Issuu on Google+

STEPHEN TINDALL Leading more than he bargained for In this issue • T he Lucky Country Profiling Don Elder, Andrew Ferrier, and Sarah Kennedy P18

www.leadershipnz.co.nz

• Helen Robinson Why she’s passionate about New Zealand

P24

• Skillsbank The pride of our programme

P27

issue 6 WINTER 2010


Leadership New Zealand

THE PEOPLE Vision

We thank the following people for their generous support of Leadership New Zealand.

Enriching New Zealand through active leadership in a connected community.

Leadership New Zealand Trustees • Jo Brosnahan – Chair, Leadership New Zealand and Corporate

Mission Growing, celebrating and weaving together New Zealand’s leaders through conversation.

Director • Tony Nowell – Deputy Chair, Leadership New Zealand and Founder, ValadeNZ

Values

• Mark Otten – Financial Trustee, Leadership New Zealand

Courageous

Generous of spirit

• Reg Birchfield – Publisher, RJMedia

Inclusive Acting with integrity

and Finance Director, The Warehouse

• Dr Morgan Williams – Principal, FutureSteps

Innovative

• Maureen Crombie – Manager, Strategic Framework & Research,

Celebrate apolitical diversity

Waitakere City Council (Alumnus 2006), Alumni

Leadership New Zealand PO Box 2061, Wellesley St, Auckland 1141 T: +64 9 309 3749

representative

• Frank Olsson – Corporate Director and Regional Manager NZ, FINSIA

E: info@leadershipnz.co.nz

• Teresa Tepania-Ashton – Chief Executive, Te Runanga A

W: www.leadershipnz.co.nz

Iwi O Ngapuhi (Alumnus 2006) • Grant Bunting – General Manager Sales, PGG Wrightson

Leadership New Zealand Staff Megan Barclay – Executive Director (Alumnus 2006) Jo Brosnahan – Programme Director

  Leadership New Zealand Advisory Trustees

Dr. Morgan Williams – Programme Director

• Tony Carter – Managing Director, Foodstuffs (Auckland) Ltd

Vicky Pond Dunlop – Support Services Manager

• Rob Fenwick – Managing Director, Living Earth

Vijaya Nory – Administrator

• Jennifer Gill – Chief Executive, ASB Community Trust

Michelle Jurgens – Project Support Shawna Murray – Marketing Consultant

• Bob Harvey – Mayor, Waitakere City Council • John Hinchcliff – Advisory Trustee, Leadership New Zealand

Disclaimer

• Peter Kerridge – Director, Kerridge and Partners Ltd

The opinions expressed in this publication do

• David McGregor – Senior Partner, Bell Gully

not necessarily reflect the views of Leadership

• Ian MacRae – Managing Director, Hay Group

New Zealand, its members or the publishers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility

• Louise Marra – Director (Auckland), Ministry of Economic Development

can be accepted by the publisher for omissions,

• Bennett Medary – Chief Executive, Simpl

typographical or printer’s errors, inaccuracies

• Tim Miles – Managing Director, PGG Wrightson

or changes that may have taken place after publication. All rights reserved.

• Graeme Nahkies – Director, Boardworks International • Fran O’Sullivan – Journalist • Sir Paul Reeves – Former Governor General, Chancellor,

Leaders is published by Leadership

AUT University

New Zealand. Copyright © 2010: All

• Dr Jan White – Chief Executive, ACC

material appearing in Leaders is copyright and cannot be reproduced without prior permission of Leadership New Zealand. Issue 6 WINTER 2010

EDITORIAL TEAM Reg Birchfield, Jo Brosnahan, Megan Barclay, Michelle Jurgens, Vicky Pond Dunlop, Gill Prentice


issue 6 WINTER 2010

Making the most of us It was a long flight back from Europe: crammed with tourists and returning New Zealanders. Burning up carbon and air miles is a price we pay for living at the end of the earth. But the trip provides time to contemplate what makes us so uniquely Kiwi and, what it is that con-

Contents Chair’s Foreword Making the most of us Jo Brosnahan

1

nects and inspires us. The issues confronting our world are now apparent. The recession is not over. Every day the European media explores the financial problems of Greece, Portugal and Spain. Britons are facing reduced wealth expectations and debt levels are rising throughout Europe. The United States faces similar challenges. In a global and connected world, there is no corner to hide from the fallout of the past two years of recession. The current crises will take some years to resolve and meanwhile the world’s economic growth will be generated by countries such as China, India and Brazil. The future will have a different order and emphasis. But the world’s biggest problem is long term, not short. It is about people and the pres-

Thanking the Honourable Sir Paul Reeves Selina Tusitala Marsh

2

Executive Director’s Letter Looking forward Megan Barclay

3

Sir Stephen Tindall Leading more than he bargained for Reg Birchfield

4

2010 Programme Launch A photo essay

8

sures we are imposing on the planet. The megatrend around sustainability is a result and, companies which ignore this do so at their peril. We can debate the causes of climate change, but only foolish companies will fail to confront its resulting political realities and the market-compliance demands. Eco-verification, foot printing and more ethical governance and management are now realities of business. Resource shortages are also challenging most nations. The availability and quality of water is putting serious restrictions on countries, including Australia. What does this mean for our small, diverse and geographically remote nation? We are in a better financial state than most of the western world. We have water, energy and a fabulous green brand – which we are challenged to live up to. We have innovative, savvy, but practical people. We are reportedly the world’s least-corrupt country and Auckland is deemed its fourth best city in which to live. We are a net exporter of food. And, importantly, the tyranny of distance is being overcome by a world shrunk by the internet. Finally, we have

Having Their Say 10 Thoughts from the class of 2010

a uniqueness that comes from the Treaty partnership, with opportunities in Maori business that are just being realised. How do we turn opportunity into reality? Through vision and leadership of the many, rather than the few. Fortunately we are small, closely connected and can move quickly. However, we must clearly determine and articulate the vision of who we are as a nation and live the values we hold most dear. We must focus upon outcomes and encourage creative minds to deliver these. We must collaborate internally and compete internationally – to benefit New Zealand Inc. The Government’s recent research and innovation framework is an exciting example of our potential. The nation’s research entities are uniting to identify areas of leadership and col-

The Lucky Country Profiling Don Elder, Andrew Ferrier, and Sarah Kennedy Reg Birchfield

18

Alumni Reflections 22 A Leadership Journey Adrian Wimmers

laboration that are aligned with the Government’s strategic priorities. New Zealand can lead the world in medical research, agriculture, sustainable management, in wine and food. We must use new collaborative models to ensure that around every issue we gather a diversity of minds, encourage new thinking and find new solutions, with a commitment to deliver. We must develop our leaders and ensure that they are equipped to generate such conversations.

Helen Robinson Why she’s passionate about New Zealand Reg Birchfield

24

You know you are nearing home when the New Zealand crew joins the plane in Hong Kong, in stylish uniforms and offering the trademark warm and genuine, lightly humourous Kiwi welcome. There is a contemplation of homecoming with its clarity of air and greenness of countryside. It offers a brief opportunity to reflect that, in our space not yet filled with people, there is an opportunity to do things another way. To lead in a new way.

Te Tiriti 26   A national branding statement? Pat Snedden

That is the Leadership New Zealand challenge. To grow leaders who can facilitate the new conversations. This magazine introduces you to our 2010 Leadership New Zealand programme participants. They are a key part of our future. A number of significant New Zealand leaders have also reflected upon the opportunities before us. We trust that this will provide new perspectives to spark new conversations.

Jo Brosnahan, Chair June 2010

Skillsbank The pride of our programme Megan Barclay

27

Acknowledgements

28

1


Tena koe ta, Talofa lava, ni sa bula vinaka, malo e lelei, kiaorana, fakalofa lahi atu. How do you thank a maunga for rising? How do you thank a rock for incising fathomless oceans of paua blue? How do thank someone like you? How do you thank the amber of leaf? How tenderly we’ve turned wisdom’s sheaf the book of your life, the pages of your dreaming How do you thank service – aroha’s true meaning? How do you thank the ravine’s deepest edge? How do you thank humanity’s simplest pledge to do to others as you’d have them do to you? How do you thank waka prow for remaining true? How do you thank the spiral’s infinite curve? How do you thank grace undeserved? How do you thank Atua’s blood-flower? How do you thank the kaitiaki’s gracious power? How do you thank the miracle of the Cross? In the rising dawn, all else is dross. How do you thank te moana nui a kiwa for stroking the face of tauiwi and tangata whenua? How do you thank the hei tiki’s tongue for spurring on warriors, for battles fought and won? How do you thank the swirling Pohutukawa? The tenacity of Rimu? The endurance of Totara? How do you thank the centre of Kauri for its mana, its heart-wood of mauri? How do you thank the pounamu’s deep forest? It’s like thanking a new born for their careless caress. It’s like dividing aroha into ‘more’ or ‘less’. You can’t, and you shouldn’t, and you fail to capture the soaring spirit in winged rapture. But we do thank you, Sir Paul – whakaruruhau. We do thank you, Sir Paul for the seeds you sow.

Photo credit: The Kauri Museum

We do thank you, Sir Paul and your life’s journey – a black star shooting pushed higher by yearning. To you we say, “E te rangatira, Tena Koe, Fa’afetai tele lava Thank you, thank you, thank you Ti hei Mauri ora!”

2

Thanking the Honourable Sir Paul Reeves Selina Tusitala Marsh on behalf of Leadership New Zealand, Te Tii Marae, Waitangi, 2010

www.leadershipnz.co.nz


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S LETTER

Team Leaders: (L-r) Leadership New Zealand’s Vicky Pond Dunlop, Jo Brosnahan, Trustee Frank Olsson, Vijaya Nory, Megan Barclay (Absent: Dr. Morgan Williams).

Looking forward

2

010 began with a fresh focus for Leadership New Zealand – a new team to facilitate the year; a new programme group of highly talented participants; a clear strategy and intent for the coming 10 years; and some compelling new opportunities in the leadership space. The focus for Leadership New Zealand has always been to increase the depth and breadth of leadership in New Zealand through in-depth cross-sector conversation, deep reflection, and provocative questioning on real New Zealand issues. We encourage all those who connect with us to consider the impact of actions on the future for New Zealand and to reinvest talent back into communities. And after six years in business, some 140 New Zealanders have graduated from our Leadership Programme with a renewed approach to life and their own leadership intentions. Most have achieved great outcomes in their chosen vocation and are still engaged with Leadership New Zealand as Alumni and through their generous contribution of time and talent to sustain our organisation. We have contributed to over 20 community-based projects through our volunteer SkillsBank Programme relaunched in 2009; and we have brought together many hundreds of leaders at our events, conversation forums and through our regular publications on leadership. Last year ended with a trial Cafe Series that saw those who conWINTER 2010

nected at these events demanding more... We have worked hard with our Alumni Cafe Project team to deliver one “World Cafe™” conversation event for each month of 2010 as a platform for leaders from across all sectors to come together and be involved in discussion and debate on key leadership issues for New Zealand. The events have provided an opportunity to network and to hear diverse perspectives as well as enabling great connections to occur to further the energy and direction of the areas of focus; and spin-off projects have been generated as a result of the exposure and combined energies and minds. This year will see a move to a new space for Leadership New Zealand as we embark on the next phase of our own journey. In collaboration with some of our fabulous Alumni, we are about to move from our current residence to one on the city fringe. The new space will allow our wider Alumni, our friends, family and all those who are connected with us, a place to come and meet together, hold discussions, share a conversation over coffee, or just reflect on the latest book added to our widening library of compelling reads. Our objectives for the next 10 years are to continue to focus on leadership development through our three streams: Leadership Programmes, SkillsBank and the Leadership Forum. Megan Barclay, Executive Director.

3


Sir Stephen Tindal leading more than he bargained for An encounter with Sir Stephen Tindall, Warehouse founder and, through his Tindall Foundation, one of Australasia’s most munificent philanthropists, invariably delivers more than one bargains for. In that sense, he is both a caring leader and the living embodiment of his company’s iconic marketing statement. By Reg Birchfield.

4

www.leadershipnz.co.nz


Cover Story

ll: E

ncounters don’t necessarily result in the outcomes people expect, but Sir Stephen Tindall is always open about what he wants to achieve and why. He belongs to the “hand up” rather than the “hand out” school of philanthropy and so looks for evidence of input and commitment by the recipients of his largesse and support. His approach to life and leadership is probably shaped by his view of himself as a leader. “I have always thought of myself as leading by example,” he explains. “In the early days (of The Warehouse) I would describe my approach as classic servant leadership. I thought you had to lead by doing and thereby have people come with you.” It is a little different now of course. He is no longer part of a large, structured and formal organisation. He works instead from his Foundation’s small, but perfectly manicured and converted villa in Auckland’s well-heeled Takapuna Beach suburb. He leads a more amorphous group that spends time thinking, researching, strategising and kick-starting all manner of promising enterprises and struggling organisations. He and his team offer their many years of experience and knowhow to encourage others to deliver on their skills, causes, ideas and visions of how things might be. In describing his leadership style and good fortune, Sir Stephen, like most thoughtful leaders, credits his accomplishment to surrounding himself with “the right people”. Choosing and motivating them to perform is, he thinks, a personal gift. One he has been able to turn to obvious commercial account. “I was good at selecting people who had better abilities than I did in specific areas,” says WINTER 2010

5


Cover Story

Sir Stephen. “Then I gave them the mandate and the room to with lots of (cash) surpluses then, you can also create a counperform.” He takes the same approach when selecting and motry that has them. It is simply a matter of smart thinking and tivating the communities to which his Foundation now gives dedication to your plans and then delivering on those plans. support. The old adage holds true,” he says. “Out of 10, count one point His prerequisite to getting the most from good people is for the plan and nine for the execution.” to give them unconditional respect. “You must give uncondiThe comment suggests an ambivalence by Sir Stephen tional respect to the people and communities you support in about the performance of New Zealand’s political leaders. order to get a job done or to create a social solution.” He takes “Politicians’ thinking,” he said, stepping hesitatingly into the the same approach to leading the entrepreneurial and often topic, “is dominated by the fact they want to be re-elected. For high-technology start-up companies he invests in. “You show that reason, and because we have a short, three-year election your unconditional respect for those people’s skills and you cycle, there is a lack of long-term thinking. hand them the mandate to get on with the job.” “I do, however, have huge admiration for politicians because Reflecting on his leadership style, Sir Stephen tells an apocthey work incredibly hard. But New Zealand bureaucracy ryphal story from early Warehouse days. “A new employee makes execution difficult. Accomplishing delivery in politics who attended a number of management meetings said he was is always problematic.” surprised that I did not dominate the meetings and was just He agrees, therefore, that envisaging political solutions to one of the participants. That is how I have always seen myself the world’s increasingly complex problems is difficult. That – as adding to the whole by being simply a participant.” said, Sir Stephen is “ever the optimist” and remains dedicatChoosing the right people does, Sir Stephen concedes, reed to searching for “better solutions”. These, he adds, might quire putting thought into each employment decision. He is a emerge from countries like China which, while communist in disciple of management guru Jim Collins and his books Built ideology is capitalist by implementation. “It seems to use its to Last and From Good to Great in which Collins stresses the political system to get things done,” he muses. At the other end need to ‘get the right people on board and the wrong ones of the spectrum, he points to Scandinavian countries that use off’. “In my experience that is hugely democratic political processes and true,” says Sir Stephen emphatically. You must give unconditional respect high personal taxation regimes to “Selecting the right person is masdeliver what their population needs to the people and communities you sively important but you inevitably and expects. support in order to get a job done or to make mistakes. If the individual does The existence of a variety of ponot fit the organisational ethos then, litical options encourages him to becreate a social solution. sadly, he or she has to go and be relieve that, if not yet available to New placed by someone who does.” Zealand, regimes can deliver innovative solutions to solve polCommercial success was neither Sir Stephen’s single nor lution, environmental management and sustainable economic his most engaging career driver. He completed his retail apgrowth conundrums. A longer political term of perhaps five prenticeship at Auckland retailer George Courts which, while years and a maximum two-term rule by our political leaders owned by relatives, was not destined to attract him to stay even would, he thinks, go a long way to solving New Zealand’s parthough he rose quickly through the management ranks, worked ticular policy-making and implementation dilemma. hard and, he says, got on well with his fellow employees. Sir Stephen’s business philosophy is, in large measure, en“When I left to go it alone, I had no particular ambition to capsulated by his belief that “actions speak louder than words”. prove myself in business. I simply had the confidence, because The Warehouse now generates super profits which go into the of what I had achieved by the time I was 31, to sell up our Tindall Foundation and the export-driven companies he funds. family assets and start The Warehouse. It started with one em“I have always believed that you should use your resources to ployee and just grew from there. do better things – to make the world a better place,” he says. “Everything I have done I have asked myself, how can I make “When we were building The Warehouse I had this really this better? We created a successful formula at The Warehouse, strong ambition to provide people with products they could based around the mandate of making the desirable affordable. both use and also afford. People who, like those we help This was particularly relevant in the 1980s when times were through the Tindall Foundation, for one reason or another tough for many people. We satisfied a demand and burned off were economically deprived. the competition and became a big company. “The philosophy was simple. We should try to help people “My personal philosophy still is, and also enacted through do things. Help our customers, our employees, suppliers and the Foundation, to try and heal rather than simply manage service providers, the community, the environment and the problems – social problems particularly. Working now through economy. I thought that growing a very successful business our K1W1 operation to support and boost Kiwi export busihad positive spin-offs for all those people.” nesses, we are still solution focused,” he adds. Sir Stephen does not overtly hold his company up as a role “As long as I can remember, New Zealand has borrowed more model, but likes to see it fit with his personal life philosophies. than it earns. If you can create a business like The Warehouse And that, he admits, can be difficult given the many thousands

6

www.leadershipnz.co.nz


Cover Story

of products The Warehouse buys and the almost equally large The greatest driver of the world’s financial and correspondnumber of sources, some not driven by similar ethical con- ing economy is, he accepts, “greed”. New Zealand, however, siderations, from which they are sourced. “Take a look at our must “paddle its own canoe” and therefore while a shortage website’s community and environment section and you will of morality in financial management is a global issue, we must see that a massive amount of work goes into managing these get our own house in order first to survive and then perhaps to things,” he adds. prove that things can be done differently. So, given the enormity of his business and his philanthropic In this context, Sir Stephen thinks New Zealand is in a “forsuccess to reflect on, what accomplishments does he think best tunate” position. “When it comes to honesty and integrity I define him? He hardly hesitates: “Number one by a long shot believe we are right up there,” he adds. “That comes through would be with my wife bringing up five kids. And now there strongly in international surveys.” are some grandchildren coming through. That accomplishNew Zealand’s smallness is, he says, also advantageous. “It does ment stands head and shoulders above anything else I may not require a huge amount of effort to move the needle into a have done. more positive place. If, for example, we could grow our exports “After that comes the stuff the Foundation does with com- by say 20 percent overnight, we would probably be cash-flow munities. And being able to use the profits from the success positive. Ten or 20 more Fisher and Paykel Healthcares or the of the business to help people to help themselves is gratifying. equivalent of a Nokia in New Zealand would make an enorFinally, seeing the fruits of some of our investment decisions to mous difference to our economy.” New Zealand, however, seldom creates large enterprises. produce things that make a positive difference.” When it comes to the evaluation of other leaders, Sir Stephen He thinks this harks back to our “low level of personal aspiis impressed by those who have, through their actions, people ration” generated, perhaps, by the comfortable lifestyle the looking up to them. “A leader must have support from others, country offers to even the moderately successful. “Some of otherwise they are not a leader,” he says. “Leaders are those our more successful businesses need to corporatise. They with a proven track record of doing things that other people need shareholders to force them to look outward,” says Sir Stephen. “Most of the businesses admire.” And they must embrace change. The biggest thrill that anyone can I am now investing in depend on overseas markets.” Those who don’t adapt and change Our self-satisfied attitudes are, he are driven by “ideology rather than vi- get from creating something successful thinks, changing. “We must develop sion”. And ideologies lock people in, comes from putting something back. companies fit for global markets,” he becoming a “crutch” and an inhibitor says. “I am hugely optimistic that we to progress. He does not, however, think New Zealand suffers from a are now in a pioneering stage when it comes to developing new paucity of leaders. “We have as many good leaders as any other technologies. There is a plethora of new technology companies country, but we could always do better. To that end, I see de- coming through. “We would see probably six new investments a week of poveloping our leaders as very important. And I do what I can to tentially many hundreds of million dollar companies. That is encourage young people to take up the leadership cudgels.” Leadership development at The Warehouse is, according to fantastic. But we then have to develop the people skills, inSir Stephen, now a major priority. “We know we have to grow cluding the aspiration to partner with other companies and be people from inside the organisation so personal development prepared to put in the hard yards overseas,” he says enthusiastiand leadership training is a huge part of what we do. Growing cally. “The key to this explosion of New Zealand enterprise is your own people is an organisation’s nirvana,” he adds. “That science and innovation.” way people become steeped in the culture and understand Sir Stephen is, unlike many Kiwi entrepreneurs, happy with what you are trying to achieve. They then pass that on to new what he has accomplished so far in his life. He is, however, people joining the enterprise. “hungry for more”. He never had a particular dream or goal “Acknowledging individual success is important when it that he aspired to. “What has happened has happened and who comes to developing leaders. We try to create a work environ- knows where things might lead next. I’m not hanging my boots ment that encourages and applauds success. The more people up yet,” he adds. The leader Sir Stephen most admires is another knight of the are acknowledged, the more they respond and try to do, and realm – Sir Edmund Hillary. “Not for his climbing of Everest,” he become better at what they do.” Taking a global perspective, Sir Stephen sees the parlous state of explains, “but for what he did after that. The fact that he climbed world economies as the most critical problem facing today’s po- Everest put him in a leadership position and people looked up litical, commercial and social leaders. Without strong economies, to him. He then had to live up to that position because he was the world’s ability to respond to other major financial, environ- a very young man. It is because of what he then put back into mental, military or social issues, is seriously inhibited. “Economic society, into schools in Nepal etc, that I admire him the most. “The biggest thrill that anyone can get from creating somedifficulties impact dramatically on societies and that’s why I think thing successful comes from putting something back.” the world’s number one problem is economic,” he adds.

WINTER 2010

7


Programme Launch 2010

T

he launch of the 2010 Leadership Programme was held on a very hot Auckland evening at the historic Jubilee Hall in Parnell. The Master of Ceremonies was 2009 Alumnus Grant Bunting, PGG Wrightson, who displayed his true Kiwi style by wearing black gumboots. His down-to-earth style fitted perfectly with the tone of the evening, which allowed many old friends to be reacquainted and new friendships to be forged. Our new Leadership Programme participants were able to mix and mingle with Alumni, family and invited guests, while being introduced to the Leadership New Zealand family of supporters. Scholarships were given by our scholarship partners Peter Kerridge, Kerridge

8

www.leadershipnz.co.nz


& Partners, Ian MacRae, Hay Group, Toni Myers, NZ Management magazine, and Cheryl Bowie, (Alumnus, 2007) who represented a group of Alumni who raised personal funds towards an Alumni Scholarship. Our cafĂŠ events have been held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch with conversations focusing on some of the key issues facing New Zealand. The evenings are stimulating, fun and another opportunity to forge new relationships. Leadership New Zealand would like to thank all our speakers, supporters and our Alumni for attending, supporting and championing our events. We could not do it without your generosity and time.

WINTER 2010

9


Having Their Say Thoughts from the class of 2010

Tui Ah Loo Director, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi Tamaki As Director of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi Tamaki campus I am responsible for leading the development and operational management of the Auckland campus at Unitec in Mt Albert, Auckland. I bring extensive experience to the position in both the tertiary and government sectors having worked in a number of government departments in various roles including community development and providing cultural advice to senior management. My previous position was as Director of the Maia Māori Development Centre at Unitec, which provided a ‘one stop service’ for all Māori students on campus. I

have been with Unitec since March 2000 in a number of roles. Most notably I was instrumental in providing leadership and operational management of the development of Te Noho Kotahitanga Marae, which opened on the March 13, 2009 at Unitec. My research interests are Māori models of mentoring and support, cultural identity and Treaty of Waitangi responsiveness. My current community involvement includes Unitec Runanga, Porou Ariki Kapa Haka group, Auckland City District NZ Police Taumata. The Leadership New Zealand programme has offered an insight and exposure to a diverse range of leaders in their fields who represent values and ideals that best epitomise Aotearoa New Zealand’s spirit and character. The programme has also provided the opportunity to broaden my learning and experiences and strengthen my ability to dialogue across a wider sector of the community.

Nick Astwick Kiwibank, General Manager Consumer Finance With a background in retail and investment banking in New Zealand and abroad, I returned home from London in early 2003, freshly married and looking for a wonderful opportunity to build a leadership career back here in Godzone. This wonderful opportunity presented itself with Kiwibank, shortly after its launch, to be part of a great team with the goal of transitioning the bank from a start-up to a successful and sustainable business that all New Zealanders are proud of. Seven frantic years later, I am very proud of what we have achieved but mindful of my ongoing responsibility to ensure we

continue the progress from successful start-up to a great company. My current role at the bank is a member of the executive leadership team with functional responsibility for the Consumer Finance business. My biggest take-out from my participation in the Leadership New Zealand programme is that to be a great leader in New Zealand is so much more than being functionally excellent in your job. Great leadership is about presence and that presence is hard earned not bestowed. In my humble opinion, I am learning that the core of leadership presence is largely based around having a ‘holistic’ viewpoint born out of a rich understanding of the past, the presence of spiritual and philosophical beliefs, the degree and breadth of personal experience, clear and concise communication, to think big not small and to be able to see the bigger picture, and most importantly to have the faith and courage to do what is right and follow your vision.

Glen Bennett Local Co-ordinator, Incedo New Zealand My life’s journey is as eclectic as the collection of second-hand goods in my home: starting full-time work in an op shop, then helping the housebound, to working in a production role at Avalon Studios, then working for the Salvation Army as a youth worker, to the hospital-

fund-raising, sponsorship and paid contract work. Recently I completed a Taranaki youth research paper for the Bishop’s Action Foundation and a community participatory research project in conjunction with the New Plymouth District Council. Leadership has been something I have often shied away from, or been unwilling to accept for myself. This year has crushed many of my doubts, fears and hang-ups about what a leader should be like. I have often seen leadership as something reserved for the articulate, educated and powerful. I am now beginning to see that leadership is something I must embrace with humble reverence. This year has shown me my gifts, opportunities and the areas to understand more about my leadership style. I’ve learned that bankers, lawyers, community workers, public servants and everyone in between need each other. I’ve learned that we need to learn together the gift of servant leadership, for the future of New Zealand.

ity industry as a barista. Now I’m in my eighth year with Incedo Inc, a national, valuesbased mission. My connection with Incedo gives me a network of colleagues plus support with the home I run for teenage boys and the community engagement I undertake. Finances come through

10

www.leadershipnz.co.nz


pen portraits

Devin Brown Northpower I am a proud Cantabarian now living in Auckland for 12 years. I met my beautiful Samoan wife in Auckland. Most of my career has been involved around sales and marketing as well as delivering these opportunities through large-scale construction projects. From power station builds to the implementation of fibre networks, my job has seen me interact from ground level up to CEOs. Variety has been my spice of life. Leadership appeared simple on the outside. Consensus, buy in, winwin outcomes – all phases associated with leadership? However true leadership is the most complex and diverse subject I have ever experi-

enced. To date Leadership New Zealand has completely redefined how I see and would now implement my own leadership journey. Given its complexity my challenge is to take the ‘inspirations’ and guidelines provided by the diverse range of leaders we have interacted with to change my own leadership style. As I am fast becoming aware, your own style of leadership will continue to evolve to meet the variety of change you are required to implement. In short, leadership is a lifelong journey forever evolving. Prior to Leadership New Zealand I defined people into leaders and non-leaders, however I now believe that everyone has the potential to become a leader to a certain level. It is my hope to develop my leadership style so that I can learn to foster that potential or spark. I think now a true leader is one who can create, recognise and implement change across all forms of diversity.

Gordon Brown Technical Services Manager, Downers My current role is the Technical Services Manager for Downer’s northern region (construction arm), providing technical advice and specialist human resource support for clients and our own physical work teams. I also act as the Contractor’s Representative for a 10-year (duration) NZTA state highway performance-specified maintenance contract in Northland. I believe I have developed excellent personnel management skills and am as adept at dealing with senior politicians as I am with project labourers. I consider it a real achievement that I have consistently improved client and customer relationships in whatever area I have worked. The variety of work undertaken over the years has provided me with extensive professional services staff management experience, and extensive design and contract management experience. I have managed multimillion-dollar annual budgets involving major maintenance and capital projects, as well as managing safety related and other minor project and forward work programmes.

I do not think the Leadership New Zealand programme has necessarily changed my understanding, more that it has reinforced my own beliefs, whilst being challenging at the same time. There are obvious commonalities between those leaders who have spoken to us and the key ones for me are: Decisiveness – will make decisions rather then procrastinate Humility – no air of superiority Energy – a desire to achieve Mana/Respect – from others and to others (no matter what level they are at) Engagement and communicative skills – the ability to listen and negotiate Intelligence – awareness of all the issues in a given situation and the skill to articulate and debate how to best manage those issues for all concerned. The complexity of the Maori situation is the biggest challenge for me, given the social aspects surrounding this sector of society. Reconciling the present day Maori culture with the needs and the beliefs of the traditional Maori is something I would like to understand more. Also I have a question around the community services issues – are we creating a welfare dependent state?

Olive Brown He Iwi Kotahi Tatou Trust I am proud to be a strong, confident Maori woman who is of Ngati Porou, Ngati Whatua and Nga Puhi descent. I have three amazing children and a loving husband of 20 years. Currently I am employed by He Iwi Kotahi Tatou Trust (HIKTT), which is a not-for-profit community organisation that was established in the early 1980s, and is based in Moerewa, Northland. Being part of a diverse management team is an exciting and challenging experience, as is being the Project Manager of the HIKTT Retrofit division, specialising in the installation of insulation to homes across the Tai Tokerau region covering areas from Dargaville to Cape Reinga. Over the past 18 years I have been active with many community groups in a number of roles; during that period of my career I

focused my energy around education. To date other projects I am involved with are Healthy Homes Tai Tokerau, of which I am the Administration Manager, and I am privileged to sit as the Staff Representative on the HIKTT Board of Trustees. I am proud to have been part of many community organisations that have had a strong social and cultural influence, and that have helped so many people of all ages to build self-awareness, selfesteem and confidence. I have been challenged in many areas – my thinking, my values, my beliefs, even when I truly believed I knew an issue like the back of my hand; I was pushed to question all that I know and all that I thought I knew. I have been challenged to listen – really listen, dump all my prejudices at the door and go into a conversation with a truly open mind, to actively listen to an idea, concept etc. In my opinion leadership is not just hierarchy, structure, process and scepticism, but it is also self-awareness, vision, compassion, and humility. Leadership is being able to connect with the past, present and future. It will nurture and nourish those moving forward.

WINTER 2010

11


pen portraits

Angela Bull General Manager, Property Strategy, Foodstuffs (Auckland) I am the General Manager Property Strategy at Foodstuffs (Auckland). I have been in the role for almost two years and with Foodstuffs for four years. Foodstuffs brands include PAK’nSAVE, New World and 4 Square, and my role involves working with a team to secure the sites and resource consents for the development of both new and redeveloped stores within those brands. It is an exciting and challenging role that allows me to travel across our region and meet a range of people. Prior to this role I was an environ-

mental lawyer. I am a born and bred Aucklander and passionate netballer! The Leadership New Zealand programme has allowed me to step outside my comfort zone with a group of people whom you start the year with as strangers, and who quickly become trusted friends. It is a remarkable experience. I now appreciate how personal leadership style is and that leadership qualities can come from a range of experiences and personal circumstances. Good leadership does not necessarily come just because you are appointed as a leader and often the best leaders are those quietly going about their business with the respect of others, and working to a particular objective. Through this programme I now appreciate that as a leader I can give myself time to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.

Bernie Chote General Manager, Winstone Aggregates I am fortunate enough to look after Winstone Aggregates as part of Fletcher Building. I am a mining engineer by profession with a Management Diploma from Waikato. I have been with Winstone for 15 years in a variety of roles from manufacturing through to resource consenting. Winstone is one of New Zealand’s oldest companies and will be 150 years in 2014. The organisation has a very long-term strategic focus (50 years) to ensure its sustainability. The company is recognised as a leader in the quarrying and transport industries and

as such attracts a fantastic committed team of people to serve it. Balancing the effects and perception of the effects of what we do as a company is one of our greatest challenges. The challenges of the recession have proved that the company is resilient to pressure and is well placed for the future. Each day is different which keeps an engineer’s mind happy. Leadership NZ has presented a great opportunity to see fantastic leadership through a great cross-section of society. The humility and sense of purpose of the individuals that we have interacted with has been humbling. The positive approach of leaders faced with daily adversity gives a great reality check on what is really important. The Leadership New Zealand team of 2010 is also a great mixed bunch, each with fundamentally different stories that truly enrich the year’s experience.

Craig Churchill Southern Regional Manager, CourierPost, Express Couriers I look after Express Couriers’ CourierPost operations in the Southern Region (a joint venture business between New Zealand Post & DHL) where I am responsible for a large network and team of staff and contractors spread over a number of sites throughout the lower half of New

I live in Christchurch and when not travelling I am a keen cyclist. I have been really engaged by the different learning approach of the Leadership New Zealand programme. Having attended a number of leadership development programmes over my career that have been more about adding to my existing base of competencies and skills, the Leadership New Zealand programme has challenged that very base, stripping away some of my previous views about leadership and what it took to be a leader within a true New Zealand context. As leaders we often become ‘siloed’ within our respective industries/ fields, whereas the Leadership New Zealand programme has broadened my understanding of the issues facing leaders within a diverse New Zealand context and made me think about what I actually give as a leader, as opposed to what I take.

Zealand. I have worked within the transport and logistics industry in New Zealand for the past 26 years, having held a number of senior sales and business management positions, and am a member of the New Zealand Institute of Logistics & Transport.

Barbara Delaney Lawyer The first part of my adult working life was spent in the travel industry. I went to university as a mature student and spent five years doing a BA/LLB. I have been practising as a lawyer for the past five and a half years. During this period I have also been a board member for a variety of not-forprofit organisations. I am currently a board member for Netball North. The Leadership New Zealand programme brings with it a high level

12

of interaction with a wide variety of New Zealand leaders. Having this interaction has meant that the notion I had of leadership has both changed and been challenged. I have learnt that leadership comes in a wide variety of forms and does not necessarily mean that it is someone who is at the top of their industry or organisation. Leadership is also about being individual and creating a new environment so that other people may be able to lead a more fulfilling life. From my perspective at this point in time, leadership is not a journey that is a straight line; it is generous, recognises talent and allows individuals to change and grow, it respects difference and honours values within a commercially bound world. Leadership is also an everchanging state of mind for the person who has the leadership role.

www.leadershipnz.co.nz


pen portraits

Justin Ensor Director, Corporate Finance, KPMG, Auckland In my role with KPMG I specialise in valuations, financing and financial modelling with over 17 years of professional experience advising companies on mergers, acquisitions and divestments. Whilst most of my career has been in this field, I have also spent a period training to be a town planner and consulting to local government. I am married with two children and live in Auckland.

Leadership New Zealand provides an excellent forum to take time to think and listen to the perspectives of leaders in community, business, politics and the media. The openness of the dialogue and the exchange of ideas provide a platform upon which each participant can form their own views as to leadership. The programme has challenged me to think about the importance of values in leadership, and how a clear vision and purpose, combined with values, provide the compass to make difficult decisions. The programme has also impressed on me that leaders ‘act’, rather than waiting to be given permission to act. Leadership takes courage – a quote that has stayed with me from the sessions is “dogs don’t bark at parked cars”.

Tony Gerritsen Archdeacon for Ministry Development, Anglican Diocese of Wellington I have a background in secondary teaching and was ordained an Anglican priest in 1985. I have served in various roles as a teacher, school chaplain, boarding housemaster, principal of a secondary school, parish priest and currently have responsibility for the training of 150 clergy and 300 lay people in the Diocese of Wellington. Developing leaders within the church is, thus, an important part of my role and I have gained valuable insights through my involvement in Leadership

New Zealand. I live in Palmerston North with my wife Jillian and have four adult children and two grandchildren. I entered the programme with strong beliefs that only certain personality types made better leaders, namely those of a somewhat limited set of Myers Briggs types. My reading had been limited. While vision casting and entrepreneurial flair can be important values for leadership, the earlier sessions on leadership showed that high emotional intelligence (EQ), as opposed to necessarily a high IQ, along with strong relational strengths and vulnerability are important components in the leadership attribute base. Where once I might have seen only a small subset of the population as leaders, I would now have a much larger and inclusive set of people with skills dependent on time constraints of a task and the context in which the activity is occurring.

Deb Godinet Group Manager, CBD Projects, Auckland City Council My role is Group Manager of CBD Projects Auckland City Council, a strategic implementation unit with responsibility to deliver a 10-year strategy to transform Auckland’s CBD into a premier business location, civic and cultural centre, centre of excellence for education, research and development, and high quality urban environment. I am a lawyer and planner by professional training and was recently awarded the Auckland City Council’s Chief Executive Urban Design Excellence Award. For me, the LNZ programme has provided a unique opportunity to

further explore issues which impact on our collective ability to improve the quality of life for all New Zealanders. It is enabling me to deepen my understanding of the critical issues underpinning transformational change in New Zealand, and to making a more effective contribution to leading that change within my sphere of influence. It is wonderful to be part of a group of people committed to making a positive difference for New Zealand. The programme has presented me with a new notion of leadership as a personal journey, an enquiry into who I am, what I stand for and what I will personally commit to create value for society. It has redefined leadership for me as the art of picking possibility, to see and communicate possibility and provide the environment for people to step into so that change can be created. We have had the privilege of meeting a lot of inspirational, intelligent, humorous and generous people who are creating the space for people to deliver positive outcomes.

Stephen Guerin General Manager, Fruitfed Supplies I am the General Manager of Fruitfed Supplies, the horticultural business unit of PGG Wrightson Ltd. The team I lead operates throughout New Zealand from the Far North to Central Otago. I am responsible for the sales performance, strategy and leadership of the team. The business is focused on our clients’ crops having access to international food markets with their quality produce meeting biosecurity regulations. I have been in my role for the past three years, having made the transition to this leadership role over the 22 years with the business when I started my profes-

sional career in an accounting role. While I live in Auckland and love its diversity, I also have the privilege of travelling throughout the country talking to clients and staff working in our rural communities. The Leadership Programme has this year challenged my thinking as to the role that groups, teams and communities can play at ground level in making a difference in the success of their organisations and communities. The course has allowed me to see clear examples where solutions to problems that come from within organisations or communities, and owned by these groups, will have a far greater chance of success than anything imposed externally. Leadership is about providing an environment for other people in the group or organisation to shine and achieve their potential to improve New Zealand for the benefit of us all.

WINTER 2010

13


pen portraits

Kirsty Pillay Hansen National Training Manager, Foundation for Youth Development My passion for youth development, professionalism of youth work and working collaboratively has lead to my current position with the Foundation for Youth Development. I coordinate training and professional development for our community partner staff and volunteers throughout the country. My background includes youth work, health promotion, training and education. I always have more to learn from new experiences and opportunities. I am a professional who strives for diverse learning and challenges.

Married to Shane and proud Mum of Nikau, I am an IndianPakeha woman, my husband is Maori-Chinese-Pakeha. I want my son to feel proud of all his cultures and his identity – that is the right of all New Zealanders. My participation in Leadership New Zealand has stretched me into areas and conversations outside my usual ‘world’. I have been challenged to think deeper, to understand different perspectives and to participate in conversations and debates outside of those I’m most familiar with. I have been inspired by diverse speakers and moved by a number of personal stories. I have met an amazing bunch of people who I look forward to spending time with every month. I am personally inspired to take my learning and experience to the next level – to lose assumptions, be confident, aim high and create action with passion, trust and enthusiasm.

Puamiria Maaka Manager, Te Waipuna Puawai Mercy Oasis I am from Ngati Paruaharanui, Ngati Hinerangi hapu and Ngati Pikiao iwi. I have a background in local government and community development and an interest in social justice. I currently manage Te Waipuna Puawai Mercy Oasis, a community development organisation working alongside women from the Glen Innes, Point England and Panmure communities in Auckland. I am responsible for implementing the strategic direction and managing the day-today operations. Service delivery includes social services, early childhood education, second-chance education opportunities for

women, teen mothers tailored programmes and environmental initiatives, key stakeholder networking and relationship management. I am currently developing and leading a competent and professional team of 14 staff and 20 volunteers. I am learning that leadership is exercised effectively by those who continue to explore and understand themselves. The act of leadership while easily defined is often difficult to practise consistently. Different circumstances call for different styles of leadership to meet the “wicked” issues of today. There is a desire in some sectors for more collaborative and collective forms of leadership and in others a more traditional approach is welcomed. I am learning that a back-to-basics approach could serve me quite well – holding a clear vision, reflection on core values and practising those, active listening, being well-read. I am still learning…

Scott McAlister General Manager, Cleeve Group As General Manager of the Cleeve Group my time is spent leading three companies. Cleeve Transport (Auckland) predominately transports steel for our major client Fletcher Easy Steel. Cleeve Transport (Christchurch) has its activities spread evenly through steel distribution, bulk

transport and container handling. Mackley Carriers was acquired in May 2008 and has a wide range of offerings from storage and distribution to Hiab cranes. With three separate operations, the key challenge is to integrate their operations whilst maintaining their unique characteristics. Leadership New Zealand has helped me focus my own thoughts on leadership into a useful package. Hearing the broad range of speakers allows you to judge which approach works best for you.

Dave McAteer General Manager, Own Brands I was born in Auckland and spent most of my childhood growing up in the Waikato. After a short spell of two years in Christchurch, my career led me back to Auckland, where I have lived since. I have enjoyed various sales, marketing and general management roles within the grocery and food sector, most recently shifting from manufacturing supplier of products into retail. Joining the Foodstuffs Group in March 2006, I’m the General Manager of a wholly owned business within the Foodstuffs Group that works across the three trading co-operative companies. The main focus of activity relates to Private Label or controlled label

products. We source and market products to the business and retain ownership of our brands, the two largest being Pams and Budget. This activity allows us to offer consumers greater value and for our co-operative members, incremental selling margins. The Leadership New Zealand programme is a privilege to participate in. The perspective it provides on our nation and people is incredibly valuable. The speakers Leadership New Zealand provides access to have the willingness to generously give of themselves and their time. The programme so far has provided fresh insights that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience outside of this programme. I find the course challenging on all levels of leadership, both personally and in a wider sense of nation, people and commerce. As we move through the year, I’m looking forward to completing the journey we’ve begun and taking up the challenge for personal growth.

14

www.leadershipnz.co.nz


pen portraits

Claire McQuilken Head of Insurance Systems and Information, ACC Having worked across a broad spectrum of public and private sector organisations I joined ACC 8 years ago as a Relationship Manager working with Health Providers. Eight years have passed very quickly as I’ve had the opportunity to work in a variety of different areas inside ACC which has broadened both my knowledge and my skill base. In my current role as Head of Insurance Systems and Information I lead a team of dedicated people who are responsible for managing the ACC Classification Unit system, Levy Payer systems, along with associated information and invoicing requirements and data

quality oversight. It’s a challenging role where every day is different and I feel very privileged to be working in this area with this group of people. Participation in Leadership New Zealand has provided a superb opportunity to engage with leaders from all sectors in New Zealand. The views discussed are frequently very diverse and often offer counter arguments and information from others who have spoken before. I’m really enjoying this as it’s a challenge for me to step up and ensure that I am well read and that my comments are well researched and considered. My knowledge and understanding of New Zealand politically, environmentally and economically has certainly improved as has my understanding of our challenges and our strengths. It’s been a fantastic experience so far and I’m looking forward to the rest with anticipation.

Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh Poet and Tenured Lecturer, University of Auckland I am a lecturer at the University of Auckland specialising in Pacific literature, post-colonial literature and creative writing. Of Samoan, Tuvalu, English and French descent, I was the first Pacific Islander to graduate with a PhD from the English Department (2005) and recently supervised the department’s first Fijian PhD to completion (2010). I am passionate about widening educational opportunities for Pacific peoples everywhere and often speak and perform my poetry at schools, both primary and secondary. Poetry is my passion and I believe that everyone has the ‘right to write’ and have their words heard. My own first collection of poetry, Fast Talking PI (Auckland University Press) was published in 2009 and

made the NZ Best Sellers List. I am currently working on a second manuscript. My first epiphany occurred on the first retreat. I was a ‘minority’ on several layers in a workplace traditionally the domain of white, male, middle to upper-class, urban, academics: I was brown, female, a mother, loud and lived on an island! One of my lifelines was Audre Lorde’s poetic call to embrace my otherness, to “Be Nobody’s Darling / be an outcast”. But in doing so, I had inadvertently cut off other lifelines; in fighting off stereotypes about me I had reinforced my own stereotypes about others. I had become combative in my thinking about my position in the workplace. At times there was good reason to be so; at other times, I was missing out on precious connections. Through resurrecting the lost art of deep conversation, the Leadership New Zealand programme allowed me to reconnect with the humanity in others that supersedes race, class or gender. Truly, a gift that keeps on giving within and beyond the workplace.

Steve Merchant Call Centre Manager, Auckland City Council My background has been primarily based in call centres with a number of large organisations including industries as diverse as banking, local government and telecommunications. All of my roles, including my current role as Call Centre Manager with Auckland City Council, have incorporated my passion for leadership and de-

livering great customer service. Leading a large team of people who work at the coalface of the organisation allows you some unique insights into the customer experience and provides a multitude of opportunities and challenges every day. Leadership New Zealand has already provided me with so many opportunities to learn and move outside of my comfort zone. I have found that through the quality of the discussions held with other participants and the fantastic speakers who are invited to each session, the way I think about leadership is changing. With each new interaction there is the opportunity to glean something new and thought provoking about what truly effective leadership is.

Judy Nicholl General Manager Human Resources, Auckland International Airport Currently employed as General Manager Human Resources for Auckland International Airport. Background spans both public and private sector experience. Leadership New Zealand participation has

provided a positive reinforcement that truly effective leadership is multi-dimensional, seldom boring and frequently rewarding.

WINTER 2010

15


pen portraits

Stuart Orme Consultant, Woodnet Works Ltd I am a father of four, living just out of Masterton with ‘Forest Consultant’ written on the business card and ‘Wilderness Guide’ on the website. When I graduated from the corporate world 10 years ago my wife and I set several aims: add value to those we worked with; work on the reality that ‘there is always a solution’; and that we (and our clients) would enjoy the journey. In the past 10 years we have built up a great clientele and been involved in projects across the forestry value chain from ecosystem restoration, to ‘business as usual’ forestry, to laminating carbon fibre onto wood products. More recently we have focused on the emerging carbon opportunities for land owners and have registered a significant number of clients into the ETS and facili-

tated (as of May 2010) two of the first carbon credits sales for NZ forestry credits both in and out of the country. A personal love of the outdoors and growing years of experience saw us gain a DOC concession to take clients trout fishing and hunting, but mostly relaxing in some fantastic places not usually visited in the lower North Island. As I enter further into what is the Leadership New Zealand journey I am becoming more convinced that it is through personal responsibility, effective relationships and role modelling as opposed to government policy, corporate vision or well managed consultation that things are achieved. That, as it is a journey, do not expect to see foundational things/relationships happen in a hurry, but be prepared to make the investment (and protect what has gone before) as it will be worthwhile and collectively builds over time. If these long-term approaches and commitments are secured through good governance and personal commitment, the short-term tasks/gains will collectively build on themselves for both the people and organisations involved along the way.

Diana Rattray Vicar, All Saints Anglican Church I am an Anglican Priest who lives and works in Ponsonby, Auckland. I have degrees in Theology and Psychology and I am on the council of the Auckland Diocese. I resettled in Auckland two years ago after 20 years in Canterbury where I was most recently attached to Christchurch Cathedral and was an elected representative of the church at a regional and national level. One of my passions is being a part of building community and enabling people

to grow in an inclusive, safe and respectful environment. I do what I do so that I can be a part of making a difference for good. I am committed to the ‘greening’ of leadership within the church and serve on the Diocesan Council and Youth Council. The breadth and depth of the speakers and participants of the Leadership New Zealand programme is a wonderful thing. The Chatham house rule allows honest sharing at quite a personal level allowing us to see and hear a different side from the public face of leadership. I am being stimulated and challenged to move out of my comfort zone, which is mostly good. The reading complements the topics covered by the speakers and I am enjoying meeting some alumni and other participants in the café conversations.

Emily Redmond Business Manager, Injury Prevention Group, ACC I work for ACC as the Business Manager for the Injury Prevention Group. Prior to joining ACC I was the Marketing Manager for Western Union Financial Services based in Australia and before that, worked at Telecom NZ. In my current role I am responsible for providing strategic assistance to the General Manager of Injury Prevention. This includes planning and reporting responsibilities, writing board and ministerial papers, overseeing the financial management of the Group and managing the development of strategic projects.

The Leadership New Zealand programme has made me much more aware of the leadership challenges facing New Zealand and has opened my eyes to the fact that effective leadership comes in all manner of shapes and sizes and that one size, thankfully, does not fit all. The programme has challenged my beliefs around what truly effective leadership is and I am enjoying reflecting on the sessions and having internal confrontation and ‘ah-ha’ moments due to the transformation of my thoughts and beliefs on leadership. By being exposed to some fantastic New Zealand leaders through the course, it has solidified my thinking around certain attributes that I admire in leaders and has made me much more aware of what I can personally do to become a more effective leader at work and within my community.

Chellie Spiller Post Doctoral Fellow, Te Ara Poutama AUT University I am Ngati Kahungunu. I have a Masters in International Relations (Victoria University) and have undertaken doctoral studies in Maori business at the University of Auckland. My research shows why and how all businesses can create relational wellbeing and wealth in terms of five wellbeings – economic, social, environmental, cultural and spiritual. My research has been published and presented internationally and locally. I also teach Maori economic development and management, supervise postgraduate students and undertake research in spirituality at work. My previous roles have included 15 years abroad during which I was co-director of a niche wholesaler developing tours into countries as diverse as

Bhutan and North Korea. I have also worked in personal investment advice, training and development, and sustainability with my husband Rodger. Many of the leaders I have met in the Leadership New Zealand programme have embraced insights from Maori culture. Their enlightened attitudes have shown me that truly effective leaders are indeed responding to the leadership challenge of fulfilling the potential inherent in a marriage of cultures. Basing their personal lives and organisations on solid foundations of heart and soul, they are creating truly sustainable wealth and wellbeing. These leaders demonstrate Aotearoa New Zealand’s potential for transformational leadership. They have helped inspire my research, writing and teaching, and working with business leaders and kaumatua, including Pereme Porter, who explains that leadership involves the realisation of ever-present potential. The task of the leader is to create Te Ao Marama, a world of learning and enlightenment, through transforming potential into reality.

16

www.leadershipnz.co.nz


pen portraits

Matt Stratton Investment Administrator, ASB Community Trust I work for the ASB Community Trust, an independent grant-making organisation supporting the work of not-forprofit groups in Auckland and Northland. Founded on the sale of its shares in ASB Bank, the Trust has made grants worth more than $700 million since being formed in 1988. The Trust’s vision is to enhance equity and enrich society in Auckland and Northland. The Trust fund of approximately $1 billion is a long-term pool of money seeking to exist and to spend (on grants) into perpetuity. The fund is invested across a diversified range of asset classes. My role is to manage the Trust’s relationship with its external investment advisers, fund managers

and custodian, manage the investment operations of the Trust and assist in the development and monitoring of the Trusts Investment Strategy and Policies. The insights and experiences shared by the diverse mix of outstanding speakers in the “Chatham house” environment and the opportunity to question and challenge them is unique to the delivery of the Leadership New Zealand programme and what I enjoy most. These sessions have challenged my perceptions of what truly effective leadership is in many ways. The diverse leadership styles presented to the class of 2010 make it clear that there is no set formula for leadership. Leadership does not necessarily equal expertise, that is, it is not what you know but who you are. The importance of themes for people to thrive and survive – have a dream or vision, have a memory and have compassion on the journey. What is the most important thing? He tangata!

Hilary Sumpter CEO, YWCA As the Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA Auckland I am in the privileged position of carrying the mantle for this venerable 125-year-old organisation. We work with three main strands of activity: our Hostel, which is a social profit venture enabling our activities; our Voice, supporting and advocating for issues relating to women; and our Community Programmes – currently Future Leaders and Encore – which empower women in different stages of their lives. As part of the largest women’s organisation

in the world we are active in coordinating and collaborating with other agencies to address both local and global issues facing today’s world. The Leadership New Zealand programme is an intensive year of connectedness and values building. This is an opportunity for me to grow more as a leader in terms of self-awareness and to have this reinforced by the calibre of speakers we are presented with. There are distinct traits appearing as common to the inspirational leaders we have heard from, and as a person who has transitioned from the corporate world, I can see these traits are common across all sectors. For me the greatest learning will be consolidating long-term visioning with day-today proactive responses to issues local and national. I know too I will be positively enriched by my peers on the programme.

Caine Thompson Viticulturist, Mission Estate Winery I completed a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Postgraduate Diploma in Plant Science at Massey University. As the Company Viticulturist for Mission Estate Winery in Hawkes Bay, my current responsibilities include all aspects of company and contract grower fruit supply plus the strategic and tactical direction of all of the above vineyards. I work closely with the winemaking, sales and marketing teams and the company CEO. In 2006 with business partner Dr Hayden Lawrence, I formed Spatial Solutions, a precision viticulture business providing the industry with precision tools for managing vineyard variability plus pest and disease control. I’m also Technical Officer for the Gimblett Gravels Association,

and organise programmes providing feedback to executives and growers on the latest growing trends and issues. I obtained a scholarship through winning the Young Horticulturalist of the Year competition in 2009 to be a participant on the 2010 Leadership New Zealand programme. As I have been on this journey and listened, thought and reflected on some of the amazing leaders we have talked with, my mindset has been challenged and my attitude has significantly changed. The common thread that has come through for me is the value and importance of having a dream and vision for the future. All the leaders we have been exposed to have had this in the forefront of their minds and this is what drives them towards continual improvement and development, irrespective of organisation or sector. The Leadership New Zealand programme has opened my eyes and exposed me to so many issues, problems and opportunities in New Zealand, but more importantly, it’s exposed me to the people in leadership positions whose vision is leading this country forward. I am working on my dream, which is the most exciting challenge and opportunity I have ever faced.

Melanie Woodford Head of Business Development, ANZ National I have 15 years experience in Retail Banking both in the UK and here in New Zealand. My current role as Head of Business Development provides me with a broad portfolio of responsibilities ranging from delivering strategic direction for the regional Business Development Managers through to representing the branch network on the bank’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. Having ‘grown up’ through the traditional branch leadership roles, I have relished the last three years in the head office environment. Shaping and being part of

decision making that affects the customer experience delivered by our branches, and the experience of those serving our customers, has been a real privilege and wonderful learning opportunity in the disciplines of governance and stakeholder management. I live in Takapuna on Auckland’s North Shore with my partner and young daughter. My organisation and I felt that a place on the Leadership New Zealand programme would provide me with valuable context for leading in the New Zealand environment. Having migrated to New Zealand five years ago I have come to realise that technical or learned leadership skills are transferable but to be truly influential in a leadership capacity in New Zealand it is essential to understand, or at least have an appreciation for, the history and culture unique to this beautiful place.

WINTER 2010

17


The Lucky Country? Luck has everything to do with it

New Zealand’s most insightful social and political philosopher Frederick Dagg, said it most memorably: “We don’t know how lucky we are mate!” He was, of course, talking about New Zealand and New Zealanders. Ironically, he said it back in the 1970s amidst the fallout from the first great oil price hike, troubled agricultural export markets, the mopping up of the Vietnam War and at the dawn of the unique Prime Ministerial reign of Robert David Muldoon. Whether the world in general has moved on to become a more socially harmonious, economically stable and politically enlightened environment in the 30-something years since Dagg espoused his theory, I’ll leave you to judge. According to three of New Zealand’s most effective and prominent leaders, Dagg’s law still holds true. But because it’s so true, these leaders think that, among other important things, Kiwis have difficulty galvanising themselves into action sufficient to ensure that Dagg’s luck doesn’t run out. Leaders magazine asked Solid Energy’s chief executive Don Elder, dairy giant Fonterra’s CEO Andrew Ferrier and Sarah Kennedy, former Healtheries Group CEO and now Sloan Fellow studying at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to tell us why they think New Zealand is, in a global context, a lucky country and, what they think we should do to leverage this seemingly precious commodity. By Reg Birchfield.

18

www.leadershipnz.co.nz


FEATURE

“W

e are not just lucky,” says Don Elder, “we are in fact the luckiest” [country in the world]. “But,” he warns, “luck alone is not enough. We must step up to our opportunities and do something about them,” he adds. Elder bases his comments on some compelling personal research. Last year he prepared a paper that convinced him that his thinking, logic and reasoning were, indeed, well founded. The paper identified the direction and the challenges ahead for companies, organisations, individuals and the government. It now underpins the future-focused work programme that keeps his team at Solid Energy “busy”. To underscore his thinking, he points out that within one generation (25 years), world GDP is expected to increase by as much again as it did in the past 200 generations (5000 years). Many in the developing world – 80 percent of the world’s population – now aspire to attain within their lifetimes the standard of living we in the developed world already enjoy. To meet this demand, the global supply of most resources and food must almost double in that 25 years. But global resources are becoming increasing scarce and production is constrained. New Zealand’s resources, on the other hand are, per capita, reportedly the world’s richest. These facts, says Elder, “define our primary future global responsibility. They also offer us a onceonly opportunity – unique in history – to achieve a huge and permanent economic step change through a major increase in exports. “But here’s the barrier. We continually have the wrong discussions in New Zealand on almost every issue of major national importance. No sooner is an idea advanced for discussion, than one group or another hijacks the issue and redefines it in a grossly, over-simplistic way.” This debate strategy, according to Elder, “narrows the issue to a fraction of its total scope, redefining it as a question with only a yes or no answer” which effectively polarises people and forces them to respond in a yes or no way. This might make convenient media headline fodder, but it turns complex national discussions into “simplistic, polarised debates in which one side must win and the other lose”. The right question, Elder argues, is invariably not “should or shouldn’t we?”, but rather “what is the objective; what are the criteria for ranking options; what are the options; what are the real (not reactionary) consequences and risks of those options; what is the prima facie ranking of the options and what could change the ranking? And, what conditions, if applied to one option, could make it a better outcome against the objectives and allow a better overall result for New Zealand?” The simplistic yes or no approach effectively avoids any meaningful discussing of nationally important issues and threat-

WINTER 2010

Don Elder

ens to keep New Zealand mired in a “can’t do” rather than a “can do” mindset, he says. New Zealand can achieve a huge and permanent economic step change by acting boldly on a set of what Elder calls, substantial and unique “made in New Zealand, made for New Zealand” opportunities. And they are, he says, “simply the result of our natural strategic strengths and competitive advantages”. These initiatives are not, however, likely to happen on their own. “They require specific decisions and investments to be made jointly by the government and the private sector working together,” he says. But why is New Zealand the luckiest country? “Countries reliant primarily on imported resources will be major losers in the new world,” Elder reasons. “And those with significantly more natural resources than they need for their own populations, will have huge opportunities to prosper. “In this world, New Zealand is the luckiest country. Almost all the things the world will need more of, but will be increasingly short of, we have in relative abundance,” he adds. “Good agri19


FEATURE

cultural land, fresh water, a good year-round growing climate, primary resources and energy. In each of these our readily accessible natural resource is probably the highest per capita in the world. We do not fully utilise most of these resources. And, unlike other countries, much of our natural resource is either renewable or huge in proportion to our current production levels or own needs.” New Zealand exports close to 95 percent of its food production, “enough to feed nearly 100 million people”, he says. It uses only four percent of its fresh water (about three percent for irrigation) and has significant unutilised or underutilised land that needs only water to be highly productive. “We have barely started to tap our vast onshore and offshore energy resources and our non-energy mineral resources are substantial,” he adds. “We have a highly productive, efficient primary industry – in many cases, the best in the world. We have good technology, well educated people and stable government. And internationally we are rated as one of the world’s most corruption-free countries. No wonder the International Monetary Fund (IMF) rates us as the world’s second most attractive country for investment. “This defines the opportunity, and the responsibility, very clearly for New Zealand,” he says. “The opportunity for us to take a huge economic step up awaits.”

A

ndrew Ferrier agrees that New Zealand is, for a number of reasons, in an “incredibly favourable global position”. From a food industry perspective, New Zealand can take heart from two significant trends; the growth in world population and the accelerating move toward healthier eating, a direct consequence of a wealthier world. “And that is great news for our bread basket dairy industry,” he says. New Zealand’s large and advanced dairy industry, its favourable agricultural climate, plus its supporting “good science, good technology and IT skills, mean world markets are going to be very favourable for our agriculture-based products”, he adds. “We have enormous competitive advantages in this sector.” Ferrier qualifies his confidence with the caution that New Zealand must “ensure the appropriate and cautious use” of its natural resources, environment, water and so on “to increase its position in the global market without compromising our beautiful country”. New Zealand must, however, think strategically about utilising its natural resources. “There will,” he says “be ongoing investment trade-offs. We need to balance the desire for increased national wealth through increased exports, with the need to retain the uniqueness of our magical landscape.” New Zealand must remain environmentally sustainable while growing its agricultural sector products and markets. “We have plenty of water and if we have a good strategic plan on how to use it, I think agriculture can grow sustainably. We as an industry have to be responsible in continuing to raise the bar on improving the environmental cost per unit of output,” he adds. “And we will continue to do that.” Judicious mining of minerals seems, to Ferrier’s mind, to offer New Zealand similar opportunities for export market growth. 20

Andrew Ferrier

In terms of mineral wealth per capita, New Zealand is among the highest in the world, he says. “And we don’t need to go strip mining to get at some of that wealth. There are bound to be ways to responsibly remove minerals without materially compromising the environment.” But to make the most of its global business opportunities New Zealand’s companies need to take a leaf out of Fonterra’s book. The company is, says Ferrier, “a spectacular example of New Zealand recognising what it takes to lead in the global environment”. Having a fractious industry fighting among itself for market access does not work. “The basis for competitive advantage is exporting 95 percent of what you produce. It is better to leverage your strength into a single market player which can be competitive on the world market,” he adds. “We must concentrate resources; get scale to be truly competitive. That is certainly true of the dairy industry.” “However, we are not successful simply because we are big. Being large means having the funds to invest in our brand, research and development and our ingredients. That investment distances us from our competitors,” he says. On the other hand, he acknowledges that New Zealanders are ingenious and clever at finding market and product niches and exploiting them in the international marketplace. “So while on the one hand scale delivers competitive advantage, on the other being small, clever and nimble has served New Zealand well,” says Ferrier.

www.leadershipnz.co.nz


FEATURE

Now the rub. Leadership, or the lack of it, might let New Zealand down. “To develop the kind of leadership and commercial acumen that is required to run businesses the size of, say Fonterra, requires larger markets. We had to fill more of the senior leadership positions in Fonterra with non-New Zealanders than I would have preferred. Our criteria required that we employ the best possible people we could get,” he says. “At the top end of world-class executive talent we still have a way to go. I would like to think that companies such as ours can assist in the development of that level of leadership competency. We are helping to create the leaders and managers of the future. The large companies in the private sector are obliged to do that.” Ferrier is, however, concerned by the impact of New Zealand’s “tall poppy syndrome” which he finds quite “unattractive”. We are, he says, inclined to “cut down large institutions simply because they are large. There seems to be something in the culture which equates big with being somehow bad. Yet we need to create some large institutions to really be competitive in today’s world,” he adds. “We should celebrate, not castigate, our successes.”

S

arah Kennedy shares the overall view that New Zealand is, indeed, a lucky country. “We know that our economic performance has fallen in the past 30 years, pulling us down from the top of the OECD’s global ranking to somewhere near the bottom. But at least there are signs now of a plan to lift our performance,” she says. She is enthused by what she sees as the Government’s efforts to drive innovation and boost investment in research and development. She considers investment in science-based technologies and innovation generally as critical to New Zealand’s future global success. “New Zealand needs the political strategies now being advanced to take it from being primarily a commodities trader to an innovation-driven economy,” she adds. In Kennedy’s opinion New Zealand has many of the essential fundamentals of an advanced economy and progressive society in place. Our economic performance may have been average over the past 20 years but the country has a high life expectancy, a reflection of an effective health system, a high standard of education, a reflection of investment in it, relatively low unemployment and an efficient agricultural sector that leverages the country’s sympathetic climate. “And there is no question that on the qualitative side of our environment we are also very lucky,” she adds. “We have so many natural resources that make us a great country. New Zealand has high potential. We are young, small and flexible. We are forward thinking and we are looking to build strategies around our potential. I also think we can grow while at the same time sustaining the amazing life style we have here.” Finally, Kennedy points out that New Zealand is one of the world’s least corrupt communities and its relative lack of bureaucracy makes it easy for offshore investors to set up businesses here. “We are also seen as relatively egalitarian. I think we believe in, and genuinely strive for, a high level of social equality. Yes, on balance, I think we are a very lucky country.”

WINTER 2010

Sarah Kennedy

21


A Leadership Journey by Adrian Wimmers Director, KPMG Corporate Finance Alumnus 2009

M

y personal journey on the 2009 Leadership New Zealand programme turned out to be one of those life events that resets your compass. It has made me expect more of myself as a member of the team at KPMG, as a member of my community and as a citizen of our fortunate little country. Finding the words to describe the level of engagement participants have with the process, speakers and each other is no easy task. Nonetheless, I set out here to convey an insider’s perspective on the course and the benefits it offered me. I’ll also describe some of the information, questions and insights provided by the programme that led me to feel that a lack of long-term, aspirational, strategic thinking is a key shortcoming in New Zealand. One we must address to realise our future potential. There are, in my view, four key benefits that attendees on the programme receive. The first, and I suspect most enduring, is coming to grips with the true essence of leadership, of understanding the responsibilities and personal risks that leadership entails, and accepting that I have something to contribute as a leader. Leadership New Zealand espouses “servant-leadership” – a definition of which is “a lifelong journey that includes discovery of oneself, a desire to serve others, and a commitment to lead. Servant-leaders continually strive to be trustworthy, self-aware, humble, caring, visionary, empowering, relational, competent, good stewards, and community builders.” The focus of the programme is on experiential learning – learning through hearing the experiences of New Zealand’s leaders from all sectors. This is a very powerful way of learning, with facts, advice, emotion and the raw reality of people’s lives often intertwined. During the programme I made a transition from seeing myself as a KPMG employee to seeing myself as one of the emerging leaders of the firm. I had been subconsciously waiting for permission to step up, whereas the only person holding me back was me. The programme has benefited my ability to solve complex problems and lead teams. I am able to delegate, am more comfortable with letting a process resolve itself and I listen more to others’ views. The second benefit is the network I developed. The programme creates a strong bond between participants. My Leadership New Zealand network is now connecting into other networks with shared interest areas. Having returned from 22

a lengthy stint overseas a few years ago, the programme and network make me feel as though I truly belong home in New Zealand. Thirdly, I had time to reflect on my place in the world. The feedback process encourages participants to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses, on what motivates and interests them, on what values they hold and what they are here to achieve. In my case, this time strengthened my resolve to commit to pursuing a leadership role with KPMG and what I want to achieve for and through KPMG. The fourth benefit was the acquisition of a broad and diverse set of information, views, and insights. The programme is like being on part-time study all year. The acquisition of knowledge through course readings is enhanced by the speakers and interacting with other attendees. My perspectives were informed and altered by a diversity of other perspectives. This challenge to personal perspective is one of the programme’s most appealing features. Leadership New Zealand makes you realise how little you actually know about any particular issue. It highlighted the value of diversity in developing enduring solutions to New Zealand’s difficult problems. My eyes were opened to problems and opportunities of which I wasn’t aware. I kept thinking of the need to develop a long-term aspirational strategy for New Zealand. The majority of us came to a view that while New Zealand is blessed with arable land, abundant water and a wealth of mineral resources, as a society we may be too short-termist in our thinking about how to make the most of them. Our inability to have a national discussion on what we really want for future generations of New Zealanders could leave us under-prepared to cope with the unprecedented level of change we will face in coming decades. The following is a list of some of the facts, challenges and views that drew us towards this shared view: • The world’s projected growth (exponentially rising towards 9.1 billion by 2050). A doubling of food production from current levels will be required to feed that number of people. • Arable land available to feed the world is static or in many areas shrinking. • Despite the fundamental demand equation, food prices remain below the long run input costs. • Understanding of the Malthusian Trap (population growth is www.leadershipnz.co.nz


ALUMNI REFLECTIONS

exponential, food production gains are incremental) and how we’ve stayed ahead of it. • Hearing differing experts’ views about the merits, externalities, impacts and sustainability of this approach in New Zealand. • Hearing the different sides and complexities of the GE debate. What if New Zealand loses its competitive advantage in protein because other countries gain GE-based efficiency? Would we eat non-GE lamb that had grown quicker thanks to GE grass? • Learning that we use only five percent of our rainfall; 95 percent flushes out to sea. • Hearing that New Zealand could have a bright future as a high-end food producer, but needs to find a way to tap into WINTER 2010

its unused water while protecting the environment, waterways and soil. • Understanding agriculture, horticulture and forestry make up about 20 percent of GDP and 65 percent of exports, yet the natural capital on which they rely is not well understood, valued or accounted for. • The drive towards sustainable production practices is strongest in our export-led firms that are connected to end markets. • Understanding that other countries and multinational companies with which we trade take a far longer view than us. • Witnessing China purchase vast tracts of Australia’s mineral wealth and discussing what we might do if a trading partner wanted to purchase all our oil and gas reserves. • Our relative wealth in the resources that will matter over the next 100 years gives us a great number of yet-to-be understood options. • Hearing that our consumption-based, commodity-driven, housing-based investment economy is the economic equivalent of a pitcher plant. Life might seem fairly sweet but we’re gradually slipping down relative to the rest of the world and in the absence of a new plan it’s not going to end well. • Learning that central Government does no proactive longterm thinking and that we have few institutions that force policy makers to take the long view; that most legislation is silent on the long view or requires only three years of forward thinking from Crown entities and businesses; that we cannot expect politicians elected every three years to care too much about the long term because their reality will always intervene. • Hearing that Government reacts best to societal consensus. • Seeing the face of the enemy – complacency and short termism. • Hearing that others have come to the same realisation and that there are many great examples in other countries, and even some within New Zealand, of how to take a broader and longer term view. • Learning that consensus and community-based leadership is as hard as it gets and that as New Zealanders we have some relative disadvantages in coming to broad consensus views, but have some excellent models in particular industries and in Treaty negotiations. • Finally, being repeatedly challenged as citizens and future leaders – what are you going to do about it? We tackled the issues and hit our roadblocks. Then we ran out of time. Many, including me, completed the programme feeling that getting involved in a long-term strategy for New Zealand and encouraging more long-term thinking in general, was one of the most valuable things we could do. I’m under no illusion that it will be easy. Equally I’m even more convinced that the 2009 year was on the right track. One speaker told us that as New Zealand’s future leaders we could either be blown by the wind, or be the wind. I’m trying to become the wind. A fuller version of Adrian’s journey can be read on our website www.leadershipnz.co.nz. Photo: David Hamilton Photography

23


Helen Robinson:

why she’s passionate about New Zealand New Zealand could, if its politicians were driven just a little more by intellect than dogma, build a vibrant and financially sustainable economy based on clean technologies and environmental enterprise. Who says? Helen Robinson. And her credentials for believing and understanding the global relevance of the opportunity she describes are impeccable. She is, after all, an acknowledged world expert on environmental commodity markets. By Reg Birchfield.

R

obinson works from offices in London and New York as managing director, environmental markets of Markit Group, the world’s most successful environmental registry. Her place in the upper echelon of Markit’s management structure came courtesy of her role three years ago in helping NZX establish the carbon registry TZI of which she was the founding chief executive. TZ1 was, after just 18 months under her direction, sold to the Londonbased Markit Group for around US$20 million. Robinson has stayed to grow the business. More to the point, the experience she gained while building the registry and her in-depth knowledge of the global environmental management business, has convinced Robinson that New Zealand has an exciting “window of opportunity” which, because of short-term political thinking, is in danger of being slammed shut while the nation staggers about looking for conventional and compromising old-world economic solutions. “There are,” says Robinson, “a number of opportunities for change in New Zealand. But first we must get over the argument about climate change, constantly asking if or isn’t it real? The world has moved on and we must get past it too. “We know that humans pollute. Let’s do something about it. That the environment is changing is a fact of life and the rest of the world understands that,” she adds unhesitatingly. To Robinson’s well-honed mind, being environmentally clean, green and sustainable is, in today’s global context, a solution made in heaven to answer the question of how to enhance New Zealand’s prosperity through economic growth. “It leverages our science, research, innovative way of thinking, our technological skills sets and our capability in so many different areas. We have the perfect chance to create a weightless economy as David Skilling, [formerly] of the New Zealand Institute, put it.” 24

The Global Research Alliance that the Government announced in Copenhagen late last year presents “a fantastic opportunity for New Zealand” if we take advantage of it, she adds. “The problem, however, is New Zealand’s serious lack of strategic leadership. “We often come up with fantastic ideas but we need more people with the gumption to pick things up and run with and commercialise them.” That, of course, is what Robinson is good at. Her registry effectively monetised carbon credits by registering them as an endorsed asset, so allowing them to be bought and sold. And to her mind that commercialisation process is critical to solving global environmental problems. Robinson thinks monetising environmental commodities is the fastest and most effective way to deliver a clean and sustainable environment. “Paying for traditionally free services like water and clean air is inevitable,” she adds. “Paying for these things changes human behaviour. That is why we must do it.” New Zealand needs leaders who see the opportunity and its worth, she says. “We navel gaze too much. We are risk averse. If you apply strong commercial acumen you can and should take risks.” New Zealand is not, says Robinson, well served by its governance pool and that does not help solve the nation’s economic problems or stimulate its enterprise. “Great leadership, strong commercial acumen and the ability to listen to your gut are all necessary attributes.” Robinson’s leadership style is, as she explains it, to “look at the big picture”. She believes she has an “innate sense of knowing where the opportunities lie and the tenacity to go for them”. A look over her star-spangled career suggests that what she describes is true. “Then I put the right people in place to support the strategy. www.leadershipnz.co.nz


PROFILE

And they must be aligned with the values. And those core values are trust, integrity, loyalty, openness, honesty, drive, innovation, being savvy, professional and, most important, having a heart. Having a heart and learning as you go are very important,” she adds. Leaders need to know when to change direction and backtrack if necessary without “worrying about ego” or loss of face. “Deployment and execution strategies need to be nimble. My style is to be really nimble. I think on my feet,” says Robinson. “Go with what feels right but be prepared to be wrong and then be prepared to change and try something different.” Robinson’s pet hates are “organisational politics” and “dictatorial leaders” who demand compliance “without thinking through what is the right thing to do” for the enterprise. She is not, she says, driven by money though she concedes that having it makes life easier. And that must be important for a mother and wife who, every second Sunday evening flies out of the country for a week’s work in London or New York before flying home to spend each alternate week working from home with her Albany-based husband and three children. “What drives me is the win,” she says. “The success. Maximising the opportunity. Hand on heart, what is the best outcome you can achieve and how do you maximise that? You accomplish it by bringing the right people in, leveraging the right alliances and by building trust in existing partnerships. My number-one priority is for us to be the best company for our customers to do business with. What is important is that our customers like and want to do business with us.” This approach, Robinson believes, resulted in her company winning the European-based Global Environmental Finance Award for Best Registry of the Year, which is based on customers votes. They also won the London-based Financial Services Technology Award in Environmental Innovation. WINTER 2010

Robinson flies half way round the world to one of her offices each fortnight, and also spends much of her time speaking at conferences, events and to companies in most of the world’s capitals. Ask anyone in the environmental marketplace who Helen Robinson is and they will know her and her registry’s outstanding reputation. “And they know I am a Kiwi,” she says. “I am very proud of that. “We have such an opportunity in New Zealand to leverage this space. To build a clean technology industry and make this country the hub of the world’s increasingly important future clean technology solutions. “We can,” she says, “leverage our reputation, though I have become increasingly worried about what we have started doing to that reputation over the past 12 months, particularly as there is a lot of [political] floundering around the Emissions Trading Scheme. New Zealand was looking like a world leader for a while and people were genuinely interested in what we were doing. Not so since it was put on hold and people like Rodney Hide start suggesting environmental change is not true. “We have great environmental assets. We must be able to capitalise on our water and ocean-based environmental technologies,” says Robinson who sits on the board of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. “But we are also scientifically strong in sectors, such as agriculture and forestry. “We can be the global innovation and information font for clean and green technologies. What an astonishing opportunity that is.” Robinson “loves her job” but is uncertain about how long she will remain with Markit Group. She will, she says, “have done her job when she can hand over to someone else. And, I would like to do something [else] because I am passionate about New Zealand’s success. And this seems like such an obvious opportunity for us to be globally successful,” she adds. 25


PROGRAMME SPEAKER

Te Tiriti:  

A

a national branding statement?

sense of déjaé vu accompanied the recent publication of a New Zealand Herald photograph of Ngati Whatua chief executive Tiwana Tibble at the Auckland rail station. Ngati Whatua is bidding for the right to build a city convention centre and competing against the likes of the Skytower and The Edge to do so. Back in 1996 Ngati Whatua were undercapitalised but had a long and patient vision for their future. They had, since the early 1990s, been in discussion with the Crown about the lifting of Treaty moratorium on the sale of rail land, necessary for the sale of railways. In 1996 they struck a deal. It involved $4 million plus the right to purchase the railway station for a casino if they won the bid. In the event they failed. But they managed to leverage an alternative development opportunity with private investors using a capitalised lease vehicle to raise the $40 million required to purchase the site. This required them to accept no financial return for 15 years. Return of land was paramount, reasserting themselves on the cultural landscape was necessary and a path to prosperity for future generations through education, recovery of identity and savvy investment was the plan. In September 2011 their patience is about to be rewarded as cash starts to flow from lease payments on their major portfolio of assets worth $250 million. This expansive result was leveraged off less than $5 million in cash from Treaty settlements. The Herald picture was thus emblematic of what it represents; the economic and cultural renaissance of a tribal group that had all but disappeared from the visible landscape when they were burned off their land on the Okahu Bay foreshore in 1951. It featured in the week after they hosted the Prime Minister John Key and the Mayor of Auckland John Banks at Orakei celebrating the rise of Maori business (Ngati Whatua and Tainui being most prominent) with business leaders gathered by the Committee for Auckland. This tribal group has not only arrived, it is now flexing its economic and political muscle. Such success challenges our “Lucky Country” neighbours. Last month, Housing New Zealand hosted the Australian Government Land Organisation (GLO) conference, also at Orakei. Their success sparked a discussion about indigenous people in Australia and the contrast in development progress. Their marae welcome and the economic and cultural sophistication represented by the tribe was so far away from what has been achieved in Australia that GLO members were chastened by the comparative progress. So if some of the biggest asset holders in Australia can be 26

envious of the indigenous economic success of Maori and see an economic powerhouse in the making, why aren’t we making more of this? I am sure reticence to celebrate such success is tied to our ambivalence about the Te Tiriti and the way we express our pride in our country. Externally we are proud to see our point of difference as a nation being our indigenous people and our reputation for innovation and ingenuity. But internally we struggle with the treaty narrative; a colonial history of Maori dispossession, a period of historical amnesia when we were all one people, followed by a contemporary tumult that named the racism and now a “cultural release” valve represented by the Treaty Settlement process. Many more New Zealanders now understand the discussion, but this wider dialogue is still lost on the majority who at best, just want to see the treaty stuff behind us. We therefore risk missing the inherent meaning in this re-evaluation of who we are and the genius within us all for spectacular success. We think small when our achievements paint a larger, more compelling picture. Where would you go to find another country where the majority culture in power has dared to confront its colonial past with its indigenous people, address the nature of the dispossession, accept responsibility in contemporary terms for historical asset alienation and cultural suppression and then do something about it without killing each other? This is no perfect process but it is an exemplary journey toward a more mature Aotearoa, self confident about its roots. This is an IP advantage we could have as New Zealanders which can be our mirror onto the world. As we watch conflict in many regions spread over shrinking resources, territorial boundaries, religious disputation and historical enmity we can demonstrate pathways to resolution of the most difficult of differences from practical experience. Our skill in this resolution journey portrays us as a nation to be trusted, a people prepared to speak the truth and face the consequence, however imperfectly. What an asset we have of great value on the world stage. Honouring Te Tiriti, The Treaty, in contemporary terms ought to be our integrity statement as New Zealanders. Well managed it could be our branding statement to the world of our values as a people. Pat Snedden is a regular speaker on the Leadership New Zealand programme.

www.leadershipnz.co.nz


SKILLSBANK

The pride of our

programme

T

roles. Among them is Irene Feldges, who has been appointed as he recession oféthe past two years has left a trail of a board member. Irene volunteered for the project because it victims. Most of us have been affected in some way. resonated strongly with her previous experience in the child and However, it is the not-for-profit sector that has faced adolescent health sector. the greatest challenges. Their funding has dried up as “In my current and previous employment I encountered a the demand for their services has increased. Estimates suggest number of young girls and women who were involved in prosthat up to 50 percent of not-for-profit organisations have had titution and I’ve seen the devastating effect it had on their lives. funding cuts as philanthropic bodies reduced their grants. I have been involved in the In this environment,Leadership SkillsBank offers the opportunity for Leadership Homeless Forum in Auckland New Zealand’s SkillsBank programme has become even more New Zealand Alumni to contribute to the fabric of and worked with the ‘Reducing Family Violence’ Group in important. SkillsBank is our way our communities and make a real difference. Manukau. Both issues contribof giving back to the community ute significantly to young girls and women seeing prostitution in recognition of the generous support we receive. It also enaas their ‘way out’,” she says. bles our Alumni to assist with capacity building in the not-forBell describes the involvement with SkillsBank as “very signifprofit sector and, to mentor and support younger leaders. The involvement of SkillsBank with End Child Prostitution icant” for ECPAT Child ALERT, giving it access to relevant skills and Trafficking – ECPAT child ALERT – is a story which demand expertise, bringing fresh views and a younger perspective onstrates just how significant a contribution from SkillsBank can and improving the gender mix of its governing body. be. ECPAT Child ALERT is a not-for-profit. It is an independent part of a global network of organisations and individuals workkillsBank received 32 requests for assistance in 2009, and 26 ing together for the elimination of child prostitution, child porprojects were started. These included mentoring/speaking nography and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes. roles, board membership, strategic facilitation, organisational Alan Bell, National Director of ECPAT Child ALERT, says development, CEO mentoring, and constitutional reform. that when he introduces his organisation to New Zealanders it The focus has largely been in Auckland, but the programme is difficult to convince them that there is any significant sexual will be promoted more widely in the rest of the country in fuexploitation of children in this country. “People say it’s not such ture, enabling Alumni from other regions to be engaged. To this an issue here,” he says. “But it happens in New Zealand.” Sexual end, Leadership New Zealand has engaged with a Wellington abuse statistics show 76 percent of sexual crimes convicted partner, and with Inspiring Communities in the South Island, in New Zealand are committed against children 16 years and introducing them to Alumni in those centres to source projects younger, and 40 percent against children 11 years and younger. and volunteers. SkillsBank opportunities will be further enIn recent years the organisation has been successful in strengthhanced later this year with the provision of public online access ening legislation and working with the government to develop to available Alumni skillsets. a plan of action against the sexual exploitation of children. In Megan Barclay, Leadership New Zealand’s Executive Director August 2009, it launched Child ALERT, an internet hotline deand the energy force behind SkillsBank, reflects on the signifiveloped in conjunction with the Department of Internal Affairs cance and potential of what is being offered. “I have met with that enables computer users to report inappropriate websites amazing groups of people over the past 18 months,” she says. containing illegal images of children being sexually exploited. “People across the nation who get up every morning and dedicate their passion, energy and huge amounts of time to the notBut while ECPAT Child ALERT’s work here has been going for-profit arena. There are thousands of community groups and from strength to strength, resignations and retirements have agencies dealing with the darker side of life in New Zealand. thinned the ranks of its board of governors, which hasn’t had With dislocated families, mental and physical illness, challenges major changes since it was founded here in 1996. of youth and aging, homelessness and poverty – the list is endMaureen Crombie, chairwoman of ECPAT International and less. With the recession, they have needed to reach out to more previously chairwoman of the ECPAT Child ALERT board, parpeople, often with reduced resources. ticipated in the Leadership New Zealand programme in 2006. “It is the untold story of our country,” she adds. “We hear so She is now on the Leadership New Zealand board of trustees. little about these problems and those who are at the coalface.” She introduced Alan Bell to SkillsBank, and the organisation SkillsBank offers the opportunity for Leadership New was matched with four Leadership New Zealand Alumni. Zealand Alumni to contribute to the fabric of our communiThey contributed to ECPAT Child ALERT’s organisational ties and make a real difference. review in various capacities, and some have taken on further

S

WINTER 2010

27


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Our sincere thanks to… Key Partners

Supporting Partners

Event Partners to get Scholarship Partners • The Tindall Foundation for generous support of SkillsBank and provision of Scholarships • Alumni who so generously contributed to the Alumni scholarship for an outstanding participant

Event Hosts/Café Speakers • We would like to individually thank all our hosts and our speakers for giving of themselves and their wisdom so generously • KPMG for hosting our Wellington café event and providing sponsorship for catering • Pavilion Café for hosting two of our Auckland café events • Peri Drysdale – Untouched World – for hosting our Christchurch café event • Our March café event speakers: Ian Balme (Alumnus 2006) (MC), Dr Morgan Williams, Helen Robinson, Laurence Boomert, Chris Mulcare, Rachel Dobric • Our April café event speakers: Mark Dunlop (Alumnus 2009) (MC), Essendon Tuitupou (Alumnus 2008), Mike Ikilei, Alison Sykora, John Radford, Ludo Campbell-Reid • Our May café speakers: Christian Penny (Alumnus 2009) (MC), Wendy McGuinness (Alumnus 2007), Adrian Wimmers (Alumnus 2009), Dr Selwyn Katene, Joris De Bres • Our June café speakers: Grant Bunting (Alumnus 2009) (MC), Dr Bryan Jenkins, Eugenie Sage, Penny Nelson, Rosalie Snoyink, John Donkers

Programme Partners February: • Louise Marra and Anouk Graav from Spirited Leadership for facilitating the opening day • Our speakers: Tim Miles, Pat Snedden, Mayor Bob Harvey, Ian McRae

March: • Housing New Zealand and the Tamaki Transformation Project Office – who provided a venue for the programme • Milton Henry (Alumnus 2006) of Selwyn College and the REAP Centre for allowing us to experience the very special work with refugees • Our speakers: Dr Lesley McTurk, Alfred Ngaro, The Right Honourable Sir Douglas Graham, Edwina Pio, Soana Pamaka, Tess Liew, Mike Ikilei, Georgie Thompson, Bruce Forbes, Jill Conway, Robin Gerrity, Margaret Chittenden, Manying Ip, John Hinchcliff

April: • Tim O’Rourke, Oceania Coachlines – who provided transport for our participants • Manaia Health for hosting us during our Leadership Programme visit to Whangarei • Debbie and Ngahau Davis, Olive Brown and the He Iwi Kotahi Tatou Trust for so warmly welcoming us into their whanau in Moerewa, and for accompanying us to Te Tii Marae • Te Tii Marae, Waitangi for their generosity and care during our stay at the marae • George Riley (Alumnus 2009) for your wise words and generous spirit • Karam Meuli (Alumnus 2009) for bringing the gift of song • Our speakers: Sir Paul Reeves, Lorraine Hill, Sir John Goulter, Richard Didsbury, Robert Willoughby, Liz Marsden, Wayne Brown, Debbie and Ngahau Davis, Chris Farrelly

28

• Chris Farrelly, and the Manaia Health team for providing lunch in Whangarei

May: • Nick Astwick (Participant 2010) and his team at Kiwibank – who sponsored all the catering • Peter Fenton (Alumnus 2006) and the team NZ Post – who generously hosted the Leadership Programme • Our speakers: Mai Chen, Dr Lockwood Smith, Dr Allan Bollard, Chris Ineson, Barry Maister, Charles Callis, Dr Therese Arsenau, Professor Jonathon Boston, Dr Fiona Barker

Contributing Partners • Foodstuffs (Auckland) Ltd, ACC, PGG Wrightson, NZ Post and Fletcher Building for providing assistance and sponsorship for the 2010 Programme Launch and the Leadership Week Dinner • Sir Stephen Tindall for speaking at the Leadership Week dinner • Jan Dawson, Chair of KPMG for speaking at the Leadership Week dinner • David Williams of Production Associates for overseeing and stage managing the Leadership Week dinner • Nick Hadley from KudosWeb for our new website and his invaluable IT assistance • Reg Birchfield for his significant contribution to the magazine and communications • Toni Myers, Gill Prentice, Fran Marshall, and the team at Mediaweb for creating our Leaders magazine and for ongoing support • PricewaterhouseCoopers (Nuala Baker and her team) for providing us with accounting and financial assistance • Mark Otten from The Warehouse for providing us with financial advice • Altris for supplying executive coaching to our team • Adrian Sole (Alumnus 2006) for assisting with our search for a new home • Sarah Trotman, Bizzone, for providing a stand at the Bizzone Business Expo • Serena Walker (Alumnus 2007) and Karen Chan (Alumnus 2008) for help with our newsletter • Members of the Leadership New Zealand Alumni and executive who have given their time, talents and energy at various events this year, particularly Grant Bunting (Alumnus 2009), Karam Meuli (Alumnus 2009), Vicky Pond Dunlop, Mark Dunlop (Alumnus 2009) and Selina Marsh (Participant 2010) • All of our Trustees, Advisory Trustees and Funding Partners for their ongoing support and invaluable advice • Minnie Baragwanath (Alumnus 2007), Sina Moore (Alumnus 2008), Adrian Sole (Alumnus 2006) and Grant Bunting (Alumnus 2009) for ongoing support in organizing the café events • For the filming of our café events in 2009 and 2010, Richard Carstens of Pointed Stick and Minnie Baragwanath (Alumnus 2007) • Alumni involved in the Alumni Committee: Rewi Spraggon (2005), Mike Davies (2005), Cheryl Holloway (2006), Adrian Sole (2006), Maureen Crombie (2006), Minnie Baragwanath (2007), Jodi Mitchell (2007), Sina Moore (2008), Moi Becroft (2008), Manu Keung (2008), Karam Meuli (2009), Adrian Wimmers (2009) • All invited contributors and people who gave their time to be interviewed for this magazine

www.leadershipnz.co.nz


A Life in Leadership

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2011 LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME We are looking for leaders to take responsibility for New Zealand’s future… Leadership New Zealand provides a unique opportunity for leaders with potential to engage with some of New Zealand’s best leaders in conversations about the issues of greatest concern to New Zealand’s future.

A Life in Leadership  Take personal leadership learning beyond theory and across sectors  Learn to build dialogue with other leaders from different backgrounds and viewpoints  Be challenged…to really listen and contemplate

Candidates should:  Have demonstrated leadership capability  Ideally have 10-15 years experience in their fields of expertise  Care about New Zealand and its future  Be prepared to commit to the community through Leadership New Zealand’s SkillsBank Programme

 Be exposed to new perspectives and different environments and live a life of leadership in your business and community  Have support from their organisation

 Hear the frank opinions and concerns of  Be ready to make a substantial leaders from across New Zealand and learn commitment of two to three days per from their experiences month over 9 months Candidates are drawn from diverse backgrounds and are selected based on merit. Places are limited to a maximum of 34 participants each year. Some scholarships are available to assist community leaders who would not otherwise be able to participate in the programme. For further details go to www.leadershipnz.co.nz or contact us on 09 309 3749 or info@leadershipnz.co.nz.

Applications for the 2011 Leadership Programme close on 15 September 2010


Key Partners ACC www.acc.co.nz

The ASB Community Trust www.asbcommunitytrust.co.nz

Bell Gully www.bellgully.co.nz

Foodstuffs www.foodstuffs.co.nz

New Zealand Post www.nzpost.co.nz

Supporting Partners

altris www.altris.co.nz

Bartercard www.bartercard.co.nz

Boardworks International www.boardworksinternational.com

Hay Group www.haygroup.com

JR McKenzie Trust www.jrmckenzie.org.nz

Kerridge & Partners www.kerridgesearch.com Kudos www.kudosweb.com

Management magazine www.management.co.nz Mediaweb www.mediaweb.co.nz


Leaders Winter 2010