Leading the way with passion, purpose and strategic intent, with Dionne Kasian-Lew



When Melbourne-based corporate communications and social media expert Dionne Kasian-Lew ran the communications department at the high-profile government authority VicRoads, she was on-call 24/7.

To say the role operated within an issues-rich ‘pressure cooker’ environment is an understatement. THINK: 3000 employees responsible for 52,000 kilometres of road and 3500 bridges, plus tunnels, traffic snarls, countless thousand impatient drivers, not to mention government and bureaucracy. A heady mix, eh?

That Dionne carved out a reputation in social media in this space – ahead of most corporates in Australia – is testament to her talents not only as a communicator but also a deft negotiator and diplomat!  Even the most hardened social media exponent would blanch at the prospect of pacifying angry motorists using social technologies, not to mention doing so within the confines of a government authority. The fact services such as motor licensing and driver education also fell under her communications remit merely added to the complexity of the role.

Fast forward to now

Today, some 18 months after she left her corporate gig, Dionne is still busy but entirely on her own terms; she is steadfastly following her passions and building a work portfolio via her new business, The Social Executive.

EPISODE 2 – Leading the way with passion, purpose and strategic intent

Dionne writes two blogs – The Social Executive and Be Your Whole Self – and has penned and self-published several books, with another (around social media for the ‘C Suite’) about to be released by a global publishing house; she is also a regular contributor to Leading Company and Company Director, and consults to major corporate organisations.

In this wide-ranging interview, Dionne chats about:

  • how she handled the transition from a senior role in a major corporate to running her own small business;
  • the social media channels she focuses on, specifically Twitter (which she has grown from 1000 followers to 15,300 in 18 months), LinkedIn and Google+;
  • the power of reading deeply across disciplines, listening to podcasts and watching high quality videos such as TED Talks;
  • how changing her LinkedIn profile on day one of starting her new venture resulted in the engagement of two new clients;
  • the important role content curation plays not just in her brand building efforts but in her life generally; plus …
  • how she manages to combine her two ‘properties’ – The Social Executive (social media consulting for the ‘C’ Suite) and Be Your Whole Self (authentic leadership).

Passion, purpose and strategic intent

We live in a world where too many smart professional people, with knowledge to share and expertise to burn, are hemmed in to a high-level corporate gig; they are keen to get out but are unsure or unwilling to do so, for whatever reason/s. Thus their dream of running their own show and living life on their own terms remains just that: a dream.

Dionne is living proof that if the jump from corporate to ‘micro maven’ is done with passion, purpose and strategic intent, there is plenty of upside and opportunity to be had!


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trevor young_smallbiz_summitTREVOR YOUNG specialises in PR, social media, content marketing and personal branding strategies. He speaks professionally and is the author of the book ‘microDOMINATION: How to Leverage Social Media & Content Marketing to Build a Mini-Business Empire Around Your Personal Brand’


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