31 Perspectives on What Makes a Great Leader

31 Perspectives on What Makes a Great Leader

Strong leadership is one of our key objectives at Flight Centre Travel Group. As an organisation, we recognise the importance of offering genuine opportunities for people to grow and evolve – and that starts at the top.

From a leadership perspective, we want our people to stay and be fulfilled by their roles. We offer careers not jobs, and in return, we aspire for our employees to demonstrate a commitment to the company and a work ethic that’s second to none. 

But what do we really mean when we talk about strong leadership? We collected insights from 31 people across our organisation about what makes a standout leader at Flight Centre Travel Group.

Leaders engage and motivate their people

Ashleigh Conwell Circle

Ashleigh Conwell, Marketing Implementation Manager

For me, a leader is someone who has the ability to unlock the potential of their people. Leaders provide a positive and trusting environment where people are challenged, inspired, empowered and supported. They celebrate with the team and incorporate leadership, coaching and mentoring techniques to get the best out of their people.”

Kelli McCosker CircleKelli McCosker, General Manager Finance

“A workplace leader is someone who goes far beyond managing their discipline or area. They play a role across the business in both setting strategy, modelling the culture and expected behaviours, and leading and developing people.”

Bob Baddams CircleBob Baddams, Team Leader

“Leadership is a balance. There's a dichotomy to it that means you need to be a part of the team, but also apart from the team. To use a metaphor, you plant a seed by getting your hands dirty in the soil; you help the plant grow by standing back and watering it. So you should integrate yourself in the team but you also need to be able to take a top-level, holistic approach.”

Nicole Gallagher Circle (1)Nicole Gallagher, Team Leader

“Believing in your staff and what they can achieve is extremely important. They need to know that you as the Manager have their back.  Also supporting them through buddy time, ongoing training and even encouraging them to go to extra training.”

Jay Dean CircleJay Dean, Team Leader

“Great leaders care about their people and understand what they want out of this career. They also make sure they are always there and always present with their team to help them get the most out of working for this great, great company.”

Leaders inspire others

Meaghan Wolf CircleMeaghan Wolf, Agency Manager

“A workplace leader has to be someone invested and highly motivated to consistently influence and inspire the people around them. Being a leader is a great responsibility and requires focus and dedication to a cause that is greater than, but not exclusive of, personal goals. A workplace leader should see their role as collaborative and have a genuine desire for a greater good.”

Leaders can have tough conversations

Amanda Coppola CircleAmanda Coppola, General Manager

“As a leader, you need to be able to set goals and keep the team accountable for them. You need to care about your people and your customers, you need to have tough conversations consistently to get people on track and you need to be honest with your people. A sense of humour and love for the job is also a must!”

Nikki Dufty CircleNikki Dufty, Team Leader

“A leader is someone who 'leads' from the front with their attitude, behaviour and performance. They are approachable but give the tough love to drive results and get the best out of their team. You need to know your people and what motivates them to be able to guide and develop them. You cannot be scared of tough conversations!”

Daniel Carney CircleDaniel Carney, Team Leader

“Ultimately, you need to know how to run a profitable business and what’s required to keep the customer at the forefront to reach that kind of result. Sometimes this means making hard decisions or having hard conversations with your team members to ensure they're getting the best results.”

Leaders live up to their title

Gillian Trinder CircleGillian Trinder, Portfolio Manager

“A leader is not a leader only by title. They naturally possess a variety of characteristics such as compassion and honesty, and skills to encourage other team members and facilitate success in the workplace. These can be learned through formal education and experience.”

Sneha Maharaj CircleSneha Maharaj, Product & Marketing Manager

“A leader is someone who doesn’t just have an official title, but who team members can approach when there is a problem. I think if you include your team members in major decision-making processes, they feel like they are contributing – so it’s a two-way conversation.”

Allisa O_Connell CircleAllisa O’Connell, Executive General Manager

“Leadership is provided not by title, but by actions that are in the interests of the organisation and its individuals.”


The biggest takeaways from being a leader at Flight Centre Travel Group

Megan Lowe CircleMegan Lowe, General Manager Specialist Product

“I love helping people develop their skills to become a better leader or recognise where their potential is and help them achieve their goals. I’ve done this over the years in numerous roles and helped to turn teams, areas and businesses around.”

Alexander Jeon CircleAlexander Jeon, Senior Travel Manager

“I’ve learnt how to manage groups effectively, look after corporate accounts and highly placed clients in businesses that FCM and Corporate Traveller look after.”

Miling Harpur CircleMiling Harpur, Head of Sales

“I discovered that one of my core values was learning and that I wanted to be an "agent for positive change". This has helped me understand what roles I might be good at and why, and helped me articulate my approach to my team, as a leader.”

Trudy Renshaw CircleTrudy Renshaw, Team Leader

“Knowing there was a lot of career progression and job opportunities if I invested in the company made me excited to see where I could go at Flight Centre Travel Group.”

David Infirri CircleDavid Infirri, General Manager

“Our culture is made up of what our people value, whether that is having a work-life balance, a flexible working arrangement, a career that can take you places or travel opportunities. What our people value is what we value. No other company I know provides that many benefits to their people like we do. And that’s something about Flight Centre Travel Group that we are really really proud of.”

Frank Barbaro CircleFrank Barbaro, Corporate Program Manager

“Everyone’s just so supportive of each other. If I notice or any team members notice that someone might be struggling, everyone is willing to come in and really help and support that person.”

What does leadership at Flight Centre Travel Group look like?

Shafer Duggan CircleShafer Duggan, Travel Consultant

“My manager is a great example of what it means to be a good leader. He will always answer my questions when I have them, and I have loads of them. I love knowing what makes things tick and having someone who engages with me is really crucial in developing my skill set and making me a better consultant.”

Taylor Donpon CircleTaylor Donpon, Travel Consultant

“I really appreciate the effort my management team has put into me succeeding. I (along with many others, I'm sure) made a lot of mistakes in the beginning and the support and assistance I received in these situations was amazing.”

Thomas Stephens Circle-1Thomas Stephens, Senior Human Resources Business Partner

“Leaders at Flight Centre Travel Group are inclusive, diverse, innovative, dynamic professionals who work hard but don’t take themselves too seriously.”

Michale Forsyth CircleMichael Forsyth, Data Analyst

“At Flight Centre Travel Group, managers really care about their team, and they agree that people tend to work at their best when their life is going good at home and in the workplace. This mentality is evident by the easy-going but hard-working attitude of the staff.”

Rob Mondolo CircleRob Mondolo, UI/UX Designer

“There is a great culture here with a supportive and encouraging environment. There is a real opportunity at Flight Centre that allows you to be yourself, pursue your passions and have the potential to move into leading projects.”

Emma Maximiw CircleEmma Maximiw, HR Business Partner

“As someone who enjoys working in and intends on growing a career in Human Resources, I am lucky to be working with a leader that consistently ensures that I am learning and getting the most out of my role and is supportive of further development opportunities.”

Jack Stickley CircleJack Stickley, Commercial Analyst

“Flight Centre Travel Group is one of the largest travel companies in the world and offers endless opportunities to grow. I am yet to find a leader in the business who isn't fully committed to helping you get to the next stage of your career.”

Emily Gheorghisor CircleEmily Gheorghisor, Travel Sales Consultant

“I have never worked at a company where I have felt this much love and care before. I went through a rough time earlier this year, and the support I received from my manager and my area leader was beyond my expectations!”

Sameer Roopawalla CircleSameer Roopawalla, Marketing Executive

“At Flight Centre Travel Group, everything points in one direction: up. Literally everything is designed with a pathway to leadership in mind. I was blessed to have a caring area leader and a brilliant team leader.”

Jo-Lene Lally CircleJo-Lene Lally, Commercial Analyst

“Flight Centre Travel Group has been a massive support to me in my goals personally and within business. I’m definitely in my current role because of all the support I’ve had.”

Joachim Holte CircleJoachim Holte, Chief Marketing Officer

“There's a great deal of value in leaders who have experienced various parts of the business before they're entrusted to lead. Flight Centre Travel Group is a great example of this as most of our key leaders have come up through the ranks.”

Duncan Tranent CircleDuncan Tranent, Assistant Team Leader

“I’ve been at Flight Centre for two years and even though my main role is in sales, as a senior consultant I also engage in a fair amount of staff development for our novices. This has allowed me to gain leadership skills along the way and has helped me shape my career trajectory at Flight Centre.”

Do you have what it takes to be Flight Centre Travel Group’s next great leader? We’re hiring right now.