WOMEN IN FINANCE MONTH: Earlier this year, Astute Ability Group broker and principal Mhairi Macleod was named the Asset Finance Broker of the Year at the Australian Broking Awards, and has taken home several other industry awards this year, too. We find out what she thinks is the mark of a good business leader in finance.
What do you think is the mark of a good business leader?
There’s so many factors that make a good business leader. I think one particular factor that stands out, in light of 2020, is that good businesses need to move with change rapidly.
As a business leader, I’ve learnt that it’s important to lead with fluidity and a positive mindset for change, just as much as it’s important to help your team work through it.
I’ve found that you’ll need to have a healthy balance of giving your team opportunities for professional development in a changing period and also other ways to grow/innovate for my business.
While I see myself as a business leader, I am also an advocate for positive innovation.
Who inspires you in business, and why?
From my own experiences, I’ve been humbled to work with industry leaders and role models like:
I’ve also been equally inspired by the people who support my business and my peers in the wider industry.
I believe we’re in an impressive industry that embraces all females to be champions of their own business and their own finance subject matter experts.
I believe it’s important to find people (no matter the gender) in your own corner that inspires you, encourages you to learn and helps you to grow to be your own role model one day, too.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do as a business lead/principal – and what did you learn from that experience?
One of the key lessons I’ve learnt is that you can never be good at everything in your business.
At 24 years old, I just started my business and was managing nine staff. I learnt instantly that the hardest barrier to growth was finding and building the right team for your business. I learnt to wear different hats all the time and enhance my interpersonal people skills – from learning how to manage your business to managing your team and different working styles to bring it all together.
The hardest thing is not generating leads or doing the work, but finding the right team and getting them on the right path to grow your business.
What advice would you give to other female business leaders looking to succeed in the finance/broking industry?
The month of November marks The Adviser’s Women in Finance month, as we profile some of the leading women in this industry.
[Related: Q&A: Evelyn Clark, broker, Accession Finance]
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.
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