LEADERSHIP : The Mainland Bites Back – Return of the Southern Man


Sir Peter Blake’s Legacy

The late Sir Peter Blake is held in high regard as one of this country’s great leaders. He had big dreams and was motivated by extraordinary challenges. He used to say “if it wasn’t hard, it wasn’t worth doing”.
The Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards programme was set up in his honour in 2005. There are two levels – the Blake Medal acknowledging one outstanding New Zealander each year, and the accompanying Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leaders Awards presented annually to six younger leaders in recognition of their achievements and potential. www.sirpeterblaketrust.org
This year the awards were announced at gala dinner in Wellington on Saturday July 28 to mark the start of the 2007 Leadership week.
Chairman of the selection panel Sir Ron Carter said he was impressed by the impassioned submissions this year’s winners generated.
“The winners have wide fields of interests, it’s more than just doing an excellent job. They have social objectives too. They’re really working for leadership and we need to encourage and support these people. They’re selfless, they’re not doing this for personal glory.”


Emerging Leader : Steven Hall
(42 years old)

Steven Hall has background in outdoor pursuits, alpine skiing, mountaineering and search and rescue. He has been leader of the field training programme for Antarctica New Zealand at Scott Base, which included an important leadership role in the search and rescue operation for the fatal helicopter crash involving New Zealand and United States personnel in October 1992.
His reaction to the Emerging Leader honour was down to earth and modest: “I was very stunned, quite speechless. I’m pretty blown away. I didn’t even know nomination had gone in.”
Born in Blenheim, Hall studied economics at Canterbury University before heading off to work in the ski fields and travel overseas. It was at this time that he discovered his love for the outdoors and, when he returned home, he went to work at school in Picton chaperoning children on camp. This gave him taste for teaching so he went back to study, enrolling in teaching degree. Studies completed, he joined Outward Bound – leading organisation in the experiential education area which, with staff of 50, engages over 1800 participants each year.
After three years Hall decided to focus on himself for while and he returned to Canterbury University to complete an MBA. Here he encountered lessons around the art of leadership and once he finished his MBA he returned to Outward Bound – this time as general manager.
He remains there, currently in the role of school director which has seen him lead significant change in the organisation’s focus and operation. Hall’s leadership has also resulted in Outward Bound being selected as finalist in the Unlimited/JRA Best Places to Work award for 2004, 2005 (when it won the overall prize) and 2006.
Hall is keen to remain involved in organisations which make difference and contribution to society.
“Life is short. We are all in this together and if we all do our part to make difference to others (not just look after ourselves) society as whole will benefit,” he said.
In one of the many nominations received for Hall, the entire staff at Outward Bound wrote: “Steve’s influence cannot be solely attributed to charisma. He is visionary leader who adopts systematic, clear, thoughtful and empowering way of doing business – that’s what is so inspirational. As person, Steve is man of integrity who believes that anything is possible with discipline and determination. His life is conscious combination of: work which makes contribution; adventure and the outdoors; and his family. As leader, Steve’s consultative style and respectful relationships create productive culture based on trust. Combined with his vision, focus and high standards, this creates not only great place to work, but an organisation achieving greatness.”
And who does Hall look up to as leaders: “Shackleton. He spent season on the ice, his ship sank, he was stranded and he managed to get everyone rescued,” he says, adding that his boldness, competence and compassion with his team were also part of the mix.
One of last year’s Emerging Leaders – and fellow mainland resident – Gary Wilson says the South Island’s environment seems to inspire people.
“Those who live in the South Island are lucky to live in an inspiring natural environment with towns and cities that have lot of community spirit and support for each other – it’s not so anonymous an environment. Life in the South Island also seems to allow time to smell the flowers and take in your environs – perspective is everything!” he says.
“Success comes from good listening and awareness of their situation and the development of plan always focused on the end goals, but aware of the requirements and impacts at each step. Those we recognise as leaders mostly work with groups and teams to achieve outcomes that have significance far beyond any individual. The trick is to be able to focus beyond the individual and this can’t be achieved by looking at yourself – you need to look out beyond yourself.”
Completing the Southern trifecta, judge Eion Edgar believes the smaller population based in the South Island means people there have to be more generalist than their northern cousins. “This teaches them to be better rounded, to understand implications and therefore to become better leaders,” he says. “And the crisper air makes them breathe better.”
Edgar says the strong endorsement Hall received from his peers demonstrated the strong respect for his achievements.
“He has inspired and recreated Outward Bound and has brought good people along with him, which is sign of great leadership.”

Emerging Leader : Dr Justin Vaughan
(39 years old)

Former board member and recently appointed chief executive of New Zealand Cricket, Justin Vaughan believes sport has the potential to create wonderful leaders, inspire nations and create legacy for the future. Best-known for his cricket skills, Vaughan has had wide ranging career which goes beyond sport, encompassing the healthcare and business sectors. He serves as Trustee on both the Mercy Hospice Foundation and the University of Auckland Medical School Foundation.
An accomplished businessman, Vaughan completed an MBA in 2003 and is the former chief executive of ASX-listed medical technology company, BrainZ Instruments (he remains director). In addition to this, he sits on the advisory board for two other medical technology companies, PulseCor and Nexus6.
Vaughan hopes his role with New Zealand Cricket will help him bring the game to more Kiwis. He wants to improve the standard of cricket and with, quality performances, inspire people to become empowered themselves. He doesn’t see himself as CEO, rather as part of team all with central goal who are pulling together for the same reasons. He has strong desire to learn and plans to gather knowledge from around the world on how to improve the game here in New Zealand.
Overall, his wide range of skills and interests, broad set of achievements and exceptional character means he is (just as in his cricket days) real all-rounder.

Emerging Leader : Annette Fale
(33 years old)

Born in Auckland, Annette Fale moved to Hong Kong and Singapore as young child. At nine, she returned to New Zealand and lived in Hamilton before volunteering for an exchange to Dallas in the United States while at high school. At 16, she finished her schooling there and travelled around the world, visiting friends and nannying. After slump in the New Zealand economy and some advice from her father, she made the decision to return to Dallas and study leadership course at local college.
Finally she came home to New Zealand where she worked for the Parachute Christian music festival. When she started, she was answering the phones. By the time

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