Igniting Leadership Program Blog by Susanna Young

26 June 2012 By Susanna Young

Susanna Young
Susanna Young

LV's Igniting Leadership Program is a concentrated learning experience that is designed to foster a new generation of leaders. Here Susanna Young, a participant in ILP for June 2012, reflects on the first few days of the program:

So I think when I decided to do the Igniting Leadership Program I thought that I was coming for a magic potion – the thing that would completely alter my confidence in my own leadership style, tell me exactly what I needed to do to progress my career and life the way I wanted to.

Day one made me completely rethink this approach – no one is going to give me an answer because as our two guest speakers made plain, leadership is something that is specific to you and your true self. Only you can decide that you want to be a leader (or accept that role thrust on you), what type of leader you want to be, and only you can take the action required to get you there. Others inform and are impacted by your choices.

So day one's down. I'm exhausted. I've absorbed so much amazing information, ideas, concepts and I've met some amazing individuals – those doing the program with me are all inspiring in their own way and motivate me to do more and better!

It's been so much fun! We've told stories about vegan foxes and we've played husbands, wives, mechanics and advertising executives! Only we will ever know what that has got to do with leadership and that creates our groupness in a way other teams will never experience! A bond I'm confident will bind some of us well beyond day 5.

It's only taken a day and already our group has identified that to be great leaders we need to:

  • Jump off the 10 metre diving platform (truly commit in a no going back way)
  • Environments that are open and encouraging help people achieve their leadership potential
  • All leaders ask themselves the same question, "when is someone going to work out that I'm a fraud?" and  great leaders become comfortable with this
  • Knowing yourself, being able to reflect and understand your strengths, is the first step to being true to yourself which is the hallmark of a true leader
  • Leadership is "making the right decision at the right time for the right reasons"

And finally.....

You get out what you put in!

So I'm looking forward to more, and I possibly won't sleep tonight thinking about all the amazing insights I'll hear tomorrow.

If you have the opportunity to do this program, just do it!

Susanna is Senior Advisor, Industry and Business at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Victoria.