Four ways to embrace being an unconventional leader


Let’s be honest: Conforming is boring. Adopting a mindset that’s different to those around you will open your mind – and opportunities will follow.

Doing what everyone else is doing might be safe, but it’s also predictable. Unconventional is my forte and so far, it’s served me well. Don’t be afraid to disregard societal rules and expectations to venture off the path well-trodden. I’ve implemented the following advice myself and consider it to be imperative to

1. Embrace walk and talks

The office walls can become consuming, stuffy and restrictive. Holding meetings in the same location every time can become tedious and ineffective. However, a change of scenery often summons a clear mind. It removes you from the corporate environment you’ve been fermenting in and allows you to think in a new way.

Instead of reserving a meeting room, take your meeting outdoors; typically, a stroll outdoors will result in a more casual and creative feel. The opportunity to interact outdoors with employees encourages a relaxed relationship and allows for increased comfortability when collaborating on projects and ideas.

2. Hire based on potential and passion

It’s not difficult to look impressive on paper, however, a couple of degrees and diplomas doesn’t necessarily reflect who someone is as an individual – it’s their personality, passion and potential rather, which indicate whether or not they’re an asset to the business.

A person with the right attitude and no relative experience is much more valuable than someone who maintains the appropriate qualifications but doesn’t transmit a positive and proactive demeanour. Similarly, if someone submits an average application, their application shouldn’t be immediately discarded. The ability to compose a resume doesn’t reflect someone’s worth. Interview all prospective candidates and dig deeper than their qualifications.

3. Ditch suits for the ‘real’ you

In my opinion, implementing a formal/corporate dress code in the office is unnecessary. I’m not comfortable in a suit and tie and I don’t expect my staff to be. Allowing attire flexibility encourages individuality, creativity and confidence, three qualities we actively foster at

My ‘out-of-the-ordinary’ style hasn’t been a barrier to success, proving that credibility isn’t achieved with a suit. My employees and I don’t feel pressure to conform to a certain ‘look’ and we don’t perceive aesthetics to be of incredible importance. Dress to your own desire.

4. Master your craft

When building a business it can be difficult to not become carried away in your big plans, involving yourself in as many aspects as are available/obtainable.

However, in order to cement your success, you first need to master your craft; become an expert in one area before attempting to conquer another. It’s more important to stay focused on what’s immediately imminent without becoming distracted by irrelevancies in your periphery.

Be great at what you do. Hone your skill before involving yourself in an additional development. It’s probably that your defined competence can be applied to varying mediums as you progress.

Fred Schebesta is the co-founder and director of, a website that helps Australians compare credit cards, savings accounts, home loans, personal loans, travel insurance, life insurance, shopping deals and more.

This is piece was originally published on SmartCompany.

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Fred Schebesta is the chief executive of