Driving success and developing your team members is vital to becoming a successful Team Leader at Flight Centre. We talked to Nikki Dufty about her career journey and what it takes to be an inspiring leader.

Hi Nikki, tell us a bit about your career journey at Flight Centre.

My start with Flight Centre was rocky. I was not a high-performing novice from the beginning, but I had a strong passion and desire to make my mark in this company. Within a year, I found my feet and stepped into the Assistant Team Leader role, and in another year, got promoted to Armidale’s Team Leader. I was only twenty-one, full of drive, and proved that Armidale could deliver outstanding results, including making year-to-date profit for the first time in many years. 

I then moved to Escape Travel in Coffs Harbours and worked alongside Ian Carswell to turn the new store into a global one. Despite the successes I had at Escape Travel, I still felt like I had more to prove back in my hometown. I moved back to Armidale where we took the store to even greater heights.

Now back as a Team Leader, I am responsible for driving and inspiring my team to ensure our store is profitable while making sure my members have the right tools to develop themselves. If anything, my eight years at Flight Centre have proven to me that passion, dedication and determination will get you to where you want to be.

What does being a good leader mean to you?

A leader is someone who leads from the front with their attitude, behaviour and performance. They are approachable but know when to be tough to drive results and get the best out of their team. They are not in it for themselves, but for everyone’s success, ultimately becoming someone the team looks up to and aspires to be.

The biggest challenge for any leader is people management. You need to know your people to be able to guide and develop them. It’s important that you’re not scared to have difficult conversations and to be confident in your skills. 

What advice would you give to someone wanting to move into a management role?

Prepare yourself to work extremely hard and push through the tough times. At Flight Centre I had a lot of challenges at the start, but with my determination and support from others, I’ve been reaping the amazing life and rewards Flight Centre has to offer!

What is unique about working in the travel industry?

We open the world up for those who want to see it. I still can’t believe the doors that have opened for me both in my career and travels. It’s amazing to know that in this industry you can take a role anywhere.

I remember being sold into Flight Centre by my third week. I attended my first conference and was in awe after a session on brand awareness. I felt like my values tied into Flight Centre’s philosophies and what they stood for. I love how ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’ is at the centre of our culture and we own all our successes and failures.

Interested in not just a job, but growing a career in a global company? Check out our job opportunities here.

Sign up for weekly emails
from Flight Centre Careers