LEADERSHIP NZ : Hands up, leaders!

The Leadership New Zealand leadership development programme challenges leaders of the future by engaging them in conversations they would never otherwise have had, says Kirsty Pillay-Hansen, one of this year’s participants.
Leadership NZ is looking for applicants for the 2011 intake into the programme. Each year 30-odd participants from diverse backgrounds are selected to take part in the 10-month programme, aimed at developing people who want to live life of leadership in their organisations and their community.
Pillay-Hansen is sponsored by NZ Management magazine for her part in the programme. She says: “It has taken me out of my comfort zone to meet and hear from inspiring speakers from very different backgrounds to mine. I’ve been challenged to think more broadly and outside my usual world.”
Pillay-Hansen says she has learned the value of acting collaboratively, and taking the next step forward. “It brings you together around the table, to work together for better outcomes for all New Zealanders.”
She says she’s met an amazing group of people that she looks forward to seeing each month.
Megan Barclay, executive director of Leadership New Zealand, says the leadership development programme is chance for aspiring leaders to take personal leadership learning beyond theory and across sectors.
“Leadership New Zealand has brought together hundreds of leaders from across New Zealand’s society to engage in inspired conversation and creative thinking on topical and forward-thinking issues facing our country.
“Our alumni are some of New Zealand’s most significant leaders in every walk of life.”
To apply, candidates should have leadership capability and potential, ideally have 10 to 15 years experience in their fields of expertise, and have their organisation’s support.
They should be prepared to commit to the community through Leadership New Zealand’s SkillsBank Programme and be free to commit to two to three days month over the 10-month course. Applications close on September 15. For further information, see www.leadershipnz.co.nz.
Leadership NZ’s most recent Cafe Series event for alumni and guests was on ‘Communities by Design – The Shape of Our Future’.
Speakers discussed the questions ‘What is community?’, and ‘How can we make communities better?’ at the interactive business event.
Speakers included Alison Sykora of the Vodafone Foundation, who spoke on corporate responsibility, and social entrepreneur and Leadership New Zealand alumnus Essendon Tuitupou, who spoke on ‘Communities by design but by choice’.
He explained that sacrifice is choice each of us makes and one sacrifice for him was setting up Temple Ministries to encourage Manukau residents to take up exercise and improve their health. They now have five- and eight-week programmes catering to different levels of fitness and have introduced leadership programme into the community.
Ludo Campbell-Reid, urban design manager at the Auckland City Council, said he believed the authorities must do their part in designing communities, but we are also responsible for our own part in that.
Campbell-Reid said he felt that our direction and vision needed to be refocused on people. “We need to remove the fences and claim back our communities.”
He would like New Zealand to be seen as world-changing and pointed out that Auckland has the highest car ownership per capita in the world, which is situation we should be working to correct.
Community commentator and Tamaki Transformation Programme board member Mike Ikilei introduced the concept of ‘strength-based thinking’ – building on the hearts of communities through transformational leadership.
He says we must think strategically, while remembering grass-root applications.
Through his work with the programme, Ikilei says he seeks to bring together all interests to create transformation through participation.
Artist John Radford said he was disappointed that we have little appreciation for cultural heritage in New Zealand, noting there was no heritage department planned for the new Auckland Super City and that historic freight sheds would be demolished for temporary structures.
The Cafe Series event concluded with round-table discussion of the evening’s topics.
Cafe Series events are held every month. To find out where the next event in your area is held, go to www.leadershipnz.co.nz.

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