MaritimeMT CEO Pauline Micallef on Monday shed light on the various key lessons she learned while at The Duke of Edinburgh Commonwealth Study Conference, an experience that also tested her “resilience”.
The conference, which was held in Banff, Canada and ran from 3rd June until 18th June, saw 300 of the world’s “most promising emerging leaders” from business, Government, labour and the community sector take part, exposing them to new experiences to provoke arguments and improve their decision-making. Ms Micallef and Zerafa Advocates Founder Omar Zerafa were the two leaders chosen to represent Malta at the event.
Describing her time at the conference, Ms Micallef described it as an “AWESOME experience”, an acronym for “amazing, wakening, exhausting, surprising, overwhelming, memorable, and eye opener”.
“It actually took a bit of time for me to think about how the past three weeks have changed me. It is difficult to put this experience into words, but in a nutshell, it has tested my resilience and validated my beliefs,” she explained.
She remarked that there were “many key takeaways” from the experience, and opted to list some of the main validations she felt as a result.
Firstly, she acknowledged that while speakers and professional people taught her a lot, learning from her fellow team members proved to be “as important”.
Ms Micallef added that it is important to “take what makes you angry and channel it into action”.
“Across all the different sectors the importance of community and caring for their people is common,” she said, before adding that business leaders need to listen to others before speaking, and to also “be a servant” rather than simply dictate how things are done.
She also highlighted how business leaders need to have faith in their teams, as it can “make you go places you never thought you could get to”. “Nothing about us without us. You don’t have to prove people wrong, but you have to include people in your decisions; invite people in,” Ms Micallef added.
“If you lose something, you have an opportunity to pick it up. But if you don’t, then you have truly lost it,” she continued.
Additionally, she noted that a business leader needs to have “passion, persistence, and power”, as well as a “relentless commitment to learning”.
“What brought you here won’t take you there. Leadership is about taking people from one status quo to the next, otherwise you’re just a manager,” she said.
She proceeded to thank the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh for starting the conference, which she sees as a “great opportunity” for leaders. “As her royal highness Princess Royal Anne reiterated during the opening plenary, it will only be a successful experience if you leave here with more questions than you came with,” Ms Micallef remarked.
She added that while from the photos it might seem like a vacation, there are also photos of her “burnt out”. “So as a leader, work hard at what you love to do, do it passionately, and never forget to have fun while doing it,” Ms Micallef concluded.
MaritimeMT CEO Pauline Micallef (right) during the conference / LinkedIn
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