Don't stop asking 'why?'

17 July 2016 By Karina Smith, Housing CHoices Australia

When offered the opportunity to attend Leadership Victoria's Igniting Leadership program I thought why not - professional development can only be a good thing and there is nothing to lose and hopefully a lot to gain.  So it has begun the journey to the Igniting Leadership Program.  Like a lot of people walking into a room of unfamiliar people means you are automatically out of your comfort zone and within the first 10 minutes we were told you will experience times of being overwhelmed - correct.

The first session was 'old scholars' sharing their experiences.  Were they inspiring?  Yes.  Were they interesting?  Yes.  Did they make me think why am I here?  Yes.

We were asked to reflect on the sharing of the 'old scholars' and to my surprise the following came out of my pen.  “Education, whether it be formal or simply experiencing life, is powerful. It can provide clarity, vision and a belief in self.  Don't stop asking why or more importantly - why not?" 

A little too profound?  I actually surprised myself - a little wisdom out of my sense of being overwhelmed - and I thought "well if this is what I get out of today, fantastic, I'm happy".

However, after lunch Geraldine Coy addressed the group and WOW this lady has made an impact - passionate, articulate and thought provoking.  Geraldine IS a leader, an inspiration, she made me feel that it is a duty for all of us to be leaders, to believe in ourselves and have conviction to make change.  I thought, "well, this is now enough to take out of day one," and I felt comfortable.

But wait, there's more.  For the final session Richard Dent OAM facilitated a role play task.  The topic was current, violence against women and more specifically a heated discussion held on Q and A between two social commentators.  Out of my comfort zone - definitely.  Richard pushed us to consider both sides of the conflict and to look deeper into their reactions, this made me think there will be situations where you need to identify why others have reacted how they have.  These skills will be invaluable.

Is my brain ready to explode? Yes. But wait, tomorrow is another day. Let’s see what that and the remaining sessions bring, and if I am a leader.