Uniting AgeWell Leadership Program - Day One

2 May 2016 By Melitta Baker, Uniting AgeWell

Day one of our five-day leadership program started with myself and two colleagues, who were there supporting me with a knee injury, following the rest of the Tasmanian team to the Old Treasury Building.

We enter the room and everyone settles at tables of their choosing. We were quick to learn that we would need to spend the day in a state of productive disequilibrium. We were to find our "buddies" and introduce ourselves.

Anxiety sets in as I find myself with no buddy. I scan the room, breathe again as I realise I am not alone and team up with two other buddy-less colleagues.

We are all keen to get started on our journey of self-awareness. Come at us words of wisdom!

We discuss our upcoming FIRO-B (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation) reports. What hidden depths will they reveal about ourselves? We are then urged to take off our shoes, figuratively speaking. Our journey is beginning.

The morning is fast, engaging. Who are we? How do we lead? What is the point of difference between leading and managing? Is leadership rare due to all the missed leadership opportunities? Are we adaptive? What will the headlines be in our industry in 10 years? 80 year olds getting on rockets, aged care now being funded more than correctional services. Are these things possibilities? Can I lead people to achieve these ideals? I can at the moment, I'm inspired!

The afternoon sees us exploring workplace challenges, helping each other with solutions. We are a cohesive team, go getters. Louise McGuire (Manager, Home and Community Care Operations, Department of Health) then gives us a run-down of leadership styles. Her honesty is appreciated, we take on her challenges and apply them to our own situation.

We start to tire, it's been a long but productive day. Situational leadership, we are thinking about where we sit as leaders. What is our style? Our learning is ensuring we are moving from unconsciously incompetent to unconsciously competent. We are sitting in the driver’s seat.


The Uniting AgeWell Leadership Program is a customised leadership development program. To discuss customised leadership programs for your organisation, please contact us on 03 9651 6590 or