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Leading the way

Women in Construction By Carole O'Neil, Partner, HR and Training – 01 April 2020

Silhouette of a woman raising her fist above her head against an orange sunset background


Carole O'Neil in a beige suit at the desk with glass background

Carole O'Neil

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Our HR Partner, Carole O’Neil featured on the Leaders Council Podcast; the podcast for the people who run the country and the people who keep the country running. Joining Matthew O’Neil earlier this month, they discussed all things leadership. A short insert from the podcast has been transcribed below or you can listen to the full version here.

What does the word leader mean to you?

A leader is someone with the ability to inspire, take people with them on a journey, really sell that journey and empower people to play a role in delivering it.

Going back to the beginning of your career, was there any individuals or circumstances that formed the way you lead today?

I have been lucky to have some really incredible mentors over the course of my career. The first boss that I had in my very first role from coming out of university was a real inspiration to me. I learnt a lot from her in terms of how I have led.

We were in a unique position in that we were both new to the roles we were doing, so there was a lot of learning on the job but she empowered me to do things whilst providing that safety net and took away the fear of getting things wrong. I learnt that it’s ok to make mistakes as long as you put your hands up to those mistakes and learn from them and share that learning within that organisation, so the organisation as a whole gets better.

What is the first bit of advice you would give someone on the high potential leadership programme within Cundall?

They are given a lot of advice but the big one is don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. The whole point of these leadership development programmes is that they are intended to be challenging and take people beyond where they would be naturally comfortable to operate.

Who is the greatest leader, living or dead?

This is a really tricky question. In terms of business leaders, I typically talk about and encourage people to read Jack Welch’s books. Is he the greatest leader? It is a huge ask.

To listen to the full podcast, please click here.