Program Bites: Igniting Leadership Day 1

31 August 2017 By Thomas Burgess

Day 1 of the Igniting Leadership course was a fantastic opportunity to hear from a range of leaders with a variety of backgrounds and careers. We heard about different styles of leading groups and how peoples' personal experiences molded how they lead.

It was the personal experiences in particular that struck a chord, and it was tremendously inspirational to hear about the different challenges faced by our morning speakers. It was also notable that key themes of leadership emerged similarly despite the different backgrounds of the speakers, with the first speaker bridging the gap between Australians of different faiths via strategic policy advice across government and the community sector, and the second representing Australia at the highest levels of athletic achievement.

The afternoon was primarily focussed on key questions of leadership, ranging from the distinction between leadership and management, to the personal qualities we will need to foster to ensure we are effective leaders. Authenticity was a central component of our discussions, supported by a presentation by leader from the corporate world, himself an exemplar of authenticity.  Additionally, we learnt about the differences between management and leadership where management focuses on delivering processes while leadership influences change.

Though it is difficult to describe the extent of our growth in words, I anticipate that, years from now, many of us will look upon the first day of the Igniting and feel a sense of enduring contentment at a cornerstone moment in our leadership journeys.

We were particularly struck with the following quotes that were raised during the day:

'Being a leader is an action not a position'
- Donald McGannon

'Leadership isn't easy - leaders do right things, managers do things right.'
- Peter F. Drucker

‘Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions.​'
- Mark Twain

Tom Burgess works as Manager, Research and Engagement at the Department of Justice and Regulation.