Transitioning From Treasurer To The Prime Minister Of Australia


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A couple of weeks ago the Liberal party leadership spill had Australians on the edge of their seats. We watched on in a state of bemusement, as the country received its thirtieth Prime Minister (PM) after a very long week in politics. As a career and leadership supporter and coach, you may be puzzled as to why I am writing about politics.

Here’s the thing: regardless of what space we’re referring to, transitioning can be a difficult ride even though it may look easy from the outside. Some have the luxury of training and preparing for months in advance of their transition, whereas for others, events occur very quickly and they find themselves in a more senior role, with little preparation.

As mentioned, I’m writing this article from my perspective as a career and leadership supporter and coach. I also run a business, sit on numerous Boards and have many sporting and family interests. You may very well say I am an ordinary Australian going about my business and contributing to the community as best I can.

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I met Scott Morrison once at an event and was impressed with his level of enthusiasm for his role. Even though I could genuinely feel how much he loves what he does, I was compelled to ask him if he really enjoyed his role. His response was: “I have a fantastic job and I hope to be the Treasurer for many years to come.” 

Well… here we are! While no one can predict what will happen in politics, we do know that Scott Morrison has just been sworn in as Australia’s thirtieth PM. This has triggered me to put pen to paper, and here are my top transitioning tips for PM Morrison as he moves from Treasurer to PM.  Transitioning from one role to another is difficult in any circumstance, however, for PM Morrison, he will be closely watched and critiqued by all Australians. This advice comes from my many years of experience working with Australian leaders and helping Australians to make successful career transitions.

  • Let Australians know who you are and what you stand for, your purpose and values
  • Tackle the issues that are important to Australian’s first
  • Assemble the best possible team of people to surround you
  • Communicate regularly and clearly to everyone in the team about strategy and expectations
  • Treat every person the same: we are all equals
  • Make time to listen and learn quickly
  • Be aware of what the competition is doing but focus on your party’s strategies
  • Position yourself for success
  • Use your networks well and wisely
  • Work hard, truly lead and own it!
  • Look after yourself and enjoy the job

There is no doubt that our thirtieth PM faces a difficult challenge. While I don’t want to delve too much into the specifics of politics, regardless of what takes place internally, one thing is for sure: Australia will need PM Morrison’s 100 day plan for the country, sooner rather than later. 

Perhaps now I could write some tips for Julie Bishop and her next move?

Deborah Wilson is a Thought Leader in Executive Careers. She takes a personalised approach to strategic career coaching and career transitions, mentoring, and leadership development. Deborah provides expert guidance for individuals while supporting organisations through change and connecting people and purpose.  

Call Deborah on +61 403 779 746.

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