UPFRONT Plain Sailing

For those who think port is simply fortified dessert wine, Sir Peter Blake’s sailing nous may be bit of mystery. His leadership skills, however, translate readily to the world of business and beyond. Recognising this, the Sir Peter Blake Trust last month launched new award to acknowledge and celebrate one outstanding New Zealand leader each year.
Known as the Blake Medal, the award is open to proven leaders from all sectors of society and is accompanied by set of six Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leaders Awards for younger leaders with potential.
The awards are based on the premise that while Sir Peter Blake’s chosen sport was sailing, his leadership example could have been equally successful in any endeavour.
Trust executive director Mark Orams says that previously forgotten Massey University video of Sir Peter Blake, made back in 1996, shows how much emphasis Sir Peter put on listening as leadership attribute. “The ability to listen to others in the team, weigh up their different points of view and make decision that was accepted by the group was very important to him,” says Orams. “Great leaders have got to be great communicators but Peter knew it was two-way process. For him, it wasn’t just about telling everyone what to do.
“When it came to building teams, he also knew that getting the right person for the job isn’t what it’s about. It’s about getting the right person for particular team.”
Nominees for the Blake Medal will be expected to have demonstrated outstanding leadership over long period of time, have gained widespread recognition and respect for their leadership contribution and have shown commitment to New Zealand.
Entries close on May 23 and the winners will be announced on July 23. For entry forms and more information go to http://sirpeterblaketrust.org.nz

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