Welcome to PA’s 12 ‘Festive Leadership Lessons’ Advent Calendar! Over the next 12 days in the lead up to the festive season, we wanted to share our thoughts on leadership, and offer 12 lessons on what being a leader and leadership means to us at PA.

Traditionally, being a leader has meant ‘being in charge’ or ‘dictating what, where and how people do things’. But that definition is as old as your Nan’s black and white TV. In this new era of the Aged Care Industry we will need a new style of leadership where everyone is a leader, not just those at the top.

This year, the industry has been faced with so many challenges: proposed changes to funding, legislation, the beginning of a Royal Commission, media and public opinion and an uncertain future with the new Accreditation standards and a new Quality and Safety Commission. To us, leadership is something we all possess, and in the face of these challenges, we can all be a leader.

To keep following our 12 Festive Leadership Lessons, connect with us on social media where we will share our lessons over the next few weeks, or keep an eye on our Leadership Lessons article, which will update as each lesson is released.

It is time for day 7 of our leadership lessons!



Strength lies in differences, not in similarities – Stephen Covey

It is so wonderful to see the focus on diversity and inclusion in the new Aged Care Quality Standards. It is a given why we need to be kind, caring and respectful of each person’s identity, culture and diversity. However, it is even better when we understand that diversity brings new ideas and ways of doing things. Even though a diverse team can bring many robust and challenging conversations, those conversations lead to innovation and big thinking and incredible outcomes. We live in a truly diverse world and need to focus on how we embrace those different to us and harness the power of a diverse team.

Challenge – Push yourself to find someone different to you and include them in something you’re working on – Magic will happen!



There is absolutely no innovation without failure – Brené Brown

One of Provider Assist’s values is Do More, Fail More, Learn More, Be Awesome! At PA, we love to celebrate our failures because from our biggest failures we have had our biggest learnings. Particularly in the accreditation space right now – it’s new, there’ll be lots of things that we can do better and probably lots of things you try that don’t go quite according to plan.

Challenge – next time something doesn’t quite go according to plan, don’t beat yourself up – stop, reflect and ask your yourself ‘what went well?’ and ‘even better if?’. Then celebrate yourself for embracing the failure and taking a nice big lesson from it.



Done is better than perfect – Sheryl Sandberg

From a young age, it is often drilled into us the idea of striving for perfection, and in the workplace, perfect can be a progress killer. When it comes to innovation, we can procrastinate on getting things done in a quest for perfection. Our advice is to throw the idea of ‘perfect’ out and just start on something. Have a great idea to improve something at your facility? Why not just get started, pull your idea together and start sharing it and collaborating with your team, so your residents start benefiting sooner. Don’t wait for your idea to be fully cooked before you start sharing it.

Challenge – Get Cracking! A working draft of something is a great way to collaborate and get feedback to refine, don’t be scared that people will judge it’s not perfect. Get a start on your ideas before it’s too late.



How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable? – Seth Godin

Dare to be remarkable is a way of working at Provider Assist. We define remarkable as a standard of unexpected exceptional quality that people can’t help but notice and feel inspired to rave about! Being remarkable is brave and sometimes scary. This, however, is what the Aged Care industry needs right now – ordinary people like us to stand up and be remarkable.

Challenge – We encourage you to deeply understand your purpose in the world and the purpose of your organisation. When your purpose connects with the work you do, then inspiration, happiness, and being remarkable follow.



I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel – Maya Angelou

The best leaders are those that can problem solve from the point of empathy. Truly entering someone’s frame of reference and walking in their shoes to understand the emotions underpinning that person’s experience rather than just assuming what could be happening, is where power change and leadership occurs. Empathy is a skill that can be learnt and developed, although it is not to be confused with sympathy. Empathy is when you understand the emotions of another but not necessarily share them, which is critical in Aged Care.

Challenge – next time someone comes to you with a problem to solve, ask lots of questions and actively listen to someone’s views to truly understand what is happening for them.



It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change – Charles Darwin

Adaptability is to be said the #1 skill needed to survive the future of work. Change is inevitable and constant for the Aged Care Industry requires us to be able to adapt and change. Without being able to adapt to changing circumstances we can’t grow, evolve and move forward. Remember – just because we’ve always done something in a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s still the right way to do it. Think outside the box! Push yourself to approach something completely different out of your day to day by taking a chance on a bold idea.



Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another – John C. Maxwell  

The term leadership is often associated with those in a management position, however, we disagree! And we’re in good company – Brené Brown says “I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.”

Set a goal in 2020 to flex your leadership muscles by taking the lead on something in your facility or organisation. Remember, start small!

We are ready and waiting with lesson 8 – out tomorrow!



Join the conversation and share your thoughts below