An Ode to Leadership | VICSERV Leadership Program

10 May 2016 By Matt O'Neill, Team Leader, Within Australia

part 1

clear skies and removed from routine

darkened room

embraced this leadership team

tony however was deft with his eyes

requests a device

and revealed the blue skies


no longer bereft

we hit the ground running

two groups we became

our values were stunning






be present


positive attitude



our leaders of choice:

Oprah, Ghandi, Rosie and Christine

All had a resonate voice.


the rhyming must end

may the stretching descend


 part 2

stretching – verb used with object – to draw out or extend to the full length like the time you first understood the shimmering horizon was extended around the planet.

Leadership – a synthesized group definition:
“mobilise free will to actively engage in collective will towards organizational goals”

The first two exercises made their mark, the group discussion “why are we here” established the power of group dynamics and its affectation on the dialogue, in our case, a melody of optimism and a chorus of cynicism.

The use of language became apparent as it has the power to change the tone and direction of group conversations even when not intended.

The evident winner of the two exercises was in the realm of peer consultancy.

Exploring adaptive challenges and utilizing a peer feedback mechanism to provide illumination to challenges and solutions.

The precursor and following individual group exercises led to a chattering of positive feedback.


 part 3

The buddy intro’s kicked off and the preamble of “why are we here” resumed.

It was leading us to thoughts about the purpose, vision, mission and strategy.

We soon discovered that the act of breaking down a group purpose into a consensus was indeed tricky.

I must put this in as it appears, within the note taking from our table, amongst the task orientated scribing was the line,

Bacon and eggs….oh and some double strength long blacks

Not sure, sounds great depending on your idea of staples.


 part 4

Then, and deftly put by one of the group,

We had our socks blown off

A video presentation and a spirited talk from Jacqui Cooper

For those who want to revisit the penultimate Olympic jump bearing evidence of resilience borne from adversity:

so Jacqui’s purpose:


Jacqui’s very clear and succinct advice.

Develop 3 personal goals

Strip long term goals into processes

Attitude, passion and commitment

And perhaps this little gem:

the mundanity of excellence.


Reflection from the VICSERV Leadership Program - Pakenham, delivered by LV.