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What is so great about leaders?

Leadership is one of the hottest topics in business. Its not surprising, as its universally acknowledged as a vital ingredient for success

iz Wotherspoon, director of The Icehouse business growth centre, puts leaderships importance this way: Its absolutely critical what leaders or good leadership practices you have if youre going to create a sustainable business. If youre going to drive sustainable growth, you need great leadership, whether youre a start up or an established company. Investors absolutely look for it whether they are angel investors, private equity investors or venture capitalists, they look very carefully at the leadership capabilities in the business and they want to be condent in them. Shelley Campbell, chief executive of the Sir Peter Blake Trust, which works to

identify and mobilise the next generation of Kiwi leaders, also stresses the importance of leadership in recruitment. I think the best businesses have matured to the point where theyre not just looking for the smartest people in a particular job, but they are really wanting to develop concepts of their people as all round leaders, she says. They are really wanting people who give back to communities and get involved in things they care about. But can you make leaders, and how can we train them to bring their skills into the day-to-day life of our businesses? What are the qualications the best employers look out for when they are looking to stock their C-suite with the brightest and best?


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From fighting fires to making hires

It wasnt until business development manager Caleb Galvin completed a leadership development programme that things really started to move
usiness development manager Caleb Galvin loves his job but one day realised hed found himself in a position where he was constantly ghting res. Being the go-to troubleshooter was manageable until the business started growing at a rapid rate. Galvin was managing nine staff and just didnt have the time to spend with them one-on-one. Hes part of Chillex Maintenance, a subsidiary of The Chillex Group, which provides service and maintenance of air conditioning systems to bluechip clients such as Goodman Property and Kiwi Income Property. That means they deal a lot with tradesmen, who arent necessarily keen on paperwork. Galvin says trying to streamline processes was an ongoing challenge. We knew we had to make changes to improve our administration so the business could operate at its potential, he says. Little mistakes were always being made, which meant our productivity and time was compromised. Then Galvin heard about The Icehouse Leadership Development Programme through Chillexs managing director Cam Crawford, who had done one of the management programmes before. Galvin was initially sceptical, having been on management courses before that hadnt done much for him. He couldnt afford to waste precious time on a programme that might not deliver. But Crawford convinced him it would be benecial and thanks to Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Crawford secured funding for part of the programme. As soon as Galvin started the programme, he knew it was the right decision to help him develop personally and professionally. It was great to be away from the ofce to be able to reect. Often we dont get the chance to do that and it meant I had to learn to delegate. The programme gave him the condence to make some key changes in the business, which

Chillex Maintenance business development manager Caleb Galvin

has resulted in better outputs for customers and happier staff. We streamlined the business and have upgraded our phone technology as well as introducing new asset management software which lets us provide a much higher level of service. We can now run a report to show customers what they are spending so they can adequately budget and forecast its a huge advantage for us. In terms of skills, Galvin says he learned too many things to name but above all, he has become more business-savvy and customerconscious. I have a renewed perspective, and much better understanding of looking at things from the customers point of view meaning we can create outputs to exceed expectations. His leadership style and awareness of his staff has improved and hes a lot more rounded as a team member. I feel more equipped to handle difcult situations and Im more condent. My relationship with Cam has improved too

I understand things from his perspective. We now run through our gures together, because I understand our nancial drivers. Galvin says he now has a strategic approach to his work and enjoys it a lot more. I have a lot more job satisfaction. I went from being a service manager to key account manager to business development manager because of the change in focus I got on the programme. It gave me the skills to take that step and put other people under me to execute day-to-day operations. Galvin is now looking at ways to grow the business. He has recently picked up two major accounts and is setting his sights on winning nationwide contracts. I denitely recommend The Icehouse programme for any senior manager its by far the best thing Ive ever done for training myself.
Ready to develop yourself personally and professionally? The next Icehouse Leadership Development Programme starts February 2014. Visit to find out more.


What happens without leaders The Peters Principle

You may well have heard the phrase: People are promoted to their level of incompetence, or something similar, without fully realising the subtlety of the idea. Originally developed by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in 1969, the full version states: In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence ... in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties. Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence. Basically, in this system everybody gets promoted until they start to fail, whereupon they tend to do just enough to hang on, but go no further. Sound familiar? If you want to be part of a leadership-driven organisation, watch for symptoms of this, and if you want to be a leader, watch for symptoms that youre just barely clinging on. If you are, get trained, or get out of the way.

What makes a leader?

THE INtERPREtAtION OF what makes leaders and leadership moves with the fashions and mindset of the times. It also nds sources of inspiration in some of the most unlikely places. If youre DIYing your leadership training you might nd yourself studying The Art of War, created several hundred years before the birth of Christ, and attempting to apply ancient Chinese warfare stratagems to the boardroom. Or you might want to do as August Turak does in a book published just this year and learn The Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks. On the speaking circuit, mountaineers will try to tell you that trudging up a freezing lump of rock has tonnes to tell you about leading your sales team to protable success and consultants of all stripes will argue that you must lead your team using special habits, colour charts or role plays. However, a useful recent overview of leadership theories comes from The WileyBlackwell Handbook of The Psychology of Leadership, Change and Organizational Development, which was published this year. Drawing on more than 80 years of published research, it is written and edited by academics and psychologists. It includes a critical review of leadership theory by Professor Beverly Alimo-Metcalfe, the co-founder of the UK-based Real World Group of leadership and culture advisors. Trait theories suggest leaders are born with such things as excess energy, dominance and intelligence rather than being trained for leadership over time. Behavioural approaches look at how leaders actually act, while charismatic leadership theories attempt to explain the most subtle qualities in those who tend to be described as visionary or transformational. While Enron, Lehman Brothers and oh, the Global Financial Crisis, have taken the shine off this kind of heroic-leadership somewhat, it still has currency, if only as one aspect of what leadership is. Ken Lee, director of MBA and executive education at AUT Universitys Faculty of Business and Law, describes it as the intangible. It is about condence and a set of values. Its a certain kind of X-factor. Lately, there has also been a renewed interest and popularity in quiet leadership, which is characterised by seless service and powersharing. And with this being the internetenabled age of hyper scrutiny, its no surprise that many employers are on the look out for authentic leaders, which means a bit more than just avoiding acting like David Brent from The Ofce. As Campbell puts it: You have to live your

Managers do things right. Leaders do the right things

Warren G. Bennis, university professor and distinguished professor of business administration and founding chairman of The Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California


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Daily pursuit of excellence

Surrounding herself with thought leaders who arent afraid to challenge the status quo is essential for UDC Finance chief executive Tessa Price

essa Price isnt afraid of a little competition. In fact, she makes it a point to surround herself with three or people who have the skills and experience to easily step in and take her place. Its imperative that my leadership team constructively challenge me and their peers, have diversity of thought and openly share new ideas, she says. Price is at the helm of UDC Finance, |New Zealands biggest and oldest asset nance company. Ironically, UDC was also the rst role the 41-year-old took on after nishing university. Starting at ANZ was the launch pad for my whole career. I set out as a graduate at UDC, the very organisation that I now have the privilege of being CEO of today. Its my role to empower all my staff to be better, strive for the daily pursuit of excellence and continually make incremental improvements to generate a stronger organisation. Any prospective recruits have to have the right values and behaviours, the right can-do attitude and the passion to deliver the best service. Once theyre in the door, theres a strong focus on training opportunities and career development. We utilise the best that ANZ Group has to offer and also have bespoke tailored programmes for our staff. Were always looking at new ideas outside the organisation. Im constantly reading about global best practises so that we can continue to evolve and not be complacent. UDC was rst established in 1937 as Financial Services Limited. The company provided nance for Masport to develop the rst petrol lawn mower in New Zealand and nanced the rst Hamilton jet boat for commercial use. The original idea behind the business was

Ive had several inspiring mentors throughout my career theyve challenged me in each role
to provide industrial nance for New Zealand businesses and its never deviated from that. Asset-based nancing can be a difcult thing, but because UDC Finance is owned by ANZ Bank New Zealand were able to stick to a strategy of providing nance to New Zealand businesses for buying plant, vehicles and equipment and not rely on land, buildings and speculative property developments. While the Global Financial Crisis has wiped out many New Zealand nance companies, UDC continues to grow, with more than $2 billion in lending and $1.5 billion in debentures.

Theres a growing readiness to invest, with all the signs pointing to an encouraging lift in condence in the economy. Her road to the top, she says, has been built on good relationships, and those relationships have been built on respect. Networks of people you trust, who know what you can do and are genuinely keen to see you succeed, are crucial. Its also about giving yourself options. You have to be exible and condent enough to step outside your usual remit without fear of change or failure. Ive had several inspiring mentors throughout my career, theyve challenged me in each role and instilled critical behaviour and values in me.
For more information on ANZ and UDC, contact Sonia Ball, ANZ Corporate Affairs, 027 4811 809,



This turns on its head the idea that great leaders are people who can best control other people. First and foremost, they have to have control of themselves
Ken Lee, director of MBA and executive education at AUT Universitys Faculty of Business and Law

Sustainable and ethical leadership

The rise of sustainable thinking has also led to an increasing interest in the idea of ethical leadership, where business leaders gain a good deal of their mana from the causes they espouse and the values they live and work by. Partly for this reason, would-be leaders taking AUTs MBA course have corporate governance and responsibility among their core papers and can now even specialise in sustainability. Several studies have shown how graduates prefer to work for companies that adhere to a defined value set or work towards a specific set of ethical goals in order to make the world a better place. This often has to come right from the top of the organisation. And research by the Sir Peter Blake Trust also suggests this shows no sign of slowing in future generations. The Trusts Dream Team of business leaders and celebrity ambassadors recently embarked on simultaneous hour-long school visits, reaching something like 16,000 children between the ages of five and 18. When asked to describe their dreams, an overwhelming number of them expressed a desire to work in areas that improved the world around them. They were really interested in our environment, says Campbell. They worried about safety in the community, they wanted to be in roles that made a difference, and they were so proud to be New Zealanders and what that meant.

values every day in the workplace and use them to guide your decision-making and activities not just in the good days when youre having team-building activities, but on the hard days as well. Its about how you treat each other and your customers, and what you choose to invest in and put time towards. I think people within the teams need to know that their leaders are really living and breathing those values. Wotherspoon sums up her idea of what a leader is quite simply. Good leaders have a very high degree of self-awareness, she says. They know themselves really well. And you need to be able to communicate well to build trust and bring people along with you. They can also manage their own emotions and seek out or are very open to feedback.

Lee also believes personal development and reection is crucial. Some people have inherent leadership skills, in contrast to those who may be in a position of management and not recognise the transition between management and leadership, or understand the difference, he says. The sense is that leadership operates as a wave of inuence that begins with the individuals leadership qualities, then emanates into very high-quality interpersonal relationship skills, which in turn inuences their contacts, personal networks, organisations, communities and ultimately society at large. This turns on its head the idea that great leaders are people who can best control other people. First and foremost they have to have control of themselves.

You have to live your values every day in the workplace and use them to guide your decision-making and activities not just on the good days, but on the hard days as well
Shelly Campbell, chief executive of the Sir Peter Blake Trust


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Accelerating New Zealand

Receiving a Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award has been the tipping point for these Kiwis aiming for the top
Gary Wilson

Celebrating 10 years of inspiring Kiwi leadership In June 2014, the Sir Peter Blake Trust will celebrate a decade of outstanding Kiwi leadership, with the 10th anniversary of New Zealands most prestigious leadership awards. The Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards recognise Zealand sporting, business, arts, government and community leaders who have not only excelled in their chosen eld, but they have also given back as leaders in their industries, local and wider communities. Their outstanding leadership has inspired and mobilised others to embark on their own leadership journeys and to further contribute to the success of New Zealand. Six Blake Leaders and one Blake Medalist are named each year, becoming part of an incomparable leadership network. Members share the same spirit, passion and leadership qualities of one of our greatest leaders, Sir Peter Blake, after whom the awards are named. Here, ve Blake Leaders talk what their Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award has meant to them. 2005 Blake Leader: Mark Weldon, Owner Terra Sancta Winery and Chair of GeoOp Being part of the Blake Leader network, Im always meeting exceptional new people who are doing stunning things and it reminds you of just how much is possible. The Blake Leaders as a group sit across all sectors of New Zealand society. When that group is harnessed to integrate the energy, which exists in all sorts of strange and wonderful places, it can help accelerate New Zealand forward. It is the potential that the group has to make a difference that is most exciting. 2012 Blake Leader: Rachel Taulelei, CEO and Founder of Yellow Brick Road Being inducted as a Blake Leader in 2012 has been a true highlight. As a Blake Leader youve

Mark Weldon

Rachel Taulelei

Julie Chapman

Glen Sowry

been given a tap on the shoulder, tantamount to, we like what you have done so far but we think you can do more, and with that faith and a gentle nudge, you do. The Trust has invested in our future and they do some incredible work with young leaders, which is an area I am also passionate about. Its a real privilege to be involved. 2005 Blake Leader: Glen Sowry, CEO Housing NZ, Whitbread and Olympic Sailor Being recognised as a Blake Leader, by such an extraordinary panel, gave me condence and raised the bar about in terms of what I could and should achieve, and that I shouldnt just stay put and ride comfortably. I needed to make an effort, to focus and challenge myself. To now be a trustee and on the selection panel myself are all by-products of these extra efforts. From a career perspective I have stepped up to lead an organisation that has the governments second biggest asset on the balance sheet, housing 200,000 of the countrys most vulnerable people. This is a tremendous responsibility but receiving the award has helped give the condence that I can do it. 2011 Blake Leader: Julie Chapman, CEO and Co-Founder of KidsCan It is an honour to be a Blake Leader and, for me personally, it means I have accepted an award that comes with an ongoing responsibility to

develop as a leader and to do even more in the eld I work in. One of the great things about being a Blake Leader is that it opens up a network to other like-minded people who are all passionate about their contribution to making New Zealand a great place to live. 2006 Blake Leader: Gary Wilson, Director of the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute When you receive a Blake Leader award you also take on the responsibility to step up and continue Sir Peters great leadership legacy, in your chosen eld of expertise. This has certainly been the case for me, as I have moved from just focusing on my own scientic teaching and research endeavours to lead one of the most ambitious New Zealand Science Challenges The Deep South for New Zealand. Being part of the Blake Leader network connects me to leaders, outside of science, who have provided me with different support and other valuable expertise and skills. They have inuenced how I approach my work and what I am trying to achieve with our science and research community. Winning a Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award is less about the award and more about what happens next and what youre prepared to make happen.
To nominate a leader you know for a 2014 Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award, visit Nominations close 14 March, 2014.



How to build new leaders

THE GOOD NEWS is that we can, to a large extent, train leaders and leadership skills. Liz Wotherspoon is director of growth for The Icehouse business growth centre, which, among many other things, does just that. Some people may be more pre-disposed to being good at it, but theres no doubt in my mind that you can develop leadership, she says. Part of that development is learning your strengths and knowing what your Achilles heel is. The tendency is to work on the things you are not so strong in, but there may also be an argument for working on those things where you are already strong and getting even stronger in them. Leadership training is also a big part of Ken Lees job as director of MBA and executive education at AUT Universitys Faculty of Business and Law, where the courses have taken an increasing and innovative approach to this kind of training. Partly inspired by the work of Professor Srikant M. Datar of Harvard University, the schools latest MBA prospectus splits this approach into three key components: knowing, doing and being. Knowing is about all the things that managers need to know, the facts, gures, frameworks and theories. Interestingly, even this represents a shift from more conventional approaches. Instead of taking MBA students through a fairly standard set of basic accountancy principles and practices, for example, the faculty team has taken a step back and started with a clean sheet. You dont need to be a partially trained accountant, Lee explains. You need to be ready to manage accountants and make decisions based on the information they are generating, so we focused on only what you need to know to do that. The Doing component is about taking that knowledge and applying it. The course does this partly by requiring that all students complete a real business project as part of their studies. But perhaps the most interesting component, especially when talking about leadership rather than management, is the Being component. Its a given that an MBA graduate is able to

Some people may be more pre-disposed to being good at leadership, but theres no doubt in my mind that you can develop those qualities
Liz Wotherspoon, director of growth for The Icehouse business growth centre

read a set of nancials and create a business plan, but what is it that allows them to function as a manager and leader in this global, complex, changing environment? says Lee. This part of the training deals with the attitudes and beliefs of leadership, as well as taking in global perspectives and issues such as

sustainability. Lee believes it is bringing all these aspects together in training that makes the real difference in creating leaders and gives the employers the kind of candidates they want for the top jobs. They want someone who can work with diverse teams, has great presentation skills, can write and present articulately with great condence, can think outside the box and is great at creative thinking and problem solving, while also being able to manage change, he says. Rather than providing a xed set of principles and practices, the course provides exposure to many different approaches, as well as a diverse range of fellow students and lecturer practitioners to ensure students can develop and ourish in their own ways and in their own right. Tessa Price, chief executive ofcer of UDC Finance, explains how this plays out for a company such as hers. I am looking for people with passion and enthusiasm, people who have the capability to learn, to think differently and laterally, she says. We then create a learning environment where people are really comfortable to challenge our thinking.


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Better business through leadership

LEADERSHIP CAN SEEM like a big thing, but when it is absent is usually the little things that start to go wrong. For example, Bobby Van de Kuilen, head of Takapuna-based management consultants Novo, once told me how when lightbulb production at a leading global electronics company was ailing, he was asked to investigate. It turned out that a guy on the factory oor called Danny was much more diligent at his job than all the others. All Van de Kuilen had to do was point him out and tell the management to get everybody to work like Danny. Another time at a geothermal power plant he spotted that one of the ow dials, which guide how much water the plant could take in, was incorrect. A new meter was installed, and the plant gained about a million

Youll never guess what I do to get great business results for managers I ask the people at ground level who are actually doing the work how they think it should be done, and theyre usually right
dollars a year in revenue. Ken Lee tells a similar story of a leading business consultant he met who said simply: Youll never guess what I do to get great business results for managers I ask the

people at ground level who are actually doing the work how they think it should be done, and theyre usually right. Leadership then, is not so much about obtaining the lofty heights of management in the C-suite as it is about maintaining contact with the ground. Maintaining the quality of that contact is the tricky part. Lee says its about creating the culture and environmental in which people can say something different to the what the rest of the team is saying, or even what the boss is saying. Leaders that create the right environment and create high performance teams have a high level of trust and allow people to make mistakes and learn from them, he says. You dont hit them over the head, you review and say what can we learn from this.


The take out

Im looking for people with passion and enthusiasm people who have the capability to learn, to think differently and laterally. We then create a learning environment where people are really comfortable to challenge our thinking
Tessa Price, chief executive officer, UDC Finance

It seems in business these days were looking for something more like a working democracy than a dictatorship genuine consultation to allow the group to come up with better ideas than any one individual ever could. Far from being evaluated as individuals, leaders must be evaluated by the performance of the teams; because without the people they lead leaders have no role at all. If you havent got the trust for people to be able to say what they think and be heard in an inclusive supportive way you will shut down innovation and creativity, says Lee. They might know the answer, but they wont get to tell you. Perhaps this is one of the most important contributions New Zealand can make to the global quest for leadership. Our general informality in business sometimes becomes a barrier to success overseas, but it has also means our top executives tend to be more at ease hanging out in the lunchroom talking about last nights game than their counterparts in other countries. While top companies like Google and Yahoo! tout the informality of their ofce cultures as a key part of their success, Kiwi leaders can slide right into this with relative ease. The ability to be relaxed and informal, especially under the pressures of business leadership, illustrates and instils enormous condence. So relax, dude, and be a leader.

AS EMPlOYERS AND EMPlOYEES, we need to overcome the disturbing tendency in some sectors to simply promote able practitioners to management without any management or leadership training. But setting out to become the leader can sometimes be more of a hindrance than a help for developing key leadership abilities, such as humbleness, interest in others, empathy and knowing your limitations. People are drawn to people who do what they do with great effortlessness, ease and condence, not those who are stressing themselves out trying to climb a corporate ladder. Leadership can happen at all levels of the rm, and be expressed in different ways, from the CEO to the maverick creative, so be constantly alert to where your own personal genius is taking you, it will inevitably be to the right place that contains the most success for you. Price believes that everybody can be a leader, no matter what role they have in an organisation. If you can come in every day and improve every day, then that is leadership, she says. You dont have to have a title like CEO of CFO to be able to do that. Lee recommends to his students that if they are not already the CEO, they should start thinking like they are. This means that when you are looking at a business issue you dont just think about it in the narrow context, you think about how it ts with the rest of the organisation. You have to start thinking holistically and strategically, within your organisation and the environment in which that organisation functions. And the nature of leadership goes far beyond just your business. Campbell points out that while New Zealanders are probably getting more comfortable with our own unique leadership style and on recognising leadership when we see it, as a country we have some critical decision ahead on our priorities and what we stand for. Where do we want to live and what kind of society do we want to live in? Answering that is going to require some outstanding leadership and vision.

A N DY K E N W O RT H Y I S a R E G U L a R I D E a L O G C O N T R I B U T O R a N D aU T H O R O F T H I S G U I D E (a N D M a N Y O T H E R T H I N G S ) .


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