Propelling Performance Podcast


Lessons in leadership

featuring Rob Nankervis with Ross Gallagher

In Episode Four of the Propelling Performance Podcast, Rob speaks with strategic leader and Executive General Manager – Home Care & Retirement Living, IRT Group, Ross Gallagher. Listen to Ross’ insights on his leadership journey and the lessons he has learned; his hallmarks for great leadership; advice for young and emerging leaders; some of the most common mistakes leaders make and how Ross led his team successfully through the challenges of the COVID pandemic.

“One of the key things is to try and be authentic. Be yourself – and try and do it naturally. Don’t try and be Steve Jobs. Your team will pick up on it if you’re not authentic.” – Ross Gallagher

Listen to discover:

Ross’s hallmarks of effective leadership

  • Be authentic – don’t try to be something you’re not
  • Relax and be a natural leader, especially in your communication
  • Empower your team to think for themselves
  • Stay calm. Regardless of what you’re thinking or feeling in times of crisis, your team will look to you as the one to steady the ship and give them support and direction
  • Be a leader who guides their team. Help them make sense of situations, then empower them to make the call
  • Treat people as you’d expect to be treated yourself
  • Be intuitive – be open to learning and learn from your mistakes.
  • Listen as Rob and Ross explore the advantages of the Scaling Up methodology and how Scaling Up….
  • Builds trust through clarity, making it easier for leaders to engage people in the journey
  • Creates focus, by breaking up actions and plans into bite-sized chunks through the one page plan
  • Allows you to clearly articulate goals and plans either upwards, to a board or downwards, to people on the front line
  • Enables a key focus on two or three key things so people can actually wrap their head around it.

    Ross’ advice for young or emerging leaders
  • Make sure you get the fundamentals right
  • Do the hard work early and talk to all stakeholders
  • Make sure you can clearly articulate your purpose, vision and mission so you can take your team on the journey with you
  • Don’t forget your educational path – read books, join seminars, join the CEO Institute

Some of the most common mistakes leaders make

  • Trying and take on too much yourself – hitting the deck running to get things done
  • Succumbing to Imposter Syndrome. Just because you’ve got a new title, you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room
  • Don’t be afraid to make the hard calls early. Fail fast and move on – don’t manage with ego or pride. There will always be meaningful learning you can take forward.

Why a mentor is so important to good leadership, and Ross’ life lessons from his mentor

How Ross navigated the challenges of COVID in one of the most high-risk businesses, aged care/home care

  • Daily stand ups (not normal in the aged care space)
  • Daily, weekly meetings with a critical incident management team
  • Weekly monthly and quarterly reviews
  • Keeping connected – between the team and with customers
  • Always keep an eye on the future
  • Managing people – reaching out to people who might be struggling and making communication and connection a priority.

“Some of the best advice I had from my most valued business mentor was ‘In life or business, remember this motto – keep it simple, live in the moment and back your gut.’” – Ross Gallagher

Take action!

  • COVID gave us challenges, but also opportunities
  • Don’t be afraid to innovate, solve problems differently and identify new markets
  • Ask yourself – how do we innovate in a challenging operating environment without placing more strain on the core business?

Enjoyed the podcast? Extend your learning by reading this corresponding chapter in ‘Propelling Performance’…



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Ross Gallagher

Executive General Manager
Home Care & Retirement Living, IRT Group

Rob Nankervis – Podcast guests – Season 2

Ross Gallagher is an innovative, action-oriented senior executive with experience in complex operational environments across a range of sectors, most significantly e-Health, financial services, and technology. Ross is currently Executive General Manager – Home Care & Retirement Living at IRT Group, and joined IRT with a view to developing new and innovative home care solutions that will ultimately drive a more customer empowered model of care. Having been a Non-Executive Director on several boards, Ross is a key leader of enterprise-level planning and decision making, and a valued advisor. Ross has an enviable track record of structuring plans that enable businesses to grow profitably, strategically, efficiently and tactically.