Leadership: Making a Difference
A profile of Kevin Bailey
Who aspires to leadership? In a world of pragmatism and self interest, there has never been a greater need for leaders to step forward in every area of life. We hear so much information on motivation and personal development. Leadership is different to being merely successful. It is a calling and a responsibility to focus on what you give rather than what you can get.
There is a responsibility to get the job done and do the right thing. Any successful business leader will acknowledge that true leadership is not a popularity contest. Leadership is about making the hard decisions and taking responsibility. In order to achieve worthwhile goals you must have conviction and a set of beliefs that will influence others to rise to the challenge presented.
Leadership involves the power to make a difference and it is in the responsible exercise of that power that you can effect real changes in the world. Kevin Bailey has learnt the fundamentals of leadership during his time in the Special Air Service Regiment. The success and quiet achievement of all that was required of the Regiment recently in the theatres of East Timor, Afganistan and Iraq are testament to the professionalism and dedication that was just as evident during the time that he served in the early 1980s.
It was during his time in the SAS that he met the survivors of the 2/2nd and 2/4th Independent Companies who were the forerunners of the Australian SAS during WWII. They spoke with conviction of the debt Australians owed the Timorese who had sacrificed 40,000 of their own people protecting and assisting our soldiers. These men and their stories of courage and bravery led Kevin on a journey of support for the Timorese that culminated in him becoming the Honorary Consul General for East Timor in Melbourne.
He was privileged to come to know such extraordinary leaders that struggled against impossible odds such as Foreign Minister, Jose Ramos Horta, who received the Noble Peace Prize along with Bishop Carlos Belo in 1996. He built friendships with Guerilla Commander Tau Marten Ruak and President Xanana Gusmao who shared so much of how their belief and perseverance had inspired a nation.
Their example has inspired Kevin to stand up and be counted in all areas of his life. His wife Grace and he are raising 6 children and he sees it as important that his life is an example to them. In his chosen profession of financial planning and money management the leadership call has meant speaking out against the rorts of non disclosure of commissions and incentives that have gotten in the way of sound planning and impartial advice for many years.
He was called to give evidence in the Joint Parliamentary Inquiry into Fees and Commissions and has been asked to sit on the National Advisory Committee on Ageing. This activity, along with a heavy speaking schedule which has taken him to Malaysia, India, South Africa and the UK in the last year alone has been the catalyst to corporatise his business so that he can empower others to expand the work he began in his business. He has moved from a highly rated practitioner to manager and finally to a governance role as chairman of the Money Managers group of companies. This has led to a growth of the business that would not have been possible without him letting go of the day to day running of the business.
He has been able to have a greater influence on the lives of ordinary Australians by writing a book, Your Money Guide, focusing on investment and he is soon to complete a second book on financial success. Life's decisions are now about what needs to be done and how to go about achieving what's needed. He has a responsibility to lead and inspire the management of his company to implement his vision and to help others to know that they can make a difference. Leadership in business goes far beyond achieving a profit. It requires a commitment to values that can transform not only the lives of staff and the customers they serve; it can transform the community within which it operates.