Julie Carroll is a dynamo and one of the region’s experts in training.
She and Chad White are hands-on Directors of the region’s leading training company, Forysthes Training. The firm is increasingly providing training beyond the region and has offices in Sydney and on the Central Coast.
Julie says her decade’s work experience in her family’s retail fashion business gave her a great understanding of the needs of business clients. She works tirelessly to meet the needs of her clients, always going the extra mile. She has been instrumental in the expansion of Forsythe’s Training’s corporate training services.
Julie was born and raised in the Hunter and says there is no better place to live and work.
- Your company teaches leadership and management. What makes a great leader?
Obviously, a person who has great knowledge and experience of the industry they’re representing. But in my opinion, three things come to mind – I think a good leader is a person that has excellent people skills, empathy for their team and really good communication skills. Someone who is a team player and understands their team’s strengths and weaknesses. And I’d have to say lastly, has vision and knows when it’s right to implement change in order for the business to continue to grow and be sustainable.
- Can leadership skills be taught?
Absolutely. I mean, in our business we see it every day. Obviously certain people are natural leaders, and other people aren’t born natural leaders, they might be technically trained. Like with anything, a leader can be trained, and it’s learning specific skills around people management, understanding performance management, effective decision-making and communication skills that empower them. They’re the sorts of things that I believe make a good leader.
But even leaders of today can certainly improve on their skills. I don’t think everybody shines in every aspect of leadership; I think it’s a work in progress.
- There is a lot said about the importance of leaders having emotional intelligence. What is it and is it important?
Emotional intelligence (EI) is a person’s ability to have self-awareness; to understand how to retract and take control of their emotions. If you put that into a leadership perspective, it’s when they’re working with their teams – how we think is how we behave. So, often as a leader you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team, and the emotions and the things that will obviously trigger positive and negative feelings.
It’s been said that EI is as important as IQ, so it really is important for a leader in a business to have good emotional intelligence.
- What is the best thing about doing business in the Hunter?
I’m a born and bred Novocastrian and I absolutely love the Hunter. I think what’s special about doing business in the Hunter for Forsythes Training is that we’ve got a huge clientele of very loyal businesses. It’s also how businesses interact with each other – we rally together in times of need from a charitable perspective. Businesses here are very loyal, very open, very understanding, and very trustworthy. There’s a lot of loyalty and there are a lot of fantastic leaders in the Hunter, so I absolutely love doing business in the Hunter. It’s very special to me.
- Which local businessperson do you find inspiring?
The local business person who comes to mind is Mr Bob Hawes. Bob is currently in the role of CEO at the Hunter Business Chamber. I think earlier we spoke about the attributes of a good leader, and I think Bob shows all of those attributes and more. He’s a very personable person, he’s done a huge amount in the Hunter for the community, but he just does it unassumingly. He’s very humble. I aspire to a person and a business leader such as Bob.