I think I’m an effective leader but...
by Kate Mitchell
Marketing Coordinator, DeakinPrime
26 June 2012 Experiential Learning Leadership Challenge, event overview
I often find myself watching shows like MasterChef and Australian Idol wondering how on earth these contestants honestly think they stand a chance of progressing to the top 20! I am sure we were all told when growing up by our adoring parents, ‘‘You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it!”. Really, Mum and Dad, really? Take my singing ability for example - while my one year old son may find it entertaining, I am pretty certain that no amount of focus will help me sing like Beyonce. Sure - you may not be able to make the top 20 on Australia Idol or Master Chef but there are certain aspects of your day-to-day business and personal life that can be adjusted to help you reach your specific and achievable goals.
“What’s the secret?” I hear you ask. It’s all about creating more ‘yes’ votes and making use of information you receive. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s a rather a difficult challenge, a challenge which a group of willing participants took up on June 26, 2012 at DeakinPrime. To learn more about how you can become an effective leader in the eyes of the people who watch what you on a daily basis, read on...
During the course of the Experiential Leadership Workshop Challenge, participants operated well and truly outside their comfort zones. Participants were required to travel back to the days of Camelot and take part in “The Challenge of Excelleron". Each participant took on the role of a ‘villager’ with a mission to become an elite member of King Arthur's court or an Elder. To become an Elder, villagers were required to uphold Camelot’s cultural values while deftly conducting business transactions. Each participant had to find effective methods to deal with tight deadlines, uncertainty, competitive personalities and constant change. While the context of this workshop may sound like child’s play, incredibly, it replicates behaviours displayed in every organisation throughout world. On a daily basis we are required to: satisfy both commercial and cultural requirements, deal with ambiguity, negotiate, adapt to constant change, work with personalities that are not necessarily aligned to your own, deal ethically and project confidence and ability to those around you.
Participants in the workshop were reminded that information means nothing unless you are able to acquire it and apply it. While this sounds relatively straight forward, there are numerous factors that hamper one’s ability to execute this seemingly easy task. Acquiring information can be hampered by time pressure, parties competing for the same information, weighing up whether the source of the information is trustworthy or not. Even once the information has been acquired, complex and lengthy information can make it difficult to apply.
Interestingly, while you may think that you are acting like a leader and have absolutely the best intentions in the world, the people around you may perceive your best intentions in a completely different light. How do you go about changing people’s perceptions? Basically, when people feel valued and trusted, positive results will follow. The ability to create positive perceptions is a skill, one may even say art form, and as leaders it is imperative that we master this art.
Would you like to meet some of our artful leaders and hear firsthand about how they found the DeakinPrime Experiential Leadership Workshop Challenge? We interviewed a variety of participants who were more than happy to share their learnings:
If you would like to see photos of this event and others please click here. While you are there, don’t forget to register for our upcoming events!