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Leading on the Edge: Extraordinary Stories and Leadership Insights from The World's Most Extreme Workplace by Rachael Robertson

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Chapter 3      image

Always look for ways to extend yourself

I loved doing new things so I applied to act in John's role as Operations Ranger, overseeing the park's day-to-day operations when he took his annual leave. This would be a big step up. I would be manager of 18 rangers, all older (some as much as 40 years my senior), wiser and much more experienced than me.

Acting up

To my delight, John accepted my application. He showed trust in my potential and knew that if I had a shot at it I would give it everything. And I did, repeatedly! When he was away I put in long, long hours coming up to speed with some of the mysteries of Operations. Budgets! Spreadsheets! Reports! Meetings with contractors! There was a huge administrative burden that I wasn't prepared for. But I plugged away and leant on some of the more experienced rangers for guidance and advice. When John returned he was happy with my performance and from then on I applied for every acting role that became available across the state.

I knew that to progress quickly I needed to build my capability across a wide variety of situations, in different regions, parks and roles. I moved around the state a lot over the next two years. I knew the one advantage that I had over many of my peers was that I was unattached and childless. Many of my peers with equal or better qualifications and experience were married and settled, and had put ...

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