can help with overcoming challenges.
“Learning can be very humbling and challenging. You have to be open to bring out your best self. It’s a journey that will never stop. You’ll never reach the position of a ‘certified leader’.”
“A challenge is an opportunity for you to learn.”
Ian is an Alumni of the 2020 Rising Leadership Program.
“The Rising Leadership Program was inspiring because of the concepts it instilled in the cohort about finding your why, and answering questions like ‘why are you doing what you’re doing?’, ‘what makes you you?’, and ‘what brings out your strengths?’”
“From the beginning to the end, I genuinely appreciated the genuine connections with the diversity of participants in the Program, particularly sharing the leadership journey, and how we can all learn from each other.”