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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 7      image

People notice when you try to be someone you're not

The next stage of the recruitment process was the leadership ‘boot camp’, or Assessment Centre, as it's correctly known, for the final 14 shortlisted applicants.

We received taxi vouchers and flight bookings in the mail along with a letter directing us to be in Hobart in two weeks’ time for a weeklong assessment to be held in a remote part of Tasmania. We were told what to bring and were given a brief outline of what the week would entail. It all sounded very exciting — James Bond meets Survivor — and definitely not what I'd normally be doing in an average week.

Tough competition

The 14 applicants met at the Woolstore Hotel in Hobart before we were ushered onto a minibus for the three-hour trip out to Bronte Park. As we drove I surreptitiously assessed the other applicants and struggled not to feel insecure. Twelve men and just one other woman. They were impressive. I was surrounded by some very, very experienced leaders.

The first activity at boot camp was for each of us to stand up, introduce ourselves and explain why we had applied for the role and why we thought we would be a good fit for it. I remember standing there feeling overwhelmed. Around me were a Commissioner of Police, a National Distribution Manager of Fairfax Media, a CARE aid group leader, someone who had spent two years in Papua New Guinea and a ...

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