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Choose one of the following current Australian inspirational and/or a Global business leader with approval from instructor:

  • Professor Michelle Yvonne Simmons, 2018 Australian of the Year, Quantum Physicist
  • Christine Holgate, CEO Australia Post
  • Gina Rinehart, HancockProspecting
  • Lesley Gillespie, BakersDelight
  • Ingrid Cumming, Chief of Engagement, The Cultural Connection Code
  • Andrew Forrest, Chair, Fortescue Metals
  • Daniel Flynn, Co-Founder, Thankyou Water, and Chapter One (Social Enterprise)
  • Sarina Russo, Sarina Russo Group
  • Julian Burnside, Barrister and refugeeadvocate
  • Eddie Woo, Mathematics teacher, 2018 localhero
  • Naomi Simson, Red Balloon
  • Alternatively, a current global business leader of your choice (if you choose an option you must speak to your workshop facilitator to gain approval for your choice.) The leader has to be a figure whose leadership approach has been discussed in writing in a publically available form.

1.Briefly describe this leader’s background – including details such as their current role and organization, work history, educational background, family background if relevant, industry involvement.

2.Describe their approach to leadership, drawing on at least one leadership theory from the academic literature. Provide evidence to support your assessment of their leadership approach. That is, describe two specific examples of actions they have taken that demonstrate this particular leadership approach you have described.

3.What are two key challenges they have faced as a leader? How have they managed this challenge? What could they do differently to be even more effective?

4.What have you learned about leadership from studying this particular leader?

Background and Work History of Christine Holgate

Christine Holgate is a renowned Australian business woman who deals as a CEO (chief executive officer) and director of Australian post. Before replacing the previous CEO of Australia Post, Holgate was the CEO, MD (managing director) and executive director of Telstra corporation ltd. Moreover, Christine Holgate was the CEO of nutritional supplementary Company Blackmores in November 2008. Holgate is recognised as an outstanding business leader (EY, 2016).

The chairperson of Australia Post named as “John Stanhope” was impressed by the experience and this experience have successfully grown the business in Asia. Christine Holgate is chosen to head one of the most Australia’s oldest, organisational structurally financially challenged organisation. The inbound small parcels grew up to 45 percent in the first half of the financial year. Majority of growth in number of small parcels were from china. Ms Holgate announce that the Australia Post will spend $ 300 million in creating capacity and capability to avail the automatic tracking of parcel (Siecap, 2015).   

Christine Holgate has almost the international experience of leadership in various regulated industries such as healthcare, telecommunication, finance, and media. In addition to this, Christian Holgate has an experience of 20 years as both non-executive and executive member of the company (Klettner, Clarke and Boersma, 2014). The primary responsibility of Christine was to lead the teams in such a manner she can regulate the change that can help the organisation to deliver the growth and expansion in future. Moreover, she has held senior management position in America, Australia, and Asia. By looking at the skills and current position of Christine Holgate, it does not make any sense what actually she had studied. Nevertheless, Christine has a three post-graduate diploma and a master degree in Business Administration (MBA) (ABC, 2018).

 Christine is recognised as an inaugural chair of the ASEAN council of Board of Australia. She has supported the development of trade relation between Australia and other member countries of ASEAN.  Apart from the business leader, she also served Board of Collingwood Football. She is renowned as non-executive director of Ten Network holdings limited. In 2015, Christine received a recognition among the top 100 women of influence by financial review of Australia. She first women who was awarded as best CEO of the year by the CEO magazine. In 2013, Rotary Paul Harris Award honoured Christine for her adorable charitable work.  

Leadership is a practical skill that focuses on influencing the behaviour of employees. Christine Holgate, as a business leader, claims that purpose and passion can solve the most difficult challenges of a business especially when there is a step of massive change. Such traits of leadership helps the organisation to overcome and decrease the frequency of letter deliveries. Holgate focused the importance of generating emotions in a team. She has a strong understanding of social goals and objectives. She values kindness, continuous learning, and authenticity. This leader also describes oneself as “free market socialist.”

The stock price of Blackmores has become five times since 2014. In her nine years of career, she crowded profit at Blackmores by supporting sustainable growth for the products in Asia. The time when she was honoured as CEO of the year, she discussed her personal journey to become one of the most respected business leader. She also stated the reason behind her intense focus on culture and values in the organisation. Moreover, she discussed the key strategic challenges that is faced by Australian Post while tackling the new stage of its transformation in E-commerce market in Asia and Australia. Holgate has never been a part of a logistics company before and spent her most of her career in Health, manufacturing and financial sector (Keating, 2014).

Leadership Approaches of Christine Holgate based on Charismatic Theory

While selecting a theory of leadership, most preferable as per the Holgate traits would be Charismatic leadership. Charismatic leader is a leader who encourages particular behaviour of others by communicating an effective personality (Gebert, Heinitz, and Buengeler, 2016). A charismatic leader is a persuasive person whose deeds are driven by conviction and commitment. This leader not only have a different vision and ideas to grow the organisation but also society. Holgate is a warm, authentic, innovative and a creative leader who is good at motivating other employees. She believes that a business should serve both its business as well as the community (Evans, 2016). She is so determined that she was to build new business strategic plans in a logistics company where she has never worked before. A charismatic leader is not made by delegation of power by the authority but it is her/his personality traits that make him a leader. Nevertheless, at the same time Holgate is a conventional leader who is appointed by board of directors (Holgate, 2016). Moreover, a charismatic leader has a strong knowledge that she applies in making the business strategic plans. Holgate has a strong knowledge base of global e-commerce that is valuable for the company when they starts pursuing the Asian strategy. The charismatic leader named Holgate is passionate at seizing the chance and opportunity for everyone they work for shareholders, community, and workforce. The attitude of Holgate towards the job is never for earning only money. She said that she could have greater impact to assist equality of women (Johnston, 2018).

Before working in Australian Post, Christine Holgate had been working in Blackmores for some past years that has resulted to significant growth in the company. A major challenges associated with Christine Holgate is to maintain the force and drive for growth. The challenges is unsustainable growth, as there is a large hike in share price. It is possible that when share price will decrease it can be drastically low. This challenge was encountered when in last past two years, the share price of Blackmores had shown a drastic increase in its price from $27 in August 2014 to $217 in January 2016. Holgate would use path goal theory to maintain the healthy relationship to their workforce with the task performed by them. This can lead to hyper growth of an organisation which will be reflected in the share price Sacavém et al., 2017).

Apart from reviewing leadership, theory there is a leadership style that is ardently followed by Christine Holgate. Another challenge associated with the behaviour of Christine that it is believed that Christine would be an autocratic leader because she is not afraid to make any decision that can be proved wrong. However, this business leader is successful in their own way to execute work. The leadership ability of this business leader has a profound effect on the strategically made financial plans. From Blackmores, Christine Holgate led to expansion strategies for Asia especially in China (Sacavém et al., 2017).

With the emerging need to achieve the organisational goals, leaders play an important role in achieving those organisational objectives (Klettner, Clarke and Boersma, 2014). After going through the case of Christine Holgate, it is being noticed that not only delegation of power can make a leader by their deeds. The leader is quite goal oriented as just after the announcement of CEO in Australian Post. The leader started making business strategies to cover the whole world with efficient services (Benn, Edwards and Williams 2014). Although, this business leader have never worked in logistics industry. The leader has worked in various industries such as manufacturing and financial services. Nevertheless, it is no less to any undertaking and managing a business risks.

The leader’s personality also reflects a strong love for her work rather than focusing on money. Initially, Holgate led Telstra`s marketing team and further form strategies for their business sales and channels which serve small and medium businesses. T5his business has also faced challenging financial crisis in terms of debt in 2008. Without the patience level, the leader debt to finance its art campus in Warriewood. The leader focuses on expanding the business and maintaining the existing market such as manufacturing the Blackmores pipelines and expanding its business in Asia by strengthening the local management and offering the product range in local market


ABC (2018) Australia Post names Christine Holgate as new CEO, replacing Ahmed Fahour. [online] Available on: [Accessed on 27/09/18]

Benn, S., Edwards, M. and Williams, T. (2014) Organizational change for corporate sustainability. US: Routledge.

Evans, S. (2016) Cod liver oil and family tragedy shape Blackmores CEO Christine Holgate’s destiny. [online] Available on: Sydney Morning Herald: [Accessed on 27/09/18]

EY (2016) EY Strategic Growth Forum China. [online] Available on: [Accessed on 27/09/18]

Gebert, D., Heinitz, K. and Buengeler, C., (2016) Leaders' charismatic leadership and followers' commitment—The moderating dynamics of value erosion at the societal level. The Leadership Quarterly, 27(1), pp. 98-108.

Holgate, C. (2016). Other People’s Business: Blackmores CEO Christine Holgate. Radio National (RN) Drive. (P. Karvelas, Interviewer) ABC.[online] Available on: [Accessed on 27/09/18]

Johnston, D. (2018) Australia Post's positive result from Deloitte Access Economics report, but mail delivery delays on CEO Christine Holgate agenda. [online] Available on: [Accessed on 27/09/18]

Keating, E. (2014) Gail Kelly retires: Five leadership lessons from the first woman to lead one of Australia’s big banks. [online] Available on: [Accessed on 27/09/18]

Klettner, A., Clarke, T. and Boersma, M., (2014) The governance of corporate sustainability: Empirical insights into the development, leadership and implementation of responsible business strategy. Journal of Business Ethics, 122(1), pp. 145-165.

Sacavém, A., Martinez, L.F., da Cunha, J.V., Abreu, A. M. and Johnson, S.K., (2017) Charismatic Leadership: A Study on Delivery Styles, Mood, and Performance. Journal of Leadership Studies, 11(3), pp. 21-38.

Siecap (2015) Australia Post’s Christine Holgate discusses leadership. [online] Available on: [Accessed on 27/09/18]

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