The tragic events in Christchurch unfolded as I was waiting to return home to Australia following our Future Leaders conference in Wellington. It was impossible not to feel a profound sense of shock and disbelief. For my many colleagues and friends whose lives have been either directly or indirectly but irreversibly changed from this event I extend my deepest condolences.
It has also been impossible not to notice the many forms of leadership following this event from the highest levels to those at the heart of the community most effected. It is neither position nor stature that determines good leadership, rather a set of values, characteristics and behaviours that define a true leader.
Whilst I did not envision that I would be using this article in this context (I penned this on the plane home) I would like to share with you some of the themes on leadership that emerged from the array of speakers who shared their wisdom, their journeys and some of their mistakes along the way at our recent Future Leaders conference. These include:
Have a vision for where you want to go – but don’t worry too much if you get off track or change tracks entirely, it’s the bumps in the road that teach you the most valuable lessons.
Be who you are. It’s impossible to lead as someone else. Many of our speakers talked about the fact that once they realised they could be themselves leadership came with a degree of ease.
Don’t do what you don’t like. Simple in theory but sometimes it takes courage to say stop or change paths.
Get involved. Many of our speakers found a path to leadership through volunteering, either in their local community or through associations.
Take opportunities as they are presented. Say yes, bite off more than you can chew and then chew like mad.
Surround yourself with good people. You don’t need to be the smartest person in the room.
Have passion. Be clear for what you believe in and argue your case.
Be trustworthy, be present and be consistent.
Leaders can be made and like any craft it takes time, practice and mistakes to grow from good to great.
“We don’t have to be perfect, just engaged and committed to aligning values with actions” Brene Brown.
Kia Kaha Christchurch.