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Interview: How Shauna Olney Leads With Strengths

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About the Leader

Shauna Olney

Shauna OlneyFormer Chief of the Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch, International Labour Organization

  • Achiever®
  • Input®
  • Learner®
  • Developer®
  • Relator®

“Everybody is so interesting. Everybody has a story. Get to know that story.”


"I will work as many hours as it takes."

Having incredible stamina, Olney will work into the night to complete a task. As her Achiever matures, she often sees the need to combine it with her many relationship-building themes to create successful teams and get important work done at various levels of an organization.


"You have to go deep, but also broad."

At first, Olney used her Relator to build tight-knit groups of trusted colleagues, but as her Relator developed, she sought to prevent being siloed by broadening her circle of relationships. This allowed her to more successfully complete large important projects.


"Mentoring is one of the most important things you can do."

Having always had mentors, Olney jumps at every opportunity to be a mentor herself. She attracts mentees who are values driven and have a burning desire to change the world. In these relationships, she tries to listen for the hidden spark of passion that can be developed.


"I need to know as much as I can -- and analyze as much as I can."

When she writes, Olney will do abundant research before writing a single word. Her Input compels her to gather all the necessary information, analyze it and discuss it with other people. After that, the writing process is swift and effortless.


"I would never stay in a job if I ever stopped learning."

With a voracious appetite for learning, Olney believes she should be able to learn something new every day at work. She has been able to satisfy this aspiration by learning from the people around her -- her peers at the ILO or the university students she now teaches.