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Leadership expert and founder of Homeward Bound.

The challenge is to rethink the narrative of leadership with humour and intelligence.

In December 2016, at the age of 63, Fabian Dattner, well-known leadership expert, author and women’s advocate, climbed aboard a ship bound for Antarctica. As she did so, she stepped on to a global leadership platform; for that ship was carrying the first 76 women of Homeward Bound, a 1,000-strong collaboration of women who it’s hoped will help change the face of leadership on the planet within 10 years.

Homeward Bound literally came to Fabian in a dream and, as its founder, she has been emboldened to bring to life her pragmatic vision for a new way of leadership; one that puts collaboration, compassion and the legacy of our planet front of mind.

Homeward Bound’s message has reached some 500 million people worldwide and attracted women from 30 countries, propelling Fabian into a space where she can put into practice her own radical vision for what inclusive leadership for the greater good could and can look like.

Current experience:

Author of four books about leadership, three-times finalist in the Telstra Businesswomen of the Year awards and named as one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women, Fabian is down-to-earth, informed, entertaining and provocative and an outstanding and much sought-after facilitator and panelist.

Previous experience:

As founding partner of leadership consultancy Dattner Grant, she brings 30 years’ experience advising, challenging and mentoring some of Australia’s most senior leaders across industry and government. Fabian is no stranger to courage, having seen her way through the very public failure of her family business in the 1980s; she is a creative strategist and embraces and encourages deep learning.

Her insights into leadership, her own experiences of the highs and the lows that come with it, her big heart and even bigger vision make her an unforgettable and often, life-changing, presenter and speaker.

Talking Points

The Practice of Leadership

Leadership expert Fabian Dattner, discusses lessons starting a global movement, and the journey of her dream from conception to reality.
Key takeaways include:
*Lessons learnt
*Being courageous
*Digital messaging
*Letting go of control (being a choreographer not a controller)
*Having a legacy mindset
*Being able and willing to receive feedback

The World's Largest All Female Expedition to Antarctica: Lessons in Leadership, Collaboration and the Untapped Power of Women.

From dream to global initiative in 3 years

Voted 6th most influential and positive initiative for women globally in 2016 (Fortune Magazine)
Vision: 1,000 women in science by 2026 equipped and mobilised as leaders to influence policy and decision making as it shapes our planet.

76 women, together in otherworldly isolation, in one of the most extreme environments on earth. Hear how they wrestle with the challenges of being women leaders and appreciate their courage in facing the issues of our times. This is the journey of Homeward Bound.

Hear Fabian’s account of the valuable insights into leadership as she shares the highs, the lows and the capacity of women to collaborate for a shared vision, each in their own way fighting for change.

The collective knowledge on the ship coupled with Fabian’s thirty years of leadership expertise can’t prepare participants for some of the challenges they face in the name of amplifying the role of women’s leadership globally. It is these critical lessons learned that Fabian will share with the audience in her keynote presentation.

Female leadership in the age of women

Has the paradigm in leadership shifted? And if so, do incumbent leaders fully realise the implications?

The task of leading has become incredibly complex. Every leader, from within education or public sector, utility or finance, entrepreneurial or corporation, wakes every morning to a level of responsibility and task that is largely growing exponentially. 50 years ago, the tasks were essentially predictable, comparatively simple and possible to contain in a 9 - 5 day. Today, long hours, back to back meetings, strategic and operational complexity, volumes of emails and endless change leave leaders feeling they are never ahead of the game, never completing work to a standard that entirely satisfies, and always falling asleep at night anxious about what hasn’t been done. Mindfulness, exercise and good planning are meant to ease the burden, but they don’t. Not yet. Not enough.

Leaders worry about paradoxes that seem self evident; short term stretch targets and long term strategy, endless change and the cost of engagement, confidence and imposter syndrome, competition and exhaustion, communication and decision making, meetings and collaboration.

What’s is happening? We know about exponential change, we understand that flexibility, agility and disruptive thinking are meant to be easy to attain. But the fact is, for most people they aren’t.


What if we are in the middle of a significant paradigm shift in leadership?
What if women as leaders are central to the shift?
What if our emotional agility is more relevant than our intellectual agility?

Thomas Kuhn famously said ‘paradigms don’t shift from within’ and Einstein ‘the mind that creates the problem rarely solves it’.

So, what are we changing to and how do we capitalise on it with women

Fabian can talk about
- Female leadership in the age of women - the benefit of collaboration, inclusion, legacy mindset and trustworthiness with money and assets
- The business benefits of women in in leadership
- Getting ready to keep great women: What needs to change to attract, select, retain and promote women
In addition to her global leadership expertise, Fabian is also the Founder of the now globally recognised Homeward Bound Project (for women in STEMM). She is also able to share deeply informed, relevant and engaging insights about
- How to build a global movement; The challenge of real collaboration, inclusion and legacy mindset
- Understanding the marriage of story and fact; what’s the price of isolation - one from the other (bringing science into our world)

Trust - a New Paradigm

This presentation looks at the concept of trust and leadership. This is an important time to be honest about leadership capability and leaders to be wise and willing about what causes senior teams to become dysfunctional, what is the cost of this dysfunction is in terms of engagement and trust and what we can do about it.

This presentation asks "Are we in the midst of a leadership crisis?" while looking at practical advice from a leadership expert and discussing the four key elements that can build (or break) trust in a leader.

Intergenerational Leadership

Looks at intergenerational leadership, the differences in an age-diverse workforce and how to get the best from you teams on all levels.

Fabian's presentation also considers the following:
* The challenge for leaders today
* Understanding the nuances of generational values
* Good leadership at all levels: getting the best out of people
* Creating a cultural blueprint
* Avoiding the ‘task’ trap
* Be mentored, encourage mentoring (sometimes a CEOs best mentor can be generations younger!)
A special thanks to Fabian Dattner for her inspiration and her knowledge. She was a revelation. My only regret was my teenage sons couldn't experience the hope, vision and drive Fabian extols. Our children need more of this positive reinforcement and less of the negative views our media, politicians and education systems dish up to them. But then again we can all benefit from more Fabian Dattner’s. Oceania Agriculture Ltd

Fabian was an exceptional speaker. She was relaxed and warm and related this immediately to the audience, who actively participated in her presentation.

Institute of Chartered Accountants

Fabian challenged us to think beyond the square. Her bright and unusual presentation kept the audience's interest at a high level throughout.

Trustee Companies Association

Fabian's session on leadership was extremely well received. Fabian very successfully included the entire audience in an understanding of "leadership" and its practical application both as a manager and as a parent.

AMP Insurance Company

Without Fabian we would still be struggling with different cultural attitudes rather than progressing as a company into the future. Her outstanding ability to understand the attitudes/biases of individuals in such a short period of time was the work of a genius.

Insurance Network Services

Fabian has what true leaders all aspire to: authentic experience. She has led from the front and the back, been through the highs and the lows and knows brilliantly how to apply her knowledge, remarkable insights and generosity to inspire and equip leaders to face the challenges of tomorrow. Can you really be a leader without having spent time with Fabian? I’m not sure...

The Invisible Hand Company
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