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Viewing entries tagged with 'leadership'

Trees in the distance

Posted by Philip on 27 March 2012, 6:11 pm in , , ,

On Sunday I sat out on my deck and noticed, in the distance, a gap in the landscape. A tree had disappeared.

Whoever decided to chop down the tree didn't realise they would change my view.

How many times, when we act, do we unknowingly change another's outlook, opinion, ideas? Might we even impact more tangibly on their lives?

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Leadership and helplessness

Posted by Philip on 14 March 2012, 6:50 pm in , ,

The tyranny of leadership is the sense of knowing how to keep things going. To overcome barriers. To resolve conflict. To leverage influence. To make change.

When people die, all that goes out the window.

In the last three weeks, the daughter of a close friend and colleague lost her baby — and an alumnus of the Be. Leadership programme I co-direct passed away.

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Leadership and spirituality

Posted by Philip on 1 March 2012, 7:00 am in , , ,

A recent conversation with a colleague reminded me about the importance of my own spiritual beliefs and practices in my leadership roles. It also reminded me that it took me a long time to integrate my spirituality into my work, longer to tell people and, even now, I don't write about it much. (Except for here and here [near the end]).

Why not? Partly because I might be perceived as weird, kooky, a little flakey perhaps. And partly because I make the assumption that people won't understand.

So, it's time for a bit of courage (of the wholehearted rather than brave kind). Let me share with you  my spirituality and how I use it in my work and leadership roles.

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It takes one to not know one, too

Posted by Philip on 23 February 2012, 5:31 pm in , ,

Following on from my last post, just quickly, before I prepare myself to co-direct the first retreat of the second Be. Leadership intake...

Psychological projection is a useful way to understand discomfort with diversity. When people react negatively (or overly positively for that matter, in that bleeding-heart liberal way they do) to another culture, lifestyle, or belief system, a useful exploration may be:

  1. How aware of — and comfortable with — their own culture, lifesyle, or belief system are they?
  2. How much are they feeling envious of the others' well-defined culture, lifestyle, or belief system?

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Authentically valuing diversity has nothing to do with understanding others. It's all about awareness of and comfort with self.

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It takes one to know one

Posted by Philip on 21 February 2012, 7:33 pm in , ,

I get a lot of people telling me how wonderful, amazing, inspirational, etc, etc, they think I am. To be honest, it gets a bit tedious and it's difficult to respond to such compliments, because they are often unnecessary.

Mostly, I'm just out doing unadmirable, uninspiring stuff, like having lunch.

Over the years I've developed a standard response: "Thanks, it takes one to know one." It graciously returns the compliment and, unless the person is a complete neanderthal, they get the wit and, usually, any disability-related tension is dispelled.

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NZ Prime Minister – zoom out or get out

Posted by Philip on 20 February 2012, 8:33 pm in , ,

"State housing should be a stepping stone and was no longer about a home for life," Prime Minister John Key says on Stuff.co.nz

That's all very well, but everyone "should" have equal –or at least equitable – access, opportunity and resources to acquire and retain the basic need of shelter.

They don't. Until they do, the Prime Minister is failing to see the bigger picture. 

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What I learnt about Housing NZ from Facebook

Posted by Philip on 15 December 2011, 7:14 am in , , , ,

I had a huge response on Facebook to the post I wrote last night about my dealings with Housing New Zealand. I appreciate the support from people who have commented and tweeted.

What has been interesting as a by-product are the other stories people have told about Housing NZ - admittedly they are hearsay but they give me cause for concern:

  • "a tetraplegic woman with very high medical needs being kicked out of her fully customised modified home of 15yrs to give it up for a refuge family of 9 with no access requirements"
  • "a person who had been asking for 7 years to be moved out of a Freemans Bay HNZ flat where drugs, prostitution and every other vice was going on...even though HNZ had 14 days to sort it out, get rid of the tenant who was terrorising everybody else they sat on their hands until [they were] threatened with public exposure"
  • "someone being evicted with 18 hours' notice"
  • "a HNZ worker asking why a client with a major anxiety disorder couldnt just get out and look for a house"
  • "cases of highly unsafe and unsanitary environments not fit for animals to live in"

If these constitute the usual tip of the proverbial iceberg, what is going on in Housing NZ? Where is the consistency and communication of rational policy in a Government-run organisation established to ensure the shelter of those impacted by an inaccessible, over-priced, unstable housing market?

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Schoolboy politics

Posted by Philip on 22 November 2011, 10:08 am in , , , ,

Last night's TV3 Campbell Live leaders debate between John Key and Phil Goff was yet another display of adolescent bravado, reminiscent of a high school debate. The moot: That I am better than you.

School bully Key, smug about getting A's in accounting and used to winning, openly sulked when Goff, not as natually gifted at the subject, showed that he'd knuckled down and done his homework. Key sulked and scowled openly when Goff unexpectedly rebuffed his right-wing economic arguments.

Goff, the nerdy guy that hangs out with the girls because he gets teased by the boys for having feelings, smirked when he realised he'd remembered the stuff right. I imagine he went off set to giggle in delight with his girlfriends at his accidental cleverness.

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Activism, advocacy and leadership

Posted by Philip on 16 November 2011, 5:18 pm in , , ,

Activism is a great activity for young people. Angry, young, passionate people make great activists. They show the world, in no certain terms, what needs to change.

Great activists, as they mature, make great advocates. They have the experience and confidence to help others, who lack experience and confidence, to get what they need.

Great advocates, as they mature, make great leaders. They have the wisdom to create opportunities for open conversations between people from different walks of life in order to create the change that activists highlight and adv0cates navigate.

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Political leaders are actually political managers

Posted by Philip on 2 November 2011, 10:18 am in , , ,

Seth Godin recently wrote: "Managers want authority. Leaders take responsibility."

I tried to watch the recent so-called Leaders' Debate between Key and Goff but, quite frankly, I got bored. But the little I did see seemed very much like the two arguing for authority, not taking responsibility.

I have no confidence in the current political system in this country nor, generally, those who partake in it, because it is polarised and ego driven. If, as we are told, MPs were our elected, representative leaders, they would be collaborating and negotiating, being generous and creative. They would be taking responsibility for creating a constructive, civil leadership environment. They would understand that there are no "right" policies and decisions — there are simply outcomes, good and bad, from any policy or decision, to which a plethora of sensible responses are needed.

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