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Ross Buckley, Traci Houpapa Mai Chen, Guy Ryan, and Sina Wendt-Moore: Facing up to Fearless Leadership Leadership 2030 Book Review

Partner Perspective: Kiwibank


VISION Enriching New Zealand through active leadership in a connected community.

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LEADERSHIP NZ TRUSTEES Peter Garnett – Chair, Leadership NZ; Company Director Nick Astwick – Deputy Chair, Leadership NZ; Chief Operating Officer, Kiwibank; Alumnus 2010 Carol Bellette – Group General Manager Shared Services, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu; Alumnus 2012 Martin Fenwick – Chair, Altris Ltd Tara Pradhan – Head of Vision Partners, World Vision; Alumnus 2007 Neville Pulman – Managing Director NZ, Creative Activation; Alumnus 2006 George Riley – Trustee, Te Tii Waitangi (B3) Ahu Whenua Trust; Alumnus 2009 Samuelu Sefuiva – Public and Social Policy Consultant Hilary Sumpter – CEO, Auckland Communities Foundation; Alumnus 2010 Sarah Trotman – Director, Executive Education Programmes and Business Relations, AUT Christien Winter – Executive Director, Sheffield

Celebrating diversity



Sina Wendt-Moore – Chief Executive Louise Marra – Programme Director Annette Bartlett – Programme Leader Judy Whiteman – Network Connector Tania Hack – Communications &

Sir Bob Harvey – Chair, Advisory Trustees; Chair, Waterfront Auckland David McGregor – Deputy Chair, Advisory Trustees; General Counsel, Envirocounsel Reg Birchfield – Publisher, RJMedia Jo Brosnahan – Founder, Leadership NZ; Company Director Tony Carter – Chair, Air New Zealand; Director, Fletcher Building, ANZ Bank NZ; Corporate Director Maureen Crombie – Chair, ECPAT International; Alumnus 2006 John Hinchcliff – Emeritus Vice Chancellor, AUT University; President, Peace Foundation Peter Kerridge – Director, Kerridge and Partners Ltd Chris Laidlaw – Wellington Regional Councillor; Writer Louise Marra – Director, Spirited Leadership; Leadership New Zealand Programme Director Tim Miles – CEO, Spark Digital Tony Nowell – Director, Valadenz; Corporate Director Suzanne Snively – Executive Chair, Transparency International; MD, More Media Enterprises; Corporate Director

Dr Morgan Williams – Chair, WWF New Zealand

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DISCLAIMER The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Leadership New Zealand, its members or the publishers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility can be accepted by the publisher for omissions, typographical or printer’s errors, inaccuracies or changes that may have taken place after publication. All rights reserved. Leaders is published by Leadership New Zealand. Copyright © 2015. All material appearing in Leaders is copyright and cannot be reproduced without prior permission of Leadership New Zealand. ISSUE 11 WINTER 2015

EDITORIAL TEAM AND CONTRIBUTORS Reg Birchfield, Sina Wendt-Moore, Judy Whiteman, Kimberly Rees, Tania Hack, Annette Bartlett, Jennie Vickers, Curative Ltd

STOP PRESS! Bishop Sir Paul Reeves Memorial Lecture Speaker: Rt Hon Helen Clark Date: 26 August 2015 Venue: AUT University



It has been interesting sitting and thinking about the Foreword for this year’s Leaders magazine at a time when we, as a nation, have been remembering Gallipoli. 100 years on from the birthplace of our ANZAC tradition; from the time when many of us had ancestors who as young men went and fought so that we could enjoy the freedoms we have as citizens of today. I have watched with interest a number of the historic films and documentaries about Gallipoli and World War 1 that have been shown on TV and reflected on the qualities and different aspects of leadership displayed during this campaign. They have been well documented and certainly do span the leadership spectrum! From the poor senior military and political leadership which led to the ultimate disaster and huge sacrifice of life at Gallipoli, to the stories of the courageous and fearless leadership displayed by both the ANZAC and the Turkish soldiers on the battlefield. In many ways, the leadership skills of our forbears on the battlefield reflect the themes we, at Leadership NZ, have adopted over the past four years. From Intergenerational Leadership in 2012, through Disruptive Leadership in 2013, Creative Leadership last year and now to Fearless Leadership this year. Each time we have had speakers from across generations and experience share their acts of leadership and ideas on how we need to lead differently, and then we have facilitated robust conversation about what we could to do together to enhance leadership in our New Zealand context – all underpinned by Aroha. I wonder what the world might have been like if we had been able to influence leaders in this way back in the early twentieth century? So what does ‘Fearless Leadership’ mean to you? Our thanks go to Ross Buckley, Mai Chen, Traci Houpapa and Guy Ryan for sharing their views featured in the great article Reg Birchfield has written. For as Tom Peters said “The best leaders... almost without exception and at every level, are master users of stories and symbols.” For me, I suggest that Fearless Leaders know how to face reality, take decisive action and accept responsibility for the outcome. Mike Staver, author of ‘Leadership Isn’t for Cowards’ says you need to ask the following 3 questions to tell what kind of leader you are: 1. Do you have a reliable reality check? Fearless leaders need someone or some-

thing to force them to avoid denial – so they can’t pretend to not know or create a story to rationalise away an unpleasant reality. 2. Can you take a quick and decisive action (even if it’s uncomfortable)? So many leaders spend so much time getting ready to be almost ready. Fearless leaders move very quickly. If you are completely comfortable, you should start asking “what are some areas that I can change in order to advance the company?” 3. Can you accept responsibility when things go wrong without selfrecrimination or blame? Fearless leaders can recognise a problem without blaming themselves or anyone else. Instead Staver says, they look in the mirror and say something like “I have contributed to this in some way. So now I’m going to do this to fix it.” I was privileged to attend the recent 2015 CEO Summit and listen to a number of business leaders share their experiences. Two of the speakers stood out for me. Guy Haddleton with his challenge for leaders to “be courageous; believe in what you are doing; be fearless. In fact become the disruptor.” Then Guy Ryan, an inspiring young leader, who talked about how he is leading and “Growing a generation of young New Zealanders to change the world” through the ‘Inspiring Stories’ and ‘Live the Dream’ organisations he has established. When you listen to the challenges he has faced you realise that he is an example of Fearless Leadership in action. It reminded me of the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, who said “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” This is the Leadership NZ challenge. To grow leaders who are courageous and fearless in facing the issues ahead of them. To be comfortable with whom they are. To be the best they can be. To be able, as Susan Jeffers said, to “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.”

Peter Garnett Chair




Peter Garnett






Making New Zealand Better Off Catherine Taylor

2015 PROGRAMME LAUNCH 10 A photo essay



Thoughts from the class of 2015



Judy Nicholl & Ian Balme





Leadership 2030 Jenny Vickers

A photo essay




Facing up to fearless leadership 2015 is the year Leadership NZ embraced fearless leadership.“We are challenging ourselves to be bold, ambitious, generous, visionary, provocative – fearless,” Leadership NZ Chief Executive Sina Wendt-Moore wrote in March. Our 21st century world is facing new, complex, often incomprehensible and unpredictable challenges. Leadership NZ believes that learning to respond and adapt to these challenges is a critical imperative that can be realised through fearless leadership. Four outstanding New Zealanders - professional director and the first female chair of the Federation of Maori Authorities, Traci Houpapa; founding partner of high profile law firm ChenPalmer and Adjunct Professor of the University of Auckland Business School, Mai Chen; the 2015 Young New Zealander of the Year, Guy Ryan and KPMG Executive Chairman, Ross Buckley – agreed to share their thoughts on the meaning, relevance and importance of fearless leadership to create this cover story for Leaders magazine. They talked with Leadership NZ founding trustee and leadership writer Reg Birchfield. Sina Wendt-Moore 2

offered her thoughts on fearless leadership as a preamble to these interviews. “The term ‘fearless leadership’ implies a kind of leadership where fear is absent; where there is no fear,” says Sina. “Fearless leadership is about facing fear; about testing ourselves and pushing through our fears to transform and change our realities. Nelson Mandela described it well when he said that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. ‘The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear,” he said. “Susan Jeffers, in her seminal work Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, encourages us to do just that. As an emerging leader in my twenties, Jeffers’ writing really spoke to me and helped me to understand that fear was a normal part of life and that the real challenge was not to live life safely within the confines of acceptability, or

guaranteed success, but to embrace the unknown, uncertainty and, go beyond the safety of normal to be open to new adventures. She challenged my ideas about what success looked like when she said that: ‘You’re not a failure if you don’t make it, you’re a success because you try.’ The freedom those simple but fundamental ideas brought to my leadership mindset and the sense of possibility was powerful, and has shaped the subsequent choices I have made in my life, professionally and personally. “When I think of fearless leadership I’m reminded of and inspired by the Apple Inc advertisement of the 90’s – ‘Here’s to the crazy ones’ which celebrated 17 iconic 20th century personalities and their fearless leadership! Narrated by Richard Dreyfuss, it is a celebration of changemakers: ‘Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The

ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.’ “These individuals faced their fears as they set out to leave their mark and make a difference to society and humanity. We may not end up in the chronicles of world history but, my hope and dream is that we can be inspired by people like this to embrace fearless leadership as a mindset to guide how we live and lead. “It is very easy in our comfortable 21st century lives to live life safely, easily have a family, make some money, buy a house, have some fun, do a bit of travel and so on. Life can be so much more than that and, we can do much more. I believe the 21st century is a defining age. The world is pretty messed up and needs fearless leadership to sort things out – we need to invent, imagine, explore, create, heal, inspire - if we are to ensure there is a

“Fearless leadership is about embracing risk and uncertainty and, stepping into the unknown. It’s about building a collective vision, seeing through problems to possibilities, empowering those around us and working together.” – Guy Ryan future for our planet. As fearless leaders, we have a responsibility to embrace life, influence it, change it, shake things up – make this world a better place and make a difference – leave our mark. We should all be one of the crazy ones!”. _____________________________________ Q: What do you think fearless leadership means? Traci Houpapa (TH): It’s about leading organisations and entities with courage, conviction, integrity and authenticity. Mai Chen (MC): The term suggests swimming against the tide if needed. It’s easy to lead if you simply go with the flow despite the need to take a stand and make a change. Fearless leaders come to independent decisions. They accept

that they may encounter resistance but, they make decisions because it’s the right thing to do, not because it is easy or popular. Their decisions might not appear to be right in the short term but, fearless leaders do what is right for the long term. Only in future do their actions prove to be right. Guy Ryan (GR): Situations with certainty, safety and stability are comfortable. Most people prefer these situations. Situations where there are many unknowns, risks and challenges often make us feel anxious. These are harder situations, challenging our ability, self-confidence and self-worth. Our world is full of risk and uncertainty. Each of us experiences at least some kind of fear. Beyond the inherent challenges of meet-



Guy Ryan at Festival for the Future 2014

ing our day-to-day basic needs, we live in a world with increasingly complex and urgent problems that need solving. The converging social, environmental and economic crises are our collective challenges. They are confronting, and scary. For me, fearless leadership is about embracing risk and uncertainty and, stepping into the unknown. It’s about building a collective vision, seeing through problems to possibilities, empowering those around us and working together. Ross Buckley (RB): I take fearless leadership to mean having the courage to fail, being able to deal with failure and, learning from making mistakes. That’s quite a challenge for many people. People often find it difficult to do things that are outside their comfort zone. It’s about taking risks and doing things differently. Fearless leaders make the effort to understand the risks associated with the changes going on around them and within their organisations. They take ownership of, and responsibility for the decisions they make. They’re willing to be accountable for their actions and to be open about the consequences, particularly if things don’t go exactly to plan. Q: What are most potential leaders fearful of? TH: For some it’s perhaps the fear of


Traci Houpapa with 2015 participants of the Leadership NZ Programme

failure. Many over-achievers are motivated by not wanting to lose which is a good driver if, that’s what motivates you. For many, being a leader is more about being given a job or a task and discharging your obligations under that role and responsibility to the best of your ability. If leaders keep things as simple as that it keeps them focused on achievement. Leaders must decide whether their perceived risks are real or simply phantoms. So ask yourself whether the things that keep you awake at night are real. Will they, in fact, negatively impact the organisation or the people you lead? We become so busy leading our organisations it becomes useful to take a step back and check that we are still on track and doing as well as we can. It can be useful to have people on the outside, truthtellers providing feedback on how you’re going. MC: They’re usually afraid of failure, criticism or not being held in high esteem. They’re also afraid of being misunderstood and of being considered stupid or of not doing the right thing.

GR: Everyone is a potential leader and most potential leaders have a fear of failure. The chances of something going wrong or not working out are high – especially in situations of high risk and uncertainty. We limit ourselves because we feel (the task) is too big, too hard or, because we feel we’re not good enough. But everyone has the potential to be brilliant. RB: Organisations are somewhat risk averse. So the fear of failure ranks high on my list of what leaders fear most. I’d also rank not being liked by everyone as a significant fear factor. Not every decision will please everyone. Fearless leaders realise, however, that they must make decisions, popular or not. The key is to be open, transparent and honest about the reasoning behind the decision. Fearless leaders recognise how their indecision can become one of the biggest weakness’ for the companies they work for. Q: Why do we need fearless leaders? TH: We live in a time in New Zealand’s history that we’ll look back on as a gift.

“Fearless leaders must broaden their horizons… and be prepared to have challenging and courageous conversations.” – Ross Buckley

“Fearless leadership is about facing fear; about testing ourselves and pushing through our fears to transform and change.” – Sina Wendt-Moore Never before has there been so much willingness and goodwill at the table – be it commercially, culturally, environmentally, economically or socially. We’re currently willing to talk about how we are, who we are and where we’re going. For example, the fact that as a nation we can now get together to talk about whether we need a new flag or not is huge. Our New Zealand society and culture is starting to evolve, recognising things like the Treaty (of Waitangi), Maori, our Pacifica and other immigrant nations. It’s all flavouring us with a stronger, deeper people experience. It’s very exciting. This transformative period needs fearless leaders. They need to lead the discussion and create the spaces in time or place where people feel comfortable about engaging. There must be an inclusive and open participation from all people to talk about this (transition). Fearless leadership isn’t about being top of the mountain or the ladder. Good leadership occurs at all levels and in all facets of our community and society. For us to get where we want to go, we must all step up. MC: We need more fearless leaders because we’re now living in a continually disrupted world. To future-proof our world and adapt in an ever-changing environment it’s important to have brave leaders who will say: “This isn’t going to work and we must try something else.” GR: We need more fearless leaders because our future depends on it. Human-induced climate change is already resulting in extreme temperatures and increasingly violent storms. This will create major food and water shortages in our lifetimes. Our oceans - once teeming with life - are dying, with some reports estimating as much as 90% of the world’s big fish stocks are now wiped out. Half of our rivers in New Zealand are deemed

‘unsafe’ to swim in. Our national debt is outrageous, and the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow. Especially for young people, this is a ridiculous hand to be dealt. But Ed Hillary didn’t walk away from Everest because it was too hard. We have the potential to change the story. We have the potential to completely transform the world in which we live. It’s not going to be easy but, it is possible. RB: New Zealand organisations are, I think, quite risk averse. We tend to put up barriers to those who are ready and willing to be innovators in our society. As a country, and within our organisations, we must encourage more innovation and support risk takers who are, if you like, our fearless leaders. We need to do things differently and to embrace change much more enthusiastically than we’ve done in the past. Q: What can or do fearless leaders accomplish? TH: Fearless leaders make you think. You leave a conversation with them thinking more about who you are and where you’re going. One wise leader once told me: ‘good leaders are not seen to lead; good leaders encourage others to do so.’ Their legacy to a nation is more leaders. Fearless leaders spawn more leaders who come into their own, now or later. In turn they usher in more leaders. Fearless leaders foster leadership, growth and confidence among others to become leaders. MC: Fearless leaders change the world. Without them there is no fresh adaptation to changing factual contexts as success is not permanent or static. Decisions must be appropriate and right for the times in which we find ourselves. That’s how real progress is made.

GR: Fearless leaders can, and will, change the world. RB: Fearless leaders think anything is possible. That’s the value-add they bring to an organisation, community and country. They drive the innovative culture that’s needed to accomplish things. They also understand the importance of encouraging and rewarding innovation within their enterprises. Air New Zealand is a great example of what fearless leadership can accomplish. Under the former CEO Rob Fyfe, Air New Zealand developed a culture that heaped innovation upon innovation and welcomed change. That culture has been maintained under the new CEO, Christopher Luxon. I’ve no doubt not everything they tried worked and, that they had to pull the plug on some ideas and acknowledge defeat. But overall, the company has gone from strength to strength under their fearless approach to embracing the new and understanding what change means to their business. They emerged from the former mess of Air New Zealand and adapted in order to make the most of new opportunities. These two leaders appear to understand the consequences of failing to keep ahead of the market and their new operating environment. Q: How can individuals practice fearless leadership? TH: It’s like the Nike ad. Do it. We can never be sure of anything except, as they say, taxes and death. If you’re well prepared then you’re probably ready for anything that might land on your table. To perform your role to the best you can with good heart are the signs of a good leader. It’s about personal mind set and seeing things as a challenge and embracing opportunities. MC: First and most important, is to know yourself. You must spend time with yourself, understand your motivations and ensure you make decisions for the right reasons. Discipline and self-control are key, as is being independent. You need to be on top of your ego and understand your strengths and weaknesses. You need to support yourself in order to go against the crowd if that’s the right thing to do. Fearless leaders are comfortable with discomfort. When everyone is laughing



Ross Buckley at the 2014 Leadership NZ Programme launch

at, ignoring or criticising you, you must stay focused on the goal. You can’t achieve anything of worth if you don’t hang in. Fearless leaders have one ear open in case what is being said is right or wise and, the other ear closed so they can keep going despite the criticism and contrary advice they think is not right. GR: Be inquisitive. Learn about the issues – online, and face-to-face. Learn about other people working to create solutions, how they work and, how effective they are. Work with them. Challenge them. Support them. Leadership is as much about supporting as it is about initiating. If you start something, start small. Take risks, embrace the uncertainty, and step into the unknown. Dream big. Collaborate. The future is ours to create. RB: Individuals must understand their own strengths and weaknesses. They must also understand and, if necessary, work to change the culture around them to one that embraces change, innovation and risk-taking. It’s important for fearless leaders to be self-critical and self-aware. They also need to surround themselves with different behaviours and skill sets and to be prepared to challenge ideas. Being surrounded by others with similar mind-sets won’t produce new outcomes. Fearless leaders must broaden their horizons and undertake activities that help them accomplish things. They should get involved in activities that are both physi-


Mai Chen

cally and intellectually challenging. They should also be prepared to have challenging and courageous conversations. KPMG people who have taken part in the Leadership NZ programme have returned with wider perspectives and clearer views of the horizon. Q: What kind of mindset does fearless leadership require?

office. It’s about every problem landing on your desk and converging the strength of your team to solve problems. It’s about people never asking how you are. It’s about them telling you how unhappy they are. It’s about what’s going wrong and people asking what you’re going to do to help them. Changing mindsets so people learn to solve their own problems is always hard. Leadership is really hard. Successful leadership requires personal characteristics that can’t be taught at university or gleaned from text books.

TH: People talk a lot about EQ (emotional intelligence) and now cultural quotient (CQ) in leadership. The idea is that we need to be more comfortable with who we are and where we come from and that we will respect those qualities in others. We’ll see more of cultural quotient emerging in leadership . The currency of business is more than economic. We’re living in a time where people see generosity as a currency for relationships. We are witnessing how people can invest their time in people, their communities and businesses. The results will be transformational.

GR: Fearless leadership requires a different mindset. It requires a level of comfort when taking risks which, indeed, starts from a young age – for example, riding a bike, climbing a tree, learning to surf. All of these things contain a huge amount of risk. But, as we grow older so we tend to become more risk averse. Fearless leadership requires regularly getting out of your comfort zone – whether inside or outside of the office.

MC: Fearless leadership calls for changed mindsets. Most people think successful leadership is signalled by the roar of crowd approval. They think it’s about the baubles of office. It’s neither of those things. Define successful leadership in those terms and you’ll never be a truly successful leader.

RB: Fearless leadership undoubtedly requires a different mindset. It’s critical to have people who think differently, however that difference might manifest itself, around the decision-making table. Being prepared to embrace change and take calculated risks is possibly the most important mindsetting prerequisite.

True leadership is often about having everyone bitching and moaning in your

Q: What are the consequences of not adopting a fearless approach to leadership? TH: Apathy reigns supreme. The transformation and change point we’re going through requires change agents to facilitate the process. We need individuals who are courageous and fearless enough to step up to the role. And if you’re not quite ready, do it anyway. MC: We don’t achieve anything. And sometimes you’ll lead your troops over the cliff. It’s about doing things because you’ve always done it that way. Or perhaps because people say they are unhappy and so you opt not to make the change and cop the flak. Sometimes that’s right because it’s better to live to fight another day and it’s not a die in the ditch issue. But sometimes we need to bite the bullet and take the tough route. People might follow you off the cliff but I’m not prepared to do that. When I’m in a crowd that I think is headed for the cliff, I refuse to follow. I head in the direction we should be going. Sometimes you can convince others to follow but, sometimes you just need to go alone. Others come along in time. As Heraclitus said: “All things move and nothing remains still.” GR: Nothing changes, or things get worse. RB: Not having a fearless approach tends to create or perpetuate a closed culture – one that’s a bit more dictatorial perhaps and not open to new ideas and ways of doing things. In all probability the organisation won’t change much, won’t innovate and won’t clearly differentiate its market position in a positive way. We (KPMG) work with a wide range of companies and, from my observations, there’s no doubt in my mind that fearless leaders make an enormous difference to any organisation. Those leaders are passionate about what they do. Invariably they want to take on the world. They take big risks and sometimes put all their nett worth at stake. But they understand that risk taking is part and parcel of grabbing the future.

Q: Is fearlessness applicable to all kinds of organisations? TH: I think so. It’s about having the courage to make the decisions required to achieve good and lasting results. It takes courage to make decisions that deliver lasting change and have long term positive impacts. Sometimes you see things before others do and that’s when you need the insight and courage to act on your convictions. I believe that the roles and the decisions I take will add value to New Zealand, to Maori and all people who live here. That’s really exciting to me. MC: There is not a single organisation that does not require fearless leadership. We also need fearless followers. We need to speak up when we see our leaders going in the wrong direction. We need to back fearless leaders when they have taken the right call, even if it’s a tough call. GR: I think so. I think it depends partly on the structure of an organisation, your position, and whether that structure is conducive to risk-taking. If private shareholders own 100% of an entity and they don’t have any appetite for risk then it probably makes risk-taking pretty hard. In that scenario, being fearless might mean trying to change the structure of the organisation, the levels of autonomy and the ability to take risks or, decide to quit and find something better. It also depends on how leadership is valued in an organisation. If it’s valued and people are encouraged and supported to push boundaries, things happen. RB: I believe so. Organisations need

“Fearless leaders spawn more leaders who come into their own, now or later. Their legacy to a nation is more leaders.” - Traci Houpapa

a mixture of skill sets throughout the leadership team. Big or small, public or private, state sector or not-for-profit, every organisation needs its share of fearless leaders to survive and thrive in today’s fast changing world. Whether we call them “fearless” or not, is beside the point. Fearless leaders are often quite modest and humble and are usually committed to developing other leaders within the organisation or the community. They’re also more inclined to give others credit for the things they do. They realise just how important the team, rather than the individual, is to delivering successful outcomes. Sometimes the process for embracing innovation and change is quite ad hoc. I encounter fearless leaders and organisation that wouldn’t use that kind of terminology to describe their approach to openness, innovation and risk management but, they are nevertheless quite fearless. A rose by any other name. Q: Who are your chosen exemplars or practitioners of fearless leadership? TH: In New Zealand we are blessed with courageous leaders. From our past, I think of people like Te Puea Herangi, Te Whiti and Tohu Kakahi at Parihaka, Sir Archie Taiaroa, Timi Te Heuheu and Dr Apirana Mahuika among others. We can talk about fearless leaders offshore - we have our own courageous leaders here at home. And we don’t always celebrate them as well as we might. Some of the greatest change agents and fearless leaders that I know aren’t ‘named’ people. They are the people who support the local Kohanga or pre-school. They are often the people who keep the community going and provide the platform on which other leaders can perform. MC: Susan Devoy is a good example. She took on the job of Race Relations Commissioner when she didn’t have to. But we needed someone like her, a Pakeha woman, in the role. She is someone who can say things that the ethnically diverse can’t. She’s doing that at great personal cost. I don’t sense any fear in her saying it like it is. There are times when she has to say: “that’s discrimination and you must stop it.” She doesn’t seem to be afraid to do that.



“ [ Fearless leaders] make decisions because it’s the right thing to do, not because it is easy or popular.” – Mai Chen I also admire corporate and governance leaders like Dr Susan Macken (academic and professional director), Doug Mackay (professional director) and John Waller (Chair of BNZ). They are skilled, experienced and independent. They know how to say tough things in a way that best ensures people will follow. GR: Kate Sheppard: Not so long ago in New Zealand, all women were excluded from politics. Her leadership challenged the status quo and resulted in women being granted the right to vote – the first country in the world to do so. Jinty MacTavish: I studied with Jinty at Otago University, and was always blown away by her leadership. She’s now in her second term on the Dunedin City Council, which could be considered immensely challenging as a young woman on a City Council largely dominated by older white men. She has fought hard to create a more resilient, sustainable Dunedin – based on a greater commitment to local food, smarter transport, clean energy. She has also helped lead the successful campaign for Dunedin City Council to divest its investment portfolio away from fossil fuels. Bonnie Howland: I met Bonnie through Inspiring Stories’ Live the Dream programme. After meeting an amazing lady with partial blindness in Vanuatu, Bonnie wanted to do something to help. She’s now developing Mascara for Sight, a boutique and ethical organic mascara product, with a portion of the proceeds from every sale going towards the Fred Hollows Foundation to provide life-changing restorative eyesight surgery for someone in the Pacific. Bonnie is 18


and just quit university to work full time on developing her venture. RB: As well as Air New Zealand’s leaders, I believe Rod Drury, CEO and founder of accounting software company Xero, is a fearless leader. Rod has proved that he is willing to go global and is always looking for the next new and innovative idea. Jeremy Moon of Icebreaker is similar in his focus and fearless leadership style. Phillip Mills of Les Mills International is also a fearless leader. Phillip adopts a somewhat different approach to leadership from many of his peers but he’s just as fearless when it comes to heading a global company. Q: Are you a fearless leader? TH: Fearlessness is not about being arrogant. It’s important to be self-critical. Doreen Chase, a kuia from the Whanganui River and a wonderful friend and mentor always said: ‘Never mistake grace as a weakness.’ It behoves leaders to be gracious and magnanimous, recognising that their role is to consider what is good for all people. I’m comfortable that I understand the roles, responsibilities and authorities that I hold across my portfolio. I’m also clear that I need to make decisions for my organisations, shareholders and constituents. I’m comfortable doing that. I realise I’m not going to please all of the people all of the time and I’m up for that that. Because I know I’m not perfect I’m comfortable reviewing my activities and decisions if more information or more opportunities arise or the context changes. What makes a leader good or great is our ability to fail, recognise failure fast and then correct. New Zealand is preparing now for tomorrow and we need more leaders to be fearless. More leaders who will step up and make decisions in the best interests of the people and organisations they are involved with. These people need to focus, not so much on today but on where we are going tomorrow. MC: I aspire to be. There have been times when I’ve sought to take decisions that I thought were right and for which I was subjected to a great deal of criticism.

I’ve sometimes been tempted to take the easier approach. But in general I’ve resisted the temptation. I want to continue to develop and grow the muscles that ensure I’ll always do the right thing. Life’s too short to do the wrong thing. I’d like to see more fearless leaders in our society. It’s important to be a team player and it’s also important to take people with you. But we don’t see enough of fearless leadership these days. We don’t see enough individuals like Nelson Mandela - people who stand up and do the right thing at great personal cost to themselves. In retrospect, Mandela was a hero but for 28 years he sat in a prison cell and everyone thought he was a loser. But he was, we now know, an outstanding example of a fearless leader. Fearless leaders often only appear to be so only in hindsight. At some point on their journey fearless leaders might appear ridiculous. They might be disruptive. They might seem out of step with the world. In retrospect, however, we see them for what they were – a great and fearless leader. It’s about when (temporally) you make the assessment and what the criteria are. Ultimately, did they do the right thing? Did they make a difference? That’s what fearless leaders do. GR: Sometimes I like to do things that scare me but, I’m not fearless. I certainly experience fear and anxiety. Being involved in a range of start-up organisations I’ve learnt to deal with risk and uncertainty. I love making things happen, but sometimes this means taking on too much, or digging a hole and having to figure out how to get out of it. RB: To a certain degree. I prepare for new challenges and think I’m willing to tackle the unexpected. But given the nature of my work it’s less easy for me (to be fearless). Instead, I focus on trying to assist our clients to be more fearless. I point out the advantages of the attributes we’ve talked about. My role is to support and endorse people who are innovative and trying to embrace change. It’s difficult for us (as consultants) to be radical but, it’s important that we understand what fearless leadership can do for our clients. Our job is to undertake the research, understand the risks and then illustrate how those risks can be mitigated. Then we suggest they go for it.


Making New Zealand Better Off Catherine Taylor joined Kiwibank in 2001 in the early days of its establishment. The Leadership NZ Programme was on her radar and she has played a key role in building and growing the relationship between Kiwibank and Leadership NZ. When Catherine Taylor joined Kiwibank, which was just a project at that time, the leadership team needed plenty of fearless leadership! There was lots of media attention at the time, mixed views as to whether another bank was needed, and would a ‘Kiwi’ bank for New Zealand actually work. “It meant getting people to work on the project was difficult and those who signed up were committed. The CEO had to push boundaries and collaborate extensively. Today the Kiwibank spirit is all around pushing boundaries and doing things for New Zealand. Challenging and change is built into the Kiwibank DNA.” Within this context, and as Kiwibank grew, Catherine (who was charged with building people capability and capacity) was keen to ensure their leaders were provided opportunities to raise the bar around their leadership. Leadership NZ’s Programme was on Catherine’s radar as their parent (New Zealand Post) had already sent people and provided positive feedback, and she also carried out research herself about the Programme. She liked the “exposure to and connecting with other leaders” and the “diversity in all aspects across New Zealand.” She also notes, “Different perspectives are important to Kiwibank.” During Catherine’s time, five Kiwibank executives have participated in the Programme. Today four of these executives are in Kiwibank’s senior leadership group which is the group that has the

biggest impact on Kiwibank achieving its mission and delivering its strategy. Nick Astwick was the first Kiwibank participant in 2010. Today he is their Chief Operating Officer and also the Deputy Chair of Leadership NZ. As the guest speaker at a Leadership NZ Programme launch one of Nick’s many reflections of the Programme was that “it delivered for me a rich and transformative learning experience.” His sentiments have been echoed by subsequent participants. Across all the participants in the Programme Catherine has seen the benefits of “exploring leadership, leading change, deep personal learning and insight and helping them understand their strengths as well as being with a diverse group from across different communities in New Zealand.” “The value back to Kiwibank has been through the participants’ personal awareness and personal growth. There are changes in the way they interact and communicate with others and demonstration of their learnings from the Programme.” Like Catherine, the participants are often in the fearless leadership space when it comes to delivering Kiwibank’s strategy. Her own thoughts on fearless leadership are that it’s about “stepping up to the challenge, pushing boundaries, doing what’s right, progressing an organisation and having the confidence in your own

abilities to step outside of your comfort zone.” Joining Kiwibank was an act of fearless leadership on her part as she joined from a well-resourced role and stepped into one where initially she was a one person band responsible for building the culture and people capability. She was highly motivated as if she wasn’t successful it would be “on my CV for life!” Catherine prefers long term relationships and over time the relationship with Leadership NZ has deepened and grown to include Kiwibank being a Supporting Partner. Nick Astwick has also been key in working with Catherine to grow the relationship with Leadership NZ. There is the obvious connection of leadership, with both organisations celebrating leadership and great leaders in New Zealand in various ways. When asked what underpins the relationship with Leadership NZ she believes it was about values and “feeling comfortable with the culture and people, having confidence in the Programme, being made to feel welcome and part of the family.” There are many similarities between Kiwibank and Leadership NZ; both are relatively young organisations, still growing and working in unique ways to help New Zealand. If we break it down to what’s at the heart of it, both organisations are passionate about great leaders making a big difference to New Zealand and through this, making New Zealand better off!

















2015 PROGRAMME LAUNCH 1. Leadership Programme participants for 2015 2. Leadership NZ alumni support crew Nicola Brehaut and Darrin Brinsden 3. Some our Supporting Partners 4. Matt Prichard, KPMG delivering the mihi whakatau 5. Ross Buckley, KPMG Chair 6. Peter Garnett, Leadership NZ Chair 7. Keynote speaker Michelle van Gaalen, CEO Pinnacle Life & Leadership NZ Alumnus with Elaine Mead 8. Penny Hulse, Deputy Mayor & Leadership NZ Alumnus with Claire Richardson, 2015 participant


9. Lisa Paraku, speaks on behalf of the 2015 participants 10. Leadership NZ Paton Lady Reeves presenting the Sir Paul & Lady Reeves Scholarship to 2015 participant Julia Hartshorne 11. MC and Leadership NZ Alumnus Eddy Helm 12. Sina Wendt-Moore, Leadership NZ CEO & Louise Marra, Leadership NZ Programme Director 13. Chris Morgan, Leadership NZ Alumnus presenting the 2013 Kia Manawanui Scholarship to Nikki Burns, 2015 participant 14. Our event host, KPMG 15. 2015 participants getting ready to be welcomed 16. Sina Wendt-Moore, Leadership NZ CEO with our guests



17. Jo Brosnahan, Founder of Leadership NZ, with Leadership NZ participants


Having their Say Thoughts from the class of 2015 Adam Bevins National Lead – Asset Management Downer I call Whanganui home with my wife and children and work nationally in the area of infrastructure management. Living in a great community such as Whanganui provides a great balance and lifestyle for my family, while my role gives me the opportunities to connect with and learn from a broad cross section of skills across the country and internationally. I currently lead teams that look for solutions to extend the life of high-value assets across many communities, utilising and developing technology and applying sound engineering principles.

The Leadership NZ Programme has provided me with a much deeper appreciation of the diversity of culture and thinking across NZ, allowing me to have a richer life experience and to become a better leader. As an engineer my career to date is solutions-orientated, focused on time, quality and money in a highly competitive industry. Leadership NZ has connected me with a wide variety of outstanding individuals and leaders in their fields that think differently, see the world differently and problem- solve differently. The Programme is challenging with the collusion of so many different ideas from very different perspectives, it is fun and it is emotional. The Leadership NZ Programme is about personal growth, if you come with an open mind and an open heart, it is experiential, tactile and creative. The key with this programme is allowing yourself to be open to change, and to take all the opportunities and through applied learning use in your life and leadership journey.

Dr Ainsleigh Cribb-Su’a Clinical Team Manager – Mental Health Division Counties Manukau DHB Ko Tainui te waka Ko Waipa te awa Ko Pirongia te maunga Ko Ngati Maniapoto, Tamatera, Kauwhata nga iwi. I am a Clinical Psychologist and Manager in Mental Health for Counties Manukau Health. My passion and commitment are to the wellbeing and flourishing of our children and youth, specifically Maori and Pacific taiohi of which I am the mother of four. Born and raised in South Auckland I have remained working and investing into the community that raised me. Though it was adversity and discrimination that drove me towards this career, it is the resilience and hope all around that sustains

I was blessed to have been nominated to apply for the Diversity and Inclusion Counties Manukau Health collaborative scholarship with Leadership NZ. I was awarded the scholarship and enabled to apply for the opportunity to be accepted onto the Programme. Every month I am surrounded by inspiring, amazing peers who are very rapidly becoming friends (and whānau) for life. Every month we are spoiled to receive the insights of the calibre of speakers that one might only expect to experience and be exposed to at a TED talks All Stars conference. It is heartening to be inducted into a network of participants and alumni that have such a strong social conscience and commitment to a better Aotearoa. And the reality is, that we have every opportunity to be better. Ngā mihi miharo ki a koutou te whanau o Pūmanawa Kaiarahi o Aotearoa

my commitment.

Alan Williams GM Finance & Operations World Vision My working life has focused itself in the financial leadership of a number of large New Zealand corporates. Now with World Vision my experience in complex finance, manufacture and distribution businesses provides an ability to relate strongly to underlying operations of the organisation and bring some of the key disciplines of the corporate New Zealand to the NGO sector.


My Leadership NZ journey has been rich on so many levels. I’ve lived most of my life here in Auckland and see every day the amazing diversity that is now Aotearoa New Zealand. We have this amazing nation but until now I’ve struggled to understand how we can go forward together to create a place where all have a fair chance for health and happiness. For me personally I’ve learned so much about myself; my strengths, my weaknesses and the ways in which I can contribute to the life of my community and others.

Andrea McLeod General Manager Enliven Presbyterian Support Northern I commenced my career as a student nurse with the then Auckland Hospital Board and worked as a Registered Nurse with a focus on community and gerontology nursing. I then moved into management roles within Private Hospitals, District Health Boards and Not for Profit Organisations and completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Management. For the past eight years I have held leadership roles in the home and community support sector and have been an elected member of the industry organisation, the Home and Community Health Association, including two years as Chair.

The opportunity to apply for the Leadership NZ Programme was offered to me by Presbyterian Support Northern and I would like to acknowledge the support and encouragement provided by the organisation in preparing my application and following being accepted. I was very unsure of what to expect from the Programme; now a third of the way through I can truly say I have been stimulated, challenged, introduced to new ideas and old wisdoms. Already lasting relationships have developed with fellow participants who come from a diverse range of experiences/industries and sectors, and the quality and calibre of the leaders who have given their time to share their stories and experience with us is outstanding. For me personally this programme is providing the opportunity to reflect and refine who I am as a leader both within my organisation but also in the wider community of New Zealand; I cannot wait for the rest of the year to unfold.

Angela Parquist Customer Delivery Manager Waikato District Council After fifteen years in the insurance industry, an opportunity within Local Government presented itself when I returned to New Zealand with my wonderful husband and two children. My role sees me leading a team of customer service professionals, including the management of six diverse libraries across the Waikato District. I am very privileged to be part of a team committed to providing inclusive, inviting spaces that nurture learning for all. I am passionate about empowering communities to take ownership of spaces within their towns and this being achieved through the concept of place making. I believe that a sense of belonging and pride of place enriches the person

I joined the Leadership NZ whanau with great anticipation but nothing could have prepared me for the personal growth opportunities it presents. My exposure to such a diverse group of people within the 2015 cohort is rewarding in itself, but the ability to get knee deep into the fabric of society is enriching beyond anything I have experienced before. In having my thoughts and ideals challenged, this journey is not only shaping me into a better leader but a better person. We all have a role to play and this programme is empowering us to step up, lean in and make a tangible difference. The authenticity in weaving together people, place, beliefs, values and a dedicated commitment to making our country a greater place for all, is something truly magical.

and community.

Anna James SME Manager Z Energy I read a great book, ‘What colour is your parachute’ when I was in the throes of making a large career decision. Several months later I found myself, an ex-Occupational Therapist/ Allied Health Manager, at Telecom managing a team of very smart analysts and developing the marketing data warehouse. It was all very new to me - the environment, the people and the acronyms they used - it was challenging but the learning experience immense. I’ve remained in the private sector having moved onto Z Energy, yet another great NZ company, and was given the opportunity to build a new capability and team.

I applied to join the Leadership NZ Programme when I found myself yet again at a crossroads in my career, I called it out as ‘needing a shot in the arm’. My development plan told the story of wanting to build & test my leadership skills but not necessarily in a corporate environment and I loved the idea of lifelong commitment to leadership in the community. Having started out working in the community as an OT, I started to miss the opportunity to give back and make a difference. I saw the opportunity to meet and learn alongside a diverse group of people, hear from inspirational speakers from all walks of life and build new networks in new directions. I’ve loved getting to know the cohort through our triads and syndicates and with their support and stories I can see some real possibilities emerging.




Having their Say Thoughts from the class of 2015 Astrid Andersen Chief Executive Officer Architectural Designers NZ Inc As CEO of Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ) my role is to provide strategic leadership and expertise to the organisation ensuring ADNZ is resilient, financially sound and providing exemplary service to members and stakeholders. I began The Events Company in April 1999 and within a short space of time we had established, implemented and managed several iconic events including the hugely successful Savour NZ. I thrive on a fast moving environment of change and challenge and the success of The Events Company was largely due to the enthusiasm, energy and vision that I bought to the role coupled with a strong support team.

So often we get caught in the tyranny of busyness; it was a privilege to have the opportunity to take time out to reflect on my leadership, and how I can be more effective in creating positive change in all aspects of my life. Leadership NZ has given me both the tools and the awareness to not only start on the leadership discovery but to continue this life journey. To be amongst a group of so many inspirational people with the openness and generosity to share their learnings has been extraordinary. The calibre of the speakers was exceptional. I will leave Leadership NZ with the confidence that there is a depth and breadth of leadership across the country.

Claire Richardson Executive Officer Auckland Council Having lived and worked internationally, in the film industry and then the NGO sector, I returned home to New Zealand in 2008. I was later seconded into the Auckland Transition Agency, giving me a front row seat at the biggest amalgamation of local government in Australasia. I could see huge potential to contribute to the emerging opportunities for our city and address the challenges faced by our communities. Now working for Auckland Council alongside the Chief Operating Officer, and previously as the chief advisor to the Deputy Mayor, I am privileged to be part of the direction setting and service delivery that affects Aucklanders, now and into the future.

Wanting to be part of the Leadership NZ experience came from a desire to explore my role and contribution to Aotearoa’s success, where can I best add value, and who I am as a New Zealander, having lived a large part of my life overseas. What excited me was the opportunity to meet and work with a diverse group of leaders from across the country, all of whom were dedicated to making a difference. What I was hoping for and have experienced so far is the chance to be challenged, to see New Zealand through different world views, and increase my understanding of the issues facing our many and varied communities. I have also had the chance to reconnect with the unique Maori and Pacific identity of home. I am grateful to be on this journey with a fantastic group of people and look forward to what the rest of 2015 brings.

Dave Norman Head of Operations Spark Digital I have worked in the telecommunications sector for 30 years in a career that has spanned engineering, sales, operations and leadership roles. In my current role I head up an operations team delivering outsourced IT services to enterprise clients. I was educated at Auckland University where I graduated with an honours degree in Electrical Engineering. I am married to Jan and have two beautiful boys aged 12 and 8 who help me keep things in perspective. Sailing is my passion and I love living in Auckland as it enables me to spend time on the water with my family.


I feel truly privileged to be a participant in the Leadership NZ journey. It is providing me the opportunity to pause and reflect on what it means to be a leader in a uniquely New Zealand context. The fact that you undertake this journey with a remarkable group of diverse but passionate individuals from Corporate, Government and Not for Profit sectors provides a richness and colour that I have not experienced in other leadership development programmes. A real highlight of the course is the chance to hear stories and perspectives from some truly inspirational guest speakers making a difference in our community. The sessions are thought provoking and have challenged my assumptions and views on the issues we face in New Zealand society. I have learned so much already and am looking forward to the next steps in my leadership journey.

David Udy Group Manager Collections Inland Revenue A significant majority, though not all, of my working life has been as a public servant. I believe that New Zealand needs an effective and efficient public service given our size and place in the world. I’ve held a variety of leadership roles at Inland Revenue over the last 18 years. In my most recent role I have turned around our Collections’ business from can’t do anything different; to significantly increasing staff engagement and achieving a 22% increase in collections. The investment in our people has provided benefits far beyond what we, the Collections Leadership Team, imagined as we began our journey just 4 years ago.

My application to the Leadership NZ Programme stemmed out of a strong desire to explore how I could go about giving back to New Zealand more than I do. Charles Handy, management philosopher, talks of the four ages of life. I now stand upon the cusp of my third age and I’m curious about what’s next and how to go about making what’s next, happen. It has been a privilege to be involved in this programme, to gain exposure to the incredible wisdom shared by inspirational leaders around the country and to explore diverse and critical issues relevant to New Zealand. Most importantly, the Programme has provided me with the opportunity to gain new connections that have assisted me in determining where I could focus my energy and future efforts. A bonus was sharing my thoughts and experience with others on the Programme.

Grant Palmer Programme Co-ordinator Strategy Army 2020 Office of Strategic Management, NZ Army, New Zealand Defence Force I was raised and shaped in the amazing Nelson/Marlborough regions; I refer to them as my playground where I enjoyed a family upbringing influenced by the great outdoors, growing up with beaches, lakes, sounds and wilderness. I enjoy trout fishing, spearfishing, skiing, tramping, sailing and sea fishing. I met my lovely wife Michelle in New Zealand’s premier wine country. My career has been diverse, having been involved in New Zealand’s Fire Service, Department of Labour, Employment Service, Ministry of Social Development and Defence Force. All of these organisations have involved my passion for helping people.

I felt privileged to be nominated by NZ Army to participate in the Leadership NZ 2015 Programme. I was drawn to Leadership NZ as our values in NZDF are strongly aligned. What an amazing group of people on the Programme. I love the camaraderie of our cohort; I have learnt so much from our shared experiences. The Programme offers such an enriching mix of interactions, diverse topics, speakers and locations which allow us to learn and grow from. One of the key things I have learnt is that conversations are the greatest tool to allow us to explore, understand, and grow; to resolve issues as leaders; that our journey is about threading the fabric of NZ society to make a difference for good in New Zealand. In the same way we do in the NZDF, we are a force for NZ, a force for good.

My raison d’etre is ‘service to others’. I am proud to be a New Zealander.

Jackie Curry-Malolo Director/ Business Facilitator & Tutor Business Spacific Influenced by my upbringing in a business family in Samoa, my passions in life are business and entrepreneurship. I currently run my own company specialising in the delivery of business education programmes, training, business mentoring and business/marketing consultancy in New Zealand and the Pacific region. I thoroughly enjoy teaching and being part of each student’s educational journey. I am passionate about developing small businesses, encouraging entrepreneurship and building the financial capability for Pacific families. I believe these are the key areas to unlock our potential to be economically and socially prosperous as an individuals, families and communities.

A mentor recommended that I consider applying for the Leadership NZ Programme and my interest grew when I found out that the CEO was a Samoan woman and that other successful Pacific people had taken this programme. I was delighted to be accepted, not really being sure of what I had signed up for and unsure of how I would balance the monthly retreats with work, family, business! After the Opening Retreat, I was absolutely convinced I was in the right place. This Programme has enabled me to reflect on my purpose in life and given me an insight into other perspectives and experiences from inspirational speakers and discussions with my Leadership NZ colleagues. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about issues which are relevant to NZ society today and reflecting on the history of Aotearoa as a country. I feel privileged to be part of such a diverse, passionate, engaging group of NZ leaders.




Having their Say Thoughts from the class of 2015 Jade Tang-Taylor Co-founder and Director Curative I am a creative social entrepreneur, a designer, dreamer and a doer. I am the co-founder and director of Curative, a creative agency that works on projects that help make the world a little bit better; Auckland chapter host of CreativeMornings, a global monthly breakfast lecture series for creative professionals that connects 100+ cities; and a regular guest lecturer at various tertiary institutes on design/communications for social change. I’m also part of the AsiaNZ leaders network, NZ Asian Leaders network, Design Assembly friend and a member of the Designers Institute of NZ.

Someone profound once said; if you’re the smartest person in the room... You’re in the wrong room. This is definitely not the case with my 2015 Leadership NZ peers, with each session I find myself being inspired, challenged, in awe of everyone I can learn from being in the right room. From world views I never knew I subconsciously held, to creative poetry that unexpectedly flowed out of the right-side of the brain to something as simple and as significant as a name, and name-change, or lack thereof. So... after only three sessions at Leadership NZ 15, I’m left pondering on how far NZ has come as a nation, yet how far we still have left to go... And how, as authentic leaders across sectors we can truly and genuinely work together to collaborate and create an NZ we can all be proud of.

James Hassall Manager, Litigation & Regulatory Auckland Council My career in law followed time in banking and teaching English in Japan. I have worked in two large national law firms primarily in the areas of litigation, resource management and local government. After being seconded to the Auckland Transition Agency to help set up the Auckland “Super City,” I decided being on the inside of local government was where I wanted to be. When my current role became available, I jumped at the opportunity to continue my involvement in shaping Auckland. I haven’t been disappointed and have worked at the heart of many recent big issues facing Auckland.

Every session on the Leadership NZ journey so far has left me on a high for several weeks afterwards. The Leadership NZ team are amazing, our cohort is full of interesting people and the readings and sessions are challenging and thought-provoking. Particularly enjoyable is hearing from and interacting with outstanding leaders from across New Zealand. Learning about the paths their lives have taken and their thoughts on being a leader in New Zealand has been inspirational. The lessons learned will take time to process but in terms of immediate, tangible gains, for me, Leadership NZ’s focus on diversity and the benefits of that is something I can bring to the work I do. I am already seeing small, positive shifts in my understanding of and attitudes towards the diverse range of people who comprise Auckland Council and our community.

Jane Liu Market Manager - Greater China Region NZTE I immigrated to New Zealand from Shanghai in early 2000 after finishing my MBA from Leicester University. I was truly overwhelmed by the stunning landscape of the country, the unique culture, true entrepreneurship and most of all, the amazingly down-to-earth attitude of the people. I have been working for NZTE New Zealand’s international business development agency - to help New Zealand companies realise their potential on the global stage. I am passionate about the cause - to assist New Zealand companies to grow their exports and develop sustainable businesses, particularly in China.


I am really fortunate and feel honoured to be chosen to participate in the Leadership NZ Programme. This Programme has provided the unique opportunity to hear insights shared by exceptional people about leadership and social issues as well as learning and practising our own leadership challenges with my fellow participants from a diverse group. It has broadened my horizon, allowing me to increase my personal effectiveness and improve my cultural and social sensitivities. It is truly an inspirational experience and I really look forward to the rest of the Programme over the next few months.

Jenni Heka Facility Manager – Te Oro Glen Innes Music & Arts Centre Creative Producer – Hekama Creative I am currently Facility Manager for Te Oro – Glen Innes Music & Arts Centre, Auckland Council’s newest purpose built venue. I am also an independent producer, with my company Hekama Creative. Hekama Creative specialises in the development and production of Pacific and Māori perspectives and narratives for theatre. As a freelance practitioner, my roles encompass producing, directing, acting, script development, production, touring and event management. I have worked in film, television, theatre and festivals over the last 16 years in New Zealand and overseas.

I found myself at a crossroads, where I was starting to examine what I wanted my work to say, what I stood for and what was important. The more I drilled down, the more I would question what I was doing as a producer of theatre. I was in a position that although challenging, was not fulfilling me in the way I required. I had achieved all I could within the organisation. The more I thought the more I found the call to work within my community getting louder and louder and that I needed to heed that call. I wanted to be able to develop and empower young people to find their pathway in the arts. Before I could help others, I needed to be challenged and understand who I was and where I stood. Leadership NZ has been the vehicle for me to connect with like-minded people and getting better understanding of what a true leader is.

Joanne Walker Flight Service Manager Air New Zealand Having always worked in the hospitality industry, in New Zealand and abroad, I joined Air New Zealand 7 years ago. I had a strong desire to be part of a team that delivered the very best customer experience, in particular for our overseas visitors. I identified with the Air New Zealand brand and their core values but never imagined the leadership opportunities and journey of self-awareness and reflection that I was about to embark on. I now have such a passion for developing, by being able to share my experiences, our young industry leaders as well as helping to support people at all stages of their own journey, through change.

It was, after attending the Leadership NZ ‘Dinner with a Difference’ in 2014 that I came to realise just how much this Programme could help continue to help shape and challenge who I was as a leader and more importantly how my leadership could best support others in the wider New Zealand community. Opportunities to hear from fearless leaders who have been able to make significant change through all sectors has encouraged me to explore and find my true sense of purpose. Through suggested readings, a whole new world has opened up for me, perhaps one I would never have sought out if I had not been part of Leadership NZ. In such a positive, encouraging and supportive way Leadership NZ has tipped my world upside down and I am excited to see what it will look like when it rights itself again. The Programme’s unique format and delivery, for me at least, is a life changing experience.

Jonathan Hulme Senior Manager Operational Change and Employee Relations Ports of Auckland I have 20 years’ experience in Ports and Stevedoring, including frontline operational roles and a senior operational leadership roles. I’ve been fortunate to have some inspirational leaders influence my career, which continues to inspire me towards the constant development of my own leadership. I have recently taken a new role working with and across the entire company on operational change, as well as working with employees and the multiple unions at Ports of Auckland around change. I’ve studied part time at Auckland University to gain a Bachelor of Commerce in Management of Organisations. I’m married to Rebecca and have two wonderful children which keep us grounded and on our toes!

The Leadership NZ Programme has been something of a revelation for me. It’s enabled me to refocus myself, values and views on some of the current issues facing New Zealand and its society today. It’s resulted in a lot of self-reflection on my leadership and where I am in my career. Some experiences have taken me to the edge of my comfort zone and beyond. It brings together a group of people from across the country and from a wide spectrum of sectors many of which that would not normally come in contact with each other. What’s been truly wonderful is being able ‘walk in other shoes’ and have so many varied perspectives. This has broadened my horizons and helped change some of my views. There is a lot to be learnt from other people’s stories and experiences in life and the value of being able to tell a story is so important to be able to give perspective.




Having their Say Thoughts from the class of 2015 Julia Hartshorne Founder, Achieve 2B Whangarei In childhood, Mum would say “Be a Leader, not a sheep” if I tried to follow other’s irksome ways. These words echoed consciously and unconsciously throughout my life. At age 16, with mild cerebral palsy, I completed an American Field Service (AFS) Exchange. This experience awakened my global senses and unconsciously began my leadership journey. As a mature woman, my AFS experience and leadership journey begin a new life. Born from my desire to ensure that young disabled people have equal opportunities to participate in an intercultural exchange, I am establishing our Trust, Achieve 2B - an inspiring intercultural exchange programme for young disabled people.

I did not see myself as a leader. Nor did I set out to be a leader. A burning passion has encouraged the desire to learn, obtain and use skills to enable me to get a job done and do it well. What I have appreciated so far in my journey with Leadership NZ is that leadership is a complex dynamic process. Continuously living, breathing, forming and then reforming. The Programme has helped me to take a naked look at myself, appreciate the diversity of others, consider the wider contexts I live in and have a deeper understanding of Aotearoa. I have felt humbled and privileged sitting at the feet and learning from New Zealand’s esteemed leaders. For me, Leadership NZ has authentically emphasised that leadership is a connection between the head, heart and soul and an awareness of the connection between the social, economic, political and cultural.

Julie Pye Southern Business Manager ACC I have worked for ACC for 20 years where I am currently the South Island Business Manager. I love what I do. ACC is a great place to work – full of opportunities and awesome people to work with. I am passionate about our people, watching them grow and develop to be the very best that they can be. I am a born and bred South Islander, and a one-eyed Canterbury Supporter. I am married to Sam; we live on a farm in South Canterbury, where I am surrounded by a variety of pets. We have 2 adult sons who are both off doing exciting things with their lives.

The Leadership journey has been one of personal reflection and growth for me – broadening and challenging the status quo. It was the fear of the unknown but with an open mind that I began the Leadership pathway in February along with my fellow participants – a group of diverse, fantastic and talented individuals, all exploring, growing and learning together. I am very much enjoying my Leadership NZ colleagues, getting to know them better and hearing their leadership journeys. I look forward to spending several more months together, sharing and having fun! I like the unique approach taken by Leadership NZ with this Programme, exposing us to many challenges and opportunities. And it is up to us as individuals to be fearless and tackle these head on. You get as much out as you put in. I feel privileged to be part of the Class of 2015.

Julie Radford-Poupard Director Women’s Health Action Trust I have worked in the Not for Profit and community sectors throughout my career and I’m passionate about sector development and leadership. In my current role as Director of Women’s Health Action, I’m honoured to be part of a team continuing the legacy of promoting and protecting consumer and women’s health rights in Aotearoa. I have previously worked and volunteered in sexual and reproductive health, rainbow youth education, local and central government, human rights, housing and youth development.


I am profoundly honoured to be part of the Leadership NZ Programme and the 2015 whanau. It’s a journey of deepening self-awareness and reflection scaffolded around conversations about what could make Aotearoa a better place for everybody! It’s wonderful and enriching to collaborate across sectors and to be joining a leadership community that cares deeply for the tricky big issues facing Aotearoa and the world.

Lauder Erasmus Director KPMG My wife and I lived abroad for a number of years working for global organisations. I have been working as an accounting and finance professional for over 12 years. When we returned to New Zealand I took the opportunity to work with KPMG, focussing on working with privately owned NZ businesses. Arriving in NZ it became very clear the opportunities our country offers and this has been my inspiration in working with NZ business owners to achieve their goals. I also discovered an opportunity for personal growth - KPMG is an organisation that has been shaping its values, culture and identity and positioning itself to positively impact change for Aotearoa.

My application to join the Leadership NZ Programme stemmed out of a desire to deepen my understanding of our country and broaden my perspectives on the challenges we face. I was attracted to the opportunity for personal growth to learn more about leadership in a range of relevant local contexts with a group of people who all hold different world perspectives. The opportunity to listen, hold conversation and learn from some of New Zealand’s most influential leaders has been fantastic. The sharing of the journeys and knowledge held by these inspirational leaders has helped me to start to explore some of the challenges relevant to New Zealand. The Programme has also provided me with the opportunity work on my personal leadership in areas often neglected but that are vital to authentic leadership.

Lisa Paraku Manager - Enterprise and Service Architecture Spark Digital I hail from Ngati Tamatera within the mighty Hauraki. My dad’s side is represented in names Paraku, Rapana and Harrison. My mum’s in McIlroy, Wall and Hennessy. My husband’s surname is Swallow. My boys are Harrison and Hennessy. I have a great whanau. I was born and bred in Tokoroa a farming and forestry town, further shaped in Christchurch and travel in Asia, UK and Europe. My working life has been spent in Service Management across Hospitality, Tertiary Education and currently Telecommunications – connecting in a digital nation. I am fascinated by people, their stories and how we can achieve outcomes together.

I would like to leave this country a better place for my children and their children. If there are skills I can cultivate; if there are things I can influence; if there are people I can join with to make that difference, then I am ‘all in’. Leadership NZ is presenting this opportunity. I joined the Leadership NZ whanau for its holistic nature, serving, sharing and receiving as a result. My Spark Leadership team are my sponsors, we have set a goal to ‘unleash the potential in all New Zealanders’ this is a good and lofty goal. I believe we have the tools to achieve it and the experience of Leadership NZ will help me contribute. The experiences I have had with my Leadership NZ whanau is far reaching, I am using the skills in my everyday life, to serve my family, workplace, peers and community. I am grateful and I am excited.

Marianne Scott Master Planner Counties Manukau Health My passion for travel and making a difference in the public health system has shaped my career from pharmacy to working alongside many amazing people to plan and facilitate health system change. When I am not working I love to sail in our beautiful waters with my husband, family and friends. I have found the very best of people at Counties Manukau Health, where I am inspired daily to contribute to the improved health and well-being of our diverse communities.

Leadership NZ offered me a chance to step outside my current world, challenge what I know about New Zealand and explore my future place in this fantastic country. What stood out for me in this programme was the commitment to diversity and building resilient leadership with a range of people across different industries and life journeys. We have begun to explore the issues confronting New Zealand, the changing face of the world and our place in it. It is a real privilege for me to explore these critical issues through conversation and thought leadership. What drives me to take all the opportunities this Programme offers is the knowledge that this is an incredible group of people, with a wealth of knowledge and experience to share so that we grow our potential as leaders. I look forward to an exciting year.




Having their Say Thoughts from the class of 2015 Mark Wilshire General Manager, Customer and Product Kiwibank There is something special about working for a Kiwi organisation, one that has a real sense of purpose and takes pride in taking on a challenger role. This has been very true of my experience at Kiwibank, a business that is growing fast and making a difference. A values-based organisation that believes in its people and is driven to provide customers with better value makes for a dynamic place to work. I have felt at home at Kiwibank and have enjoyed the opportunity to take on leadership challenges and help shape the future of the organisation.

I knew very little about Leadership NZ and so asked a couple of alumni from our organisation about their experience. They piqued my interest with vague references to “its different to other leadership experiences you may have done before” or “it’s not for everyone, it’s designed for those who have an altruistic streak, people who are interested in community and country and want to put something back”. A couple of months in and I can sincerely say I am now very immersed in the network of wide-ranging and talented people. The exposure to high-quality external speakers has been interesting in itself, but what is unique is the environment of honesty and trust in which they share a very personal perspective of leadership. It is a programme founded on real life skills and experience, staying true to one self yet being more mindful of others. I look forward to what unfolds in the year ahead and beyond.

Morehu Anthony Wilson Crew Chief Auckland International Airport Kia ora koutou katoa e āku nui! Born in Auckland, raised in Otara and Kaiaua, educated at St. Stephen’s College, I worked as a Clerk for the Justice Department as well as a part time Periodic Detention Centre Warden in Otahuhu, before landing a role as a fire fighter. I married my teenage sweetheart and we have most recently celebrated our 31 years of unity. We have two sons whom we appreciate and love. My parents are the source of our family unity and continue to play an important role in our lives. We are very much a part of a wider family grouping whom with which we share many precious moments and events.

The Leadership NZ Programme has exposed me to a melting pot of diversity, experiences, challenges, self- awareness, broader understanding and acceptance. The courage displayed by many within the Programme has resurrected my faith in humanity and impressed upon me the power of humility and compassion. What has become very apparent to me is the value of time; time to invest in each other, time to communicate, time to appreciate and value others, time to sit face to face. This single commodity is probably the most precious of all and the most accessible. Take time; manage time, use time to its best effect. The Leadership NZ Alumni of 2015 will be a better, enriched and nourished group of leaders who can take our country to the threshold of a new beginning. Kia kaha ake tātou ki te hāpai i a tātou katoa.

Nathan Marsh General Manager - Commercial PGG Wrightson Seeds Ltd Eight years ago I returned to Christchurch with my wife and young children after many years travelling and working overseas. Coming home has been very rewarding – New Zealand is a great place for quality of life and to raise our children. It is important for me to have a sense of purpose and feel I am contributing to New Zealand. With PGG Wrightson Seeds, my role allows me to be connected to and support rural New Zealand, but also provides continued international involvement. I lead and influence a diverse group of people – bringing them together for collective benefit isn’t without its challenges but is immensely satisfying.


My experience of the Programme to date has been wholly positive – initial trepidation was almost instantly removed. The mix of many people with vastly different backgrounds and roles has really added a new dimension from past “courses”. Highlights are the quality and diversity of speakers and their willingness to engage deeply to discuss and debate very personal and important subjects. Understanding their experiences that have formed their chosen paths has been nothing short of inspiring. I have had a massive wake-up call in understanding the diversity of NZ culture and this has been refreshing, surprising, daunting all at the same time. It has provided a new perspective to consider both everyday situations in my life and the big issues facing us as a nation. Also, the time-out from work and home have provided opportunity for self-reflection and challenged how I have perceived and interacted with others. I can now see myself changing almost daily as I move forward.

Nigel Kapa Regional Manager - Northern Ministry of Youth Development I am a proud father of 3 beautiful girls who are my life. Being a parent is the hardest journey in leadership, but also the most fulfilling. I have always been in leadership roles and in 2005, I was asked to teach a class of young people how to cook a simple meal as part of an Alternative Education programme. What I didn’t know at the time was that this would shape the next 10 years of my life. Being able to witness the ‘aha’ moment in the faces of the 13-16-year-old young people from South Auckland and realising that I helped them learn something was life changing for me.

In one day, being part of an Alternative Education programme changed my focus and I started to understand the difference I could make. Since then, I have been on a journey, discovering what my strengths are and how I can use them to improve outcomes for young people in New Zealand. Part of this journey has led me to the Leadership NZ Programme. What attracted me is that you only get out of it what you put in. Being able to be present and ask the questions that you would not normally have a chance to ask. It’s also about the people, the participants and the Leadership NZ family are amazing people that you can’t help but learn from.

Nikki Burns Founding Trustee/Community Liaison Poppycock Trust I trained in Health Care and then when we had our 3 children I moved into the fostering of children and private care of young adults with a range of debilitating issues. This led me to do further training in Child Protection. This mixed with my personal experience of an unorthodox upbringing meeting people from all walks of life and coming out of a traumatic and dysfunctional home life to a thriving, happy and contributing life now means I have a desire to ‘promote the strengths’ of the various people groups in New Zealand and speak to the gaps to encourage collaboration for the community good.

So far the way Leadership NZ has facilitated this incredible journey feels like I have stepped into a flow that comprises the mix of immense challenge with a humbling awareness of the great spirit of the other people on this course. I am keen to hear more of the diversity from my cohort’s stories and also give voice to some other perspectives possibly not considered yet in our journey. The first block course and the way a strong foundation of aroha, conversation and respect was laid by the Leadership NZ team has enabled a really strong framework for some engaging conversations – I look forward to further insights as the year unfolds!

Pamela Bell CEO PrefabNZ Incorporated My path has led through architecture, Olympic-level sport, small business development, governance and management. The ‘Kiwi Prefab’ thesis was turned into a book and then an exhibition while a design and construction industry association to inform, educate and catalyse the prebuilt sector called PrefabNZ, was formed. The driving force for this collection of people that I am privileged to lead is to creating a better delivery of buildings to more people at higher quality in the most cost-effective way. I strongly believe that the accessibility of well-designed affordable housing is at the heart of many of the challenges that New Zealand society faces today and into the future.

The 2015 Leadership NZ cohort are an amazingly diverse and talented group of people. There is as much to learn from each other as there is from the intelligent and provocative guest speakers. The reading list provides a valid doorway to explore and prepare on a wide range of carefully curated issues. It is a great privilege to be part of this group, to progress on the lifetime journey of self-knowledge, and to be open to learning more about this vibrant country that we are all so lucky to live in.




Having their Say Thoughts from the class of 2015 Ryan Crawford APAC Settlements Manager FNZ Ltd Originating from South Africa, I immigrated to New Zealand and found paradise. A country in which I could be recognised for my skills, experience and initiative. After a short while in Auckland, I moved to Wellington where I undertook numerous roles, seeking one that was really me. After teaching myself web-server administration to learning about financial investing, I finally found an organisation that aligned with my world view and whose potential I see as limitless, at FNZ. I’ve progressed from an analyst role to a people manager, and it was in this role that I found something I’d never before – a passion for developing people and realising their success in life.

I was introduced to the Leadership NZ Programme by my mentor at FNZ. It was at a time when I was contemplating either applying for an MBA or looking for an alternative. After weighing up the pros and cons, Leadership NZ was definitely a far better fit for me and would greatly assist with my passion for people. Since starting the course in January, I have been amazed at the rich and diverse content and speakers we have experienced in such a short period. The Programme facilitators have an uncanny ability in bringing out the best in us while still challenging us during each retreat. The other ‘students’ on the course are from every background one can imagine, the discussions we have are thought provoking and meaningful in a way I have never experienced in a professional setting before. This course has truly set a standard bar none.

Sarvesh Datt Branch Manager ACC I grew up in Fiji and arrived in New Zealand in 2002. I have invested the best part of my career in the accident insurance industry. I have worked for ACC in a number of client-facing and operational leadership roles since arriving here. The best part of my current role is working with some amazing people, leading a large business unit through a period of change and that is via effective partnerships with individuals, businesses and communities. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Outside of work I am married and we have two adorable kids.

It was indeed a privilege to have been selected for the Leadership NZ Programme. It is an amazing journey of personal growth alongside a diverse range of people with wealth of knowledge and experience. It is a personal journey of discovering myself, my core values and my convictions. It has enabled me to truly understand, experience, appreciate and respect the diverse world views – to look beyond my preconceptions. The Programme had unique offerings that I have not had in any other leadership development programme – this was about understanding myself as a person; it presented the opportunity to meet, hear and quiz some hugely respected leaders in business and community. It allowed time to reflect and put personal meaning to those learnings. This is a transformational journey, one that has provided me with renewed confidence to be uniquely me in my leadership journey.

Stephen Harris Divisional Manager, South/South East Asia MFAT I found my way into diplomacy via journalism and into both, indirectly, through parents who lived their commitment to social responsibility and global citizenship. My focus, in managing New Zealand’s relations with 18 countries across South and South East Asia, is on how we can be a responsible, respectful and sometimes remonstrating partner to these diverse regions in ways that also help New Zealanders. We are not as small in world terms as we sometimes think. To be influential, however, we need to fashion our tools with entrepreneurial flair. My task is as an advocate for our interests and to be a storyteller – weaving a wider narrative of our possible future. 22

The Leadership NZ Programme is the chapter in my personal story in which the plot takes a surprising twist. ‘Fearless leadership’ is quite scary as I sail towards that part of the map marked ‘there be demons’. Three sessions into the Programme I have rounded the headland towards open waters. Something exciting lies ahead – discovery of self as well as of riches and perils that carry the alluring challenge of destiny. This is not a solo voyage: the participants on the Programme are diverse, humbling and inspiring in their honesty and mutually supportive. The Programme leaders and guests embody a generosity of spirit and experience that fills my sails. All of them together challenge me to think and act not so much differently, but to be more of what I am.

Tamsin Evans Group Manager Community Services Kapiti Coast District Council Apparently genetically programmed for life in the public sector, I have had a wide-ranging and increasingly demanding career in local government since I came to New Zealand eighteen years ago. My passion is to ensure there is a positive and effective relationship between our community, in all its many and various forms, and the council. Local services need to meet local needs and the people in our district have to find us easy to engage with and to work with. New Zealand needs thriving and resilient communities and I love doing my bit to make this happen.

I was encouraged to apply to the Leadership NZ Programme by my mentor and, after finding out quite a bit about myself while working on my application, I was delighted to be offered a place for 2015. So far the Programme has more than lived up to my expectations and pushed me at a time when I was really ready to be challenged personally and professionally. I’ve made some close connections and met an interesting and hugely diverse group of people I would never have crossed paths with otherwise. I’ve encountered new ideas, new thinking, new methodologies and some amazingly creative, inspirational and outstanding leaders. The Leadership NZ culture and environment is caring, supportive and demanding and will ensure I make the most of the experience for myself and that I return this to the communities I am part of.

Vivek Rajendran Manager, Commercial Performance – Aeronautical Operations Auckland Airport I was born and have lived in Auckland for my entire life, graduating from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor and Graduate Diploma of Commerce. I married my amazing wife in 2007 and have two beautiful daughters. I started my career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and qualified as Chartered Accountant whilst working for them; since then I’ve had the opportunity to work in a number of roles through various NZ companies. I’ve been with Auckland Airport for the last four years, undertaking four different roles during this time. I’m lucky to be part of a vibrant team who challenge me and inspire me to be the best I can be.

Leadership NZ has been an amazing journey so far and I feel privileged to be sharing this opportunity with such a wonderful group of leaders. It’s been inspiring being able to have exposure to the incredible wisdom shared by members of the 2015 Leadership NZ cohort, as well as inspirational leaders from around New Zealand. Whilst this has been a powerful inward journey of self-discovery, which has helped me to deepen and clarify my world view, this process has also helped to widen my perspective on a diverse range of critical topics relevant to New Zealand. Leadership NZ has helped me to realise the impact and difference that I have the potential to make on the communities around me. I look forward to continuing this journey.

Wyndi Tagi Owner/Practice Manager WE Accounting & Business Services Ltd I am the number one fan and a huge supporter of my five very active boys, and wife to an amazing husband, Eli with whom I co-own our business. My passion is helping people, which is one of the reasons we started WE Accounting and one of the reasons I applied for Leadership NZ. We have a team of ten of whom I am proud to say represent a range of ethnicity, age, gender and personality types. We enjoy breaking through barriers and creating a fun environment to work in. I also enjoy doing volunteer work and am part of a number of committees and community groups.

I am valuing my experience with Leadership NZ. We have been privileged to hear from some inspirational leaders and develop a greater understanding of issues facing New Zealand. My personal journey has been a reflective one and I’m better understanding myself as a leader and breaking out of my comfort zone. I love that diversity is recognised and celebrated in an open-minded, safe environment in which we can be our authentic selves. My sincere thank you to the Leadership NZ team for allowing me the opportunity to be part of the 2015 cohort; an amazing group of people that I am building life-long friendships with. I look forward to the rest of our journey together. Arohanui x




by Kimberly Rees

Judy Nicholl Leadership NZ Alumnus (2010)

For Judy Nicholl, General Manager of Aeronautical Operations at Auckland Airport, the value of the Leadership NZ Programme is quite clear - she incorporates what she learned from it into her work each and every day. An example of this is the small Mind Map hanging on her office wall that she created while on the Programme. She says it “is a constant reminder of my anchor points when I look up from my computer screen.” Judy also has three books of notes she took while on the Programme readily available on a shelf in her office that she often pulls out when needing guidance in dealing with complex issues, or for general refreshment and inspiration. It has been five years since Judy attended the Leadership NZ Programme as part of the 2010 cohort, so this is clearly a testament to the Programme’s prolonged relevance and long-term personal influence. Judy states, “Leadership NZ is the gift that keeps on giving. The Programme grounded me while at the same time, opened me up and provided a compass for both my professional career and personal life.” Since graduating in 2010, Judy has embraced the Leadership NZ mission of alumni ‘to grow active leadership’ through her management position at Auckland Airport. She does this by investing in at least one (and sometimes two) of her staff to attend the Programme each year. “I 24

do this because I know that Leadership NZ creates competent, authentic leaders, who are values-based, focussed on the future and ‘in leadership for life’. On a practical level as well, Leadership NZ provides each participant with frameworks, models and a huge toolkit to draw from. This benefits not only the participant, but also myself as the manager and the rest of the team; it raises the calibre of the whole organisation.” Judy says there is a strong culture of sharing and continued learning within her team and an expectation of ‘the sharpening of tools’ at her organisation. “We expect that year’s participant to report back and be the example for others. Inevitably, they show greater responsibility and proactive approaches which definitely lifts the bar in a positive way for all those around them.” Judy admits that she vicariously enjoys the Leadership NZ Programme experience through the staff person attending

“Leadership NZ creates competent, authentic leaders, who are values-based, focussed on the future and in leadership for life.”

that year, but because the material is dynamic and continually upgraded, it is not a reliving experience as such. Instead, she says, it is reciprocal, “Each person, from each Leadership NZ session, brings back something new for me to learn, incorporate into our work, or just to think about. That’s what makes it so great and motivates us to stay involved with the Programme at an organisational level.” “Of course each participant gets different things on a personal level from the Programme as well. But what I see as the common denominator for each graduate is the confidence and ability to have enriched dialogue and complex discussions with respect and dignity.” As a leader of a large and diverse, multi-faceted operations team, Judy role-models these traits of a Leadership NZ graduate and puts great emphasis on creating a supportive, trusting environment for her team. “Collaboration is key in operations as it usually takes more than one person to accomplish great things,” she says. “So it is very important for me to create a safe, working environment where people respect one another, aren’t afraid to give-it-a-go, fail, reflect, share, learn, give-it-a-go again and expand beyond what they currently think they are capable of. This is my role as a leader.” Judy Nicholl, an open person - true to herself, is a fine example of Fearless Leadership and is also helping to create Fearless Leaders for our future.

by Kimberly Rees

Ian Balme Leadership NZ Alumnus (2006)

Ian Balme attended the Leadership NZ Programme in 2006. At the time he was one of only a couple of participants that came from the rural sector that year. He says “When I started the Programme I felt like a fish out of water amongst all those smart people.” However now, Ian admits that “the greatest benefit I got from Leadership NZ was that it made me feel comfortable in my own skin.” The way Ian presents himself now, you would never have guessed that self-confidence was a prior issue for him. Being pressured to explain he says, “It was the exposure to the top leaders in the country that Leadership NZ provides which made the difference for me. Through the Programme, we had easy access and real discussions with each of them – that along with quality time spent with the other participants (people I would have never got to know otherwise) made me realise that people are people – we are all the same and yet uniquely great and have valuable contributions in our own way. It made me not be afraid to show my flaws and be who I really am.”

was importing used golf carts for farm use from America. A spark of an idea came to him about putting these golf carts on the old unused railway line between Stratford and Taumarunui which could be a visitor’s attraction in order to experience the beauty of the area. Some people thought he was crazy, and many obstacles were put in his way to make this idea viable. But Ian says he didn’t take no for an answer “the more barriers that got put up, the more determined I was to jump over them and keep moving forward. The key to making it happen came down to sheer determination and backing myself all the way, no matter what.”

“The key to making it happen came down to sheer determination and backing myself all the way.” ok to say you don’t know and to ask for help. So if I didn’t have the right skills or ability to do some aspect, I found someone who did. And that happened a lot.” He laughs “before I knew it, I had a whole slew of people that I was leading towards this crazy vision!”

Ian has an interesting success story around building the Forgotten World Adventures business but before telling it, he is quick to identify the morale up front as being “you just have to back yourself.”

It certainly wasn’t an easy journey for Ian to establish the thriving business of Forgotten World Adventures to what it is today; a rail tour on the historic railroad line (through the Taranaki and Ruapehu Districts) that employs 24 staff, has doubled its revenue each year since opening and is significantly contributing to the economic growth of the rural towns on the tour’s route. Ian remembers “I just kept trying and many times it was jumping into the unknown and giving it a go to see what happened. But I was never afraid of failure. I like the unknown, the challenges, the sense of adventure, you may say.” This statement, in and of itself, shows Ian’s fearless nature.

Ian lights up when he talks about how the most unlikely people in his community have contributed to the development and success of Forgotten World Adventures as he says “have given their sweat and blood for it.” The business started a tradition of providing a casual chef-catered dinner once a week for all staff. Ian explains; “It is an opportunity to have those honest, round-table discussions like you do with family,” he says. “You’d be surprised what I learn in this way without any armour on and not needing to be the big boss.” This is a good example of Ian Balme being a Fearless Leader - he’s the first one to stand up and take the hits. Ian says, “I’m not afraid to find out what’s not working because then we can fix it!”

In 2010 Ian left his position as regional councillor, working on the farm and seeing his rural community struggling both economically and socially. His neighbour

When asked how he got others to go along with his seemingly crazy business idea, he says “I can credit Leadership NZ for that as it gave me the insight that it is

Ian’s closing remarks and piece of advice to others is “Just do it – jump in and do it – be fearless and back yourself. You’ll surprise yourself at what you can achieve.”




Leadership 2030:

The Six Megatrends You Need to Understand to Lead Your Company into the Future Six Megatrends, 5 reinforcers, 5 competencies, 12 big questions and no sign of a partridge! I surprisingly found culture last weekend in Brisbane in the Queensland Art Gallery after a number of failed attempts in the past! The first collection you see is a group of pieces by British artists, who had flocked Downunder to create landscape works, taking advantage of the remarkable quality of light. However, they could not resist adding a few touches of home with trees, which are clearly not gums, but something out of a British urban park. Moving on you then come to pieces from the early 20th century, by Australian artists who had gone to Europe to emulate the trends of the time. There is something slightly odd about seeing a painting of the Australian bush in the style of Renoir or Degas. Conversely, leadership that follows a style that does not belong in the context of the time or the place, seems incongruous and raises the same concerns. “Leadership 2030 The Six Megatrends You Need to Understand to Lead Your Company into the Future” by Georg Vielmetter and Yvonne Sell, stands out among leadership books in 2015, because it has a firm focus on looking at the context of life and business for the next 15 years, so leaders can work out for themselves, how their leadership style needs to evolve to make sense of the substantially changing digital environment. If you are only going to have time this year to read one book on the digital revolution and one book on leadership, then pick this one because it ticks both boxes. One of the magic distinguishing features of the Leadership NZ Programme is the focus on leadership context. This book, 26

based on Hay Group global research, is 2/3 context and 1/3 guidance on leading with a focus on the future and not an eye on the past. Vielmetter and Sell have identified 6 megatrends which are fundamentally changing business today and into the next decades and which will force a rethink of the way we do leadership. Their take is that we need to move to a concept of “altrocentric” leadership and away from old school egocentric leadership.

approaches we take. Having signalled this move away from egocentric approaches, they identify 5 competencies of the altrocentric leader: 1. Inner strengths; 2. Values; 3. Strategic business thinking; 4. Stakeholder interaction; and, 5. Execution. I cannot do the content justice here, just take it from me that the time spent engrossed in this book is worth it.

The 6 trends they identify are: 1. Globalisation 2.0; 2. Environmental crisis; 3. Individualization and value pluralism; 4. The digital era; 5. Demographic change; and, 6. Technological convergence.

The jewel in the Queensland gallery crown is a Picasso piece called “La Belle Hollandaise” (1905). This piece is by Picasso in the style of Picasso in 1905 which was his “rose” period and predated his cubist phase by 15 years. It does not try to be anything it is not.

Vielmetter and Sell go on to talk about the perfect storm that arises when all 6 megatrends occur together, as they are and explain 5 reinforcers that make ignoring any of these trends futile and dangerous: • Stakeholder proliferation; • Powershift; • New working practices; • Cost explosion; and, • Ethicization of business.

The opportunity presented by a change of mindset into altrocentric leadership is the freedom to be the leaders we are, instead of trying to emulate someone else whose style belongs in a different decade and in a substantially different context.

Without any further explanation these reinforcers resonate. Vellmetter and Sell see leadership as both relational and contextual, being a social interaction, a context-dependent relation between individuals and therefore effectively a social practice of shared activity that results in shared knowledge, understanding and meaning. This definition shouts out for a change in the

Read this book, it is worth the effort and will be a continuing reference book for changing times. As someone said back in the 50s “Change has never happened this fast before, and it will never be this slow again.” Altrocentric leadership offers the opportunity to be the leader and to be the follower, you need to be as the context dictates and as the speed of change increases.

Jennie Vickers Leadership NZ Alumnus








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2014 GRADUATION 1. 2014 Leadership Programme Graduands 2. Hon Tariana Turia, guest speaker 3. Hon Tariana Turia, Louise Marra Leadership NZ Programme Director, Eddy Helm 2014 Graduand 4. Steve Ferguson, MC & Leadership NZ Alumnus 5. Louise Marra Leadership NZ Programme Director



6. Peter Garnett, Leadership NZ Chair 7. George Riley, Leadership NZ Alumnus, delivers the mihi whakatau, followed by a waiata from the Leadership NZ whanau 8. Elizabeth McNaughton, alias Superwoman, & John Skurr, alias Captain Kirk getting ready to speak on behalf of the group 9. Sina Wendt-Moore, Leadership NZ CEO, with James Wilson, Leadership NZ Alumnus & CEO of Q Theatre, our host for the evening 10. The Leadership NZ Memory Book 11. Repeka Lelaulu (centre left) & Julian Hughes (centre right) together with supporters 12. 2014 Graduands singing a waiata 13. 2014 Graduands John Skurr, Jeanie Robinson & Sally Babington 14. The official party getting themselves settled




OUR SINCERE THANKS TO... Creative Partner

Supporting Partners

Event Partners

Scholarship Partners Special thanks to the following who assist to ensure that diversity continues to be achieved across the Programme through the generous funding of scholarships: • 2013 Year Kia Manawanui Scholarship • Sir Paul and Lady Reeves Scholarship Fund

Event & Programme Hosts Special thanks to the following who have assisted us in providing event venues, donated goods/catering or valuable time: • Steve Ferguson for being MC at our 2014 Leadership Programme graduation • George Riley for his Mihi Whakatau at our 2014 Leadership Programme graduation • The Hon Tariana Turia for her inspiring speech at our 2014 Leadership Programme graduation • KPMG and Ross Buckley for hosting our 2015 Leadership Programme launch and cocktail party • Eddy Helm for being MC at our 2015 Leadership Programme launch • Matt Prichard for his Mihi Whakatau at our 2015 Leadership Programme launch • Michelle van Gaalen for sharing her leadership journey and thoughts at our 2015 Leadership Programme launch • AUT Business School, Dr Geoff Perry (Dean) and Sarah Trotman (Director of Executive Development Programmes and Business Relations) for hosting our Leadership Week event: Dinner with a Difference – Fearless Leadership February (Auckland): • Louise Marra from Spirited Leadership • Peter Garnett (Leadership NZ Chair), Wane Wharerau, Annette Bartlett, Judy

Whiteman, Nicola Campbell and Seren Wilson (Alumnus), Eddy Helm (Alumnus), Darrin Brinsden (Alumnus), Jerome Partington (Alumnus) and Sina WendtMoore (Alumnus, Leadership NZ CEO) for formally welcoming our 2015 programme participants into the Leadership Programme • Karlo Mila (Alumnus) for bringing creativity to leadership • Our fabulous speakers: Sir Bob Harvey, Traci Houpapa, Wikuki Kingi and Tania Wolfgramm • Alumni Eddy Helm, Sara Jones, Travis McGrath and Darrin Brinsden for providing the participants with the useful insights about how to run syndicates March (Northland): • Chris Farrelly, Karen Giles (Alumnus), Whaea Annie, Hannah Mitchell and Manaia Health PHO for hosting us during our programme visit to Whangarei • Darren Mason (Alumnus) for his time spent with the group in Whangarei • Pou Herenga Tangata, He Iwi Kotahi Tatou Trust, Olive Brown (Alumnus) and Debbie & Nghau Davis for hosting us during our trip to Moerewa • Our amazing speakers: Chris Farrelly, Debbie & Ngahau Davis, Associate Professor Peter Adds and Dr Aroha Harris • George Riley (Alumnus), Erena Kara (Alumnus) and Tania Pene (Alumnus) for their energy and time spent with the group at Kohewhata Marae • Matua Sid Tou for guiding our visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds

May (South Auckland): • Our wonderful speaker Pat Snedden • Anne Fitisemanu, Counties Manuaku DHB, for providing our day 1 venue Ko Awatea • Pacific Business Trust for providing our day 2 venue • Friendship House, World Vision, Salvation Army, Rise Up Trust, Sudima Hotel and Refugee Resettlement Centre for hosting our syndicates’ visits to their organization • Pacific Business Trust, BNZ and Repeka Lelaulu for hosting the group for dinner • DISC profiling by Douglas Lang and Martin Fenwick from Altris

Special thanks to the following: • All invited authors, contributors and people who gave their time to be interviewed for this publication • The editorial team (listed on inside front cover) • The team at Curative – for editing and publishing of this magazine, and development and support of our new website • Canon – for providing printing supplies • Kudosweb – for IT and website support • Leadership NZ Alumni who gave their time, talents and energy at various events, alumni activities and Community Engagement & SkillsBank projects • Leadership NZ Trustees, Advisory Trustees and Funding Partners - for their ongoing support and invaluable advice • Simon Telfer, Appoint – for support advertising SkillsBank board vacancies • KPMG – for annual audit support • John Moore – for IT and project support



Do you hear the call to leadership? Leadership New Zealand’s founding Trustees were called by the opportunity to bring together leaders from every generation and every sector of New Zealand society; to connect them through conversation, dialogue and debate; to develop their ability and capacity to lead those around them; and to challenge them with making a leadership difference for the better in the communities within which they lived, worked and played. This is your opportunity Our Leadership Programme provides a uniquely respectful, open and honest arena for full debate, real challenge and deep learning. Each year we bring together 30-36 mid-career leaders from the government, commercial, social enterprise and not-for-profit sectors of New Zealand. We connect this emerging generation of leaders with leaders of the wisdom generation and enter into leadership dialogue, debate and learning.

We challenge our programme leaders to take themselves to their learning edge, to be honest with themselves, to develop their self-awareness, to develop their societal-awareness, and to step forward in their organisations and communities to lead change for the better. Diversity is a key enabler to achieving ever higher levels of societal engagement, creativity and innovation. We are proud of our legacy of excellence and innovation in educating on a basis of a diversity of thought and perspective. As a future graduand you will join your alumni peers as a New Zealand leader who makes a difference. You will hold knowledge that enables you to harness the diverse intellectual capital of your organisation and build this into a competitive edge. You will join the next generation of leaders creating richer solutions for the complex challenges New Zealand is facing in community, health, education, equality, economy and environment.

Applications for our 2016 Leadership Programme are invited from residents of New Zealand who: • Are talented leaders with at least 10-15 years’ experience in their sector • Care about New Zealand and its future • Have senior executive support from their organisation • Are able to commit (the programme spans 10 months across NZ and attendance is essential) • Are committed to continuing their leadership growth after the programme via community involvement and/or volunteering for Leadership New Zealand’s community projects

Applications for the 2016 Leadership Programme close on 31 July 2015 For further details go to or contact us on 09 309 3749 or email

Creative Partner


Supporting Partners

Accident Compensation Corporation

Altris Ltd

AUT University

Canon New Zealand

Kiwibank Limited


Leaders Magazine 2015