Four lessons on becoming a better leader

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Four lessons on becoming a better leader

Central Gippsland Health Service’s clinical lead, Kristen Millar MIML, gained the skills to be a better leader after completing IML ANZ’s Foundations Program. She shares her top four lessons.


Kristen Millar


Health is a complex sector. We work with professionals with a variety of expertise, so it’s essential to understand their professional point of view when trying to solve any challenge. It’s interesting because developing an understanding of someone else’s experience forms the basis of the work we do in the health industry. It’s impossible to find a solution without building genuine rapport and really listening to the other person.



Technical skills are something we learn at university and leadership is about so much more than these abilities. You can’t be a good leader on technical skills alone – you need leadership skills. It’s essential to have good listening skills, to know how to manage down but also manage up, and the ability to manage not just your time but also your behaviour. These have nothing to do with technical expertise and everything to do with skills as a leader.



I completed the Foundations Program at a crucial time as our organisation was restructuring. I saw it as an opportunity to practise the skills I was learning from the program. After I spoke with my mentor to discuss development areas, I would book in time with my new manager and try to put those learnings into practice. Now I feel that I have a healthy working relationship with my manager. That’s not because I jumped in unprepared or because I shied away. The program gave me the knowledge, and by putting it into practice, I built up my leadership skills foundation.



Something that I’ve had to work on is my confidence and assertiveness. I sit back a lot because I want others to like me. Completing the Foundations Program taught me that I can still have my voice heard without being disliked. It was such a valuable lesson that I now use it even at home and in my personal life.


Development done differently

The Foundations Program supports the transition from a technical specialist to an intentional leader by combining face-to-face learning, online study, coaching and mentoring to develop real-world professional skills.

Find out more at


This article originally appeared in the December 2019 print edition of Leadership Matters, IML ANZ’s exclusive Member’s magazine. For editorial suggestions and enquiries, please contact

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