A leader should be authentic, humble and not arrogant, according to Tasmania's Telstra Business Women Award winner Lucy O'Flaherty.
The Glenview Community Services chief executive has been working in that industry for 25 years, which has given her a chance to hone her leadership skills.
Ms O'Flaherty left the corporate sector at 23 after working in publishing, marketing and hospitality management.
"I had a bit of a brainwave when I went 'I don't want to work for corporates anymore, I want to do something different', so I retrained."
Although she never aspired to be a chief executive, she wanted to be part of an organisation's decision-making process so she could understand the process.
"I thought that's the space I need to be in so I can understand more about why the decisions are the way they are," Ms O'Flaherty said.
"Just through that I ended up in a leadership role ... I'm going to lead how I believe leadership should be, which is authentically, it's not arrogantly, it's with humility."
The role entails responsibility and making hard decisions, but can be done in a collaborative way.
"The mantra I always use is, a leader without a team is just someone going for a walk. Unless you can bring people with you, you're on your own. That's how I lead."
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Glenview is building Australia's first suburban dementia village, designed to recreate real life experiences for people living with dementia.
"I have a mum who lives with dementia in the UK, so for me building Australia's first dementia village down south is a passion," Ms O'Flaherty said.
"It's not only about the experience that might be different for my mum if she was here, but it's also about the experience of my father as a carer and understanding that dynamic of what it can look like and the unspoken conversations that we need to encourage carers to have to be supportive," she said.
Being Tasmania's Telstra Business Woman of the Year is both an opportunity and responsibility, Ms OFlaherty said.
"I want to be able to contribute where I'm going to get a sense of paying back."