“Recognising people for their excellent performance is the single most effective tool at a leader’s disposal.”
Meet Heath Ducker, the new CEO of WayAhead. As he joins the team, Heath shares some pearls of wisdom about his journey thus far.
With an extensive history as an advocate for underprivileged and vulnerable members of Australian society, Heath has almost 30 years’ experience as a community leader.
Heath is committed to social justice and mental health. Before coming to WayAhead, Heath was the CEO of Youth Insearch – a national charity which strives to empower young people aged 14-20.
What excites you most about joining WayAhead?
WayAhead has been at the forefront of mental health promotion and programs for almost a century. We’re positioned to leverage this experience to provide innovative campaigns and programs, working to reduce stigma and suffering for people with lived experience of mental health challenges. I’m excited to join WayAhead at this juncture, between experience, and the potential for even greater impact.
What’s your advice to people in leadership positions?
Recognising people for their excellent performance is the single most effective tool at a leader’s disposal. People are only paid for acceptable performance. As a leader, if you would like your people to perform at higher levels you need to give them something in return. That ‘something’ is recognition.
You’ve worked at a lot of great organisations, do you think there’s a secret formula for ‘organisational success’?
One thing I’ve learned, is that organisational success is more about short term behaviours than long term goals. That requires paying attention to how you get results: can you explain your actions through your core values? Did you empower people, or just tell them to do things? If you act in a way that reflects your values, you’ll get a deeper sense of cohesion and engagement long term, rather than maybe taking a shorter, more cost-effective path to success.
And finally, if a friend had to use three words to describe you, what would they be?
Loyal, insightful, determined.