AS I SEE IT : Darren Levy

• Director of Short Courses at The University of Auckland Business School. • Recently graduated from Excelerator’s 18 month Leadership Development Programme. • Active member of number of business associations. • 26 years old.

What are the values that you will not negotiate on?

Integrity, vision, passion/dreams and trust. I would never act without integrity and trust from my team. If you are trying to make positive difference these values cannot be compromised. Without passion and vision the action would never happen.

What dreams do you have for the future of New Zealand?

I see New Zealand waking up and smelling the roses and not being afraid to stand up and say “I am success!”. I also see New Zealand working smarter not harder. We can be far more productive. Every year Short Courses has over 4000 people come through our doors, leaving more productive and skilled. We are doing our bit. What are you doing?

What are the biggest barriers to success for New Zealand? Why?

We need to not take ourselves so seriously and to dream large. How many organisations reading this magazine actually have BHAG that they are striving for every day? We think we are small so we act small and repress ideas and innovation thus affecting the success of the nation. We are hands-on country. However we need to step back and take stock and think strategically. We must be honest and realistic about who we are. Can we hand on heart honestly say we are clean and green? If not let’s do something about it. As leaders we must act now to protect the future success of our country and the people in it we love.

Leadership without ego – how do we reach this state?

Know yourself intimately! There is no ego between you and the little voice in your head. It’s very real. Having this sense of self helps us to understand that leadership is more about the ship (ie, the people and where you are headed) rather than just the leader. Leadership without ego will help foster collective capacity, which means all the team hold the leadership, making succession planning redundant. You cannot be leader without followers, so practise little “followership” and always have the best interests of the team top of mind, not yourself.

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