Growing Leadership in the Mid-West – Ideas

Below are brainstormed ideas in response to the question:

Please list and succinctly describe the top three ideas or initiatives you believe would most contribute to growing leadership in the Mid-West….

That question is from the survey which you can take here. It consists of some very short answers, some multiple choice questions, and can be completed in 10 minutes.

These ideas alphabetical, with numbers provided for easy reference. Reading them in the order they are presented is discouraged ; )

Note: While the tone is slightly humorous, I honestly believe every one of these ideas has some genuine merit.

  1. ASK MUM Leadership is really about caring. The most caring, smart and capable people in our society are the Mums. We need to mobilise mums everywhere to lead themselves, and importantly get their sons, daughters and husbands to step up and lead.

  2. BUILD Run a six to twelve month leadership development program that brings together 30 people (perhaps 7-15 current leaders with 7-15 emerging leaders, or just whichever 30 respond to the invitation) from across the region who are coached and trained through field trips, skills sessions, workshops. The purpose could be to build relationships across organisations, sectors and age groups, and build the capacity and confidence of individuals to take a lead e.g. Community Builders, Vincent Fairfax Fellowships, Common Purpose.

  3. CHILL OUT Do nothing. Relax in the fact that any problems will probably get sorted out, and if they don’t, well that was the way it was meant to be. The purpose of this is to not stress, not take responsibility for anything you don’t think is your problem.

  4. CLICK Create or use established online platforms where all these sorts of conversations can happen, where people can connect and share what’s going on, and where new ideas and initiatives can be born e.g. A Ning (like facebook , but more serious and effective) or a WeCommune to get practical

  5. COMPETE Start a leadership competition. Whether it be like a football league or beauty contest, we need there to be some clear goals, clear definitions of success, and some great prizes. Individuals or organsiations can then do their best to beat the others at the “Leadership game”. The purpose could be to introduce the competitive spirit as a way to add motivation for leadership development.

  6. CREATE Use art, theatre, humour, installations, recitals and other means to have the tough conversations about leadership that we need to have. Encourage public expressions of what is possible, what must change, and how and who it will happen. The purpose of this could be to re-frame, and open-up the challenge of leadership.

  7. DEMAND Push whichever organisation or individuals are responsible for the sorry state of affairs to do something about it. It is likely that much of this is someone’s moral/financial/statutory/legal responsibility and they are not doing what they should be. They must be made to do something.

  8. DROP OUT Retreat further up the coast, further inland and lead towards self-sufficiency. Abandon the ship, or retreat to contemplate a new strategy. The purpose here is to get out and get some breathing space, and perhaps to look after our closest and dearest first.

  9. EDUCATE Forget the current generation, and focus on the young kids in school now. Improve and expand on the opportunities for them to develop leadership skills at a young age.

  10. EXPLORE Run ‘learning journeys’ over a few (2-5) days where a small group (10-30) of people come together to explore a topic or to develop as leaders. They may visit different initiatives and institutions to learn about what is happening in other sectors, and they may do or create something in that time. These visits or activities would be interspersed with de-briefs, reflective dialogue, talks on new tools or concepts, and other facilitated exercises to the support leadership development e.g. As run by Pioneers of Change, Hallbarhet2009

  11. FACILITATE Convene small group (5-7 people) dialogues amongst the most powerful, competent, revered or developed individuals in the region. The purpose of these could be to clarify their personal and organisational visions, share ideas on where we are going as region, strategise on how we are going to get there, and what they are going to do to cooperate. Like the G8 of Geraldton!

  12. INCUBATE Leadership in this region will come from business. What we need is more support for start-up entrepreneurs. This could be a new physical space and community focused on generating and growing the best ideas for new businesses that will change the face of this region. e.g. The Hub (Intn’l) or Social Enterprise Hubs (Australia). Or it could be seed funding, a competition with prize-money, or just free, quality advice.

  13. INSPIRE Get inspirational speakers to visit or connect through the web. A series of the world’s best people talking about the future, leadership, community and how to create great regions is what we need. The purpose is to catalyse new ideas and thinking in our region, and it will grow from there e.g. Big Picture TV, TED

  14. GET OVER IT The exact degree to which we are sitting around surveying, talking and strategising leadership is exactly the degree to which we are not doing it. We all need to just get our there and get some things done. Sure we can cooperate and be smart about it, but we don’t need to go create a new initiative or empire to lead. The purpose here is to avoid ‘paralysis by analysis’ and other post-modern afflictions and get on with it.

  15. GOOGLE IT Copy and paste an approach from Wikipedia or maybe some less credible (!) source. The answer will be there – every other answer is. The purpose here is to minimise time-wasting, not stress about thinking ourselves and just use the power of the ‘net.

  16. GO SECOND-TIER This needs an apithological, integral, developmental, approach to transform of the biopsychosocial system for the present and the future generations. The will likely involve lots of meshworking, generative dialogue, presencing and multi-paradigm, 1st 2nd and 3rd person inquiry into all levels, lines and states of the tetra-arising holarchies. Anything else will be just ensure the emergence some pathological response that turns the whole system toxic. If it’s not second-tier, you may as well stop now. The purpose here is to make leadership and the approach such a complex and rarified topic that most people can’t really engage with it, so either it doesn’t get better, or it does get better, it’s you just don’t notice who did it or how ; )

  17. GROW GRASSROOTS Organise neighbourhood-scale conversations about leadership. We could organise meetings in kitchens, meet our neighbours, reclaim the streets and start leading right there in our backyards. The purpose here is to use the resources we already have, but just forgot about.

  18. POLITICISE Convince visionary, competent, community-minded leaders to get into politics – at local, state and federal level – and do whatever it takes to get them elected. The purpose of this is to get good leaders into positions where they can use their skills and knowledge to best effect. We have enough leaders, we just need to get them into Power.

  19. IMAGINE One or more organisations should take the lead on developing a vision for the future of this region that has a broad scope, representative input and popular support. Through a very good community engagement process the issues of leadership development could be addressed, and we would build the capacity of individuals, organisations and our whole community to take steps towards that vision e.g. Melbourne, Sydney, etc.

  20. INFLUENCE Educate, lobby and support current leaders. This may be through personal meetings, letters or any other means. The purpose of this could be to get our existing leaders to keep leading, just do it better, slightly differently, or faster!

  21. LEARN Facilitate action-learning sets. They are regular conversations where groups of 5 or so people facing similar challenges, working in similar fields or at the same stage of career / development meet to support each other. The format usually focuses on one person’s challenge each session, with other participants asking questions and coaching the individual to grow and develop through their challenge or situation (not just giving advice). The sets usually run for a limited time e.g. 6 months. Read more here.

  22. LISTEN Back in the war times, the depression, the 60s , or even the Dreamtime was when all the real leaders were around. Women and men who were around then could probably tell us a lot about leadership and what it meant. The purpose here is to tap into the wisdom of the elders, because this dilemma is not new. We have the SKA project listening to the stars, so perhaps we could have a ‘Festival of Listening’ where we ask questions of each other and the universe…and really listen to what comes up.

  23. MANAGE Quantify, benchmark, develop a policy and regulate. We can’t progress if we don’t have some way to measure what we are trying to improve. Something like this survey is a good start, but it needs to be better-planned, validated and replicable. The purpose here is to create systems and processes that mean we are practical and efficient about this sort of Leadership ‘capacity-building’.

  24. MEDITATE Meditate, contemplate and reflect more. Encourage others to meditate, contemplate and reflect more. The purpose of this is to encourage personal development, create the mental and cultural environment for us to make better decisions, and to generally behave in a more mindful, just and peaceful way. We must first be healthy and able to lead ourselves before we can legitimately lead others, the region, or the world.

  25. MOBILISE Protest about the lack of leadership in the region or other specific issues (e.g. economic downturn, homelessness or dangerous climate change), and highlighting the flaws in the current system: take to the streets, write to the papers, enter offices and meetings to talk to people of influence etc. The purpose would be to start the debate and see who or what emerged.

  26. NETWORK Start regular networking events focused on leadership. They will not be general, nor industry or sector-specific, but will feature guest speakers, short talks, or light-hearted but meaningful activities to get people thinking, sharing and collaborating. e.g. World Cafe, Open Space Technology

  27. OUTSOURCE We need some professional help from elsewhere. It will save us a lot of time if we were to hire some consultants. Someone from Perth, Sydney, San Francisco or London must already know how to do this and can just tell us what to do….or a fee. The purpose of outsourcing is to make this process more efficient and get access to whatever is best-practice in other communities and organisations.

  28. PANIC Declare a state of emergency or crisis based on our dire ecological and social problems. Use whatever legal or political means we have to shift into a ‘war economy’ where we stop business as usual and force large investments of time and money into the critical areas where it is desperately needed e.g. regenerating our agricultural land, reducing crime, building new infrastructure or preparing for the end of cheap oil and dramatic climate change.

  29. PARTY Have more cool (but purposeful?) parties where people mingle and have fun. Invite the smart, beautiful people with lots of potential and add alcohol and music. Good ideas, better relationships and future leaders are sure to be conceived in this atmosphere.

  30. PRAY Pray more. Gain strength and receive guidance from a higher power or being. And, encourage others to pray more, and listen and act upon the answers they receive through prayer, and to build more communities of organised religious belief and practice. The only leadership worth having is that which is aligned with and an expression of, the Devine.

  31. START Take personal responsibility. Everyone who completes or isidentified  by others in this survey should commit to doing what they think is most important to grow their own and other’s leadership. The purpose of this could be to start wherever we are, but commit to the journey, and see where it goes.

  32. STOP Do less. In our own organisations, just stop doing anything which is not characteristic of the type of leadership we want to have in this region. This includes working less, and spending more time on meaningful community projects, with our families and generally living more simply but purposefully e.g. ‘down-shifting’. The purpose of this could be to just stop doing more harm through consumerism, over-work or not having time to do and say what really matters.

  33. STUDY Start a recognised or accredited, professional future leaders or leadership for sustainability program, perhaps at the GUC e.g.  Centre for Sustainability and Leadership or Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability

  34. SUPPORT There is already so much happening and so many good ideas, we just need more people to know about it and get involved.

  35. STEP BACK Take the long view, this is probably just a cycle repeating and in the context of 200 years of settlement, 40,000 years of culture, and 14 billion years of evolution it’s not worth stressing about. The purpose here is to remind ourselves of the full context that really puts this all in perspective. Everything will be alright.

  36. TELEVISE Get leadership in the news. Whether that be through influencing the local press or starting our own new media platform, we need leadership to be on the front page. The purpose of this is to make sure the debate is widespread.

  37. THEORISE Invite the universities to do a study on leadership in regional areas. They can interview people, compare ours with other regions, develop a new model appropriate to our circumstances. Then we can develop an evidence-based approach to leadership development in our region. The purpose here is to not go off half-cocked, but to do this with some of the certainty that academia can provide.

  38. TOUR Other regions must have asked the same questions, and come up with some good answers. We can send a few people out around the country (or world) on a tour of the best regions, then come back and present their findings so we can copy or learn from others.

  39. TRAIN Do a needs audit based on what we need for greater leadership in this region, then run some specific training for people that strengthen competency and leadership in those areas e.g. human resources, strategy and sustainability, arts and creativity, community engagement, public speaking, polticial lobbying…

  40. YOU What are you going to do? What do you think we should do? What do you feel called to do? What do you love to do? In what ways do you already lead? It’s all about You…

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