TLN is delighted to launch our ground-breaking Indigenous Leadership Series: “Celebrating Heritage - Sharing the Future”
Across the world – all too slowly – people in colonised nations are increasingly recognising the importance and value of Indigenous wisdom, culture and leadership, as well as the importance of dialogue and addressing the ongoing effects of colonisation.
This TLN series seeks to explore how the whole Leadership Development Profession could:
The TLN Indigenous Leadership Series is intended to be just one step in a long journey of alliance towards understanding and a shared future. This Series comprises:
This series is free to TLN members, and intended to be accessible to any LD professional.You can choose to attend the whole series, or select individual sessions.
The format is small-group, mostly round-table and informal. Each session is online and scheduled for 90 minutes.
Your participation could be a pivotal contribution, and could be deeply impactful for you, your practice as a professional - and the people whose lives you change.
Numbers are limited. To book or for more information, visit the TLN Events Page , or feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair, The Leadership Network
In Australia, New Zealand, and much of the South Pacific, Covid is contained - for now. We have watched as those in formal authority exercised that authority for "direction, protection and order". We watched as countless community members exercised leadership without authority to help make progress. And we've watched - as the peak of the crisis faded - how some in formal authority stumbled and struggled to engage their leadership in a post-crisis zeitgeist.
But the crisis is not over for the entire world - far from it. What's more, the impact of Covid will be felt for years to come. The trauma for individuals, families, businesses, communities is present but often hidden - and for many this trauma won't be overcome easily or swiftly.
So what is the role of the Leadership Development Profession in helping heal this trauma? How do we work with individuals, groups, teams, organisations, communities to help emerge a better world? How do we recognise the trauma that people have experienced, help them heal, and help others recognise the importance and synergy of that healing.
The Leadership Development Profession exists to help humans make progress towards their purpose. Through our Future of Leadership events and our thought leadership in 2021 we'll continue to explore how best we can emerge a better world.
As the year comes to a close and we reflect on the challenges of 2020 for humanity and in particular for the Leadership Development profession, we acknowledge how we have all had to adapt to new modes of developing leadership, as well as fundamentally changed expectations by everyone.
The LD profession has been part of the journey to a new world. We have helped build leadership for the benefit of humanity.
Like everyone, the LD profession experienced the initial acute crisis in early 2020, and we noted the global reliance on beneficial authority (or not!). Then we experienced the steady realisation of the chronic longer-term issues the world was facing into. We participated in and helped lead the dialogue of how a new and better world might emerge: how we could avoid returning to some of the problems of the “old normal”. We also helped lead the processes to address the awful immediate and long-term consequences of the pandemic.
The LD profession is seeking to build leadership which maximises human wellbeing and sustainable ecosystems. In fact, throughout 2020, leadership has been central to individuals’, organisations’ and nations’ responses to the pandemic. We’ve helped everyone consider the balance between authority and leadership, between short-term and long-term focus, between adaptive and technical approaches, between individual and collective responsibility, and between cognition, emotion and purpose. There have been many, many challenges.
And come January 1, 2021, despite our fondest aspirations, nothing in the broader world will really change – at least, not in the short-term.
Throughout January and beyond, it seems that the LD profession will need to continue to help the world slowly emerge from the global impacts. We will need to help people continue to adjust to the ongoing disappointments which the recovery will inevitably comprise – while still helping people to build on the many opportunities ahead. We will need to keep helping people, organisations and nations adjust to losses, to help heal the trauma, to build and maintain resilience, and to focus on self and others to build the best possible future.
This year 2020 is part of a unique point in human history: a unique time to help emerge a better world. To support this, TLN engaged worldwide with best-practice opportunities for our members and friends. In 2020 TLN network members met with Marty Linsky, Maxime Fern, Louise Marra, Erik Larson and many others to help us negotiate the way ahead. Similarly our network supported each other: our highly valued series of peer checkins and peer-to-peer collaborations helped the profession reach out to each other for support, ideas, insights and collective strength. 2021 will continue and strenghten these important activities.
The LD profession is perhaps under-recognised. So, on behalf of everyone who benefits from the profession's contribution to the world: a special thank you for all the profession achieves in developing leadership to help emerge a better world in 2021 and beyond. Humanity benefits from good leadership development. There is much more to do.
Bring on 2021!
The Leadership Network
Richard Dent OAM
Marty Linsky is one of the best-known authors and practitioners of Leadership Development in the world: as part of the Harvard faculty he has influenced leadership development worldwide for more than 40 years.
On Tuesday September 22, TLN was honoured to have Marty host our first Future of Leadership session with a group of highly engaged LD professionals from around Australia, Fiji and New Zealand.
Marty explored the "with-Covid" challenges of our profession: what our own adaptive challenges are, and how we re-shape post-crisis so that we can help individuals, organisations, communities and nations create a better world.
Marty challenged our profession to practice "relentless optimism and brutal realism". The group explored with him how to engage with "constant communication beyond the 'check in'". And Marty reinforced for us the importance of leadership in the times ahead: a world which will require years of healing and recovery from the traumas of 2020. The LD profession is essential to this healing, and is essential to the future of humanity.
Our next session is with Julia Fabris McBride, Vice President of Kansas Leadership Center. Julia has been at the forefront of best practice in virtualising leadership programs. This session focuses on “The online holding environment and other virtual challenges ... in the context of real-world recovery”, including creating an online holding environment - an emotional "safe space" or "brave space" in which leadership development can occur. Julia will link this to the broader context of our profession. Julia partly explores technical best-practice, but primarily is focusing on exploration of adaptive and LD practice challenges. For LD professionals only.
Following Julia's session, the series continues through to November with Stephen Duns (Harthill Australasia), Maxime Fern (AALI) and Louise Marra (LNZ), together with our special Spotlight Event with best-selling author Erik Larson in conversation with Kansas Leadership Center CEO Ed O'Malley exploring "Leadership and Resilience in Times of Crisis".
Numbers are limited. Bookings can be made from the TLN events page.
These online events are tailored for Leadership Development Professionals only. The events are intended to continue to develop best practice LD and provide mutual support in our profession in the current context.
Richard Dent OAM FAICD
The Leadership Network
PS All of the events above are free or discounted to TLN members. If you're not already a member, consider joining the network for great professional development, great connections and wonderful peer support.
None of us expected 2020 to be quite like this. Our expectations shattered. Our worldviews changed. Perhaps our organisations upended, our teams under pressure, perhaps unsure of our roles or even ourselves. New decisions. Pressure everywhere. Transformation everywhere.
Exercising leadership in a transforming world is deeply challenging. We need to hold to purpose: people expect us to deliver on goals, on shareholder returns, on policy outcomes, on KPIs. And, they want us to exercise leadership for the wellbeing of our families and communities too. Yet as individuals we usually can’t do this alone: we need to influence others to adapt to the transformation, we need to influence others to lead the transformation too. But in doing this, we also need to lead our selves: to pay attention to our own needs and feelings as we mobilise others towards important outcomes.
It is sobering to remember that organisations and teams who fail to transform as fast as their environment are often doomed. And only purposeful, transformational leadership will avoid that fate. But it’s also reassuring to remember that we can do this: we always have. After all, anyone can exercise leadership anywhere, anytime: leadership is an activity anyone can choose to exercise: more than ever, leadership is not a position description.
Excellent leadership begins with diagnosing what’s going on for everyone involved. What are our own feelings about the transformation required? What uncertainties do we face? What uncertainties are others facing? Every decision we make is a choice between competing values and outcomes: every decision probably means a loss for someone – even if hidden within a so-called “win/win” transformation.
Exercising leadership in transforming times probably means disappointing people. Many of us secretly long for the “BC” (Before Covid) years. Many of us liked the apparent security and stability we thought we had in our lives, in our jobs. Leading people out of that security and stability and into a “With Covid World” may create a sense of disappointment, a sense of loss, perhaps even trauma. Good leaders help address that loss, perhaps heal that trauma, perhaps transform the loss to hope and optimism. Good leaders do this by energising others, by connecting to purpose, by regulating emotional temperature, by fostering trust, and by being vulnerable enough to seek input from multiple perspectives – not just the safe viewpoints of the comfortable voices.
As we lead self, lead others and hold to purpose, we may face the temptation of being the “hero leader”: the fount of knowledge, the source of truth. Yet if we truly want to lead transformation, we need to work out how to engage with the views of others: safely, non-judgmentally, productively. Perhaps this means gathering a team of diverse colleagues to wrestle with a challenge. Perhaps this means throwing out our challenge to someone with a completely different background or worldview. Perhaps it means leading ourselves to let go of some cherished belief. Perhaps it’s all of these.
The world has always been transforming around us, and we’ve always needed to adapt to survive. Right now the transformation is at warp-speed. And so the leadership we exercise needs to swiftly adapt too: our BC thoughts of leadership may need updating. We owe it to ourselves to take time to think about the way we exercise leadership. To reframe leadership of ourselves and of others, and to reconsider and hold to purpose in the current world.
Because only through exercising purposeful leadership can we hope that the new world currently emerging is better than the BC world we used to inhabit. We owe it to ourselves to exercise that leadership.
Richard Dent OAM is Chair of TLN.
Message from incoming Chair Richard Dent OAM
At the Leadership Network, we hold in our hearts and our minds everyone affected by the devastating bushfires across Australia. We offer our deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones, property and animals. And we profoundly thank all those involved in the response: the volunteers, the staff of many organisations and those leaders who have stepped up to meet this unprecedented challenge.
Leadership is playing a vital role in these appalling bushfires. From the courageous response of fire crews, to the compassion shown in communities on the ground, and the practical actions of many individuals and organisations across the country and indeed the world. We have seen many impressive examples of leadership during this disaster and we are all thankful for them.
As 2020 commences against the backdrop of bushfires, unrest in the Middle East, increasing technological, economic and ecological concerns and many other strategic issues for business, government and community, the question of leadership is right at the fore. Excellence in leadership development has never been more important.
It is in this formidable context that I am honoured to have been appointed the new Chair of The Leadership Network. I will do my utmost to help deliver on our mission to support leadership development in order to build better leadership in Australasia and the Indo-Pacific Region, whatever the future may bring.
In taking up this role I want to sincerely acknowledge and thank Angela Driver for her outstanding contribution as Chair for the past six years. With her unfailing energy, intelligence, good humour and wisdom, Ange has been instrumental in shaping the Network. I am delighted therefore that Ange will continue to support the Network as part of the wonderful TLN Board.
The Leadership Network is the leading organisation for professional leadership development practitioners across Australia and the Asia Pacific. It is for leadership development practitioners.
2020 will be a time of continued significant progress for TLN. Our aim is to eventually engage with and support every member of the leadership profession. That’s why in 2020 we will significantly increase our activity.
Our 2020 Symposium is already being planned. Our schedule of interactives webinars, podcasts and thought pieces is in train. Our plans for geographic and interest-group communities of practice are underway. Your input into all these activities will be important.
While TLN exists for leadership development professionals, in 2020 we also want to communicate the importance of good leadership more broadly. One theme we are likely to explore this year is the business, government and community leadership needed to address and mitigate climate change, and the leadership required to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters.
From 2020 TLN members will also have the opportunity of publishing pieces on the current and future practice of leadership, particularly as it relates to contemporary and emerging issues in workplaces and in the world.
In 2020 we will provide opportunities for practitioners to enhance their practice and connect with others in the profession. To this end, we are partnering with organisations providing professional development for our industry. Our first two opportunities for 2020 will be:
· Lewis Deep Democracy / Co-Resolve 19-20 February (details tba)
· Harthills Leadership Development Profile Accreditation 10-12 March
Member discounts apply to most TLN activities. We encourage all current members to let their networks know that TLN membership is important for practitioners and the communities they serve. There are many excellent direct benefits for members. We believe every practitioner in the Region – consultancies, individual practitioners, CLOs, OD practitioners in business/government/NFP and more – would benefit from being a TLN member. Membership information is here (link)
If you want to contribute to the TLN mission or participate in our activities, or would like to find out more, please reach out to me at (email address)
2020 will be full of challenge, progress and success. TLN looks forward to working with all of our members to help shape an even better leadership development profession, and a better world.
Dr Niki Vincent's 2014 Doctoral thesis explores leadership consciousness and its applicability in Australian leadership. Dr Vincent's work is based on frontline research of several hundred Australian leaders, and references Heifetz, Grashow, & Linsky, Bob Kegan, Susan Cook-Greuter, Jane Loevinger, David Rooke and Bill Torbert and many others.
David Rooke & Bill Torbert authored a seminal article on Leadership Consciousness: "Seven Transformations of Leadership", published in Harvard Business Review in 2005. This approach has evolved and been enhanced considerably since publication, however as a core grounding for good practice, this framework is recommended reading for all leadership development practitioners.
seven transformations of leadership rooke and torbert.pdf
The Leadership Network is committed building the wisdom and practice of LD professionals. If you have authored or would like to suggest an article related to progressing our profession, please let us know. .
Closing the gap.pdf
Leadership Network exists to support individuals and organisations who build
leadership capacity in their organisations and communities.
Richard Dent OAM, Chairvia: email@example.com