Welcome to the Future Leaders Blog

  • The chance to participate in the Bay of Plenty Education Trust Future Leaders Programme was the opportunity of a life time. This course opened my eyes to the increasingly common idea that leadership is becoming more of a science and less an art. The skills and insight I have gained are incomparable to those gained from anything else I have ever done and are not only relevant to leadership situations but also help to improve many aspects of everyday life. I learnt a lot about myself and truly benefitted from taking part in this course. Rosanna Harris


    I was part of the first ever Future Leaders Programme, an opportunity that I both loved and benefited from immensely. The material taught by Phil Laurence was excellent and very applicable, and I also made some awesome friendships over the two years which I still maintain today. I have been accepted by Victoria University (where I study Psychology and Media) to be part of the VIC OE exchange programme for a semester, so I am heading to Germany to study at Tuebingen University. Thank you for the incredible opportunity that you gave me to be part of the Future Leaders' Programme. Aimee Smith (Tauranga Girls' College)


    Hi Phil


    I hope all is going well for you.


    Yet again, I am leaving this until the last minute to reply, my apologies. I have just returned from a study group up North and a fabulous time diving at Poor Knights.


    The one leadership practice that I choose in April that I needed to work on, was to enable others to act, and that is one of the key practices I have chosen to focus on, the other is inspire a shared vision, as I also thought I had trouble with this back in April.


    1. Inspire a shared vision and Enable others to act.

    2. In April I had judged myself on being the worst at these two practices, and therefore I thought I should try and improve on these two practices, to make me a better leader.

    3. Over the past few months I have been dealing with fundraising with my Year 13 Marine Studies class for a trip to Poor Knights for diving, which took place on Monday to Wednesday the 24th to the 26th.


    My class is small, but still quite difficult to motivate and organise, as we are all busy, and they would rather be doing other things. Both of the practices were particularly hard to put in place in this project, because no-one was really that interested in fundraising for a trip that was only going to cost us $100 each which they would ask their parents to pay for. The fee was reduced as the Government subsidised this trip. This is where I put in place "Inspire a shared vision".


    I needed to inspire my classmates and get them excited about our dive trip. I explained to them that for a little bit of their time and effort, we wouldn't have to pay anything, and this amazing trip away to the best dive spot in NZ would be a treat, and an opportunity that on-one else would get. As a leader, I learnt that it's not good enough to simply force your peers to reach a goal that you want to achieve, I must encourage them, and get them involved and excited about the project for them to put the effort in. I was able to talk to my peers and encourage them to understand that the goal that I was envisioning was a goal that they could adopt as their own.


    To further improve my effectiveness as a Leader I encouraged the group by arranging class meetings to decide what type of fundraising they wanted to be involved in. I found they were then a little more motivated when it became their choice, and had more fun choosing their own fundraiser. This then lead to enabling others to act.


    Because my peers were able to choose what forms of fundraising they wished to do and when it suited them, they were more likely to get involved and actually carry it through. As a leader I organised the fundraising events, oversaw the events, but my peers were delegated individual roles amongst the tasks at hand. This only occurred half way through the project after I reviewed my leadership style, as previously the class did not follow through and out of necessity and frustration I would then have to take over. This action did not deliver the results I had throught.


    Originally I was trying to take on too much, simply so I knew the tasks would be completed. My peers found this not helpful and bossy. This lead me to evaluate my style and delegate roles moving forward. The students who were given key roles amongst the fundraising tasks proved to have a lot more interest in the tasks and made more effort. This taught me that as a leader, giving some responsibility and trusting those involved proved to be beneficial for the project. This has taught me that delegation is the key to get the best from people, and not to lose faith or be disheartened when some of the team do not follow through even when they have been delegated responsibilities.


    The few that did not follow through I had to take different measures. With these people I had one on one meetings to see what they wanted from the project and what they felt they would like to put in. This eventually worked out so all class members were all participating fairly, and working equally.


    4. I believe that through my experiences over the last few months I have been able to grow and develop as a leader, and improve the practices that I had previously suffered with. I found it hard to motivate people, both previously and during this project, which is why I chose to work on inspiring a vision. I found that talking to my peers and giving them a fair say in what they wanted to do, and how they wanted to do it, got them motivated and they wanted to adopt my vision as a common goal. I think that treating my peers as equals in this project, assigning leadership roles amongst them, worked in a positive way as I got good responses from all members involved.


    In the past I have had trouble with delegation. I feel as though if I don't do it myself, it won't be done right. In this project I have had to delegate leadership roles amongst my peers, such as organisation of materials for the task, or overlooking a task when I was unable to be there. The tasks that were delegated were carried out spectacularly, even better than if I had had to try and do everything myself. This was a good learning curve for me, showing that others can do what is required of them, which I think will benefit me and my leadership in the future.


    I look forward to meeting with yourself and the group in October.


    Kind regards


    Sarena Leckie