"It’s only through engaging in conversation with people that change can occur."

Have you ever been so passionate about something that you must act, you must do what it takes, and you must make a personal sacrifice to do it? 

Recently SynergyIQ had the pleasure of hosting Paula Luethen, the current State Parliament Member for King and White Ribbon Ambassador, at our Transformation Network on Wednesday 26 June 2019. 

Paula is an advocate and some would say a warrior for better laws and protection for children and families. Our Network was truly humbled by an inspiring story of struggle and strength. 

Paula graciously shared her story that started at Westpac as a Change Manager. Paula has been working away making change and applying her PROSCI knowledge to big projects. 

One day she was told by her manager she was being allocated a coach. Through this process she was able to open up to her past and put a name to what she had experience as a child. Domestic child abuse. 

This started her journey to learn more, do more and say more. She was determined to be an advocate for children and speak out against abuse and domestic violence. 

This lead her to enter one of the most challenging arenas….politics. 

She knew alone she couldn’t create the change she wanted to see. She knew that she needed a louder voice. 

Starting in Local Government she cut her teeth in politics. Using her skills as a Change Manager Paula was able to create change for the community that others fail to do. Her vision was strong and she wanted to take her public service to a new level. 

Fuelled by her passion for change she walked the streets in her local area. Trudged up and down hills to knock on 15,000 doors to speak to the people she was hoping to represent in State Parliament. 

She was of course successful and won a seat that no-one expected her to win. 

The key learnings that I took from her talk:

  • Change is change – no matter what we do in life whether it’s changing our business or changing our community we are human and therefore respond to change in various yet predictable ways. 
  • Change happens in conversation – Paula has spoken with thousands of people since she started her quest and continues to speak with more. She knows that it’s only through engaging in conversation with people that change can occur. 
  • Engage and ask each person – not everyone would take the time to go and try to engage with every person who would be affected by her Membership in Parliament yet Paula knowing that a robust change process creates more success put in the time and effort to engage her end user. Which gave them a voice and told them someone cares that changes impacts them. 
  • Fueled by passion – to get up at the crack of dawn every day and walk up and down hills in the sun and rain to knock on 15,000 doors and face rejection and ridicule, you need passion. Money, obligation or demands is not what make people change. Passion, desire and a willingness to try must be evident. 

The final thing that I learned from Paula’s story was a very powerful question that she asked everyone who answered their door and who didn’t chase her away. 

This question I’m going to add to my transformation toolkit. 

“What’s important to you?”

A big wholehearted thanks to Paula who is a great example of how you cannot have courage without vulnerability. She is an inspiring person and generous with her heart. 

#transformation #change #leadership #daretolead #courage #community @synergyiq 

Please join us at our next Transformation Network. We will be running them monthly and you can access the current event here – https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/adelaide-transformation-network-delfina-lanzilli-tickets-64487217002

About the Author:

Michelle’s dream is to create workplaces where people are valued and feel safe, and organisations that are great places to work and do business.
Leveraging her interest in people and organisational development, she traded in her accounting career to pursue her undergraduate and graduate degrees in human behaviour, organisational development and ethics.
In 2013, after holding a range of positions in human resources and senior management, Michelle founded SynergyIQ a management consultancy. Michelle now runs SynergyIQ with her two business partners, and a team of amazing consulting and change professionals specialising in leadership, culture, and change.
Michelle’s professional associations and accreditations include the Australian Human Resource Institute (CAHRI), Human Synergystics (OCI/OEI/LSI), the Leaders Institute of South Australia (GLF2013) and is a Certified DARE TO LEAD™ Facilitator.
Michelle is the author of “Energy Vampires Suck” – vol1&2, and the international bestseller “Culture Inc: create a business that delivers results and people love”.

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