The Leadership for Community Engagement Program funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Southern Metropolitan Region jointly with Noah’s Ark Inc.

Last week I attended my first session of the Leadership for Community Engagement Program funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Southern Metropolitan Region, Victoria, Australia, jointly with Noah’s Ark Inc.

Part of this program is to undertake a research project focussed on improving community participation in local services for young children and families. It’s also about leadership, and the qualities of an effective leader. Each participant is given a mentor for the duration of the program.

After arriving at the venue and having lunch, I met my mentor for the program. The mentors were invited to speak to the group about leadership, and what being a leader meant to them.  Rather than mention individuals names I’d like to list the ideas presented. We have been asked to reflect while we learn, and as this is my space to reflect I hope you enjoy reading what I’ve been learning!

 Leadership in a List

Being a leader is different to being a manager

It’s about finding solutions

Having courage and confidence

Being able to influence others

Speak a common language – find the common language so you can move forward

Empower

Enablement- moving barriers

Encouragement- encourage others to ‘think big’

Leave the profession in a better state

Deliver to every child, family

Deliver transformational change and coach how to measure change

Don’t shy from anything – get in and learn

Respect, listen – understand

Not a deficit model

Be capable of ‘unlearning’

Give others a voice and act on what they want

Empower others to solve problems – can’t fix it all

Collaborate

Flexibility is a key to being a leader – without flexibility you will impede innovation

Inspiring, innovative

A leader enables you to take risks – from this you gain experience to put into other aspects

Link with others

Partnerships- respectful – work ‘side by side’ with others

Spend time to tease out ideas

Put in structures which support collaborative practice

You can do great work in spite of the system

Do yourself out of a job!

Build a ‘treasury’ of good practice to help with evaluating actions – a way of capturing things which have been learnt – a way to demonstrate impact of changes and improvements

Slow down, think carefully

Think about how you bring people on board- what happened? Why?

Education- Lead families, lead teams, build the strengths of other people

Look for the difference- make service innovative for people

Listening to hear

Not being judgemental

After listening to each leader/mentor ,we reflected as a group on the items listed above. We also noted the following:

Mentors – feel an obligation to help others

Learn from your mentor: What does the mentor do that is supportive?

Each mentor had a different leadership style

All are successful in different ways

All confident in what they do

Believe in what they’ve done

Conviction of what they’ve done

So what is my project? Any ideas would be welcome.  I’d also  like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Elizabeth Mellor and Dr Anne Kennedy for a great start to the program.

Cheers Nina

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