On 11 May the LIP were thrilled to Graduate from the Great Managers Program with Great Managers Founder and Managing Director, Sandra Wood, Director of Operations Cameron Burgess, our facilitator Eleanor Hayman and RDA Illawarra CEO Debra Murphy hosting the evening.
Each LIP member presented the highlights of what they had learned over the 5 modules of the program in a short presentation. The LIP are a creative bunch and we were wowed with a quirky poem, short videos demonstrating acting prowess, an innovative role-play, audience participation and insightful and GIF laden PowerPoints.
Throughout the program, delivered between February 2021 – April 2022, the LIP received coaching and training in self-awareness, emotional intelligence, self-management, critical conversations, setting clear expectations and developing, motivating and engaging staff.
It was clear LIP members had experienced significant growth since the learning commenced and the graduation presentations included heartfelt thanks for the learning and camaraderie, sharing of the life changing lessons learned and examples of how the program had changed them at work and at home.
Debra Murphy congratulated the LIP for their commitment to the program, as well as their ability to be vulnerable, courageous and respect each other. She commented that it is fabulous to see the increased self-awareness, self-management and ability to influence others as well as the observable behavioural and mindset changes. The tools, techniques, models, mantras and building blocks of the program all helped them to learn. Many participants had experienced increased confidence and felt better equipped to be the best versions of themselves that they can be.
Celebration drinks were held after the presentation of certificates where we shared more reflections and learnings.
The LIP attended a site visit to Wollongong City Council on 31 March, hosted by General Manager Greg Doyle and Organisational Development and Leadership Coach Leila Hogan.
Greg has over 27 years’ experience at Wollongong City Council across a variety of roles and functions and had many valuable insights to share into how to create a high performance culture, taking care of staff wellbeing during challenging times and setting solid work-life boundaries. The LIP were inspired by the way Greg leads by example, particularly in terms of engagement with all levels of staff at council and the positive effect this has on workplace culture.
It was also a great opportunity to learn about the challenges the Illawarra is facing, the exciting developments and new projects earmarked for the future and the depth and breadth of council’s investment and involvement in our community.
Greg impressed upon the group the importance and value of volunteering as Board Members as part of a well-rounded career trajectory. Greg has been on 15 boards in his career and spoke highly of the impact one can make through this type of contribution and the point of difference it offers as an employee.
Natalie Allan delivered the vote of thanks on behalf of the group, thanking Greg for openly sharing the highs and lows of his leadership experiences and noting the new insights the visit had provided into the role of council and the size and scope of its footprint in our community.
The first event of 2022 was held on 17 February, a session on Creating Culturally Safe Leadership, generously hosted by Jaymee Beveridge, Director of Woolyungah Indigenous Centre at UOW. The LIP sat outside in a circle and Jaymee explained that in Indigenous culture this is considered the right way to communicate, everyone can see each other, everyone’s voice is important and can be heard.
Jaymee asked the group to share one by one what their organisation does to advance Indigenous peoples issues and add any personal experiences. There were some interesting insights shared and a wide range of policies being adopted in different Illawarra businesses, from no specific actions to fully implemented Reconciliation Action Plans.
Jaymee challenged the group to think about the micro and macro picture and how they could make change. Leaders often fall into the categories of those who want to maintain the status quo, those who are fearful of getting it wrong and so don’t take any action and those who are change agents who say “let’s do it” and take needed steps forward. Discussion followed on new ideas that could be implemented, initiatives LIP members can personally advocate for at work and in the community.
Jaymee explained that the guiding principle “You can’t be what you can’t see” is frequently used to inspire and foster new initiatives. LIP were encouraged to think about where else Indigenous youth can be encouraged and inspired, eg. internships, careers talks, sporting opportunities. There are opportunities for each of us. All participants received a copy of the WIC’s publication You can’t say that! Hints and Tips, a useful terminology guide.
Special thanks to Carlie Sulter who concluded the event with a personal and heart-felt vote of thanks for Jaymee that inspired us all.
About Jaymee & Woolyungah:
Our last event of the year was held on 9 December, a learning session on Networking for Success, delivered by RDA Illawarra CEO Debra Murphy. Debra adeptly took us through the goals and outcomes we should expect from networking, the critical importance of first impressions, the do’s and don’ts of networking and how to spot a group that looks like they would welcome you to join them. There were some very helpful tips and insights shared that we can all use in future networking situations.
The session was followed by our LIP Alumni Celebration where we had the chance to test out our new skills! It was great to catch up with Alumni from past LIP programs and celebrate the beginning of the festive season with our LIP supporters Associate Professor Grace McCarthy from UOW, Graham Lancaster, President of The Illawarra Connection and LIP Buddy Bill Dowson OAM.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at RDA Illawarra and the Leadership Illawarra Program. We look forward to seeing you in 2022.
On Saturday 27 November 2021 we attended a Leadership Masterclass at UOW, the second UOW Masterclass in our series of three, presented by Dr Christopher Sykes, Management Discipline Leader in the Faculty of Business and Law. Chris’s PhD is in the area of organisational change and his research focuses on practices and processes in organisations and how they are shaped by the operations of time, power and politics. Throughout the interactive Masterclass, Chris encouraged us to explore these topics further and conducted a deep dive into questions like ‘Who do we think is a good leader and why?’, ‘Does our current position require us to be an organisational leader?’ and ‘What leadership challenges or issues are we currently involved with?.
All participants had the opportunity to share their leadership story in detail and learn from the challenges and triumphs that each other are facing. Some thought provoking leadership research papers spanning two decades were provided as pre and post reading for the session. These resources, together with links to research from management theory expert Henry Mintzberg helped us to synthesise and consolidate our existing and newly formed ideas. Further learnings will evolve from the optional assessment piece - critically analysing a contemporary leadership issue, presented in business report style. LIP participants who satisfactorily complete the assessment task will also gain valuable credit points towards an MBA/further study at UOW.
So what qualities do the LIP think makes a good leader? Here’s a summary - how many do you identify with as a leader?
The LIP were delighted to attend a site visit at Peoplecare on 16 November, generously organised and hosted by Peoplecare Executive staff Dr Melinda Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Maree Morgan-Monk, Head of People, Culture & Capability, James Robins, Chief Information & Digital Officer, Anita Mulrooney, Head of Customer Service & Marketing and James Koutsoukos, Chief Commercial Officer.
At this unique opportunity to meet five of the executive team, we experienced first-hand the relaxed, warm, fun and engaging culture of Peoplecare that clearly aligns with their stated values.
First up, Maree and Melinda briefly took us through the Peoplecare 66 year history, from its start as the health fund for John Lysaght Australia Ltd in the early days, to BHP in the 70s, and expansion to BlueScope Steel and affiliated companies from 2000. In 2006, the fund became a national, open to all, not-for-profit health insurer and has since changed its name to Peoplecare, with the distinctive purple and orange branding we know today.
We then broke into groups to learn more from each leader and their area of responsibility within the business. Here’s some of what we learned:
After a brief walk through the offices, Anthony Palermo delivered a vote of thanks on behalf of the group. It was a valued chance to learn about Peoplecare’s vision, strategic journey and leadership approach from its team of executive leaders and reflect on how these principles could be applied in our own leadership roles.
Blog posts written by the Leadership Illawarra Program Cohort.