Personal character, integrity and trust are the most important qualities of a good leader, according to leadership expert Dr David Morgan Williams.
It is a lesson he learnt through study and experience.
From education and employment services to cultural and sporting enterprises and charities, Dr Williams has been leading Illawarra organisations for more than 30 years.
He goes by the philosophy, "don't wait to be asked, where there is a need take that step forward and make your contribution count".
The leadership expert has turned philosophy into practice and was made a Member of the Order of Australia on Australia Day in recognition of his countless contributions to the region.
Former chairman of the Illawarra Olympic Fund-raising Committee, he lists one of his proudest achievements was that of instituting Illawarra's "wall of dreams" in Lang Park.
The 2.5-metre high polished granite structure pays tribute to Illawarra Olympians.
"As a community we were very well recognised for our efforts right throughout the Olympic movement," he said.
But more important than building structures, was forging good relationships, he said.
The 62-year-old was chairman of The Salvation Army's Illawarra Advisory Board, was chairman of the Illawarra Red Shield Appeal, board member of the Wollongong City Art Gallery and CEO of his employment services business, DMW Group. Despite his many achievements, Dr Williams believes he is an ordinary man trying to make a difference.
"It's just me sitting up at the front of the table guiding a lot of talented people," he said.
"Leadership is about identifying your capabilities and applying them through practice.
"You need to build good relationships, act with integrity and you need to have people trust you."
Dr Williams has moved to Melbourne and is now Australian Catholic University's national student recruitment and external relations director.