Keeping up with the pace of change: How these 30 Under 30 winners are leading the way

Staff Writer

Working in radio is fast-paced, whether you’re in the HR department trying to make connections and hold people accountable, or attempting to keep up with Cristano Ronaldo’s hat-trick for Portugal at the Euros as you report on the world’s non-stop news cycle.

These three 30 Under 30 winners – Samantha Barsic, Mike Pearsall and Sophie Thomason – all have very different roles to play in keeping up with the pace of change and leading the industry through it, but they’re all playing their role.

Read about how they handle it all below.

Samantha Barsic, HR business partner, Southern Cross Austereo (28)

What makes Samantha Barsic a future leader in the audio industry?

  • Leading by example in role modelling the behaviours we hold others accountable to
  • Putting people first (recognising the importance of the dynamics of genuine relationships before the ‘mechanics’ of day to day business operations)
  • Being able to flex my own style to meet people where they are at & cater to the styles of those around me in a way that will get the best out of the individual I am working with, which I believe is critical to collaboration
  • Having had 5+ years of experience in the industry, establishing a network & connections, using my experience & industry knowledge to better understand and support my network
  • Through ongoing leadership & management training of current & future leaders within the industry
  • At Nova – I participated in their Leadership Development Program ‘iLead’ with senior stakeholders across the business
  • At SCA – I was invited to participate in the SCA Leads program
  • I have recently achieved an LSI Coaching accreditation with Human Synergistics – enabling me to coach & develop current & future leaders of the industry to bring out the best in people and help them thrive

Mike Pearsall, Breakfast sport reader, Nine Radio (27)

What makes Mike Pearsall a future leader in the audio industry?

“No longer is it a quick around the grounds of the AFL and NRL matches at the weekend. Now, we’re getting live updates on Cristano Ronaldo’s hat-trick for Portugal at the Euros, or a Steve Smith double century at Old Trafford in the Ashes.

“As the world becomes more connected through social media and online streaming platforms, I believe the way we consume sport will change. Being in this stage of my career excites me with being able to broaden our listeners’ horizons.

“To be able to grow in my role and help my colleagues around me tell stories in the most exciting possible way is a challenge that I enjoy every day.

“Going forward, I look forward to leading our radio newsroom in telling the stories from the sporting world that inspire everyday people listening to the radio.

“As a leader, I like to embrace an all-inclusive style that helps others contribute to where we are going. No one in a team has ever enjoyed when it’s non-stop captain’s calls about what direction they head in.

“When leadership opportunities arise I like to incorporate all ideas from colleagues while moving forward in a confident fashion.”

Sophie Thomason, Brisbane integration manager, ARN (28)

What makes Sophie Thomason a future leader in the audio industry?

“What makes me a future leader is that I have a positive approach and am not afraid to have robust, difficult conversations to ensure that I get the best outcome for each team and overall, the business.

“Each day I bring together key stakeholders within the business and am nuanced in my approach when it comes to navigating the often-conflicting needs of content and commercial. I am one who is fearless and respectful in my discussions whether I am managing up, managing a team, or communicating to my peers.

“As a people leader and mentor, one of my key focus areas is the importance of mindfulness. Through a commitment to self-development I have been able to manage my own relationship with stress, which allows me to contribute more in a coaching capacity. I consistently step up to the challenge and help guide my team to success in our extremely fast-paced environment.

“I am one who champions my team’s work, ensuring they have the movement to create and foster their own working relationships with key people and departments across the business, so they create their own success.

“Beyond the workday, I always stop to ‘check-in’ with those around me, as a leader it is important to me that I foster not only great professional relationships but personal ones as well. Knowing what my peers’ passion points are and how they are going is important so that I can ensure they are set up for success and thrive in their roles.

“I am looking forward to developing my leadership skills further and excited for my next steps in the audio industry.”

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