“Thank for a great experience from the time I walked in the door”

Ellen-Maree Gadd
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For more information:
Stephen Crowe

Managing Director

Ph: 02 8042 8907

[email protected]


When you look up the term ‘leadership’ or ‘leadership roles’, you will find many articles on what to do to become a great leader. It is also important to be aware of bad habits that can hinder progress.

I know I have been guilty of at least two of the items listed below, but the first step is being aware of these habits so that you can find the ways to improve your leadership performance:

  1. Taking credit for others’ ideas and contributions – We all know the famous term, there is no ‘I’ in ‘Team’. It is very exciting when members of your team make a contribution that takes the organisation in a positive direction. However, the biggest failures one can make as a leader is to neglect to recognise and acknowledge individual and team contributions. If you are taking credit for someone else’s work, chances are you will start to notice your team working against you and not for you because they do not feel appreciated or valued.
  2. Using a position of power to control and intimidateothers — This autocratic style of leadership will often leave the team with a low level of autonomy. This can prevent creative ideas being presented as team members feel they do not have the right to contribute.
  3. Blaming others when things go wrong – It is important to recognise with the team when mistakes are made and that they have negative consequences in order to assess better solutions for the future. However, singling people out, pointing fingers, or making others carry the full weight of the failure is not reaction a leader should take. A leader needs to stand by their team no matter what, accept responsibility of when things go wrong, keep track of team members and progression, and have an ‘open door’ for team members to approach if they are experiencing struggles on tasks.
  4. Clinging to traditional methods and old ideas –In order to thrive in society most leaders need to think outside the box, take risks when needed and use innovation to be one step ahead of competitors. While traditional methods may have worked in the past, if you find you are constantly using the same strategy when the rest of the world is changing, you may fall behind. This includes those that refuse to learn new skills and tools to keep up with today’s market. If you are not trying to learn and adapt, you will fall behind.
  5. Failing to keep promises – Leaders who make promises but do not follow through risk loss of personal credibility, trust and the goodwill of others. If you have let down your team more than once, it can often take a long time to earn that trust back.
  6. Actingalone – Leaders who do not consult, collaborate or solicit input from others often fail to make enlightened decisions. Leaders also need to make sure they delegate tasks within the team appropriately so that they can stretch their teams’ abilities.

Failing to effectively manage issues – Leaders who dismiss the need to address, manage and resolve issues, place themselves and their organisation at risk.

What are some of the experiences you have learned in a leadership role? What were the learning curves that you have experienced?


The online poll we conducted during the week resulted in a response of:

Yes – 39%        No – 61%

From the perspective of a recruitment agency, our consultants consider it inappropriate to wear casual clothes when interviewing as it sets the wrong tone for the candidate. We expect our candidates to dress for their interviews with us as though they were attending an interview with a client’s company – smart, groomed and corporate – therefore, is behooves us to do likewise. 

Aside from this (fairly obvious) scenario, the general consensus amongst the colleagues and friends I queried on this topic was that: 

1. The influence on casual attire on work attitudes depends on the individual. While there is no doubt casual dress can create a more relaxed work environment and even a sense of liberation, I think that those with a good work ethic will not allow their attire to impact on performance. In my view a sloppily dressed or poorly groomed person in “business” attire is more likely to have a sloppy or casual work attitude than a groomed person in casual attire. 

2. There is “casual” and there is “inappropriate”. In the opinion of one Challenge staff member, the latter includes:

  • midriff tops
  • torn jeans (even though they are fashionable)
  • T-shirts with inappropriate slogans
  • too much cleavage
  • hemlines which are too short
  • attire which should be left at the nightclub 


It seems that, in general, when Friday comes around a lot of people do tend to wind down slightly because they are getting ready for the weekend. However, that does not mean people work any differently on Fridays. An individual’s work ethic is not connected to their jeans. 

Another argument for casual Fridays is the affect on staff morale. One Challenge staff member felt that casual attire can, in some instances, lead to casual work attitudes, as employees are more relaxed. This is not necessarily a bad or negative thing, though. It all comes down to the culture that is created within the workplace; if there is a good, solid culture where managers lead by example and employees know they are valued, they will work hard no matter what they wear. 

Much of the above seems to relate to organisations of a “corporate” nature where a certain style of attire is the accepted, default norm. 

But what about offices that are “casual” all the time, such as advertising, technology, arts, etc? Is there a correlation between an employee having the freedom to express their creativity through personal dress, and then translating that into creativity in the workplace?  

Maybe organisations that are so bound by restrictive dress rules and regulations could benefit from letting people express themselves more freely in the workplace? After all, diversity is the mother of innovation. Having said that, when does personal expression cross the line and become just plain bad taste?


What is The Challenge Consulting Blog all about? We’re glad you asked! In essence, we wish to put the wonders of modern technology and social media to work to unite the Challenge Consulting community.

We work with clients and candidates nationally and internationally from diverse backgrounds and industries. The Challenge Consulting Blog is our way of bridging the divide and providing an informal, safe, relaxed forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the ever-changing world of recruitment, staff development and career management.

Our goal is not to be didactic or dry, but rather to present in a real and entertaining way the experiences, ideas and opinions of our talented team of consultants working daily on the front line of candidate and client management. We also want to provide our readers with the latest national and global industry trends, ideas and innovations, and to invite you to get involved via your comments and feedback.

Penny Robertshawe writes and manages our blog. Penny recently joined the Challenge Consulting team after taking over from Jenna Baril in June 2015. Penny’s background is in writing, editing and designing learning. Over the years, she has written for websites, magazines, professional journals and for the vocational education sector.

Penny is passionate about using writing as a vehicle to help people realise their potential and to give them tools for making a positive difference in their lives. Her aim is to inspire her readers to take action and make any changes they feel they need.

Penny is keen to hear your feedback about the Challenge Consulting blog so she can find out more about the kinds of things you would like to read about. So stay tuned and keep in touch.