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Australia's top business leaders open up about their biggest challenges

Today Talent and Yahoo Finance Australia brought together three of Australia’s top business leaders for a live-streamed discussion on empathetic leadership.

Australian businessman David Gonski AC, Salesforce ANZ CEO Pip Marlow and Talent CEO Mark Nielsen opened up about the personal challenges they’ve faced throughout their careers and the fundamental leadership lessons that all aspiring leaders need to hear.

Talent CEO Mark Nielsen (Australian CEO of the Year 2018) shared ways in which leaders can encourage their employees to access help: “We thought, how will we solve this? We won't be getting cut through by suggesting people to use the Employee Assistance Program. Let's give some personal stories, as to if you reach out and ask for help, how it will benefit you? Myself and two other general managers explained our experiences with mental health, anxiety and depression and how, by asking for help in seeing the right people, effectively got us sorted out.”

David Gonski AC discussed embracing fear with leadership:

“I believe a bad leader fears nothing. The fear aspect of leadership is wonderful. You plan more, you value people more. Authenticity is right. The world rewards the person who is honest.”

Salesforce ANZ CEO Pip Marlow spoke about the qualities of a good leader: “I think an empathetic leader is one that actually does that. Who spends time listening, trying to walk a mile in your customer's shoes, your team's shoes, and if there is pain, doesn’t necessarily take all of the pain and fear and feed it. You have to be an empathetic leader and understand enough about thinking and feeling, and what you are trying to do. Not just through sympathy but deep understanding. If you’re leading a business without empathy I don’t think you’ll reach the potential.”

The event was streamed live on Yahoo Finance Australia from Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

Georgie Dent, journalist, editor, and author of the best-selling book ‘Breaking Badly’, moderated the event and explored how these three successful leaders have made it to where they are today.

‘Human 2 | Live from Sydney’ was held in conjunction with the launch of Talent’s new book, ‘Human 2: Bold leadership through crisis and change’, which contains stories of vulnerable and authentic leadership told firsthand from 20 leaders across the world.

If you missed this eye-opening and emotive panel, you can watch it HERE.

‘Human 2: Bold leadership through crisis and change’ is available for free download here.