Guest Blog: Ross Connor with Day Two of Igniting Leadership September

24 September 2012 By Ross Connor

On day two of the Igniting Leadership course, many of us discussed just how much we had taken in from day one. Today’s session was going to start off with a look at the academic side of leadership, discussing our workplace challenges, followed by a look into values and finish up with a look at our ‘strength deployment inventory’ results. With that ahead of us I began wondering exactly how our lessons from the first day would fit with what was in store for the second. It didn’t take long for that to become clear!

Our first speaker for the day was Professor Leon Mann, and he dissected the academic side of leadership for us. These themes rang true for me, as we had heard from some fantastic speakers just the day before that had each shown us what it meant for them, if not in the same terms!

The five themes of leadership were Journey, Relationships, Roles, Decision Making and Character. Professor Mann outlined some great examples in each of the themes, and for me it reiterated some of the messages we had heard from the first day of the course.

Next up was a session in our breakout groups to discuss our workplace challenges. Each of us came to the Igniting Leadership program having identified a specific challenge we are facing in our workplaces, knowing that these challenges would at some point become the topic of conversation for the group. I personally found this session to be a great way to gain some different perspectives from my group, who all had different backgrounds and with fascinating experiences to share. More than any other, I took from that session a sense that we were all on this leadership journey together and that there is as much to learn from each other over the next few days as from the structured material - it was a bit of a watershed moment for me!

After lunch we were joined by Angela Rutter from the ACF to talk to us about values, and to help us identify our own values and how they influence our behaviour and actions. I hadn’t realised that engaging particular values acts to suppress other values, and could also spread over into yet different values again! The world of values is certainly a much deeper one than I had considered before!

Our last session was an insightful and engaging session by Louise Thomson on our Strength Deployment Inventory. Most of us in the room had done exercises like the Myers Briggs or DISC analysis, but I would have to say this one was a highlight! This is the only exercise of its type that I have done that recognises that you react differently when things go well to how you react in times of conflict or difficulty. It provided me with some true insight into the actions of others as well as myself!

In all, a second fantastic day in a course that I would not hesitate to recommend to new and aspiring leaders. Can’t wait for the next three days!


Ross Connor is a Principal Strategy Analyst at WorkSafe Victoria.