2017 She Leads Conference – 5 Quick Questions with Myfanwy Galloway

18 May 2017

Jessica Abramovic

Jessica is the Communications and Events Coordinator at YWCA Canberra.

The 2017 She Leads Conference will be held on Thursday 1 June at QT Canberra, with the She Leads Cocktail and Networking function to be held the night before, on May 31. Tickets and program details are now available at 2017.sheleads.org.au.

Open to all, the She Leads Conference brings women from a range of sectors, at all stages of their leadership journeys, together with Australia’s most inspiring women leaders. This year, our program explores the theme ‘Challenge’ – focusing on stories of overcoming personal and professional challenges and experiences from women leaders who are transforming their workplaces, industries and communities.

Myfanwy Galloway was named 2016 Telstra ACT Young Business Woman of the Year. She is a former European professional racing cyclist, co-owner and manager of fitness company Functional Fitness, and is passionate about improving people’s relationships with their bodies.

Describe your leadership journey in 30 words or less.

Unexpected. I sincerely enjoy playing supporting roles in teams and have only recently learned that having the ability to lead a team from behind is a valuable leadership skill.

What was (or is) your biggest leadership challenge?

In my role my biggest leadership challenge has been, and continues to be, the necessity to show a level of vulnerability to my team to be a strong leader for them.

In order to build rapport with my team and my clients, it has been necessary to share parts of myself with them that I previously would’ve thought was inappropriate of a leader. I had this picture of a leader being someone who is able to disassociate from people and do whatever is necessary to get the job done however the more I work with small businesses, the more I realise that in fact the opposite is true. I need to share part of myself with my team and my clients to build a strong foundation in our relationship from which I can help guide them from.

Why do we need more women leaders, and what difference can women in leadership make in terms of gender equality?

I believe that modern day business is all about building relationships, and that women possess unique qualities that make them naturally stronger at building authentic relationships.

Women are naturally empathetic and value reciprocal relationships to a higher degree then our male counterparts. I believe that women can make a greater difference in leadership because we are entering a world that is valuing leadership based on skills of personal interaction over the traditional leadership styles based on authority and power. We can go far alone, but we can go further with others. A world with more women in leadership positions will be a different world than we currently know. And I believe it will be for the better.

What book should every aspiring woman leader read?

I believe that every great leader is that because they have a strong knowledge of self. I therefore think every aspiring woman leader should regularly read books that challenge or provide insight in to what makes us human such as the Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holliday and Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.

Share with us the best piece of advice you’ve been given.

More recently, the best pieces of advice was given to me by one of my mentors. He said that growing a business is like venturing out in to the jungle. At one point, you’re going to have to go back to camp, stock up on water and food before you can head out again and search new land.

To me it was a timely reminder that what can be perceived as a step backwards, is actually a necessary step to propel you further ahead towards your goal.

Myfanwy will be speaking on a the panel ‘The Challenge of Changing Gears’ at the She Leads Conference on Thursday 1 June 2017. Find out more and book your ticket here.

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