Igniting Leadership program reflection: Mar/Apr 2015

31 March 2015 By Igniting Leadership Program Participants

Day 1: 19 March 2015

Welcome to day one of the Igniting Leadership Program run by Leadership Victoria, and what a day it was! From a brief but energetic welcome from Richard Dent, Executive Director of Leadership Victoria, we dived directly into our program facilitated by the always engaging Louise Thompson. From a productive discussion prompting participants to reflect on what works for them, the first speaker of the day, Mark Heintz, Chief Executive of Riverina Dairy, spoke to what he considers makes a leader and how to live these qualities within your own context. His engaging presentation demonstrated his no-nonsense approach to leadership – acknowledging that while “it’s about people” it was crucial to “know your numbers” to be able to present your view with authority. As a speaker he was definitely engaging, being surrounded by participants eager to question him further giving up their precious coffee time!

The introduction of buddies, continuing throughout the day, helped us learn about the diverse backgrounds of the burgeoning leaders in the room, with many state and local government employees, a respectable showing from the Country Fire Authority from across Victoria, the NGO sector, as well as private organisations. Leadership without boundaries, from a diverse range of backgrounds, can only enrich the program experience for all!

Reflective practices combined with literature reviews meant that the theoretical concepts of leadership and what makes a good leader were at the forefront of our eager minds when, following a delicious and well-catered lunch , we were privy to the insights of Guy Mendelson, State Manager for Small Business, ANZ. His questioning of “are you ready to lead?” was elevated with his additional question of “are you prepared to lead?” This highlighted the need to have both the mindset as well as the skill set to be an effective leader. In consideration of our own ‘crucible moment’ his insights helped identify instances where we recognised our own drive and potential to lead. In conjunction with mindfulness of our own ladders of inference, the first day of Igniting Leadership certainly culminated in a melting pot of ideas, enthusiasm and preparedness for what we face next in this program to lead!

Nicole Brooks
Business Services Coordinator
Victorian Inspectorate

Don't miss the last Igniting Leadership Program of 2015! Earlybird closes on 13 August (save over $1,000). Learn more.


Day 2: 20 March 2015

Leadership with a capital 'L' is often what we think of when we think of leadership. Politicians, big businessmen and competitive sports(wo)men. But there's a lot more to leadership than being visible on the world stage. It's also about the day to day things you do in which you allow your passion to shine through and know what you know with conviction.

I have found myself inspired not just by the very excellent speakers but also by my fellow participants. We learn from each other and we support one another. Best of all, there was no judgement but lots of shared laughter and kindness.

The second day of the Igniting Leadership Program was as equally eye opening as the first, but in different ways. Both Victoria Triggs (Director at Victoria Leading Lady Consultancy) and Angela Rutter (Director of Engagement, Australian Conservation Foundation) articulated in their own view what leadership meant to them.

Victoria said leadership meant service, and I am in absolute agreement with her. She led us through an exercise in which we brainstormed some of the characteristics of skills, attributes and qualities most valuable to future leaders. To our surprise, our top voted characteristics appeared nowhere near her list! Just goes to show that one and a half days into a leadership program isn't enough to make us anywhere near expert. But we are getting there!

Angela talked about the values inherent in leadership and introduced us to the eight value hierarchies. It was fascinating to see how each of these quadrants relate to intrinsic/extrinsic engagement. There was certainly a lot of food for thought.

However, the day was also punctuated by lots of laughter. We began the day with a YouTube video of the 'dancing guy'. I suspect that if we had watched it in any other context it would have elicited sniggers, but under thoughtful analysis we saw a different view of leadership.

The most laughter, however, was probably the highlight of the day, “The Great Debate”. Two teams battled it out to determine, true or false, “That Tony Abbott is a good leader”. Faced with such a divisive topic, the winner were the affirmative team! A close call!

We are not even half way through but I'm sure the remainder of the program will be equally engaging.

Wendy Chew is Senior Policy Officer with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship. Wendy's role is to promote the Victorian Government multicultural policy and program implementation, to promote active citizenship and unity throughout a vibrant multicultural community.

Don't miss the last Igniting Leadership Program of 2015! Earlybird closes on 13 August (save over $1,000). Learn more.