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Podcast: The role of HR in leadership

Iwan de Leeuw
Published: September 5, 2023
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An In Good Company podcast with Iwan de Leeuw, Executive Vice President People Operations at Toll Group

Putting the human into human resources

The pandemic highlighted a need for a dynamic, agile and work orientated talent model. In this episode we explore the role human resources play in this, and as this season of podcasts is exploring leadership, specifically what is the role of HR in leadership?

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Iwan de Leeuw refers to himself as a design-thinking HR generalist – but as the Executive Vice President of People Development at Toll Group he is responsible for people strategy and enabling his HR and talent management function to operate efficiently and effectively. Originally from the Netherlands, Iwan has lived and worked in Japan, the US, Vietnam and now Singapore. His view of the role of human resources in leadership is honed from these global experiences.

This podcast is for you if you’re interested in the fundamentals of HR, how to ensure consistency of practice across geographies, will AI make our lives better and how to be a servient but authentic leader. Here's a snippet of their conversation, or scroll down for the Spotify and YouTube links:

Challenging the view of HR in leadership and organisations

Ultimately the companies that really will succeed and with longevity, they have a very clear picture of how to leverage HR, and to really understand the true value that HR people can bring. And I think sometimes people see HR as inhibitors of growth, the people that say no to a lot of things, but from my vantage point they're custodians of risk. They bring a level of governance that is necessary for the organisation to be very successful.

Creating leaders through human resources

Sometimes we use the term leadership, and we think about the C-level, somebody very strong. People go home and they talk about leadership, but when they refer to leadership, they're not talking about the CEO, they're talking about direct managers. So early on in somebody's journey as a people leader, you need to start sharing. Trust, transparency culminate in communication. If you do that well, you're going to see organisations soar.

Continue with Dan and Iwan’s conversation here:

Listen to the podcast on Spotify

Watch our interview here:

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010: Entrepreneurial leadership with Leigh Gammons, Tangent

Coming up

012: What it takes to lead a high performing team with David Cooper, Impact

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