Jo Salter MBE, Britain’s first female fast jet pilot, is a revered leadership speaker and former member of the RAF.
In this exclusive interview, Jo reveals her top tips for building a high-performance team, as well as the importance of inclusive leadership. For female professionals struggling in a male dominated sector, she also offers invaluable advice: be authentic. Learn all of that and more, in this exciting Q&A.
What does inclusive leadership look like to you and what are the benefits of it?
“Inclusive leadership for me is really about understanding the people that you are working with and coming to them with a humility that respects who they are and what they bring to the team.
“It’s really understanding your own impact and have that self-awareness – the experiences that you’ve lived with might not be the experiences and the view that others have. I think that the benefit that brings is people can bring themselves to work, they can be authentic with who they really are and focus on performance rather than anxiety.”
What advice would you give to women struggling in a male dominated sector?
“As a woman who lived in and worked in a very male dominated sector, I would say to other people that it’s so important to be yourself. We sometimes think that we should change who we are.
“I certainly did that when I was younger. I think, if you can just be honest with who you are and again, be authentic – which is a theme that I bring to almost everything I do.
“Put your brave boots on and don’t accept things if they’re not all right. Because again, we are human beings who are trying to achieve and succeed. That diversity of thought and diversity of individuals is what helps build a high performing team.”
How does a business create a high-performance team?
“We talk about teams a lot and I think everybody knows what it’s like to be in a really good team. I wonder, when we think about high performing teams, what’s the difference?
“In my view, it’s about a level of emotional investment. It’s about feeling a responsibility to not only what you are doing but those around you. It’s being able to give that in the moment, because feedback that is received in a positive way and given in a positive way.
“It’s this virtuous circle that builds and builds, as together you achieve more.”
This exclusive interview with Jo Salter MBE was conducted by Megan Lupton.