Staff Profile: Rosemary White
14 February 2011
What do you do at Leadership Victoria?
I’m General Manager of the programming area, which means I have an oversight of all the programs we do as well as managing WCLP. So, since February 2008, I’ve worked on two levels – at a programming level with the day to day planning of WCLP and on a strategic level, with an eye to program development.
How long have you worked at LV?
I started in July 2007. This year will be my fifth WCLP program group and will take me up to 170 people who I’ve worked with personally.
What did you do before joining LV?
I have eight years experience as executive officer for two small not-for-profits in the education sector. I was Executive Officer of the Country Education Project for four years working with rural and remote schools and then four years working with the Victorian Principals Association.
What do you like about your job?
There are incredible people working with LV -people who bring great strength and great skill to the organisation. It’s an exciting time to be here and a significant piece of work to be involved in.
I’ve always seen myself as an “LV” person. I’m very passionate about what we do. I’ve never felt like I just do my job and walk away at the end of the day. Like a lot of people, I need to feel aligned to not only the nature of the work of the organisation but what it stands for.
I get energised from working with such a dynamic group of people and the opportunity to be involved with and facilitate WCLP. Watching the group dynamic form and evolve, how the participants progress and change through the year, is a real privilege to be a part of.
I am very motivated by leadership development. I’m passionate about encouraging people, and seeing them become the best they can be.
What have you learnt about leadership in your time at LV?
There is no simple response to leadership, it’s very much about the context and timing of when someone steps up.
For me it’s more about questions than answers. That’s the thing about the WCLP program as well, as at the end of each year the participants usually have more questions about leadership than they do answers, and that’s a good thing.
I’ve also learnt a lot about my style of leadership. I like to think I’m a really collaborative person who understands what’s going on around them.
How do you fill the hours when you’re not at LV?
I became a nanna for the first time, just before Christmas, and that’s really exciting. Family is incredibly important to me and it’s just been incredibly exciting to be sharing that joy with people who are very important in our lives.
Other than that, I enjoy reading, movies, gardening and spending time with my family.
Who has most influenced your professional life?
I’ve worked with some wonderful people. The one’s who have influenced me the most have been incredibly supportive and encouraging at a time when I was starting out and didn’t know where my career prospects might lie. I think I’ve learnt something from all of them.
I’ve also been very fortunate. I feel very grateful that people encouraged me at a time when I was less confident, and perhaps hadn’t fully developed or explored my professional skills. To have people believe in you is incredibly uplifting.
Do you have any leadership lessons from previous bosses (good or bad)?
Be authentic, be genuine and be yourself. Implicit in that is to have integrity.
Listen and know what’s going on around you.
Know your strengths and build on them, be comfortable in your own sense of what you can do and what you can contribute.
And keep things in perspective, even the very worst of things pass, and it’s important to feel like you’ve handled it in the best possible way, that you can feel confident and proud, and can maybe laugh about it later.