AHRI National Convention keynote speaker, Ita Buttrose AO OBE talks about the art of motivation and the importance of placing value on the people who work for you.
HRM online: Your keynote speech at the 2014 AHRI National Convention will focus on success. How much can success be attributed to communication and our relationships with one another?
Ita Buttrose: Communication is a component of success. It’s obviously essential in the workplace if you’re a member of a team, but particularly so if you’re in a leadership role.
If you can’t communicate well with the people you’re leading, and if you can’t vocalise where you want to take them and what your vision is, they won’t know what direction they’re heading in. So communication it vitally important, and from this stems strong relationships with the people in your workplace.
As a boss, and as a leader, you have to place value on the people who work for you. They are one of your most important assets.
HRM online: Do you think there is a quick path to success or a set of rules to get you there, or is it more about a journey of errors?
IB: Everyone makes mistakes. There isn’t a successful person in the world who hasn’t made mistakes and who hasn’t experienced failure somewhere along the way. That’s the way it is.
No successful person becomes hugely successful without a few detours and a few mistakes – maybe even a failure. But you learn from these mistakes and you learn when things don’t turn out the way you want. It’s this learning that goes into making your eventual success.
HRM online: How much do you think confidence and motivation contribute to a workplace? Do you think teams can tell if management doesn’t have the motivation or passion for their job?
IB: Absolutely. People will always be able to tell whether you’re committed or not.
I think you’ve got to have a passion for what it is you do, and it really doesn’t matter what level of the ladder you’re at. If you don’t love what you do, why are you doing it in the first place?
Life is very short. Work occupies a large portion of our lives, and life is too short not to enjoy it, so it’s vitally important that you enjoy yourself and what you do.
If you don’t, you won’t be able to bring with you the art of motivation that is so essential to encouraging those you work with to give you their very best and to come on a journey with you.
HRM online: What’s your passion at the moment? What successes are you hoping to achieve this year?
IB: We’ve got a relatively new show at Channel 10 [Studio 10] that has been running for 10 months. It’s developing and climbing and we’re growing an audience, so that’s a big passion of mine at the moment. Everyone who is working on it wants it to be the top morning show.
I’ve also been asked to write another book, which I’ll need to find time for, and I still do a fair bit of public and professional speaking.
I always like to give my best and spend a lot of time working out what I’m going to say. And even though I’m quite an accomplished speaker now, I would still never deliver a speech I hadn’t rehearsed. You owe it to your audience to give them the very best you can.
I’m always trying to get some more time for myself and to relax. I’ve got a really nice rose garden in my home in the southern highlands [in New South Wales] that I rarely get to spend time in. I’m fighting the battle of black spot this year – that’s my passion in the garden.