Kyle Scott is a specialist Employment and Industrial Relations Lawyer with Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors. He heads up ABLA’s award winning workplace team in Newcastle. Kyle and the team assist businesses in all areas of workplace law including people management, IR strategy, and employment-related litigation.
He provides strategic advice to employers to help them meet their compliance obligations, manage their risk and get the best out of their people.
In 2018, Kyle was recognised by the prestigious Doyles Guide as a rising star in the field of Employment Law & WHS.
- What makes a good leader?
I think there’s probably three things for me that make a good leader. The first is to be able to clearly communicate a vision for the business or for the organisation, and to be able to kind of rally people around and unite people around that vision so that people are working towards a shared vision or a shared purpose.
I think the second thing as a leader is to be authentic.
I think a lot of business decisions are made at that kind of emotional decision making level, so I think whether someone’s deciding to engage in your services, buy a product from you, or saying whether or not they want to work with you – I think for them to be able to see and feel that they know the real you and they ideally like you and want to work with you. I think being authentic helps to build that relationship.
And then I think thirdly, and it’s kind of a little bit right, but I think leading by example. I think it’s about practising what you preach and not expecting people to do things that you’re not prepared to do yourself. So, I think they’re the three things for me.
- What has shaped your leadership style?
I think firstly having a fairly strong set of values that underpin the decisions you make, the way you interact with people, the way you conduct yourself.
I think that’s probably shaped the way that I kind of do business and work with people.
And then I think secondly I’ve been really fortunate to have the opportunity to work with and kind of learn from a number of different leaders over the years. I think that gives you the opportunity to kind of see how they work and kind of pick up things along the way and adapt those into the way that you work.
This has been really great, but I think you kind of need to do that in a way that’s authentic as well so that you kind of still being true to those values.
- Is it becoming more critical for leaders to be abreast of their legal responsibilities?
Yeah, absolutely. My view is that we’re kind of living in a world at the moment where it’s really an era, a new era of compliance, so we’re seeing regulators like the ACCC, the Fair Work Ombudsman, the worker safety regulators, they’re getting greater funding and they’re getting broader powers to kind of regulate and enforce compliance measures within businesses and within Australian society.
So I think absolutely.
And you just kind of you look at the George Calombaris wage underpayment saga that’s played out the last six or twelve months as an example of what can go wrong when compliance is not a number-one priority within the business.
I think it’s really important from a leadership perspective that compliance is seen to be and is a priority at the very top of an organisation, because I think it’s at that level where the kind of cultural commitment towards compliance starts. SoI think, yes, absolutely it is.
- What’s good about doing business in the Hunter?
I really like … the Hunter business community is kind of big enough to be of a size where there’s a quite an established business community, we’ve got a diversified economy, and so there’s people within the community who you can learn from, and yet we’re kind of not so big in the sense that there’s still a very close supportive tight-knit business community.
So, I think it’s kind of the best of both worlds in terms of size, so that’s what I really like about working in the Hunter region.
- Which local business person or business people do you find inspiring?
I think our law firm is part of the New South Wales Business Chamber, and so locally here we’ve got relationships and we work closely with the Hunter Business Chamber.
And I think Bob Hawes; the CEO of the Hunter Business Chamber is a real shining light in terms of leading the conversation in terms of the business community and business in the Hunter region.
But I think that opportunity to work closely with the Chamber and Chamber members means that our work kind of encompasses businesses that are start-ups, family, small family businesses all the way through to ASX listed companies.
For me the business owners that are out there backing themselves, starting a business, working sometimes seven days a week, pouring their heart and soul into their business to build something that they can be proud of – I find that really inspiring.