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“Be the leader you’d want to follow”: Meet Future Leaders Committee member Brock Phyland

In this special Q&A series, we introduce the members of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) ACT Future Leaders Committee (FLC) who work closely with us to deliver a series of events throughout the year.

From the importance of emotional intelligence to getting out of your comfort zone, FLC member Brock Phyland talks us through his thoughts on what makes great leadership.


What is your role in the public service and what do you enjoy most about it?

I’ve been working for a few years in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs TED (Transform, Engage, Design) team. We are an engagement and co-design team. As you can guess, my favourite part of my work is facilitating collaborative design sessions with our veterans and their families.

What is your role on the committee?

I’m a member of the FLC.

Why did you join the committee?

I joined after thoroughly enjoying the Future Leaders Program and was attending nearly every IPAA event already, so I thought: "Why not help out?"

What does great leadership look like to you?  

Authentic leadership is great leadership to me. Knowing when to lead, support, and follow, and always displaying genuine and enthusiastic care for your colleagues. Emotional intelligence goes a long way to helping in this regard. Be positive, give credit, take the blame, and my personal favourite – celebrate your wins!

If you have participated, can you tell us your three key takeaways from when you attended the Future Leaders Program?

I participated in 2021 and looking back, these are some of the key messages I noted down:

  • focusing on authentic leadership and being aware the ‘leadership shadow’ you cast
  • getting out of your comfort zone and trying things you don’t believe you are good at
  • understanding your skillset and being self-aware.

If you have participated, can you tell us about a time when you applied some of the lessons you learned from the program?

Almost every day, I get out of my comfort zone in the way I facilitate sessions or engage with senior leaders. I understand my strengths and try to utilise these in the way I build relationships across the APS, and by always offering help where I can. Be the leader you would want to follow.

Make sure to follow the Future Leaders Committee on LinkedIn


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