Inbox: Letter to the editor

I’ve just read Reg Birchfield’s article (“Leaders – your country needs you” NZ Management May 2011), and straight up, I loved it. I totally agree with everything said in your article, and wanted to touch on few key points.
The fact that anyone can become great leader is true, but what flicks the switch to get that value to the table? Of course, it’s self confidence, the confidence to speak publicly, get your points and ideas across, make change where it is needed, etc. However, there is trip point of becoming misleader due to lack of ethics, or values and morals etc.
Keeping things simple is key. Confidence you can learn by doing, but you can speed up self confidence with good networking, so that you can benchmark in your own mind how you sit against other leaders. I voluntarily run three day leadership programme for young teenage boys annually. These guys blow me away with their worldly insights and confidence, and will likely be far better leaders than what we have today.
Perhaps the issue now is that information is so available that our top level leadership is out by generation, or as your article questions, is it the environment that is changing? Certainly! And now organisations have to make tradeoffs between old style leadership, which usually has good ethics and new age leadership which likely understands the what’s and how’s of leadership but would surely be lacking some key ethics.

Shane Gordon
Business development manager operations
Westland Milk Products, Hokitika
Abridged – Ed

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